Among other things, BBSO will also hold monthly conferences in all districts to make Buddhists aware of the challenges they face and to advise them how to overcome these problems. The organisation’s next general conference was scheduled to be held on Sunday (Mar 31) in Kelaniya.
The organisation is also planning to set up an academic institution called the Bodu Bala Sena Vidyayathanaya which will incorporate Buddhist leadership and attitudes with other disciplines such as management and information technology, said Dr. Dilantha Withanage, Programme Coordinator.
Dr. Withanage blamed ‘groups with ulterior motives’ for misrepresenting their campaign as a fight against Muslims. He claimed that there were well planned efforts to make it seem as if the BBS used violence and spread hatred among communities.
The BBS was ready to accept that Sri Lanka was a multi-religious and multi-racial country, even going to the extent of letting other communities hold their religious festivals in Buddhist temples, provided they were willing to reciprocate.
At another BBS conference last week, its Secretary, Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera challenged anybody to prove that the organisation used violence to achieve its goals.
Ven. Gnanasara openly alleged that nine out of 11 leading narcotics importers to Sri Lanka were Muslims. He said they were destroying the lives of young people in the country. Asked for evidence, Dr. Withanage said, “These are known public secrets,” he said.
Among the programmes BBS plans to conduct is the restoration and renovation of Buddhist shrines, particularly in rural areas. Dr Withanage denied that his movement opposed the existence of the Kuragala Mosque in the Ratnapura District. He said the BBS was only worried about vandalism of historic sites in Kuragala.
The organisation will launch the BBS Youth Corps this week to educate young people about the dangers of smoking, alcohol and drug abuse. It will conduct workshops on leadership and personality development and promote healthy living and eating habits through an effort called ‘Arogya Parama Laba’. This week, an awareness programme will be launched in Pannala to educate farmers about the use of organic fertilizers.