JHU not involved in incidents after Satyagraha (demonstration) call off - Ven Medhananda

Lanka Daily News, Dec 13, 2004

Colombo, Sri Lanka -- Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) leader Ven. Ellawala Medhananda Thera in a media release said his party was not involved in the events that followed the calling off of their Sathyagraha on Saturday and the protests prior to the unfortunate incident.

The Thera states the party vehemently rejects the attempt by some interested parties to attribute events that followed to the JHU and tarnish the good name of the party.

"We like to remind the people of this soil that they should not act with emotion but with reason, restraint and intelligently. We ask the people not to become the prey of the cunning opportunists, but act with caution," the release said.

"We are deeply moved at the news of what had taken place on December 11 night at the Race Course Grounds in Colombo. Although we do not for a moment approve the Indian Musical Concert organised on the eve of the first death anniversary of Ven. Gangodawila Soma Thera, we do not approve the protests carried out in the most cruel and savage way," the statement said.

The statement added: "I had personally made a request from the government to get the musical fiesta postponed for a few days as the event hurt Buddhists conscience. The views expressed by those who organised the show were very reasonable and we found that it had reached a stage where the event could not be postponed. Hence we kept silent.

A statement issued by Shah Rukh Khan in the newspapers of December 11 said he was unaware an event connected to the late Soma Thera was scheduled and that as it was not possible to postpone the concert, they would observe two minutes silence respecting Soma Thera.

It was my unbiased view that we should take the statement in good spirit and understand the situation.

While on my way to a Dhamma Deshana (religious discourse), I received a call informing me that the concert's international organiser wanted to see me and I met her. She approved the statement issued by Shah Rukh Khan and promised to carry out it.

She said they would financially support any project launched to respect Soma Thera. But we politely refused that offer instantly. Having realised the whole issue in its totality and if that be the truth (she thrice assured it as truth) I told her that we ought to be just in our course of action in respect of the concert."