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Political incompetency, Muslim extremism are twin challenges the island faces: Ven Gnanasara Thero

Ven Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero 700 01

Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero has observed that political incompetency and Muslim extremism are twin challenges that the country faces currently. Sri Lankans must strive as a united nation to defeat them.

He made this observation addressing the “Sivu Hele Maha Samuluwa” at the Bogambara Stadium in Kandy on Sunday. During his lengthy address, Ven. Gnanasara Thero:

“ We will pledge to build a Sinhala Parliament that would enable the Sinhala people to decide policy and laws as they wished, which are essential to rejuvenate the country. Hung Parliaments where minority political parties typically have some clout were detrimental to taking forward national plans. With the support of thousands of temples, the Buddhist clergy has the capacity to bring together the Sinhala population into one vote block, to elect a party with a clear majority in Parliament. We will build a Sinhala Parliament. If we can get 7000 out of the 10,000 temples we have on our side, and they work to gather votes.

Democracy has not necessarily worked for us. We now have a situation in Sri Lanka where there is no clear demarcation of power. Even if there was a true leader, he would find it difficult to put in place a strong set of policies and laws to build this nation. We have the competence to change that.

The Government must stop holding discussions with “Ulama organisations” and engage more with moderate Sufi Muslims who have traditionally lived as part of Sri Lankan culture. Government was concentrating only on talking to one organisation, and ignoring other moderate, progressive voices to deal with the issue of extremism. Today we have a Government that talks to the Ulama. The Prime Minister talks to them, the Muslim Ministers talk to them, everyone talks to them.

They need to stop doing this immediately, and start talking with the Sufi and other moderate Muslim communities that have lived in Sri Lanka for generations. They are the people we must gather together. But this is not happening because of political greed, because we have Sinhala politicians desperate for Muslim votes.

We call for unity among the Buddhists and the Buddhist clergy.

How can the nation get together when Maha Sangha is divided? We have got Mahinda’s Hamuduruwo. Then we have Ranil’s Hamuduruwo. Then we have Anura Dissanayaka’s Hamuduruwo. We also have Weerawansa’s Hamuduruwo.We now have young Bhikkus who attend universities and go around preaching Marxism instead of Buddhism. How can we go on like this? There are some politicos who want to worsen these fractures as well.We shall not allow that. I urge Maha Nayaka theros to look into these matters or else we won’t have Maha Sangha in this country in the future. We Buddhist priests should come together and set aside our differences. In matters that are of paramount importance to the people and to this country, we must step forward as one and lead this battle and unify all Buddhist Nikayas together. I had a dream to gather monks of all Nikayas together and inspire this fallen nation.

On one hand we are faced with serious political incompetence, and on the other we see rampant extremism. This country is now divided and fighting each other. We must work to unite this nation, so that our children can have a country they can be proud of. Dozens of monks attending the rally must join the cause of unifying the Sinhala race. There are people here who have been directly affected by the 21 April attacks. They want to know what we will do. Give the battle against extremism to the Buddhist clergy. We have the ability and knowledge. Today we see SOFA coming to Sri Lanka. Powerful nations are trying to infiltrate Sri Lanka. Politicians must look after this aspect but give us the battle against extremism.

Our Buddhist priests are ready to go to every single corner of this country, hold meetings, and create the Muslim culture as we want, without going towards extremism. That is our responsibility, because this is the country of the Sinhalese. Just because we say that our Tamil brothers should not become angry with us. Any place requires an owner, even a country, we are the ones who built this country, according to historical evidence. We only want to destroy the snake of extremism. We must all come together to destroy this menace because it will make us all suffer.

There is only one way out of this morass. That is the way of the Buddha. Let us make a pledge today, which is that our leader is Lord Buddha and no one else. He is our leader, our teacher, and our best friend. We have no other agendas, we work for no one else.

The Maha Nayakas and Sanga Councils have blessed what we are doing, and plan to join us in the future. I will always remember this support.”

 

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