Colombo, Sri Lanka — A Buddhist group accused of 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.
Rev. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara, a leader of Bodu Bala Sena or Buddhist Power Force, said Tuesday they "are waiting till the Pope comes to see what he is going to say about the crimes here."
Portugal, Holland and Britain established colonies in Sri Lanka one after another from 1505 to 1948.
The monks leading Bodu Bala Sena have amassed a significant following in recent years, drawing thousands of followers.
The hardline group has been accused of behind recent attacks on Muslims in Sri Lanka, leaving several people dead and businesses torched.