Tisaranee Gunasekara, whose choice of title has been “Secularism or Faith” — in an article which appeared in Groundviews as well as Sri Lanka Guardian
“And even here
Lies the other shore
Waiting to be reached.”
Tagore (My Reminiscences)
The blue, red, yellow, orange and white lights are on, as are the makeshift stalls selling lanterns. Yet few pause to see, haggle, buy. Vesak, so near chronologically, had never seemed so far away spiritually. After the Easter Sunday Massacre, fears were raised about Vesak too being turned into a bloody spectacle by the IS, working through its local adherents. As it turned out, neither the IS nor its local adherents were necessary to turn Vesak into a season of violence. The Sinhalese managed the task on their own.
Filed under accountability, atrocities, Buddhism, cultural transmission, education policy, fundamentalism, historical interpretation, Left politics, life stories, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, racist thinking, religiosity, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, vengeance, world events & processes, zealotry
General HMHA Herath, in Island, 15 May 2019, where the title is “Who was behind the Easter terrorist attacks?”
While the Islamic State has claimed responsibility, the real story is a bit more complicated than that. To millions of Sri Lankans the Easter Sunday tragedy must have seemed a nightmare come true, a frightening déjà vu of the rampant violence this island nation has known for thirty years of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) terror. The horrific attacks in which an estimated 253 lost their lives and many hundreds were wounded, signaled that the decade’s calm that prevailed after LTTE’s 2009 destruction by Sri Lanka’s Army is over.
1 What went wrong?
At the time, victory over the LTTE inspired confidence and heady optimism. A 2012 defense seminar in Colombo heralded “Peace and Stability” as its core theme and the five ‘Rs’ (Reconstruction, Resettlement, Rehabilitation, Reintegration and Reconciliation) as the imperative agenda for Sri Lanka. The mood at the time was upbeat and the country’s future seemed bright. The safety of the post-war period brought to the country millions of tourists (2.1 million in 2017 alone), and the reconstruction of Sri Lankan economy and infrastructure commenced apace. With the horrific Easter disaster, this process has come to a grinding halt. And the troubling question is what developments allowed it to happen. Continue reading
Filed under accountability, Al Qaeda, arab regimes, communal relations, cultural transmission, electoral structures, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Islamic fundamentalism, island economy, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, Muslims in Lanka, politIcal discourse, Rajapaksa regime, religiosity, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, tourism, unusual people, vengeance, world events & processes
Filed under cultural transmission, fundamentalism, governance, heritage, human rights, landscape wondrous, life stories, Middle Eastern Politics, Muslims in Lanka, politIcal discourse, power politics, religiosity, security, the imaginary and the real, tolerance, unusual people, world events & processes
Your thoughtful note has provoked this set of comments — comments that range far and wide. I will. of course, welcome your reactions and hope that others will chip in with both comments and data. Michael
One: Note this segment in Ameer Ali’s important essay: ” The Islamist creep was manifested in several ways. For example, the cry Allahu Akbar announced the opening and close of every public gathering organised under the banner of SLMC. Quotations from the Holy Quran and the Prophet’s Hadiths added a tone of religiosity to political speeches. Even hand clapping in some instances was substituted by shouting Allahu Akbar to appreciate a speaker’s oratory.” One can speculate that Ameer Ali is writing as a Sri Lankan Australian first and a Muslim second ….. But the point is the inside information conveyed by that observation — data which our Muslim MPs and others have not conveyed to their non-Muslim colleagues — perhaps not having grasped the implications of Wahhabism for inter-communal life in Sri Lanka.
Filed under accountability, atrocities, communal relations, cultural transmission, historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, jihad, landscape wondrous, life stories, martyrdom, Muslims in Lanka, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, religiosity, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, vengeance, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes, zealotry
Chris Kenny, in The Australian, 8 May 2019, where the title runs “Egg attack on Morrison hints at rotten state of public debate”
The Albury egging was so pathetic it didn’t even crack the egg. But there would have been milliseconds of sharp concern and shambolic reactions, with one woman knocked to the ground, that ruined what otherwise would have been a terrific event for the Country Women’s Association. And while they will be outwardly phlegmatic, Scott Morrison, his staff and the Australian Federal Police close personal protection officers will be — pardon the pun — walking on eggshells for a while.
Filed under accountability, atrocities, Australian culture, australian media, cultural transmission, electoral structures, heritage, historical interpretation, legal issues, life stories, news fabrication, performance, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, security, self-reflexivity, taking the piss, tolerance, trauma, truth as casualty of war, zealotry