by Steve George
. . . tensions between Muslim groups and the majority Sinhalese Buddhist
community have escalated sharply In recent years.
In March 2018, a state of emergency was imposed across the country for the first time
since the civil war, following days of violence between Sinhalese Buddhist and Muslim
communities in the central city of Kandy.
The violence, which was sparked by the death of a Sinhalese Buddhist youth, allegedly at
the hands of a group of Muslim men, resulted in riots and arson attacks on scores of
Muslim businesses and mosques.
A report by the US Department of State on religious freedom in Sri Lanka attributes the
growing sectarian divide between the two communities to the rise of Sinhalese Buddhist
nationalism, with groups such as Bodu
Bala Sena (BBS) seeking to suppress minority voices.
Since its formation in 2012, the ultra-nationalist group has campaigned against halal
certification, the burqa, mosque construction, Islamic conversion and alleged Islamic
The group has been blamed by many for inciting deadly violence against Muslims and other
minority groups, including in the town of Aluthgama, where at least three Muslims died
during mob attacks in 2014. . . .
Sri Lanka: CNN tells different story in its U.S. Edition and International Edition
"Terrorism: Definition, History, Facts,"
The Wisdom Fund
John Pilger, "War by Media:
The Triumph of Propaganda," counterPunch, December 5, 2014
Alex Ward, "Sri
Lanka suffered from decades of violence before the Easter Sunday bombings," vox.com,
April 22, 2019
"Understanding the Easter Sunday attacks -- and the risks ahead: The
roots of Sri Lanka-s repeated cycles of violence run deep and are still yet to be
addressed," srilankacampaign.org, April 22, 2019
Adam Garrie, "Sri Lankan Authorities May Have Fallen Into a Trap Set
by a Foreign Power," alethonews.com, April 22, 2019
Paul Cruickshank, "ISIS claims Sri Lanka attacks, but offers no evidence: Some
of their claims have been false in past," keyt.com (CNN), April 23, 2019