Stop the extreme group of monks called Bodu Bala Sena in who ignites the religious hatred, enmity and violent oppressions against Muslims and other minority religious groups.
This petition aims to gather opposition to the extremist Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) organisation in Sri Lanka. Its general secretary Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thero, along with other members, continues to violate the religious rights of minorities via their hatred propaganda and violent activities.
We appeal to all human rights activists, organisations and individuals to demand immediate action on the issue.
Since the so-called end of the civil war in May 2009 in Sri Lanka, BBS Buddhist chauvinist monks have turned their attention to religious minorities provoking and perpetrating physical harm against Muslims, mosques, historical graveyards, Christian churches, and Hindu temples. But the Sri Lankan authorities remain silence even though there has been proper complaints made.
Most ordinary people, including some Buddhist monks, have started to oppose Bodu Bala Sena. This is especially the case since BBS’s violent attack on a press meeting organised by Jathika Bala Sena (JBS) – another group of Buddhist monks that promotes peace and co-existence in the country and opposes BBS.
The JBS general secretary, Watareka Vijitha Thero, was stopped and threatened violently in front of the state media. BBS forced him to make a public apology for attempting to speak out to the media against religious oppression and for defending the rights of people to all religious beliefs, including of Muslims, rather than promoting Sri Lanka as a Buddhist-only state.
More than 50 listed incidents of violence have taken place in the last few years, against Sri Lankan Muslims and their religious practices. This takes place under the mask of a disgraceful Buddhist ‘cleansing of Sri Lanka’ – propagated by the extreme BBS group.
The security forces and the authorities are remain silent and encourage Bodu Bala Sena indirectly. But despite religious, ethnic, and racial differences the majority are opposed to this violent attack and propaganda against the Muslim community.
This attack is an attack on democratic rights in general.
All forms of hatred, violence against religious and other minorities and attacks on democratic rights must be opposed.
We demand that:
1. Attacks of all kind on the Muslim community must be stopped immediately
2. We defend the right and support the building of multi-ethnic democratic defence bodies against the mob attacks provoked and perpetrated by the BBS. We also need defence against state repression, especially in the areas where Muslim communities live
3. The right of an individual to practice any religion or none must be respected, with protection for minority rights in all areas
The Director, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Secretary, Minority Rights Group International
Emma Eastwood, Minority Rights Group International
Secretary, International Justice Mission UK
Secretary for Minority Affairs, International Crisis Group
Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for the Office of Human Rights
Minister of Justice – Sri Lanka, Ministry of Justice, Superior Courts Complex Colombo 12, Sri Lanka
Eleanor Blatchley, Coordinator, Human Rights Watch