A Leading Christian Pastor of the Assembly of Church (AOG) and his wife have been brutally attacked by a mob of around 40 persons at Deniyaya in the Matara district of the Southern Province on August 9th.
The attack on the senior AOG pastor and wife was followed by another incident in Deniyaya where a woman church worker of the Methodist Church was threatened and abused by a mob which wanted her to leave the area.
The mob which attacked the Assembly of God church pastor and wife had arrived in a truck, a pajeiro jeep and three trishaws. One of the persons in the Pajeiro was identified as Thusitha Ranawaka the owner of Nathagala estates in Deniyaya.
Ranawaka had not been involved in the attacks directly but had allegedly used his vehicle to obstruct the pastor and wife on the road. He had allegedly observed the physical manhandling of the Christian couple from the Pajeiro and had followed the mob closely behind while the incident took place. His conduct amounted to a backing of the attack.
Ranawaka incidently is married to a sister of Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa, President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Economic Development minister Basil Rajapaksa
Apart from Presidential brother in law Ranawaka, others involved in the incident were five Buddhist priests in yellow /saffron robes and the Pradeshiya Sabha secretary.
The pastor was accused of spreading Christianity in the area. There are around 500 Christians living in the predominantly Buddhist Deniyaya.
Reproduced below are two brief reports issued by the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka
(NCEASL) on the disturbing incidents at Deniyaya.