24 January, 2020

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Anti-Muslim Riots In Sri Lanka: The Riots Of The Other

By Malini Balamayuran –

Dr. Malini Balamayuran

The anti-Muslim conflagrations that shook the country last week began when Kumarasiri, a Sinhalese Buddhist, died after an attack of a group of Muslim men in Teldeniya, Kandy. Neither, the deployment of 7000 security services including police and army or the declaration of state of emergency had impeded the occurrence of communal disturbances in the outskirts of Kandy town. Consequent to the death of the Sinhalese man, the extremist group within the Sinhalese Buddhists commenced to exploit tension, attempting to instigate a new round of ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. Even today, a tense situation has forced all communities to live in fear and anxiety as there are possibilities of spreading violence to other parts of the country. This has now become the part and parcel of everyday life in Sri Lanka. The diverse sources reveal that this recurring trend, what is happening against the Muslim community, would foster harmonious co-existence almost impossible in near future.

Outlining the riots in Sri Lanka

The worst communal violence unleashed against Tamils in the past had deteriorated the civic relationship between Sinhalese and Tamils. At some point, one could argue that the violent attacks against Tamils by extreme Sinhalese had caused the more prolonged conflict in Sri Lanka. Still the country struggles to overcome the exacerbated ethnic divisions, suspicions and conflicts. Again, at present, the sense of Muslim-Sinhalese antagonism has become a very serious issue, putting an end to any hope of peace and harmony between Sinhalese and Muslims. It is imperative that the Muslim community had developed a healthy relationship with other ethnic communities particularly with Tamils until 1980s. However, since late 1980s, the Muslim community was also dragged into the conflict paving the way to the establishment of new relationships among them. This had led the Muslims to become more united than ever. At the same time, the fractious relationship between Tamils and Muslims, yet to be resolved, had made a strong sense of alliance between Sinhalese and Muslims in the past. However, soon after the end of military hostilities, the anti-Muslim sentiment has been instigated by the Pro-Sinhala Buddhists forcing Muslims to live with fear of conflict. How this has happened? Who caused this?

Islamophobia

The collective insecurity after the catastrophic events of 9/11 and the sporadic terrorist attacks carried out in countries like Norway, France and London have aggravated the Western governments to tighten the control over Islam and its extreme ideologies, presuming it as a danger and threat to the society. At present, it has become a global behaviour or action against Muslims and their extreme ideologies. Islamophobia is a fear of politics, advocating a frightening aspect of Islam and Muslims. The expression of fear, a key dimension of Islamophobia reflects Muslims as terrorists accentuating the anti-Muslim perceptions, attitudes and emotions against Islam. Many Western democratic countries have propagated a frightening picture of Muslims in the minds of people. The similar sentiments appear in the post-war Sri Lanka too.

The emergence of Ultra-nationalism

Prior to 2009, the extreme Sinhalese-Buddhist movements associated with some political parties had proclaimed that the peace is not an apt solution to the ethnic conflict, urging the government to engage in defensive warfare to respond the demand of separate state of the LTTE. However, immediately after the victory over LTTE, the Pro-Sinhala Buddhists recommenced to reformulate and redefine the Sri Lankan nation as to contemplate their passionate commitment to build entirely a Sinhalese-Buddhist nation leaving no rooms for whatsoever diversities in terms of recognition and respect of other ethnic or religious groups in post-war Sri Lanka. To make Sri Lanka more Buddhist nation, this new aggressive nationalism use Islamophobia to articulate Sinhalese-Buddhist national consciousness through instigating and exacerbating cross-cultural tensions between communities.

Since 2012, the Bodu Bala Sena or Buddhist Power Force (BBS), a hardline Sinhala- Buddhist organization has been constructing fear on Islam and Muslims. The aim of the BBS is to promote and protect the interests of Sinhalese-Buddhists rather than other communities in Sri Lanka. In the eyes of BBS, Muslims appears as the greatest threat to the Buddhist values, cultural identity and the way of life. Many occasions, the Bodu Bala Sena has inculpated the hegemony of Muslims in some sectors such as trade and business in Sri Lanka and reprehended the progress of Muslims in the economy as a threat to the spheres of social, economic, political and even cultural life of Sinhalese. In the context of Sri Lanka, the Muslims are not suspected in relation to the insecurity that relates the source of terrorism, as it is in the Western countries. However, the BBS has been highly criticizing the matters such as Muslim’s demand for halal services and increased mosques and Madrasas in Muslim and non- Muslim areas and inter-group violent conflicts among Muslims. Further, the hardline Sinhalese- Buddhists suspect the Islamic countries whether they are pumping a large amount of funds to promote radical Islam which could cater terrorism in Sri Lanka.  It’s worth noting that the post-war regimes, somehow, allowed the pro-Sinhala Buddhist movements to get powerful. Till today, tackling the hate crime against the Muslim community for any post-war Sri Lankan government appears difficult although there are improvements seen in handling the current hate-crime against Muslims. It’s worthwhile to see how hardline Buddhists take a stand to control Muslims in Sri Lanka?

The Riots of the Other in 2018

There were incidents occurred first in Ampara and then Kandy. In Ampara, the violent attacks against Muslim community unleashed due to a suspicion with regard to particles found in the meals given to Sinhalese by a Muslim chef in a restaurant in Ampara, Eastern Province. The particles, speculated as contraceptives, were clumps of wheat flour. Later the rumor about the particles of wheat flour was spread through Facebook that “the sterilizing chemicals were added to the meals given to Sinhalese in Ampara”. Instead of taking appropriate action to investigate this issue, a large crowd of Sinhalese led by some Buddhist monks took the law and order in their hands to deal the matter which ended with attacking a mosque and looting the properties including Muslim-business establishments. This is also an activity of constructing fear among Sinhalese about Islam and Muslims in Sri Lanka.

The next incident of Kandy was the result of Kumarasiri’s death after a violent encounter with a group of Muslims over a traffic dispute. Consequent to the death of Sinhalese man, a well-organized mob led by Buddhists monks with their supporters had beaten the members of Muslim community and had destroyed the Muslim-own properties, houses, and places of worship in Teldeniya-Digana area. Potentially worthwhile to know the manner the dead relatives of the deceased Lorry Driver and the hardline Sinhalese- Buddhists have mourned for the death of the Lorry Driver. The dead relatives have surprised about the funeral decorations put up in the town of Teldeniya and its surrounding areas and the crowd gathered for the last respect of the deceased Lorry Driver. This happened because of the role that social media has played to assemble the Sinhalese mobs in Teldeniya town where the agitation transformed into violent conflagrations.  During the time of riots, there was a well-organized coordination through social media among the hardline extremists to gut and loot the Muslim-owned properties. Many minority politicians blame the hardline Sinhalese-Buddhists movements such as Bodu Bala Sena and Mahason Balakaya for bringing mobs in buses from outside to unleash the violent attacks against Muslims. The Sinhalese Lorry Driver is not a famous character, but his death was used to construct fear among Sinhalese about Muslims. Form this incident, one could understand how Islamophobic activities or behavior towards Muslims in Sri Lanka are being developed and expressed. After the rioting, a monk has released a video clip warning Muslims that ‘this is one incident, and do not think that it has over now’. However, the majority of Sinhalese, with no deeper feeling and affection towards Muslims, have expressed their dissatisfaction about the acts of violence unleashed against the population of Muslims in Sri Lanka.

Conclusion

Although, the 26 year prolonged conflict came to an end through a military victory in 2009, the utter ineptness of successive post-war governments in dealing communal antagonism has now made roaring conflagrations between communities. Establishing peace committees or organizing inter-faith dialogues or providing financial assistance to the victims immediately after the riots will not serve to generate affection and goodwill towards the other citizens. From a general point of view, the analysis of the anti- Muslim riots in Kandy indicates that the emergence of ultra-nationalism with the influence of international wave of Islamophobia has significantly influenced the occurrence of current violent attacks unleashed by a few extreme Sinhalese-Buddhists led by monks and their supporters. The social media has been used to encourage the anti-Muslim sentiment among Sinhalese and communicated to commit violence against Muslims in Teldeniya- Digana areas in Kandy and other parts of the country. After the violent clashes, the access to social media such as Facebook, Viber and Whasapp was temporarily blocked by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission under the instructions given by the Sri Lankan government on 7th March 2018, however, there are a range of media such as websites, blogs, and youtube have been used to communicate hatred towards Muslims in Sri Lanka. Since Islamophobia actions going viral through cyberspace, at present, controlling the Islamophobic attitudes, actions or behavior in Sri Lanka with no strong laws concerning to religious hatred and harassment, will be a real challenge to foster national harmony and peace in the country. 

*Malini Balamayuran, PhD (Western Sydney), MA (Hawaii), Lecturer, Department of Political Science, Faculty of Arts, University of Peradeniya

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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

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    This government did not learn its lessons from 30 years of war ..
    Why ?
    If this continues that country will become one of the poorest in Asia soon.
    Economy will go down
    Tourism will go down .
    Good name will go down .
    It will years to build Sri Lanka.
    Today unity is a must for peace. Since 1948 we failed to build up Sri Lanka denity as Singapore did

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    he diverse sources reveal that this recurring trend, what is happening against the Muslim community, would foster harmonious co-existence almost impossible in near future.”

    Bloody humbug. The author clearly expects to achieve her objective of creating disharmony among Sinhalese and Tamil speaking minority (Muslims are a Tamil speaking minority) in the country. She, through her baseless arguments and hearsay has made a dubious attempt to fulfil the hidden agenda of LTTE remnants. Sorry lady, your vague and bogus theory will not make any change of heart among majority of Sri Lankans (Sinhala and Tamil speaking). The majority of Sri Lankans do not have any issue with good law abiding, peace loving citizens in the country. Through the events that happened in recent weeks majority (Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, Muslims) , have come to realize the extent of damaging activities planned and carried out by a very small number of Muslim Extremists under various guises.
    So it is better to conclude that recent communal unrest as a blessing in disguise.

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    MALINI: YOu are writing politics here. what you are doing here pouring more fuel to a conflict. Are you saying 30 year or 100 year Tamil struggle for a homeland is all Sinhala Buddhist problem. Are you saying that Muslims have problem all over the world is it because of buddhists. You are just trying to make your lies True. Who is that GOEBBLE. You are that kind of person. YOu may be good for th Yapanaya university political science department but not for Peradeniya. You are a Catholic/christian – what is this all the anti-sinhala buddhist articles. Is it getting ready for UNHCR. Remember UNHCR is political. some countries did not allow them even at their boundaries. Sri lanka should move away from non-alienged countries list and should be aligned with a powerful country. the west can not run the world for ever. YOu should not be allowed in peradeniya. You are paid with the money of sinhala majority. YOu can have your freedom in england or in some other country and talk the justice you like for that country and not about Sri lanka.

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    Remember if a Sinhala lecturer talkd like this in Yapanaya you people would have beateen him sent to the hospital, If not stabbed him. Just pack up and go. I think peradeniya university doe snot know what aspect of political science they need. You are talking against the sinhala majority and the way you talk is simply lies.

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    You have been trained in australia and the USA. I do not think you studied anything useful to Sri lanka. the way in politics is hired to study specific aspects of Politics. As Sri lanka is still primitive in that aspect PEradeniya shold have hired a political
    scientist useful to Sri lanka. all these things you mentioned could have happened in other ways too. but both Tamils and Muslims Bash Sihala buddhists and the govt for their advantage. Even Yapanaya university is not frinedly to Sinhala people. It is the same thing with Muslim neighbourhoors, businesses etc.,

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      The goverment send for foreign train is to engage in technology development.
      to be practiced/usefull to Sri lanka

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      How could these types of comments be allowed?

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    Article shows less biased interpretations. But it is seeing and taking everything superficially.
    “Again, at present, the sense of Muslim-Sinhalese antagonism has become a very serious issue, putting an end to any hope of peace and harmony between Sinhalese and Muslims…………….. ………… It’s worth noting that the post-war regimes, somehow, allowed the pro-Sinhala Buddhist movements to get powerful. Till today, tackling the hate crime against the Muslim community for any post-war Sri Lankan government appears difficult although there are improvements seen in handling the current hate-crime against Muslims………………….. Since Islamophobia actions going viral through cyberspace, at present, controlling the Islamophobic attitudes, actions or behavior in Sri Lanka with no strong laws concerning to religious hatred and harassment, will be a real challenge to foster national harmony and peace in the country. “
    It is stressing three things,
    1). Islamophobia
    2). After war, there was concern from Aanduwa side to reconcile (irrelevant of Muslims or Tamils), but it has been put into difficult situation, by the Kandy riots.
    3). There is an improvement in managing the riots is shown by Aanduwa in the Kandy riots.
    It is employing a word “Islamophobia”. This is a word is more useful for our CT’s, certain Muslim colleague writers and for social media fiends to seek sympathy. It may not fit well in political students’ texts. It is a word for different context. What has to be noted is Don Stephen, who led the Sinhala side in 1915 riots and went to prison, brought in the MMDA too. The Tamils, who freed him from prison, which was for his crime of rioting against Muslims, were punished by him.

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    This is beyond any aspects of Islamophobia. What in Lankawe is continuous scheming, planning, organizing and implementing of sequences of actions for having captured the entire Ceylon for Sinhala Buddhists; this effort is there from or even before 1948. Further, if one starts with Islamophobia, which is better recognized outside of Lankawe, where it is a reaction for Islamic extremists’ terrorism, one may not take the period only after 9/11. Plane hijacking started long before 9/11. In addition, on the Tamils’ side, essay trying to start with the armed struggle of Tamils. But the Tamils political struggle is not dissectible, but continuous as one the all three formats, from in-obedience struggle through to armed struggle to the current diplomatic struggle.

    The essay is dealing with “Sinhala Buddhist nationalism” and “Islamophobia” as interrelated concepts. That may be only in theoretical analysis, but in practical one they are two different aspects appearing in two different geographical areas. Seeking the entire Ceylon for Sinhala Buddhism, which never had the entire Ceylon, is not Islamophobia. In reality they are not even complementary to each other. Nobody in Lankawe believes Muslims are poisoning the foods. Even if the food poisoning is believed by one or two, nobody in the world believes that Fashion Bug can sterilize women with their underwear chemicals. With this lousy campaign, a serious Islamophobias is being attempted to create. The purpose is to make IC believe that there is no “Sinhala Buddhist Nationalism” inside, but it is only Islamophobia, which is reasonable, because in some part of the world, especially in democratic countries, it is exiting with justifiable reason. If this campaign catches the fire and Sinhalese start to fear of Muslims and they start to isolate Muslims and Sinhala women stop buying cloths from Muslim shops, then that Islamophobia will be different from the one outside of Lankawe.

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    That campaign is parallel to how they made the IC to believe that the Tamil Freedom fighters were only terrorists and no problems for Tamils existed.

    The easy assumes there is an effort from Yahapalanaya to make reconciliation. So it is talking about co-exiting. That is a clear cut mistake. Don Stephens, at the time of receiving the freedom, called for Tamil Ministers’ support and advised them to we(Tamils and Sinhalese) should rule us(the Ceylon-two nations, Tamil Eelam and Lankawe under a unitary government). Once that job was done (freedom obtained), he quickly did arrangement to deport Upcountry Tamils and inserted wedge between Tamils and Muslims. Ranil is doing the same thing. He took support from Sampanthar to work out on China from where he can get the Veto power to use against Tamils in UN and then let Sampanthar to go alone in LG election without countering the Old Royals on their anti- Secret Solution campaign. Now the Secret Solution is dead. Why Ranil did this game was only to politically consolidate the war victory. He created a false hope of “Reconciliation and Secret Solution” only to drag on that and thus protected the majority community (Not just the Sinhala/Buddhist Nationalists) with China’s veto. He was working further on his electioneering system, where Tamils will be excluded from influencing the presidential election and the mixed PR & FPTP, with which, once he leaves, the Constitution can be changed only if Sinhalese want it, but not for other minorities. Currently, even though TNA could not do anything in parliament, but the Muslim Ministers are able to do.

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    But in future no minorities can do anything. This new mixed system (PR-FPTP) is supposed to leave the government on only “Unity National Government” between major Sinhala parties and rendering the minorities as worthless garbage only to sit in the parliament. It is almost impossible stopping Ranil from this project and his victory is also ensured. So Ranil did no reconciliation efforts, but the effort there was only to consolidate the war victory and oppress the minorities permanently. Unless the IC is explicitly works on this issue, there will be no solution to Minorities. Period! Even Norwegian Envoy Erik Solheim has told that Sinhala government will not give anything to Tamils voluntarily. It has to be done by IC or with another war or has to be forgotten about it.

    Then the wording “improvement”. I don’t know the correct word, but I would have said “there is change in the way the Kandy riot was handled”. Ranil has said that he will follow Don Stephen’s path. That means, working on Upcountry Tamils and Muslims to isolate the North-East Tamils and destroy them. He wedged between Karuna and Prapha. He is wedging between Upcountry and North-East Tamils. The change in handling the riots on Muslims is only the MMDA of 2018. One should note already Hakeem has said that there was no Muslims-Sinhala riot in Kandy. But, he is the one week ago said Muslims are cheated. The change is only a way to show Muslims that they are cared. It is pretentious. There is no political protection for Muslims. All different, different Muslims units are following different, different paths. On Junior SLMC minister accused Ranil the way the riots was handled and Hakeem did his best sack from SLMC. Some are in Geneva. Some are trying convincing OIC. Some are advocating forming groups to beat back next time. They are citing Akurana, where rioters were deterred by local Muslims.

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    Most of the ethnic tensions stem from the divide and rule policy implemented by the British. Creating a privileged class of Tamils and Christians only antagonized the majority Buddhist population. Furthermore, there was no cohesive transition from monarchy (which Sri Lanka had for millenia) to Westminister style government. Instead, the Westminister style government was simply forced on the natives, with the same Tamils and Christians at the top. Now that the native Buddhists have rightfully taken control over what is theirs, some interested factions are crying genocide and formulating doomsday scenarios. No, what is happening is that an imbalance of power is being corrected. Also, it remains to be seen how the various ethnic groups can co-exist peacefully under the Westminister system, which is, after all, a Western creation. If co-existence is not possible, then perhaps a return to the monarchy is best.

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      Lester

      “Most of the ethnic tensions stem from the divide and rule policy implemented by the British. “

      Well you got a half point there. However could you let us have any actual studies that were professionally carried out by researchers to support your usual mumbo jumbo claim.

      Your imagination is running riot. Your perception is running riot. Your paranoia is running riot. It seems you don’t have quality time to think, say and do the right thing.

      “Now that the native Buddhists have rightfully taken control over what is theirs, some interested factions are crying genocide and formulating doomsday scenarios.”

      Didn’t anyone tell you Muslims are actually the victims this time around? By the way who are the native Buddhists? Aren’t they the converted descendants of Kallathonies from South India?

      Who are the native who have rightfully taken control over what is theirs?

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        Native Vedda:

        “However could you let us have any actual studies…”

        It is the divide and rule policy used by the British everywhere. Not only in SL, but all over the world, this divide and rule policy left all sorts of turmoil: Northern Ireland, Singapore (formerly part of Malaya), India, etc. Using a minority to rule the majority is a stupid idea, but the British were more interested in plundering the natural resources of whichever country they occupied, than creating equality.

        “By the way who are the native Buddhists?”

        They are the Aryans who turned a jungle with less enlightening ax wielding aborigines into a civilization with advanced hydrology, a writing system, and much more. The Muslims are Dravidian converts to Islam.

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          Ah, the deliberate set the Sinhalese against the Muslim comment.
          Ignorance, or deliberate provocation. You sound ignorant about the Muslims in Sri Lanka, and where they all came from, which is from varied places in the world. Your idiotic assumption that they are all Dravidian converts, shows your attempt at demonizing Muslims, and making the Sinhalese, prejudice. Ugly.

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          Lester

          However could you let us have any actual studies that were professionally carried out by researchers to support your usual mumbo jumbo claim.

          “They are the Aryans who turned a jungle with less enlightening ax wielding aborigines into a civilization with advanced hydrology, a writing system, and much more. “

          Well another mumbo jumbo.
          Whatever you believe/claim were the Aryan constructs in this island all came from India.
          Instead of your own inability to state evidence based on research read:
          Prof Sirima Koribamune
          Prof R A L H Gunawardana
          Prof Gananath Obeyesekere
          Prof K NO Dharmadasa
          Prof Sudharsan Seniviratne
          Prof Sunil Ariaratne
          Prof Mahinda Somathilake
          Prof N A Wimalasena
          …………
          ……….
          ………
          Have you been living in primordial well like the frog in Swami Vivekananda’s story which he narrated at the 1893 World Religious Conference held in Chicago at which the public racist Aryan Anagarika Homeless Dharmapala also attended?

          Who are the Aryans?
          Are they blessed with double the number of organs compared to normal non-Aryan people, including their private parts?
          What have they got to do in my ancestral land?

          Although many studies have conclusively proved that there is not much difference in genetic terms among all stupid Sri Lankans, Tamil, Sinhalese, Muslims you are still living in myth. We should not mind your residence however we have all the democratic right to question your stupid and dated views.

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            Native Vedda:

            Arguing that the Sinhalese came from India is like arguing that humans came from Africa. Sri Lanka is not India.

            You quote some names, quote what they said instead (this is how intelligent people argue).

            “Although many studies have conclusively proved that there is not much difference in genetic terms among all stupid Sri Lankans, Tamil, Sinhalese, Muslims you are still living in myth.”

            Genetic analysis proves that Sinhalese are genetically affiliated to people from Orissa, Northern India.

            “What have they got to do in my ancestral land?”

            Your way of life as hunter gatherer is over. Best to assimilate into the general Sri Lankan culture.

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      Furthermore, there was no cohesive transition from monarchy (which Sri Lanka had for millenia) to Westminister style government………….
      ……………………..
      No, what is happening is that an imbalance of power is being corrected.

      It sound like you are the only one knows what “cohesion” is. I wish British were also did know your cohesion ways to properly move you from Monarchy to Westminster system, those days. One of the problem is 1931 Universal Franchise moved you hurriedly from your Amude to pants. So you are burning down the country so you can go back to you Amude, the Ehelepola Kingdom.
      “Chethaiyil Palliyai Methaiyil viddalum Chetaikkuthaan Pookum. ” (I you bring to the bed the lizard that lives on the Cadjan leaf roof and care it, it will return back to the roof)

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      Go and tell your fairy tales to others. Oh yes they made the Tamils so privileged , that they merged their lands with the Sinhalese lands down south in 1833 and then did not even develop their areas but made them economically reliant of the Sinhalese south. In 1948 they gave the hapless Tamil speaking population on a platter to the Sinhalese racists , with no adequate minority rights or protection. Asking the opinion of a few Colombo based Tamils many intermarried heavily into Sinhalese families, is not representative of the Tamils. Whom are you trying to fool? Lastly the Sinhalese are not Aryans but Dravidians 70% Tamil Dravidian and 25% Bengali Dravidian and 50% of the present day Sinhalese are descended from recently migrated largely low caste Tamils , who were imported into the island by the Dutch and Portuguese to do menial work.

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        “Lastly the Sinhalese are not Aryans but Dravidians 70% Tamil Dravidian and 25% Bengali Dravidian”

        Give me references to actual studies, not propaganda from Tamilnet.

        Here are the results of one study:

        A genetic distance analysis by Dr Robet Kirk also concluded that the modern Sinhalese are most closely related to the Bengalis.

        This is further substantiated by a VNTR study, which found 70-82% of Sinhalese genes to originate from Bengali admixture.

        https://alchetron.com/Genetic-studies-on-Sinhalese

        Multiple other studies on that page confirm the above study.

        As I said before, the divide and rule policy of the British is not unique to Sri Lanka. The British often imported completely foreign populations into a region and gave that population special privileges. The Chinese in Singapore, the Protestants in Northern Ireland, etc. In India they used the Brahmins and in Sri Lanka they used the Tamils. After World World II, they encouraged millions of European Jews to settle in Palestine. The apartheid system in South Africa, another form of divide and rule, was the idea of British settlers. Most of these conflicts are unresolved today. What is surprising is that Sri Lanka did not split up like Malaya or India.

        Anyway, it’s either the British or Portugese who forced the ethnic groups to live together. Don’t forget Jaffna Kingdom, Kandy Kingdom, etc. So why blame the Sinhalese?

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          I pity your ignorance. There were two studies done by Sinhala scholars one by Colombo medical faculty with Newcastle University UK and other by Kelaniya science faculty with Bangkok University. They came to the identical conclusion that core genetic material of both Sinhalese and Tamils is south Indian and that Veddhas were different from both. For your information in those studies, it was a surprise to find that Tamils had 29% Bengali genetic input compared to 26% in Sinhalese. The higher percentage in Tamils may be due to Kalinga genes, who like Bengalis belong to Dravido-Mongolian ethnic group. However Sinhalese have more link to Veddhas with 09% gene input as compared to 6% in Tamils. Problem is that you do not want to admit that your ancestors were Tamils.

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            If Sinhalese were descended from Tamils, then Sinhalese would not speak an
            Indo-Aryan language (this is the real meaning of Aryan). Why was there a Brahmi script and a Pali/Prakrit script that then evolved into Sinhala language? Maybe you are now going to claim that Sinhala evolved from Tamil because of a few borrowed words like “akka.” I have seen some Indian Tamils make the claim that even Sanskrit comes from Tamil, which is another fantasy. Not only are Sinhalese and Tamil genetically distinct, they also share very little affinity on the linguistic side, or the religious side. What does that leave?

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    I very well written article stayed very much objectively and giving fair hearing to all sides……..without justifying what happened at the same time……….different parties will take the opportunity to divert an equally horrondus traffic accident crime into something entirely different. Rekindling my memory of the past all communities and their extreme elements have used the same tactics too….this was not even limited to language/religious issues but I recall this happened even at class/cast levels too within the same religions and the same language speakers? The same human behavioural issue exist in developed countries too but may be limited/controlled because of the well functional security appratus/justice system prevent such events from spreading/repeating like it happens in Sri Lanka perhaps??

    The issue is how we move away from this repeated patterns emerging destroying all our hard work to build a nation free from all insecuruties…… we could address the root cause of the problems by talking to each other at community level…………leaving the parliament/politics away from the community level conversations/grass root movement activity for peace? Given harassment continues even with security forces/emergency in place means it is beyond the average citizen to do the peace building??

    Based on the real facts the majority of us want solutions to all our problems/concerns through peaceful means then how we move away from this destructive methods keep pushing the country backwards?? It will be good if we can suggest new ideas /how other countries have overcome such situations to progress rather than ponder into few thousand year old history / some others divide and rule policies??? we are independent means we should be by now shape our own destiny via accountability/creative thinking/ownership/understanding the religious principles which belongs to us all as guidelines then everything is possible. Can we start suggesting new ways to tackle an old problem now becoming very Sri Lankan problem to us and to the world too.

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    Why arguing so much. Singalese extremists are only interested in ruining the economy of the Muslims,because they are jealous.But funny enough these so called rich muslims do not constitute even 5 % of the total population of Muslims in Sri Lanka.Further they think that minorities of Sri Lanka must depend on the majority Singalese for their lively hood and call them BOSS.

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    Malini Balamayuran’s first para ~ “The anti-Muslim conflagrations that shook the country last week began when Kumarasiri, a Sinhalese Buddhist, died after an attack of a group of Muslim men in Teldeniya, Kandy…….”.
    Clearly a road rage. Victim was Sinhalese and assailants Muslims. Outcome?
    Would the outcome be different if the victim was Muslim as well? What if the assailants were Sinhalese?
    This is tragic condition we have carved!
    Some commenters are blaming the British use of the divide and rule. Seventy years of this excuse. How much longer?

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    A Tamil representing an NGO at the UNHRC said that western countries have started sending back Tamil refugees back to Sri Lanka saying that the situation is normal. Then he said that recent incidents show that situation in Sri Lanka is not safe for minorities. Those who are carrying out investigations into recent incidences should investigate whether Tamil Diaspora had a hand behind these incidences to show to the world that situation is not safe for minorities so that Tamil refugees can ask for asylum.

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    I am wondering why these University Lecturers keep on repeating the same thing wasting readers’ time. May be they can include this as a publication in their CV to get promotion.

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    A REAL IMMEDIATE outcome of the riots was that thousands of hotel, guest house bookings and tourist arrivals for Sri Lanka, particularly Kandy, got cancelled. Tourism being a top income earner for sri lanka this was a big hit. And guess who got hit worst?? Some innocent sinhalese who happen to be hotel/guest house owners or otherwise earning from tourism! Muslims are not into tourism business as much as Sinhalese are!!! So the sinhalese were boomerang attacked by other sinhalese…What a pity! What goes round comes round.

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      And i wonder what would be the total of tourism Revenue lost to sinhalese people due to tour cancellations. Would be interesting to see how many millions of rupees that adds upto and compare it against the total lossess in millions of rupees to muslim shops etc due to riots. I bet the losses in tourism revenue is greater…which means the sinhalese were the bigger losers at the end of the day!!! Time for people to wake up to this reality avoid these costly mistakes in the future even from a pure economic sense.

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    Sri Lanka should have been A Province of India if so All these communal problms would not have come

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