The Easter Sunday massacre: Sri Lanka's complex religious landcape makes coverage complex

GetReligion | 4/21/2019 | Julia Duin
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When I first heard news of the bombings of churches and hotels in Sri Lanka, I wondered which group was to blame this time. At first, the government was calling it a terrorist attack by “religious extremists.”

That’s it? Think of it: 290 people dead. That’s five times the amount of Muslims shot by in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, on March 15. And everyone tried to sidestep the identity of the perpetrators?

Sri - Lanka - Majority - Buddhist - Country

Sri Lanka is a majority Buddhist country and hardline Buddhist groups have consistently harassed the minority Christians there. This is a complex situation, as former GetReligionista Ira Rifkin noted in this post last year.

Writing in the Guardian, a Muslim writer points out here that religious Muslim and Christian minorities in Sri Lanka have been sitting ducks for militant Buddhists for a long time. Even after a Methodist church was attacked by Buddhists on Palm Sunday in the northern part of the country, no precautions were taken for Easter celebrations.

Sunday - Night - One - Word - Group

As I wrote this Sunday night, no one was saying a word as to which religious group did this. Now, government officials say they believe an “Islamist militant group” is to blame. No group has taken credit for the attacks.

So far, the U.K. press has been more on top of this story than was American media, with the exception of the New York Times, which has turned out some very good pieces in the past 24 hours. First, so I turned to the Guardian:

Luxury - Cinnamon - Grand - Centre - City

At the luxury Cinnamon Grand, right in the centre of the city and close to the official residence of the president, Maithripala Sirisena, guests were filling the popular Taprobane restaurant on the ground floor, known for its seafood buffet and copious brunch offerings.

The hotel was having one of its busiest days of the year with the...
(Excerpt) Read more at: GetReligion
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