April 23, 2019
CNN International Edition

Easter Attacks Are Just the Latest Chapter in Sri Lanka's History of Violence

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 militancy.

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,", 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,", April 22, 2019

Adam Garrie, "Sri Lankan Authorities May Have Fallen Into a Trap Set by a Foreign Power,", April 22, 2019

Paul Cruickshank, "ISIS claims Sri Lanka attacks, but offers no evidence: Some of their claims have been false in past," (CNN), April 23, 2019

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