Posts Categorized: Religion

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 »

Travel Article on Jaffna

Sri Lanka, as It Heals from War Amy Karafin for The New York Times Clockwise from upper left, the Keerimalai spring, thought to have healing powers, used to require an armed guard for a visit; an island-bound ferry; the edge of the city of Jaffna; a detail from the Naguleswaram Shiva Temple, recently restored. As… Read more »

CPA: Post-War Attacks on Religious Institutions

Attacks on Places of Religious Worship in Post-War Sri Lanka Attacks on Religious Places CPA March 2013 8th March 2013, Colombo, Sri Lanka: While the post-war context offered an opportunity for consolidating peace and reconciliation, and there have been a number of positive developments, there are increasing concerns relating to violence targeting places of worship and… Read more »

Christian Clergy Letter to UNHRC

Letter to UN Human Rights Council Call for a strong and action oriented resolution on Sri Lanka at the 22nd session of the UN Human Rights Council Letter to UNHRC by NorthEast clergy with annexes 18Feb2013 We had also witnessed continuing ignorance and violations of the key LLRC recommendations, related to political solution to the ethnic conflict, release… Read more »

Tamil Villages Names Changed

Letter from DMK Chief Karunanidhi to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh detailing 89 Tamil villages renamed with Sinhala names in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.  The letter gives the location of the villages on a map and by district, and lists the Tamil heritage names of the villages and the new Sinhala names.  In addition,… Read more »

CPJ Letter to Bishops Conference

Subject: Memorandum given by the Jaffna diocesan clergy to the CBCSL The Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Sri Lanka made an official good will visit to the North of  Sri Lanka. They limited their visit to the Vanni regions. A meeting was organized with the Jaffna diocesan clergy at Kilinochchi. A memorandum was handed over to the CBCSL… Read more »

Re-reading a Saint

Karen Pechilis Prentiss was the guest of honor at the Sangam annual general meeting in November 1999.