Category Archives: language policies

Missing the Boat. How Religio-Political Divisions have Deepened

A Letter from Rohan De Soysa in Colombo to Michael Roberts in Adelaide, 9th May 2019

I’d like to suggest a different angle. We have a Minister for Buddhist religious affairs, another for Hindu religious affairs, yet another for Muslim religious affairs and still another for Christian religious affairs.  Then there are Governors for the various provinces: Eastern Province, Western Province, Northern Province, Southern Province etc.  They have been provided deputy ministers, offices, staff, bodyguards, cell phones and vehicles, etc.

Should they not monitor and observe any untoward teachings and undesirable tendencies in what comes under their purview, namely places of worship and education, catering to their specialized religions? Why did they not do so? Isn’t it about time they did?

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How Extremisms have fed off Each Other in Sri Lanka, 1950s-to-2019 …. and still proceeding

Ameer  Ali, in Colombo Telegraph, 6 May 2019 where the title runs “Anatomy Of An Islamist Infamy – II”

It takes two hands to clap and make a noise, and what a deadly noise did Sri Lankans hear during that fatal Easter Sunday? In the first part of this analysis the Muslim leadership hand was identified and discussed. This second part looks at the hand of governments that governed this country since independence and how they laid the remainder of the bricks that paved the bloody road. 

Politicisation of Buddhism  

Long before Ashraf and his SLMC allowed Islamism creep into Muslim politics, Bandaranaike (SWRD) politicised Buddhism to win his electoral battle against the UNP.  His landslide victory at the 1956 General Elections to which he harnessed the support of Buddhist monks, Ayurvedic physicians and village school teachers demonstrated the political potential of Buddhism in changing governments in Sri Lanka, which even made American CIA to politicise Buddhism in South East Asia to fight against the rise of communism (Eugene Ford, Cold War Monks, 2017). While SWRD won the elections and lost his life at the hands of a Buddhist monk the Americans harnessed Buddhism and lost the fight against communism in Vietnam and Cambodia.      Sri Lankans, Let Us Arise as ONE

Sri Lanka Muslim Civil Society was organized a “Rise up for Solidarity – Humanity Beyond Religion one Nation one Country at Colombo 7 Independence Squire-04th May | Picture by Ashraff. A. Samad

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The Demons within Sri Lanka: Long-Term Methods of Abatement?

Michael Roberts

Here I reproduce the second half of a longer article presented in October 2018 where I pinpointed the hidden dangers to Sri Lanka resting within the implications of Mark Field’s visit to the island then — a conveying a message that was one part of the continuing Western nation-cum-UNHCR project to punish Sri Lanka and foist a devolutionary political system on the island. Obviously, this essay was coined before the explosive manifestation of another divisive time-bomb within the Sri Lankan body politic: that of Islamic extremists motivated by the Wahhabi ideology hostile to specific ‘pinnacles’ in any Westernized body politic – such as (a) the Papacy and (b) high-rise hotels marking wealth and ‘debauchery’.**

This traumatic moment on Easter Sunday 21st April 2019 reminds us of two earth shattering moments: the LTTE attack on the Central Bank in Colombo on 31st January 1996 and the Al-Qaida attack on the World Trade Centre in New York on 9th September 2001 (9/11 in shorthand).***

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Amarasingham’s Study of Sri Lankan Tamil Activism in Canada

 

Pain, Pride, and Politics: Social Movement Activism and the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora in Canada …. As a product of Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation Series) Paperback – September 15, 2015

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Sri Lanka, 2010-2019: Positive Changes but Sinhala Buddhist Dominance still prevails — Alan Keenan

Alan Keenan, in Sri Lanka Mirror, April 2019, where the title runs Sri Lanka is a ‘nation favourable to the Sinhala Buddhist majority’ –ICG,”

After ten years since the end of the war, Sri Lanka being a country that favours the Sinhala Buddhist majority is detrimental to its progress, an NGO head has warned.  The Project Director of International Crisis Group (ICG) Alan Keenan made this statement to the Tamil media after a tour of the North Eastern province and border villages.

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Bishop Francis in Incisive Critique of Sri Lanka’s Poltical Leaders

A Note from a Sinhalese Friend in Canada: “Hello Michael, I have attached a video of a former Bishop of Kurunegala talking to a Adaderana TV interviewer- a Sinhala Broadcast.on March 12, 2019.The former Bishop is a Sri Lankan, by birth an ”Estate Tamil” Christian. He talks of a secret meeting with Ban Ki-Moon in 2011 and also about chats with another Lankan Leader who was very anti-Sri Lankan!! This interview is very, very interesting: apparently the Bishop resigned from his position as a Bishop due to the anti-SL stand taken by the church. The former Bishop is very pro SL in his views.”

Note 2:  Shantha Francis was appointed anAnglican Bishop in 2010 and then on 6 January 2015 the Archbishop of CanterburyJustin Welby, announced that Francis had resigned as Bishop of Kurunegala. In a statement by Francis he advised that he had been threatened by Tamil diaspora groups opposing his stand for a unitary state and the sovereignty of the country” — from Wikipedia …. So my Canadian friend’s final note is in error. Continue reading

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Inhumane: Ruminations from A Pictorial Tale

  Charles Sarvan, courtesy of  Colombo Telegraph,  19 March 2019, where the title is On ‘Reading’ A Picture” …. Note that I have taken the liberty of inserting emphasis in colour and  introducing more paragraph divisions in Charlie Sarvan aka Ponnadurai’s  presentation in order to assist readability and analytical work –though this act may well distort his philosophical bent…… Bio-data is at the end of the article Editor, Thuppahi

“The saying that a picture is worth a thousand words refers to the notion that a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single picture.” This particular picture appeared in ‘Colombo Telegraph’ on 12 Feb. 2019; I shared my reaction privately with some of my contacts including, as a courtesy, Colombo Telegraph Editor who suggested that I rework the material with the possibility of it being uploaded. Unsatisfactory health has hindered an earlier response. In philosophy, an ‘essential’ is a quality that something must have for it to be what it is, while an ‘accidental’ is one that it happens to have but could lack. In what follows, that the men in uniform are Sinhalese and the prisoners Tamil is accidental. In other words, what I attempt here is a modest, general investigation and reflection.

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