By Latheef Farook
The alliance between anti Muslim Sri Lankan racist outfit Bodu Bala Sena and Burma’s blood thirsty Buddhist Monk Ashin Wiruthu, responsible for slaughtering thousands of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims, spells disaster for the island.
This extremely dangerous alliance, brought together by their common hatred towards Islam and Muslims, perhaps trained and financed by their new found Israel and United States friends , has all the ingredients to turn the island into a killing field from which it may unlikely to recover for decades to come under the existing local and global political environment.
This unholy alliance fits into the Zionist sponsored and United States led global anti Muslim campaign to justify the invasion and destruction of Muslim countries. This is the reason why the Muslims suspect the hate mongers as mercenaries of foreign forces.
The growing fear among the island’s besieged Muslim community is that “BBS-Asin Wirathu Alliance” may lead to a Rohingya type attack on the island’s Muslims.
Already the Sinhalese extremists led by Jathika Hela Urumaya and what is perceived as its fronts such as BBS, Sihala Ravaya and Ravana Balakaya managed to poison the minds of Sinhalese against Muslims to justify such an attack on Muslims. In fact JHU’s Udaya Gammanpila even stated once that “a 1915 type Sinhala-Muslim riot is inevitable”.
It appears this hate campaign unleashed during the past two and half years had already dented the centuries old traditional harmonious relations between Sinhalese and Muslims.
However there are signs of hope for the island. Responsible elements among the Sinhalese started waking up to the threat posed by these extremists to their society. Many admit that extremists have already caused considerable damage to the image of Buddhism and the Sinhalese community.
On the other hand the Muslims begin to realize that this is not a conflict between Sinhalese and Muslims, but the work of few hundreds of extremists who do not represent the Sinhalese community as they claim. It was under this atmosphere that the BBS leaders met Myanmar’s Monk Ashin Wirathu, described by Time magazine as the “Monk of Terror”.
Local mainstream media which usually give wide publicity to Sinhalese extremists and help promote their agendas were quiet. However breaking the news website COLOMBO Telegraph stated on 12 March 2014 under the headline ‘Buddhist Bin Laden’ To Visit Sri Lanka: “We’ve Not Signed Any Agreement with 969 Movement”: BBS
“We have not signed any agreement with Burma’s Buddhist monk Ashin Wirathu or the 969 movement”, the Chief Executive Officer of the Bodu Bala Sena Dilanthe Withanage told Colombo Telegraph. He said the caption of the photograph, which is circulating via social media saying “the BBS has come to an agreement with Burma’s terrorist 969 movements”, is a slander. “This picture was taken while our secretary Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara signing the visitors’ book.” he said. Ashin Wiruthu, widely known as the Burma’s ‘Bin Laden of Buddhism’ has been invited to Sri Lanka.
Nine days later on 21 March 2014 Ceylon Today published a report by Ruwan Laknath Jayakody under the headline”BBS invites Ashin Wirathu Thera to visit SL “
The man that Time Magazine dubbed ‘The Face of Buddhist Terror,’ Leader of the 969 Movement in Myanmar, who is notorious for his anti-Islam rhetoric, Ven. Ashin Wirathu Thera, will be arriving in the island on an invitation by the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS).
BBS General Secretary, Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera said, “There is no need for a hullabaloo yet. We will let the relevant people know in due course. We have invited him and he will come and we will have a meeting. That is all. The media does not need to know for how long he will stay here. We will plan it and reveal it at the appropriate time.” BBS Education and Research Unit Chief Coordinator, Chamila Liyanage, said, “Even though the dates are not confirmed yet, he is definitely coming.
“Buddhist countries in the Asiatic region are facing difficulties and even violence from the Muslims and the other religions in the region. The best example comes from Thailand, Myanmar and Bangladesh. This is the very reason why Ven. Wirathu decided to start the 969 Movement in Myanmar. We visited Thailand and Myanmar and we will be visiting other countries in East Asia. We will definitely be starting an international network with global reach with likeminded Buddhist civil society institutions, Buddhist scholars and Buddhist activist organizations in these countries. With Ven. Wirathu Thera we will be discussing strategic plans for at least a regional network for the time being, for which we need a concrete plan,” he added.
These reports disturb specially Muslims.
Ashin Wirathu, leader of the anti-Muslim movement in Burma, has been a “notorious chauvinist”. In its cover story the TIME magazine described Ashin Wirathu: The Monk behind Burma’s “Buddhist Terror”. His apartheid-like speech stirred shocked reaction on Twitter, with users calling the monk a “neo-Nazi” inciting anti-Muslim pogroms in Burma.
His 969 Anti Muslim organization, together with the Myanmar armed forces, killed thousands of Muslim men, women, children and the aged, burnt Muslim localities and indiscriminately raped Muslim women besides looting Muslim properties and belongings. They threw bodies of hundreds of Muslims killed into the Bay of Bengal and covered the dead bodies with clothes usually worn by Buddhists and claimed that they are the remains of Buddhist people who became victims.
It is this Ashin Wirathu whom the BBS is inviting to Sri Lanka. This is like inviting Hitler, Mussolini, Ariel Sharon or Menachem Begin,
Sri Lanka is not Myanmar. Myanmar is a country which lived in isolation for decades. It was cut away from the world. However Sri Lanka has a long history of civilization and played a dynamic role in the Third World affairs and earned a name for itself.
Muslim world has traditionally been friendly with Sri Lanka.
Our economy is tied to many Muslim countries. Almost a million Sri Lankans are employed in the Gulf States and their annual remittance exceeds six billion dollars. This brings relief to millions of families. In fact employment opportunities abroad have become the largest foreign exchange earner to the island.
Muslim countries always came to rescue Sri Lanka in times of crisis. For example in the United Nations sponsored United Nations Human Rights Council resolution on March 27 in Geneva calling for a comprehensive investigation into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights, committed by both parties in Sri Lanka, of the 12 countries voted against five were Muslim countries. This included Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Algeria and Maldives If not for these five Muslim countries Sri Lanka would have got only seven votes. Four out of 12 countries abstained were Muslims and no Muslim country voted for the resolution in the 47-member UNHRC
Do the Sinhalese extremists who have unleashed an unwanted destructive campaign against Muslims understand the seriousness of their madness?
Burning Muslim villages
Muslim families thrown out of their homes
Body of a Muslim child burnt and another child throat cut
Under the circumstance do we need to jeopardize these friendly relations for the sake of few hundreds of extremists? Under such circumstance is it wise for Sri Lanka to allow these extremists to hijack the country and hobnob with mass murderers of Myanmar Muslims.
On the other hand Muslims worldwide are carefully watching the ongoing anti Muslim campaign in Sri Lanka. We are not living in the pre colonial era. We are part of the world and the world is not part of Sri Lanka as these extremists think.
The price the country will be made to pay for the ongoing attack on the island’s Muslim community will be unpredictable.