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Sri Lankan president meets extremists Buddhist monks and pledges ‘immediate action’

Sri Lanka’s president Maithripala Sirisena met with extremist Sinhala Buddhist monks who had been calling for the release of the jailed Bodu Bala Sena leader on Monday, and pledged “immediate action to conduct an inquiry” after police launched tear gas at their demonstration.

Sirisena’s office stated that he had “expressed apology over the inconvenience caused to the Buddhist monks” and that he had “instructed to take immediate action to conduct an inquiry on this matter”.

The monks had demanded the release of BBS leader Galagodaatte Gnanasara who is currently serving jail time for contempt of court. They had gathered in Colombo on Monday and were pictured waving a racist Sri Lankan lion flag.

Sirisena reportedly “invited the delegation and engaged in a friendly conversation” with the monks.