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Second Buddhist monk to continue hunger strike

By Sugeeswara Senadhira -Bureau Chief, Asian Tribune, June 14, 2005

Colombo, Sri Lanka -- The President of the Jathika Bikshu Peramuna (JBP), Venerable Dambara Amila Thero vowed to continue his hunger strike protesting the proposed joint mechanism with the Tamil rebels although Ven Dr Omalpe Sobitha had gave up his fast after president Chandrika Kumaratunga agreed to discuss the issue with Buddhist prelates.

<< Ven Amila Thero is fasting near the main Railway Station in Colombo said that he will be fasting unto death if the president did not pull out from the joint mechanism with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

As Venerable Amila Thero?s fast entered the third day yesterday and a JVP spokesperson said his health is rapidly deteriorating.

Ven Amila Thero is fasting near the main Railway Station in Colombo said that he will be fasting unto death if the president did not pull out from the joint mechanism with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Rev. Amila flayed President Kumaratunga for refusing to heed to Maha Sangha adding that chief prelates of the four Buddhist chapters were deceived by the president. Dr Sobitha Thero gave up is fast on Saturday after Kumaratunga gave an assurance that she would not enter into any deal without first discussing it with the chief monks.

Subsequently, she held a round of discussions with senior Buddhist representatives. Venerable Udugama Buddharakitha Mahanayaka thero of the Asgiriya Chapter who met the president said that after talks he felt that there is no need for protest. The chief Buddhist prelates also issued a denial of a media report that a decision had been taken to debar Kumaratunga from attending any Buddhist functions.

Kumaratunga, in her briefing explained to the Buddhist prelates that the joint mechanism is primarily a rehabilitation process limited for a one year period and the area covered by the deal is also limited to tsunami hit coastal belt within a maximum distance of one to two kilometers from the beach.

Dr Omalpe Sobitha, leader of the parliamentary group of Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) has ended a six-day hunger strike after the president gave assurances over her deal with Tamil Tiger rebels on tsunami aid. Venerable Omalpe Sobitha had refused food and water since June 6 in protest. He was later admitted to a private hospital in Kandy and the doctors today said that his condition is stable.



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