COLOMBO (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s main Buddhist nationalist group on Saturday announced it will host a radical cleric from Myanmar who is accused of fanning religious tensions, at a convention which is already attracting opposition from minority Muslims.
Sri Lanka’s hardline Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) or Buddhist Force, which has been accused of instigating hate attacks on the island, said the Mandalay-based monk Wirathu would be an honoured guest at its convention in Colombo on Sunday.
The BBS said Muslim and Catholic groups were trying to block Wirathu’s visit.
“Racists and extremists are trying to undermine our international convention,” the group said in a statement.
Violence against Muslims in Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka has increased in the last two years, with hardliners attacking dozens of mosques, shops and homes.