Category Archives: Buddhism

1948-2019: Intertwined Trajectories summed up …. Sri Lanka and Personnel

  Michel Nugawela, in Daily Financial Times,  4 February 2019

In search of a story: Professor Simon Anholt, who coined the term ‘nation brand’, once asked, “If the hand of God should accidentally slip on the celestial keyboard tomorrow and hit delete and Britain went, who would notice and why?”  I would like to ask the same question of Sri Lanka. After all, good leadership is largely about providing people with a meaningful narrative – a cohesive story that weaves together the significant characters and events of a community or country into a plot that articulates who they are, and who they strive to be.

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Sihalē’s Goddess Tara in British Hands

Senei Wanniarchchi, in Adahas, 2 February 2019, where the title is “Finders Keepers: On Sex, Tara the Buddhist Deity at the British Museum and Brownness in the Colonies”

I am at the entrance to the British Museum and the path separates into two. I take the path which appears to be less crowded and a guard interrupts me saying this entrance is for ‘members only’. I apologize, take the other and stand in a queue for several minutes. I pass through barricades that separate the members from ‘the other’ which leads me to a checkpoint. It’s my turn to have my bag checked and suddenly I’m conscious of my brownness. Soon, I find myself facing the British Museum. The building’s personality is intimidating and reeks of power. As I walk in, I am reminded that the history of this building and this city is intrinsically entrenched to my own and that of my ancestors and I am reminded of my place in the world and its hierarchies. As I walk in, I see a sign that reads ‘The British Museum —  collecting the world’.

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Shavendra Silva becomes Chief of Staff, Sri Lankan Army

News Item in Island, 12 January 2019, ….

Major General Shavendra Silva on Thursday assumed office as the 53rd Chief of Staff of the Army during a simple ceremony at Army Headquarters, amidst religious observances. In the backdrop of chanting by the Maha Sangha to invoke blessings on the new office, he placed his signature on an official document to signify the assumption of duties.

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Suicide Missions as Witnessing: From Self-Immolation to Assassination and Mass Strike

Michael Roberts ….. This article appeared first in Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 2007, vol. 30:  857-88.with the titleSuicide Missions as Witnessing: Expansions, Contrasts” and is reproduced here with its original American English spelling. The re-working of this article was seen to by Ms Nadeeka Paththuwaarachchi of Battaramulla. The pictorial images are embellishments that were not part of the original essay. I have also added highlighting emphasis in orange as well as a few hyperlinks to other standard sources of information. The bibliographical references are within the End Notes as in the original format.

ABSTRACT: Studies of suicide missions usually focus solely on attacks. They also have highlighted the performative character of suicide missions as acts of witness. By extending surveys to suicidal acts that embrace no-escape attacks, theatrical assassination, defensive suicide, and suicidal protest, one gains further insight into the motivations of individuals and organizations. Illustrative studies, notably the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi and Sadat as well as Tamil Tiger operations, generate a typology that underlines the benefits of such extensions. The Japanese and Tamil contexts reveal the profound differences in readings of sacrificial acts of atonement or punishment by local constituencies. Norman Morrison in Washington in 1965 and Jan Palach in Prague in 1969 did not have such beneficial settings and the immediate ramifications of their protest action were limited. Morrison’s story highlights the significance of a societal context of individuated rationalism as opposed, say, to the “pyramidical corporatism” encouraging martyrdom operations in the Islamic world.

Jan Palach…19 Jan. 1969 Nathuram Godse vs Mahatma Gandhi .. 30 Jan 1948

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KM de Silva’s Biographical Routes to the Recent Past

Sri Lanka: The Recent Past by Kingsley M. de Silva is now on the bookshelves in Sri Lanka.

The doyen among the contemporary historians of the island has deplye personal biographical expirences and his considerable reserch material to pen biographical tales that can illuminate our history, Editor, Thuppahi

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Secularism on the Wane in South Asia

P K Balachandran, in Financial Times, 27 October 2018 -where the title reads “Decline of Secularism in South Asia”

South Asia’s multi-religious countries, namely India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, started off with a noble wish to be ‘secular’ and keep religion out of the business of the State. Hindu-majority India, under the leadership of the avowedly secular Jawaharlal Nehru, explicitly stated that it would be secular.

Nehru

Jinnah–Getty Images DS Senanaayke

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Politics without Principle in Sri Lanka, 1948-1992

John Richardson. reproducing a chapter in Arun Gandhi, Ed., W orld Without Violence (1993) which is entitled “The Seventh Blunder: Politics without Principle. Lessons from Sri Lanka” ++

 FR Jayasuriya fasting unto death in support of SINHALA ONLY … 24 May 1956

The world began to experience a wave of political change in 1989.  Entrenched authoritarian regimes in many nations have crumbled in the face of popular dissatisfaction with repressive policies that failed to deliver on promises of economic opportunity.  Many nations are now experimenting with the forms of democracy: popular elections to choose leaders, accountability of leaders to elected parliaments, freedom of expression and freedom to compete for power within organized political parties.[i]

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