President Rajapaksa stresses need for respecting rights of all communities

Meeting with Bodu Bala Sena

by Dasun Edirisinghe

Members of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) organisation met President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Temple Trees yesterday. Their discussion lasted about two hours, according to sources.

President Rajapaksa raised the issue of the on-going campaign against Muslims by some Buddhist groups. The BBS denied its involvement in any anti- Muslim campaign.

President Rajapaksa stressed that members of all communities had a right to live as equal citizens in the country, which, he said, was theirs and he would not tolerate any acts of extremism. Now that the country had been liberated from the clutches of terrorism, people irrespective of their ethnicity, religion and political views must be able to enjoy the dividends of peace, he said. All peace loving Sri Lankans had to be mindful of efforts being made in some quarters to tarnish the image of the country, he said.

BBS leader Ven. Kirama Vimalajothi Thera, BBS General Secretary Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera and BBS National Coordinator Ven. Vitharandeniye Nanda Thera along with some other officials of their organisation attended the meeting.

Contacted for comment, Ven. Gnanasara Thera said that a proposal endorsed at a Maha Sanga Samuluwa in July 2012 had been presented to President Rajapaksa at the meeting.

Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Water Supply and Drainage Dinesh Gunawardena, Minister of Petroleum Industries Susil Premajayantha, Deputy Minister of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs M.K.A.D.S. Gunawardana, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga and Chief-of-Staff Gamini Senerath also attended the meeting.

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