Colombo Telegraph

Aiming At The Wrong Target: BBS On “Unfortunate Attack On Grandpass”

“After the unfortunate incident took place in Grandpass some media institutes published to show that indirectly Bodu Bala Sena has some link to this situation. Even it was said that Bodu Bala Sena has a practice of deny of such attacks after the incidents.” says Dilanthe Withanage, the Chief Executive Officer of the Bodu Bala Sena.

Sending an email to the Colombo Telegraph he said; “We were highlighted with incidents such as No Limit, Fashion Bug etc. Now we are targeting with Grandpass incident in Colombo.”

We published below the email in full;

After the unfortunate incident took place in Grandpass some media institutes published to show that indirectly Bodu Bala Sena has some link to this situation. Even it was said that Bodu Bala Sena has a practice of deny of such attacks after the incidents.

Dilanthe Vithanage and a BBS monk

We feel it is very wrong to aim at us in media in such situations without proper evidence . At the same time it prevents public to know about the real culprits. In the past in international media it was reported that BBS was involved in attacking Muslims and mosques in Kandy, Dambulla, Anuradhapura etc. Destroying Churches in Madakalapuwa  and other places. Then we were highlighted with incidents such as No Limit, Fashion Bug etc. Now we are targeting with Grandpass incident in Colombo.

We have to say that we never promote or involved in Violence. We never got involved in any of the above mentioned attacks. What Bodu Bala Sena did in the past and doing in the present are all public activities. We never hide and fight. We struggle always openly. We criticize things openly. We criticize government leaders and opposition leaders, we criticize Buddhist Leaders as well as Other Religious leaders when the lie or doing wrong things. We always struggle against any form of extremism. We do not worry whether it is Sinhala or Tamil or Muslim extremism.

We blame one Sinhala extremist group and Muslim extremist organization , both supported by some extremists elements  for the Grandpass Incident. Government should investigate this clearly and punish them.. Soon after this incident BBS has used FB and other Media to express our concern and to be calm and not to take law into people hand. We even communicated to our coordinators to stop spreading rumors. We have a huge responsibility of protecting the peace prevailing in the country. We all lost 30 years due the war. we should not repeat it again.

Anyway we have demanded authorities during the last year to stop construction of new religious places of any religion and prepare standards similar to how it is handled in developed nations. If we allow this form of adhoc constructions of religious places definitely there can be unnecessary tensions in the society.

We strongly feel ineffectiveness of government departments for decades to be blamed for reasons for such situations. Without proper guidance and supervision of the government on building religious places of all religions, no control of unethical conversions , unsupervised funding and anti social activities funded by international organizations. System of education which promote social division  is also to be blamed for such situations .

We never attacked any Muslims, Muslim shops or Muslim mosques. We challenge anybody to give evidence to prove if such allegations are there.

Bodu Bala Sena is a civil society movement led by Buddhist monks and other layman to promote the development of Buddhist society in Sri Lanka. We strive to build a firm foundation for the development of a holistic Buddhist society based on Buddhist values and ethos.

We strongly feel we need to first unite majority of Sinhalese who were divided for centuries. If they are divided we cannot expect any form of social integration in the country. Government social integration programs are not effective as the do not wardress the root cause of the issue. We want to run a very effective social integration movement where first Sinhalese will be united and then all other small communities will be given necessary protection and shelter under the umbrella of Buddhist Leadership. We respect all citizens of the country and all need to enjoy equal rights. But we should not promote privileges for anyone. Unfortunately some are fighting to have privileges for some groups which promotes social division.

Several people have used various labels to describe Bodu Bala Sena such as racist, extremist and carrying anti-muslim sentiments. We oppose to the use of such tags to portray the activities and intentions of Bodu Bala Sena. We are aware that some of these allegations and misunderstandings stem from the fact that we have launched several campaigns against issues involving Muslim interests, such as the halal-campaign and the Kuragala mosque. However, this do not mean that we are opposed to Muslims in general, but that we have identified certain practices that we find unethical. We oppose to any unethical behavior, whether it is committed by Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Hindu or any other religious faith or group.

There are also circulating rumors of how we are funded. Such conspiracies either attest our financial situation in relation to patrons in national politics, or various international agencies (CIA/ Mossad / Germany /Norway) which fund our activities to correlate with their international agendas. Bodu Bala Sena has nothing to hide in terms of funding.  Some accuse of us as BBS is created and supported by Government and specially by the defense secretary.. We categorically deny all such allegations.

We believe that despite the fact that Buddhism is the foremost religion of Sri Lanka the Sinhala Buddhist majority lacks a dedicated effort to bring about an encompassing structural change to revive Buddhist society in Sri Lanka. It is our aim to bring forth this dedication, and bring about a Buddhist society based on the values and ethos of Lord Buddha.

Objectives and Goals

Our basic aim is to bring a structural change through the Sri Lankan society by promoting values of Buddhist society, Buddhist development, Uplifting of Buddhist sacred sites and a dedicated effort to counter anti-Buddhist activities. From these topics we have developed 12 basic goals which we work to achieve:

Buddhist society

(1) Implement various programmes that would contribute for the creation of a Buddhist Society

(2) Work for an independent society of bhikkhus without bonds to party politics nor political patrons.

(3) Propagation of Dhamma; To help creating an environment conducive for the promulgation of the messages of the Buddha, Buddhist philosophy and traditions locally and internationally.

Buddhist development

(4) Temple Authority; To re-establish the traditional role and functions of the temples as regional centres of development working on areas of religious, social, cultural and economic sectors.

(5) To re-establish the Bhikkhuni order and a respective organization in Sri Lanka.

(6) Education; To streamline and modernize the bhikkhu education system and prepare them for the challenges of globalization.

(7) Set up organizations for Buddhist social development, and initiate a network between Buddhist social organizations for better coordination and cooperation.

(8) Identify and raise funds for Buddhist social development and bring forth an establishment of a Buddhist Development bank.

(9) Promote Buddhist entrepeneurs, especially younger ones.

Buddhist sacred sites

(10) Identify and support Buddhist places of worship andBuddhist sacred sites which faces hardships, and improve their conditions.

(11) Protect and safeguard sites of archaeological importance, and promote their existence internationally.

Counter anti-Buddhist activities

(12) To take necessary steps to face in an organized manner the threats and challenges from various anti-Buddhist forces both locally and internationally against Buddhism, Buddhist places of worship and Buddhists. Taking and instituting social and legal actions against such activities.

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