In Akurana, bunting with the words ‘Ramadan Mubarak’ hangs inside a quiet home.

In Digana, newly built shops hurry to restock for weeks of festive shopping.

In Pallekele, kanji is being cooked over a wood fire, inside the room of a burned mosque.

Preparations for Eid are underway in these small towns, no more than 12 kilometres away from the busy city of Kandy. The district itself is home to a population of 1,369,899 people, of which 72.92% are Buddhist and 10.46% are Muslim. This year, the celebrations are muted in the wake of a series of violent attacks that took place in March.

Three months after the attacks, families in Akurana, Ambatenne, Pallekele, Digana and Katugastota shared their experiences and reflections during a visit to the areas in the first week of June. Individuals whose homes and businesses were damaged by Sinhala-Buddhist extremist mobs spoke with increasing frustration of the inadequate State response to the violence. They also outlined the probable causes that would motivate these groups to wreak this violence.

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