The Sunday Leader

‘What Have We Done?’

The BBS and the Rev. Gnanasara Thero have been the focus of many issues in the recent past over the Aluthgama incident. Many have criticised the monk for his aggressive nature and have called for his arrest and the banning of the organisation after the incident.
In an interview with The Sunday Leader the Rev. Gnanasara Thero said that in order to make the country pay attention to what he was trying to reveal concerning the threat of the extremist Muslim Organisations that the country faces, he had to make a loud noise.
Excerpts of the interview:

By Camelia Nathaniel

Q: Many quarters have called for the banning of the BBS and for your arrest for the incidents that took place in Aluthgama and Beruwela recently. How would you respond to this call?
A: In my own simple language what I have to say is that I have no time to respond to calls made by these mad people. What is the basis of their allegations and what have we done that deserves the banning of our organisation? We have not assaulted anyone, set fire to anyone’s property, damaged any churches or mosques or done any such things.

All we have done is vocalizing our concerns in open forums regarding the threats of certain extremist elements that the country faces. If our actions to reveal the enemy forces are the wrong we have done, then let them ban us or remand us.
What we are doing is what these ministers who have been brought to power by the mandate of the people to safeguard the security and sovereignty of this country, should have been doing in the first place.

Had they done their duty instead of being immersed in their own ministries, we would not have to do what we did. These ministers, when they have failed in their duties, are accusing us without understanding first the ground reality of things that are happening. We are very saddened by their stance as we are not clear on what basis they want us banned.

Q: There are speculations that Jihardists are operating in Sri Lanka, which has been one of the major concerns for the BBS as well. However the military has vehemently denied these charges and said that there are no Jihardists within Sri Lanka. What is your opinion?
A: Well the military cannot speak openly about certain matters like politicians do. We have a great amount of respect and regard for the military, police and the intelligence establishments for defeating terrorism.

But we are in agreement with the statement made by Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka regarding the existence of Jihardists within the country. They have yet to spread in a large way here, but there are several mushrooming organisations, which is a clear indication of the existence and the threats that we could face in the future if they are not detected. Over the past two years we have revealed several matters and today these have been proved right.

Not only Jihardists but there are also several extremist Muslim organisations that are spreading the germs of extremism in the country. In fact even the increasing Muslim population is a huge problem for us. But we have not protested against that increase. However our concerns are that they are converting Tamil and Sinhalese women to Islam. That is being done in unethical ways, such as through cheating them, rape and deliberate brainwashing. We see these are also as elements of extremism.

For instance the Thowheed Jamath is a very dangerous organisation, and very responsibly we can say that they have received weapons training and have links to Tamil Nadu. Moreover these organisations could be used by those who want to destabilise and divide this country. Even when they ridiculed Buddhism and Lord Buddha saying He consumed meat, we did nothing. We have only complained to the police very democratically.

Q: You have been known for your aggressive manner in which you speak, and many have accused you of behaviour unbecoming to a Buddhist Monk. What is your response to these charges?
A: There have been many books written on the dangers of Jihardism in this region and also other extremist organisations that have threatened world peace. However in spite of the impending dangers, no one has taken any action to deal with this issue. We are a nation that has suffered for 30 years because of the war. We too tried at first to hold discussions and try to resolve these issues gently and amicably.

However when no one heeded our concerns, we had to resort to a more aggressive manner to make our concerns heard. We did not take up arms, but instead we only said it out loudly and now we are found fault with because we tried to highlight this threat. Due to our openness as monks we have come forth and said what we felt loudly. We have not held secret meetings overseas and have not betrayed the country in any manner.

People can ridicule and punish us in any manner they want but some day they will realise what we tried to do was for the betterment of the country. You should not worry about the shape of the bell but instead focus on the message it is trying to convey by its loud chime.

Q: There are allegations that the violence in Aluthgama was triggered by your speech made during the rally. Do you accept this charge?
A: This is a completely wrong notion. We did stage the rally but we also calmed the people in the area and the violence began only about two hours after the rally ended.

This whole incident occurred only after the people coming from Dharga town were attacked by some Muslims from within the mosque. Unfortunately even certain media organisations and the international media twisted the whole story and put the blame on us. They distorted the whole incident to make us look like the perpetrators.

The media in this country too shamelessly distorted the truth to bring us to disrepute. We have held rallies in various parts of the country and these have never triggered any violence anywhere.

Q: With regard to the incident involving Rev. Watareka Thero, he has stated that he who tried to unite the people is behind bars today while you who have incited violence are walking freely. How would you respond to this allegation?
A: Firstly, I don’t want to waste my breath talking about such sinful characters that are blatant liars and a shame to the country and the robe. However I must mention that while I was trying to reveal the threats faced by the country from these extremist Muslim parties, they wanted to silence me and the BBS, but when they failed in their sinister motives, they even used monks to achieve their goals.

I have never spoken to that shameless monk and have never even met him face to face, let alone threaten him.

10 Comments for “‘What Have We Done?’”

  1. Fassi

    BBS and Gnanasaara Thero wants to thrive and annihilate the Muslim community on the non- existent myth fabricated by himself saying that in Sri Lanka there are Jihadists. If so its so simple for him and the BBS to alert the Defence Ministry which is so very close to them to arrest such Jihadists, than killing innocent lives, injuring thousands, destroying houses and business establishments.
    Its not too late for him and the BBS to inform about this to President Mahinda Rajapakse and the Defence Ministry!

  2. George

    01. Then who are those people stoned, destroyed and burnt those properties? Who went to Dhambulla mosque?
    02. More than IGP, you and champika must prove the existence of Jihad in SL.
    03. If the population of Muslims what is your problem? Sinhalease can have enough children. who stopped them?
    04. In the west, Ireland tops conversion to Islam and even in India well educated people have become Muslims. Even a judge and Hollywood figures have turned to Islam. Have they been brainwashed? People didnt find solution for their spiritual pleasure so they change. you can show the ways to your people so they wont change and be strong, no body is brain washed , No compulsion in Islam.
    05.You can create awareness of your threat but your words are not parliamentary words, good for thugs in junctions of Wanathamulla.
    06. Your BBs Chief in Aljazeera said BBS didnt organise meeting but invited to speak, now you contrary to that. Then why did you lead the procession through Dharga Town when you had the meeting in Aluthgama? The video shows stones were taken from bags of those in procession while Muslim Moulavi was trying his men clam. What do you say?
    When things go wrong you cant try to white wash and cover all. You speech and BBS is the reason for the unrest in Sri Lanka

  3. Rabok

    Please stop calling this mad horse “Rev Thero” – he is neither reverent no a buddhist Thero – he is simply a hyper active mad bull in a china shop – in a yellow robe – he is disgracing the Buddhist philosophy – it is sad to note that Gov. has no back bone to put a permanent end to this hate monger – because he is in a yellow robe ?? – if Gov. fails to act on this donkey – the day is not very far we will see another communal violence in the country – which s will tarnish Countries images unrepairably — enough should be enough – please do not think this donkey will deter other extremist elements – what will happen is exactly opposite – What the heck we as sinhalese have done to develop this country – talk big ,rob big do nothing and earn billions and glorifying our past kings and be happy with the achievements these Kings (most of whom are power hungry cut throats) – open the eyes and look at other countries – stop watching useless local TV channels – watch – worldwide channels and find out how other countries are developing around us – spend more money on R&D and develop our industrial base, agricultural base , technology base – my goodness i can write pages – we are a idealistics idiotic nation expecting everything to happen automatically with minimum effort from us – ,


    WHAT HAVE WE. DONE. ??? Good Question. !!

    You. Know the answers !!!’

    Your answers to the questions, is a. whole load of crap!

  5. Sarath

    Lair! Lair! pantas on fire!

  6. sg

    Quite enough , he has done enough things for the destruction of country image and buddhist philoshopy . He has given a good moral support for the enemies to destroy Sri Lanaka’s image. He started to destroy ethnic cohabiation in this country. He is not a follower of the Buddha. He should go to politics by removing his religious cloths. There is a political party suited for him. He is a religious spoiler of the future of this country. Government must take appropriate action against any kind of extremist religious groups or people without concern any differences. We are multi ethnic society we want ethnic harmony but not extremist ideology. If there are any attempts to build up extremist ideology or group by other ethno religious group that also must be banned.

    • Teacher

      He should not be called “venerable” or “Thera”.He is a hooligan. The Buddhist clergy and their leaders need to get him to disrobe and wear a sarong instead.
      He has brought shame to the Buddhist clergy and nobody seems to do anything about it.

  7. Paradise

    A thug in robes, this guy was an accident of birth.

  8. gamarala

    What is the truth? Will it ever be known?
    Did opportunistic hooligans take advantage of the situation after the rally to commence and carry on breaking open and looting houses and businesses?
    Why was there no response by police and STF at least to baton-charge hooligans?

  9. Kingsley

    This man is actually is a Sinhala Prabakaran. Lanka having got rid of evil LTTE is now trying to create another calamity. The way this man in a Buddhist robe is a absolute disgrace to Buddhism and decency. Every word comes out of his mouth is hatered!

    Lanka suffered terribly for 30 years because JRJ did not curb violence promptly to protect innocent tamils during ’78 riots. Just as in ’78 the security forces seem to have watched when innocents are being attacked. What happened then was those tamils went abroad and funded the LTTE to create mayhem.

    Sadly today, the law enforcement is done not to protect Lanka and its citizens. And as such have become a ‘private property’. The release of the arrested by ‘higher authrorities’ fuels the suspicion of this whole episode is part of a bigger plan to destabilise Lanka for individual gains.

    Hence if the govt. does not stop this hatered by this man and the BBS and other such organisations such ‘LTTE like’ calamity could occur once again.

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