It was in this seaside town that Zahran Hashim, the alleged mastermind of the Easter Sunday bombings that killed more than 250 people, founded an ultraconservative group that brought him into conflict with the community - a conflict that ultimately pushed him into hiding, where his views grew more radical and violent.

To enter this seaside town, visitors pass through a soaring arched gateway bearing messages of welcome and verses in Arabic calligraphy. Beyond it is a city of narrow streets and dozens of mosques, an island of Islamic life in a predominantly Buddhist country.

Like the rest of Sri

Advertisement
Advertisement