Melee after monk's funeral, Police fire tear gas

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 24 December 2003, 13:50 GMT]
Three persons wee injured in a clash between angry mourners and the Police at the funeral of the Buddhist monk, Ven. Gangodawila Soma Thero, in Colombo city Wednesday evening. Police fired tear gas to disperse unruly mourners following the funeral. A photographer from the Daily Mirror, an English daily published from Colombo was assaulted in the melee.

The photographer's camera was snatched from him by the crowd, his colleagues said.

Thousands of Sri Lanka's Sinhala Buddhist majority Wednesday paid homage to Rev. Soma, widely regarded as a staunch and outspken defender of Sinhala nationalism and Buddhism at his state funeral in the city's Independence Square.

Police said they had taken into custody some persons who were distributing leaflets allegedly critical of the late Ven. Soma. A crowd of angry mourners had then demaded that the persons be handed over to it.

In the ensuing melee Police had to fire tear gas and three persons, two females and a man were injured, Police said.

 

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