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Last updated: 07 October, 2010 - Published 14:40 GMT
 
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Sobhitha Thero suspects moves to stop him
 
A senior Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka who’s been campaigning on behalf of the imprisoned opposition figure, Sarath Fonseka, says he suspects foul play after his vehicle was involved in a minor accident.

Ven Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero (2nd from left) in Adhishtana Pooja, Kandy

Ven Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero, head of Sri Naga Vihare in Kotte near Colombo, said he believed it was not an accident when a van crashed into his vehicle from the rear as it left the temple premises.

'Release Fonseka'

The cleric, who was unhurt, was on his way to the central city of Kandy, where he later presided over an Adhishtana Pooja seeking the release of Sarath Fonseka, the former armed forces chief who fell out with the Sri Lankan president on challenging him for the presidency.

"This is apparently an attempt to stop me from attending," Ven. Sobitha said

Mr Fonseka is now in prison after military courts convicted him of various offences.

The ceremony in Kandy, held under tight security, attracted hundreds of monks and lay people.


Monks 'split'

Eight months ago, when Sarath Fonseka was first detained, Sri Lanka’s most senior Buddhist monks planned to hold a crisis meeting but called it off saying they had security concerns.

Many Buddhist monks play a vocal role in Sri Lankan politics.

The are split in their attitudes to Sarath Fonseka, who like the president and many monks comes from the Sinhalese nationalist tradition.

The monk involved in the crash, Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero, had declared that he and 100 others were willing to go to jail to secure Mr Fonseka’s release.

 
 
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