IUBF Convenor monk released ‘conditionally’, then remanded again

  • AG agrees to conditional bail under PTA
  • Remanded again over alleged damage to public property
  • Mudalige not produced before Colombo MC 

BY Buddhika Samaraweera

The Colombo Magistrate’s Court (MC) yesterday (23) ordered the release of Inter-University Bhikkhus’ Federation (IUBF) Convenor Ven. Galwewa Siridhamma Thera, who was being detained under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act (PTA), but he was again remanded until 6 December after being produced before the Kaduwela Magistrate’s Court, with regard to another case filed against him under the Offences Against Public Property Act, No. 12 of 1982.

Colombo Additional Magistrate T.N.L. Mahawatte had ordered the Thera’s release yesterday, following Senior Deputy Solicitor General (SDSG) Dileepa Peiris, who appeared for the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID), informing the court that Attorney General President’s COunsel (PC) Sanjay Rajaratnam had agreed to the release of Siridhamma Thera on conditional bail under Section 7(2) of the PTA.

Accordingly, Additional Magistrate Mahawatte had ordered the release of Siridhamma Thera on two surety bail counts of Rs. 500,000 each, and imposed a foreign travel ban on him. She also ordered him to appear before the TID on the last Sunday of every month. In addition, Siridhamma Thera was ordered to not make comments about the relevant case or to engage in any acts of violence, on the condition that such would result in the suspension of bail. The relevant case is to be taken up again on 12 December.

However, Siridhamma Thera was subsequently ordered to be remanded again until 6 December, after being produced before the Kaduwela Magistrate’s Court with regard to another case filed against him under the Offences Against Public Property Act, No. 12 of 1982 for allegedly causing damage to public property during a protest. The Kaduwela Magistrate ordered him to be remanded until 6 December, when the relevant case will be taken up again.

Meanwhile, Inter-University Students’ Federation (IUSF) Convenor Wasantha Mudalige, who was also placed in detention with Siridhamma Thera under the PTA and subsequently remanded, was not produced before the court yesterday.

On 17 November, Mudalige and Siridhamma Thera, who were being detained on 90-day long detention orders under the PTA, were remanded by the Colombo Magistrate’s Court until the AG’s instructions were received. As the relevant detention orders were set to expire on 18 November, they were produced before Additional Magistrate Mahawatte on that day.

The IUSF had organised a massive protest in Colombo on 18 August against President Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Government. A total of 16 university students who were arrested during that protest were released on bail after being produced before the Colombo Magistrate’s Court on 19 August, while Mudalige, Siridhamma Thera, and IUSF member Hashan Jeewantha were placed under detention. The latter was subsequently enlarged on bail.