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‘Sri Lanka rule of law secondary to Buddhist hegemony’ - ATC

After a Buddhist mob led by Sinhala extremists defied a Sri Lankan court order this week, the Australian Tamil Congress (ATC) said rule of law on the island is “secondary to Buddhist hegemony,” in a statement released on Wednesday.

Despite local opposition and a court injunction, a controversial Buddhist monk was cremated in the grounds of a Hindu temple in Mullaitivu on Monday. The unlawful cremation created a tense situation in the Semmalai Neeraviyadi area as locals and Tamil lawyers who attempted to confront the perpatrators were assaulted and verbally abused by Buddhist monks and their Sinhalese supporters, all while police looked on and provided security to the monks.

"Buddhist monks boldly defying a court order with police presence and inaction, and in effect under police protection, shows us that in Sri Lanka rule of law is secondary to Buddhist hegemony," said ATC Chairperson, Manokaran Manickavinayagam. "This incident is a perfect example of the blatant injustice faced by Tamils and the impunity perpetrators in the island enjoy."

On Tuesday, thousands of local Tamils took to the streets to protest against the Buddhist monks and the inaction of the Sri Lankan police. An effigy of the Gnanasara, the recently pardoned monk who heads the Bodu Bala Sena, a Sinhala Buddhist hate group, was also burnt by demonstrators.