On the last 30th a Tamil woman in the Trincomalee bus stand who was clad in a sari with prints of a face similar to the face of the Buddha was heavily accused by a Buddhist monk. This incident grabbed the attention of a number of people.
On social media it was witnessed that she had to face a lot of inconvenience due to this incident. The inappropriate behavior of the monk caused a public insult for the woman due to the dress she was wearing.
The woman who lives in Jaffna told she brought this sari in India. Before going back to Jaffna she had come to a Kovil in Trincomalee and was on her way to Jaffna with another old woman at the bus stand. At this moment the Chief Incumbrant of Jayasumanaramaya in Trincomalee Venerable Gnanakeththi thero had come and accused the woman in an unacceptable way. It seems the woman is unable to speak in Sinhala and she had accepted her fault. But the thero had accused her more and more. Even though a police officer was seen at the incident he did not get involved in it. This incident spread as fire within seconds throughout the city. As a result journalist flew to the place where the incident took place. They were wondering what mess has the thero created this time. With the arrival of the journalists the thero not only accused and yelled at the woman he also took a call to the Trinocomalee police headquarters.
He called the police and asked “why couldn’t you send a police jeep even after I called you twice”. Which means the thero has decided a police jeep should be sent to the incident. He also threatened the woman telling if you weren’t a female I would have carried and jumped you on the floor.
Anyway after a while a police cab was seen and the woman was taken to the police. Article 290 and 291 of the Penal Code states the punishments against breach of rules against religion.
The woman was taken to the police and she was advised to dress another dress. Thus she was seen going out of the police in another dress.
It was revealed that this is not the only woman who faced inconvenience due to Gnanakeththi thero’s behavior. Before this he has gone to a Muslim shop hearing there are some cloth printed Buddha image and has asked all the people in the shop to keep kneeling. Also during the hot water well issue in Kanniya he had been in the front line defense.
Who is this?
This guy who has a Japanese look was called “Japana”from those days. He was having Sinhala values. He was also an activist in the North-East Sinhala Society. His mother died of a bomb blast in Trincomalee in 2007. Then he has ordained and he was known as Gnanakeththi. He is the caretaker incumbent of Jayasumanaramaya where Kapugollawe Ananda Thero is the Chief Incumbent. He is working hard for the development of the temple and he loves attention and a violent character by nature.
Most people had commented on social media that this Thro as a Buddhist monk should have advised the woman and let her go. His behavior has damaged the whole Buddhist society and it will only create a disaster.
The woman was clad in a sari known as kalamkari sari in India. No doubt that most people who go to India has brought these saris. No one has clarified where the image in the sari is a Buddha image. The image in the sari has difference from an image of the Buddha.
Before this a woman in Mahiyanagane was arrested by police for wearing a dress depicting a dharma chakra. But later it was revealed that it was not a dharma chakra but a ship wheel. But by then the woman was made guilty by media and all the damage was done.
Also in 2014 a foreign girl was arrested for having a tattoo of Lord Buddha on a lotus flower. She has told since she is an ardent Buddhist she got a tattoo. But the judicial decision was to deport her. We should not forget that she also filed a case against violation of human rights and the court gave a decision to pay her Rs 800,000/= as lawyer fees and compensation.
Sometimes the circular issued by acting police chief D C Wickramarathne may have been an obstacle against filing a case against the arrested woman. Since there were complaints of illegal arrest the Human Rights Commission has instructed the Inspector General of Police to take the proper procedure of arrest in to action.
A person should be arrested after investigation with a proper suspicion. They have further stated without following this procedure should not arrest a person and then try to justify the arrest by bringing in false allegations. Also the Commission has stated there should be permanent evidence against the suspect and it shouldn’t be based on false created evidence.
Also the Commission further states when problems arise regarding religious symbols or religious text specialist opinion should be obtained in order to solve them. Thus it is the duty and responsibility of all citizens to protect human rights of all people.