Category Archives: chauvinism

Decline in Tourism and the Blame Game: Where Sinhala Buddhist Extremism is a Major Ingredient?

Hilal Suhail in Facebook

If you have invested in Sri Lanka’s tourism and hospitality industry, then it would serve you well to keep up with the international media coverage of Sri Lanka in recent weeks. The island nation’s reputation has taken a massive beating and it’s unlikely tourism will pick up any time soon. There is no point blaming the foreign media and claiming there is some conspiracy against Sri Lanka, and puff pieces promoting tourism by the Ministry of Tourism and other social media campaigns are pointless and won’t convince many outsiders to take the risk in visiting.

The international media is highlighting the terrible actions of some in the Sinhalese majority, and the violence and discrimination unleashed by Buddhist extremists for decades. The Easter bombings aren’t being solely blamed on Muslim extremists by the international media, they are focusing on the incompetent Sri Lankan police and military who failed to prevent the attacks, despite possessing intelligence beforehand to do so, and also for having caused a situation in Sri Lanka where religious and ethnic minorities are not protected.

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The Presidency Stakes: Assessing Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Rajeewa Jayaweera, in Sunday Island, 18 August 2019, where the title reads “The Gotabaya Rajapaksa quandary”

On August 11, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) or Pohottuwa held its inaugural convention at the Sugathadasa Stadium. Former President and current Leader of Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa (MR), who minutes earlier had been declared leader of the SLPP formally announced its Presidential candidate. As expected, it was MR’s younger brother, a former soldier and onetime Defense Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa (GR). Amidst thunderous applause and fireworks, GR declared, “I love my country, I am proud of my country.” Outlining his vision for the country, he pledged; “I will not allow anyone to interfere with the sovereignty of Sri Lanka” and “I will protect you and your children.”

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A Populist Strongman in the Wings in Sri Lanka

M. R. Bhadrakumar in Indian Punchline, 12 August 2019, where the title runs “The return of the strongman in Sri Lanka”The announcement in Colombo on Sunday by former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa that his brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa will be his party SLPP’s presidential candidate in the election due to be held before December 8 electrifies the politics in the island country. The announcement was expected, but there was an element of uncertainty lingering insofar as the incumbent president Maithripala Sirisena also harboured ambitions to seek a second term and Gotabaya himself was awaiting the approval of the US administration on his renunciation of American citizenship, which would qualify him to be a candidate under Sri Lanka’s electoral laws.
Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa (L) and SLPP Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa (R) wave at supporters during the party’s National Convention, Colombo, Aug 11, 2019

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India’s Kashmir Action: Severe Implications for Sri Lankan Tamils

 PK Balachandran, of BD News, in Island, 13 August 2019, “Kashmir episode further dims chances of devolution of power to Sri Lankan Tamils

What is happening in India now in regard to federalism and devolution of power to Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir (J and K) region could further dim prospects of Sri Lankan Tamils’ getting power devolution beyond what they have been given de facto under the 13th Amendment of the Sri Lankan constitution.

Through a Presidential Order on August 5, the Indian central government headed by strongman Narendra Modi, nullified Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution which had given J and K State a large degree of autonomy. The Presidential Order also divided the State of J and K into two Union territories with very much less autonomy.

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Addressing the Issues of the Dr Shafi Shahabdeen Case

Malinda Seneviratne, in Daily Mirror, 4 July 2019, where the title runs  “Dr Shafi Sahabdeen and the proportionality of communalism”

I want Dr. Seigu Shihabdeen Mohamed Shafi cleared of all charges levelled against him with respect to unethical and unwarranted sterilization. I want him cleared because I want to believe that our medical profession is made of impeccably honourable and competent people. I want to believe that those who graduate from state universities in Sri Lanka learn the relevant skills and show absolute fidelity to professional ethics. I want him cleared because it would help dial down the lunacy among a certain section of the population to see a terrorist in every Muslim.

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Seeking Religio-Political Coexistence in Sri Lanka

Muditha Dias of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2 June 2019, where the title is The search for religious harmony in Sri Lanka after the Easter Sunday attacks”

“Who exactly is the NTJ?” I asked our cameraman. We were filming at the Temple of the Tooth Relic, or the Dalada Maligawa, the holiest Buddhist temple in Kandy, Sri Lanka.

Religion and Ethics Report journalist Muditha Dias filming in Sri Lanka… RN

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Challenging Hannah Beech: The Strangulation of the Rohingyas, 1948-2019

Gerald Peiris, … responding to https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2019/07/16/buddhist-zealots-in-sri-lanka-and-myanmar-stir-the-cauldron/See Note at head of References

The section of the Bangladesh frontier in the south-east runs adjacent to the northern Arakan states of Myanmar (formerly, Burma) —a politically turbulent area which has, at least from the late 1940s, been featured by spells of high intensity conflict between the government of Myanmar and the Arakanese Muslims, the ‘Rohingya.’ The length of time over which the Rohingya have coexisted in this hilly area with the numerically larger ‘Rakhine’ — a predominantly Buddhist ethnic group— is not known with certainty. The Rohingya claim in this regard is that their roots could be traced back to the 10th century Muslim migrations into Burma, and that, in the northern Arakan, they constituted an independent principality for more than three centuries from 1430 to 1784.[i]  This has been disputed.  The official stand of the government of Myanmar (which has, in fact, been corroborated in certain scholarly writings) is that the Rohingya community consists largely of Bengali Muslims who migrated into this area after the annexation of Arakan by the British in 1843.

Pics from 2017 selected by Thuppahi from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/rohingya-crisis-photos_n_5a3bc302e4b025f99e150f1d

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