Because of the hunger strike launched by Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera outside the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy, the main issues that should be focused upon have been swept under the carpet, Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera said.
Speaking to the media at the BBS Headquarters today, the Venerable thera explained that Ven. Rathana Thera went to Kandy to launch the fast-unto-death campaign without even discussing the issue with them.
"Ven. Rathana Thera should not take the prevailing issues into his own hands merely because of his political bankruptcy. He should have sought a common solution after holding discussions with others. The solution should be found to the real issue," he said.
“The Karaka Maha Sangha Sabha was to meet and discuss the prevailing situation last Saturday (1). However, Venerable Rathana Thera had already started a fast by then, the prelate said.
"If I did not go to see Ven. Rathana Thera during the fast people might have blamed the BBS saying that I had been released by the President with conditions," Ven. Gnanasara Thera said.
"I do not trust any politician but only the Buddha. We do not have any agenda or political motive. We would like to have an open debate with Muslim community leaders. My agitation is to control the people if those leaders cannot take control of their people. But not to assault or kill," he said.
"The Jamiyyathul Ulama Council should come for an open debate. I do not have any conditions to defeat Muslim extremism. I would stand with anyone who has the capability of defeating extremism," he said.
“There was no need for several programmes to defeat extremism. Buddhist monks should have only one agenda, which is the national agenda at this time.
“Therefore, we will not allow anybody to handle extremism in the country. This should be conducted under one leadership.
“Because of Rathana Thera's actions, the influence to control Muslim politicians has been concentrated in the Ulema Council. Earlier, there were many groups that controlled Muslim politicians,” the Thera said.
"But it is unfortunate that the main chapters are still unable to group all Sinhalese politicians into one camp.
“We urge politicians who do not agree with the national agenda to pack their baggage and go home. Because the country had been awakened and Buddhist monks are now united.
“We urge the people not to fall prey to the trickery of politicians,” he said. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)
Pic by Ishan Sanjeewa