BY Pamodi Waravita
A number of Muslim Opposition Parliamentarians have filed complaints with Inspector General of Police (IGP) Chandana D. Wickramaratne, the Police Headquarters (HQ), and the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) regarding the alleged hate speech propagated by Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera in a number of electronic media interviews conducted over the past month.
Speaking to The Morning in this regard, Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP Mujibur Rahuman said that he had filed a complaint with the Police HQ on 24 September, as he fears that the monk’s hate speech could result in racial tensions between the minority Muslim and majority Sinhala Buddhist communities.
“Seven MPs have filed a complaint with the CID and the IGP regarding the matter,” Muslim National Alliance MP Ali Sabri Raheem told The Morning yesterday (27).
Thus, SJB MPs H.M.M. Harees, M.S. Thowfeek, Faizal Cassim, and Ishak Rahuman, All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) MP S.M.M. Muszhaaraff, and Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) MP Naseer Ahamed have accompanied Rahuman to file the aforementioned complaints.
In a letter to Mass Media Minister Dullas Alahapperuma last week, Rahuman had also expressed his disappointment and concern over, what he claims, the racism that was promoted by a state media channel during an interview with Gnanasara Thera on 18 September.
The final report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) appointed to investigate the Easter Sunday attacks on 21 April 2019 recommended that criminal charges be filed against Ven. Gnanasara Thera.
The recommendation for these charges against the monk pertain to allegations of him having played a role in inciting racial tensions in Aluthgama and Beruwala in 2014. The mob attack on Muslims that took place in Aluthgama, Beruwala, and Dharga Town in the Kalutara District between 15 and 17 June 2014 resulted in at least four deaths, about 80 injured, and damage to property.