The Case of Forced Cremations in Sri Lanka

From 1983 to 2009, Sri Lanka saw a bloody civil war between the majority Buddhist Sinhalese and the minority Tamils. The conflict led to invaluable losses both economically and politically. To this day, the deep socio-religious wounds have yet to heal on the island in South Asia. Since the war...

Sinhala, Tamil and the National Identity of Sri Lanka

May 27, 2020

In March 2015, the unexpected newly elected president of Sri Lanka, Maithripala Sirisena, stated that the national anthem could be sung in Tamil at official and institutional events. For anyone alien to life on the teardrop island, this announcement may have come as a surprise since, after all,...

Remembering the Easter Sunday Victims in the Shadow of COVID-19

April 14, 2020

Nearly one year has passed since the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka, and in the midst of a lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, the anniversary was marked under somber circumstances. The trauma of these terrorist attacks — which occurred when an Islamic extremist group bombed churches...

In Sri Lanka, Cartoonists Take on the Alt-Right

October 14, 2019

It has been traditionally accepted in modern societies that the media play a key role in the way they function. Journalists counteract the abuses of power by governments, frame political issues and are implicitly recognized as being part of the political system with a remarkable amount of...

Sri Lanka Stands Up to Extremism

October 02, 2019

On July 30, a remarkable event took place in Colombo, Sri Lanka, when representatives of multiple religions — Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Christianity and Judaism — came together to express solidarity with the victims and survivors of the terrorist attacks that shook the island nation in...

The Radical Right Makes a Comeback in Sri Lanka

August 12, 2019

Opposition to the postwar liberal world order seems like the new back to normal, as it is based on a natural impulse to shut out the feared “other” in order to be safe, rather than recklessly open and vulnerable. Neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky notes why this back to normal is natural and...

Sri Lanka’s Persecuted Muslims Are Turning Radical

May 23, 2019

After decades of persecution by the Sinhalese and Tamils, Sri Lanka’s Muslims are abandoning local syncretic Islam and turning to a more radical version. The Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the Easter Sunday attacks across Sri Lanka. This raises many questions about the...

Ramadan 2019: How Sri Lankan Muslims Can Respond

May 06, 2019

At a time when their country needs healing and support, Sri Lankan Muslims have an obligation this Ramadan. Each Ramadan, I set myself a challenge: How and what can I improve this year? For me, Ramadan is about setting and overcoming challenges in an attempt to progress spiritually and become a...

Mike Pompeo’s Inspired Sermon on the War on Terror

April 29, 2019

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wants everyone to understand that the bombings in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday provide a justification for the war on terror initiated by George W. Bush, which has become a permanent and dominant feature of US foreign policy. His tone sounded almost thankful for the...

Sri Lankans Are Waiting for Answers

April 22, 2019

Terrorism always has its reasons, but this well-coordinated campaign of bombings in Sri Lanka defies the understanding of all observers. At the time of publishing, 24 people have been arrested for the wave of murderous attacks on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka. Not only do we not know who these...

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