Report “Attacks on Places of Religious Worship in Post–War Sri Lanka” by CPA

Four of Sri Lanka’s most senior hardline Buddhist monks appeared in court Monday accused of insulting the Koran, in the first such case following a spate of religious hate attacks.

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Since the end of the war there have been high-profile incidents such as the attack on the Mosque in Dambulla in April 2012, however other incidents, have received little or no public and media attention. This has resulted in a limited understanding of the scale and nature of these incidents.

This report published on 09 March 2013 documents incidents of attacks on places of worship in Sri Lanka since the end of the war in May 2009 and discusses the broader context of such attacks.

Read report here –

Download the report in Sinhala here.

Download the report in Tamil here.


“The Stream : The violent side of Sri Lankan Buddhism” by Aljazeera

We like to share a link to access a stream from Aljazeera about Hardline Buddhists in Sri Lanka and how they are making new enemies of Muslim and Christian minorities.


source: Aljazeera

“On forgiving and forgetting” by Devanesan Nesiah

“Pre-Independence, our island was among most peaceful lands in Asia. For some centuries there had been no large scale ethnic riots in our Island apart from the anti-Muslim riots of 1915. Even the 1915 riots lacked the scale and brutality of some of the anti- Tamil, JVP led and state led anti-JVP pogroms that we had experienced since the mid – 1950s. The distinctive feature of the post-independencepogroms is that very few of the perpetrators had been identified or punished. What we have often witnessed is either denial or justification of the violence, and the surviving victims and their loved ones being asked “to forgive and forget”. Is this possible or even desirable?”


source: Groundviews

“Mosque In Dehiwala Visited By Cops Stoned, A Muslim Owned Jewellery Store Torched In Galle Last Night” by Colombo Telegraph

“A mosque in the Colombo suburb of Dehiwela that was ordered to stop issuing the call to prayer and conducting prayers in its premises by the Kohewela police two days ago was stoned last night, according to Muslim politicians and residents in the area.”



“The niqab and the University of Moratuwa” by Fathima Sahar

My attire offers an alternative – an alternative that demands that I be judged for who I am than for how I look. The University and its Senate may not agree with this. But certainly I am ready for the debate but the Senate has run-away from it and banned the niqab altogether – even without a proper hearing. Certainly that is not something that a University should do.



“Agenda Plus: Sri Lanka’s Muslims” by Fathima Cader

Media coverage of Sri Lanka in recent decades has focused on the ethnic conflict between Sinhalese and Tamils that fueled a bloody civil war. As a result, other groups in Sri Lanka have often been overlooked. Fathima Cader talks about Sri Lanka’s Muslims and how they have been affected by their country’s tumultuous history.


source: Youtube

“Sri Lanka Besieged By Religious Conflict” by Tariq A. Al Maeena

Through campaigns of terror, the BBS and their militant followers have looted, burned and defiled religious citadels of both minorities. Their aim is simple. They want to rid the island of anything or anyone that is not Sinhalese Buddhist, and protect the island’s Sinhalese-Buddhist character.

In a sharp departure from the normally peaceful teachings of Buddha, these religious terrorist Buddhists are not averse to violence against individuals of other faiths and exhort their followers to do the same.


Source: Colombo Telegraph

“Sri Lanka: Muslims under threat again (Part 1)” (

The ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar has shocked the world and drawn attention to rising Islamophobia in Asia. Now Muslims in Sri Lanka are under dire threat as well.

The similarities with Myanmar are striking and foreboding. Buddhist monks are at the forefront of the rising hatred, the government is taking sides against Muslims and attacks have begun.

Full scale violence is threatening to break out to create another catastrophe for Muslims in the region.
There have already been a series of attacks on mosques and Muslim places of work.


“The ascendent hate speech in Sri Lanka: In conversation with Mohamed Hisham” by Groundviews

Many Sri Lankans remain in denial about the horror of those years and resist calls to unearth (sometimes literally) the evidence. Some, obviously, are fearful that what they – or those close to them – did, or failed to do, will be exposed, while others may prefer to shy away from confronting the scale of suffering. The fact that certain leading figures in the government and opposition may be implicated has added to the pressure to let the past stay buried.
However this refusal to get to grips with what happened is not only unjust to the dead, the bereaved and the traumatised but may be largely to blame for the massive violence that has taken place in twenty-first century Sri Lanka and ongoing ethnic, religious and social divisions. What is more, all civilians are at risk when the state is regarded as unaccountable to anyone, able to torture, burn and kill with impunity.
See full interview here.
source: Groundviews

“The Asymmetric Relationship of Buddhist-Muslim Bond in Sri Lanka” by By Riza Yehiya

“Today, that certain segments of the media and some Buddhist clerics are spawning the thought that Islam and Muslims in Sri Lanka are a threat to Sinhalese Buddhism is a unique invention that no previous Buddhist scholars, leaders or laity have ever found. This is a foolish aspersion mocking  the intelligence of the people of this country.”

Read more here.

Source: Groundviews

“Tamil-Muslim Tensions and Coexistence in Mannar: Land Disputes in Sannar and Uppukulam” by CPA

The post-war context has witnessed a number of inter-community disputes in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, which continue to be sources of tension and suspicion.
In Mannar district, two of the more high profile disputes have been in Sannar (Manthai West DS) and Uppukulam (Mannar DS), pitting the Tamil community against the Muslim community. This report by CPA examines the dynamics of these two disputes in order to highlight the dangers of not resolving such disputes, not just at the local level but also in terms of ethnic relations at the district level.

The report also discusses practicable measures to address the competing demands on the one hand and the underlying relationship between the communities on the other. As these cases make clear the failure to address these disputes can thwart the efforts of war-affected communities building their lives back and can undermine trust-building and coexistence in the post-war context.

This report is part of CPA’s work that addresses key post-war issues including land, displacement and durable solutions, coexistence and reconciliation.

Download it as a PDF here, or read it online here. You can also read it in full below.



“The hardline Buddhists targeting Sri Lanka’s Muslims” (

Some Sinhalese ministers have expressed unease and a prominent newly retired diplomat, Dayan Jayatilleka, calls the BBS an “ethno-religious fascist movement from the dark underside of Sinhala society”.

Many Sri Lankans feel there are uncomfortable echoes of the 1983 pogroms, when Sinhala violence against Tamils precipitated the war.

But hardline Buddhist rallies and “direct action” stunts are happening all the time now. And their social and political influence is expanding.



“War on Halal-labelled products: The worst economic hit man now in town” by W.A Wijewardena

It is strange that a nation with a majority of Buddhists has not understood properly what the Master has preached. It is stranger when some in that nation commit unwholesome acts in the name of the Buddha for the protection of the esteemed Dharma he has left behind for the posterity to follow for their own good irrespective of whether they are his followers or not. But it is not the strangest thing to observe here in this Buddha’s land. That is the silence of those erudite Buddhists who know of the Master’s Dharma properly and failure to speak up when they see the worst type of economic hit man being armed and released to prowl freely.



“A 1915 type Sinhala Muslim clash is imminent! – Says JHU’s Udaya Gammanpila” (

In his weekly column THE GUARD POST in the Ceylon Today Mr. Udaya Gammanpila of Jathika Hela Urumyaya, constituent party of the UPFA government, stated on 20 January 2013 that he “strongly feels a repetition of the 1915 Sinhala Muslim clash is imminent”.

This is in response to that comment. When Mr. Gammanpila predicted a 1915 type carnage against Muslims, one ought to realize that the situation is frightening as he belongs to Sinhala extremist Jathika Hela Urumaya which openly advocates that Sri Lanka solely belongs to Sinhala Buddhists only and the Tamils should go to Tamilnad and Muslims to Saudi Arabia.


“Briefing Sri-Lanka’s Muslim IDPs 25 years on” (IRIN)

COLOMBO, 21 January 2013 (IRIN) – Almost three years after the Sri Lankan government looked into resettling up to 100,000 Muslims displaced from the country’s north during the 1983-2009 civil war, thousands of Muslim families still find themselves in limbo, without the means to return to their former homes.

source :