Lankan Muslims voice concern over visit of 'terrorist' Myanmar monk

Lankan Muslims voice concern over visit of 'terrorist' Myanmar monk
Updated 30 September 2014

Lankan Muslims voice concern over visit of 'terrorist' Myanmar monk

Lankan Muslims voice concern over visit of 'terrorist' Myanmar monk

Muslims in Sri Lanka have expressed their concern over the visit of a radical monk from Myanmar, who has preached hatred toward Muslims, fearing it would further increase communal tension in the country.
The monk, Ashin Wirathu, the leader of an extremist movement in Myanmar called 969, was the guest of honor at a convention of Buddhist hard-liners in Colombo.
He arrived in Sri Lanka on Friday night and was received at the airport by a large delegation from the Sri Lankan organization Bodu Bala Sena, or Buddhist Power Force, which has been accused of instigating attacks against Muslims in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, the country’s main Muslim party and a government ally, urged the authorities to step up protection for Muslims in the capital ahead of the Bodu Bala Sena convention.
Religious violence has been on the rise in Sri Lanka. In June, three people died and hundreds of Muslim homes and businesses were damaged in rioting in Aluthgama and Beruwala in the worst sectarian violence here in decades.
Last year, a mosque in Grandpass, a suburb of Colombo, was attacked by a mob at the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy season.
“The nail on the coffin of co-existence and peace amongst the Muslims and Buddhist community in Sri Lanka has been driven with the arrival of Wirathu,” one Muslim leader commented.
He described Wirathu as the architect of hate and campaign of violence by Buddhist extremists against the innocent Rohingya Muslims. “These Buddhist extremists, at the instigation of Wirathu have slaughtered thousands of innocent Muslim women, children and men,” the Muslim leader said.
The Time Magazine in June 2013 branded Wirathu as “the face of Buddhist Terror”, with a cover page story of atrocities perpetuated by this terrorist in robes. He is also known as the butcher of Burmese Muslims. Some have even likened his 959 movement to a Myanmar form of neo Nazism group.
The nexus between the BBS and 969 movement is seen by the Muslim community here as the biggest threat to their peace.
The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka and several other political and religious organizations had vehemently opposed granting Wirathu an entry visa because of the crimes committed by him on the Rohinga Muslims.
“These protests have fell on deaf ears of the government and the radical monk was officially granted permission to land in Sri Lanka,” said another Muslim leader.