By Colombo Telegraph –
Two weeks before large angry mobs attacked the warehouse of the Fashion Bug clothing store in Pepiliyana on Thursday (28) night, the Bodu Bala Sena group launched a tirade of verbal abuse against the Muslim owned textile chain at a massive rally in Kandy.
Bodu Bala Sena General Secretary and vociferous hardline monk, Galabodaaththe Gnanasara accused the clothing chains Fashion Bug and No Limit of forcibly converting Sinhalese women working at their stories into Islam.
“We have all the proof and information about the Fashion Bug and No Limit outlets and what they are doing to your girl children! What harm have we done to the Muslims?” Gnanasara Thero said.
Reading from a list of names the BBS General Secretary said they were Sinhalese men and women who had gone to work at Fashion Bug and No Limit in Kandy and been converted to Islam.
“We ask the big bosses at Fashion Bug and No Limit, is this true or not? They claim it’s not true. Oh the poor little pussycats. We are not asking anyone to go and stone these places and attack them. Come and have discussions with us – let’s solve this through discussion,” the monk said angrily.
He charged that nine Sinhalese girls were recently sacked from the Fashion Bug outlet in Kandy because a Manager at the store had begun having a relationship one of them.
“Harems are being created. Are we to sit back and allow this to happen? This is not extremism. We have to discuss these issues,” he charged.
The monk urged the crowd to refrain from permitting their daughters from going to work at these shops.
“Hereafter we will only send our boys to work in these shops. They will no longer get our women!” the monk raged.
Gnanasara Thero accused the store owners of mistreatment of the Sinhalese men and women who are employed there.
“On Fridays to go to the mosque, they close their shops for two hours. They switch off the lights and the air conditioning. Like broiler chickens in a coop, our boys and girls are left inside while they go to pray – they will go for hell for this,” he said.
The monk called for these stores to be shut down on Poya Days to allow Buddhists working there to go to the temple too.
“This is not racism,” he said.
A mob numbering in the hundreds attacked the Fashion Bug warehouse on Thursday, causing extensive damage to property and personnel. The manager of the warehouse was hospitalized and journalists were attacked by the mob for filming the attack. Several monks were among the mob.
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