Ven. Samitha denies any hand in Galle turmoilOctober 2, 2012, 10:05 pm
By Madura Ranwala
Baddegama Samitha Thera, who has been identified by the newly appointed Principal as one of the persons who allegedly instigated students to go on rampage hurling stones at him, his car and the policemen who escorted him to safety, told The Island last night that he had not been involved in the incident.
Samitha Thera, a former parliamentarian representing the LSSP, said, "I went for a religious ceremony held for elderly persons in the town and on my way back, parents met me on the road near the school and asked me to join them in a protest against the appointment of a new principal, who was to arrive at the school to assume duties.
"I went there at the request of parents but did not want to attack the principal or his car. But, the parents and children on hearing that the acting principal, who restored discipline at the school and revived it in one and a half years, had been suspended, went berserk."
He alleged that about 100 police personnel had been deployed there even before the new principal came to assume duties, including anti-riot police personnel armed with tear gas..
He said that the students had just bidden adieu to the outgoing principal just half an hour before the incident. Therefore, newly appointed principal should have assumed duties on some other day. The Thera said that he personally did not agree with the decision of the Public Service Commission to appoint a principal who would retire in eight months but he could not oppose it.
The Thera also said that he had previously spoken to President Mahinda Rajapaksa over the telephone regarding the decision to appoint a new principal to the school. But the President had refused to intervene in the matter as it was a decision taken by the PSC.
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