The Letter of Demand requests the Ven. Thero to pay a sum of Rs. 500 Million within two weeks of the date of the letter in the event of his failure to tender an apology to the Minister and retract the tenor, slant and false contents of the statements made by the Ven. Thero which include saying that
a) The Minister is responsible for the destruction of the Wilpattu National Park
b) The Minister has created an exclusive Muslim Zone from Wilpattu to Mannar
c) The Minister is attempting to create an “Arab Colony” in Sri Lanka in the Mannar Wilpattu areas
d) The Minister is engaging in an ‘invasion’ of Sri Lanka by building houses for Muslims in the Northern Province and
e) The Minister is a person who attacks courts and obstructs the course of justice.
The Letter of Demand also states that these statements made by the Ven. Thero received wide publicity since they were published in national newspapers and through television stations and websites and has resulted in creating an erroneous image about the Sri Lankan people and a friction among Muslims and Sinhalese.
Addressing a media conference in Colombo Monday, Minister Rishad Bathiudeen refuted these charges and explained about the hardships underwent by nearly 100,000 Muslim people of the Northern Province, including him when they were chased by the terrorists within 48 hours from Mullativu, Kilinochchi, Mannar and Vavuniya districts and within 2 hours from Jaffna district. He said that they came and lived under trying conditions in the coconut estates of Anuradhapura, Kurunegala and Puttalam districts without even any form of sanitation facilities, and lacking educational facilities for the children for over 20 years.
He said that only after establishing peace by President Mahinda Rajapaksa the people have been able to return to their original habitats and showed photographs of mosques, schools and houses of Muslims destroyed by the terrorists.
The Minister called upon the displaced Sinhala people also to return to the Northern Province and settle down in their original habitats and assured all assistance from the government for them to resettle.