The Sinhala Right-Wing Bodu Bala Sena held a public rally in Kandy on Sunday, July 7, calling for a Sinhala government to be established in Sri Lanka which will be supported by the entire Buddhist Priesthood.
The nationalist group’s leader Galagodaththe Gnanasara Thero had promised he would bring “ten thousand Monks” to the rally held at the Bogambara stadium in Kandy and start a movement “bigger than 1956” at a press conference last week.
However the Sunday crowd attracted around a thousand Monks and around seven to eight thousand people in all, our correspondents in Kandy reported.
The reference to 1956 was to the time the Nationalist Sri Lanka Freedom Party won a majority in Parliament under the leadership of S W R D Bandaranaike.
At today’s rally Gnanasara said that the Buddhist Sangha was divided politically “There are Monks supporting Patali Champaka or Wimal Weerawansha or other parties. That must stop, they must unite under one banner,” he thundered.
He debunked reports that he was supporting a candidacy of President Maithripala Sirisena, saying all his movement wanted was a government not dominated by minorities.
Sirisena used his powers as President to pardon Gnanasara who was serving a prison sentence for contempt of court in a controversial move because of the current communal volatility created by the Easter Sunday bombings.
Gnanasara referred to that in his speech saying he was not “following Sirisena’s agenda.”
At the rally the BBS proclaimed its “Bogambara declaration.”
This included the following points:
- National Security must be strengthened
- Every citizen must be subject to the same law in an undivided country
Gnanasara presented his agenda to the Mahanayakes and also took his “declaration” to the Dalada Maligawa.