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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2767

Vigneswaran spent the night at the controversial Premananda’s Ashram

Trichy, 09 November, (

The Chief Minister of Sri lanka’s Northern Province C.V. Vigneswaran stayed in Trichy Premananda Ashram on the first day of his visit – 7th November.

He will deliver a lecture on civil liberties in South Asia at an event organised by the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) in Chennai today - on Sunday.

The Sri Premananda Ashram is situated 20 kms from Trichy on the Trichy - Madurai Highway. Over the last 20 years the once desert-like area has been transformed into a great garden filled with numerous plants, bushes and trees. The buildings, which are built in a simple way with palm leaf or clay tiled roofs, are all set in the lush gardens.

Prem Kumar (Nov. 17 1951 – Feb. 21 2011), better known as Swami Premananda, originally from Sri Lanka, was an Indian guru who founded the Premananda ashram.

Originally from Sri Lanka, Swami Premananda moved to India from Matale in 1984 with his followers to escape the Sri Lankan Civil War.

He founded an ashram near Tiruchirappalli[2] in Pudukkottai district, Tamil Nadu, in 1989. The ashram served as a shelter for women and orphan children. About 200 inmates lived in the ashram, most of them were of Sri Lankan origin.[3] The ashram covered 150 acres of land and has 10 acres of teak plantations. Later by 1989, the ashram had opened branches in the UK, Switzerland, Belgium and other countries. It also has an international youth wing.

He was convicted of multiple counts of rape and murder in 1997.

On 20 August 1997, the Swami was sentenced to life imprisonment and fined Indian Rupees 67.3 lakhs for 13 counts of rape, molestations of two girls and a murder. The failure to pay the fine carried an additional 32 years and 9 months. He was convicted for cheating the inmates of his ashram which carried another one year sentence. Six others were also found guilty of conspiracy to commit rapes and destroying evidence. Five of them were given life sentences. In view of the severity of the crimes, the judge denied them any future remission of their sentences or amnesty by any state or central government.

He appeared unperturbed by the sentences and stated that "Truth will ultimately triumph" while talking to the media-persons

He died on 21 February 2011 of acute liver failure. He was being held in Cuddalore Central Prison. He claimed he was innocent until his death.

- Asian Tribune -

Vigneswaran's religious Guru - Controversial Premananda
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