Ex-PM joins pooja to protect Sinhalese in N-E

Former premier Ratnasiri Wickremanayake on Tuesday joined a group comprising Buddhist monks and opposition MPs to hold an Adhistana pooja at the Sri Maha Bodhiya. They also offered flowers at Ruwanweli Seya and later made a vow before statue of king Dutugemunu to protect the interests of the Sinhala people living in the North-East.

The pooja was organised by Ven Elle Gunwansa thera. The thera delivered an anusasana urging the people to join hands to protect the rights of the Sinhalese.

MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardene was among the politicians who took part in the Anuradhapura ceremonies held to coincide with the 17th anniversary of an LTTE attack on devotees at the Sri Maha Bodhiya.

PA council minister, monk arrested

Veyangoda police on Tuesday arrested a PA Provincial Council Minister and a Buddhist monk along with two others, police headquarters sources said.

Police were able to recover a T-56 assault rifle, 700 rounds of ammunition, a repeater shot gun, locally built pistol, ten hand grenades and one flak jacket. Investigators were trying to find out whether the gang was involved in any armed robberies. — (NP)