5th of March 2018 marked the beginning of a series of violent mob attacks against the Muslims in the central parts of the country, perpetrated by the ethno-nationalist Sinhala Buddhists. A personal vendetta that escalated into (almost) a movement against a minority community, the riots of Digana and the surrounding areas brought out a deep-seated national issue. In the middle of unspeakable devastation, there were stories untold; there were stories of damage, and stories of distrust.
Two years after the attacks, Groundviews visited the affected areas in hope of stories of building, stories of unity, stories of reconciliation. I hoped to hear stories of oneness against the animosity. I hoped that the cyclic violence of post-independence Sri Lanka would have – at least – been deterred, if not broken, indicating the start of a healing, no matter how difficult. Yet, what I found were almost-empty streets, a tense atmosphere, and an overall ominous sense of existence. The story I wanted to write did not exist; in its place was fragments of the shattering that happened two years ago, now sharpened further by the Easter Sunday attacks.
View the full story on Sway here or scroll below.