The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) today insisted that the self-immolation committed by the ex-JHU monk, Ven. Bowatte Indarathana Thera was an act of self-sacrifice and not a case of suicide.
Addressing a media briefing Minister of Technology and JHU General Secretary, Champika Ranawaka said sinister western moves were underway to interpret this act of self-sacrifice as an act of religious extremism and made a request from the public to be mindful of those moves. The Minister said amongst other requests left in the note written by the monk before he set himself on fire, a request to the President for a new Constitution that would suit a Buddhist country was also included.
“In the letter written by Bowatte Indarathana Thera he had requested the president to ban cattle slaughter in Sri Lanka, eradicate terrorism, to approve the Bill in Parliament against converting to other religions by force, and also to repeal multi-national and multi-religious alliances,” Ranawaka said.
Meanwhile JHU member Udaya Gammanpila addressing the press conference said as long as cattle slaughter prevailed in Sri Lanka no value would be attached to the self-sacrifice committed by Bowatte Indarathana Thera.
“We plan to transform the demands made by Indarathana Thera into reality and hope that the two Bills already presented in Parliament against animal cruelty and religious conversions committed by force, would be approved in Parliament,” Gammanpila said.
JHU National Organizer Nishantha Sri Warnasinha said the JHU was disappointed at the manner in which Indarathana Thera’s body was taken away from Colombo by the security forces (dressed in civil clothing) and suspect a political interference and force to be behind this action.
“Though the public of this country is experiencing peace after the war, that same peace and harmony is denied for the cattle living in Sri Lanka,” Warnasinha said.
When questioned by the media as to why Indarathana Thera was expelled from the JHU, Minister Ranawaka said, “As a political party we have a certain discipline and we follow those rules and regulations. However Indarathana Thera was engaged in a larger national service and he did not want to limit his services to a political party. Nevertheless after leaving our party, he did not at anytime act as a traitor; instead he tried to work for the larger benefit of the community.” (Jayashika Padmasiri)