Representatives of the Bodu Bala Sena are visiting the US for an almost month-long tour, in part to counter wrong impressions given about the group, The Sunday Leader learnt.
The team, which includes General Secretary of the group, Ven. Galagodaththe Gnanasara Thero and National Organiser Viththarandeniye Nanda Thero are currently visiting a couple of cities in the United States. The trip was originally scheduled to take place last year but was postponed.
As they are travelling across the US, the representatives of the BBS will be planning to hold religious functions and other ceremonies in temples. These would include a popular meditation programme ‘Buddhanussathi’ initiated by Ven. Galagodaththa Gnanasara Thero, and will be carried out in different temples, Executive Committee member Withanage said.
The Bodu Bala Sena will also visit Sri Lankan members of the community there in order to hold an awareness campaign. Withanage described the campaign as a ‘counterattack’ to the wrong carried out by other parties against the group, with people terming the Bodu Bala Sena a ‘terrorist or violent organisation’.
“We want to clarify that we are a non violent organisation, and one that promotes tolerance,” Withanage said. The Bodu Bala Sena also aims to get the community more involved in Buddhism, he added. As such, the Bodu Bala Sena will also be looking at appointing committees of volunteers in different cities in the United States in an attempt to spread their network beyond Sri Lanka.