Teldeniya unrest BBS urges calm NBF calls for establishment of law and order

Galagodaaththe Gnanasara thera - Bodu Bala Sena

(Photo credit: Ishara S.KODIKARA / AFP via Getty Images)

In the wake of the Teldeniya incident, the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) has requested the people to remain calm and stop the prevailing violence.

While addressing a special media briefing yesterday (6), General Secretary of the BBS, Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera, requested the public to act in a peaceable manner and refrain from being involved in acts of violence.

“This incident is so pathetic. One innocent man was harassed and beaten up. Finally he passed away. It is also reported that a Muslim boy has also been found dead as a result of the recent clashes. The violent attack on a lorry driver, who subsequently succumbed to his injuries, was sufficient to provoke the public. The victim was a very friendly individual who got on well with all of the ethnic mix in the area and they all have been grieving over his tragic death. Nevertheless, it was most unfortunate that our people reacted to it in the wrong way, because the four men involved in the incident apparently are Muslims, who allegedly thrashed a Sinhalese lorry driver that ended in his death. Instead of taking it as a solitary incident, they utilized it to create a vandalous commotion gravitating toward an ethnic crisis. The people should take these incidents in a humanitarian fashion. They should think that a human was killed and even though such is pathetic, they should not think that a Sinhala man was killed by Muslim men. But unfortunately society behaved in an uncivilized manner in response,” he added.

The monk also levelled allegations against the Prime Minister and the Police.

“The Government was unable to convey the news timely. The Prime Minister should be held responsible for this as the Minister of Law and Order. Neither the Police Media Spokesman nor the Police were able to release a clear statement stating that all four suspects related to the murder of the driver have already been arrested. People thought that they were free and many people protested calling for the arrest of the suspects even after they were arrested by the Police. If they had informed the public in the proper manner, such an ethnic crisis could have been averted.”

While suggesting a solution to the crisis, he said that a broad discussion should take place in society regarding the reconciliation process and inter-ethnic harmony. For an example he questioned as to why the Government continued to mention race (as Sinhala, Muslim, among others) in birth certificates instead of only mentioning the nationality as Sri Lankan.

Meanwhile, elsewhere, the National Bhikkhu Front (NBF) whilst vehemently condemning the recent Teldeniya incident called on the Government to establish law and order in the country and ensure the safety and security of citizens, to live peacefully and be united in the name of humanity.

The NBF pointed out that it was the lay, clergy and politicians, Buddhist and Muslim alike, who were afflicted and driven mad by racism, who though claiming to be adherents of Buddhism and Islam, were instead doing Satan’s malicious bidding, and were thereby behind the inciting and instigating of the said attacks.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, General Secretary of the NBF Wakamulle Uditha said that people become impulsive, even when a death occurs due to natural causes under normal circumstances. Therefore when a death however occurs as a result of an assault (not the first such case in Sri Lanka in recent times), and when law enforcement authorities do not act swiftly to arrest those responsible for the unrest, this leads to further enragement and people thus enraged in turn become virtually uncontrollable.

“This is only one more incident in a country sans discipline, where law and order has broken down,” he stressed.

(Source: Ceylon Today – BY Kalana Krishantha and Ruwan Laknath Jayakody)