(Mirror) – The Bodu Bala Sena General Secretary, Galaboda Aththe Gnanasara Thero yesterday gave an ultimatum to the government to ban Halal certification by March 31st.
‘Don’t make us take the law into our own hands,’the monk said, pledging to commence a relentless anti-halal campaign until the Government announced the ban.
He was addressing the rally yesterday(17)held in Maharagama town. The whole town was decked with Buddhsit flags.
More than 1300 Buddhist monks and a gathering of 15,000 people attended the meeting, Mr, Dintha Vthanage, a member of the organization told the ‘ Mirror’.
The organization also unveiled what they called a ‘historic’ Maharagama Declaration, a 10 point resolution that seeks to impose a ban on halal certified foods, sending Lankan women to the Middle East, mosque-building with Middle Eastern funds and certain birth control methods that they claimed were aimed at stunting the Sinhalese population.
It was alleged that 80,000 Sri Lankan migrant workers in the Middle East had been converted to Islam and claimed that several organizations operating in Sri Lanka were receiving Middle Eastern funding to convert Buddhists in the island.
‘From today onwards, each of you must become an unofficial civilian police force against Muslim extremism. These so-called democrats are destroying the Sinhala race,’Gnanasara Thero urged the crowds, who roared in response.
He said pluralistic values had robbed the Sinhala people of money, jobs and enterprise. “This is a Sinhala country; there is a global principle that minorities must reside in a country in a manner that does not threaten the majority race and its identity’.
Meanwhile, Crowds leaving the Bodu Bala Sena rally reacted angrily to a three member BBC film crew shooting in front of a Muslim-owned clothing store in Maharagama last evening and threatened them with violence, with police officers at the scene siding with the mob, crew members said.
Heeding the advice of the mob police barricaded the crew and prevented their car from leaving the site of the commotion, BBC Sri Lanka Correspondent Charles Haviland said. “The police stopped our car from leaving until a police superior came and dispersed the mob and let us go,” Haviland said.
Haviland said the BBC’s crew’s local members were verbally abused and that the mob behaviour was unsurprising but the conduct of the police had been extremely disturbing.
Meanwhile, a reporter from the Navamini newspaper, a Muslim publication covering the Bodu Bala Sena rally was harassed by the crowds and handed over to the Maharagama police at 4 p.m., the newspaper said. Police detained the reporter until 8:30 p.m. before releasing him.( source FT)