Right of Reply Hela Bodu Pawura stance on Daily FT article ‘Court orders immediate arrest of suspect

Saturday, 25 January 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Hela Bodu Pawura has issued the following statement with reference to a Daily FT article titled “Court orders immediate arrest of suspects in Hikkaduwa church attacks” published on 17 January. We are not against the exercise of religions other than Buddhism regardless of the region. But what matters is criticising the doctrines of other religious leaders for minor privileges, for instance King Dharmapala at Kotte. From time immortal Buddhists converted themselves into Christianity or Catholicism to gain benefits from the imperialists. According to history, Buddhists were compelled to embrace Christianity by the offer of government jobs. Likewise the Christian missionaries in action nowadays target the community from underprivileged families in this regard. There is no matter in giving subsidies and all. What matters is doing it on sly rather than in public. That means they convey a hidden message through their support. We are thorough with the Holy Bible. There is a philosophy in every incident related to Jesus Christ who loved peace. But here in Hikkaduwa pastors are doing something else in the name of Almighty God. They continue their service in order to earn dollars from NGOs (of course it is a famous secret) who always want to disturb the harmony and unity of Sinhalese, the main race of Sri Lanka. We don’t need to invite troubles by involving in riots. But we have right to demonstrate a peaceful protest. We never wanted to advocate violence against another religion. That is why we initiated to take legal actions from the very beginning. At the first phase we lodged 12 complaints to the Hikkaduwa Police Station about the unregistered churches. Subsequently, the Divisional Secretary also ordered the police to take immediate action to shut down the two churches. Next, the Ministry of All Religions mentioned in writing that they were unauthorised. The pastors promised the police twice that they would suspend the Sunday Services until they get the churches registered. But the pastors continued the Sunday Services as usual. Once the respective officials from the Government arrived at the premises to inquire about this they were scolded. Ultimately we came to a conclusion to demonstrate over the unauthorised and unapproved churches just to draw the attention of the respective officials.         The protest march We organised a protest march from the temple of Hikkaduwa, Jananandaramaya consisting of 300 people led by the Buddhist monks. By the time we reached the Hikkaduwa town the number involving in the protest March increased nearly up to 3,000 as a miracle done by the Almighty God. On every Sunday the weekly fair is held in Hikkaduwa. We believe that those who came to the fair also joined us. Once we gathered around the AOG church they began to pray louder. Meanwhile a certain idiot at the church threw a stone at the protest march to make the situation worse. With that a few of the protest march responded as we were treated. More and more stones were thrown at us from the church premises. Amidst this hustle and bustle some tried to enter the church premises. The monks moved about to prevent the angry crowd from damaging the property. However the monks did not really allow assault on even a single worshipper at the church. That incident alone symbolises our humanity and non-violence being Buddhist. Have you found any complaint related to assault in this connection? Most probably the answer is no. The media distorted what happened by showing a few scenes alone to exaggerate the incident. Those scenes did not carry any cohesion. We look down upon the unethical behaviour exhibited by the media for their cheap popularity and also to disgrace the Government. It is up to you to decide who the real victims and culprits are. We hopeful that this article would appear in independent media where religious bias gets no chance. May the Triple Gem Bless You! Buddhika Wanniarachchi, Secretary, Hela Bodu Pawura