Buddhism Endangered by Hidden Enemies: Conspiracy Narratives in Sri Lankan Buddhist Present and Past

In: Handbook of Conspiracy Theory and Contemporary Religion

Conspiracy theories entered the political discourse in the early years of Sri Lanka's independence. With the disappearance of the British colonial rule the "open enemy" was gone, but still the country did not experience the golden age of freedom, peace and prosperity that was expected during the liberation movement. For some voices this could only be explained by a secret continuance of the colonial rule, whose undercover agents were hidden among the new political elites and plotted to keep the country down. The narrative structure of this conspiracy story endured until the present day, whereas the "hidden enemy" was over time shifted from the British, to the Catholic Church, the Tamils, the West, and, more recently, the Muslims.

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