Posts Categorized: Religion

HRW: Minister Threatens Defender of Minority Rights

by Human Rights Watch, New York, June 19, 2017 Investigate, Prosecute Attacks on Muslims, Christians (New York) – The Sri Lankan government should immediately repudiate statements by the country’s justice minister threatening to disbar a prominent lawyer for speaking out against attacks on religious minorities, Human Rights Watch said today. The incident highlights the government’s… Read more »

A Betrayal, Repugnant & Lethal

There was a prehistory to Black July, consisting of the teaching of contempt and the spreading of fear. It was that seeding which enabled Black July. Today we are living through the pre-history of an anti-Muslim riot. The demonising of all Muslims as fanatics hell-bent on taking over our land, our economy and our women… Read more »

Amnesty: Act Now to Prevent Further Anti-Muslim Violence

by Amnesty International, May 25, 2017 Sri Lankan authorities must act immediately to end attacks on Muslims in the country, and to rein in violent groups that target religious minorities, and take action against perpetrators, Amnesty International said. Index number: ASA 37/6361/2017 Amnesty Anti Muslim Violence May 2017 Sri Lanka: Act now to prevent further… Read more »

Saiva Temples in the Jaffna Region

During my last visit to Jaffna in March 2004, I had the good fortune to meet Prof. Arunasalam Sanmugadas and his wife Manonmani Sanmugadas. When both of them were living in Tokyo, 30 years ago (circa late 1980s, while carrying out their collaborative research with Prof. Susumu Ohno, on the linguistic and cultural links between… Read more »

Governance On The “Advice Of The Mahasangha”

by H.L. Seveviratne, ‘Colombo Telegraph,’ January 30, 2016 Prof. H.L. Seneviratne We frequently hear politicians declaring that they will follow the steps of the ancient kings who always ruled according to the advice of the Mahasangha. This is a vague generalization that has no historical or scientific validity. When we look at our history we… Read more »

The Enlightened Theology of a Tamil Saivite

by Karthick Ram Manoharan, ‘The Wire,’ India, December 22, 2016 In Religion, Caste and Nation in South India, V. Ravi Vaithees focuses on the works of the Tamil Saivite saint Maraimalai Adigal and explores the religious roots of the Dravidian movement and its impact on the political discourse. This year has been a calamitous one… Read more »

MRG: Continued Violations Against Religious Minorities in Sri Lanka

by Minority Rights Goup, London, December 8, 2016 mrg_rep_srilan_dec16 Executive summary Though Sri Lanka’s three-decade long armed conflict came to an end in 2009, hopes for a peaceful transition have been marred by ongoing violence against the country’s minorities. Post-war triumphalism and resurgent ethnonationalism, including the formation of Buddhist nationalist groups, has contributed to an… Read more »

200th Anniversary of the Establishment of the American Ceylon Mission

by US Mission to Sri Lanka & Maldives, Colombo, October 31, 2016 [As prepared] Rev. Dr. James Moos, Executive Minister, Co-Executive Global Ministries Rev. Dr. Deenabandhu Manchala,  Area Executive for Southern Asia, Global Ministries Rev Devasagayam Devanesan, Chairperson Rt. Rev Bishop Duleep De Chickera, Former Anglican Bishop of Colombo Rev Asiri P. Perera, President of the Methodist Conference in Sri… Read more »

Dynamics of Sinhala Buddhist Ethno-Nationalism in Post-War Sri Lanka

by Ayesha Zuhair, Centre for Policy Analysis, Colombo, April 20, 2016 Almost seven years have lapsed since the end of the war, yet Sri Lanka continues to remain a deeply divided society. Empirical evidence from the four waves of the ‘Democracy in post-war Sri Lanka’ public opinion survey conducted by Social Indicator (SI), the survey… Read more »

Buddhism and the Regulation of Religion in the New Constitution

by Benjamin Schonthal and Asanga Welikala, Centre for Policy Alternatives, Colombo, August 2016 Buddhism-and-the-regulation-of-religion-in-the-new-constitution-Working-Paper-3 …This Working Paper offers a legal and historical overview of the issue of Buddhism in Sri Lanka’s constitution, which, we hope, will help the Constitutional Assembly in its deliberations. We also hope that this Working Paper will help advance discussions beyond… Read more »

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 »