Chief Prelates Seek Presidential Pardon for Gnanasara Thera Ahead of Vesak


The Chief Prelates of Sri Lanka's leading Buddhist chapters have petitioned President Ranil Wickremesinghe for a presidential pardon for Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera. The request comes as the Vesak Festival approaches.

In March 2024, Gnanasara Thera, General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), was sentenced to four years of rigorous imprisonment for an inflammatory statement made in 2016 regarding the Kuragala Buddhist Temple. This statement was deemed harmful to national and religious harmony.

The plea for clemency was made by Venerable Thibbatuwawe Sri Sumangala Thero of the Malwathu Chapter, Venerable Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Mahanayake Thero of the Asgiri Chapter, Venerable Karagoda Uyangoda Maithri Murthi Maha Nayaka Thero of the Amarapura Nikaya, and Venerable Makulewe Wimala Mahanayake Thero of the Ramanya Chapter. They highlighted Gnanasara Thera's role in preventing religious and ethnic conflicts, noting his significant contributions to national security and his leadership in the Presidential Task Force for the 'One Country, One Law' initiative.