The hardline Sinhala Buddhist movement the Bodu Bala Sena has slammed former President Chandrika Kumaratunga in the most disparaging terms, for daring to espouse the cause of religious harmony in the country, after a year of vicious attacks against minority Muslim, Christian and Hindu communities in the island, spurred on by hate speech by BBS and like minded organisations.
BBS General Secretary Galagodaththe Gnanasara who recently met Burma’s hardline monk Wirathu, referred to the former Head of State as a “Moda Ammandi” (Foolish dame), a “hollow woman” and said her campaign against Buddhists in Sri Lanka was not unlike the title of a semi-pornographical Sinhalese movie.
“That was called Agey Wairaya, this is Chandrika’s Wairaya (Chandika’s revenge),” the monk charged at a press conference held yesterday.
Kumaratunga’s political foundation was based on an anti-Buddhist philosophy, he said.
“Chandrika couldn’t even save Kuragala from the Muslims even though the land belonged to her family,” Gnanasara said, referring to the sacred Sufi Shrine that was recently “reclaimed” by the Archeology Department of Sri Lanka with the support of the Defence Ministry and extremist Buddhist organisations who waged war against the Muslim pilgrimage site.
Launching a scathing attack on the Sufi prophet associated with the Kuragala shrine, Gnanasara said that the man was a foreign hunter who regularly supplied meat to the walawwa nearby and was in the habit of smoking marijuana.
“He would smoke ganja and sleep in the cave in Kuragala. One day he smoked ganja and fell out of the cave and died. People looked at that and said that this must be the easiest route to heaven – that’s how the place became the Jailani shrine,” the monk said of the Sufi prophet.
“In the end it was the BBS that waged an idealogical war and won Kuragala back for the Buddhists,” he charged.
The BBS said President Kumaratunga’s attempts to champion freedom of religion issues in Sri Lanka and said they were aimed at portraying Buddhists as violent and brutal people.
The moves were aimed at assisting the ongoing international conspiracy against Sri Lanka, BBS Executive Committee member Dilanthe Withanage said.
“Organisations like SAPRI should focus on studies and research on South Asia.
Why is she suddenly focused on religious issues in Sri Lanka?” Withanage questioned.
He said that in the Maldives, Buddhist statues are broken at museums and in Bangladesh, Buddhists were being killed.
“Why only target Sri Lanka?
“Chandrika who never spoke up when the LTTE attacked the Temple of the tooth is suddenly concerned about religious harmony,” Withanage charged.
Withanage said that the US Freedom of Religion Report last year had stated that religious tensions in Sri Lanka had reduced.
“SAPRI meanwhile is doing research that is aimed at damaging Buddhism and alienating Sinhala Buddhists globally,” Withanage said.