By John Clifford Holt
Whilst the civil warfare in Sri Lanka among Sinhala Buddhists and Tamils resulted in 2009, many Sri Lankans and overseas observers alike was hoping to determine the re-establishment of particularly harmonious spiritual and ethnic family one of the a number of groups within the kingdom. in its place, a unique form of violence erupted, this time geared toward the Muslim group. The essays in Buddhist Extremists and Muslim Minorities examine the historical past and present kingdom of Buddhist-Muslim family in Sri Lanka, in an try to determine the motives of this newly emergent clash. Euro-American readers surprising with this tale can be stunned to benefit that it inverts universal stereotypes of the 2 non secular teams. during this context, definite teams of Buddhists, mostly thought of peace-oriented within the West, are engaged in victimizing Muslims, who're more and more noticeable as militant. The authors learn the historic contexts and major purposes that gave upward thrust to Buddhist nationalism and competitive assaults on Muslim groups. the increase of Buddhist nationalism ordinarily is analyzed and defined, whereas the explicit position, equipment, and personality of the militant Bodu Bala Sena ("Army of Buddhist Power") circulate obtain specific scrutiny. The motivations for assaults on Muslims may perhaps comprise deep-seated perceptions of monetary disparity, yet components of spiritual tradition (ritual and image) also are obvious as catalysts for explosive acts of violence. This much-needed, well timed remark grants to shift the normal narrative on Muslims and spiritual violence.
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Extra resources for Buddhist extremists and Muslim minorities : religious conflict in contemporary Sri Lanka
Sinhala Buddhist nationalism emerged as a sociopolitical mobilizing force in Sri Lanka from the mid-19th century to consolidate the sociopolitical interests of the Buddhist elites. The revivalist activities of Sinhala Buddhist and the Tamil Hindu elites were in full swing at the time against Christian domination. By the late 19th century, Christianity had been well rooted through English education and proselytization activities of the Christian missionaries with the patronage of the British Government.
R. D. Bandaranaike. He was an Oxford-educated Sinhala Buddhist nationalist who converted from the Anglican Christian faith for the sake of his political career while he formed the Sinhala Maha Sabha in 1936. He left the ruling UNP in 1951 and formed a new nationalist party, the SLFP, and gave a strong and articulate political leadership to the Sinhala Buddhist nationalists. He mobilized the panca bala vegaya (the five great forces), namely, Buddhist monks, vernacular teachers, indigenous physicians, peasants, and workers.
The first such institutions were set up in the field of education. A separate category for government Muslim schools, separate training colleges, and colleges for the education of Muslim teachers was established. The Muslim schools are allowed to follow a separate calendar to accommodate a special Ramzan vacation. A separate university for Muslims, the Southeastern University of Sri Lanka, was established in 1995 as a university college and elevated to a full-fledged university in 1996 with predominantly Muslim students and staff; but subsequently, it has become a national university accommodating Tamil and Sinhala students and staff as well.