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23 September, 2011 - Published 14:21 GMT

Sri Lanka monk remanded for rape

A Sri Lankan Buddhist monk has been remanded in custody by a London court on charges of sexual abuse.

Pahalagama Somaratana Nayaka Thera has appeared before Feltham Magistrates' Court but did not enter a plea on Friday, court officials said.

The court has ordered the Thera to be remanded in custody and to appear before Isleworth Crown Court on 26 September.

He has been charged with raping an underage girl in the 1970s, the Metropolitan police said.

Pahalagama Somaratana Thera, chief incumbent of Thames Buddhist Vihara, Croydon, has been charged with four counts of sexual abuse, police said.

The alleged rape and three counts of indecent assault occurred in Chiswick, west London, in 1977 and 1978.