Towards Recovering Histories of Anti-Muslim Violence in the Context of Sinhala Muslim Tensions in Sri Lanka



Toward Recoverig HistoriesThis research paper explores three incidents of Anti Muslim violence in Sri Lanka-
Puttalam in 1976, Galle in 1982 and Mawanella in 2001. This paper intends to cast
light on anti-Muslim violence over the past three to four decades outside of the
north and east, episodes that have been masked, lost or suppressed in the
commonly narrated recent histories of political and religious violence in Sri
Lanka. The history of violence against Muslims during this period is
overshadowed by the armed conflict and extreme polarization precipitated by
Sinhala and Tamil nationalisms. The incidents recorded are often limited to those
in the north and east. It is necessary that the post-war resurgence in anti-Muslim
hostility is historicized and placed within the wider sweep of anti-Muslim
hostility within Sri Lanka over the past few decades. The distinct experience of
political and ethnic violence experienced by the Muslims in the context of
Sinhala-Muslim tensions requires greater empirical attention and theorizing than
it is has received. This paper is posited as a step towards addressing this lacuna.
This research is also motivated by the possibility that a deeper understanding of
the temporal, spatial, political economic and social dynamics of anti-Muslim violence can illuminate the broader conditions that generate and reproduce communal violence more generally.

Towards Recovering (PDF)