The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) is not the sole voice of the Sanga (monks) community, Bellanwila Wimalaratana thera said today.
The leading monk said this when asked about the tense situation created among Muslims and Buddhists in the country as a result of the anti-Halal campaign carried out by the Bodu Bala Sena.
He noted that in any community there are extremists, fundamentalists and other elements.
Bellanwila Wimalaratana thera said that the Buddhist clergy in Sri Lanka do not want to create a conflict between communities.
According to Wikipedia the Bodu Bala Sena has in the past promoted concerts publicizing Buddhist hunger strikes against Indian artists, filed a petition against Indian intervention on Sri Lanka, protested against the Canadian pongu Tamil (Tamil Uprising for independence) and also protested against the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM).
In July 2012, the Bodu Bala Sena took up the cause of religious freedom of Sri Lankan nationals working in Saudi Arabia.
They stated that Premanath Pereralage Thungasiri, a Buddhist Sri Lankan working in Saudi Arabia, had been arrested for practicing Buddhism in his employers’ home and faced possible beheading over the charges.
The group also alleged that the Saudis arrested a Sri Lankan woman for witchcraft for looking at a child and wearing a black cord on her wrist, that Sri Lankan female domestic workers were forced to embrace Islam and wear Islamic attire, and that four Sri Lankan youths had been beheaded in Saudi Arabia. (Colombo Gazette)