Category Archives: Indian religions

Anti-Muslim Violence Present and Past

Shamara Wettimuny, in Sunday Observer, 14 July 2019, where the title is “A brief history of anti-Muslim violence in Sri Lanka”

The recent Easter attacks targeting a number of churches and hotels devastated Sri Lanka. Over 250 people were killed, and many more injured. Within days of the attack, it emerged that the perpetrators of the attack were affiliated to radical Islamist groups in Sri Lanka. However, the identification of the perpetrators as ostensibly adherents of the Islamic faith opened the floodgates of discrimination and violence against the broader Muslim community in Sri Lanka.

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The Force of the Moors. Reflections Historical and Ethnographic

Wilfrid Jayasuriya

“The Portugese, the Saviours of our Culture?” = This is the title of a scholarly article written in the Ceylon Historical Journal in the 1950s by B. J. Perera BA (History) University of Ceylon who was our teacher in the University Entrance class. It was of course “dead against” the version given by nationalist historians after independence. However his interpretation simply put was that the Mughals had conquered Hindu India and ruled it for a couple of centuries and converted a large part of the Hindu population to the Muslim religion as had happened in countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia and the Maldives, which had been either Hindu or Buddhist. The evidence in Bali and Java of the existence of Buddhist and Hindu relics supports this view.

Mattayaas in the Gal Oya and Eastern Province interior

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Premkumara De Silva,** in The Midweek Review of The Island, 17 May 2005, where the title runs ” Anthropology of ‘Sinhala Buddhism’ “

The disciplinary identification of “Buddhism” in Sri Lanka as an anthropological object began in the late 1950s as part of a growing field of “peasant” or village studies in South and Southeast Asian societies. In Sri Lanka, the work of Gananath Obeyesekere, Edmond Leach, Michael Ames, and Nur Yalman is central to this inaugural moment. These anthropologists have identified the integration of the diverse beliefs and practices of Sinhala Buddhists within a religious worldview that is in accordance with fundamental Theravada Buddhist teachings. Within this academic exercise Obeyesekere insisted on the term “Sinhalese Buddhism” to convey the idea of full variety of religious practice, popular and esoteric, in Sri Lankan Buddhism. He argues that Sinhala Buddhism should be seen as “a single religious tradition”, and not as composed of separate “layers” to be analysed in isolation from each other.

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Muslim Suicide Killers had visited Kashmir, Kerala and Bengalaru

News Item in The Hindu, 5 May 2019, with this title “Suicide bombers visited Kashmir, Kerala, Bengaluru: Sri Lankan Army chief”

Sri Lanka Army’s chief has said some of the suicide bombers who carried out the country’s worst terror attack on Easter Sunday last month had visited Kashmir and Kerala for “some sorts of training” or to “make some more links” with other foreign outfits. It is the first time a top security official has confirmed the militants’ visit to India, which had shared intelligence inputs with Sri Lanka ahead of the attacks.

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Bishop Illangasinghe’s Pastoral Sermon encompassing People of All the Faiths in Lanka

Bishop Kumara Illangasinghe, with this title in Colombo Telegraph, 27 April 2019, Post Easter Reflections 2019″

“Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing”.   Luke 23:34

Sri Lanka is once again in deep shock and saddened by the attacks on the peaceful worshippers on Easter Sunday and the innocent visitors from abroad and from within Sri Lanka, who were at the hotels. The carnage is unprecedented in the recent times, when as a nation Sri Lanka was struggling to emerge from the depths of racial, ethnic and religious divide. This is the largest number of innocent civilians in the recent history of the country who have been killed in one day. It is the most vulnerable in the community, the women, young people and children, who have been mainly affected.

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Nirupama’s Incisive Appraisal identifies Islamic Jihadist Patterns in Easter Sunday Terror

 Nirupama Subramanium, in Indian Express, 22 April 2019

With 13 arrests so far, and more likely, for the horrific bombings in Sri Lanka on Sunday that killed more than 200 people, the Sri Lankan government’s investigations are pointing to the involvement of a jihadist organisation in the attacks. One of those arrested from the Cinnamon Grand Hotel, where one of the eight attacks took place, had been reported missing six months ago by his family.

The last two of the eight incidents were suicide bombings which took place when security personnel were about to arrest suspects. Police, however, have not named any jihadist group.

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SL Army enshrine a New Statue at a Mass in Madu

A News Item, April 2019 ….

Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Army on Thursday (11) morning had the rare privilege of offering a new statue of Our Lady of Madu to the most sacred Holy Madu Shrine in Mannar during a Special Mass and simultaneously consecrating the statue in an Army-built pedestal, adjoining the main Shrine premises.

The day’s sequence of proceedings began with the carriage of the newly-carved Holy Statue of Our Lady of Madu by Army personnel in a motorcade before it was blessed in a Special Mass inside the main Shrine after Most Reverend Dr Emmanuel Fernando, Bishop of Mannar and Reverend Father Peppi Sosai, Administrator at Madu Shrine received the statue for consecration and invocation of blessings.

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