Chief Incumbent of the Kataragama Kirivehera Rajamaha Viharaya, Ven. Kobawaka Damminda Thera and another monk were hospitalised last night after being shot by unidentified gunmen.
According to initial investigations, three gunmen had been involved in the attack, which occurred inside the premises of the Kirivehera Rajamaha Viharaya. Police believe the assailants used shotguns and several spent bullet casings were found at the scene.
Ven. Damminda Thera and the other monk were admitted to the Kataragama Hospital before being transferred to the Hambantota Hospital for further treatment.
After carrying out the shooting, the assailants had made their escape in a Honda Vezel jeep. The vehicle, which had later been abandoned, was recovered by police this morning.
Eight police teams have currently been deployed to arrest the suspects.
Although, police have officially not disclosed a motive for the shooting, there is suspicion that it was due to a dispute over the rights to the Mahasen Devalaya within the Rajamaha Viharaya premises.
Text by Janath De Silva - Pix by K.D. Devapriya
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