Category Archives: chauvinism

Addressing Shenali Waduge and the One-Eyed UNHRC Hunters, One

Michael Roberts

Shenali Waduge has a long history as a defender of Sinhala interests within and beyond the island of Sri Lanka. In quite a few minds she would be classified as a Sinhala chauvinist. One must, however, not throw the baby out with the dirty bathwater.[1] Her essays should not be dismissed out of hand. Indeed, there were several striking claims in an essay she presented recently in two outlets[2] for me to include it within Thuppahi under this imposed heading: “To Your Face: UN and UNHRC challenged by Shenali Waduge.”

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An Essential Coupling: For A Bilingual National Anthem on 4th February

It appears that there are pressures in motion[1] to return to the old Rajapaksa programme of rendering the National Anthem on Independence Day in Sinhala Only. As Eranda Ginige has contended, this would be a retrograde step. Towards our comprehension of the issues, I present a preliminary and incomplete bibliography of pertinent items — including the work of Kushil Gunasekera and his Foundation of Goodness in fostering the Murali Cup; the endeavours of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene; and Sasanka Perera’s slashing criticism of the parochial responses to Kishani Jaysinghe’s operatic rendering of “Danno Budunge.”

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A Critical Interpretation of Gotabaya’s Political Programme

ACL Ameer Ali, in Daily FT, 20 December 2019, where the title is “GR’s political exclusion and economic inclusion”

“There should be a huge program to make them (bhikkus) aware of what a modern state is. This has to be a secular state and politicians – not monks – should make the decisions. We have not fully developed the idea or understanding of the modern state. Religion should not be a factor… Buddhism is myself, and how I treat you…” – Ven. Galkande Dhammananda Thera, 18 July 2006.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa (PGR) appears to have found a magic solution to the national question of ethnic division and religious turbulence in Sri Lanka, a solution that somehow seems to have escaped the minds of previous political leaders and social scientists. He consistently maintained that the majority is against devolution of power to north and east.

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The Vicious Political Fervour promoted by Social Media Today

Michael Roberts

My past studies of ethnic pogroms in Sri Lanka and India alerted me to the power of oral communication and emotional voices in sparking retaliation against an ethnic other in neighbourhood or region.[1] In May-June 1915 oral tales of Muslim atrocity (mostly concocted one can assume) were carried along the railway tracks and thus converted a clash at Castle Street Kandy on the night of the 28th May night into a series of violent attacks on Muslims residing in such towns as Kegalle, Rambukkana, Colombo, Panadura on the 29th and 30th May and thence to Galle and Matara and their outlying road networks between the 1st and 4th June.

 

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The HR Lobby in UK: Deskbound and Devious

Michael Roberts

The human rights lobby in UK (hereafter HR) has the International Crisis Group, Chatham House and the Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace & Justice serving among the spearheads of the campaign for a political transformation of Sri Lanka – a campaign that is in line with USA’s interests and is linked to the interventions of the United Nations HR industry involving Navy Pillai, Prince Zeid Raad Zeid Al-Hassan, the UNHCR headquarters in Geneva and its cohort of officials (usually American or British personnel).

Navy Pillai Sooka Donahoegowing GowingAlan-Keenan 1

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Populist Pressures as the Central Problem in Lanka’s Recent History …. And So, too, Now

Kumar David, courtesy of Colombo Telegraph, 4 December 2019 where the title is “Ethnic conflict -The Problem is the People”

Today’s column is of an academic nature, where names are used it is for illustration, not to bestow praise or blame on an individual. If a reader thinks a name inappropriate, substitute another and read on. Though most examples are Sri Lankan the argument is general; it is true mutatis mutandis all over the world. The dynamic may be race, religion, language, caste, colour or tribe or any such separator of a society into identity groups. The key word is identity, charged by history and circumstance.

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The Rajapaksas as Pillars of Populism and Authoritarianism

Kanishka Jayasuriya, in East Asia Forum, 27 November 2019, where the title reads The Sri Lankan election and authoritarian populism” … with highlights initiated by The Editor, Thuppahi

The election on 16 November 2019 of Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa — the brother of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa — ushers in an authoritarian populist regime that upholds a form of ethno-religious nationalism. The foundation of such a regime is in the new bourgeoisie that has emerged over the last two decades.

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