16 October, 2019

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Video: Police And BBS Block Anti-BBS Vigil In Colombo

By Tharindu Wickremasinghe

Police and Bodu Bala Sena representatives blocked a peaceful candlelit vigil planned outside the BBS Headquarters to denounce hate speech and anti-minority campaigns by the monk led organisation at the Thummulla Junction in Colombo earlier this evening.

At least five demonstrators were taken in by police for questioning and released by the end of the evening.

Police dispersed the crowd before the vigil was begun, after strong protests were registered by Bodu Bala Sena representatives and monks who had stepped into the fray.

Long before 7 p.m. when the candlelit vigil was scheduled to begin, a battalion of Police and riot Squad personnel arrived on the scene. Security was beefed up and a row of Police Personnel stood guard before the entrance of the Sambuddha Jayanthi Mandiraya while five demonstrators from the crowd were arrested by the Police.

Meanwhile, Bodhu Bala Sena (BBS) Executive Committee member, Dilantha Withanage who stepped out of the Sambuddha Jayanthi building, started accusing the organisers of the vigil of distorting the national anthem and called for their arrest pointing at a chant sheet circulated by the ‘Buddhist Questioning Bodhu Bala Sena’ to be recited at the vigil.

“None of the demonstrators gathered here today are Buddhists; I can say that with certainty because I have not seen any of these people in temples,” he said.

Asked on what charges the demonstrators were arrest, police at the scene responded that they were not compelled to give reasons. A female demonstrator was also man-handled by a Police official at the site. Although the Police kept demanding that the demonstrators clear the site, a few of them remained before the Sambuddha Jayanthi Building, asking the Police personnel as to why they are not allowed to stage the vigil. In response, a top Police official at the site stated, “Buddhism should be given prime position among the religions in this country.  This country is ablaze with tension because of this issue. Therefore, if you wish to continue the protest, please do so at Galle Face but not here. . .”

Dispersed demonstrators then re-assembled near Gower Street opposite Police Park but the vigil was disrupted once more after members and supporters of the BBS arrived at the spot and demanded the candles be doused immediately. “If you are Buddhists light lamps, not candles,” BBS Executive Committee member Dilantha Withanage shouted at the peaceful activists. Withanage and the BBS monks accused the protestors of being attached to NGOs and propagating an agenda to destroy Buddhism in the country.  They refused to leave the premises until the demonstrators called off the event and dispersed from the area.

Eventually, the five persons arrested were brought back to Gower Street and upon obtaining statements, were released.

The candlelit vigil scheduled for 7 p.m. outside the Sambuddha Jayanthi Mandiraya that houses the BBS headquarters was organized by a Facebook group calling itself Buddhists Questioning Bodu Bala Sena. Police repeatedly asked those gathered for the vigil to give up the names of the organisers but the group’s administrators remained anonymous. Crowds of demonstrators told police to arrest everyone since the demonstrators did not recognize a leader. The Buddhists Questioning Bodu Bala Sena group called on peaceful activists to join them to stage a peaceful candlelit vigil for one hour against hatred propagated by certain Buddhist monks during which they would chant to remind Bhikkus about Buddha’s words on Right Speech.

‘What is the purpose of today’s vigil? To remind the Bhikkhus of Sri Lanka about the Buddha’s words on Right Speech. For wrong speech, speech which generates hate and creates enemies is extremely dangerous, and the Buddha spoke against wrong speech. Today well known Bhikkhus are holding rallies and sermons where they speak in language inspiring hate, anger, falsehoods, dividing friends, using foul, obscene words. Buddhist laymen following these monks, in turn use foul hateful speech, which then leads to violence. This is not what the Buddha wanted of his Bhikkhus and lay disciples,’ the group said on their Facebook page.

Pix by Lakna Paranamanna

Bodhu Bala Sena (BBS) Executive Committee member, Dilantha Withanage

Bodhu Bala Sena (BBS) Executive Committee member, Dilantha Withanage

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lERWwDANiZ0&feature=youtu.be

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxfE0HOeDPI&feature=share

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Latest comments

  • 0
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    This is the result of unliumited Free Dana, unlimited land deeds and buildings, unlimited vehicles and gasolene, Air tickets, foreign Travel,under age children been recruited….etc, etc,

    There is a saying that a Lazy mind and Body fed with excess protein without an outlet is a devils Den….and this proves it.

    • 0
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      I really dont think that many buddhist would continue giving alms to Boru Bala Sena like monks. I have already changed my idea of giving alms to them instead we are going to give rise packets to homes for the aged /children.

      • 0
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        Dont worry the government will give. BBS doesnot depend on alm. They can eat in good hotels.

        • 0
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          Dont worry there are enought food in the Casino,s and Brothels .

          These Balu Sena must learn a good lessen one day very soon.

      • 0
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        I guess these BBS “monks” are not real monks. They will give dana to us.

    • 0
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      International Architect Bewis Bawa had opened his beautiful botanical garden entry free and human rot set in so he started charging 50cents and the garden just bloomed.
      Anything for free has no value like hard earned wealth.
      What sludge of yellow robed terrorising pipsqueaks?

  • 0
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    wearing pirith nool, speaking for “buddhism”, daughter goes to international school and dates muslim boys. aney dilantha manaththayo, who are you trying to fool?

  • 0
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    We live in interesting times !

  • 0
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    What an efficient police force!! Wonder why they failed to act in the same manner during the Pepiliyana incident?

    • 0
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      I think the same way.This is only candlelit vigil. That was stones pelted by Buddhist monk and mayhem as well…

  • 0
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    Buddhists Questioning MaRa Regime.

  • 0
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    Dilantha
    Not attending Buddhist temples is not a conclusive evidence of not being a Budhhist. Lord Buddha has never asked Buddhists to have temples and worship it all the time.

    • 0
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      To be a real Buddhist, wear a safron robe carry stones and clubs throw at flourishing business establishment along with a mob. It only for such Buddhists MR POLICE would provide protection or show inaction. MIRACLE OF ASIA

      • 0
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        Comment language is English – CT

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      To be a real Sinhala Buddhist, you must burn alive unarmed families that are in the minority, who also don’t speak your language or practice your religion.

  • 0
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    Dilantha withanage is the NGO guy there, He was with worldview which is funded by Norway !

    http://lk.linkedin.com/in/dilanthe

    in fact they visited Norway before this Bodu Bala Sena move . Now let’s be rational here. Norway would be the last place a sinhala nationalist organization would wanna visit. There is something fishy here.

    asiantribune.com/node/62223

    • 0
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      This guy was washing Late minister ACS Hameed ‘s Cloth? For him, it is acceptable to work under a muslim ! Not for other poor BUDHIST brothers. What a loyal, devoted BUDHIST this fellow is ! He will go anything for money.

      • 0
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        Please reas the above last line as: He will do anything for money

  • 0
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    It is time to tackle the BBS “Boru Balu Sena”.

    I salute the people who had the courage to take the fight to their HQ in a peaceful way. I hope the protest against “Balu Sena” will grow from strength to strength.

    Role being played by Police is shameful. Police stood by while “Balu Sena” attacked Fashionn Bug. But, implements the law to the letter against a harmless candle light vigil. Everybody stand up and show your respect to Sri Lanka Police.

    • 0
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      Totally agree ! The cops think they have a free hand. That poor boy was man handled by a so called officer. In the west he would be without a job. The cops are not there to protect and maintain law and order but to support all the thugs in town.

      • 0
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        Thats the difference in brutality.
        90% of all persons in a Caucasian population group
        register an IQ below 120. SL stands at IQ below 60.

        • 0
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          ONE

          What you are asserting is that the Sri Lankies are irredeemably stupid.

          • 0
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            Native Vedda

            That’s how it goes: “Kattaya € Mottayai

      • 0
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        My dear, not only him almost all our police officers, say 90%, are without a job there – including our DS!

    • 0
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      This is the result of measuring the Height instead the Brain.

    • 0
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      Ben, more likely ‘ to take the bull by the horns ‘. I grew up learning to respect the law, elders and the Police because i was taught that.. P.. politeness O.. Obedience L.. lawfulness I.. Intergrity C.. courtesy E.. efficeincy…… was the moral foundings for this POLICE force. Sad to see that this once respected entity has gone down to its lowest ebb.A precedent is being set to unleash anarchy, breakdown in law and order and virtually every man with a club or sword will be a lion. This is what the present regime is aiming at to carry out the state of dictatorship. Things to come will be worst than the ‘Arab Spring ‘ and other recent social uprisings 0f the past.We Srilankan have our own style of justice………….. time will tell. Till then lets pray that God save us all.

  • 0
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    This is very clear that the BBS having some strong backup from high profiles. Some people in this regime trying to creates a nationalist shield to protect themselves from the international community which there will be a checkmate in the near future unless if they change themselves. Nothing gonna help them to protect as we brought Myanmar to our knees which followed the similar model.. Bear in mind all the dictators and corrupt regime punished and changed during this decades as technology played a major role to woke-up the international community. This is global village and no place for anyone who try to work against rights of their own people. When they come and complain, its our duty to protect them.

    • 0
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      Another Cyber Warrior, Applause …!!!

  • 0
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    they are visiting USA these days. Hope intelligent buddhist in those temples will ask the right questions and expose them for what they are !

    • 0
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      Be anti muslim and become the american and british lap dogs- Power is the key religion is the means not the end.

      • 0
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        porr villagers are caught in between

    • 0
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      Yeah they should be exposed. Now truth is coming out with divine power of God. righteous will make te way. with cyber shots. All policemen who act against law will get their punishment as they are in the record wich cannot be erased. So wrong doers be careful.

  • 0
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    If the constitution says Buddhism is given a special place then Non-Budddhists NGOs cannot use candles in front of a Buddhist building. It is that simple rule of law.

    • 0
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      I would not have used candles. I would have used [Edited out] the fascist Bodu Balla Sena. Given them a little bit of their own medicine.

    • 0
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      Maybe, we will need an amendment to the constitution too….

    • 0
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      That does not mean that the Budhist have a right to attack other religions??? The action by the gov/police indicate a Nazi mentality, i,e, attacking businesses by monks is entertainment for the police whilst a peaceful vigil to educate the balu senawa is disrespting budhism. Isnt the balu sena doing enough damage to budhism??

      No wonder there are calls for Jihad in UK. Wonder when the Christians will wake up……mahinda chinthanaya in full bloom…

    • 0
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      Then you are not allowed to use candles for WESAK Buckets

      • 0
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        No No, when you are the majority you are allowed to change the rules; see the majority make the rules. :(

  • 0
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    I did not see GOTA physically, but only calling over the phone with the inspector directing what to do…….’Yes sir…don’t worry sir….I’ll do it sir’……

    Buffalo sloja…….Sirilak matha…….
    Paid wandibattaya……..
    From the commis of dumb Pakshaya……

    Welcome Politik Kakkas.

  • 0
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    Hat off to CT for these videos :)

    Coming color not good for the folks :( :(

    If BBS would interfere in this way, Buddhists in SL will soon be divided.

    Authorities should take immediate action against BBS. So long authorities would support BBS fundamentalists, they will not recognize their brutalities.

    Lankens should be introduced rigorous laws to control over these extremists.

  • 0
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    The only way to tackle the BBS is by the only language they understand. The crowd, instead of conducting a vigil, should have stoned the bastards.

  • 0
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    @C. Wijeyawickrema where exactly in constituion it says?. The protestor were chanting slogans from buddhism !! ( asking monks to use correct words) and this was not organized by an NGO , It was purely an effort by buddhists who are concerned about this . you can go to their facebook page and see for your self. They discuss Tipitaka and concentrate on peaceful buddhism. Constitution doesn’t give a right for the Bodu bala sena to own buddhism. Other buddhist can practice and show their peaceful sentiments towards anything innappropriate towards buddhism. So if you are a constitutionalist, answer me this . Why didnt the police arrest the mob in papiliyana when they were clearly destroying private property.

  • 0
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    Why is it OK for the police to act against peacefully assembled people and not take action against those how are creating the disturbance?

    Why is it OK for the police to declare they will abandon these people if the BBS goons started attacking?

    Isn’t there any journalist who can ask these questions from the Police or the politicians. Isn’t is ironic that to speak to people who represent us you need a “Press Pass”?

    • 0
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      Times they are changing. Past are the days when it was fashionable to be anticommunist as the yanks need chinese money to fight them so they are in forbearance.
      Today its the fashion to be anti muslim and be an american and british lap dog- isnt that the power rajaporkistan is?

    • 0
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      ….. the price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men…..plato

  • 0
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    Dilantha Withanage is a hypocrit and an opportunist of the first order. After working in World View with the Norwegians,in ICTA with the one time Country Director of World Vision, being a close supporter of the Siyath Foundation, how can he be critical of NGOs? It now suits him to masquerade as the great Buddhist that he certainly is not.

    Also for such maniacs like Dilantha and Wimal Weerawansa, everything is an NGO plot. Buddhists questioning Bodu Bala Sena is exactly that. Real Buddhists questioning an extreme group that is bringing disrepute and decay to Buddhism in the form of Bodu Bala Sena. It is well known that Dilantha will hang anywhere, even with the devil for money and prestige.

    As a Buddhist, I call for the total ban of Bodu Bala Sena activities. If one wants to cleanse Buddhism, work on cleansing Buddhism the Buddhistic way. Not through thuggery.

    • 0
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      Furious Buddhist – I agree with you totally, this thuggery and intolerance should be shunned by all right thinking Buddhist. These people are giving a bad name to the majority of peace loving, compassionate majority.

  • 0
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    Well well what have got here a Police force thats biased who are mere spectators when Mervin ties a Govt servant to a tree,and watch passively when Fashion Bug was attacked yet protect the Boru Balu Sena !!!

    A wonder of Asia no doubt,over Sumanasekera ,Leela and Hela!!

    • 0
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      To be the wonder of Asia they must think green and be in la mode de fashion- anti Islam makes them that- every dog has his day yo crusader!
      Aren’t they American citizens? Uncle Sam means business before 2014 South China Sea military expansion.

    • 0
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      Leela is Dr DW. So whenever there is some BBS activity, Leela would go missing :( So don’t expect a comment for a while

  • 0
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    And I wonder how can we become the wonder of Asia!
    Our Police who were the audience of Pepiliyana attack is now the Villains of a peaceful vigil against hate speech.
    This is a wonder too….!

  • 0
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    SHAME on the POLICE who were there at the moment this vigil happened. They have the nerve to disperse harmless vigils while they were watching a Saffron Robed THUG of a monk was stoning the CCTV at the Fashion Bug . All human rights defenders.. PLS use this clip and article to confront the govt reps at the next sessions. The Police work hand in glove with BBS to disperse the law abiding crowd BUT when its the BBS who are unruly and hold in-disciplined demonstrations the POLICE are numb and spineless….

    The Vigil attendees have a right to protest just like the Thugs who sat in front of the Indian High Commission with kids in robes….. Why is all this happening while the govt is snoozing?

    Arab spring kind of force need to happen IF we the citizenry of this country are to take the country from the hands of goons and thugs in robes… Sooner than later rule of law will not be happening in SL as people will gather with force.. Tinnamen Square kind of vigil will happen sooner .. TRY bulldozing that when it happens….

    • 0
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      This is the second time it made me clearer that the police in SL are just caricatures. At the time BBS monks was throwing stones to a public sur camera, police men were just watching it continuing.

      Here, in the yesterday^s incident, they just behave as they have no powers. Shame shame… :(

  • 0
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    I have cunning idea, all budhist monks must castrated. All srilankan problem will be solved….or
    any ideas well come…

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      J.Muthu

      Please send those castrated saffron clad thugs to Saudi Arabia where there is huge demand for such people to protect large numbers of harems.

      Please send them anyway, the Arabs will take care of castration part of it.

      Like Baldrick’s cunning plans you too have “I have cunning idea”

      How can I help you?

      • 0
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        “How can I help you?”
        By ringing the bell- using your finger in a doorbell pushing movement to see if your partners arse is ready to be probed..if they answer your in!

  • 0
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    The Buddist monks have their point. When you show a candle to a monk he gets upset. Also the government should provide helmets to these innocent monks so they can protect themselves.

  • 0
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    Compare the way the police handled the Pepiliyana incident and this vigil. At Pepiliyana, we saw police just standing by as a monk repeatedly threw stone at the camera- a property of Fashion Bug. We saw police inspectors saying to slogan-shouting hooligans including monks “samakamiwenna” without any activity to disperse them. No riot squad. No strong action towards the rioters. Here at this vigil where there was no violence directed against public or private property, police use strong arm tactics, using even statements that may come out of the mouths of BBS stalwarts. Can anyone expect any one particularly minorities to have faith in the police or law of the country?

  • 0
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    unbelievably pathetic Pure hypocrisy. They (BBS) should all feel very ashamed.

  • 0
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    Today I am proud to be Sri Lankan…we are finally standing up and putting an end to this madness before it becomes another war.

    Let’s organize a bigger protest next time…and this time more people will join for sure! Hope the opposition parties will help also…the BBS is a creation of the Rajapaksas and they have no place in Sri Lanka since they wish to divide it for their gain.

  • 0
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    Doesn’t this clearly show the innocence of real buddhists and the terrorism of BBS? I don’t know why some of the non educated buddhists are supporting such a lame organization.Look at the way they behave, and look how the protestors behave. Even in the halal issude muslims behaved so peacefully, and we clearly saw how BBS terrorists behaved

  • 0
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    “None of the demonstrators gathered here today are Buddhists; I can say that with certainty because I have not seen any of these people in temples,” he said.

    This statement itself shows the intelligence of the person :) Unless he knows all the dayaka sabahawas of all the temples in Sri Lanka I wonder how he came to this conclusion!!

  • 0
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    This is indeed a disgrace. It is time Buddhist’s both monks and laymen who want to save even a pretense of real Buddhism in the island to fight for reformation of Sangha not just BBS

  • 0
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    I feel true buddhists SHOULD engage the monks in their regular temples on the BBS antics and take a stand. That is the only way to pressurize the BBS. Dont visit temples which supports BBS, There are many monks who are true followers of Lord Buddha and his damma, unlike this BBS drunkard (Convicted by Court of Law) Gnanasara.

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      Agree Rohan. This is the only way to isolate the extremists. I have campaigned relentlessly with an Muslim who would listen that Muslims must learn to live with Sinhalese and we must take care not to offend them.

      The middle path……..haven’t we heard it all? who will point us in the right direction I wonder………

      • 0
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        All these BBS monks are well known and if anyone wants to question them they can and should confront them and do it in a proper way instead of taking cover behind a candle.
        The vigilantes appear Col 07,if they are really buddhists.

  • 0
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    Even though the partially prevented the peaceful protest they are visibly shaken up that their authority is being questioned. BBS extremist have to be challenged by the Sinhala Buddhist to prevent hijacking of the religon. The fact that they were backed only by the police shows that the ordinary people are not impressed by their activities.

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