Rights of peoples and rights of women / Anti-Muslim wave of attacks in Sri Lanka

2 to 8 March

Author: Maria Ferrer/Agència8M
WEEKLY ROUNDUP. In a week marked by feminist mobilizations around the world, Nationalia today is releasing an article (only in Catalan version) about the Kurdish women’s movement in Turkey, signed by Ana Villellas, a researcher at the School of Peace Culture in Catalonia. Moreover, today’s Weekly Roundup is headed by a digest of articles on the issues of collective rights of peoples and women’s rights that have been released over the last few days in the media. And besides, we are also highlighting violence again shaking Sri Lanka, where a wave of anti-Muslim attacks has been unleashed.



A wave of anti-Muslim violence in Sri Lanka. Muslim individuals, their houses, shops and mosques have been the target of continued attacks on the part of Sinhala Buddhist groups since 26 February. An incident probably linked to a traffic accident in which four Muslims killed a Buddhist, and a false rumour about the poisoning of Buddhists in a restaurant run by a Muslim, has unleashed a wave of attacks against Muslims in Sri Lanka. First in Ampara, and afterwards, this week, in the central region of Kandy, where a Muslim was killed, having been burnt as a result of the attacks.

Country’s president Maithripala Sirisena has declared the state of emergency in order to deal with violence. The Human Rights Center of Sri Lanka has denounced “police inefficiency” in the face of the fact that attacking mobs have been organizing themselves through social networks.

Muslims account for almost 10% of the Sri Lankan population. Most of them are Sri Lankan Moors, or Sonakar, a Tamil-speaking people —but not of Tamil identity, Tamils being a different group of Hindu religion. Muslims are mostly concentrated on the east of the island, in the districts of Ampara and Batticaloa, although they are also settled all over the territory. Four years ago, another wave of Sinhala violence against Muslims killed at least four people.

Crisis Group analyst Alan Keenan has pointed out such attacks are “organized by national-level militant groups who are well known.” Current violence, Keenan has further said, “marks the resurgence of militant Buddhist groups that first emerged in 2012-2014 with the support of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government.” Rajapaksa was the president of Sri Lanka at the time. Sinhala Buddhist extremist nationalism also played a prominent role in the 2014 attacks.


Vía Galega launched. The new Galician pro-sovereignty platform, which brings together 50 foundations and grassroots groups, has held its first public event 3 March in Santiago. Vía Galega intends to “create national consciousness” in order to exercise the “right to self-determination” of the Galician people in the future, according to what platform spokesman Suso Seixo has said in the launch. Seven foundations linked to Galician nationalism are found at the origin of the initiative.