Sri Lanka Buddhist monks destroy Muslim shrine

Charles Haviland: A group of Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka led a crowd that demolished a Muslim shrine last week, the BBC has learned.

This incident took place on Saturday in Anuradhapura, an ancient Buddhist city and Unesco world heritage site.

The monk who led the group told the BBC he did it because the shrine was on land that was given to Sinhalese Buddhists 2,000 years ago.

But a prominent Muslim in the area said he was very sad and the sentiment was shared by many Sinhalese too.

A Sri Lankan news website showed photographs…

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • This is a blatant lie of Barefaced Broadcasting Cooperation. BBC again does its usual distortion and spinning of facts and presentation of half truths. Without having pre conclusions of Sri Lanka, I ask intelligent readers to take a note following facts and then decide upon you yourself. At the outset I swear we Buddhists have no animosity towards Muslims and we tolerate every religion in Sri Lanka.

    There is a court order to remove all the unauthorized structures from Anuradhapura Sacred City area (World Heritage city). The rule here is no new construction can be done in the UNESCO world heritage sites. That is why some of the new Buddhist structures were removed this year. The only exception was this new Muslim shrine. It is totally a lie that this structure was 300 years old. Everybody can see it is a new structure constructed in recent past.

    Its boundaries are demarcated by the Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. From the beginning of this year all the unauthorized structures were removed by the authorities. Even buildings constructed for Buddhist pilgrims to take rest and spend night were removed from limits enforced by the Archaeological Department. Some parts of the Buddhist Monks University in Anuradhapura were also removed. But this unauthorized so-called Muslim shrine did not obey this ruling.

    Therefore, some Buddhist organizations complained about it to authorities. A Sri Lankan court gave a ruling to remove it. Archaeological Department advised Muslim clergy to remove this structure they themselves. Muslim clergy of this unauthorized structure did not heed to any of these warnings.

    BBC pretends that it does not know any of these warnings and court orders. BBC simply wants to discredit Sri Lanka. During the past few weeks, news about court rulings and Archaeological Department warnings were in the media. But BBC shows it does not hear or read any of these. It is pathetic biased reporting.

    At the end, villagers got together to remove this structure, because Buddhists can just look aside when their archaeological monuments are vandalised by other extreme religious groups. I do not blame all Muslims. A few small extreme groups who are funded by a Middle East country have popped up recently. They are responsible for this invasion. They had already vandalized several important Buddhist archaeological sites (e.g. Digavaapi temple, Muhudu Maha Viharaya). These invaders have destroyed several historical rock inscriptions dating about 2000 years. Some have blasted these rocks and used them for house constructions.

    This has now become a trend, a kind of invasion leading to ultimate destruction of the original Buddhist archaeological sites in Sri Lanka. First they construct small shrine in Buddhist sites and then it is expanded with money flowing from Arabian countries. They do the constructions while burring or constructing exactly on top of the Archaeological monuments.

    I am asking simple question from people who are ready to bash Sri Lanka in her every turn.

    Will Muslims allow Buddhists to build a Buddhist temple in the heart of Mecca? It is same principle apply here. They have not only prohibited even a small construction related to other religions in their soils but also they have prohibited taking even a small Buddhist or any other religious statue into their country. TA good example of their intolerance is complete destruction of Bahamian Statues in Afghanistan.

    But Buddhists will not behave like that. In fact Muslims can build their shrines in other areas in Sri Lanka. Buddhists will not obstruct such works. There are thousands of Muslim and other religious shrines everywhere in Sri Lanka. Nobody should construct ones shrines on top of other religious locations.
    It is shame politicians like Anura Dissanayake fuel this false propaganda of the LTTE supporters.
    No wonder that the JVP is going to reject from Sri Lankans for its leaders cowardice double game.
    Please understand the real truth about this incident without pre judging Buddhists and Sri Lankans.

  • Can you imagine should a non-Muslim religious group attempt to establish a shrine in a land belonging to a Muslim mosque. In designated Muslim countries there are no shrines of other religious sects as those are not tolerated by law in those countries. Even the shrines constructed before those countries became Islamic are eliminated. So where is religious harmony the Muslims are talking about? Is it only for their advantage?

    Other countries allow Mosques to be built because they respect religious harmony unlike Muslims. The main reason for this is most other religions are liberal and advocate freedom while expansionism is an integral part of Islam. Quran even advocates slaying of non-conformists.

    Muslims are the major encroachers in to land belonging to Buddhist temples and places of worship. They cunningly and stealthily enter Buddhist cultural lands and gradually establish their shrines. They take advantage of the forgiving and tolerating nature of Buddhists and eventually make demands of rights.

    Currently the situation has become so worse, Sinhala Buddhists are compelled to take drastic action in order to protect their rights and cultural inheritance from being captured by Muslims.


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