Thera apologies to NCPA

Ven Vajirasri Nayaka thera in charge of the Vajira Lama Nivasaya embroiled in a sexual abuse case has apologised to the National Child Protection Authority.

The monk publicly accused the authority of being involved in a conspiracy to tarnish the image of the war orphan’s home, a day after the Authority assisted by police arrested six persons including a Buddhist monk for allegedly sexually abusing 11 war orphans aged between 9 and 13. Four other suspects including another Buddhist monk surrendered subsequently.

Prof. Harendra de Silva said that the Ven thera apologised when his statement was recorded at the authority’s premises on Friday. The thera has admitted that he was not aware of all aspects of the investigation at the time he attacked the Authority over the recent raid. But subsequently he was informed of all the facts and now has no reasons to believe the officers acted illegally, Authority spokesperson Dimuthu Galapathy said.

The suspects produced before Colombo Magistrate N.B.D.N.B. Balalle were ordered to be held till October 21 pending further investigations. They have been remanded at Welikada. The victims have been moved to a rehabilitation home at Pannipitiya.

Investigators believe that they have been able to identify only a fraction of the victims. "We have identified only 11 victims. But the actual figure must be high," the sources said, adding that further arrests could be made depending on the success of the probe. (SF)