Video: “BBS Is Beyond My Control; Gnanasara’s Behaviour Unfitting For A Buddhist Monk” Says BBS Founding Leader
Founding leader of the Buddhist group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), Ven. Kirama Wimalajothi thera has publicly acknowledged the activities of the organization are ‘beyond his control’ while adding that it has influenced him to strongly consider his resignation from the group.
Indicating signs of a major split within the BBS, Wimalajothi thera has criticized the conduct of the organisation’s General Secretary, Galagoda Atte Gnanasara. “Some of the words spoken by him are too harsh . . . some of them I do not approve of at all. His behaviour at times has been unfitting for a Buddhist monk,” he has said.
Wimalajothi thera has gone on to state that although the BBS was his first affiliation with any type of organization including political parties, his experiences in the group has made him realize that not suitable for him.
“So I have decided that the time has come for me to consider my continuation with the BBS. I will not leave now as the group is in a crisis. But I will be making my decision within the next month or two,” he added.
He has stated that although previously, discussions were held with the relevant parties within the BBS on several occasions regarding his concerns about its activities, the efforts have not been successful.
“They are beyond my control…. I can’t control everyone’s behavior. . . And now, the horse has left the barn,” he has said.
BBS was accused of instigating anti-Muslim violence that erupted in Southern Sri Lanka last Sunday and the group is infamous for their ideologies that promote an anti-Muslim stance among the Sinhala Buddhists in the island nation. The group was even named a ‘terrorist organisation’ in April 2014 by the Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium (TRAC).
Ven. Watareka Vijitha Thera, who was dumped by his abductors and found by the roadside at Hirana with his arms and legs bound, is now receiving treatment at Colombo National Hospital under special police protection.
The wounded Thera was found near Hirana Bridge this morning. He was first admitted to Panadura Base Hospital, and was later transferred to the CNH. A team headed by an ASP is leading the investigations, said the police spokesman.
Meanwhile, southern provincial councillor Ven. Baddegama Samitha Thera and central provincial councillor Asath Salley visited Watareka Thera at hospital this afternoon.
Leader of the Jathika Bala Sena and Mahiyangana Pradeshiya Sabha member – Ven. Watareka Vijitha Thero has been left near the Hirana bridge in Panadura with his limbs bound, reports say.
The driver has informed the police after seeing the monk, who was turned over, move a leg. The Thero’s hands and feet have been bound by strips of fabric torn off from a saffron robe, reports add. Police say that the Thero has been assaulted and that his NIC and a cloth has been found nearby.
The Thero has been admitted to the ICU for further treatment. Ven. Watareka Vijitha Thero had laid low in the recent past due to the threats leveled by the Bodu Bala Sena.
A group comprising intellectuals, artistes and civil society activists has demanded the the government proves its commitment to peace and inter-community reconciliation by bringing before the law all extremist groups and their leaders, including Bodu Bala Sena, who spread communal and religious hatred, destroyed peace, and took the law into their own hands.
In a statement, they say,
Remember the ‘Black July’? It only brought horror and destruction.
Sri Lankan people don’t want another Black July.
The on-going attacks on the Muslim community are deliberately carried out by a small group of extremists.
We should not allow such violence in the name of the Sinhalese and Buddhist people.
Let us not allow another community being harmed in the name of one ethnic community.
We therefore demand:
Let the government prove its commitment to peace and inter-community reconciliation by bringing before the law all extremist groups and their leaders, including Bodu Bala Sena, who spread communal and religious hatred, destroyed peace, and took the law into their own hands.
The statement has been signed by Dr. Dharmasena Pathiraja, Jayathilaka Kammallaweera, Lal Hegoda, Dharmasiri Bandaranayaka, Dr. Liyanage Amarakeerthi, Prasanna Vithanage, Fr. Sarath Iddamalgoda, Asoka Handagama, Prof. Sarath Wijesuriya, Ariyawansa Ranaweera, Gamini Viyangoda, Rajitha Dissanayaka, Wijayananda Jayaweera, Victor Ivan, Kathleen Jayawardene, Prof. H.L. Seneviratne, Bimal Jayakody, K.W. Janaranjana, Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri, Elmo Perera, Piyal Kariyawasam, Kelly Senanayaka, Dr. Sunil Wijesiriwardene, Somalatha Subasinghe, Lionel Fernando, Tenyson Perera, Anoma Rajakaruna, Upul Shantha Sannasgala, Kaushalya Fernando, Priyankara Ratnayaka, Mahinda Prasad Masimbula, Prof. Desmond Mallikarachchi, Kusal Perera, Susil Siriwardene, Sudarshana Gunawardene, Dr. Udan Perera, W. Jayasiri, Nandana Weerasinghe, Shanthi Dissanayaka, Deepthi Kumara Gunaratne, Dr. Nimalka Fernando, Bennet Ratnayaka, Dharmapriya Dias, M.D. Mahindapala, Lakshman Mendis, Kapila Kumara Kalinga, Vimukthi Jayasundara, Sujani Menaka, Chandraguptha Thenuwara, Dr. Chandana Aluthge, Saman Wagaarachchi, Mahinda Ratnayaka, Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne, Anurasiri Hettige, Prof. Nilanga Liyanage, Chulananda Samaranayaka, Rathna Sri Wijesinghe, Freddy Gamage, Prof. Velentine Daniel, Mohan Raj Madawala, Vidharshana Kannangara, Gaya Nagahawattha, Keerthi Welisarage, Dr. Harshana Rambukwella, Nimal Ekanayaka, Gihan Fernando, Chandrapala Kumarage, Prof. Patric Ollivel, Deepthi Lamahewa, Henry Warnakulasuriya, Jayasiri Jayasekara, Herman Kumara, Seetha Ranjani, Ajith Rajapaksa, Sisira Yapa.