Apr 17, Colombo: The controversial Buddhist organization in Sri Lanka, the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) has condemned the UK government's 2012 Foreign & Commonwealth Office Report UK on Sri Lanka.
The organization has stated that the segment on Sri Lanka in the UK Government Report and its specific note on Bodu Bala Sena are baseless.
The BBS issuing a statement said the UK report has stated that, "A nationalist group called the Bodu Bala Sena (Buddhist army) increased campaigns against religious minorities," but the organization's name meant 'Forces of Buddhist Power' and it is not an Army as specified by the UK.
"We categorically deny that in 2012 we have done any campaigns against any religious groups. But we did have two press conferences on how the Halal Certification was issued illegally. This was done within the democratic rights enjoyed by Sri Lankans," BBS noted.
"Therefore, we have requested to Boycott Halal Certification by Buddhists. It is done in the UK as well by respective groups (Please refer to https://www.facebook.com/BOYCOTT.HALAL.UK). We never demanded to ban Halal in Sri Lanka as it is a right of Muslims," the organization added.
The BBS further noted, "We would like to inform the general public that authorities who compiled this report had not practiced democratic procedures of questioning or checking with the accused party, in this case Bodu Bala Sena, about the allegations made in this report. We strongly believe British Officials who compiled these reports should respect the UK Taxpayers from whom their salaries are being paid. They should have done a proper investigation before compiling such reports, especially making such allegations tarnishing the image or goodwill of such institutions. The UK Taxpayers pay salaries to British officials not just to compile reports based on mass media and letters they have received. They should not write reports based on news but accurate information. We strongly feel that this is a violation of our democratic rights."
The BBS said it would complain to the UK Government in London as well as to the UK High Commissioner in near future on this issue.