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Sri Lankan president confirms meeting with BBS chief in Japan

Sri Lanka’s president confirmed that he held a meeting with the leader of Bodu Bala Sena – a Sinhala nationalist extremist group – whilst on a visit to Japan, in a press release this morning.

In a press release by the President’s Media Division, Mr Sirisena denied that BBS chief Galagodaaththe Gnanasara was part of an official delegation that accompanied him on his visit from Sri Lanka.

He did however confirm that the notorious Buddhist monk “participated in a meeting which was organized by the Sri Lankan Embassy in Japan to provide an opportunity to the Sri Lankan community in Japan to meet the President”.

“The Thero also accompanied the Chief Incumbents of Buddhists Temples in Japan for this meeting with the President,” he added.

See the full text of the press release here.

The Buddhist monk is notorious for his inflammatory anti-Muslim hate speech and threats of violence, with several public appearances over the years. Despite initial court proceedings against the monk, no charges were ever brought against him.

Buddhist monks were amongst those that led mobs in Kandy last week, where Sinhala Buddhists attacked Muslim homes and businesses.