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I had no intention to insult judiciary: Gnanasara Thera

“I had no intention to insult the judiciary with remarks I made inside the Homagama Magistrate’s Court after the court hearing of the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda was over,” Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera told the Court of Appeal yesterday.

Gnanasara Thera made the remarks as a defence witness for the Contempt of Court case filed against him.

“I had no intention to insult the judiciary or any other person in court. The emotional feelings aroused subsequent to an order to further remand the army intelligence officers led to address in open court,” Gnanasara Thera said.

Gnanasara Thera accepted that he told inside the Homagama Magistrate’s Court that he would not accept ‘White Man’s Law’ (suddage neethiya).

The Court of Appeal hearing the contempt of court action filed against Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera over his alleged offensive behaviour inside the Homagama Magistrate’s Court yesterday concluded recording evidence from the Thera.

When the matter came up for inquiry before the Court of Appeal, (CA) Justice L.T.B. Dehideniya and Justice Preethi Padman Surasena fixed the trial for October 30. Former Homagama Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake, who is now serving as a Colombo Additional Magistrate, and Deputy Solicitor General (DSG) Dileepa Peiris had given evidence.

Senior Deputy Solicitor General Rohantha Abeysuriya appeared for the Attorney General. President’s Counsel Manohara de Silva for Gnanasara Thera.

On January 25, Ven. Gnanasara Thera began to address Open Court after the court hearing pertaining to the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda was over. Later on, the Thera was arrested on the charges of contempt of courts, obstructing Court proceedings and intimidating a public servant.

Former Homagama Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake had referred the Contempt of Court action to the Court of Appeal since it is vested with powers to inquire such complaints.

Through the Contempt of Court action, the Homagama Magistrate has sought Appeal Court’s jurisdiction to consider whether the alleged offensive behaviour and utterance of Gnanasara Thera inside the Court amounts to Contempt of Court.

He further sought Court’s jurisdiction to take necessary legal action against Gnanasara Thera if the charges levelled against him amounts to Contempt of Court.

On a previous occasion, the Attorney General filed the amended charge sheet comprising four counts alleging that the accused had committed a punishable offence under Article 105 of the Constitution.