National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL) Incident Report (period covering 15th March - 20th March 2008)
Attack on Bible school continues
Lunuwila, Putlam District
14th March 2008
Leaflets alleging the Bible College harbours Tiger terrorists were distributed, urging villagers to join a protest campaign.
15th March 2008
After initial inquiries and arrest of 2 persons connected with the attack on 10 students on the 2nd of March, Police referred the case to a local Mediation Board.The hearing scheduled for 15th March 2008 was postponed due to a protest held outside the Bible college. The Provincial Council member who threatened the Bible College on the 2nd of March led the protest together with villagers and some Buddhist monks. They carried placards, calling the
Provincial Council Member armed with gun attacks security guard
At approximately midnight, the same Provincial Council member arrived at the College gate, brandishing a gun. He threatened the security guard and proceeded to assault him. The attacker left, threatening to come back and rape the women students in the hostel. The injured security guard was hospitalized. The Police arrested the Provincial Council member. He claimed he acted out of patriotic concern. The private security company which employed the injured security guard has lodged a complaint of assault and a hearing is scheduled.
Harassment forces closure of Church
Mathugama, Kaluthara District
15th March 2008
Approximately 20 - 25 people led by a Police officer resident in the village and a Buddhist monk from the Aandagala temple prevented Christians from attending the Sunday service. The Pastor informed the Police that a mob was barring the way of his congregation. He was informed that there were no officers available to send to the scene and the Pastor was asked to come to the Police station and make a complaint. He explained that it would infuriate the mob further if he attempted to break through. In desperation he called the Police emergency number and 2 officers arrived at the scene about 1 1/2 hours later. The mob claimed that they had no objection to the Christians living in the village, but they cannot gather together for worship.
19th March 2008
The Pastor was asked to come to the Police station for an inquiry. A large number of villagers were also gathered there. The Police advised the Pastor to stop holding worship services, since there was a large demonstrations planned against the Church and the situation could turn violent. The Pastor requested protection to hold the services since it was Holy Week and many Church members were expected to join the Good Friday and Easter services. However, he was compelled to agree to close the Church.
On the 17th and 24th February 2008, mobs attacked congregation members, barring their way to Church. (See our previous report)