The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka has raised concerns over reports that the venerable Ashin Wirathu, the dreaded leader of the 969 Movement in Myanmar, has been invited to visit Sri Lanka.
The monk is also known as the butcher of the Burmese Muslims and as the leader of the anti-Muslim movement in Myanmar, he has been responsible for the murder of hundreds of Muslims by extremist Buddhists.
There are reports that he has been invited by the Bodu Bala Sena to attend their “Great Sangha Council” meeting on the 28th of September.
Time magazine, with venerable Ashin Wirathu on their cover page, branded him as the face of Buddhist terror in Burma.
In a letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka says the presence of such a person who has caused so much violence on the Burmese Muslims would be a real threat to peace and peaceful co-existence in Sri Lanka.
“Many across the world have accused him of inciting violence against Myanmar’s Muslim minority with fiery sermons claiming that the growth of Islam is putting Buddhism and Burmese culture at risk. His presence and speech at the Sangha Council meeting may incite further violence against the Muslims, similar to the speech of Ven. Galabode Aththe Ganansara Thero’s made in Aluthgama which caused the rioting in Aluthgama and Beruwela in June 2014. Further, the Government of Sri Lanka faces the possibility of being accused of tacit support to Buddhist extremist groups who are indulging in a hate campaign against minorities in Sri Lanka, if Ven. Ashin Virathu is granted permission to visit the country,” the Muslim Council said.
It notes that that the nexus between the Bodu Bala Sena and 969 organizations for an anti-Muslim campaign was initiated during the visit of Ven. Gnanasara Thero to Myanmar a few months back.
The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka, on behalf of the Muslim community in Sri Lanka, requested the President to ensure that no visa is granted to the venerable Ashin Wirathu to visit Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette)