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Amarnath Amarasingam
1. I’m so shook about what is happening in Sri Lanka, I’m not sure what to do. I’ve just been sitting here staring at Twitter like a helpless goof. I thought I would provide just a snapshot of the country for people unfamiliar:
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Amarnath Amarasingam 21 Apr 19
Replying to @AmarAmarasingam
2. Let’s start here: Sri Lanka is massively ethno-religiously complex and a lot of reporting is likely to get it wrong. Of the 20-22 million people in Sri Lanka, the Sinhalese comprise the majority ethnic group, with 74%. They are predominately Buddhist and speak Sinhala.
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Amarnath Amarasingam 21 Apr 19
Replying to @AmarAmarasingam
3. The Tamil community in Sri Lanka is made up of Sri Lankan Tamils (12.6 percent) and Indian Tamils (5.6 percent), most of whom are Hindu, but with a significant number of Christians (mostly Catholic). They speak Tamil.
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Amarnath Amarasingam 21 Apr 19
Replying to @AmarAmarasingam
4. The Muslims of Sri Lanka make up about 7 percent of the population. They speak Tamil, but don’t see themselves as ETHNICALLY Tamil. This has put the community in the crosshairs of many militant groups on all sides.
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Amarnath Amarasingam 21 Apr 19
Replying to @AmarAmarasingam
5. The country experienced a bloody conflict from around 1983 to 2009 between the Tamil Tigers and the SL government. The war came to an end in May 2009.
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Amarnath Amarasingam 21 Apr 19
Replying to @AmarAmarasingam
6. Since then, hardliners in the Sinhala Buddhist community have come to target the Muslim community on several occasions.
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Amarnath Amarasingam 21 Apr 19
Replying to @AmarAmarasingam
7. There have been rumours of Muslims in the country being radicalized and groups being funded by KSA/gulf states since at least the early 90s (including the group that is being linked to this attack). And it has been used as an excuse to preemptively attack Muslim communities
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Amarnath Amarasingam 21 Apr 19
Replying to @AmarAmarasingam
8. With this attack, the target selection doesn’t seem to point to Buddhist extremists (not sure what they would get out of killing tourists).
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Amarnath Amarasingam 21 Apr 19
Replying to @AmarAmarasingam
9/9. I would also be very careful using certain media sources out of India, random Facebook pages, and even some Sri Lankan media outlets and government officials as the sole source of info.
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Amira Elghawaby 21 Apr 19
Replying to @AmarAmarasingam
So saddened by this horrible news Amarnath. Sending love to you, your family, and Sri Lankan communities there, and its diaspora. Violence is an aberration of the human spirit and hurts us all.
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Amarnath Amarasingam 21 Apr 19
Replying to @AmiraElghawaby
Thanks Amira! ❤️
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