Posts Categorized: Religion

Sex, Repression & Sanskritization in Sri Lanka 1987

The 1987 Stirling Award Essay by Dennis McGilvray, Ethos, American Anthropological Association, Vol. 16, No. 2 (June 1988), pp. 99-127 The_1987_Stirling_Award_Essay_Sex_Repres Since 1952, when the concept of Sanskritization was first utilized by M. N. Srinivas in his study of the Coorgs of western India, the idea has been a useful, if at times ambiguous, tool… Read more »

Myanmar Coup: Military Regime Seeks to Weaponize Religion

In a propaganda blitz, the military portrays itself as the guardian of Buddhism and stokes fear of a Muslim takeover. by Billy Ford, Zarchi Oo, US Institute of Peace, Washington, DC, December 16, 2021 Ten months have passed since Myanmar’s military overthrew the country’s elected government, and by now it’s apparent that arrests, executions, torture… Read more »

The Archeology of Buddhism

by Jason D. Hawkes, University of Leiden, February-May 2021 13 lecture series at The Archaeology of Buddhism – Leiden University MediaSpace™ video portal Colonial origins of South Asian archeology, Lecture 1.3 at The Archaeology of Buddhism, Lecture 1.3 – Leiden University MediaSpace™ video portal

Karthigai Deepam: The Light of the Gods

by Anuradha Srinivasan, Sri Lalitam Trust, Pondicherry, December 6, 2021 Rows of unlit lamps dot both sides of the street, all the way to the village temple tank. Women dressed in colourful silk saris, draw intricate geometric patterns, or kolams, at the entrance to their house. In the centre of each kolam stands a kuthu… Read more »

Sri Lanka’s Muslims Face Backlash

Two Years After Easter Attacks Sri Lankan government ramps up restrictions on minority community. by Jumaina Siddiqui, Melissa Nosell, US Institute for Peace, Washington, DC, April 29, 2021 Two years after the Easter Sunday attacks that left 269 dead and injured more than 500, Sri Lanka’s Christian community is still waiting for justice while its… Read more »

Sri Lanka’s Muslims Face Backlash

Two years after Easter attacks Sri Lankan government ramps up restrictions on minority community. by Jumaina Siddiqui & Melissa Nozell, US Institute for Peace, Washington, DC, Thursday, April 29, 2021 Two years after the Easter Sunday attacks that left 269 dead and injured more than 500, Sri Lanka’s Christian community is still waiting for justice… Read more »

P2P Demands & Pledge

by North East Civil Society Forum, February 7, 2021 P2P Demands and Pledge Pottuvil to Polikandy (P2P) – Demands and Pledge 1) We Tamils have been fighting for over seventy years for self Determination. We are a nation of people living in the merged North and East in the island of Ceylon. We have our… Read more »

USTAG: Celebrating Bishop Rayappu

by US Tamil Action Group, April 3, 2021 Press release Bishop Rayappu Joseph FINAL For immediate release USTAG and Tamil Americans Commemorate Life of Bishop Rayappu Joseph While Tamils all over the world mourn the passing of the former Catholic Bishop of Mannar, Sri Lanka, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Rayappu Joseph, Tamils in the homeland… Read more »

Mannar Bishop Rayappu Joseph and the Madhu Church crisis

The Sri Lankan Tamil people in general and Catholics in particular were deeply saddened by the loss of Bishop Rayappu Joseph. The words of St. Paul (2.Timothy 4.7) – “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” – serve as a fitting epitaph to Most Rev. Rayappu… Read more »

Discrimination against Muslims and Tamils is Getting Worse

Sri Lanka by Mario Arulthas, Middle East Eye, March 30, 2021 Under the cover of measures to deal with Covid-19, the state has introduced draconian measures against marginalised minorities Protesters denounce Sri Lanka’s policy of forced cremations for Muslims who die of Covid-19 in Colombo on 23 December 2020 (AFP) Sri Lanka recently passed regulations allowing detention… Read more »

Sri Lanka Before It Became Predominantly Buddhist

by Nakkeran, Canada, March 9, 2021 Before Sri Lanka became predominantly Buddhist following the conversion of the 3rd. Century King Devanampiya Tissa (247 BC-207 BC), the island had an amazing assortment of religious cults, practices and faiths including animism, Jainism, Shaivism, Brahminism and Buddhism. There were many gods, goddesses and deities of local and Indian… Read more »

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 »