Galagoda Gnanasara, an extremist Sinhala Buddhist monk, has made the unfounded claim that “Wahhabi groups are infiltrating society on the issue of cremation or burial of Muslims who die due to coronavirus”.
The monk stated the allowing for proper burial was allowing “Muslim extremism” to grow and the government should not allow it.
Gnanasara serves as the general secretary for Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), An organisation accused of racially charged hate campaigns and is currently an MP.
In recent months monks from the group stated that if Tamil demanded devolution a “river of blood will flow in the North and East”. Gnanasara said
“The Tamils have to willingly cooperate with the government and the Sinhalese during the Rajapaksas’ reign,” the extremist monks continued. “This is a Sinhala-Buddhist state. Therefore, we call upon the Tamils to not stray away but instead travel alongside the Sinhalese.
The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) is particularly notorious, earlier this year Facebook banned Gnanasara from its platform due to his racist rhetoric. The International Crisis Group reported in 2013 that the attacks BBS carried out against Muslims energised Islamic fundamentalism in the country.
Gnanasara was pardoned in 2019 by President Sirisena after being convicted of harassing the wife of a journalist.
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