The answer to the Government’s financial woes is not the introduction of Islamic banking practices or any other religious banking practices, the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) observed.

In a letter written to the Governor of the Central Bank and copied to the President, the Prime Minister and the MPs, Chief Executive Officer of the BBS and Chairman of the Bodu Jana Peramuna, Dr. Dilanthe Withanage said that news that the Government is to introduce new regulation to facilitate sharia banking practices to obtain finance from Saudi Arabia was completely unacceptable.

Such a move if implemented and enforced will have catastrophic consequences that will cause irreparable damage to social cohesion and the integration of the different communities into the mainstream society, he added.

He mentioned that the Governor of the Central Bank in a previous letter of reply sent to the BBS had given his firm assurance that no banking practices that would exacerbate social divisions would be permitted.

“We are more saddened by the fact that this move is taking place despite firm assurances given to us by the Governor of the Central Bank. We oppose attempts to introduce religious based banking practices. If the Government of Sri Lanka has some financial issues, this is due to bad/weak/poor management, on the part of the present Government and previous Governments. The answer to this however does not lie in the introduction of islamic banking practices or any other religious banking practices as a way to overcome this situation. Simply, we have to say that we should not sell our national identity just for US$ 1 billion. We hereby make our unequivocal protest on this matter and request the Government to reverse the said decision for the benefit of all Sri Lankans. We are hopeful that urgent action will be taken to stop further exacerbating social divisions by spreading sharia banking in the country when the Government and all Sri Lankans alike are working hard to bring all the communities together,” he pointed out.