Skip to comments.Sri Lanka police stand by as Buddhist extremists attack Muslim-owned store
Posted on 03/30/2013 6:12:20 AM PDT by DeaconBenjamin
Police in front of a Muslim-owned clothing store's warehouse in Colombo, Sri Lanka, after it was attacked by a mob.
An angry mob of hundreds of people, led by Buddhist monks, attacked a warehouse belonging to a Muslim-owned clothing chain in Sri Lankas capital Colombo on Thursday. This comes as Buddhist hardliners ramp up their campaigns against Muslims lifestyles.
The scene was eerily reminiscent of attacks on Muslim-owned stores throughout the past week in Burma. One video shows a monk throwing a rock at a security camera in front of the warehouse, as policemen look on and the mob erupts into cheers.
The warehouse belongs to Fashion Bug, a popular clothing chain that operates stores throughout the country. The attackers yelled insults against Muslims throughout the attack. Several people were injured, including the warehouses manager and journalists trying to cover the incident.
Muslims make up about 9 percent of Sri Lankas population, making them the third largest group after Sinhalese Buddhists and Tamils. During the long civil war that pitted Buddhists against Tamils, Muslims kept a low profile. Four years after the end of the war, they are now being targeted by increasingly vocal Buddhist hardliners, who call for their followers to boycott Muslim-owned businesses and recently pressured the government into getting rid of halal labels on food.
The most prominent of these emerging hard-line Buddhist organisations is Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), which translates to Buddhist Power Force. On Friday, it issued a statement saying that it had nothing to do with the attack against Fashion Bugs warehouse. During a massive rally two weeks ago, BBSs general secretary accused Fashion Bug, as well as another Muslim-owned clothing chain called No Limit, of forcibly converting Buddhist employees, and alleged that harems [of Buddhist female employees] are being created by Muslim store managers. Galabodaaththe Gnanasara also said: We are not asking anyone to go and stone these places and attack them. [ ] Lets solve this through discussion.
Azzam Ameen is a journalist in Colombo. He lives near the Fashion Bug warehouse, and arrived on the scene shortly after the mob started attacking it:
There was a crowd of about 500 people, led by about a dozen monks. They were throwing stones at the glass building, sending glass shattering. Clothes from inside the building had already been strewn all over the street. About 25 to 30 policemen were on the scene, but were clearly overwhelmed.
Most of the crowd was made up of young men, in their early twenties or even younger. Many of them were shouting epithets against Muslims. I asked one guy why he was there he said that a Buddhist girl had been raped by a Muslim man, that she was inside the building and that the police wouldnt rescue her. [This did not turn out to be true.]
I dont know where the attackers got all these large stones from
I took out my phone to film the scene, but people yelled at me and tried to grab my phone. Camera crews soon arrived; monks tried to stop them, but they managed to get into the building to film the damage. However, when they came back out, people threw stones at them. I dont know where they got all these stones they were rather large. I took one of the injured cameramen to the hospital; he had to get three stitches. A man I met there, who had also been injured, told me that the crowd had first attacked a Muslim-owned shop not far from the warehouse, right next to his house; mistaking him as being Muslim, they threw stones at him, too.
One of the warehouse's managers being treated for injuries at a local hospital. Photo by Azzam Ameen.
The whole incident lasted about one and a half hours, and only ended when the fire brigade arrived and dispersed the crowd, part of which took refuge in the Buddhist temple right across the street from the warehouse and continued throwing some stones from there.
Azzam Ameen Ironically, the end of the war in Sri Lanka has created a space for new conflicts to come out
Sanjana Hattotuwa lives in Colombo. He is a human rights activist and the editor of the citizen journalism site Groundviews:
During the 27 years of war in Sri Lanka, lots of other conflicts that existed in terms of social, ethnic and religious differences didnt quite come to the fore. But ironically, the end of the war in 2009 created a space for these conflicts to come out.
In the past couple of years, groups made up of Buddhist monks and lay supporters have become increasingly powerful, engaging in hate speech and brazen acts of violence against mosques and Muslim-owned businesses. They have all sorts of conspiracy theories about Muslims trying to take control of the country. Its interesting to see that the same thing is happening concurrently in Burma: as relations between the Burmese population and its leaders pacify, Buddhist extremists are increasingly attacking the countrys Muslim minority there, too.
Whats disturbing is that our defence secretary is openly associating with Buddhist extremists
Here in Sri Lanka, whats quite disturbing is that our defence secretary a very powerful figure who also happens to be our presidents brother is now openly associating with BBS, the most well-known of the increasingly powerful Buddhist extremist groups. He recently attended the opening ceremony of BBSs new training centre. [During this ceremony, defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa told the gathered crowd that It is the monks that protect our country, religion, and race. [ ] Were here to give you encouragement. Not only that, but the BBS now has a deal with a telephone operator whose majority shareholder is the government to sell a ring tone theyve created, which people can buy and download to their mobile phones, thus helping fund their organisation. This raises a lot of questions about our governments agenda.
It is clear from videos of the attack on Fashion Bugs that the police are scared to get involved why would they stick out their necks and do actual policing, when our government is not doing anything to stop anti-Muslim violence?
Ping to the 4 karmas of magnetizing, enriching, pacifying and destroying.
Only a few Buddhist Societies protect themselves, and they survive today in an historical era when Buddhist societies in general have been destroyed.
Man bites dog. Film at eleven.
Question: why do Muslims need a “FASHION BUG”? Their women only wear black burkas.....Oh, could it be clothing they are shipping to the USA to sell to unsuspecting or uncaring Americans? I thought they wanted all Americans dead.
Awwwwwwwww. The shoe is on the other foot.
Headchoppers, clitslitters and waistbombers can get a taste of what they give to other people.
Note to most of Europe:
Watch Sri Lanka closely, very closely.
Learn from it.
Note to most of Europe:
Watch Sri Lanka closely, very closely.
Learn from it.
By the way, the Buddhist charges against the Muslim
storeowners are entirely believable, and should be enough
to justify an uprising against them.
The title of this thread are 12 words I never thought I
would see together in one sentence, but that’s just owing to
how little we know of Islam in that particular part of the world, and the dynamics of Islam interacting with other
social/political/religious groups, so......Thanks for the thread! iNFORMATIVE!
It speaks volumes about the islamoscum when they push Monks into violence against them.
Turning a quiet little monk in a saffron robe into Rambo, now that takes some doing!
Hey, it's happened before.
Keep in mind Shaolin monks that originated kung-fu are Buddhist.
What the Hell does that even mean?
Ah, the PC press strikes again.
The majority of Muslims in Sri Lanka ARE TAMIL. Most of them live speak the Tamil language.
They wanted their own muslim independent state on the island and fought a brutal civil war where the most savage and inhuman terrorism was their weapon of choice. Sound familiar?
This war only ended when literally the Sri Lanka military wiped out a large portion of the Tamil population and all of its leaders.
The population hates them.
How come we (the world) never heard of “Violent Buddhist Extremists” making headline news everyday?
WHAT drove these violent monks? “Where/what is the root cause?”
(chicken coming home to roost)
The first Fashion Bug store opened in Audubon, New Jersey in the 1960s with operations rapidly expanded in the late 1970s through the early 1990s. Following a recent takeover by Ascena Retail Group Inc, the strategic decision was made to close all Fashion Bug stores and focus on the Lane Bryant and Catherines Plus Sizes brands driving loyal customers to these shops for their fashion needs.
I had no idea they had stores in other countries, and can find nothing to tell me how many stores in other countries there are, Is this just a warehouse in Sri Lanka that stores clothes that are then sent only to the U.S.?
At any rate it looks as though Fashion Bug is hostory.
Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.
Buddhists, normally pacifists, are becoming less pacifist in a number of parts of Asia. It usually takes a lot to push Buddhists to put off their pacifism in the pursuit of something.
The article kept referring to certain “radical” Buddhists elements.
But, just maybe the numbers of Buddhists in Sri Lanka see who things in Sri Lanka as turining in a “radical” direction they don’t agree with is simply growing and they are becoming less inclined to let that direction continue.
Before calling the Buddhists “radical” the reporters need to admit that the public claims against the warehouse operators need to be investigated.
Almost 90% of Tamils are Hindu. The rest are more likely Christian than Muslim. Buddhists are not immune to aggression, see history of Vietnam, Cambodia, Tibet, and Japan.
I have arrived at the understanding that Buddhism is a more serious threat to Western culture than Islam.
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