Despite concerns raised by Sri Lankan Muslims over the visit of Burmese monk Ashin Wirathu who has been held responsible for spreading racial hatred that led to the murder of thousands of Burmese Muslims, the monk has arrived in Sri Lanka last night to participate in the summit of Buddhist monks tomorrow, organised by the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS).
BBS Representatives had visited the Bandaranaike International Airport this morning to welcome Wirathu into the country.
Yesterday, the Sri Lanka Muslim Council raised concerns over the possible visit of Wirathu to Sri Lanka to partake in the summit organised by the extremist group BBS. They pointed out that Wirathu’s participation and his speeches might led to a recurrence of the tragic events that expired in Aluthgama few months ago, similar to what happened due to the speech made by BBS General Secretary Galagoda Atte Gnanasara.
The organisations therefore, urged the government to refrain from granting visa to Wirathu pointing out it would help maintain peaceful co-existence in the country.
Gnanasara however lashed out against the organisations that opposed Wirathu’s visit.
“Venerable Wirathu has not been found guilty of perpetrating any crimes. No one has the right to oppose a visit by any Buddhist leader, particularly not someone of his caliber. Everyone must keep in mind that this is a Sinhala Buddhist country,” he added.
The government of Sri Lanka has granted visa to Wirathu who is held responsible for the murder of thousands of Muslims in Burma, just days after President Rajapaksa assured the General Secretary of the Organisation of Islamic Countries of doing everything in his power to ensure the safety of Muslims in Sri Lanka.
Time magazine ran a piece on Wirathu last year complete with a picture of the controversial monk on its cover page titled ‘ The Face of Buddhist terror’.