Sri Lanka's top Buddhist leaders today defended a controversial monk wanted by police for hate speech against Muslims and said that Buddhism has come under threat by actions of religious minorities in the country.
Asgiriya chapter, one of the two powerful Buddhist monk chapters in Kandy, has also warned of "showing red light" to the government if corrective action was not taken to address the threats faced by the majority religion Buddhism.
In a letter to President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, they said that Buddhism has come under threat by actions of religious minorities.
Referring to Galagodaatte Gnanasara against whom an arrest warrant has been issued, the supreme council of the chapter said that even though Gnanasara's personal conduct is not condoned, "the points he raised on dangers faced by Buddhism cannot be ignored".
The council urged the government to arrest the minority politicians who make inflammatory comments before arresting Gnanasara, against whom several complaints have been lodged by the minority Muslim community.
Police have obtained a court order to prevent Gnanasara from leaving the country after he failed to appear before a court to face contempt of court charges.
"Sri Lankan Buddhists have always respected other religions which needs to be remembered by all religious minority groups... We urge the importance to act against this foreign and local conspiracies against the Sinhala Buddhists," the chapter's supreme leader Rev Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana said in a statement.
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