They are serving prison terms of between six months and seven years, with Welikada prison housing eight of them, he said.
Additionally, 10 other monks arrested over various charges are being kept in detention, he said.
No prisoner, despite being a member of the clergy, has been treated differently and all should be governed by the prison laws.
Gnanasara Thera was sentenced according to the country’s laws –justice minister
Meanwhile, justice minister Thalatha Athukorale says the sentencing of Galagodaatte Gnansara Thera was done under the existing laws and it had nothing to do with politics or any attempt at repression.Meanwhile, speaking to the media, Ven. Omare Kassapa Thera demanded an immediate releasing of Gnansara Thera.
If not, all monks will stage protests and boycott state functions, he warned.