Sinhala Buddhist Nationalism Root of Continued Conflict in Sri Lanka – Panelists at DC Event

“Mr Arulthas spoke about the historic role of Sinhala Buddhist ideology in the oppression of Tamils and Muslims and how the recent incidents in Kandy and Amparai were a continuation of a decade-old pattern of violence, predating the armed conflict against Tamil resistance movements. He explained that Sinhala Buddhist chauvinism was embedded in the construction of the Sri Lankan state and the understanding of Sri Lankan identity since independence. In order to be Sri Lankan, inhabitants of the island either have to be Sinhala Buddhist or in the case of Tamils and Muslims, accept Sinhala Buddhist hegemony – this remained the root of the continuing conflict in Sri Lanka, he further said.”

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