Centre for Policy Alternatives on 16 February, 2016

Convergence: On Religious Diversity and Freedom in Sri Lanka

Categories: ActivityCivic MediaNew Media


The last three decades of Sri Lanka’s history is largely defined by violent conflict, especially in the North and East of the country. Since that war came to an end in May of 2009, we have also seen the rise of extremist religious and other racist groups, including from within the Buddhist clergy.

CPA travelled to two of Sri Lanka’s most significant religious and cultural landmarks only to find that bitterness generated via viral slogans and fundamentalist movements is met with greater vigour by the spirit of harmony that pervades among the people who visit these sites.

Through narratives and images of pilgrims making the journey to Adam’s Peak and Kataragama – both landmarks that hold significance for many of Sri Lanka’s main faiths – and past research done by CPA on the policy and legal framework surrounding religious freedom in Sri Lanka, this piece hopes to highlight that people of all religions in Sri Lanka can respect the diversity in each other’s faiths, and indeed have been doing so for centuries.

The story can be accessed on Sway here and is embedded below.