Locally, and globally, the freedom of religion is recognized and enshrined in laws, treaties and conventions. History shows that when such freedoms are suppressed, the victimized community often reacts through dissent, protest, and occasionally, violence. This article offers an insight into how a state’s indifference to the strength of religious feelings can lead to widespread protest and, eventually, violence in a country. It discusses the Kotahena Riots of 1883 and the Kalutara Bo Tree Incident in 1896 in British colonial Sri Lanka.
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