In an editorial opinion titled ‘Unacceptable intolerance’ the Bangkok Post on Tuesday said that the Buddhists across the globe should be dismayed at the abuse of their religion by the Sri Lankan Bodu Bala Sena and Myanmar’s 969 group, which are opposed to other races and faiths. The ideology, actions and speeches of both these groups are virtually identical, the Bangkok Post observed.
The BBS in Sri Lanka has attracted thousands of followers, who have staged numerous intimidating and provocative acts to harass the island nation’s minority Muslim community, the paper said.
The founder of the BBS, 37-year-old Galagoda Atte Gnanasara, summarises his beliefs and bias concisely: "This is a Buddhist nation," he says of Sri Lanka. "Not everyone can live under the umbrella of a Buddhist culture."
Both the BBS and 969 are opposed to Muslims. The Sri Lankan group is yet to commit killings, the paper observed.
In Myanmar, the 969 group has been accused of inciting and then supporting attacks which have killed hundreds of Muslims, and burnt down villages and homes across the country.
As in Thailand, a large percentage of Sri Lanka’s Muslims are ethnically different to the Sinhalese majority, and speak Tamil among themselves.
The difference, of course, is that in Thailand virtually every Buddhist not only believes that the nation can shelter those of other races and faiths, they are proud of it, the editorial noted.