Ven. Sobitha’s death: NMSJ says ‘conspiracy’ a canard


By Madura Ranwala

Prof. Sarath Wijesooriya addressing the media. Saman Ratnapriya looking on (pic by Kamal Bogoda)

The National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) yesterday warned monks, Uduwe Dammaloka, Elle Gunawansa and Murutettuwe Ananda Theras, who had expressed suspicions of foul play in late NMSJ leader Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera not to incite the public.

 "Some of the monks held on remand are those with cases being heard against them involving rape, child abuse and illegal activities like keeping in custody baby elephants," NMSJ’s present leader and Ven. Sobith’s successor Prof. Sarath Wijesooriya told the media yesterday at a press briefing held at Maradana.

"Uduwe Dammaloka Thera is a suspect in a case being heard and the Thera tries to cover it up by trying to give the public the wrong impression that Sobitha Thera was murdered. This was after telling a blatant lie that no one could believe about the baby elephant. The Thera has said the baby elephant was found abandoned in his Alan Mathiniramaya temple grounds. If he could tell such a lie why can’t he say this," a key member of the NMSJ, Saman Rathnapriya said.

 Ratnapriya said: "If they were sure that Ven. Sobitha had been murdered why didn’t they make a complaint to the police of President Maithripala Sirisena or Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at that time, demanding a probe. Hiding information about a murder is also a crime."

 Prof. Wijesooriya said if it had been a murder they would have taken action before anyone could go to streets demanding justice as Ven. Sobitha had been their leader.

 "But, we asked the President and Prime Minister to conduct a thorough investigation to prove the allegation was to tarnish the image of Ven. Sobitha Thera. Sobitha Thera was respected by all communities.

 Ratranapriya said that the claim the internal organs of Sobitha Thera had gone missing, when the body was brought back to the country was wrong.

 Ratnapriya accepted that there was a problem that concerned them and it was medical negligence not a political issue.

 He claimed that after the surgery, the Sobitha Thera had been in the process of recovery and lack of attention and treatment had compelled them to send the Thera to Singapore immediately for further treatment with the support of the government.

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