Friday, October 5, 2012

Buddhist in Sri Lanka condemn religious violence in Bangladesh

Friday, 05 October 2012 13:22 Mizzima News

Hundreds of Buddhist monks from Burma, Thailand and Bangladesh demonstrated in Sri Lanka on Thursday to protest the recent wave of violence targeting Buddhist in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh's high commissioner to Sri Lanka, Shafiur Rahman, said that some 800 people peacefully protested in front of the Bangladesh Embassy and had discussions with the staff, according to a Voice of America report on Thursday.

Sri Lankan Buddhist monks shout slogans and hold placards as they stage a protest rally outside the Bangladesh High Commission in Colombo on Thursday, October 4, 2012. Photo: AFP

Representatives of Sri Lanka's minority Muslim community also condemned the violence and demanded that authorities punish those responsible, The Associated Press reported.

Thousands of Bangladeshi Muslims rioted on Saturday and Sunday, attacking Buddhist temples in Cox Bazar and surrounding areas. The attacks began after Muslims found a photo of a burned Quran and blamed it on a Buddhist man.

Bangladeshi authorities said this week that they have detained about 300 people in connection with the riots.

Buddhist monks asked the Sri Lankan government to exert its influence to stop oppression of Buddhist people in Bangladesh. The demonstration was organized by a popular Buddhist organization in Sri Lanka called the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS).

BBS Secretary General Venerable Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera called on the Bangladeshi government to take immediate action to protect and provide compensation for the Buddhists that have been affected by the attacks.

Government spokesman and Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that the government's attention has been drawn to the Bangladesh violence and that it was "gravely concerned."

Meanwhile, a prominent organization of local Muslim leaders called the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama released a statement condemning the violence in Bangladesh and calling for coexistence of different religions.

Leave a Reply