Buddhist extremism, anti-Muslim violence and civil war legacies in Sri Lanka

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)
    147 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    A post-civil war country may cease military activity, but the social rupture impacts political discourse and ethnic relations, and can lead to collective violence against minorities. Sri Lanka has witnessed multiple examples of anti-Muslim sentiment and violence since the civil war termination, most infamously in 2014 when ethnic riots affected large numbers of people. Buddhist monks appeared to play a prominent role. The lengthy war and ethnonationalist ideologies have produced politico-religious shifts associated with ‘Buddhist extremism’, implicated in these riots and other aggressions. This paper uses interview data to explore the question: what causal mechanisms link post-civil war and extremist ideologies, and how this can lead to ethnic rioting. Interview respondents argue that promoting a monolithic national identity in a heterogeneous country enhances divisions, which can be politically expedient. An outright war victory, militarization of society and lack of peacebuilding sustain ethnic tensions that can be mobilized for further anti-minority violence.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)137-159
    Number of pages23
    JournalAsian Ethnicity
    Volume21
    Issue number1
    Early online date25 Apr 2019
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2020

    Keywords

    • Buddhist extremism
    • ethnic riots
    • Muslims
    • post-civil war
    • Sri Lanka

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Cultural Studies
    • Sociology and Political Science

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'Buddhist extremism, anti-Muslim violence and civil war legacies in Sri Lanka'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this