Buddhist Fury: Why are Buddhists attacking Muslims in Myanmar and Sri Lanka?

Public lecture
Open to the Public
Nador u. 9, Faculty Tower
Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 5:30pm
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Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 5:30pm

Panel discussion organized by the

Center for Conflict, Negotiation and Recovery and the 

School of Public Policy

Thursday, March 6, 2014, 17:30

Auditorium, Nador street 9

Buddhist Fury: Why are Buddhists attacking Muslims in Myanmar and Sri Lanka?

More than 250 Muslims have died in attacks in Myanmar in recent years, some of them led by Buddhist monks. Buddhist groups have been leading campaigns against Muslims in Sri Lanka, attacking mosques, assaulting people and campaigning against Halal food. What is causing an upsurge in anti-Muslim violence in these countries? How have anti-Muslim movements emerged in these Therevada Buddhist countries and how closely connected are they to nationalist political movements? How is violence justified in Buddhism? Why have democracy activists and politicians in Myanmar like Aung San Suu Kyi refused to speak out against the violence?


Dr Alan Keenan

Alan Keenan is the International Crisis Group's Sri Lanka Senior Analyst, based in London. He coordinates and contributes to Crisis Group research, publications and advocacy on Sri Lanka. Alan has lived and worked in Sri Lanka for extended periods since first visiting in February 2000. He has a PhD in political theory from Johns Hopkins University and has taught at Harvard, Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, Bryn Mawr and the University of Pennsylvania before joining Crisis Group in 2006.

Richard Reoch

Richard Reoch is chairman of the International Working Group on Sri Lanka and is a former media chief of Amnesty International. He was one of the organizers of the Rainforest Foundation and is president of Shambhala, a global Buddhist community.

Assed Baig

Assed Baig is a British journalist who has worked around the world covering issues of conflict, violence and social deprivation. He has recently spent time writing about Moslem communities in Myanmar, focusing on the violence against the Rohingya. Assed has completed a MA Broadcast Journalism and BA in Ethical World Journalism. Assed has reported from Bosnia, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya and Myanmar. He is currently directing two documentaries, one on the Bosnian Genocide and another on the East London housing situation.

Richard Horsey

Richard Horsey spent 10 years working for the ILO on forced labour in Myanmar, including 5 years as the organization’s representative in Yangon (a book drawing lessons from these experiences was published in 2011 by Routledge). He later worked for UNOCHA, leading a year-long study on how to improve delivery of humanitarian assistance to conflict-affected parts of Myanmar. Subsequently, he was appointed senior adviser and spokesperson for the UN relief effort in Myanmar following cyclone Nargis. He is a widely-published political analyst, focussing on isolated authoritarian regimes. He is the Myanmar Adviser for the International Crisis Group, and he has also written for Chatham House, the World Bank, the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum and the Transnational Institute. He currently serves as an adviser to the Myanmar Peace Center. He is a fluent Burmese speaker, and holds a PhD in psychology.

~ followed by a reception ~