Founding leader of the Buddhist group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), Ven. Kirama Wimalajothi thera has publicly acknowledged the activities of the organization are ‘beyond his control’ while adding that it has influenced him to strongly consider his resignation from the group.
Indicating signs of a major split within the BBS, Wimalajothi thera has criticized the conduct of the organisation’s General Secretary, Galagoda Atte Gnanasara. “Some of the words spoken by him are too harsh . . . some of them I do not approve of at all. His behaviour at times has been unfitting for a Buddhist monk,” he has said.
Wimalajothi thera has gone on to state that although the BBS was his first affiliation with any type of organization including political parties, his experiences in the group has made him realize that not suitable for him.
“So I have decided that the time has come for me to consider my continuation with the BBS. I will not leave now as the group is in a crisis. But I will be making my decision within the next month or two,” he added.
He has stated that although previously, discussions were held with the relevant parties within the BBS on several occasions regarding his concerns about its activities, the efforts have not been successful.
“They are beyond my control…. I can’t control everyone’s behavior. . . And now, the horse has left the barn,” he has said.
BBS was accused of instigating anti-Muslim violence that erupted in Southern Sri Lanka last Sunday and the group is infamous for their ideologies that promote an anti-Muslim stance among the Sinhala Buddhists in the island nation. The group was even named a ‘terrorist organisation’ in April 2014 by the Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium (TRAC).