Saturday, 27 September 2014

Sri Lanaka Welcomes Terrorist, Spurns Saint

This morning Ahsin Wirathu, leader of the 969 Burmese terrorist movement[1] and self-proclaimed ‘Buddhist bin Laden’[2], landed in Sri Lanka this morning. He will attend the BBS’ so called ‘Great Sangha Council’, undoubtedly voicing his trademark toxic message of hate, violence and terror that unleashed death and destruction on tens of thousands of Burmese Muslims.
Wirathu_2616790bThe 969, an organization very similar to the BBS, plays a critical role in stoking inter-ethnic conflict in Burma. For example, its influence was inescapable in two recent incidents. The first, in June and October 2012, 969 inspired clashes between Buddhists and Muslims left almost 200 people dead and around 140,000 displaced the great majority of them Muslims.[3] The second, involved a dispute at a shop which led to anti-Muslim violence. The brutal killing of a Buddhist monk sharply escalated the situation, led to riots by a 1,000-strong mob resulting in widespread destruction of Muslim neighbourhoods, and left at least 44 people dead, including twenty students at an Islamic school.[4] The mother of one of the students, said “my son was killed because he was Muslim, nothing else.” [5]
These incidents bring haunting echoes of the recent events at Aluthgama, where at least four were reported dead, and 165 injured and 150 buildings burnt by mobs after a BBS rally was held in the town. Over the past two years Sri Lanka’s Muslims have been terrorized by groups like the BBS – they have been subjected to violence, intimidation and hate. Their places of worship have been desecrated, their homes invaded and their security lost. The war’s end has brought greater fear for life and property for Muslims –but not peace.
Post-war Sri Lanka has the opportunity to heal from its bloody past, cut repeating cycles of violence and rebuild harmony, peace and tranquility. Instead of accepting requests from globally respected peaceful saints like the Dalai Lama to visit Sri Lanka[6], the government has encouraged the rise of terrorist groups like the BBS and turned a blind eye to violence against its own citizens. Today, after having refused the Dalai Lama and won a thirty yearlong battle against one of the world’s most sophisticated terrorist organisations, it has allowed a terrorist leader to enter Sri Lanka.
As the government’s popularity dwindles does it need another war to remain in power? Does this government need terrorists and not saints for its survival?

[1] http://www.trackingterrorism.org/group/969-movement-wirathu
[2] http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/27/us-myanmar-969-specialreport-idUSBRE95Q04720130627
[3] http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/Files/asia/south-east-asia/burma-myanmar/251-the-dark-side-of-transition-violence-against-muslims-in-myanmar.pdf
[4] ibid
[5] https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/full-text-of-the-banned-time-story-the-face-of-buddhist-terror/
[6] http://www.sundaytimes.lk/140518/editorial/yes-to-pope-no-to-dalai-lama-99450.html
Thx -CMBT