Soutenance de thèse « Le rituel funéraire hindou en contexte diasporique : rite de passage et rite d’ancrage. La communauté tamoule d’origine sri-lankaise de Montréal et Toronto. » par Mark Bradley, Le vendredi 22 avril 2016 à 9h30, à l’UQAM, salle A-5020

Mark Bradley, doctorant et enseignant au département des sciences des religions de l’Université de Québec à Montréal et chercheur du Centre d’Etudes sur l’Inde, l’Asie du Sud et sa diaspora (CEIAS) soutiendra sa thèse portant sur « le rituel funéraire hindou en contexte diasporique : rite de passage et rite d’ancrage. La communauté tamoule d’origine sri-lankaise de Montréal et Toronto » le vendredi 22 avril 2016. La soutenance se se déroulera à partir de 9h30 à l’UQAM en salle A-5020.

L’entrée est gratuite

« Sri Lanka: Hope for Minorities? » by Neha Sinha

However, the key question remains: Does Sirisena have the political will and capability to actually resolve the fundamental problems that drove the country to almost three decades of civil war?


« 3 Maps to understand Sri Lanka’s Minority-Majority divide in today’s vote » by The Republic Square

Trois cartes qui donnent à comprendre un peu de la complexité ethno-religieuse du Sri Lanka.

As personalities, both President Mahinda Rajapaksa and common candidate Maithripala Sirisena appeals to the same rural Sinhala vote base. Their political coalitions however means that candidate Maithripala will draw in the majority of the votes from the minority communities, while President Rajapska is expected to win in bulk of the areas where there is a Sinhala-Buddhist Majority.

The South Asia blog has helpfully developed three maps that visualizes the geographic ethnic distribution which may resemble their vote when Sri Lankans go to the polls today.


« Voyage du Pape au Sri Lanka : la place et les rapports des religions » par Radio Vatican

Le Pape François entame son 7° voyage apostolique à l’étranger, le 2° en Asie après la Corée en août dernier. Le Saint-Père passe 48 heures au Sri Lanka, un pays meurtri par des décennies de guerre civile, dont les conséquences sont encore perceptibles. Puis il partira pour les Philippines, le pays le plus catholique d’Asie.

Au Sri Lanka, la population est hétéroclite. Les Cinghalais représentent 75 % de la population. Ils sont quasiment tous bouddhistes. Les Tamouls constituent eux 15% de la population. Ils sont hindous pour la plupart. Les catholiques qui représentent une petite minorité dans le pays (7%) sont membres des deux communautés. Les musulmans représentent eux 12% de la population.

Quelle place occupe la religion ? Le Sri Lanka est-il un Etat laic ?

Nous avons posé la question à Eric Meyer historien


« Remembering Lasantha six years on: Launch of photo-essays on Sri Lanka » by Groundviews

Journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge‘s murder on 8th January 2009 was utterly horrible and yet, even more unforgettable was the Rajapaksa government’s reaction to it. Lasantha’s last editorial, published posthumously, didn’t mince words.

It is well known that I was on two occasions brutally assaulted, while on another my house was sprayed with machine-gun fire. Despite the government’s sanctimonious assurances, there was never a serious police inquiry into the perpetrators of these attacks, and the attackers were never apprehended.

In all these cases, I have reason to believe the attacks were inspired by the government. When finally I am killed, it will be the government that kills me.

Six years on, his killers remain at large.

To commemorate Lasantha’s death, Groundviews, in collaboration with The Picture Press and supported by Sri Lankans Without Borders, is pleased to release a set of three compelling investigative photo-essays, looking at Sri Lanka’s religious diversity as well as flagging to what extent it is under threat today.

As noted in the introduction to each photo essay, this content is « a tribute to a journalist whose brutal murder has impoverished us all, irrespective of whether we agreed with him or not… and also a tribute to Sri Lanka as it has always been and must continue to be – a rich, diverse, multi-religious and multi-ethnic society. »

Click on the link to access each essay:

The photo essays use Microsoft’s new Sway platform, which is completely responsive and tailors the content to whatever browser you are viewing it from, from desktop to mobile.

« The Cultural, the Nominal, and the Secular: The Social Reality of Religious Identity Among Sri Lankan Tamil Youth in Canada » by Amarnath Amarasingam

You could find below a link to download Amarnath Amarasingam’s chapter on « The Cultural, the Nominal, and the Secular: The Social Reality of Religious Identity Among Sri Lankan Tamil Youth in Canada. »


« Religions et politique au Sri Lanka à l’ère post-coloniale » par Eric Meyer

Afin de décrypter comment religions et politique interagissent au Sri Lanka, Eglises d’Asie a reproduit une étude d’Eric Meyer parue dans l’ouvrage Politique et religions en Asie du Sud : Le sécularisme dans tous ses états ? Historien, professeur émérite à l’INALCO, Eric Meyer est un spécialiste reconnu du Sri Lanka.


« Top line survey results: Democracy in post-war Sri Lanka » by CPA

According to the latest ‘Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka’ survey conducted by Social Indicator, the survey research unit of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, divisions between people’s opinions when it comes to reconciliation still persist. The state of the economy and cost of living continue to adversely affect the household with people compromising on food quality and medical care. With Presidential elections due early next year, it is interesting to note that 44.3% of Sri Lankans think that the Constitution should limit a President to serving a maximum of two terms.

On the Sri Lankan economy, 31.9% of Sri Lankans believe that the general economic situation in the country has got a little better while almost 27% say that it has got a little worse and 18.5% say that it has got a lot worse. When it comes to the current economic situation of the country, 36.7% of Sri Lankans believe that it is somewhat good while 30.6% say somewhat bad and 19.5% say that it is very bad.

The financial situation of the household seems to have got worse in the last 2 years – almost 30% of Sri Lankans say that it has got a little worse while 25.6% say that it has got a lot worse. 24.2% of Sri Lankans state that they have gone without medicine or medical treatment in the last year, with the Up Country Tamil community (58.2%) being the most affected. Compromising on food quality, 42.7% of Sri Lankans say that they have cut back on the amount or quality of food they have purchased with again the Up Country Tamil community being the most affected (almost 60%).

When it comes to reconciliation, divisions in opinion between the communities persist. 40.8% of Sri Lankans believe that the Government has done a little, but not enough to address the root causes of the conflict, which resulted in thirty years of war. 39.9% from the Tamil community and 33.3% from the Up Country Tamil community believe that the Government has done nothing to address the root causes of the war while 35% from the Sinhalese community said the Government has done a lot to address the root causes.

Around 54% of Sri Lankans say that they approve of the increase in the role of the forces in civilian tasks, with 17% saying that they strongly approve. 41.6% from the Sinhalese community said that they somewhat approve of this role while 30.2% from the Tamil community said that they strongly disapproved.

With Presidential elections due next year, it is worth highlighting that 44.3% of Sri Lankans think that the Constitution should limit a President to serving a maximum of two terms while 27.6% say that there should be no limit. From the four communities, it is mainly the Muslim community (69.7%) who believe that there should be limit of two terms while 59.5% from the Up Country Tamil community, 57.3% from Tamil and 38.4% of Sinhalese say the same.

Commenting on the media in Sri Lanka, 30% of Sri Lankans said that they somewhat agree that the media in Sri Lanka is completely free to criticise the government as they wish. 40.5% of Sri Lankans believe that the media should have a right to publish any views and ideas without Government control while another 34% of Sri Lankans believe that the Government should have the right to prevent the media from publishing things it considers harmful to society.

On the role of religion and ethnicity in politics, 37.9% of Sri Lankans said that the role of Buddhism in Sri Lankan politics is the right amount while 37.8% of Sri Lankans said that the role is too much. The view that the role of Buddhism in Sri Lankan politics is too much is felt by majority of the Tamil (79.3%), Up Country Tamil (91.1%) and Muslim (83.4%) communities while only 23.1% from the Sinhalese community felt the same. Close to 50% of Sinhalese believe that it is the right amount.

‘Democracy in post-war Sri Lanka’ sought to record public perspectives on democracy in Sri Lanka today and the findings are presented under five key sections – Economy and Development, Post War Sri Lanka, The Government, Media and Role of Religion and Ethnicity in Politics. The first wave was conducted in 2011 and the second wave in 2013.

Conducted in the 25 districts of the country, the 2014 survey captured the opinion of 1900 Sri Lankans from the four main ethnic groups. The selection of respondents was random across the country except in a few areas in the Northern Province where access was difficult. Fieldwork was conducted from June – July 2014.

Access the full report from here.


Social Indicator (SI) is the survey research unit of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and was established in September 1999, filling a longstanding vacuum for a permanent, professional and independent polling facility in Sri Lanka on social and political issues. Driven by the strong belief that polling is an instrument that empowers democracy, SI has been conducting polls on a large range of socio-economic and political issues since its inception.

Please contact Iromi Perera at for further information.

« Infographic: Religious Violence in Post-War Sri Lanka » by CPA

Three months since the Aluthgama attack, there is limited information in the public domain on action taken to bring perpetrators to account. That there is still is no justice for the victims of religious violence in Aluthgama and elsewhere in Sri Lanka, illustrates the sheer impunity with which perpertrators of such violence operate and the GoSL’s unwillingness and/or inability to end to widespread religious violence in post-war Sri Lanka.

via f

« Is Sri Lanka sinking in to an abyss of racism and apartheid? » by Riza Yehiya

More than twelve centuries of peaceful cohabitation between Buddhists and Muslims in Sri Lanka has made both communities interdependent. Therefore safety and security of the one lies in the safety and the security of the other mutually.


« A blow-by-blow commentary of the mob attack on families of disappeared » by Khana

On the 4th of August a private sharing of experiences session organized by civil society inside the Centre for Society and Religion [CSR] is disrupted by an organized gang led by what appeared to be a group of Buddhist monks. »


« Constitutional and Legal Framework Governing Religious Freedom and Related Issues » by CPA

More than a month after the events in Aluthgama, many questions remain in terms of justice and accountability regarding these and others developments related to ethnic and religious freedom in Sri Lanka. These questions are even more poignant as we mark 31 years since the deadly pogrom of July 1983.

Although religious freedom is provided for in the present framework in Sri Lanka, concerns are raised as to why threats, intimidation and attacks continue to occur with limited action to prevent such events and to hold to account perpetrators. In light of recent events surrounding religious freedom in Sri Lanka, questions have been raised regarding the legal provisions related to the issue and the powers of key actors. The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) has compiled a short brief to create awareness on the Constitutional and legal framework and available legal remedies regarding religious freedom and related issues.

Access the brief here –

« Sri lankan leader warns of radicalisation after clashes » by Shihar Aneez and Ranga Sirilal

Sri Lanka’s Muslim minority could become radicalised and turn to foreign Islamic groups for support because of violent attacks on them by Buddhist hardliners, the island nation’s main Muslim leader and justice minister said on Friday.


« Sri Lanka’s Downward Spiral » by Taylor Dibbert

The U.S. Congressional Caucus on Ethnic and Religious Freedom in Sri Lanka held a hearing on July 9 in Washington, D.C. The caucus, created in 2013, is co-chaired by Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) and Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio). It remains to be seen how effective this newly created group will be but — given the recent developments in Sri Lanka — there is no question that there was plenty to discuss at the gathering.