Hardline Buddhists want Pope Francis to apologize

COLOMBO (TIP): A Buddhist group accused of instigating recent attacks on Muslims in Sri Lanka says Pope Francis must apologize to Buddhists for atrocities allegedly committed by Christian colonial rulers of the South Asian island nation when he visits next year. “We are waiting till the Pope comes to see what he is going to say about the crimes here,” Rev. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara, a leader of Bodu Bala Sena, or Buddhist Power Force group, told a meeting with foreign correspondents.

“The Portuguese, Dutch and the British are all the same to us,” he said referring to the countries that had established colonies in Sri Lanka one after another from 1505 to 1948. Roman Catholicism was established in Sri Lanka by the Portuguese, while the Dutch and the British established their own Christian denominations. “Previous Popes had made public apologies to certain countries because they destroyed, they killed.We had a similar situation, most of the Buddhist temples were destroyed by them (they) killed Buddhist monks.We would like to see that public apology from him,” said Gnanasara, whose comments were made June 8 but embargoed until July 9.

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