Category Archives: Muslims in Lanka

The Archbishop of Canterbury reaches across the World: The Tree of Heaven planted at the Anglican Cathedral in Colombo

The Archbishop of Canterbury- Justin Welby, on his solidarity visit to Sri Lanka after the Easter Bombing of Churches, planted  a flowering tree, Amherstia nobilis commonly called The Tree of Heaven or The Pride of Burma, at the Cathedral of Christ the Living Saviour in Colombo on 31st August 2019 along with the [Anglican] Bishop of Colombo …. . guided by plant expert and enthusiast Dushy Perera.**

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A Despairing Appraisal of Sri Lanka from a Patriot Expat from Rome

Alex Van Arkadie … from

Seemingly, following the church massacres last April 2019, there are a growing number of Christians as well as sympathizers who seem to understand better the miracle following repetitive Christian martyrdom of the 21st Century – (although it also sounds rational when critics say that the Lankan Catholic Hierarchy should exercise a cautious degree of restraint in public announcement, pronouncement or proclamation).

Fortunately after the Easter Sunday killings, religious convictions have helped bind many of the devout of all faiths and doctrines though underlined by either a sense of resignation to the powers of ‘karma’, or in acceptance of the Will of the Lord as when hopefully invoking in fraternal brotherhood, ‘Insha Allah’… Continue reading

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UN Aid Workers in the Crucible of War, 1989-92: William Clarance’s Fascinating Account

Michael Roberts, in SOUTH ASIA¸ Sept 2008, 31: 394-96 reviewing Ethnic Warfare in Sri Lanka and the UN Crisis (London: Pluto Press, and Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publications, 2007), 296 pp.

This is an unusual book and essential reading for those interested in the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. William Clarance was head of UNHCR’s relief mission in Sri Lanka from 1989 to 1992. He kept a diary and has waited until he had left the arena of international administration before recounting his riveting experiences in the field. 

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The Presidency Stakes: Assessing Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Rajeewa Jayaweera, in Sunday Island, 18 August 2019, where the title reads “The Gotabaya Rajapaksa quandary”

On August 11, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) or Pohottuwa held its inaugural convention at the Sugathadasa Stadium. Former President and current Leader of Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa (MR), who minutes earlier had been declared leader of the SLPP formally announced its Presidential candidate. As expected, it was MR’s younger brother, a former soldier and onetime Defense Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa (GR). Amidst thunderous applause and fireworks, GR declared, “I love my country, I am proud of my country.” Outlining his vision for the country, he pledged; “I will not allow anyone to interfere with the sovereignty of Sri Lanka” and “I will protect you and your children.”

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India’s Kashmir Action: Severe Implications for Sri Lankan Tamils

 PK Balachandran, of BD News, in Island, 13 August 2019, “Kashmir episode further dims chances of devolution of power to Sri Lankan Tamils

What is happening in India now in regard to federalism and devolution of power to Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir (J and K) region could further dim prospects of Sri Lankan Tamils’ getting power devolution beyond what they have been given de facto under the 13th Amendment of the Sri Lankan constitution.

Through a Presidential Order on August 5, the Indian central government headed by strongman Narendra Modi, nullified Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution which had given J and K State a large degree of autonomy. The Presidential Order also divided the State of J and K into two Union territories with very much less autonomy.

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Sinhala Extremists eye Uyghur Solution for Muslims

ACL Ameer Ali, in Sunday Observer, 14 July 2019, where the title runs Moulding Muslim Culture’ echoes Chinese Uyghur experiment’

The hidden agenda of the far-right and extremist groups like Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), Mahoson Balakaya, Sinha Le and so on, in respect of the Muslim community needs be understood in light of what was announced in that rally by BBS secretary, Gnanasara. From the beginning, and at least since the Alutgama riots of 2015, the BBS and its obstreperous secretary, were vociferous in demanding the expulsion of all Muslims to Saudi Arabia or any other Arab country, reinventing a 19th century argument advanced by Anagarika Dharmapala and Co. in a different context, that Muslims were ‘aliens’ in Sri Lanka. The fact that this community, like the Sinhalese and the Tamils before, were also foreigners but arrived last and that they were indigenised over one thousand years ago did not matter in the BBS’ twisted [readings of] history. Its ultimate goal is to make this island one hundred percent Sinhala Buddhist. It was this aspiration that was once again reinforced in Kandy, when Gnanasara announced that, “every home must have an owner and Sinhalese are the owners of Sri Lanka.” When saying that he quite naively expected the Tamils also to accept their status as tenants and live until they too would be ejected one day.

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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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