Sri Lanka arrests alleged cop killer monk

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan police Tuesday arrested a Buddhist monk who allegedly strangled a police officer investigating a paedophilia charge against him at a remote temple in the island's south.

The 53-year-old unarmed police officer was killed by the 37-year-old monk who resisted arrest at Ratnapura, 100km south-east of Colombo, police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said.

"The monk has been avoiding summons from courts to answer allegations of child sexual abuse," a senior officer in Colombo said, without wishing to be named.

"When the officer went to arrest him, the monk pushed him to the ground and strangled him with his hands."

He said it was the first known case of a monk murdering a policeman in the Buddhist majority nation of 21 million people.

The previous high profile case involving a Buddhist monk was in September 1959 when prime minister Solomon Bandaranaike was assassinated at his home.

Monk Talduwe Somarama, who shot dead the prime minister at his home in Colombo, was convicted and hanged in July 1962.

Monks have also been on the wrong side of the law in recent years with many arrested for instigating hate attacks against minority Muslims and contempt of court. — AFP