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Sri Lankan court sentences Buddhist monk for Islamophobic speech

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A Sri Lankan Buddhist monk has been sentenced by a court for making Islamophobic statements.

A Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka was sentenced to four years in prison in 2016 for making statements about Islamophobia.

The High Court has also imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on 49-year-old Galagudate Ganasara.

The monk, who has campaigned against Muslim minorities since 2012, was charged for comments he made at a press conference in March 2016.

During the last court hearing in mid-February, the monk apologized to the Muslim community for the distress caused by his public comments.

The High Court ruled that Ganasara, who heads Bodo Bala Sena (BBS) or Buddhist Powers, had created religious and communal confusion through his comments.

In 2018, Ganasara was arrested for contempt of court but later received a presidential pardon.

He later explained that he was not against the Muslim minority but was unhappy with the behavior of the Sinhalese majority politicians because they did not address the concerns of the community. He was trying to deal with them through the BBS movement.

According to media reports, Rahab has been found guilty in two indictments filed by the Attorney General, which relate to complaints filed by the Criminal Investigation Department by former Governor Azath Saleh and former Member Parliamentary Mujibur Rehman.

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