INFOGRAPHIC: Religious Violence in Post-War Sri Lanka

Religious tensions have been exacerbated in post-war Sri Lanka, contrary to claims by the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) that attacks against places of religious worship are isolated incidents. In Mach 2013, the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) published a report highlighting concerns about violence and intolerance against all religious communities in the country. The trends highlighted by CPA have continued unabated, most recently evident in the June 2014 violence in Aluthgama and surrounding areas. Other incidents of violence have not received the same attention as Authgama, thereby skewing the understanding of the scale and level of violence targeting minority religions in particular, in Sri Lanka.

In June 2014, CPA highlighted the impact of these attacks on post-war reconciliation efforts and condemned the attacks in Aluthgama and surrounding areas. CPA urged the GoSL to take immediate and all necessary steps to provide protection to the affected communities, investigate the heinous acts and hold to account all perpetrators and those complicit in such acts. In July 2014 CPA compiled a short brief on the constitutional and legal framework governing religious freedom in Sri Lanka.

Three months since the Aluthgama attack, there is limited information in the public domain on action taken to bring perpetrators to account. That there is still is no justice for the victims of religious violence in Aluthgama and elsewhere in Sri Lanka, illustrates the sheer impunity with which perpertrators of such violence operate and the GoSL’s unwillingness and/or inability to end to widespread religious violence in post-war Sri Lanka.

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Centre for Policy Alternatives

The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) was formed in 1996 in the firm belief that there is an urgent need to strengthen institution- and capacity-building for good governance and conflict transformation in Sri Lanka and that non-partisan civil society groups have an important and constructive contribution to make to this process. Focusing primarily on issues of governance and conflict resolution, CPA is committed to programmes of research and advocacy through which public policy is critiqued, alternatives identified and disseminated.

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