April 2013

Doctrine Divides, Action Unites

 
 

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►  Interreligious Integration in Sri Lanka—Inclusion, Not Intrusion
Bishop Duleep de Chickera
The author reacts to the increasing violence directed toward the Muslim community in Sri Lanka that is being led by the Bodu Bala Sena, or BBS (Buddhist Brigade). Formed in 2012, the BBS has been increasingly public and outspoken and was successful in its campaign to have the halal label removed from food in the country in March. In addition, the BBS, led by Buddhist monks, has called for a boycott of Muslim businesses and has criticized the larger size of Muslim families. It is in this context that the author, a Christian leader, calls for moderate members of all faiths in Sri Lanka to stand together against this assault based on religious identity. [Read more]

►   Sri Lanka’s Police—Protecting No One
M. A. Sumanthiran, MP
This member of Sri Lanka’s Parliament, or MP, describes the role that the police play in society. Its passive role creates fear among the people; its active role creates violence. [Read more]

►   Lessons in Tolerance from Indonesian Muslim Leaders
Laode Arham
Islam is a faith that respects democracy and religious freedom, notes the author, who explains the contributions that Abdurrahman Wahid, the country’s former president and Islamic leader, and Nurcholish Madjid, a Muslim intellectual, have made to these tenets of the faith in Indonesia. His reminder of their influence on people’s perceptions and their relationships with religious and ethnic minorities in the country was sparked by a recent act of intolerance. [Read more]

►   Whose Participation for Whose Work?
Ram Dongol
The author raises a number of important questions about development and how it is implemented. As noted in the title, one of these important questions involves the issue of people’s participation in the issues related to their development and their relationship to development organizations. [Read more]

►   Experiences from the Grassroots Justice Exchange Workshop
Khamsa Homsombath
One of the organizers in Laos of a grassroots workshop about justice shares his experience of organizing such a workshop for the first time and what he learned from the rural participants as well as what they gained from the program, especially about ways to resolve conflicts. [Read more]

►   Maori
Paddy Noble
The spirit of what it means to be an indigenous person in Aotearoa/New Zealand echoes through the poetry of this indigenous voice speaking about something very personal—his identity. [Read more]