BODU BALA SENA – A NEW BUDDHIST MOVEMENT IN SRI LANKA
Posted on April 11th, 2017

Writes Ram Madhav Courtesy  samvada.org

“During this period, the majority Sinhalese had grown by 38 per cent (from 10,979,400 to 15,873,800); Sri Lankan Tamils by 20.3 per cent (from 1,886,900 to 2,270,900) and the Indian Origin Tamils by 2.8 per cent (from 812,700 to 842,300). But the Muslims grew by 78.6 per cent (from 1,046,900 to 1,869,800).

This almost double growth rate of Muslims has naturally attracted the attention of even the ordinary citizens. It has triggered fears of the possibility of the minorities in general and Muslims in particular dominating the Sinhalese over time. BBS clearly represents that popular resentment against growing Muslim influence on Sri Lanka. Increasing presence of the Pakistanis and the ISI also are an important factor.”

Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) – a Buddhist organisation many wish to call as Right or Ultra Right – is a new phenomenon in Sri Lanka. One may prefer to brand them in any manner one would like to. But the fact remains that this new outfit is slowly growing in stature and popular support in the country’s Buddhist-dominated areas.

It came into prominence due to its public opposition to the Halal mark on all products marketed in Sri Lanka. This was the demand made and achieved by the less than 10% population of the Muslims of the island. Halal mark has been made mandatory to all products in Sri Lanka due to the pressure of the Muslim leadership although a large population of the country – Buddhists, Hindus and Christians – who constitute around 90% of the population don’t need it at all. All producers of food products have been forced to manufacture Halal products and approach a Muslim council for Halal certification. While this rule has become a revenue earner for the Ulemas it has become a burden on the manufacturers whose majority clients don’t need this mark.

BBS’ opposition to this issue had led to the Ulema council withdrawing the mandatory demand for Halal certification. However the story didn’t end there. The BBS has turned its attention to growing Islamisation and Christianisation of the Island nation.

Like everywhere else, there is a spurt in Islamic identity politics in this country too causing alarm to the local population.

The Muslim population in Sri Lanka is growing fast. Muslim parties won elections in the country’s East province, which was one of the strongholds of the LTTE’s second-in-command Karuna. In fact in spite of Hindus – Tamils – being the majority in that province, which was ruled by a henchman of Karuna until last year, elections saw the Muslim party securing majority in the local provincial council and forming the Government.

There are mosques and madrassas sprouting everywhere in the country. A rough estimate suggests that of the 1.2 million Muslim population every 50 households have a mosque. In Colombo itself a new magnificent mosque is coming up, so are in many other places. Increasing number of burqa-clad women and skull cap-wearing men can be sited on the streets of Sri Lankan cities and towns now.

Changing demographics in many villages, districts and even provinces has rung alarm bells in the Buddhist community. A recent media report indicated high rate of growth among the Sri Lankan Muslims compared to other groups like the Sinhalese and the Tamils. According to that report Muslims had outstripped other ethnic groups in Sri Lanka in population growth between the censuses of 1981 and 2011.

During this period, the majority Sinhalese had grown by 38 per cent (from 10,979,400 to 15,873,800); Sri Lankan Tamils by 20.3 per cent (from 1,886,900 to 2,270,900) and the Indian Origin Tamils by 2.8 per cent (from 812,700 to 842,300). But the Muslims grew by 78.6 per cent (from 1,046,900 to 1,869,800). Increase in Muslims had been significantly higher in the districts of Colombo (73.7 per cent), Kandy (74.1 per cent), Matale (76.4 per cent) and Nuwara Eliya (43 per cent).
This almost double growth rate of Muslims has naturally attracted the attention of even the ordinary citizens. It has triggered fears of the possibility of the minorities in general and Muslims in particular dominating the Sinhalese over time. BBS clearly represents that popular resentment against growing Muslim influence on Sri Lanka. Increasing presence of the Pakistanis and the ISI also are an important factor.

The BBS essentially talks about protecting the Buddhist culture of the country from foreign religions. By this it also means the Christian missionaries who are trying to convert people. It is interesting here to note that in Sri Lanka there exists a gentlemen agreement between the Buddhist and Christian leadership that each would not disturb the flock of the other. This agreement was agreed upon by the Catholic Bishop of Colombo who is Simhalese. Of course the non-Catholic denominations don’t recognise it. Also, the Tamil-origin Bishops and priests in Jaffna, Trincomali etc do not pay any heed to it. In any case their targets are the Tamils of the North. The entire Tamil Eelam movement, right from its inception to the LTTE until its wiping out in 2009, was actively supported, if not sponsored, by the Church in Jaffna. It continues to control the Tamil National Alliance leadership – a group of parties that essentially represents the Tamils of the North and East.

The BBS is opposed to Christian conversions also. But so far the BBS has maintained that Hindus and Buddhists of the country should work together on these issues. Recent anti-Sri Lanka campaign in Tamil Nadu and unfortunate attacks on two Buddhist monks in Chennai, which were very widely and vividly discussed in Sri Lankan media, were enough for this body to turn heat on India and Tamils. Fortunately that didn’t happen. BBS restricted itself to marching in a procession to the Indian High Commission in Colombo and submitting a memorandum. But the risk remains.

So far, the issues raked up by the BBS are worthy of active and sympathetic consideration. BBS is able to capture the attention of the Buddhist population of Sri Lanka. This may lead to tensions between the Muslims and Sinhalese there. Naturally any such tensions in the neighbourhood will be a matter of concern for India too. After Myanmar and Bangladesh anti-Muslim campaign in Sri Lanka is certainly causing concern to our intelligence agencies too.

http://samvada.org/2013/news/bodu-bala-sena-a-new-buddhist-movement-in-sri-lanka-writes-ram-madhav/

8 Responses to “BODU BALA SENA – A NEW BUDDHIST MOVEMENT IN SRI LANKA”

  1. Ratanapala Says:

    It is good that India take note of the Islamic threat in Sri Lanka, which can very well happen in India too if they are fool hardy enough.

    Only thing Sri Lanka wants is for India to mind their own business and not unnecessarily put their always soiled fingers into Sri Lankan matters. Indians have enough experience in Sri Lanka with their IPKF ( Innocent People Killing Army) and their unwashed Jawans – how they had to ignominiously had to leave defeated in the hands of their own prodigy the LTTE!

    Sri Lanka can handle the Islamic menace on their own. It will help Sri Lanka if India can manage the threat of Islam in their own country first!

  2. Ratanapala Says:

    Sorry I forgot to thank and congratulate the writer of this timely article. Most of what you have sited is correct and factual. Islam and Jihadists are getting to be a bigger existential threat – even more than the LTTE – Tiger remnants!

  3. Lorenzo Says:

    “Never trust an Endian even to wash your toilet when you have diarrhoea”. – proverb

  4. Christie Says:

    samvada.org is the :

    Official Media Centre of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, (RSS)

    Thanks Ram Madhav for coming out. Indian Empire is behind a lot of movements in Ceylon and RSS was formed to look after Hinduthwa. The Indian Union and the Indian Empire.

    Beware;Buddhists, Muslims and Christians you will disappear slowly from the Earth.

    So you can see who is behind BBS and how money moves from India and Indians to Norway and then to Indian colonies.

  5. HanMg Says:

    Muslim population in non muslim countries (including Myanmar) are growing at astounding rates – while non muslims in muslim countries are being exterminated by terrorism, persecution and forced conversion.

    It is time for predominantly Buddhist nations to form an international organization such as ORGANIZATION OF BUDDHIST NATIONS (OBN) not only to counter the threat from Muslim fundamentalism and Christian proselytism but also to have a united voice in world affairs

    Abharamic religions, most notably Islam and Christianity have a tendency to proclaim themselves to be the absolute truth in theology and morality. Muslims and Christians do claim their religion to be absolute and try to spread the ‘word of God’ through missionaries. If this venture was only pure and clean as they claim their religion is, then no one should have any problem. The only problem is that they use deceit, fear and greed (one of the mortal sins in Christianity) for their purpose against the poor and uneducated tribal people. Abharamic religions are advocating SUPREMACY over other ways of faith and PROSELYTISM. This itself carries seeds contempt towards people following other ways of worship. Jomo kenyatta famous said “When the Missionaries arrived, the Africans had the Land and the Missionaries had the Bible. They taught us how to pray with our eyes closed. When we opened them, they had the land and we had the Bible.” Abharamic religions use deceit by trying to misdirect one’s misfortune and anger. As in the case of Myanmar, a axis of evil has developed among Christian Missionaries, jihadists, NGOs (George Soros) and western imperialist governments bent on regime change with the obvious target being the Myanmar Army (Tamadaw). They even targeted U Wirathu, a Buddhist monk, for speaking the truth about the teachings of Islam, as they want the natives to remain naïve about their evil intent. After the election of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (DASSK), these axis of evil were besides with joy which eventually turn into sour grapes as DASSK was found to be “tough nut to crack”. Which leads “the axis of evil” to lump DASSK together with Tamadaw as the “Nazi”, without realizing the Nazis were Christians who collaborated with muslims to annihilate the jews. The greatest irony is that throughout the history, Christians and Muslims have used their religion to be constantly at war and persecuted indigenous peoples throughout the world. ON THE OTHER HAND, BUDDHISTS HAVE NEVER GONE TO WAR BECAUSE OF BUDDHISM. If you are a humanist and love peace, would you not identify yourself as a Buddhist.

  6. Lorenzo Says:

    “Indian Empire is behind a lot of movements in Ceylon and RSS was formed to look after Hinduthwa. The Indian Union and the Indian Empire.

    Beware; Buddhists, Muslims and Christians you will disappear slowly from the Earth.

    So you can see who is behind BBS and how money moves from India and Indians to Norway and then to Indian colonies.”

    100% TRUE.

    1. Never ever forget it was HINDUSTAN that created, armed, financed, protected and elevated LTTE terrorists.

    2. Never forget it was HINDUSTAN that INVADED SL 13 times in ancient times!! 13 blooody times!!

    3. Never forget that EUROPEAN INVADERS invaded SL with the HELP and PARTICIPATION of people from Endia!!

    4. SL Buddhists SLAYED 20,000 of the Portuguese army. Most of them were NOT Portuguese!! They were HINDUS from South Endia!!!

    5. SL’s north was ROBBED by the Dutch. HOW? By bringing 100,000 HINDU TOBACCO slaves from KERALA!!

    6. The BRITISH robbed the FERTILE upcountry from Singhalese. HOW? By bringing 1,000,000 HINDUS from South Endia and settling them!!!

    7. When Veeran Anbu the great Singhala warrior fought against the British, who did the Brits brought BARBARIANS to SLAUGHTER Singhalese? From SOUTH ENDIA? These are called BILLU in Trinco.

    8. Who were the people that ACTUALLY slaughtered Singhalese in VELLASSA under British command? HINDUS from South Endia!! They got LAND and WOMEN of killed Singhala men.

    9. Who INVADED SL in 1987 on the brink of winning peace and FORCED terrorist 13 amendment on us? ENDIA. PAKISTAN helped us for Christ’s sake!

    10. What is the ONLY neighbour of SL that voted AGAINST SL 3 times, 3 times, 3 times in UNHRC? Cursed Endia! And WHICH countries that voted FOR SL? MUSLIM countries!! Between the 2 evils HINDUSTAN is the worst.

    11. WHO did regime change in SL in 2015 using AJIT DRIVEL? ENDIA!

    12. Which country is INVADING SL this MAY to GRAB TRINCO? ENDIA!

    13. What is the ONLY country in the world that aimed NUCLEAR MISSILES at SL in 2013? Endia!

    So my dear modayas, do NOT fall into YET ANOTHER Endian trap.

    Muslims countries are SL’s FRIENDS compared to HINDUSTAN! HINDUTVA is more dangerous than SHARIA.

  7. Ananda-USA Says:

    This is serious, we Sinhala Buddhist men have abandoned our duty to spread the seed, and grow our numbers!

    Now that we have received the word on our desperate situation, let all of us Sinhala Buddhist gentlemen RESOLVE here and now to hone our fertility, and to rise firmly on all available occasions, and do our duty by our ladies, come hell or high water!

    Our target should be to increase our birthrate by 100% in the next year!

  8. Senerath Says:

    Lorenso,

    Who is “Veeran Anbu” ? Never heard such name.
    Are you talking about Weerahennadige Francisco Fernando ?
    Poor Tamils unable to pronounce this name call him “Veeran Anbu” which sounds Tamil ?

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