Buddhism and International Aid: A Case Study from Post-tsunami Sri Lanka

  • Elizabeth J. Harris
Part of the Contemporary Anthropology of Religion book series (CAR)


When a tsunami hit Sri Lanka in two merciless waves between 9.30 and 10.30 a.m. on December 26, 2004, an estimated 30,000 were killed, 800,000 were made homeless, and 70 percent of the island’s coastline was devastated.1 Two distinct areas of the country were affected: the predominantly Sinhala and Buddhist south coast, and the predominantly Tamil and Muslim north and east coasts, the east being the worst devastated. It sparked the largest international aid programme in modern Sri Lankan history in an already charged situation of ethnic conflict and interreligious tension.


Civil Society Ethnic Conflict Buddhist Monk Award Ceremony Social Scientist Association 
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Copyright information

© Hiroko Kawanami and Geoffrey Samuel 2013

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  • Elizabeth J. Harris

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