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Centre for South Asian Studies: News


Muslims in Sri Lanka: The next “minority”? Workshop

Workshop to be held on June 4th at the University of Edinburgh

University of Edinburgh

Centre for South Asian Studies & Social Anthropology

School of Social and Political Science

Muslims in Sri Lanka: The next “minority”?

Workshop, June 4th 2013, 10.30-5.00

McEwan Hall, Reception Room, George Square, Edinburgh

Earlier this year, a campaign against halal certification in Sri Lanka, followed by a number of attacks on Muslim-owned businesses, briefly attracted the attention of the world’s press, not least because of apparent similarities to events in Myanmar, where militant Buddhist monks have lead a violent campaign against the country’s Rohingya minority. Contributors to the workshop will bring fresh insights into the situation of Sri Lanka’s Muslim minority, and will ask what recent events might tell us about emerging cultural and political tensions in Sri Lanka’s postwar polity? After the end of the 30-year civil war between the Government fo Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, will Muslims be the “next “ minority to feel themselves marginalized by the forces of extreme nationalism? 

Introduction: The Cultural Contradictions of Postwar Sri Lanka

* Jonathan Spencer, Edinburgh

On ‘Sacred’ Ground: The Local Politics of Contesting Space (Dambulla, 2012)

* Luke Heslop 

The return of the "good minority": Muslim responses to anti Muslim attacks in Sri Lanka

* Farzana Haniffa, Colombo


Panel discussion with

* Shahul Hasbullah, Peradeniya

* Alan Keenan, International Crisis Group

* Benedikt Korf, Zurich

* Filippo Osella, Sussex

* Asanga Welikala, Edinburgh

For further information please contact Luke Heslop, 

The McEwan Hall Reception Room is located in the Teviot Building on Teviot Place. Access to the room is through the main archway entrance on Teviot Place, doorway no. 2 is second on the left. The reception room is the only room at the top of the stairs on the right. 

Damaged fishing boat, Telwatte, July 2005