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Ravana’s Aviation Route: Sri Lanka

  • 21 Jul 2020
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka has sought relevant documents and literature from the public to study the mythological character Ravana’s “aviation routes”.

Key Points

  • Description: The Civil Aviation Authority will lead a research project titled “King Ravana and the ancient domination of aerial routes now lost”.
    • The project aims to bring out an authoritative narrative about King Ravana as there are many stories about Ravana flying aircrafts and covering these aerial routes.
  • Significance:
    • According to the civil aviation authority, it was Ravana who used a flying machine called “Dandu monara” to fly not only within the country, but also in the South East Asia region.
    • Tourism: Sri Lanka’s tourism sector promotes the ‘Ramayana trail’ for visitors from India — one of Sri Lanka’s largest tourism markets.
    • Sinhala-Buddhists Community: The majority Sinhala-Buddhists community hail the King Ravana.
      • The group calls itself Ravana Balaya.
    • Linkages with India: Dravidian parties in Tamil Nadu acknowledge Ravana as “the brave king” similar to the Buddhists community of Sri Lanka.
    • Satellite: Sri Lanka named its first satellite Ravana-1 launched in June 2019.

Sinhala-Buddhists Community

  • The community focuses upon Theravada Buddhism, which is the majority belief system of most of the Sinhalese in Sri Lanka.
  • Sinhalese are the largest ethnic group on the island.
  • It mostly originated in reaction to the colonisation of Sri Lanka by the British Empire and became increasingly assertive in the years following the independence of the country.
  • The ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka is rooted in the discrimination against the Tamil minority by the Sinhalese majority after the end of British colonial domination in 1948.

Theravada Buddhism

  • It is the most ancient branch of extant Buddhism today.
  • It remains closest to the original teachings of the Buddha.
  • Theravada Buddhism developed in Sri Lanka and subsequently spread to the rest of Southeast Asia.
  • It is the dominant form of religion in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.
  • In India, this strain of Buddhism is represented by the followers of Dr B.R. Ambedkar, known as the Ambedkar Buddhists, who are exclusive to India.

Source: TH

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