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SASNET/UPF seminar on Buddhist-Muslim Tensions in Sri Lanka
May 3, 2016 - 16:00-18:00
In the aftermath of the Sri Lankan civil war against the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) which ended in 2009, an unexpected outburst of hostility against the island’s Muslim minority has been led by militant Sinhala Buddhist monks. Organizations such as the Bodu Bala Sena (“Buddhist Strength Force”) have accused Sri Lankan Muslims of black-veiled misogyny, cruelty to animals, and jihadi terrorist planning, all of which they use to justify attacks against Muslim mosques and shrines that violate the “sacred zones” of Buddhist temples. This illustrated presentation will review the recent anti-Muslim incidents in Sri Lanka in the context of Sinhala Buddhist ethno-nationalism, and it will discuss the long-term dilemmas of Muslim minority identity in Sri Lankan society.