By Hilmy Ahamed –
The Butcher Of Rohinga Muslims Participates In A Buddhist Convection In Sri Lanka
The nail on the coffin was driven for co-existence and peace amongst the Muslims and Buddhist community in Sri Lanka, with the arrival of Ven. Ashin Wirathu, the leader of the dreaded 969 movement in Myanmar for the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS).
Ven. Ashin Wirathu is the architect of the hate and campaign of violence by Buddhist extremist against the innocent Rohinga Muslims. These Buddhist extremists, at the instigation of Ven. Ashin Wirathu have slaughtered thousands of innocent Muslim women, children and men.
Time Magazine, in June 2013 branded Ven. Ashin Wirathu as “the face of Buddhist Terror”, with a cover page story of atrocities perpetuated by this terrorist in robes. He is also known as the butcher of Burmese Muslims. Some have even likened his 959 movement, to a Myanmar form of neo Nazism group,.
Ven. Ashin Wirathu’s arrival in Sri Lanka was at the invitation of the Secretary General of the Bodu Bala Sena, Ven. Galagode Aththe Gnanasara Thero, who visited Myanmar in March 2014 and personally invited him to visit Sri Lanka.
The nexus between the BBS and 969 movement is seen by the Muslim community as the biggest threat to their peace.
Speaking at the convention, Ven. Ashin Wirathu confirmed the support and partnership of the 969 Movement in Myanmar with the Bodu Bala Sena. He also thanked president Mahinda Rajapaksa for issuing him the visa to participate at the convention, despite the protests by Muslim organizations.
The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka and several other civil society, political and religious leadership vehemently opposed granting Ven. Ashin Wirathu an entry visa because of the violence and crime committed by him on the Rohinga Muslims. These protests fell on deaf ears of the government and he was officially granted permission to land in Sri Lanka.
The unexpected participant at the convention was Ven. Kirama Wimalajothi Thero, the leader of the BBS who had distanced himself from the BBS after Ven. Ganansara’s hate speech that ignited the riots in Aluthgama and Beruwela and killed seven, displaced thousands and caused damages to houses and property running in to many billions. He accused the All Ceylon Jamiyathul Ulema (ACJU), the Muslim premier religious leadership, accused the All Ceylon Jamiathul Ulema (ACJU) the premier Muslim religious leadership as terrorist organisation. He did not elaborate or provide any evidence for his accusation.
The various speakers at the convention delivered fiery speeches demanding absolute dominance of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.
CEO of the Bodu Bala Sena, Dilanthe Withanage demanded constitutional changes to include, changing the name of Sri Lanka to Sinhalaye, Ban the propagation of other religions, demanded that the National Flag must be changed in order to recognize the Sinhalese community only and not the minorities, Make Sinhala language the only official language and for Sri Lanka to have only one culture – the Sinhala culture among other chauvinistic diatribe.
Ven. Gnanasara claimed that the convention was organized to send a clear message to the politicians to follow them or perish. He further said that they would make sure that they would elected again only if they allow the Bodu Bala Sena principles of Buddhist supremacy.
He further went on to proudly claim that the BBS is no longer a Sri Lankan organisation. From today, it would be an international organisation. He wants to follow the footsteps of Anagarika Dharmapala to form a global Buddhist supremacy community. He further went on to incite the large gathering of Buddhist monks by misquoting a number of verses of the holy Quran. This is similar to the hate speech he made at Aluthgama in June 2014.
Ven. Gnanasara in his speech also threatened to “take care” of the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka after the convention. The Muslim council spearheaded a campaign to deny entry visa to Ven. Ashin Wirathu.
Above all, it is indeed regrettable that the government granted permission for a racist convention in the name of Buddhism to take place when racial tensions are very high in Sri Lanka. Previous attempts by the four Mahanayake’s (the Chief prelates of the different Buddhist chapters) to call for a Buddhist convention was prevented by the Government.
In February 2010, chief prelates of all four chapters decided to hold a special Sangha Convention when Gen. Sarath Fonseka had been arrested. The monks wanted to request the government through the Convention to stop the prosecution of the war-winning army commander. It was claimed that pressure was brought in on the chief prelates to cancel the convention. The senior most monks caved in.