Resurgence of Ethno-Religious Sentiment against Muslims in Sri Lanka: Recent Anti-Muslim Violence in Ampara and Kandy

  •  Aboobacker Rameez    


The recent upsurge of violence against Muslims in various parts of Sri Lanka has grabbed the attention of popular discourses. However, little scholarly analysis has dealt with the recent rise of anti-Muslim sentiment and violence in the country, particularly the violence in Ampara and Kandy. As such, this article explores the implications and root causes of violence in Ampara and Kandy. This article is descriptive and interpretative in nature and mainly relies on secondary data. The article reveals that the violence in Ampara and Kandy unleashed by Sinhala Buddhist hardliners with complicity of law enforcement agencies caused much damage on the mosques, businesses and properties of Muslims. I argue that phobia against growing Muslim population, myth of sterilization pills, and economic jealousy and rivalry between Muslims and Sinhalese are the root causes of the violence against Muslims in Ampara and Kandy with some other sub-factors associated with it. Thus, there is a desperate need of better managing human and social security of all groups in the country, especially ethno-religious minorities.

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