Posts Categorized: Religion

US Commission on International Religious Freedom 2014 Report

Sri Lanka report at http://www.uscirf.gov/sites/default/files/Sri%20Lanka%202014.pdf USCIRF is increasingly concerned about the religious freedom situation in Sri Lanka.  In the last year there have been numerous attacks against religious minority communities, including Muslims, Hindus and Christians, by extremist Buddhist monks and laity affiliated with Sinhalese Buddhist nationalist groups such as Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) and Sinhala Ravaya…. Read more »

Asian Buddhism’s Growing Fundamentalist Streak

* In Sri Lanka, where about 70 percent of the population is Theravada Buddhist, a group of monks formed the Bodu Bala Sena or the Buddhist Power Force in 2012 to “protect” the country’s Buddhist culture. The force, nicknamed BBS, carried out at least 241 attacks against Muslims and 61 attacks against Christians in 2013, according to the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress.

Sri Lanka Countries with High Religious Hostility

In some countries, violence toward religious minorities intensified from the levels reported in previous years. In Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka, for example, monks attacked Muslim and Christian places of worship, including reportedly attacking a mosque in the town of Dambulla in April 2012 and forcibly occupying a Seventh-day Adventist church in the town of Deniyaya and converting it into a Buddhist temple in August 2012

Towards Reconciliation and Rebuilding of our Nation

Catholic Bishops Conference Sri Lanka Pastoral-Letter Dec 2013 Sri Lanka is at the cross roads of a possible new beginning after a disastrous 30 year conflict which did bring much suffering and pain to all our people of every race and religion, the effects of which are sƟll being felt and causes the emergence of… Read more »

External Development cannot Substitute the Settling of the Basic Unresolved Issues

by the Commission of Justice and Peace of the Catholic Diocese of Jaffna, October 18, 2013, courtesy TamilNet.com, October 21, 2013 Fr_Mangalam_JPC_131018 To: His Excellency Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Spiteri, Apostolic Nuncio Apostolic Nunciature 220 Bauddhaloka Mawatha Colombo 7 Your Excellency, Greetings to your Excellency from the Commission for Justice and Peace of the Catholic… Read more »

Some Notes On Moors Religious Exlusivism

Dr.Imtiyaz Razak I would like to sketch some points about Moors to help readers to understand the trend. Note that I am neither hired by external forces, as some alledged, to criticize Moors nor do I hate my own community so I criticize it. As I pointed on my facebook wall “We need to be critical of… Read more »

Extremism Rises Among Myanmar Buddhists

“Myanmar monks are quite isolated and have a thin relationship with Buddhists in other parts of the world,” Phra Paisal said. One exception is Sri Lanka, another country historically bedeviled by ethnic strife. Burmese monks have been inspired by the assertive political role played by monks from Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese majority.

Why Christian Persecution is Worrisome in Sri Lanka

Moreover, the government appears to be desperate to garner popular support – on which the survival of some top officials depends in the post-war scenario – by aggressively pursuing Sinhala Buddhist nationalism.

If the propaganda against Christians and Muslims carries on unabated and the government continues to provide impunity to Buddhist groups, the space for religious minorities to practise their basic freedoms is likely to shrink much further. The International community needs to act sooner than later.

Sri Lanka Christians Facing More Persecution

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (BP) — Christians in Sri Lanka, off the southern coast of India, are facing an increase in persecution at the hands of Buddhist fundamentalists who believe the country is a historic Buddhist land that should not be shared with anyone else, a watch group reported. Christianity is viewed in Sri Lanka as… Read more »

Sri Lanka Monk Self-immolation Highlights Anti-Muslim Sentiment

The suicide by a Buddhist monk who set himself on fire in Sri Lanka to protest the slaughter of cattle has been hailed as an act of great self-sacrifice and compared to acts of self-immolation by Tibetan Buddhist monks protesting China’s repression in Tibet. Nothing could be more ill-informed. In fact, it is one more… Read more »

Sri Lanka’s Ugly Side

by ‘Bangkok Post,’ June 3, 2013 Sri Lanka celebrated the fourth anniversary of its military victory over Tamil separatists last month amid concerns over a venomous hate campaign and resultant attacks against Muslim and Christian minorities by some Buddhist monks, one of whom set himself on fire. Army tanks rolled onto the streets of Colombo to… Read more »

Buddha Buzz

Across the Bay of Bengal, a Therevada Sri Lankan monk—adopting what has become a common strategy among Tibetan Buddhist monks—self-immolated in the street. The monk, Ven. Indarathana, set himself on fire outside the Temple of the Tooth—the holiest Buddhist shrine in the country—in protest of the Muslim halal method of slaughtering animals.

Ven. Indarathana belonged to the Buddhist revivalist group Voice of Sinhala, a hardline Buddhist rights group. This could qualify the self-immolation as the first connected with an anti-Muslim organization. According to BBC correspondent Charles Haviland, Sinhalese ultranationalist government ministers are praising the incident as “an act of self-sacrifice for the good of the country.”

Dalai Lama Lashes Myanmar, Lanka Buddhist Violence

NEW DELHI (AP) — The Dalai Lama has implored Buddhist monks in Myanmar and Sri Lanka to put an end to a series of recent attacks on Muslims in their countries. The Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader spoke Tuesday night about religious violence when asked questions following a speech he delivered to 15,000 people at the… Read more »

Buddhist Violence in Burma

In Sri Lanka, Buddhism is a faith that defines society for the Sinhalese, and it becomes the identifying characteristic when they feel threatened. That still doesn’t entirely explain how it became the rallying call of the modern Sri Lankan military, or large segments of it, and how its nonviolent, introspective teachings were so easily abandoned not only in time of conflict—perhaps understandable given the brutality of the Tamil Tigers—but also when time came to make a just peace with the civilian population of the Tamil north.

Remembering Fr. Kili

by K. Sivapalan, ‘Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka,’ France, April 20, 2013 Rev.Fr. Mariampillai Xavier Karunaratnam (1951-2008), or ‘Kili’ Father as he was known affectionately was assassinated on 20th April, 2008 by a deep penetration unit of the  Sri Lanka Army. We lost two other members of NESOHR previously.Chandra Nehru  Ariyanayagam was killed in cold blood by… Read more »

TNA Leader Urges GoSL to Protect Muslims

Our people are too closely intertwined for one to think that it can survive the fate of the other. …We wish to emphasize that the enforcement of law and order, and ensuring the safety and security of all the people, including the Muslim people, is primarily the responsibility of the State. Recent events have shown that the State has not discharged this responsibility in a manner beyond reproach.

The Political Economy of Prejudice

The post-war context in Sri Lanka offers significant scope for potential gains and conflicts over re-alignments of networks of patronage and clientelist redistribution, which along with ethno-religious relations was in many ways over-determined by the war. And the dominant players in this competition will only be too happy to align themselves with the so-called moral and spiritual regeneration of the body politic i.e. ethno-religious nationalism and extremism, if it will give them an edge in cementing their socio-political bases (perhaps better seen as multi-class factions?), economic privileges and crucially, reconfiguring the social and eventually even the socio-political and legal substance of citizenship itself.

Buddhists Targeting Sri Lanka’s Muslims

The Hardline Buddhists Targeting Sri Lanka’s Muslims Hardline monks and Buddhist groups are trying to outlaw halal certification After a series of attacks on mosques, wild rumours about animal slaughter and an attempt to outlaw the halal system of classification, the BBC’s Charles Haviland investigates how Sri Lanka’s Muslim minority is being targeted by hardline… Read more »

UN Rights Expert on Religious Minorities

Freedom of religion: UN rights expert reports on the plight of religious minorities in the world GENEVA (7 Mars 2013) – If you are a victim of systematic discrimination and exclusion from key sectors of society, publicly fuelled prejudices and vilification based on national myths, acts of vandalism and desecration, prohibition or disruption of religious… Read more »