Category Archives: ethnicity

Challenging Hannah Beech on the Gintota Disturbances in November 2017: A Clarification

Gerald Peiris,

I was in error (albeit an inaccuracy regarding the date) when I said in my earlier message to you that there was no attack on the Muslims in Gintota on 12 November 2017. There was, in fact, a riot which began several days later.

Initial unrest was triggered off by a traffic accident along the Galle-Colombo highway on 12 November involving a motorcyclist (Sinhalese) and two pedestrians (a Muslim woman and her daughter) which ended with police mediation and the motorcyclist made to pay Rs. 25,000 as compensation to the victims (treated for minor injuries as ‘OPD patients’ at Galle).

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Filed under accountability, communal relations, conspiracies, disparagement, doctoring evidence, economic processes, ethnicity, fundamentalism, heritage, historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, island economy, legal issues, life stories, politIcal discourse, religiosity, riots and pogroms, self-reflexivity, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, vengeance, working class conditions, zealotry

Anecdotal Lore on “Apey George,” namely, George E. De Silva, and Family

Eardley Lieversz, 16 July 2019

Interestingly, I am in touch with Apey George’s grandson, Mahindra, who lives in Melbourne. He is George Silva Junior’s son. George and his wife were good friends with my maternal aunt and uncle. They were very Burgherised. You wouldn’t consider George Jnr as a Sinhalese. He is very Burgher in his manners.

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“Goyi-Lansi”: Badinage founded on Class Differentiation laced with Ethnicity and Prejudice

Michael Roberts

This article is inspired by Fabian Schokman of Moratuwa whose questioning comment led to a brief exchange involving Eardley Lieversz and myself. I will place these exchanges first before proceeding to address the context and implications of the article on “Goyigama Lansiyās” written by a retired Sinhala police officer of senor rank.

This essay was obviously penned in light-hearted spirit. But, in conveying ethnographic tales of past times in genial tones, the account reveals questionable ‘seams,’ i.e. strands, within the socio-political order. Readers are advised to absorb the essay “The Goyigama Lansiyaas”[1] as an initial measure …. before proceeding to the exchanges and the arguments below.

the 2nd Pic may well be British ladies and gents in a Whites only club

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From SILENCE to MADNESS …… Pauline Schokman

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Canadian Cha-Cha-Cha: Genocide Claims

Chandre Dharmawardana, in Colombo Telegraph, 5 July 2019, where the title “Two Alleged Genocides – And Canada’s Claimed Support For Conflict Prevention In Sri Lanka”

David McKinnon, Canada’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka  has stated, on Canada’s National Day  that  “Canada would continue to support conflict prevention efforts in Sri Lanka, where  it has been seen how hate speech and media can entrench communal divisions”.  Meanwhile back in Canada, successive Canadian governments have failed to understand how this very “hate speech” is being entrenched in Canadian municipal discourse and even in parliamentary proceedings by militant diaspora groups. They wish to replay the old ethnic animosities of their homeland  in Canada too.

fervent demonstrations in Toronto mounted by Canadian Tamils in 2009 … presaging recent claims

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The Muslim Moors in Sri Lanka: Commensality in the Moulding of Distinctive Being

Michael Roberts

The article by Wilfrid Jayasuriya on “The Force of the Moors” in Sri Lanka generated an ethnographic note which led to clarifications from Mohamed Mowzil and Ameer Ali.[1] They provided details about the practices followed by the Moor (Muslim) people in the course of meals termed sawan and kidu. This practice of feeding oneself from the same communal dish in the centre of a small table is especially marked on days of feast or collective recollection. In some instances, the family collective would include men and women. Where outsiders (usually bosom friends or distinguished personnel) are party to this intimate occasion, only males would participate in this practice.

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The Force of the Moors. Reflections Historical and Ethnographic

Wilfrid Jayasuriya

“The Portugese, the Saviours of our Culture?” = This is the title of a scholarly article written in the Ceylon Historical Journal in the 1950s by B. J. Perera BA (History) University of Ceylon who was our teacher in the University Entrance class. It was of course “dead against” the version given by nationalist historians after independence. However his interpretation simply put was that the Mughals had conquered Hindu India and ruled it for a couple of centuries and converted a large part of the Hindu population to the Muslim religion as had happened in countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia and the Maldives, which had been either Hindu or Buddhist. The evidence in Bali and Java of the existence of Buddhist and Hindu relics supports this view.

Mattayaas in the Gal Oya and Eastern Province interior

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