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* Sri Lanka Muslim Council challenges Buddhist extremist group over funding allegations
Tue, Apr 29, 2014, 06:45 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 29, Colombo: The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka has challenged the Buddhist extremist group, Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) to prove that the Council has received any financial support from US or any other country as accused by the Buddhist organiztion.

In a letter to the BBS leader Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thero, the Council said it operates through voluntary contributions of its own members in Sri Lanka and its steering committee.

"If you have any evidence, please place them before us or produce them to the relevant authorities," it said.

The Council said it has had no engagement or receive financial support from the Embassy of the United States or any agency affiliated to the United States or any other country as stated by the BBS at a press conference on April 22nd 2014.

The Council reminded that it was the BBS that remains charged for receiving financial support from Norway through Mr. Arne Fjortoft and the Chief Executive Officer of BBS, Mr. Dilanthe Withanage, which the BBS has not denied.

"It is unethical to target individual members of the Muslim Council and their families to gain media attention for your nefarious causes, which is destroying the immense respect Sri Lanka has, as a Buddhist nation," the Council wrote.

"You continue to make accusations against individuals and organizations, hiding yourself behind the sacred robe, which is respected by all Sri Lankans."

The hate campaign spearheaded by BBS and other Buddhist priests against minority communities is contrary to the principles espoused by the noble Gautama Buddha and Buddhism, the Council noted in its letter.

"Your continued accusations against Islam and Muslims are destroying the image of Buddhism and the peace and harmony that has existed between our communities for centuries."

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