While thousands of Sri Lankans languished from floods and landslides, following torrential rains which left at least 91 people dead, a close ally of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) took to the streets today against Muslim politicians. The protestors, representing the Sinhale Sanga Raju carried a distorted national flag and marched through the main roads chanting this is a Buddhist nation.
The protestors demanded the Human Rights Commission and the Police Commission to take action against Muslim politicians. Over the past few weeks, the BBS has been making statements to the effect that even though Muslim Ministers such as Rishard Bathiudeen has been accused of cutting down trees and destroying the Wilpattu national park, no action has been taken against him despite complaints even been lodged with the police.
Meanwhile, even though it was over 24 hours since the police deployed units to arrest BBS General Secretary Galagoda Atte Gnanasara, they are yet to make any headway. Since mid this week, Gnanasara has gone into hiding and the police have not taken any steps to interrogate any other members of the BBS to verify the whereabouts of Gnanasara’s location.
Today, at 7.00 pm, Gnanasara issued an audio message to his supporters via the BBS’s official Facebook page. “Don’t worry about me, I will look after my matter, help the people who are in need due to this disaster, because the government cannot handle this alone,” he said. Earlier, BBS’s Executive Director Dilantha Withanage said that Gnanasara had gone into hiding because his group had received information that there was a conspiracy to assassinate the firebrand monk. The police incidentally deployed the units only after Gnanasara went into hiding.
There has also been accusations that Gnanasara is currently housed in a safe house belonging to a minister in this present government, with whom Gnanasara shares close links. “If the police was genuine, they should have interrogated the BBS members to verify Gnanasara’s location,” a source pointed out.
By evening today, the Disaster Management Centre said that 91 people had died, while at least 110 had gone missing while over 53, 114 have been displaced from the floods and landslides.