Darshanie Ratnawalli courtesy of the Nation and the Colombo Telegraph, with the latter drawing a volatile discussion which readers may wish to view … SEE note below pertinent to that discussion
I am the legitimate issue of a woman who unabashedly claims to admire the Bodu Bala Sena. This affords me a critical perspective into the issue, without which everyone is floundering like headless chickens. There may be other people, whose mothers etc. harbor soft spots for the BBS. But because they are not me, they would either try to keep these mothers in the closet or, in contradistinction, empathize with these soft spots; whereas I…Well you shall see.
My mother represents the Sri Lankan equivalent of Middle America and, as such, the demographic bloc that makes or breaks any movement dependent on mass support for its success. In Middle America (SL), one becomes a Buddhist by being a stakeholder of the Buddha Sāsana (deliberately called henceforth, the Buddhist Church of Lanka) and by emotionally aligning oneself with the age-old mission of fostering this Sāsana on this soil for the allocated five thousand years. Once one has fulfilled this basic requirement adherence to Buddhism proper becomes peripheral and is largely left to personal discretion. Continue reading
Filed under citizen journalism, communal relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, discrimination, disparagement, historical interpretation, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, racist thinking, Rajapaksa regime, sri lankan society, truth as casualty of war, world affairs
The Bodu-Bala Sena (BBS) is a political movement crystallizing mainly around Sinhala-Buddhist advocates of strong anti-Islamism. The knee-jerk reaction of opportunist political observers is to regard this as an example of a majoritarian populace behaving brutally, after having `caused Sinhala-Tamil terror’ by allegedly provoking the Tamils with ‘Sinhala-only’ discrimination. The BBS has also provided fodder for anti-government critics as well as the usual `I told you so’ liberals who believe that mass movements can be corrected by a little bit of sermonizing by `good monks’ holding vigils around the Lipton circus. Continue reading
Filed under accountability, cultural transmission, democratic measures, discrimination, disparagement, economic processes, ethnicity, governance, historical interpretation, legal issues, Muslims in Lanka, nationalism, NGOs, patriotism, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, population, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, religious nationalism, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, world events & processes
Michael Roberts, courtesy of Colombo Telegraph where the title is slightly different: http://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/lone-wolf-assaults-from-boston-to-westmead-home-invasion-to-the-unabomber/
The recent bomb outrage in Boston has sent tidal ripples along the media networks around the world. It appears that the bombs were hidden in pressure cookers packed with nails/ball bearings and put in backpacks which were placed on the pavement among onlookers. “Similar easy-to-make roadside bombs are used in Iraq and Afghanistan” (Stewart 2013). But such bomb-making techniques are also clarified on internet sites. Among the first readings one headline in The Australian said: “Stamp of lone wolf more than al-Qa’ida” (Maley 2013). The contention here was that “in recent years, so-called “lone wolf” attackers — people who acquire radical ideology and weapons skills online — have become the greatest concern for counter-terrorism officials, who have virtually no way of detecting the activities of these people” (Stewart 2013).The absence of “chatter” on internet among jihadi circles after the event is one reason for this suspicion. suspected bomb pack Continue reading
Filed under Sinhala-Tamil Relations, unusual people, suicide bombing, Rajapaksa regime, life stories, LTTE, political demonstrations, historical interpretation, terrorism, world events & processes, accountability, power politics, prabhakaran, propaganda, truth as casualty of war, sri lankan society, religious nationalism, politIcal discourse, nationalism, immolation
The ancient land of Lanka emerged as a modern state when, as Ceylon, it was granted Independence in February 1948 by Britain who had been the last imperial power to rule it following the Portuguese and Dutch. This meant a recognition and re-emergence of its own identity after approximately four hundred years of foreign rule. It is a matter of history that violent episodes initiated by civilians and even the waging of war by the state have accompanied the founding of several postcolonial modern Asian states such as India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. In Sri Lanka, the country this paper will focus on, armed insurrections planned and executed by disillusioned and disgruntled youth took place in 1971 and during the period 1987-1990 which had nothing to do with the birth-pangs of gaining independence but everything to do with the policies and politics practised by the main political parties which affected education and economic development. The objective of this discourse is to highlight both politics and history as it can, and has been, effectively dramatized in the theatre by commenting on the theatre of that particular time in Sri Lankan history. Included is the detailed examination of an re-enactment of that period in a play which was written in 2009. Continue reading
Filed under accountability, cultural transmission, historical interpretation, JVP, law of armed conflict, life stories, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, riots and pogroms, sri lankan society, unusual people, violence of language, working class conditions
PART ONE: A gnawing fear resides today in my guts. I fear that one or more of the Sri Lanka cricketers at the IPL matches in India will end up maimed or dead. This is an imminent and distinct possibility – a slim one I admit, but not wholly fanciful. I earnestly wish I am wrong; but I think that either a lone ranger or a clique of Tamil zealots is quite capable of carrying out such an attack in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Delhi or Calcutta. Security precautions can go only so far. Individual cricketers are highly vulnerable. Continue reading
Filed under atrocities, ethnicity, Indian Ocean politics, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, nationalism, patriotism, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, power politics, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, truth as casualty of war, violence of language, zealotry
Anonymous in http://kafila.org/2013/04/01/of-imagined-solidarities-and-real-fears-the-politics-of-the-sri-lankan-tamil-cause-in-tamil-nadu-a-critical-view-from-across-the-waters-by-anonymous/
When elephants fight it is the grass that suffers, so goes an old Kenyan proverb. In the maelstrom of political hysteria unleashed by Jayalalitha and Karunanidhi ostensibly in aid of Sri Lankan Tamils, democracy, truth and solidarity have been the biggest casualties. Over the past few months, Tamil Nadu has witnessed attacks on Sri Lankan Buddhist monks and Christian pilgrims, and the government sanctioned blockade of Sri Lankan schoolchildren and sportspersons.
The latest salvo from Chennai regarding Sri Lanka is the Tamil Nadu assembly resolution calling upon India to press for a United Nations Security Council mandated referendum amongst Tamils living in Sri Lanka as well as Tamils of Sri Lankan origin in other countries on the question of carving out an independent Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka. This is in addition to demands to declare Sri Lanka a ‘hostile state’, impose some form of sanctions etc.
However, is this the ‘solidarity’ and ‘support’ Tamils in Sri Lanka, in whose name all this is being done, really want and will gain from? On doing so, in Sri Lanka at least, one would find many different and perhaps even some conflicting answers. For example, the fishing community in Sri Lanka’s north and west, around Jaffna and Mannar will tell you just the kind of solidarity they would really appreciate—stop those large Indian trawlers from regularly raiding the Palk Bay deep in Sri Lanka damaging the area’s marine ecology and the livelihoods of Sri Lankan Tamil fishing communities. Yes, the Sri Lankan Navy has attacked Indian fisherfolk on many occasions but along the Jaffna and Mannar coasts there is actually a perception that the Sri Lankan Navy is not policing the maritime boundary strongly enough. Continue reading
Kalana Senaratne in The Island, 27 March 2013 where the title is “Geneva and Bodu Bala Sena: Two Dimensions of a Crisis“
There are tensions and schisms erupting, there is a crisis in the making. One dimension of this crisis is the unfolding diplomatic debacle: the Geneva-crisis. The group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) represents, and gives expression to, another dimension. The emergence of both was to be expected; both, however, were avoidable.
Geneva-crisis: After Sri Lanka’s sui generis performance in 2009, the Geneva-story has been a depressing one to a lot of people. Sri Lanka’s support-base has dwindled drastically. India which, in 2009, opposed a Western-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka stood up to remind the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillai, where to get off. Today, India is endorsing Western or US-sponsored resolutions, and acknowledging in the process reports produced by Ms. Pillai. The contrast couldn’t have been more damaging than this. Continue reading
Filed under accountability, Eelam, fundamentalism, Indian Ocean politics, law of armed conflict, LTTE, Muslims in Lanka, patriotism, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, power politics, power sharing, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil migration, tolerance, truth as casualty of war, violence of language, world events & processes
Special Correspondent in The Hindu …..http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/student-group-says-no-to-lanka-in-ipl/article4544729.ece
The Students Federation for Free Eelam is planning to petition the city police commissioner to urge him not to grant permission for the IPL cricket matches in Chennai, if Sri Lankan players are participating. The first IPL match this season is to be played between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians at the M.A. Chidambaram stadium on April 6. The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association’s application seeking a public resort licence to conduct the match is pending with the city police. Continue reading
Filed under accountability, communal relations, cultural transmission, disparagement, ethnicity, Indian Ocean politics, life stories, LTTE, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, power politics, racist thinking, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, tolerance, world affairs
Tony Allen-Mills, courtesy of The Sunday Times and The Australian
HE thought he was going to play Samson, the biblical strongman who lost his locks to Delilah. Instead Tim Dax, an exotically tattooed actor struggling at the seamier margins of Hollywood, found himself carrying a spear on a low-budget film called Desert Warrior. The only desert in sight was painted on a warehouse wall in central Los Angeles. At the time neither the plot nor his character made much sense to Dax. Yet he posed where he was told for $US75 a day and assumed the film, like most of his other acting credits, would swiftly disappear on to remaindered video shelves. Continue reading
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