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The Island of Sri Lanka: A History of Religious and Ethnic Violence

1. Introduction

The island of Sri Lanka is considered by its people to be thrice blessed by the Buddha and the Buddhist tradition in Sri Lanka treats the island as a “relic of use” of the Buddha. The island has been a sacred place for Buddhists since the 3rd century BCE and a center of Theravada Buddhist scholarship and practice since at least the 5th century CE.

The Sinhalese are the majority ethnic group in Sri Lanka, making up about 75% of the total population. Sinhalese practice Theravada Buddhism, which is also the state religion. Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka in 246 BCE by Mahinda, son of the Indian Emperor Ashoka.

The Tamil people are the second largest ethnic group in Sri Lanka and make up about 18% of the population. Tamil Hindus make up about 6% of the population and are concentrated in the north and east regions of the island. Muslims make up about 9% of the population and are found throughout the island, but especially in urban areas. Christians make up about 7% of the population and are found mainly in the central highlands.

2. The island of Sri Lanka

The island of Sri Lanka is located off the southeastern coast of India and is separated from India by a narrow channel of water known as the Palk Strait. The island has an area of 65,610 square kilometers (25,332 square miles) and a coastline of 1,340 kilometers (832 miles). The highest point on the island is Pidurutalagala, which rises 2,524 meters (8,281 feet) above sea level.

The climate of Sri Lanka is tropical and monsoonal with two distinct seasons: the dry season from December to March, and the wet season from April to November. Temperatures vary depending on elevation, but range from 20°C to 30°C (68°F to 86°F). The average temperature in Colombo,the capital city, is 27°C (81°F).

3. The religious influences in Sri Lanka

The three main religions practiced in Sri Lanka are Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam. Christianity is also practiced by a small minority of people.

Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka in 246 BCE by Mahinda, son of Emperor Ashoka of India. Theravada Buddhism is practiced by 70% of the Sinhalese population and is also the state religion.

Hinduism was brought to Sri Lanka by Tamil settlers from southern India. Tamil Hindus make up about 6% of the population and are concentrated in northern and eastern regions of Sri Lanka.

Islam was introduced to Sri Lanka by Arab traders who came to trade with kingdoms located on the coasts of Sri Lanka. Muslims make up about 9% of the population and are found throughout Sri Lanka, but especially in urban areas such as Colombo and Kandy.

Christianity was brought to Sri Lanka by Portuguese missionaries who came to convert people to Catholicism during colonial times. Christians make up about 7% of Sri Lanka’s population and are found mainly in central highland areas such as Nuwara Eliya and Kandy.

4. The violence in Sri Lanka

The island of Sri Lanka has a long history of religious and ethnic violence.

The Sinhalese-Tamil conflict is a long-running ethno-nationalist conflict between the Sinhalese and Tamil people of Sri Lanka. The conflict began in the early 20th century, when the British colonial government implemented policies that favored the Sinhalese majority over the Tamil minority. This led to decades of unrest and, eventually, to open warfare in the 1980s and 1990s. The conflict ended in 2009 with a military victory by the Sri Lankan government over the Tamil Tiger rebels.

The Sri Lankan Civil War was a 26-year conflict fought between the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), also known as the Tamil Tigers. The war began in 1983, when the LTTE began fighting for an independent state for the Tamil people in northern and eastern Sri Lanka. The war ended in 2009 with a military victory by the Sri Lankan government.
The Muslim-Sinhalese conflict is a long-running ethno-religious conflict between the Muslim minority and the Sinhalese majority in Sri Lanka. The conflict began in the early 1990s, when the government of Sri Lanka passed a series of laws that favored the Sinhalese Buddhist majority over the Muslim minority. This led to a series of riots and, eventually, to open warfare in the 2000s. The conflict ended in 2009 with a military victory by the Sri Lankan government over the Tamil Tiger rebels.

5. Conclusion

Sri Lanka is a island nation off the coast of India with a long history of religious and ethnic violence. The three main religions practiced on the island are Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam. Christianity is also practiced by a small minority of people.

The Sinhalese-Tamil conflict is a long-running ethno-nationalist conflict between the Sinhalese and Tamil people of Sri Lanka. The Muslim-Sinhalese conflict is a long-running ethno-religious conflict between the Muslim minority and the Sinhalese majority in Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan Civil War was a 26-year conflict fought between the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), also known as the Tamil Tigers. The war began in 1983, when the LTTE began fighting for an independent state for the Tamil people in northern and eastern Sri Lanka. The war ended in 2009 with a military victory by the Sri Lankan government.

FAQ

The official religion of Sri Lanka is Buddhism.

Religion has influenced the government and politics of Sri Lanka in a number of ways. For example, religious leaders have often been involved in mediation efforts during times of political conflict, and religious institutions have sometimes been used as a means of social control by the government. Additionally, religious issues have played a role in a number of recent political controversies in Sri Lanka, such as the debate over whether to allow construction of a Buddhist temple on land that is considered sacred by Hindus.

Some of the challenges that Sri Lanka faces in terms of religious freedom and tolerance include discrimination against minority religions (such as Islam and Christianity), tensions between different religious groups (such as Buddhists and Hindus), and violence committed in the name of religion (such as the Tamil Tiger attacks on Buddhist temples).

Cite this assignment

Free Essay Samples (February 5, 2023) The Island of Sri Lanka: A History of Religious and Ethnic Violence. Retrieved from https://essayholic.com/the-island-of-sri-lanka-a-history-of-religious-and-ethnic-violence/.
"The Island of Sri Lanka: A History of Religious and Ethnic Violence." Free Essay Samples - February 5, 2023, https://essayholic.com/the-island-of-sri-lanka-a-history-of-religious-and-ethnic-violence/
Free Essay Samples June 16, 2022 The Island of Sri Lanka: A History of Religious and Ethnic Violence., viewed February 5, 2023,<https://essayholic.com/the-island-of-sri-lanka-a-history-of-religious-and-ethnic-violence/>
Free Essay Samples - The Island of Sri Lanka: A History of Religious and Ethnic Violence. [Internet]. [Accessed February 5, 2023]. Available from: https://essayholic.com/the-island-of-sri-lanka-a-history-of-religious-and-ethnic-violence/
"The Island of Sri Lanka: A History of Religious and Ethnic Violence." Free Essay Samples - Accessed February 5, 2023. https://essayholic.com/the-island-of-sri-lanka-a-history-of-religious-and-ethnic-violence/
"The Island of Sri Lanka: A History of Religious and Ethnic Violence." Free Essay Samples [Online]. Available: https://essayholic.com/the-island-of-sri-lanka-a-history-of-religious-and-ethnic-violence/. [Accessed: February 5, 2023]

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