Sri Lanka monks protest UN Rights Chief’s visit

August 26, 2013 07:03 pm | Updated November 16, 2021 09:23 pm IST - Colombo

Members of Ravana Balaya scuffle with police officers during a protest outside the U.N. office in Colombo.

Members of Ravana Balaya scuffle with police officers during a protest outside the U.N. office in Colombo.

Ravana Balaya Buddhist monks, a Sinhalese Buddhist nationalist group, staged a protest on Monday against the United Nation’s Rights Chief’s visit, calling her maiden trip to Sri Lanka as “anti-Lanka.”

They were halted by the police while trying to move towards the U.N. gate at Baudhaloka Mawatha compound as the U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay was having her day one engagements of her week-long visit to the country.

Ms. Pillay arrived in Colombo to begin a fact-finding mission on the alleged war crimes by the military during the nearly three-decade-long conflict with the LTTE. Her visit is being opposed by nationalist groups who are unhappy with the government for allowing her into the country.

She travelled to the Supreme Courts complex in central Colombo to meet with the Chief Justice Mohan Peiris, Attorney General Palitha Fernando and the Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem.

“Let us condemn Pillai’s anti-Sri Lankan visit”, a banner read.

Ittakande Sadhdhatiss, who was leading the monks, accused the police of taking the side of anti-Sri Lankan forces in the West.

“We tell the police this is our country. Our robes are more powerful than police uniforms. If anything bad happens to this country after Ms. Pillay’s visit, they must take responsibility”, he said.

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