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BASL Concerned Over BBS

2014 Jun 17

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has noted with grave concern, certain recent acts alleged to have been committed by an organization known as the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS).

The BASL has said that it is essential that a full and unbiased investigation is carried out into the incidents expeditiously.
The incidents include the forcible disruption of a press conference that was to be held by Ven. Watareka Vijitha Thera at Nippon Hotel.

According to media reports, video recordings and complaints lodged at the Slave Island Police, Ven. Vijitha Thera had been prevented, under threat of death, by a group identified in the presence of the media and others as members of the BBS, from holding the press conference.

Certain utterances are reported to have been made by the General Secretary of the BBS on 12th April, 2014, allegedly misquoting the Quran, and making derogatory remarks about Islam and the Muslim Community, which utterances are said to have been made in the presence of the media and the public.

In another instance, several persons who identified themselves as members of the BBS are alleged to have forcibly entered a government Ministry building and caused disruption. BASL says such conduct appears to be, in violation of the law and amount to criminal offences including, the promotion of racial and religious disharmony and are contrary to all recognised norms of good behavior and should be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

The BASL noted with regret, that the investigations in this connection do not appear to have been satisfactorily conducted, so far.
Under the circumstances, the BASL calls upon the relevant authorities to carry out a full and unbiased investigation into these incidents and to take all relevant steps according to the law, including commencing prosecutions as may be required by law.

The BASL has already brought this matter to the notice of the Attorney General and has requested him to call for Reports on the Investigations and prosecute the offenders if it transpires that criminal offences have been committed.

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