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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”.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.