COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — A hard-line Buddhist monk from Myanmar known for his anti-Muslim stance said his movement will join hands with a like-minded Sri Lankan group to “protect” Buddhists, whom he called an endangered world minority.
Ashin Wirathu, leader of 969, a fundamentalist movement, was a special invitee Sunday at a rally of Bodu Bala Sena, or Buddhist Power Force, a Sri Lankan group accused of instigating deadly violence against the country’s minority Muslims in June.
Joining 969 could further boost an already soaring support base for Bodu Bala Sena, an ultranationalist group that has enlisted thousands of youth and Buddhist monks in just two years of existence. This, in turn, could exacerbate mistrust and tensions between Sri Lanka’s majority Sinhalese-Buddhists and its Muslims.
Politically, President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s credibility among Muslims stands to erode further after his government allowed Mr Wirathu to visit Sri Lanka despite opposition from Muslim groups, including his own allies. Mr Rajapaksa is already under criticism for not taking action against Buddhist monks whose inflammatory speeches are blamed for anti-Muslim violence in June that killed two people and wounded dozens, and saw many shops and homes set on fire in three western towns.
Read the full article from the Bangkok Post here.
See alao: Violence by Buddhists against Muslims
- Buddhist-Muslim Commitment to Action and the Dusit Declaration 2013/09/18
- Punk rockers in Burma speak out against Buddhist monks instigating violence against Muslims while other groups in Myanmar are silent 2013/08/07
- Myanmar Mosque, Muslim Orphanage Burned After Alleged Immolation Of Buddhist Woman 2013/05/30
- Sri Lanka: Buddhist monk self-immolated to protest the slaughter of cattle and the alleged conversion of Buddhists 2013/05/27
- Why are Buddhist monks attacking Muslims? Alan Strathern on BBC News 2013/05/02
- Buddhist Monks as Hate Preachers & Sexual Abuse 2013/04/18