[QODLink]
Central & South Asia

Sri Lanka hardline monk denounces Dalai Lama

Leader of right-wing Bodu Bala Sena says Tibetan spiritual leader being influenced by 'Muslim extremists'.

Last updated: 22 Jul 2014 21:01
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Sri Lanka's government has been accused of turning blind eye to recent string of attacks on Muslims [Reuters]

A Sri Lankan Buddhist monk leading an anti-Muslim campaign has accused the Dalai Lama of being influenced by "Muslim extremists" and said the Tibetan spiritual leader could not be accepted as a world Buddhist leader.

Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara, the secretary general of the Sri Lankan Buddhist group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), spoke out on Tuesday after the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader called on monks in Myanmar and Sri Lanka to end violence towards Muslims in their countries.

Clashes broke out in two Sri Lankan towns with large Muslim populations in June during a BBS-led protest.

Reacting to the Dalai Lama's comments made in India, Gnanasara told reporters: "Like Pope for Christians, he is considered as the leader for all Buddhists by the West. But we don't accept him as the leader of the Buddhists."

Gnanasara said the exiled Tibetan leader, who won the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize, was unlikely to visit Sri Lanka because
Colombo did not want to upset its close relations with Beijing. "We see Dalai Lama is also a victim of the Muslim extremism," the BBS leader said.

"They (Muslim extremists) have fed misinformation and he has got wrong information."

Sectarian tensions erupted on June 15 in the southern coastal towns of Aluthgama and Beruwela during a protest march
led by the BBS.  

Many residents of the towns, popular with tourists, said BBS activists had made inflammatory statements against Muslims at a rally before the violence that killed at least four.

233

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps will be released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.