The day before the Bodu Bala Sena was scheduled to hold their rally in Mahiyanganaya, three Muslim families in the area packed their belongings and headed east, Rev. Watareka Wijitha thero Wiharadipathi Mahaveli Maha Viharaya, Mahiyangana Member Predesiya Saba says.
“On 2 August BBS was to come to Mahiyangana. The previous day three Muslim families closed their homes and shops, packed their belongings and left for Kalmunai, Kattankudy and Akkaraipattu. They said they would never come back to Mahiyanganaya. If like homeless people, they have to pack their things and go from town to town, what is the state of this country?” the monk who was a Chief Guest at an event organised by the Upcountry Muslims said.
During their rally in Mahiyangana, the BBS raised the familiar claims about Muslim customs and clothing, the monk said. “A Buddhist monk called the purdah a gonibilla outfit. This is the most conservative and modest dress that a woman can wear, because nobody can see any part of her body. What if they asked us to remove our saffron robes because a few people in that robe have done the wrong thing?” he charged.
The Thero said that groups like the BBS had falsified claims that can never be proved and spread it throughout the country. “Today the whole Muslim community in this country lives in suspicion and fear. The LTTE also chased Muslims away from the North by saying similar things. Today they still live in terrible conditions in Puttalam and Kalpitiya,” he recalled.
“In all our veins, it is the same blood that runs. If you cut a Sinhala or Muslim open, that is what you find,” the Thero said.
But the same Watareka Wijitha thero has spoken against the attacked Islam prayer centre in Mahiyangana. Speaking at the Mahiyangana Pradeshiya Sabha meeting on July 25, 2013 he expressed his views on Muslim extremism and urged the Chairman of the Pradeshiya Sabha to take action.
We publish below his speeches in full;
Against Muslim extremism;