Category Archives: life stories

Sri Lanka’s Ethnic Achchaaru … or Racial Pickle

Michael Roberts

 Re-discovering this chat with Alex Van Arkadie today [2017] I think it is pertinent for all Sri Lankans …. And should be read in conjunction with my recent selection of material n “Sinhala Mind-Set” and “Why Thuppahi” ……. included in efforts to widen the exchanges in the following posts

…… Capped thereafter with a reading of Pon Kulendiren’s lovely tale of “Sinhala Nona”

https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2017/03/21/where-music-transcends-ethnic-divisions-sinhala-nona/#more-24614…… perhaps with background baila music such as Dingiri Dingare Le Menachchi!


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Filed under British colonialism, caste issues, cultural transmission, discrimination, disparagement, ethnicity, governance, heritage, life stories, politIcal discourse, racist thinking, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, tolerance, world events & processes, zealotry

Kill Any Sikh: The Anti-Sikh Pogrom of 1984 in Delhi in Bhawan Singh’s IMAGES

1= agitated Indians try to scale gates of the All-India Medical Institute, 31 October 1984

@= Deep Anguish etched in every face

Michael Roberts on Bhawan Singh’s Pictorial Images

The first two images reveal the agitation and anguish of Indian citizens in Delhi who had rushed to the entrance of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences on the 31st October where Indira Gandhi had been rushed to in hopes of her resuscitation after she was shot by her own Sikh bodyguards. Two more pictures below underline the emotions coursing through the minds and bodies of these patriot citizens of India who were so moved by the prospect of her death that they rushed to her side so to speak. Continue reading

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Filed under atrocities, citizen journalism, governance, Hinduism, historical interpretation, life stories, photography, power politics, racist thinking, religiosity, religious nationalism, riots and pogroms, security, self-reflexivity, world events & processes, zealotry

Final Passage for McGuinness and Prabhākaran: Sharply Contrasting

Michael Roberts

 The ‘final’ journeys on this our earth for Martin McGuinness and Velupillai Pirapāharan have been sharply different: McGuinness’ mortal remains were borne in March 2017 by his very own with a massive crowd of IRA and other Irish around; Pirapāharan’s in May 2009 was borne by his deadly enemies with no Tamils present…. and, definitely, no Tamil Tiger fighters.

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Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, citizen journalism, doctoring evidence, gordon weiss, historical interpretation, human rights, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, news fabrication, politIcal discourse, prabhakaran, Rajapaksa regime, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, truth as casualty of war, war reportage, zealotry

Anguish as Empowerment … and A Path to Retribution

Michael Roberts, courtesy of Colombo Telegraph where it is presented with a different title ….  https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/histrionic-voice-as-spark-for-ethnic-violence-political-extremism/

Anguish and grief are powerful emotions that can contort and wrack a body. While ‘suggesting’ helplessness, the anguish that engulfs a person can also empower that person … and others connected to that person by commonalities of interest/emotion. In this manner anguish can transcend obstacles, generate waves of bitterness and swell into paths of retributory hate and punishment. The ‘little’ drops of tears can swell metaphorically into ‘waves’ – and even inspire enraged mobs (mostly male) bent on punishing the purported root of the tears, a recalcitrant Other, an enemy family or “community” deemed to be the cause of that expressive anguish or deemed to have transcended local norms. In southern Lanka that community can be a neighbouring caste grouping or ethnic group or religious group (Muslim Moor,[1] Hindu, Buddhist, Christian).

Let me highlight the argument by presenting an unusual juxtaposition.

  1. Expressive Grief displayed by a Sri Lankan Tamil woman at a protest demonstration before David Cameron by persons whose kin have been missing in the course of Eelam War IV

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John F. Kennedy meets Ceylonese Parliamentary Delegation, 14 June 1961

President John F. Kennedy Meets with Members of the Parliament of Ceylon,  14 June 1961

President John F. Kennedy meets with members of the Parliament of Ceylon. President Kennedy sits in a rocking chair and the President’s Deputy Special Assistant for National Security Affairs Walt W. Rostow stands fourth from the left (behind two men). Also included in the President’s schedule: Leader of the Ceylonese House of Representatives, Charles Percival de Silva; Clerk of the House, Ralph St. L. P. Deraniyagala; Members of the House, Sir Razik Fareed, Dr. N. M. Perera, Jinadasa Don Weerasekera; Ambassador of Ceylon, R. S. S. Gunewardene; Director of the United States Operations Mission to Ceylon, James C. Baird, Jr. Oval Office, White House, Washington, D.C.

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Initiating Marinas in Sri Lanka: Big Plans

Rajkumar Kanagasingam,  courtesy of Daily Mirror, 16 March 2017, where the title is “Establishing first-ever marinas in Sri Lanka

M “Establishing first-ever marinas in Sri Lankaarina is an unheard name to many Sri Lankans, but not anymore. Dr. Dietmar Doering, a German hotelier based in Marawila in the North Western Province of Sri Lanka, is venturing into establishing a first-ever marina in Marawila.  He pioneered sports tourism in Sri Lanka nearly three decades ago by establishing Asian-German Sports Exchange Programme; now it’s his turn for enhancing nautical tourism in Sri Lanka. Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga also has given the green light to make this marina venture a success. Generally, the Mediterranean region is famous for some of the world’s finest marinas; they are harbouring thousands of yachts and boats which are owned by rich and adventurous boaters around the world. Those boaters are not only cruising around the Mediterranean Seas but crossing the Suez Canal and entering into the Arabian Sea and many of them are venturing towards East Asia.  India and Sri Lanka are getting their importance because of their location but hardly any marinas to serve them other than the recently established Kochi International Marina in the Indian state of Kerala.

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Where Music transcends Ethnic Divisions: Sinhala Nona

Pon Kulendiren, courtesy of The Tamil Mirror where the title is “True Story of coincidence: Sinhala nona”

Kaffrinha –Pic from The Localist

It was snowing heavily. A few days were left for Christmas. I was enjoying a sip of Scotch on the rocks and watching Discovery channel on T.V. My wife walked into the sitting room after preparing the dinner for the family. She looked at the clock that showed 5.30 in the evening. With a grimace she turned towards me. It showed that she did not like me having a second drink. Black label bottle was a quarter empty. She quietly took the bottle and disappeared into her room. I ignored her action as I was reluctant to start a fight as she may have a long face while serving dinner. She returned after a few minutes. Continue reading

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