The Sunday Leader

Govt. Silent As BBS Continues Its Holy War

by Ifham Nizam 

Gnanasara Thero speaking to Mano Ganeshan

The Government has come under fire for remaining silent as the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) last week continued its own version of a ‘holy war’  ridiculing Muslims and even the chief prelates.

Muslims expressed concerns over the manner in which BBS General Secretary, the Venerable Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero, was making open statements against the minorities which could threaten the peace between the two communities.

Gnanasara Thero last week said that co-existence is applicable only for Buddhists and not for others. He also criticised Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Christian missionaries and non-governmental organisations.

The Aluthgama and Beruwala incidents are still fresh in the minds of Muslims. Some Muslims are of the view that the Ven. Thera could speak about radical Muslims but targeting all Muslims and other religions cannot be expected in a civilised nation like ours.

 

Gnanasara Thera’s vigorous campaign

Speaking to The Sunday Leader, former General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Hasan Ali said that Gnanasara Thera’s vigorous campaign against the Sri Lankan minority Muslim Community has undoubtedly and firmly established its footing in the political arena in our country irrespective of any changes in the regimes.

“Whatever party that comes to  power with the help of the votes secured from the poor minorities always turns blind and deaf when it comes across a cry connected with the so called ‘BBS- Buddhist Nationalistic  Forces,” he said.

He added: “So much so, the indomitable constant factor that the BBS holds with pride in any government in our country is akin to what the Muslim Politicians had become another constant factor to be part and parcel of whatever government that comes to power.”

“The end result so far is that the BBS and the minority party MPs gain in their ventures when in fact the poor minority voters and the true kind hearted peace loving majority Buddhists are rendered losers, he said.

Muslim voters should therefore think seriously of changing their approach in the future to engage in opposition politics like the other minority community in order to take up challenges in a hostile way rather than becoming stooges and demeaned.

The majority of real Buddhist voters should also pay serious attention to stop the radicalisation of their religion by a minority group within their community.

“Let us all join hands to save our Maathrubhoomiya by strengthening true friendship among the communities by engaging in clean politics as taught to us by our holy leaders,” he stressed.

Reyyaz Salley, Chairman of the Islamic Solidarity Front (ISF) meanwhile, condemned a recent attack on a Muslim worship place.

“Now it is back to base and the Muslim are feeling insecure again. Up to date the Muslim Minister or official of the Muslim Department has not visited the mosque. Mosques are all Wakf property and the Muslim Department is responsible,” he told The Sunday Leader

He also said that Sri Lanka is a multiracial country and not a Buddhist country as certain extremist monks talk.

“In 2014, the Grandpass mosque was closed down in spite of having permission to relocate.  UNP politicians promised during the presidential election that the mosque will be reopened but  now two years have passed unfortunately to date they could not get it opened”, he said.

“The best part is the person who pelted stones at the mosque is an employee of the Muslim Department and now he has been transferred to the Ministry. We have a lethargic Minister who has given his powers to his brother to run the ministry.”

 

Islamic syllabus

He also said that a Minister’s brother and certain radical Moulavis are planning to change the Islamic syllabus and trying to insert certain Hadith which is preached by radicals who are banned in those countries.

“We need to reform and sideline radicalism. We need to ban hate speech and arrest all people who are instigating communalism. The Minister in Charge of Law and Order should resign like in other countries he is responsible to arrest all these extremist.

We will give a ultimate to the government if no action is taken by next week we will protest against the government next Friday unless perpetrators are not brought under the law.

“BBS going to ministries and threatening ministers this nonsense should stop. During previous government also they went to the ministry of Industries. We need to put an end to all these nonsense,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, in a letter to President Maithripala Sirisena, Reyyaz Salley said that the Dambualla mosque had been in existence for nearly 70 years and now faces the threat of being relocated as the Venerable Buddhist monks in the area insist that the Dambulla temple is in need of more land allocation and that the mosque building is illegal and the land owned by the mosque belonged to the government. Muslims in the area are vastly affected by such pronouncements.  Even though it has been held back, the issue has not really looked into and settled.

“Hence we most humbly appeal to you to look into this matter and settle the issue to help the Muslim communities who have faith in Your Excellency and the government,” he said.

He said the timely settlement of the dispute over the mosque at the Swarna Chaithiya Mawatha averted disastrous conflicts and sorrowful consequences by spreading to other areas.

Reyyaz Salley noted that the attack on the Grandpass mosque came weeks after thugs vandalised the Mahiyangana mosque when they threw raw flesh of pigs with its organs and parts of the body with blood right into the prayer area.

 

Attack on Muslims

“Widespread strong feelings among the learned and scholarly Muslims today is that these unknowledgeable Buddhist extremists are preparing the mainstream Sinhalese for a major July 83 type attack on Muslims community,” he said in the letter.

He says today the Muslim community is deeply frustrated noting that during the recent past they were subjected to several severe attacks and harassments.

“The destruction of the 400 year old Muslim shrine in Anuradhapura, under the watchful eyes of the Police was followed by the attack on Dambulla mosque. Since then these attacks are continuing unabated. However Muslims remained calm all throughout, in spite of all these provocations and physical attacks. Today there is growing feeling of helplessness and frustration among Muslims who are disgusted at the failure of the Police to arrest the perpetrators of these crimes and racial provocators.  It appears that these lawless thugs seem to be having the blessings of the Police, who are compulsorily duty bound to protect the beleaguered Muslims. They are very deeply disappointed that the government has failed to condemn these attacks,” he said.

Reyyaz Salley said that even though the Muslim community had played a crucial role in bringing about  a turnaround into present political culture, they are disappointed as none of these issues were taken up to date for permanent peace in the country. This makes the Muslim community very unhappy with both the governments.

“My very strong conviction is that if Your Excellency takes a strong stand, could bring about a permanent peaceful and harmonious solution amongst the majority community and the Muslims of Sri Lanka as a Justice and peace abiding nation. Further, recently Your Excellency visited a temple in Ketharama and opened a statue of Lord Buddha. These are very good gestures for religious performances and harmony. In the meantime, there is a mosque that has to be demolished as a result of a construction for a canal, on the other side of the same road. When we knew that this mosque needs to be demolished in due course, the people in the area took a building and wanted to start the mosque in the premises after getting due permission from the Muslim Department. Thereafter, tension arose in the neighborhood and underworld thugs pelted stones at the mosque. People in the area are finding it extremely difficult to pray in former small mosque and wanted permission to be granted to start prayers in the mosque premises. It is our fundamental right that every worshipper should be facilitated with places to worship,” Reyyaz Salley said in his letter to the President.

He said that today one would notice, that the uprising of extremists has taken routes to attack the Muslims and no politicians especially from the UNP is taking interest to avert the escalation.

During the Rajapaksa regime we voiced against extremism, but the UNP Muslim politicians made it as an issue in politics. But today they are silent and all these Muslim politicians especially in the UNP are petty minded and only self conscious.  We had issues with the previous government and we fought back and today as well, we are agitating in order to get our rights,” he said.

 

BBS taking on Chief Prelates

Last week the BBS ridiculed the chief prelates during a meeting with Minister of National Co-existence Dialogue and Official Languages Mano Ganesan.

A video footage showed, BBS General Secretary Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero stressing that there is no point in having talks with the chief prelates and obtaining their opinion on national issues.

“Chief Prelates are there just to appear before the media, look good, meet Ministers and make statements,” he told Ganeshan.

He also told the Minister that he must approach the monks and officials at ground level and discuss issues with them. A tense situation also arose when Gnanasara Thero asked if the Minister accepts that Sri Lanka is a Sinhala Buddhist country.

The Minister said that Sri Lanka is a place for all communities while the Sinhalese Buddhists are a majority.

Gnanasara Thero said that reconciliation cannot be discussed if the government does not accept that Sri Lanka is a Sinhala Buddhist country.  He also warned that Muslim extremists are operating in the East and action must be taken against them.

Gnanasara Thero said that the leaders of the government have been warned of consequences if some key issues are not addressed.

He said Muslims cannot teach monks about reconciliation or co-existence and if they confront Buddhists then Buddhists are ready to respond accordingly.

23 Comments for “Govt. Silent As BBS Continues Its Holy War”

  1. Sangaralingham

    Not what is expected from true Buddhist. Respect tolerance cooperation. Does it reflect rest of the society.. Ignorance of the eorld and it’s diverse group is a matter of fact. No body is not going to change diversity. In close contact antagonism is dign of jealousy feeling of inadequacy seeking some social power not worth giving
    Opportunistic behaviour

  2. Sangaralingham

    Sinhala Buddhist country numerically not socially culturally linguistically

    • supul

      Have you analysed why the monk is shouting. The Muslims are systematically destroying archeological sites in their areas. What is that ? tolerance? A muslim by definition is a racist because the teaching clearly sates the other as infidals. Let take a very simple example in every country where the muslims are a majority all their rights are clearly suppressed and they are simply killed ifthey arise. How can a muslim ask for rights when they don’t recognize others right to worship ? idols can’t be allowed meaning all the ancient statues will have to be destroyed if muslims have the say in his country as a true muslim it is nor allowed and should be discouraged. The biggest joke is a muslim asking for their rights.

    • Asoka

      Go to history, during the British ruling time Tamils and Muslims robbed the wealth of the Sinhalese Nation. This is well known truth also. Simple example, all the Govt. departments Chief Accountants, Sharoff (cashiers) and 95% customs officers are Tamils. Imagine what they did for Sinhalese Nation’s money. They misused Sinhalese Nation’s money. Luckily now discovered how Arjun Mahendren’s episode. 50 to 70 years back our Sinhalese Govt. not aware of how these Tamils and Muslims robbed our Sinhalese Nation’s wealth

  3. Sangaralingham

    Sinhalese or any one know Buddhism must behave what Buddha taught said tolerance understanding helpful respect others kind to all living beings.i also someone in the country organizing hindu revival group. No one need the public a but religion. They the public must follow any religion it’s teachings and learn what is taught via religious observations teaching all said the basic respect for others

    • Hamlet

      Sangaralingham

      What is being generally practised in Sri Lanka, is not Buddhism, but Hinduism. So there is no need for organizing a ‘hindu revival group’.

  4. renu

    These to thugs must be arrested without delay as they are creating unwanted problems to the public. Every Srilankan has the right to live here and these two thugs must understand Lord Buddha was an Indian and Buddhism came fro India, It belongs to India not Srilanka, China, Japan or Thailand never has claims

    • rana

      Do you think BBS yelling or accusing against extremist muslim groups just for fun. Why don’t you at least say every extremist group in the country from any ethnic group must stop. It is because you representing minority group and you deaf and dumb about their provocative actions against Buddhists especially in Colombo,Kandy and Eastern province. You and most other people who writing comments here did not say anything for extremist muslim groups atrocities against environment, to the archealogical sites. And the land robbery going on in Wilpattu and Eastern province under the patronage of extremist muslim politicians. If extremism must stop it must be equal to everybody. Being minority is not a excuse to evade the issue.

      • Ifham

        Well …so called Rana …please do read…and read…my previous stuff…on extremists and on Wilpattu…

  5. Lanki

    The Yahapalana Govt came to power promising eradication of religious violence and assault. Now that Gnanasara has started all over again, what is President Sirisena going to do about it? Its time he clips this in the bud, or else we will have another Muslim – Buddhist clash similar or worst that what we saw in the past. Over to you Mr. President for your immediate and decisive action. Find out who are at the bottom of this and take them into custody irrespective how politically strong they are.

    • Sylvia Haik

      I wish people will note that the government has no powers to reprimand Gnanasara Thera, however deserving, or anybody else. It is up to the judiciary to uphold the laws and the police to enforce them. I can certainly observe the injustice perpetrated upon the Muslims. If the police are not taking any actions, why not bring in a private prosecution? Ideally, the Buddhist hierarchy should question Gnanasara Thera as his actions do not tally with Buddhist teachings and he is certainly bringing Buddhism into disrepute.

  6. Amarasiri

    Sinhala Buddhism is NOT Buddhism.

    The Sinhala, just like the others are Paradeshis, Foreigners, Para in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho. Therefore the Sinhala are Para-Sinhala from Ina, the Tamila, Para-Tamils from U=India, the Muslims, the Para-Muslims from India, etc with the other Patas as well. Buddhism, Hinduism Islam Christianity etc, are Para as well.
    Through a comparison with the mtDNA HVS-1 and part of HVS-2 of Indian database, both Tamils and Sinhalese clusters were affiliated with Indian subcontinent populations than Vedda people who are believed to be the native population of the island of Sri Lanka.

    http://www.nature.com/jhg/journal/v59/n1/full/jhg2013112a.html

  7. Lima

    PRES MS / PM RANIL – BE READY FOR THE NEXT CIVIL WAR DUE TO THIS WAL BALU SENA PARAYA GNANA , BLOODSHED SOON TO SEE IN THIS COUNTRY . WAIT AND SEE. IF THIS ROBED TERROIST IS NOT PUT IN JAIL FOR LIFE ALONG WITH HIS BOOTLICKERS , THEN SRI LANKA WILL SEE ANOTHER CIVIL WAR , THAT WILL BE THE LAST OF SRI LANKA. GOD BLESS

  8. V.Senthil

    Sri Lanka is a Sinhala Buddhist country.
    I am a Hindu Tamil.
    When you say the word Country, ” you have to send out Christians First”. Later Muslims and Finally Hindus.
    Do it properly We are Happy.
    Siinhala is a Mixtrue of Sanskrit and Pali. Hinduism is dominating within Buddhism than other Religions. I am very Happy to say “Sri Lanka is a Sinhala Buddhist country.”

  9. V.Senthil

    Word “Country” is expressing the Independence of Sri Lanka. Christians shouldn’t be int his country for its independence.

    Definition of “Freedom Movement” is the movement of peoples characteristics from external to Internal.

    From this definition Christians shouldn’t be in this country.

    Send out the Christians First.

    • Bandara

      V Senthil,
      I know your are a racist Sinhala Buddhist. Also I know where you live. People like you are the reason this peaceful country is experiencing disharmony. When commenting, please user your brain not your heart

  10. Nimal

    Wigneshwaran, TNA , Muslim Congress and other minority groups must accept That Sri LANAKA is a Sinhalese Buddhist country and as long as they spoke otherwise, the majority considered it as threatening them and challenging the very fabrication of the country, these kind of responses from the majority will prevail.

    Stop talking of federalism, police and land powers and administrative units to some other minorities if they really want reconciliation as these all talked by the politicians for their very survival not by the masses of this country.

    The funny thing is all these are being talked by the so called politicians who came to Sri Lanka as Plunderers, Slave labourers, Kallathonies and traders of spices etc.

    It is the biggest joke to expect Maithri Bhavana when the very fabrication of the country is being challenged by Kllathonies and Plunderers.

  11. Rationalist

    There is absolutely no point in the fanatical Muslims blaming President Sirisena and the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe both of whom are good Buddhist for their inaction. They will not do anything against the teaching of Buddhism.

    The fact is what the Buddhist monks like Rev. Gnanassara is doing with their supporters is what Buddhism has taught them to do. It is clearly seen that
    to safeguard Buddhism and Sinhala culture you have attack the non- Buddhist in a Buddhist country. All those who are different from Buddhist should be violently attacked to save Buddhism and that what the Buddhist monks are doing.

    If the President and the PM are following real Buddhism how can the Muslim fanatics blame the govt.

  12. Alfred

    Why won’t someone instill in the minds of the BBS and the general public at least the latest two of the most significant events which took place courtesy Muslims viz. The Rs.7 billion state-of-the-art cancer hospital complete with entire fittings donated to the Sri Lankan Govt. by a Muslim business man and secondly only yesterday the Pakistani Govt. sponsored a Vesak celebration in Pakistan inviting several leading Buddhist priests. These are unconditional goodwill gestures by those of Muslim faith which deserves at least some appreciation to say the least. Leave alone appreciations the thugs here are like morons without any human feelings slandering and waging an all out slander campaign at this very same community. Shame on these low down hooligans there must be some law to prevent this sort of behaviour spreading any further. I have many silent Muslim friends who say ‘ just because the dogs are barking we can’t bark back or bite them’

  13. the holy war mean monks are very communal they uneducated jokers, police must deal with break law of land, this particular monk was help by mr GOTA known he no where ,indian prime minister gave wrong for communal and criminal, secretary of defense education grade 8. last weak visit to srilanka mr Rajapaska family out of politics and communal and criminal,

  14. Concerned Citizen

    It is indeed puzzling why the Government has not issued a statement condemning attacks on Muslim places of worship and businesses during the course of last 2-3 weeks. Silence may be construed as indirect blessing for the extremists to continue their attacks. The Governments silence is going to draw international attention in the context that ambassadors of two powerful western nations, the United States and United Kingdom have issued strong and unequivocal statements condemning the attack on places of worship.
    It was reported that at a cabinet meeting It was unanimously decided to rein-in the BBS, after a briefing by the Minister of National Re-conciliation Mr. Mano Ganeshan. The President was reported to have ordered the arrest of the main inciter of the attacks Gnanasara Thero. However, nothing has happened so far and the Thero refused to appear before the Appeals Court, where his contempt of court action was to be taken up, citing medical reasons. Meanwhile a popular news website lankanewsweb.net reported on May 23, 2017, that Gnanasara Thero who was to be arrested by the Police and the STF at the Badagamuwa natural reserve, where he was cornered by them, was eventually set free after the intervention of the IGP. The result was that more 200 policemen and STF personnel had to withdraw, in the midst of verbal abuse and insults by supporters of BBS who had assembled there. BBS try to portray this as a victory, and that Gnanasara’s arrest was prevented by their youthful supporters.
    After this incident most Muslims believe that the police may not intervene in the future to protect them.
    Suspicions have also arisen among Muslims that President Maithripala has a soft corner for these extremists, especially in the context of the enclave in the north of Wilpattu, Musali Local Govt, a traditional homeland of Mannar Muslims, where they have resettled after the civil war, being declared a government forest reserve, under pressure from these extremist elements. The gazette notification declaring this forest reserve was signed in Moscow, prompting the jibe by Mujibur Rahman that the president had to do it as a matter of urgency, as he feared the whole of Wilpattu will be destroyed before he returned to Sri Lanka !!!

  15. monks who go against other religion are uneducated monk, mrGanathero is wanted criminal creating problem, all religion are same it was created by former president mr Rajapaska ruling the country by communal ,with Buddhist monk for SLFP party monk are not politician, mr mahina did not understand what is Buddhism, he is facing many criminal case but he free from present government,mr mahina recent vist indian Prme minister mr Modi have good lesion for rest of his live including mr GOTA and mr Laxman peries, please allowed the constitution to implement .development of the country he worn by indian prime minister country by communal

  16. Jey

    This so called “Buddhist Monk” should disrobed. He is a terrorist .Absolute disaster.

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