The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) said that pastor Jerome Fernando had gone to Singapore on the 14th with a group of his followers.
He had left for Singapore in the wake of the CID launching an investigation on the President’s order in connection with making statements in a way that harms religious harmony.
The CID said the investigation is being conducted by a Superintendent of Police under the full supervision of the CID Director.
Police said that they will be able to arrest the pastor upon his return.
Police sources said that video footage of the statements made by pastor Jerome Fernando regarding the Buddha and other religious leaders are being studied by the CID and necessary steps will be taken to obtain unedited footage as well.
The investigation against the pastor was launched when a video containing a statement made by him circulated on social media platforms causing an uproar among Buddhists.
The President’s special attention was drawn to this video and an order was issued to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to conduct an investigation through the CID.
The President had informed the IGP to conduct an investigation into the pastor’s statement and submit a report to him as religious conflicts may arise due to irresponsible statements and it may affect the harmony of the country
The state-owned ‘Dinamina’ newspaper reported that special attention has been paid to implement the law regarding this statement according to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Act No. 56 of 2007.