The Venerable Mapitigema Buddarakkitha Thero - here filmed, October 1, at the Buddhist temple of Kelaniya, near Colombo, - was one of three people arrested by Sinhalese police, October 14, in connection with the assassination of Ceylon's Premier, Solomon Bandaranaike, September 25.
LV Buddarakkitha leaves office with colleague (wearing glasses)
SV Buddarakkitha down steps
SV.PAN Buddarakkitha across courtyard up temple steps
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Background: The Venerable Mapitigema Buddarakkitha Thero - here filmed, October 1, at the Buddhist temple of Kelaniya, near Colombo, - was one of three people arrested by Sinhalese police, October 14, in connection with the assassination of Ceylon's Premier, Solomon Bandaranaike, September 25.
Others arrested were C. Amerasinghe, a well-known doctor; and H.P. Jayawardena, owner of a Colombo printing press. They were due to appear in court, October 15. At the time of the assassination two other men, said to be Buddhist priests, were arrested: one has been released; the other - wounded by police at the shooting - is to appear in court October 20.
The Venerable Buddarakkitha leader of the United Bikku Front - a movement of Buddhist monks - when, together with the Ayurvedic medical cult, it helped Mr. Bandaranaike to victory in the 1956 General Election. Afterwards the two movements became increasingly discontented with Mr. Bandaranaike's policies. They had urged him to make Ceylon a Buddhist state, and have Sinhalese adapt as the national language.
They were disappointed with his moderate policies towards Western ideas, and criticised him for retaining Ceylon's links with Christianity through the Commonwealth and the Queen, for keeping Sunday a public holiday, and for his delay in removing Roman Catholic nursing nuns from Government hospitals.
Ceylon's recent outbreak of strikes and rioting centred around disagreements between Tamil-speaking Hindus and Sinhalese-speaking Buddhists as to the status given to the two groups and their languages.
Under the new Prime Minister, Wijayananda Dahanayakje, strict censorship has been imposed on Ceylon's newspapers, news films and press photos, and Commonwealth and International press associations have appealed to him to relax this drastic emergency regulation.
Leader of the Opposition (Dr. Perera, head of the Trotskyite party) has celled for an immediate General Election, but the Government - with its slender majority of one, and only 18 months before its term of office ends - has said "the people of Ceylon do not went elections now".