Category Archives: fundamentalism

The Threads of Intolerance within Contemporary Liberal/Radical Fervour

A Letter on Justice and Open Debate …. Harpers’ Magazine, July 7, 2020 ……………..
……… The letter below  will be appearing in the Letters section of the magazine’s October issue. We welcome responses at letters@harpers.org

Our cultural institutions are facing a moment of trial. Powerful protests for racial and social justice are leading to overdue demands for police reform, along with wider calls for greater equality and inclusion across our society, not least in higher education, journalism, philanthropy, and the arts. But this needed reckoning has also intensified a new set of moral attitudes and political commitments that tend to weaken our norms of open debate and toleration of differences in favor of ideological conformity. As we applaud the first development, we also raise our voices against the second. The forces of illiberalism are gaining strength throughout the world and have a powerful ally in Donald Trump, who represents a real threat to democracy. But resistance must not be allowed to harden into its own brand of dogma or coercion—which right-wing demagogues are already exploiting. The democratic inclusion we want can be achieved only if we speak out against the intolerant climate that has set in on all sides.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, democratic measures, discrimination, disparagement, education, ethnicity, European history, fundamentalism, historical interpretation, human rights, landscape wondrous, life stories, martyrdom, meditations, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, press freedom, racist thinking, self-reflexivity, slanted reportage, taking the piss, tolerance, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, world events & processes

Fresh Insights on the 4/21 Salafi Bombings in Sri Lanka

Samanth Subramanium, in New York Times, 2 July 2020, where the title reads “Two Wealthy Muslim Brothers became suicide Bombers, but Why?”

There’s a video of the exact moment Inshaf Ibrahim decided to abandon his life as a rich young man and turn into a mass murderer. In one sense, he had made up his mind weeks earlier, which was why he was loitering in the Cinnamon Grand hotel’s breakfast buffet on Easter Sunday last year in Colombo, strapped into a knapsack of explosives. Once he arrived, though, he appeared to dither. Later, investigators picked him out of CCTV footage, standing near a vacant table, wearing a baseball cap and a T-shirt, his back to the camera. In the footage, he moves like a perplexed penguin. Two steps forward, half a step back, a turn, another turn: a choreography of hesitation. Perhaps he is reconsidering? But no, the investigators concluded; he is waiting for more people to come in. Finally, a microsecond of stillness, arms heavy by his side; then his hands reach toward the front of his waist, and the film goes dark.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, arab regimes, atrocities, communal relations, conspiracies, cultural transmission, fundamentalism, historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, jihad, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, martyrdom, Middle Eastern Politics, Muslims in Lanka, politIcal discourse, power politics, religious nationalism, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, tourism, unusual people, violence of language, world events & processes, zealotry

Imbalanced Task Forces in Sri Lanka?

Jehan Perera, in Island, 30 June 2020, with this title “The Need For Better Representation In Divided Societies”

There has been a trend of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa making senior appointments in which those who are outside the established administrative systems are being brought in to provide leadership and ensure effective and non-corrupt practices.  As a large number of these appointments have been from the security forces this has given rise to a perception that the country is heading towards eventual military rule. There is a concern that the forthcoming general elections will be followed by constitutional changes that will entrench the military in governance as in some other countries such as Myanmar. This is unlikely to be the case in Sri Lanka as democratic traditions upholding civilian control of government are deeply ingrained in the fabric of political society.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, ancient civilisations, Buddhism, chauvinism, communal relations, democratic measures, discrimination, economic processes, ethnicity, fundamentalism, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, language policies, legal issues, life stories, Muslims in Lanka, politIcal discourse, population, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, social justice, tolerance, welfare & philanthophy, working class conditions

A Statue Obliterated in Bristol: Radicals for Floyd in Righteousness against the Slave Trade

Gurminder K. Bhambra, in New York Times, 12 June 2020, with this title “A statue was toppled. Can we talk about the British Empire? “

The statue of the slave trader Edward Colston falling into the water on Sunday after protesters in Bristol, England, pulled it down.Credit…Keir Gravil, via Reuters

BRIGHTON, England — Tens of thousands of people protested in British cities in solidarity with those rising up against police brutality against black Americans in the past week. They highlighted similar injustices in Britain. Protesters in the city of Bristol drew connections between a white police officer’s killing of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis, and the histories of colonialism and the slave trade. On Sunday, they toppled the statue of Edward Colston, a 17th-century slave trader, trampled over it and rolled it into Bristol Harbor.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under accountability, architects & architecture, British colonialism, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, colonisation schemes, democratic measures, discrimination, disparagement, economic processes, education, European history, fundamentalism, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, performance, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, slanted reportage, taking the piss, the imaginary and the real, transport and communications, travelogue, truth as casualty of war, world events & processes

The Web Site on “Sacrificial Devotion” …. Its Short Run

Recent Thuppahi entries have highlighted the Workshop on Sacrificial Devotion” held in Adelaide University in late 2005, one framed within the concept fashioned by Michael Roberts to study and comprehend suicidal commitments to political cause. Note the ITEM

Thilipan on Fast unto death in 1987

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, anton balasingham, atrocities, authoritarian regimes, communal relations, cultural transmission, discrimination, ethnicity, fundamentalism, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, insurrections, jihad, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, propaganda, psychological urges, racist thinking, religiosity, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, world events & processes

Sacrificial Devotion in Comparative Perspective: A Workshop at Adelaide University in Late 2005

Daya ….. Rohan…. Shyam…. Riaz ….. what a South Asian spread! …………………. a dinkie-die curry’

I = Michael Roberts: An Explanatory Preamble Cast in May 2020

By 2004 I had retired from teaching in the Anthropology Department at Adelaide University and was proceeding with the pursuit of my research interests at my own pace within my limited resources. Sri Lanka and my connections therein was one such resource. When researching in Colombo in late November 2004 I flew to Jaffna on a wing and a prayer[1] with the intention of exploring the Tamil Tiger “cult of suicide.” Previous contacts with two Tamil Canadians and a visit to the University of Jaffna as soon as I landed assisted me no end: partly via the invaluable support provided by the Krishnaswamy family[2] and the readiness of their medical student son Chenthan to become my aide and guide during peregrinations within the Peninsula.[3]

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under atrocities, Australian culture, chauvinism, communal relations, cultural transmission, economic processes, education, ethnicity, fundamentalism, heritage, Hinduism, historical interpretation, immolation, Indian religions, Indian traditions, Islamic fundamentalism, jihad, landscape wondrous, life stories, literary achievements, LTTE, martyrdom, nationalism, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, religiosity, religious nationalism, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, trauma, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, war reportage, world events & processes

Passionate Praise of the Armed Forces Triumph in 2009 in New Zealand

Chula Rajapaksa’s Impassioned Dedication to the Ranaviru: New Zealand Internet Live Streaming 6.30pm NZ Time ….. Ranaviru Commomeration 19/5/20 ……   https://www.facebook.com/srilankans.nz

Thank you for affording me the privilege of being able to reinforce for the 11th  consecutive year, our  deep debt of gratitude to the Ranaviru for having liberated Sri Lanka from three decades of Tiger terror and even more for the life and limb that some lost in the process.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, centre-periphery relations, citizen journalism, communal relations, cultural transmission, fundamentalism, heritage, historical interpretation, human rights, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, military strategy, modernity & modernization, nationalism, Paranagama Report, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, Presidential elections, Rajapaksa regime, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil civilians, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, trauma, truth as casualty of war, UN reports, unusual people, world events & processes, zealotry

Holy War Unmasked

 Brian Victoria …… Send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee. John Donne

Introduction: Is religion a force for peace or war? Or to borrow a phrase from the title of Christopher Hitchen’s book, God Is Not Great, does religion really poison everything, including the possibility of living in a peaceful world?

The answer is much like posing the question of whether the glass is half full or half empty. That is to say, for every example cited to prove that religion has supported warfare and violence, other examples can be presented to show ways in which religion has contributed to peace and the avoidance of war, reconciliation between bitter enemies and the general betterment of humanity and the world. When the question is posed in this way, the debate is as endless as it is futile unless the “winner” is the side that amasses the greatest number of examples.

Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, fundamentalism, historical interpretation, law of armed conflict, life stories, LTTE, meditations, politIcal discourse, power politics, religiosity, self-reflexivity, suicide bombing, Taliban, the imaginary and the real, trauma, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, violence of language, war reportage, world events & processes, World War II, World War One, zealotry, Zen at war

War: Its Stark Truths

Richard Koenigsberg

Wars are fought–soldiers die–to testify to the truth of a society’s sacred ideal. If so many people die for an ideology—it must be real.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, Al Qaeda, american imperialism, fundamentalism, life stories, LTTE, mass conscription, meditations, military strategy, nationalism, patriotism, power politics, prabhakaran, propaganda, psychological urges, security, self-reflexivity, suicide bombing, Tamil Tiger fighters, unusual people, vengeance, war reportage, world events & processes, World War II, World War One, zealotry, Zen at war

Covid Apocalypse: Advocates and Challengers

Fauci with Trump

As the Covid Pandemic has spread its tentacles across the world, it has spawned conspiracy theorists of all kinds – not just that powerful idiot in Washington. One line of gloom and doom targets that very regime and depicts an all-powerful set of wheeler-dealers who negate the apocalyptic picture of worldwide disaster that they perceive around the corner. That is, their ‘brilliant work’ is immediately squashed and banished by these masterminds and manipulators in Washington and its many arms.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, authoritarian regimes, biotechnology, conspiracies, coronavirus, cultural transmission, democratic measures, disparagement, doctoring evidence, fundamentalism, governance, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, press freedom & censorship, propaganda, self-reflexivity, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, transport and communications, trauma, travelogue, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes