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"my life is in danger"

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"Mahiyangana Pradeshiya Sabha UPFA member Ven. Watareka Vijitha Thera is now well known as a person making sensational news from time to time.  There were reports that he had undergone surgical treatment at the Chilaw General Hospital. Watareka Thera was back in the news soon after when he triggered a commotion at the Mahiyangana Pradeshiya Sabha last week by walking into the monthly meeting brandishing a ‘Kaththa’. We had the occasion to have a brief question and answer session with the Ven. Watareka Vijitha Thera."



We understand that you underwent indoor treatment at the Chilaw General hospital recently?
 I was operated on at this hospital on August 14.  I am now on the mend.

Venerable Sir, from time to time you do something unusual that makes news.  Why did you attend the Mahiyangana Pradeshiya Sabha meeting carrying a ‘Kaththa’?
I told a boy to put a walking stick inside the car, given my weak condition before leaving the temple for the meeting. He had mistaken a long-handled ‘Kaththa’ leaned against a corner for a walking stick. True, I was carrying the ‘Ketta’ as an improvised walking stick. However, policemen on duty at the Pradeshiya Sabha premises took it from me. There had been occasions in the past when chiefs from the Vedda community had walked in here with the axe hung on the shoulder, but the newspapers did not report those incidents. After all, Kaththa is a multi-purpose tool. We use a Kaththa to cut the bark of a tree to obtain the resin, and to pound the betel chew. I have often used it as a walking stick as well.

There was a rumour that you had forfeited your Pradeshiya Sabha membership. Was it not since a long time that you attended the Pradeshiya Sabha last week?
I attended the Sabha meeting for the second time in eight months this year. I attended it for the first time in April 22. You all know the ruckus the Bodu Bala Sena created on that occasion.



Is it true that various allegations were made against you when you attended the Pradeshiya Sabha meeting last time?
I got a warm welcome.  They told me: “None from Mahiyangana will dare lay a hand on you.”They all appealed to me to take up residence in Mahiyangana again to serve the people in the area.

About two months ago, you were found lying near the Hirana Bridge in Panadura. Why did you enact that farce?
You have a wrong version of what really happened.  How can I injure myself? How can I lie by the road side naked with my hands trussed up?  I was a Buddhist monk who had to go into hiding for about one year to escape harm at the hands of the Bodu Bala Sena hooligans who were stalking me. I don’t propose to recount what really happened now. The true story will be unfolded in courts one day.  

However, your relative had said that your injury was self-inflicted.
 You have got a distorted version of what had really happened. I do not propose to say anything more about it. Wait for everything to transpire in courts!

When did you enter politics?
I entered politics about 20 years ago. I initially partnered late Mr. Ashraff in founding a political party called National Unity Alliance.  I led an independent group that contested at the 2000 Mahiyangana Pradeshiya Sabha elections. We lost by a narrow margin. I was elected as a member of the Mahiyangana Pradeshiya Sabha for the first time in 2011.

What is the number of preference votes you polled on that occasion?  
4885 votes

What was the political party that fielded you as a candidate?
The SLFP of the UPFA

When were you ordained a Buddhist monk?
On April 12, 1979

From which Nikaya?
Malwatte Chapter of Siyam Nikaya

They say that you are a bhikkhu who has failed to obtain Upasampada (higher ordination)?
I received Upasampada at the Malwatu Maha Viharaya on June 5 1988.

Bhikkhus in Mahiyangana have imposed the Brahma Dandana punishment on you because of your conduct?
That is a big joke.  Samagi Sangha Sabha in Mahiyangana is an outfit like a Welfare Society. They have no authority to impose Brahma Dandana on me. This Sabha is something like a Committee formed to organise the cremation rites when a Buddhist monk passes away. A high position in this Sabha is being held by a monk who is the General Secretary of the Mahiyangana Bodu Bala Sena.  The punishment supposed to have been imposed on me is really the work of Bodu Bala Sena. Among the signatories to the so-called edict imposing Brahama Dandana are five ‘sil- mathas’!  Only the Mahanayake Thera of the Nikaya and the Karaka Sangha Sabha can expel a monk of that Nikaya or impose any other punishment.
The Buddha Sasana is based on a democratic structure. If I am to be punished, a charge sheet should be served on me after reading it out in my presence. I must be given an opportunity to submit my explanation. This is the type of work being done by Bodu Bala Sena to destroy the Buddha Sasana. They claim that they disrobed 40 monks. The Bodu Bala Sena is involved in a conspiracy designed to destroy the Buddha Sasana.

A delegation from the Bodu Bala Sena and a group of Ministers called on the Malwatte Maha Nayake Thera.  Why did you avoid calling on the Mahanayake Thera?
I could not call on the Mahanayake Thera as I was in hiding for about one year. Even now you can consider me a person in hiding.  By now I have received threat to my life on about 15 instances.

When did you receive the death threats first?
 In September last year for the first time. The situation I am placed in such that I cannot freely move about anywhere, for that matter I was assaulted when I was in Peradeniya. I was prevented from attending the Pradeshiya Sabha about 7-8 times.  You may remember how they sabotaged our media conference.  They followed my vehicle when I was on my way to Mahiyangana after attending a meeting in Kollupitiya on May 1.  The two policemen who provided me security escort made a complaint to the police.  So far no inquiry has been conducted into the complaint.

Is it true that you holed up in Minister Rishad Bathiudeen’s Ministry following the incident that occurred in the Mahiyanagna Pradeshiya Sabha premises?
Following the incident they tried to trace my whereabouts in order to cause me physical harm.  And they even searched Minister Bathiudeen’s Ministry thinking that I was hiding there. It is a falsehood to say that I hid myself in that Ministry premises.  I took shelter in a temple in Mahiyangana.

Aren’t you now in such a position that you cannot visit Mahiyangana?
I am in such danger, I cannot freely move about not only in Mahiyanagna but elsewhere as well. Bodu Bala Sena thugs are stalking me like the head hunters who were looking for King Sangabo.

Aren’t you provided with police security?
President Rajapaksa on being apprised of the situation, had two policemen for my security.  The two policemen were withdrawn with no intimation to me on June 7. And now my life is insecure!

Are you still in hiding?
 I am virtually in hiding.  I can’t move about freely. My life is in danger!

Although you are a Buddhist monk, the truth is that, the Buddhists in the country are not behind you?
We founded the Jatika Bala Sena.  All communities - Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims are represented in this organization. It stands for genuine national unity. We are on a journey committed to national unity.

Once you climbed a tree. On another occasion you took a ‘Kattha’ to the Pradeshiya Sabha meeting. Aren’t you indulging in all these gimmicks for cheap publicity?
There is no need for any gimmicks. I am already popular. It is Gnanasara Thera who is going after cheap publicity. True, there are drawbacks  on the part of Ministers. But it is quite wrong to assassinate their characters saying: “This fellow is trafficking in heroin. That fellow is peddling ganja.” He must produce evidence to prove the charges he is making.

What have you got to say about the present political set up?
Programmes and policies being pursued by the Government and the President are commendable despite certain shortcomings which should be rectified.  
 The Pope is due to visit our country. There is a fear that the Bodu Bala Sena would resort to some subterfuge to sabotage the Papal visit. People in the country should accord a warm reception to the Pope.

Do you propose to continue with your political career?
My immediate need is to protect my life.  It is too early for me to say anything about my political future.

What have you got to say in conclusion?
The Bodu Bala Sena is bent on destroying national unity.  The country can see them in their true colours today. They once boasted in Galle that they would ordain 100,000 as Samaneras. How many have so far entered the Order on their initiative? They ask mothers to produce more and more.
But mothers undergo mental agony due to their inability to buy a packet of milk food for their children. Bodu Bala Sena leaders move about in limousines worth millions of rupees.  
They criticized Minister Mervin Silva. But Minister Silva presents milk food and cloth to mothers who have given birth to several children. I think Mervin Silva is a better person than Gnanasara Thera. I am asking you to look into one particular thing.  
Please find out the place where about 20 persons from the Bodu Bala Sena were present on September 10 2013; the place where they were partying. I have the pictures showing them wining and dining.
 Gnanasara Thera alegedly was fined by courts in 2000 for driving a vehicle under the influence of liquor.  I hope to expose them further. Bodu Bala Sena is an outcome of an international conspiracy hatched with the aim of creating communal and religious dissension in this country.   
(Courtsey Sunday Lankadeepa)
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  • kithudugama Wednesday, 03 September 2014 08:50 AM

    Anay Tikiri Sudha Oya baya venna epa Kekiri paluwa,

    Oya wa api aaraksha karanawa Apey punchi aspa biththaray.


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