Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary, Galagoda atte Gnanasara demanding Pope Francis to apologize to Sri Lankan Buddhists is extremely offensive and reflects intentions of alienating the Catholic community in Sri Lanka, the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka (MCSL) states.
The MCSL releasing a statement with reference to the media reports that quoted Gnanasara’s demands to Pope Francis states such claims are made with plans of fuelling division in Sri Lanka by alienating the Catholic community.
“Venerable Gnansara’s verbal tirade as reported mirrors the increasing intolerance, hate speech and violence that have gripped Sri Lanka,” MCSL Vice President Hilmy Ahamed states in the media release.
Furthermore they have expressed serious concerns over the persistence of groups such as the BBS, infamous for promoting ideologies that incite religious and racial hatred that could lead the country towards religious conflicts.
“Venerable Gnanasara and the BBS’s continued attack on religious minorities in the country have been a cause for serious concern to all communities, including the majority community who live in peace,” the statement reads while urging the government to contain such organisations in order to pave way for all religious communities to live in harmony as Sri Lankans.
Gnanasara’s demand for the Pope to apologize to all Sri Lankan Buddhists for the atrocities and murders that were committed by colonialists, has come under heavy criticism by various parties including Kithu Handa (Voice of the Catholics) that has claimed such statements are made to undermine and disrupt Pope Francis’s visit to Sri Lanka in January 2015.