BBS not happy, makes more demands

The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) today called for a complete ban on Halal products instead of just removing the logo from products sold locally.

Addressing the media today the Bodu Bala Sena said that Sinhalese Buddhists must completely boycott Halal products.

The All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU) had earlier said it had decided to withdraw the Halal logo from local food products as a result of the tensions which arose in the country recently.

Addressing a joint media briefing yesterday between the ACJU, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and a group of senior Buddhist monks, the ACJU said that the Halal logo will not be issued in future for products sold locally.

However the logo will be made available as an option for products to be exported to some countries, the ACJU said.

ACJU President Rizvi Mufthi said that the Halal certification was issued as a service to the Muslims and was not compulsory.

The Bodu Bala Sena says the sales of Halal products at Muslim enterprises had dropped 50 percent as a result of the debate on the issue created by the monks.

They condemned the organizers of the joint press conference yesterday for allowing leading monks to sit with members of the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama.

The Venerable Bellanwila Wimalaratana thera, who was among those at the joint press conference yesterday, had said that the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) is not the sole voice of the Sanga (monks) community.

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.

The Venerable Bellanwila Wimalaratana thera said that the Buddhist clergy in Sri Lanka do not want to create a conflict between communities. (Colombo Gazette)