Colombo (AsiaNews/Agencies) - A moderate Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka who is highly critical of an extremist Buddhist group has been found beaten and unconscious near Colombo. Wataraka Vijitha Thero was found undressed and with numerous cuts on his body in the district of Panadura.
He is a vocal critic of the Bodu Bala Sena (Buddhist Brigade), whose rally in a southern town triggered deadly anti-Muslim riots on Sunday night.
Four people have died in the sectarian violence, Sri Lanka's worst in years.
Although there has been a lot of discussion of the violence on Sri Lankan social media, most mainstream media outlets on the island - with a few exceptions - have given little coverage and not sent journalists to report on the event. According to media reports, the BBS has denied being behind the assault on the monk.
Wataraka Vijitha Thero has made statements supportive of Muslims and he has also complained to the police that he has received death threats.
Many of the attacks on homes and businesses took place in the village of Welipenna, near the town of Aluthgama where Sunday's rally was held. There have also been attacks on Muslim businesses in two other towns in the south. An unarmed security guard from the Tamil minority was killed at a farm near Aluthgama.