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The State and Religion in South Asia

Photo by Massimiliano Clausi, courtesy SAJA Secularism implies the relationship between Religion and Politics, more specifically between Religion and the State. The concept of secularism has drawn its sources from the philosophy that Humans can order their lives and their societies without recourse to transcendant or supra natural powers, and hence they could also organize and […]

The middle finger to the middle-path in Sri Lanka

A week ago, we disgraced ourselves. Racist louts, some in the garb of Buddhist monks, engaged openly in speech and behaviour so violent, even those who led it were forced to suggest later the footage broadcast on TV and now globally viewed on YouTube was doctored. This was, of course, not the case. Sri Lanka’s […]

The Geneva Debacle of March 2012: The lessons not learnt

Photo courtesy Vikalpa The outcome in Geneva last year (March 2011) of the voting on Sri Lanka’s conduct of the war and related human rights record was very clearly in favour of the Sri Lankan government. The line up in the voting and the scale of the majority were such that is appeared that this […]

Discovering the White Van in a Troubled Democracy: An analysis of ongoing “abduction blueprint” in Sri Lanka

The author demonstrating in Colombo against white van abductions. Photo courtesy Vikalpa.  In a country that has achieved so much in literacy, education and social development, is it not indeed unfortunate that “White Van” has frightened the entire nation? Appearance of a white van assures a disappearance of some one.  If you Google or do […]

Cluster bombs in Sri Lanka: From denial to discovery

Ravi Nessman from Associated Press has broken what’s perhaps the most important story on the war, since it ended three years ago. In a story published by AP a few hours ago, he notes, The Associated Press obtained a copy Thursday of an email written by a U.N. land mine expert that said unexploded cluster […]

Not In Our Name: Against religious extremism in Sri Lanka

A week ago, a violent a mob of about 2,000 Sinhalese, including a group of Buddhist monks led by the Mahanayaka of the Rangiri Dambulu chapter Inamaluwe Sumangala thero, stormed and vandalised a mosque in Dambulla. The mosque was declared an illegal structure, but it is unclear how this far this is accurate. The shameful […]

Human Rights and Reconciliation Challenged in Dambulla and by Disappearances

In more ways than one, a sleeping Buddha in Dambulla Rock Cave Temple. Courtesy University of Peradeniya Whilst the country awaits the decision of the regime regarding which recommendations, if any, of the LLRC report it will implement, human rights and reconciliation continue to be challenged, by disappearances and now, the ugly spectre of religious […]

Deeds of mosque in Dambulla and photos of damage: How is this structure illegal? (UPDATED)

Groundviews was sent a copy of what we were told was the deed of the mosque at the centre of an on-going controversy in Dambulla, Sri Lanka. We were also sent photos of the damage and vandalism wrought by the mob violence a few days ago. We’ve uploaded the document to Scribd as a PDF, […]

Dambulla Mosque attack: Is there a hidden hand?

Image courtesy BBC The storming of the Dambulla Mosque on Friday the 20th April and chasing away of the Muslim worshippers attending Friday prayers by a mob led by Buddhist priests is epoch making in modern Sri Lankan history. The majority of the people of all communities are shocked and incensed by the way Buddhist […]

Bigoted monks and militant mobs: Is this Buddhism in Sri Lanka today?

Frame grab from News 1st TV broadcast As noted by Raashid Riza, the Multimedia Editor of The Platform, Last Friday a mob of about 2,000 Sinhalese, led by a group of Buddhist monks, stormed into a mosque in the historical city of Dambulla. They caused disturbances so severe that Friday prayers had to be cancelled. […]

Delivering on the LLRC Recommendations

Immediately after the Resolution on SL was adopted in Geneva a month ago, US Secretary of State issued a short media release that said the US believes, the resolution “encourages the Government of Sri Lanka to continue on the path toward reconciliation” and for the second time said, “….. and I look forward to discussing […]

Reflections on Sri Lanka’s Post-Geneva Irrationality

Photo courtesy ISHARA S.KODIKARA, AFP/Getty Images via Chicago Tribune News One can understand to a certain extent the angst of some Sri Lankans over the injury caused to national pride by the ‘Geneva Resolution’ of March 2012. One can also understand the sense of frustration of certain others who hold the view that the Resolution does […]

Ask Ass. Sec. Robert Blake a question on Sri Lanka over Twitter

Image courtesy Colombo Page Robert Blake is the Assistant Secretary, South And Central Asian Affairs at the US State Department and former Ambassador to Sri Lanka. The man likes cricket and our own Murali, and given his current portfolio, is a key figure in US-Sri Lanka relations post-war. He is currently taking questions on Twitter […]