Sri Lanka hardline group calls for halal boycott
A new hardline Sinhalese Buddhist group in Sri Lanka has called for the abolition of the Muslim halal system of certifying foods and other goods.
The Bodu Bala Sena, or Buddhist Strength Force, also said foreign propagators of religions should leave the country within a month.
Thousands of supporters of the group attended a rally in a suburb of the capital, Colombo.
The calls come at a time of mounting religious tension in the country.
There have been several attacks on both mosques and Muslim-owned businesses as well as on Christian churches and the clergy, the BBC’s Charles Haviland reports from Colombo.
Thousands of men and women filled the grounds of the rally and the surrounding streets at Maharagama in Colombo’s outer suburbs to hear nationalist speeches by the group’s monks.
The leaders called for a boycott of halal meat and demanded shops clear their stocks by April, the AFP news agency reports.
Youth activists at the rally wore T-shirts denouncing the Muslim halal method of slaughtering animals to eat.
The group’s secretary-general, Venerable Galaboda Aththe Gnanasara, told the crowds that “only monks can save this race”, referring to Sinhalese.
He claimed that Christian and Muslim extremists were threatening Buddhists, and said hundreds of monks were ready to fight. “Our country is a Sinhalese one and we are its unofficial police,” he said.
The group has denied being anti-minority, and has dissociated itself from the recent attacks on Muslim and Christian targets.
But one member of the group, Dilanthe Withanage, accused “some” unnamed countries of “funding Christian fundamentalists as well as Muslim fundamentalists” in Sri Lanka.
Both Muslims and Christians deny promoting extremism in Sri Lanka, our correspondent reports.
President Mahinda Rajapakse has called on monks not to incite religious hatred and violence, but one opposition politician told the BBC that “the situation is very bad”.
“Any moment, the ethnic riot will start between Sinhalese and Muslims,” said Mujeebur Rahuman of the opposition United National Party.
“They are now working freely. Nobody is talking about this organisation and the government is not trying to stop their activities.”
The Buddhist Sinhalese make up three-quarters of Sri Lanka’s 20 million population.
Muslims constitute about 10% and have generally had good relations with the Sinhalese majority. (BBC)
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It is very sad that the people of Sri Lanka maybe heading for another war. This is a multicultural country even if we do not like the sound of it. if we do not lear tolerence we will all be facing another ehtnic war>
With all the propoerganda we are receiving around the world for discriminating tamils (which is not as bad as the west makes it out to be)this kind of actions will certainly portray Buddhist sinhalese beeing as violent people.
It also very sad to think that the peace that and security we felt in the country for the last few years follwing the defeat of the barabaric tigers is slowly dissapearing.
There could be behind the scene activity, could be LTTE is trying to divide Sinhalese and Muslims in the country.
And idiotic people taking part in the rallies. Others will get their aim fulfilled always.
Why Sinhalese always like this. If they don’t like certain things just stay away from that, no need for rallies. No need to show your colours to the outer world.
ha ha ha, this is wat i expected.
where is the gov’s a** licking alavi moulana? iam quiet sure he and gov are the culprit behind this scene.
You must be either naive or you maust be a collabaraotor of the the west. MR can be anything but he certainly is not stupid Why would any one in their right mind want any more critcism from the rest of the world.Don’t just bark for the sake of barking. Use youe barins when you make these stupid assumtions. It is vver unfortunate that the sinhalese have not earnt a leson from the past mistakes. We di d have the LTTE and other terrosrist groups beacuase a small maajoroty of sinhlese people did and still do treat tamils very badly. There are plenty of singalese who live in harmony with Tamils & Muslims in Sri lanka but unfortunately a fwe ignorrant Sri lankans are makimg all the rest look like barbarians. If they are real Buddhist they must know that lord Buddha’s philosophy was peace & harmony.
It’s sound crazy, if any one does not like to eat HALAL do not eat but not to create challenges in the country. Why is this a problems??
We have to live together with all and please find a balance how to co-operate with others, the rest of the nation fast growing but we are still in the same place last 65 years of freedom and lost 30 years with LTTE.
It is really very sad, how the small group of people creating these kind of challenges within multi cultural living environment.
Really sad to to see is the HALAL is an issue??
Muslim people and religious organizations should withdraw this Halal certification and corporate with Sinhala and Tamil people to live in harmony in this country. Muslim people and these religious organizations will be definitely responsible for current tension and future violence between Sinhala and Buddhist and Muslims because they created the issue.
I cannot see any issue with Halal meat. It has always been available and consumers always had thae voluntary choice between picking halal meat and non-hala meat.
This incident appears to be a concerted economic war aimed at grabbing a portion of business conducted by the Muslim community. The country is unable to create opportunites to satiate the economic demands of Sinhala youth and Sinhala interests; hence easier to grab existing market share from one community to satisfy the other.
My dear Corniche,we srilankan and the Srilanka has to an accept everything and also we have to tolerence,but please go to the middle east countries and try to do something which they dont like. and you will see weather they accept you..same with the bloody Ltte..last 30years we sufferd Because of Srilankan KINDNES…and still we are suffering the hand of tamil Disapora..therefore please we have to open our eyes..
Halal symbol is not the issue here. It is the fees they charge from companies to show the halal symbol. What the Muslim extremists have done was to mislead companies to pay their fees (Rs. 175,000 per product type per year) making them believe that it will make the products sells more because Muslims will buy them. Stupid companies believed that and paid such fees but they pass that extra cost to the consumers. That means everyone pays a very very small amount each tome they buy such products without knowing that they have funded an extremist muslim organisation to help and expand Muslim religion. Once the halal label is done, the same product from the same company will not create another batch “without” halal label, means whether you like or not you will be paying a small extra amount to improve and expand muslim religion.
From other religion’s point of view (not only Buddhists) this is unfair. This anti-halal protests are already taking place in various christian countries like Australia and Holland too.
What the government should do is to force (by law) the Halal friendly companies in Sri Lanka to produce approximately 10% of each of all their different products with Halal label and the rest “without” the halal label, and also “without the extra cost. Then the people who do not want to fund Muslim expansionism can buy the “non halal” products and Muslims who like to pay for Muslim expansion can pay the extra cost to buy the halal products.
Other option is to force the Halal authority to pay 90% of their income (because under 10% is Muslim) through halal label to pay for the benefit of all other non-muslim regions (catholic, christian, buddhist, hindu etc) through the government.
At the moment stupid companies who fall into the trap of Muslim extremist propaganda made all their products Halal and that way people who do not want to pay for Muslim religion’s expansion were forced (without knowing) to pay through their day to day expenses.
Recently there were paint brushes and Dilmah tea were in the market with Halal label (among many other stupid products). This shows how cunning this Muslim organisation is because only “meat” needs to be halal according to their religion, but they promote that for all other products too.
Also it shows how stupid the company bosses in Sri Lanka to fall into this trap like blinds. To me, those small-headed big-bodied stupid company bosses are only good for the butcher’s shop to make halal meat out of them.
Non-action by the halal authority or the company bosses or the government is what is creating the religious conflict in the future. Without such noise ordinary people do not know what is going on. Therefore non-violent protests like this is required to educate the government and the public. But by all means violence must not be used.
The next war begins.
according to these issues by the sinhala budhist, what i think is LTTE was right in some sort of ways. these things leads us to think.