Category Archives: Left politics

Secular Bulwarks against Religious Fanaticism — Our Urgent Need

Tisaranee Gunasekara, whose choice of title has been “Secularism or Faith” — in an article which appeared in Groundviews as well as Sri Lanka Guardian

“And even here

Lies the other shore

Waiting to be reached.”

Tagore (My Reminiscences)

The blue, red, yellow, orange and white lights are on, as are the makeshift stalls selling lanterns. Yet few pause to see, haggle, buy. Vesak, so near chronologically, had never seemed so far away spiritually. After the Easter Sunday Massacre, fears were raised about Vesak too being turned into a bloody spectacle by the IS, working through its local adherents. As it turned out, neither the IS nor its local adherents were necessary to turn Vesak into a season of violence. The Sinhalese managed the task on their own.

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Double Standards among Liberals in the West: No RAGE from Sri Lankan Horrors in Contrast with Reaction to Christchurch

Brendan O’Neill, in Weekend Australian, 27 April 2019, with this title “Hierarchy of Victimhood: The slaughter of Christians elicits grief not outrage “

Where is the anger over the apocalyptic barbarism visited upon Christians in Sri Lanka? Where is the fury? Where are the tweets and blog posts and viral videos offering solidarity to Christians and slamming the bombers as a members of a global fascistic movement? Such wrath has been notable by its absence, or at least its rarity, in the aftermath of the extremist slaughter that killed at least 253 people, the majority of them Christians marking the resurrection of Christ at Easter Sunday ­services.

Yes, there has been sorrow. And there has been some very strong media coverage. People want to know the stories of those who were killed, and feel the pain of the those they left behind. But rage? There has been very little.

A woman is overcome with grief during a funeral for a victim of the Easter Sunday attack on St Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, Sri Lanka. Picture: Getty Images Continue reading

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Political Currents and Conflicts in Sri Lanka — Venugopal’s New CUP Book

Benjamin Brown, reviewing Nationalism, Development and Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka by Rajesh Venugopal …. at https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/internationaldevelopment/2018/12/18/book-review-nationalism-development-and-ethnic-conflict-in-sri-lanka-by-rajesh-venugopal/

Dr Rajesh Venugopal’s new book, Nationalism, Development and Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka, offers a fresh look at how colonial legacies, nationalist ideology and discourses of development that have combined to shape the contours of Sri Lanka’s current tumultuous politics.

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Paranoid Fears and Ethnic Supremacy: From Christchurch to Sri Lanka and Beyond

Lakshman Gunasekara, in  Horizons, 31 March 2019, with this title “Supremacism: harnessing myth,  paranoia”

…Before we deal with the fertility rates, we must deal with both the invaders within our lands and the invaders that seek to enter our lands…declares the mass murderer of Christchurch in his 80 plus page long ‘The Great Replacement’ political declaration which he had posted on the internet. Does this declaration by a deadly mass killer ring a bell to us, Sri Lankans?

Readers only need to refer back through our own post-colonial national discourses to come up with loads of this stuff. Our news media and other publishing archives and records will reveal the sheer volume of similar such statements expressed in political party rhetoric, nationalist activist arguments, and even in parliamentary debate over the decades since our island society won back its freedom from European colonialism. Continue reading

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Addressing Post-war Dilemmas in Sri Lanka

Laksiri Fernando, review article in Sri Lanka Guardian, 30 March 2019, entitled The power ambitions and competitions of the elite are highly asymmetric”

Political science and political scientists, among others, could play a major role in resolving Sri Lanka’s most important problems like post-war ethnic reconciliation, construction and reconstruction of democracy, and overcoming dangers of authoritarianism through critical thinking, scientific research and lucidly written publications aimed at supplying inspiration and new thinking to policy makers and the public alike. The value of the new book by Dr S. I. Keethaponcalan titled Post-war Dilemmas of Sri Lanka: Democracy and Reconciliation can be assessed particularly in that context although its importance undoubtedly goes beyond the shores of Sri Lanka.

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“What Ails Sri Lanka?” — Daya de Silva’s Scathing Analysis

Jayadeva Hettiarachchi, in Sunday Times, 17 February 2018, where the title is “Genuine desire to find the truth about what ails our country.” .…. a review of Daya de Silva:  Pearl to a Tear Drop”

There couldn’t have been a more opportune time for me to read and review this book written by Daya de Silva: namely, that moment when Sri Lankan parliamentarians were vying for power, pushing and shoving, throwing chairs, chili powder and even attempting to stab their opponents.

CloseupFace

ISBN Number 978-955-30-8985-4

We humans have a deep association with our motherland even when we live in other parts of the world. A person born and bred in a given country can be separated from that country, but that country cannot be completely eradicated from that person’s mind as clearly seen in the sentiments expressed by the author of this book about her life in Sri Lanka.  As is always the case, foreigners/expatriates do perceive things quickly and more comprehensively than those who live in a country. Of course, the interest, passion and a genuine desire to find the truth beneath what appears on the surface has prompted Daya de Silva to write this book as I see it.

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Dharmapala, Banda and Gunadasa as Central Figures in Dissection of Nationalist Authenticity

Harshana Rambukwella

Let’s begin with the book title. Why is it called ‘The politics and poetics of authenticity’? 

The title refers to the central theme of the book. It is primarily about why we think certain cultural practices are more authentic than others. How do such ideas come about? And what are the political implications of such notions of authenticity and what are the cultural and aesthetic implications of these notions as well? The poetics in the title refer to the second aspect of culture and aesthetics.

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