Buddhist-Muslim Collision in Sri Lanka: A Partial History

Nandana Wijesinghe


Sri Lanka is no stranger to eruptions of communal violence. The most glaring
testimony to this stands in the form of the notorious thirty year civil war that was a result of conflicting Sinhala and Tamil political ambitions. Obviously, these expressions of violence do not emerge overnight but rather progress around a number of events spanning extended lengths of time, finally escalating into their terrible forms. The recent controversy springing out of the Buddhist-Muslim clash clearly shows the dangerous potential of communal rifts to disintegrate societies and dissolve them in rivalry and hatred. A look into the historical underpinnings of Buddhist-Muslim exchanges provides valuable insights into the contemporary dynamics of this relationship.

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