A Challenge to Wimal from Bodu Bala

The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) said today it would disband if Minister Wimal Weerawansa proved that the BBS had obtained funds from Norway or from any other country or organisation.

“We challenge Minister Weerawansa to prove that BBS has taken money from Norway or from any other country or organization. If he proves that we have even taken even Rs.5 from any of these groups, we will make a public apology and disband the BBS within two hours of his doing so,” BBS General Secretary Ven. Galagodaththe Gnanasara thera said at a news conference in Colombo.

The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) claimed that Minister Wimal Weerawansa may have links with Shiva Sena in India.

BBS general secretary Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara said that the Minister’s wife is working with a Buddhist monk in Padukka who is funded by the Shiva Sena.

Shiv Sena, is a Hindu nationalist political organisation in India. Gnanasara said that the Shiva Sena is working on the policy that Buddhism did not originate in India and the monk in Padukka is doing the same

Mean while  Asian Tribune Reported on the 7th of April  –

Executive Committee member Dilanthe Withanage and alleged that the Bodu Bala Sena had received funding from Norway. Below is an excerpt of the interview:

Asian Tribune: There are some other things I have to ask you. It is about Mr. Arne Fjortoft. Also about the TV debate you had some time ago with Mr. Azath Salley in the Max TV. I think if I remember correctly, he asked you at the course of the discussion, whether Bodu Bala Sena is receiving funding from the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Colombo and also about the visit of the Norwegian Ambassador Ms. Grete L chen along with Mr. Arne Fjortoft to the office of the Bodu Bala Sena, at Sri Sambuddathwa Jayanthi Mandiraya, located at Thunmulla Junction, Colombo and about five of your Buddhist monks visiting Norway.I was told that during that debate you haven`t responded to those questions.Mr. Dilantha Withanage: No I have replied to those issues he raised.

Asian Tribune: What did you say? Who are those five Buddhist Monks who visited Norway?
Mr. Dilantha Withanage: I can tell you. I think that was in 2010 I think.

Asian Tribune: No, I think that was in October 2011.

Mr. Dilantha Withanage: I must check my passport, I can`t remember. May be on October 2011, but not happened in 2012. I know for sure, because after we visited Norway only we launched our Bodu Bala Sena on 07 May 2012.

Asian Tribune: You also went in that delegation to Norway.

Mr. Dilantha Withanage: Yes. I can give the names of those who were in our delegation that visited Norway. They are-
1. Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thero (Presently General Secretary of Bodu Bala Sena)
2. Ven. Witharandeniye Nanda Thero (He is now the national organizer of Bodu Bala Sena)
3. Ven. Aluthwewa Ananda Thero
4. Ven. Dapane Sumanawansa Thero
5. Ven. Welimada Shantha Thero
6. Mr. Pujitha Wijesinghe and
7. Mr. Mark Antony Perera

If you say that Bodu Bala Sena members went in a delegation to visit Norway, then it will be wrong. At that time there was no organization as such. They represented different organizations.

Asian Tribune: So these were the eight people including you who visited Norway in 2011. What were you doing in Norway?

Mr. Dilantha Withanage: In fact we were invited by one of the organization in Norway. In fact I have forgotten the name of the organization. Actually we visited Norway and had discussion with some of the Tamil friends there. I don`t know whether friends we met in Norway represented actually the section of the vociferous Tamil diaspora? Some of them we met, I learnt were supporters of the LTTE. You can say they are just a very small section of the Tamil diaspora. Then we visited some social organizations including a couple of Elders Home and we visited the Norwegian Parliament. We had meeting also with former Minister Erick Solheim. We also had meetings with some Norwegian Parliamentarians. Also we visited houses of some of the Tamil friends.

Withanage in response to questions from The Sunday Leader said that he had in fact answered the allegations in an interview with former Deputy Mayor of Colombo, Azath Salley on Max TV. He confirmed that a delegation had visited Norway but said that the group had received no funding during the visit, adding that the Bodu Bala Sena had not been in existence at the time of the visit.


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