Posts Categorized: Religion

The Disappearance of ‘Father Basketball’ in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka

Jesuit Missionaries in Post-Colonial Conflict Zones by Bernardo E. Brown, Journal of South Asian Studies, November 15, 2015 Disappearance of ‘Father Basketball’ in Batticaloa 2015 Abstract In August 1990, Father Eugene John Hebert SJ disappeared while trying to reach his home in the Sri Lankan city of Batticaloa. Caught in the midst of the turmoil… Read more »

A Deadly Combination

Militarisation, Sinhala-Buddhist Supremacy and Absence of Rule of Law Compiled and edited by Sunanda Deshapriya, Sri Lanka Brief, July 2020 A DEADLY COMBINATION-SriLanka Briefing Note 17-July-2020 BACKGROUND Sri Lanka is slowly emerging from the lockdown imposed to contain the COVID-19 outbreak and heading towards the General Elections that is scheduled to be held on the… Read more »

Navaly Church Bombing – 25 Years On

by Ruki Fernando, Groundviews, Colombo, July 7, 2020 In July 1995 the St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Navaly, Jaffna, was filled with displaced Tamils seeking refuge and safety from the war. People in Navaly, including members of the church youth club, were helping the displaced by providing them with food and setting up… Read more »

A Knee on the Neck of the Next Parliament

By Dayan Jayatilleke, Lanka Guardian, Colombo, June 11, 2020 http://www.ft.lk/columns/A-knee-on-the-neck-of-the-next-Parliament/4-701439 For the first time in our post-independence political history, we have a leader who does not regard it as necessary to appoint a Task Force that reflects to any extent, the composite reality of the area or citizenry concerned. It is a leadership that ignores… Read more »

PTF on Archaeology in the Eastern Province has no Muslims or Tamils

Why the Presidential Task Force on archaeology in the Eastern Province has no Muslims or Tamils By P.K. Balachandran/Daily Express, NewsIn Asia, Colombo, June 5, 2020 Colouring a narrative to advance an ethno-religious political agenda Colombo: The Presidential Task Force for Archaeological Heritage Management in the Eastern Province, which was gazetted on 2 June, has… Read more »

AI: Religious Minorities Must Have Their Final Rites Respected

by Amnesty International, London, April 3, 2020 Sri Lanka’s authorities must respect the right of religious minorities to carry out the final rites of their relatives in accordance with their own traditions unless they can show that restrictions are needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Amnesty International said today. Two of the early COVID-19-related… Read more »

Tamil Militancy in Sri Lanka and the Role of Religion

by Iselin Frydenlund, pre-publication version for Oxford Research Encyclopedias, UK, September 26, 2018 Tamil Militancy in Sri Lanka and the Role of Religion …Fundamentally, the conflict in Sri Lanka is about failed nation-building in the postcolonial state, demographic politics, access to resources, and political influence, and it follows ethnic and linguistic lines. Religion—that is, Buddhism—has… Read more »

New Meanings for Ravana

The focus of the fourth paper, ‘Ravana’s Sri Lanka: Redefining the Sinhala Nation?’, by Dileepa Witharana, focuses on the recent widespread surge of interest in Ravana within the Sinhala community. This interest has reached unprecedented levels, to the point of redefining the Sinhala nation in popular public space by discarding the theory of Aryan descent… Read more »

The Ritualizing of the Martial and Benevolent Side of Ravana

in Two Annual Rituals at the Sri Devram Maha Viharaya in Pannipitiya, Sri Lanka by Deborah de Koning, MDPI Religions, Netherlands, 21 August 2018 https://www.mdpi.com/2077-1444/9/9/250 Reflections …That the Ravana myth should not be considered a version of the Ramayana becomes for instance clear in the wall paintings of the Ravana mandiraya: These wall paintings concentrate… Read more »

Buddhist Nationalists Claim Victory in Sri Lankan Election

by The Associated Press, November 17, 2019 KANDY, Sri Lanka — In this mountain city that was for centuries home to Sri Lanka’s kings and in recent years has been riven by religious violence, Buddhist nationalists are rejoicing the election of the country’s newest leader. They hope he ushers in another golden era for the… Read more »

Identity, Choices and Crisis

A Study of Muslim Political Leadership in Sri Lanka by ARM Imtiyaz,  Journal of Asian and African Studies 48(1) 47 –63, 2012 Identity_Choices_and_Crisis_A_Study_of_M Abstract This study attempts to understand the choices made by Muslim political leaders in general, and after independence in particular. Muslim leadership has been broadly classified into two categories based on their… Read more »

Ignorance and Populism Puts Sri Lankan Muslims in the Crosshairs

by Farzana Haniffa, East Asia Forum, Australia, October 4, 2019 There is no locally-relevant social or communal cause that could explain the Easter Sunday 2019 attacks in Sri Lanka. Christian–Muslim relations are largely cordial. Mobilisation of Buddhists through anti-Muslim rhetoric after the war’s end in 2009 led to several incidents of anti-Muslim violence with large-scale… Read more »

Divide in Press Reporting on Kanniya, Trincomalee

by The Media Analysis, Verite Research, Colombo, July 24, 2019 Was there a difference in front page headlines in reporting the protest? Find out at: 23 July 2019: http://divide.lk/divided-headlines-23-july-2019/ 19 July 2019: http://divide.lk/divided-headlines-19-july-2019/

The Muslim Factor in Sri Lankan Ethnic Crisis

by Ameer Ali, 1997 A Critical Front-Note by Sachi Sri Kantha, July 25, 2019 ‘Under the bamboo Bamboo bamboo Under the bamboo tree Two live as one One live as two Two live as three Under the bam Under the boo Under the bamboo tree.’ S.Eliot’s lines in the verse, ‘Sweeney Agonistes’, 1926-27. In a… Read more »

Shifting the Blame

by Harini Amarasuriya, Himal, Colombo, June 20 2019 A minority is framed again to cover Sri Lanka’s fault lines, in wake of the Easter attacks. Photo: Francisco Anzola / Flickr Much has been and continues to be said and done, since the Easter Attacks in Sri Lanka on 21 April, that killed over 250 individuals…. Read more »

Reign of Sinhala-Buddhist Chauvinism in Sri Lanka

by Thambu Kanagasabai, LLM [Lond.] Former Lecturer in Law University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, June 17, 2019 Sri Lanka’s image as a prosperous and multi-racial peaceful country took a nose dive and u-turn from 1956 with the passing of Sinhala Only Act in 1956, a short-sighted political move by S.W.R.D. Bandaranayake to capture power at… Read more »

Sri Lanka’s Muslims Bloodied by Buddhism

by Ana Pararajasingam, ‘Asia Times,’ Bangkok, June 20, 2019 Sri Lanka has become more fragile, fractured and polarized following the Easter Sunday bomb attacks as the country’s Muslims are harassed and subjected to violence by mobs of Sinhala Buddhists who form the majority of the island’s population. Although those targeted by jihadist violence on Easter… Read more »

Island of Racial & Religious Extremism

With culture of impunity by Thambu Kanagasabai, LLM [Lond. Former Lecturer in Law, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka], May 28, 2019 April 21st attacks on three Churches and three star Hotels by radicalized Muslims surprised Sri Lanka’s Government, its citizens and the world. They were well pre-planned and co-ordinated to unleash the killings on worshippers… Read more »

Unholy Tension in Lanka’s Muslim East

Different interpretations of Islam by Thawheed and traditional school divide the community by Chris Kamalendran, Asif Fuard and cameraman Saman Kariyawasam in Kattankudy, The Sunday Times, Colombo, August 9, 2009 The tiny coastal village of Kattankudy, a ten minutes drive from the eastern capital of Batticaloa, lies in a picturesque setting. Its boundaries hug the… Read more »

What Sri Lanka Needs Now

by  Kitana Ananda and Mythri Jegathesan, CNN, USA, April 28, 2019 Since multiple blasts killed at least 253 people and injured hundreds more in Sri Lanka last Sunday, the government has declared a state of emergency, bringing back draconian anti-terrorism laws that will curtail civil liberties and increase militarization. Officials have begun to investigate, and though… Read more »