Posts Categorized: Religion

Building More Viharas In The North-East Will Negate Reconciliation Efforts

by Thangavelu, ‘Colombo Telegraph,’ September 6, 2016 On August 23, 2016 the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) passed a resolution during the 56th sitting unanimously condemning the building of a Buddhist vihara by Sri Lankan troops on land belonging to a Hindu temple in Kilinochchi. The resolution was moved by NPC member Subramaniam Pasupathipillai. “The Kanakambikai… Read more »

Mother Teresa

by M. K. Eelaventhan, Toronto, September 3, 2016 September is a month of significance because Mother Teresa passed away on 5th September 1997 at the age of 87.  Mother Teresa reflects the thinking – the utterence of Pongunthenar, the universal poet of the Sangam age, who said the following, “every country is my country and every… Read more »

Bishop Rayappu Joseph: ‘A Living Hero’

Biography describes the bishop’s efforts to stand up for the rights of the Tamil people by UCA News, Bangkok, September 5, 2016  A biography about the challenges faced by a Catholic bishop who played a major role in assisting Tamil people during Sri Lanka’s civil war was launched Sept. 1. Written by Oblate Father David… Read more »

Plea for Assistance

by Eelaventhan Manickavasakar,  August 15, 2016 Eelaventhan met Rev.Bishop of Chennai – Antonysaamy and handed over a copy of his book on Rev.Fr. Thaninayagam.  Eelaventhan pleaded with the Bishop to come to the rescue of Eelam Tamils, who are facing cultural genocide, physical liquidation and economic strangulation.  He, being the spiritual head of Tamil Nadu Catholics,… Read more »

From Ilankaiththurai to Lanka Patuna

by ‘Tamil Guardian,’ London,’ August 16, 2016 The newly-built Buddhist temple at Ilankaithurai – re-named Lanka Patuna by the government. A bridge is being constructed to improve access to the site for the increasing number of Sinhala visitors. Tamil Guardian co-editor and PEARL Advocacy Director Mario Arulthas travelled to Trincomalee last month to report on… Read more »

Sangha and State

by Hannah Clare Durham, Bard College, USA, May 2015 Sangha and State An Examination of Sinhalese-Buddhist Nationalism Introduction While spending a semester studying in Sri Lanka, I became acutely aware of the post civil war issues that were being sorted out by the state. Daily newspapers displayed updates on new infrastructural developments and efforts to rebuild… Read more »

Engaging Sinhalese Buddhist Majoritarianism

by Neil DeVotta, ‘The Review of Faith & International Affairs,’ Summer 2016 Engaging Sinhalese Buddhist Majoritarianism and Countering Religious Animus in Sri Lanka Recommendations for the Incoming U S Administration This essay, consequently, discusses the Sinhalese Buddhist-Muslim dynamic in the country as part of its focus on religion and public life in Sri Lanka. The… Read more »

Buddhist Heritage of Tamil Nadu and its Links with Lanka

By Dr. Nirmala Chandrahasan, ‘The Island,’ Colombo, Novermber 12, 2013 The cultural affinities between Tamil Nadu our closest neighbour and Sri Lanka are many but little is known of the religious ties which bound the two countries between the early years of the Christian era and the 14th century AD, during which time Buddhism was… Read more »

Muslim Perspectives 2007

Muslim Perspectives on SL Conflict East West Center 2007 The Sri Lankan ethnic conflict is often regarded as a two-way contest between the Sinhala majority and the Tamil minority, ignoring the interests and concerns of the island’s 8 percent Muslim (or “Moorish”) minority. One-third of Sri Lanka’s Muslims are concentrated in towns and districts located… Read more »

How the Chola Flag left a Mark in Lanka

The journey in search of trans-oceanic art traditions reveals how the Chola rule in Sri Lanka made an indelible mark on the island nation’s history and brought about changes in the socio-economic and cultural spheres.Two Chola temples, namely Siva Devalayas, in Polonnaruva are the important Chola monuments in the island nation, according to S Kannan,… Read more »

The Darker Side of Buddhism

The principle of non-violence is central to Buddhist teachings, but in Sri Lanka some Buddhist monks are being accused of stirring up hostility towards other faiths and ethnic minorities. Their hard line is causing increasing concern. The small temple in the suburbs of Colombo is quiet. An image of the Buddha is surrounded with purple… Read more »

Identity & The Island’s Political Order

What Tamils would call ‘The National Question.’ — Ed/

The only debate is which nation that is: Sri Lankan or Sinhalese. I’d say both.

The claim of Tamil nationhood is the flip side, the other way, of the expressing the refusal to accept that on this island the Tamils are a national minority… The Tamil delusion is that on this island they are entitled to the same political status, weight, space and share of power as the Sinhalese who are a vast majority. The Tamils cannot have the same weight and space in the island’s political order…

It is too small and vulnerable to experiment with loose centrifugal forms of state. Sri Lanka needs a strong single state which covers the natural borders of this island.

Sri Lanka’s Violent Buddhists

BANGALORE, India — When I met Watareka Vijitha Thero in early 2014 in a suburb of Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital, he had been in hiding for nearly five months. The gentle-voiced monk had spoken out against anti-Muslim fearmongering by a hard-line group called the Buddhist Power Force, known by its Sinhalese initials B.B.S. Mr…. Read more »

CM Wigneswaran Speech at World Hindu Congress

Wigneswaran_Address_Hindu_Congress_N_Amended In Post war Sri Lanka there has been a virulent rise of religious intolerance particularly towards minority religions by groups that enjoy the protection of the Government. Such has been their activities that His Holiness the Dalai Lama issued a public plea to stop religious persecution in the name of Buddhism. The power of… Read more »

Invoking the Goddess

The goddess descends from the wind and cloud and sky
She looks at the sorrows of Sri Lanka with her divine eyes
— Excerpt from Pahan Pujava (offering of lights) quoted in Gananath Obeyesekere, The Cult of the Goddess Pattini (Chicago: 1984).

Deadly Alliances Against Muslims

On his 79th birthday in July, the Dalai Lama appealed to Buddhist extremist groups in Myanmar and Sri Lanka to stop instigating attacks against Muslim minorities that have killed scores. Instead, in an affront to Buddhism’s core message of compassion, leaders of those groups announced an alliance to make common cause against Muslims. “The time… Read more »