Protest against attacks on Chittagong Buddhists

by Kamal Siriwardhana and Susantha Fonseka, Lanka Daily News, March 3, 2010

Colombo, Sri Lanka -- Member of the Parbatya Bikkhu Sanga, Bangladesh (Sri Lanka Branch) and student Peradeniya University student Dammapala Thera said Buddhists in the Chittagong Tracts of Bangladesh are facing great injustice for many years and have been targets of violence once again since February 19.

This follows protests by Buddhists against the illegal land grab done by Muslim settlers in the Chittagon Hill Tracts(CHTs) with the support of the Bangladesh military.

“Several people were killed and many were injured as a result of violence. Also many houses and some temples were burnt down by Muslim extremists during the past two weeks. Also hundreds of Buddhists, victims of violence were arrested by the military. Because of that, ” Ven Dhammapala Thera said.

The Thera was addressing a press conference at the National Library yesterday to inform the local media and Buddhists clergy about human rights violations and illegal land grabbing of indigenous Buddhists and other communities by the Bengali Muslim settlers with the help of the military forces in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHTs) in Bangladesh.

It was organized by Parbatya Bhikkhu Sangha, Bangladesh (Sri Lankan branch). Chief incumbent of the Kotte Naga Viharaya, Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera and Ven. Hagurangamuwe Maithree Thera and Bangladeshi Buddhist clergy were also present.

Ven. Sobitha Thera said Sri Lankans should come to the rescue of Buddhists from Muslim extremists. The Most Venerable Mahanayaka Theras and Buddhists should extend their support to resolve this issue.

There will be a peaceful rally preceded by the submission of a petition to the Bangladesh High Commission in Colombo this morning.

Read also: Human Rights Abuse against Indigenous People in Bangladesh