Leader of the Burmese anti-Muslim movement 969, Ashin Wirathu while thanking President Rajapaksa for granting him visa to enter Sri Lanka, pledged to collaborate with the extremist group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) to fight the growing threat of Islamic exremism.
The controversial Burmese monk made these remarks on Sunday during his speech at the BBS summit titled ‘The Convention to awaken the nation’. True to the controversies surrounding him, Wirathu made seveal inciteful remarks in reference to threats that are being levelled against Buddhism and its followers.
“Buddhists are increasingly becoming a minority all over the world. If prompt action is not taken to protect Buddhists and grapple the growing influence of other forces such as Islamic extremism working against Buddhism, it would soon be the end of Buddhists and Buddhism,”he stated.
He thanked President Rajapaksa for intervening to approve his visa without heeding the calls of certain Muslim organisations to cancel his entry to Sri Lanka.
While stating that Buddhists world-over are facing grave threats due to their innocence being mistaken for naivete, Wirathu had stated that an organised campaign is being carried out by international media, world leaders and Jihadists to forcefully convert Buddhists, destroy Buddhist temples and taint the good name of Buddhist monks.
“The Jihadists and other Islamic extremist movements are exploiting the global economy, technology and military power to attack Buddhism and its followers,” he had stated while adding that as a result, the extremist killers are being portrayed as rightful individuals while innocent Buddhists are being portrayed as murderers.
Meanwhile, BBS Leader Kimarama Wimalajothi who claimed to resign from his position as the organisation’s leader following the tragedy that occurred in Aluthgama few months ago participated in the summit and commended Wirathu for his presence while criticising those who have described the BBS and the 969 movement as ‘terrorist organisations’.
“According to foreign media BBS is a terrorist organisation. What is a terrorist? If the BBS is a terrorist organisation, then I am a terrorist leader. This monk from Burma has been described as the Burmese Buddhist terrorist leader despite his innocence. ..” he said.
Wimalajothi had gone on to warn the gathering against the growing influence of Islamic extremism in Sri Lanka, claiming he was informed of these movements by Muslims themselves who are concerned about their young children who are being influenced and recruited into these organisations.
“Despite the accusations levelled against us, if the BBS did not raise concerns, you nor I would be able to freely express our views in this manner. This is a Buddhist country. . . I hope the government and relevant authorities would take these matters we have raised very seriously,” he added.
Although BBS General Secretary Galagoda Atte Gnanasara during his announcement of the event on Sunday, stated that a leader to represent the interests of the BBS would be announced on the same day, no such segment took place.
Gnanasara however, assured 5 million votes to a candidate who would represent Sinhala Buddhists at the upcoming Presidential elections. He had said they are seeking a leader who is willing to fight the forces aiming to destroy Buddhism and someone who would think of Sri Lanka as a Sinhala-Buddhist nation.