The Bodu Bala Sena alleges that the US State Department has taken measures to cancel its General Secretary Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera’s visa to the United States.
Speaking to Asian Mirror, BBS Chief Executive Officer Dilantha Vithanage said an official of the US Embassy had contacted Gnanasara Thera and informed him of the decision made by the US State Department. The United States had granted Visa to Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera before he formed the Bodu Bala Sena Organization in 2012.
“It was valid for a period of five years and now the US has cancelled Gnanasara Thera’s visa after three and a half years,” he said.
The BBS Chief Executive Officer also said that It was a direct result of what he termed as Gnanasara Thera’s campaign to “safeguard” the rights of Sinhala-Buddhists. However, he did not say whether Gnanasara Thera was planning to take any action against cancellation of his Visa.
This move came in a context where the Bodu Bala Sena’s anti-Muslim campaign was recognized by some as a US-backed project.
“The US Embassy should explain to the world how the BBS including the thug Gnanasara were given visas for a tour of the USA about a year ago, long after they had begun this anti-Muslim hate campaign. By the time they went to the USA, they had begun surrounding Muslim business houses, the attack on Fashion Bug in Pepiliyana had taken place and the BBS had declared themselves to be ‘unofficial policemen’ and had begun this process of taking the law into their own hands. Yet the US embassy gave them visas in a situation where even prominent, highly respectable Sri Lankans have difficulties in obtaining visas to go to the USA,” veteran political analyst C.A. Chandraprema said in his article that appeared in ‘The Sunday Island’ last week.