Ethnic Conflict in Buddhist Societies in South and Southeast Asia: The Politics behind Religious Rivalries

edited by K.M. de Silva

Buddhist PubIn 1988, the ICES in association with the Thai Studies Programme of Chulalongkorn University, Thailand organised a conference on “Ethnic Conflict in Buddhist Societies, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Burma.”  The success of the conference encouraged us to prepare a selection of papers presented at that conference for publication by Pinter Publishers, London and Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado, USA.  This was done in 1988 itself shortly after the conclusion of this conference.

Inevitably the world of Buddhist societies had changed, quite often very dramatically, in the 25 years between 1988 and 2014.  Conflicts within the Buddhist societies of Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar, took different forms and shapes in this period.

A little over 25 years later the ICES organised a conference in Kandy (26-27 June 2014) on the theme of “25 Years in Retrospect: Buddhism, Ethnic Conflicts and Religious Harmony in South and Southeast Asia.”  This present monograph is a collection of some of the papers presented and discussed at the conference in 2014.

About the Editor

K.M. de Silva was Professor of Sri Lanka History at the University of Ceylon (later the University of Peradeniya) from 1969-95. He has been Smuts Visiting Fellow in Commonwealth Studies and Visiting Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge; Commonwealth Professor in the Department of Government at the University of Manchester and Visiting Professor of South Asian History at Bowdoin College, Maine; and a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington DC, USA.  He is the author of several books including A History of Sri Lanka (1980 Hurst, London and 2005 Penguin, India), and Regional Powers and Small State Security: India and Sri Lanka 1977-90, Woodrow Wilson Press, Washington DC, USA (1995 Baltimore MD, USA and London). He was the principal founder of the International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Kandy/Colombo, Sri Lanka in 1982 and is presently a Director of the ICES.