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'Sinhalese majoritarianism remains a problem'

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Sinhalese majoritarianism remains a problem in Sri Lanka, said anthropologist Syed Mohammad Ali, calling on it to be “rolled back” to achieve reconciliation on the island.

Writing in The Express Tribune, an English-language daily based in Pakistan, he compared the history of the island to that of Rwanda, stating that,

“While the persecution of the Tutsis led to the terrible Rwandan genocide perpetrated by the Hutus in the mid-1990s, the Sinhalese attempts to dominate the Tamils in Sri Lanka sparked a 25-year-long bloody civil war led by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).”

“Despite the defeat of the LTTE insurgency, ethnic and religious fault lines run deep in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious Sri Lanka today,” he added.

“Sri Lanka should learn from its neighbouring countries’ descent into majoritarian ultra-nationalism. Sinhalese majoritarianism remains a problem and unless it is rolled back, achieving genuine reconciliation with the Tamils and preventing the growing friction with the Muslim minority will both prove difficult to achieve.”

See the full text of his piece here.