It seems like a new alliance of what I term ‘Ethnocentric Buddhism’ is beginning to take shape in South and Southeast Asia. It is reported in Ceylon Today that the Bodu Bala Sena (Buddhist Power Force) have invited U Wirathu, leader of the 969 movement in Burma, to visit them in Sri Lanka.
‘There is no need for a hullabaloo yet. We will let the relevant people know in due course. We have invited him and he will come and we will have a meeting. That is all. The media does not need to know for how long he will stay here.We will plan it and reveal it at the appropriate time.’
No dates are confirmed by the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) but a visit appears to be imminent.
Chamila Liyanage, Education and Research Unit Chief Coordinator for the BBS comments:
‘Buddhist countries in the Asiatic region are facing difficulties and even violence from the Muslims and the other religions in the region. The best example comes from Thailand, Myanmar and Bangladesh. This is the very reason why Ven. Wirathu decided to start the 969 Movement in Myanmar. We visited Thailand and Myanmar and we will be visiting other countries in East Asia. We will definitely be starting an international network with global reach with like minded Buddhist civil society institutions, Buddhist scholars and Buddhist activist organizations in these countries. With Ven. Wirathu Thera we will be discussing strategic plans for at least a regional network for the time being, for which we need a concrete plan.’
Thanks to Benedict Rogers of Christian Solidarity Worldwide for drawing my attention to this news.