Category Archives: discrimination

Anti-Muslim Violence Present and Past

Shamara Wettimuny, in Sunday Observer, 14 July 2019, where the title is “A brief history of anti-Muslim violence in Sri Lanka”

The recent Easter attacks targeting a number of churches and hotels devastated Sri Lanka. Over 250 people were killed, and many more injured. Within days of the attack, it emerged that the perpetrators of the attack were affiliated to radical Islamist groups in Sri Lanka. However, the identification of the perpetrators as ostensibly adherents of the Islamic faith opened the floodgates of discrimination and violence against the broader Muslim community in Sri Lanka.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, atrocities, authoritarian regimes, Bodu Bala Sena, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, conspiracies, cultural transmission, discrimination, disparagement, economic processes, fundamentalism, historical interpretation, Indian religions, Islamic fundamentalism, island economy, jihad, life stories, nationalism, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, power politics, religious nationalism, riots and pogroms, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, trauma, truth as casualty of war, vengeance, violence of language, world events & processes

The Goyigama Lansiyaas

A Wandering Laankikaya

Following is an interesting piece by former Sri Lankan (Sinhala) DIG of Police now domiciled in Canada. This appeared some time ago.

Recently I njoyed reading a lively discussion in a newspaper about the ‘Govigama Burghers’. The first time I heard the term ‘Govigama Lansia’ being used in lighter vein was by my cousin the late Neville Algama. He referred to his friend and classmate at Royal College V.T. Dickman as ‘Govigama Lansia’.

Siva Rajaratnam that affable Attorney- at- law who hailed from Trincomalee became a dear friend of mine after he cross-examined me for several days before the Sansoni Commission. He too had been a classmate of Dickman’s. In 1980 when I was the DIG–Metropolitan, Siva invited me to his Royal College batch mates’ annual get-together at his Wellawatta Rohini Road residence as the guest of honour, although I was not from that Reid Avenue school.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under British colonialism, communal relations, cultural transmission, discrimination, disparagement, heritage, historical interpretation, life stories, self-reflexivity, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, taking the piss, tolerance, unusual people, world events & processes

Political Shades in the Indian Stardom at the 2019 World Cup in England

Gerald Peiris, in The Island, 5 July 2019, with this titleIndia-England cricket Encounters – An Opinion by G. H. Peiris”**

I am no cricket commentator. Cricket, however, has been one of my ardent interests since childhood. And what I write now is no more than a fan ‘Opinion’. May I add that, in the very early stages of my cricket career my uncle who was awaiting demobilization from the British forces at the Ratmalana airbase, brought to our home in Angulana (less than a mile to the south) discarded sports goods like tennis balls hardly ever available to children like us during WWII; and I was allowed by the ayyas of the neighbourhood with whom we played to bat with a tennis racquet.  Then, the Indians were our favourites, with those like Nawab of Pataudi, Vijaya Merchant and Vinoo Mankad et. al. figuring prominently in my treasured cricket-picture collections. It remained that way until recent times when I liked India to win against all others except our team.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, centre-periphery relations, cricket for amity, cultural transmission, discrimination, heritage, historical interpretation, life stories, performance, politIcal discourse, Sri Lankan cricket, world events & processes

Tip-Toeing around the Artistic Work of Donald Friend

Ashleigh Wilson, in The Australian, 18 June 2019, where the title is “Gallery confronts uncomfortable truths about old friend”

Queensland’s flagship art gallery has quietly moved to reframe the debate around problematic artists by acknowledging Donald Friend’s paedophile past in a “contemporary retelling of history”.

Donald Friend’s portraits of Margaret Olley in 1948 and 1972, left, alongside other works in which the renowned artist is the subject at the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane. Picture: Glenn Hunt Donald Friend’s portraits of Margaret Olley in 1948 and 1972, left, alongside other works in which the renowned artist is the subject at the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane. Picture: Glenn Hunt

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, architects & architecture, Australian culture, australian media, cultural transmission, discrimination, heritage, landscape wondrous, life stories, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes

Diving into Amarasingam’s “Terrorism on the Teardrop Island”

Hassina Leelarathna

In a tweet about his article “Terrorism on the Teardrop Island: Understanding the Easter 2019 Attacks in Sri Lanka,” Amarnath Amarasingam says he’s taking “a deep dive into everything we know so far about the Easter attacks in Sri Lanka” and that he’s providing “new details” along the way. After plumbing the depths of that “deep dive,” I have these comments.

The Wellampitiya bomb factory discovered in early 2019

Jihad in South Asia

Says Amarasingam

  • “The Sri Lanka attacks may be early evidence that the Islamic State is taking an important and renewed interest in South Asia, following losses in Syria and Iraq.”
  • “With respect to what the Sri Lanka attacks may reveal about the Islamic State’s strategy going forward, two factors are important. First, the author has been asked many times since the attack why the Islamic State would go out of its way to target a small island like Sri Lanka. This is largely the wrong question. As has been seen in Dhaka, Quetta, and other places that have experienced recent attacks, it is not so much that the Islamic State is targeting these countries as it is accepting allegiances by local groups who want to bridge localized grievances with a more transnational brand. As such, it is not that the Islamic State targeted Sri Lanka, but that groups like the NTJ are aligning their cause with international terrorist groups.”

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under atrocities, authoritarian regimes, cultural transmission, discrimination, disparagement, economic processes, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Islamic fundamentalism, landscape wondrous, life stories, modernity & modernization, Muslims in Lanka, politIcal discourse, power politics, religiosity, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, trauma, unusual people, vengeance, world events & processes, zealotry

Blake Foreshadows New American Approach to Sri Lanka … and the Rajapaksa Combo

Daya Gamage, in Asian Tribune, 12 May 2019, with this title “Robert Blake indicates Washington’s new approach to Sri Lanka”

Robert O’Blake, former (2006-2009) American ambassador to Sri Lanka and onetime assistant secretary for South and Central Asian Bureau (2009-2012) of the US Department of State indicated how Washington would approach Sri Lanka having seen the deteriorating security situation in this South Asian nation – which could affect Washington’s military design in the Indo-Pacific region – while assessing the rapidly changing political environment possibly favoring the return of the Rajapaksas.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under american imperialism, centre-periphery relations, China and Chinese influences, discrimination, economic processes, foreign policy, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, Indian Ocean politics, life stories, military strategy, Muslims in Lanka, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, security, self-reflexivity, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, truth as casualty of war, war reportage, world events & processes

Intolerance. The Deep Currents within Sri Lanka

This last week  i received two emails, one from a friend in Canada and another from a well-placed senior person in Colombo, which, quite independently, touched on Ahmaddiya, Christian and Rohingya refugees brought to the island as transit refugees by UNHCR and parked in the western coastal areas. Bishop Dhiloraj Canagasabey’s recent public address confirmed the thrust of these two emails. The implications are disheartening and should fore all of us Lankans to review our recent history and its shortcomings.

ONE: Email Note from Canada, 15 May 2019

Hello Michael,  The following might be of interest to you as a social scientist. (A) I read the story (in the link below) at Google News – which sends me stories on SL to my inbox, This is interesting as I was unaware that SL had “foreign” refugees. There were rumours that Rishad Badudeen (Minister – Puttalam) was settling some Bangladeshis in Wilpattu. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, arab regimes, asylum-seekers, atrocities, communal relations, cultural transmission, discrimination, disparagement, ethnicity, fundamentalism, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, Islamic fundamentalism, life stories, Muslims in Lanka, politIcal discourse, refugees, rehabilitation, religiosity, security, self-reflexivity, social justice, sri lankan society, tolerance, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes, zealotry