Pastor and 2 other Christians arrested, allegation of destroying Buddha statues

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National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka

Incident Report - 31st May 2007

Pastor and 2 other Christians arrested, allegation of destroying Buddha statues

Mt. Carmel Theological College, Kandy District

The Pastor who is the principal of the Theological College and two others were asked to come to the Police station regarding a complaint made against them that they have caused destruction to Buddha statues. At the Police station, they were placed under remand custody. The complaint against them was made by persons who alleged that two small statues of the Buddha placed by the road side at Unkelipitiya and Thalathuoya were destroyed by the three Christians.

On Monday 28th, the principal was released on bail as he was able to prove that he was in the hospital with his daughter who was ill, at the time of the alleged incident. The other two remain in custody, pending a hearing on the 7th of June. Although it was said that they were not brought before the magistrate on Monday pending an identification parade, there has not been an identification parade up to the point of this report.

There have been mass public protests and protest marches against the Bible college. However, the local Police have maintained a certain degree of law and order and prevented any attacks on the college, the students or the pastors. There were angry reactions after the principal was bailed out. The Principal pastor has received threats and has been advised to send students away from the College and also take precautions regarding personal safety. Some private media stations have highlighted the story on local radio, adding to the tension.

It is reported that a lawyer from the area who initially agreed to represents the three backed down after being pressurized by interested parties.

Please pray for this situation.

NOTE: NCEASL has made arrangements to facilitate legal representation for them.

31/05/2007 NCEASL