The agreement had been signed between BBS General Secretary Galagoda Atte Gnanasara and 969 Leader Ashin Wirathu also known as the ‘Butcher of Burma’ – two controversial figures infamous for propagating anti-Muslim sentiments.
During the signing of the agreement in Colombo yesterday, BBS Leader Kirama Wimalajothi who initially announced he would distance himself from the BBS campaigns following the chaos they created in Aluthgama said that they will be collaborating with other Buddhist organizations as well as anti-terrorist Hindu, Catholic and Islamic movements in South Asia to realize their goals.
The two groups’ activities are supposed to involve networking and building ‘capacity’ to stabilize Buddhism.
Read the full text below;
Memorandum of Understanding
Bodu Bala Sena of Sri Lanka and 969 of Burma
The Buddhist Society of the world has awoken to the ground realities of subtle incursions taking place under the guise of secular, multicultural and other liberal notions that are directly impacting on the Buddhist ethos and space. These incursions are being funded from overseas and have made its impact globally and are subtly spreading into the local situations. Both the Bodu Bala Sena (of Sri Lanka) and 969 movement (of Burma) in realizing the impeding dangers have felt that it must now come forward to derive practical and meaningful ways to address these burning issues which cannot be left for politicians to deal with. We feel that in the light of the same incursions taking place in the Buddhist countries that remain it is now opportune a time for the Buddhists of the world to get together and derive a national and international plan to address these issues without delay.
The key objective of this Memorandum of Understanding is to, first derive a strong declaration among the two concerned Buddhist organizations, and possibly then Buddhist world and the Buddhist community to ensure that what is left of Buddhism and Buddhists will not become victims of extremism conversions and other elements that have contributed to the decline of Buddhism over the years. The gathering of Buddhists in a worldwide commitment to seriously address these incursions and together decide how to deal with the incursions at both local and international levels will enable Buddhists and Buddhism to be saved so as to continue from generation to generation.
Parties of the agreement
Parties of the agreement: Bodu Bala Sena (Herein after referred as “BBS”) (presently as a Sri Lankan Organization), and 969 of Burma.
Both the BBS and 969 emerged as non-political Buddhist organizations to take up the cause of Buddhists, in their respective countries. The endeavor of this memorandum of understanding is to counter the growing incursions and challenges faced by the Buddhist society in both countries and also in the south and Southeast Asian region, and the dangers of its long term consequences to the country and heritage. Both parties will support each other efforts, while reaching the joined vision, respecting the mission and the objectives of each party. At the same time, both parties will exercise mutual efforts to strengthen each other.
We wish to make the entire south and Southeast Asian region a peaceful region devoid of all forms of fundamentalist movements, extremisms and civil or international wars. In order to achieve the said vision, both the BBS and Both parties aim to work in collaboration and partnership for the protection, development, and betterment of Buddhists, Buddhist countries, Buddhist heritages and Buddhist civilization.
We, the BBS and 969 consider this agreement as the preliminary declaration of a ‘Buddhist international’. In order to achieve and perpetuate a “Buddhist international” that is devoid of all forms of fundamentalist movements, extremisms and civil or international wars, both the BBS and 969 consider following three areas as key aspects of collaboration
- Networking and responding
- Raise our voice against all forms of political or religious movements that jeopardize Buddhist principles, values and
- Networking of Buddhist intellectuals, academics, thinkers, and activists as well as Buddhist organizations and institutions worldwide
- Ensure collective actions and necessary responses when aforesaid individuals or entities are coming under the attacks anti-Buddhist forces, movements.
- Intervening to protect vulnerable Buddhist heritages, archeological sites worldwide
- Building individual and organizational
- Create opportunities to build working and operational relationships, experience sharing between Buddhist thinkers, researches and activists, as well as entities worldwide
- Ensure exchange of all forms of resources among the Buddhist entities and developing of both organizational and institutional capacities
- Research to stabilize Buddhism
- To carry out researches on Buddhist philosophy and subsectors such as economic, social, educational, political derivatives of Buddhist civilization and culture.
- To formulate longer-terms and comprehensive global research agenda to carry out critical and empirical researches in order to examine manifestations against Buddhist identities, and illegal encroachments of Buddhist heritages
Duration, Amendments and Termination
This MoU is valid for five years, since the 30th, September 2014. Upon the consent of both parties the duration can be altered. Further, this Memorandum of Understanding may be amended or altered at any time with the consent of both parties and shall be effected through exchange of notes between the two parties. This MoU can be terminated by either party, respecting a reasonable explanation of their inability to work in coalition.
In witness whereof the two parties hereto place their respective signatures to this agreement on this ……….. Day of …………………..… 2014.
Venerable Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Venerable Ashin Wirathu
General Secretary Founder/Leader
Bodu Bala Sena – Sri Lanka 969 – Burma