Category Archives: fundamentalism

Imbecile Leaders: Morrison and Trump

Fair Dinkum in Email Memo

Scott Morrison’s handling of the crisis is causing terrible confusion in Australia.   He is telling Australians to stay at home, but people are free to go out, but stay at home.  Many of his statements are in that spirit…. The man of democracy making the health crisis a matter of personal choice rather that what is best for the country. This shows alarming signs of an inability to act decisively and so the virus can continue to spread easily causing many more infections.

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The Trump-and-Modi Fandango: Imperial Arms in the Indo-Pacificic

This article, entitled “Two State Hypocrites—The Indo-Pacific Humbugs” – written by one “Pettibandige” in Asian Tribune annoyed me greatly when I glanced at it first: in part because it is a slashing hack job steeped in bile and excess; and in part because of its glossing over of the Japanese imperial expansionist programme in the first half of the 20th century via its assertion “Possibly Pearl Harbour was a result.”

However, the stream of stridency adopted in the essay seems to be a literary device that is (A) in step with its play on the Sinhala ge name “Patabändige” – modified here to “Petti” as in box; and (B) in line with its continuous mockery of the two leading actors, namely Trump and Modi. I have therefore inserted my own imprint by marking those points I question in black and those jibes that have some foundation in red …..  Michael Roberts

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The Sins of the Swiss Embassy: An Expose

Tamara Kunanayakam, in The Island, 3 March 2020, with this title “

“If you know the enemy and know yourself,you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” Sun Tzu, The Art War, 5th Century BC

The recent dramatic events involving the Swiss Embassy came as a surprise to most Sri Lankans. Just as the large majority was looking ahead to a new era with a President they had just elected, a non politician with a simple lifestyle, yet determined, who they believed would be capable of returning to their lives, a sense of security, peace, economic development, the shot came from a quarter they least expected. From a small country in the Alps known for its neutrality, chocolate, cheese and snow capped mountains.

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Yasmin Azad’s “Stay, Daughter” hits the Bookshelves

Muslims of Sri Lanka who, decades ago, grew up in communities that were moderate and broadminded often wonder why Islamic fundamentalism has come back with such force. What made a once-tolerant people want to set themselves apart from everyone else?

This question lies at the heart of Stay, Daughter, a memoir that gives an intimate glimpse into the world of Muslims as times changed and the impact of the modern and Westernized world was felt.

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For the Singing of the National Anthem in Sinhala Only: Two Adamant Voices

On the 21st January 2020 two personnel who are part of an “Email Collective” in which I am a member (mostly as a recipient) raised challenges by a comment within the Thuppahi route (Perera) and by an Email Note to the Collective (Hewapathirane) — arguing for the singing of the national anthem in Sinhala Only. Expecting the issue to arise on February 4th and overwhelmed with work on my two websites and other pursuits, I did not respond immediately. Janaka Perera is nothing if not persistent and has tapped me on the shoulder again.

Let me place their theses in the public domain first so that other voices can chip in. My answer will appear in a day or so as a separate entity.

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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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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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