Government ministers have called for the arrest of the General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) the Venerable Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero in connection with the violence in Aluthgama last weekend.
Veteran left-wing politician and Member of Parliament, Vasudeva Nanayakkara says Gnanasara Thero, together with the other members of the organization, should be taken into custody by the law enforcement authorities for instigating racial tension between the Buddhists and Muslims of this country, which led to the devastating incidents in Aluthgama last week.
“The first action should be taken against the BBS and its captain, Venerable Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero. He is the face of all the evil that was unleashed. Therefore action must first be taken against the person who planned and got this whole operation going, the BBS, the Venerable Gnanasara and whoever closely supported them and they should be arrested,” said Nanayakkara.
Meanwhile, the President of the BBS, the Venerable Kirama Wimalajothi Thero condemned the behavior of the BBS and Gnanasara Thero accusing him of bringing disrepute to Buddhism.
He said that the mobs that went on a rampage later on were not residents of those areas but they were persons who had come from outside the area. Hence it is very clear that it was a planned and well orchestrated attack to discredit the government.
“I cannot condone or approve the actions of the BBS in this incident and it only served to provoke a much graver situation.
It was wrong for the BBS to go there after that incident and hold a rally in that area as it was clear that it would only add fuel to the situation. We must also understand that it is not the peace loving general Muslim community, but there are other extremist Muslim elements in this country as well. Not only them but there are extremist Christian elements as well. These extremist elements have been trying for a long time to destabilize the peace in this country. By the actions of the BBS they simply played into the hands of these extremist elements,” added Wimalajothi Thero.
The whole incident began when a monk on his way to a sermon on Poya Day was apparently assaulted by several Muslim youth in Dharga Town. The monks and Buddhist organizations in the area had then called for a meeting and had also asked the BBS to attend this meeting. However during the meeting Gnanasara Thero had called on the Sinhala Buddhists to wake up and stand up against the Muslims and also boycott their products. He also claimed that the President was brainless to appoint a Muslim to the post of Justice Minister.
After the meeting, the BBS claims that while they were traveling peacefully in order to drop off the monk who was attacked at the temple on their way back to the Highway in order to get back to Colombo, they were attacked by some Muslim youth from the Mosque premises.
This sparked a series of mob attacks that resulted in the loss of four lives and injuries to over 80. Many shops and houses of both the Muslims and Sinhalese were damaged and burnt in several areas following the attacks. However, the residents in the area claim that these mobs were not from the area but were groups that were brought in from other areas. The President has called for a full investigation into the incident and promised action against the perpetrator
Courtesy:The Sunday Leader