In recently facing up to internet challenges and clarifying the term “chauvinism,” I proceeded at a general level and presented definitions within a comparative framework that brought the concepts of “racism” and “tribalism” into our framework of analysis. I now provide instances of ethno-religious confrontation from Sri Lankan history that illustrate this phenomenon.
Pics from Gerald Peiris 2017
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Gananath Obeyesekere, being an academic article  published initially in 1975 in the American Ethnologist, Vol. 14, pp.1-23 …. and is also available in pamphlet form as No. 11 in the Studies in Society and Culture Series organised by the late Ananda Chittambalam and Michael Roberts … ISBN 955-9195-10-7 … while the illustrative snaps are impositions by the Editor, Thuppahi and are intended to suggest the atmosphere called into being by the supplicants seeking support and/rt vengeance at the shrines
It is my intention in this paper to deal with a series of interrelated problems. First, we will consider the following specific questions and propositions: (a) How far can we make inferences about personality and social structure from official statistics computed by government agencies, in this case statistics on homicide and crimes of violence ?
Criminology as a discipline is especially concerned with this problem, and recent criminological studies in Sri Lanka have made social structural, cultural, and personality inferences from the statistical data (Wood 1961; Bloch 1960; Jayewardene and Ranasinghe 1963). At the outset, let me emphasize that I am not concerned with the conventional debate about the accuracy of governmental statistics. I agree with the criminologists who have worked on this problem that Sri Lanka’s official statistics on homicide and violent crimes are reasonably accurate, and on the face of it there is perfect justification for using these data for social analysis (see Wood 1961). Continue reading
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The years 1966 to 1975 were heady days in Ceylon. Especially so for some of us in Peradeniya Univeristy where the CEYLON STUDIES SEMINAR was launched in November 1968 by a few members of the Arts Faculty assisted by the facilities provided by Professor Gananath Obeyesekera at the Sociology Department – located then on Lower Hantane Road away from the centre of teaching. Not least among these facilities was the service provided by the Sociology Department peon Sathiah[i] who cyclostyled the written seminar papers beforehand for circulation so that those who were keen could read any presentation beforehand if they so wished – a procedure that also maximized discussion time. This background service was seconded by the typing services of Mrs Hettiarachchi in the History Department and Mr Kumaraswamy in the Sociology Department.
A . Jeyaratnam Wilson Gananath Obeyesekera
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