Category Archives: meditations

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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Daya’s Study of Suicide Bombers of Sri Lanka

http://repo.jfn.ac.lk/med/bitstream/701/1011/1/Somasundaram-Suicide%20bombers%20of%20Sri%20Lanka.pdf

Daya Somasundaram … http://repo.jfn.ac.lk/med/bitstream/701/1011/1/Somasundaram-Suicide%20bombers%20of%20Sri%20Lanka.pdf

 image of Asian Journal of Social Sciencedaya-11

ABSTRACT  The phenomena of suicide bombers in Sri Lanka share some similarities with but also have some marked differences with what is seen in other parts of world today. Increasing discrimination, state humiliation and violence against the minority Tamils brought out a militancy and the phenomena of suicide bombers. The underlying socio-political and economical factors in the North and East of Sri Lanka that caused the militancy at the onset are examined. Some of these factors that were the cause of or consequent to the conflict include: extrajudicial killing of one or both parents or relations by the state; separations, destruction of home and belongings during the war; displacement; lack of adequate or nutritious food; ill health; economic difficulties; lack of access to education; not seeing any avenues for future employment and advancement; social and political oppression; and facing harassment, detention and death. At the same time, the Tamil militants have used various psychological methods to entice youth, children and women to join and become suicide bombers. Public displays of war paraphernalia, posters of fallen heroes, speeches and video, particularly in schools and community gatherings, heroic songs and stories, public funeral rites and annual remembrance ceremonies draw out feelings of patriotism and create a martyr cult. The religio-cultural context of the Tamils has provided meaning and symbols for the creation and maintenance of this cult, while the LTTE has provided the organisational capacity to train and indoctrinate a special elite as suicide bombers. Whether the crushing of the LTTE militarily by the state brings to an end the phenomena of suicide bombers or whether it will re-emerge in other forms if underlying grievances are not resolved remains to be seen.

KEY WORDS: Altruistic suicide; Ethnic conflict; Insurgency; Sacrifice; Sri Lanka; Suicide bombers Continue reading

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Being an ex-Tiger Today. Where have all the roads gone, long time passing!

Arthur Wamanan & Ruwan Laknath Jayakody courtesy of The Nation, 11 March 2017, where the title is The battle after the war”

Life continues to be a struggle for 45-year-old Kathir, a former Tamil Tiger combatant, and his family. Kathir was one of the 12,000 Tiger cadres who underwent a rehabilitation process soon after the end of the war. Kathir was lucky to be released after a year of rehabilitation. “I was disabled due to the war and therefore my time at rehabilitation centres was just one year,” he said.

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Professional Mourners in Ceylon and Southern India

Michael Roberts

 My interest in the topic of disappearances in Sri Lanka over the past decade and the allegations presented by one “Floyyd” in his comments on my central frontispiece named ”Sinhala Mind-Set” on the 25th November 2013 led me to supplement my posts and inquiries on that topic with a serious question I sent to several friends and personnel on  the 9th December 2016 and the week that followed.  Only a few responded to my inquiry in the course of that month. It is of some significance that most of those whose information is presented below are of the older generation and, like me, in the age-bracket seventies. For that reason they are calling upon their younger days in supplying ethnographic information that is of considerable value. For this reason I refer to “Ceylon” in my title because the data seems to refer to practices before the name change in 1972. However, this does not mean that the practitioners of mourning and the capacities for lamentation on cue have been totally buried.

oppari-22  Women in oppari lamentation in southern India — cf Balachandran’s note below oppariFrom https://www.flickr.com/photos/wellbredkannanclicks/14228110375

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Here, There and Almost Everywhere! Jaraa in Sri Lanka

frances-fFrances Ferdinands, in Sunday Island, 19 February 2017, where the authors’s chosen title is “Becuase I Care”

As a Sri-Lankan born Canadian Artist, I have had the privilege of spending time here in Sri Lanka within the last two years. From January – March 2015 I was here on a Canadian Government sponsored project geared towards exploring my artistic heritage and incorporating this experience into my own art practice. I was mentored in the traditional arts and crafts of Temple painting, and Beeralu Lacemaking. I recently returned in early January of this year to study the traditional craft of mask making. Continue reading

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The Indus Civilisation: A Great Civilisation, Yet Forgotten?

Andrew Robinson, courtesy of History Today Volume 65 Issue 12 December 2015…. http://www.historytoday.com/andrew-robinson/greatest-civilisation-ever-forgotten

Perhaps the most famous statement about the Indus civilisation is the opening paragraph of an article in the Illustrated London News published in 1924 by John Marshall, Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India: “Not often has it been given to archaeologists, as it was given to [Heinrich] Schliemann at Tiryns and Mycenae, or to [Aurel] Stein in the deserts of Turkestan, to light upon the remains of a long-forgotten civilisation. It looks, however, at this moment, as if we are on the threshold of such a discovery in the plains of the Indus.”

aa-indus-1 Steatite seal from the Indus valley, c.2500 BC. The script is still undeciphered

Subsequent Indus excavations certainly made an impression on the young Kenneth Clark. In Civilisation, Clark, while pondering the non-western beginnings of civilisation two-and-a-half millennia before the classical Greeks, observed in 1969:“Three or four times in history man has made a leap forward that would have been unthinkable under ordinary evolutionary conditions. One such time was about the year 3000 BC, when quite suddenly civilisation appeared, not only in Egypt and Mesopotamia but also in the Indus Valley; another was in the sixth century BC, when there was not only the miracle of Ionia and Greece … but also in India a spiritual enlightenment that has perhaps never been equalled.” Continue reading

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Asian English Cricketers undermine Farage and UKIP

Andy Bull, 1 November 2016, in The Spin,where the title runs “Farage’s canvassing shows English cricket must embrace other cultures” … and where the subtitle says “Canvassing counties and alienating communities” … . and the first lines stresses that “When Nigel Farage leafleted Yorkshire fans he tried to tap into outdated notions at odds with the example being set by England’s four Muslim players”

ansri-moeen  Ansari and Moeen for Blighty in Cricket …. “Zafar Ansari, left, does not practise Islam but identifies as one of four British Muslims in England’s Test side: ‘That’s really exciting and something we’re proud of.’ Photograph: Philip Brown/Getty Images

Back in June, a little less than half a year and a little more than half a lifetime ago, Nigel Farage visited Headingley. It was the fourth day of Yorkshire’s match against Lancashire, but he had not come for the cricket so much as the opportunity to pose for a photos and press some flesh. He stopped off in the Long Room, where his assistants started handing around Ukip leaflets. Farage often talks about what a keen fan he is of the game. But here, perhaps, was a first clue that this may not be entirely true. Because anyone who understood the sport would surely know better than to try to proselytise Yorkshire fans while they were attending to the serious business of watching the Roses match. Farage was, apparently, told to either leave off or leave altogether. One of Yorkshire’s members wrote a fine follow-up letter to the club. “You only have to look at the newspapers which people read at Headingley to see that Yorkshire cricket supporters hold diverse political views,” he wrote, “but we are all united by a love of cricket in general and Yorkshire cricket in particular.” Headingley wasn’t the only cricket ground Farage campaigned at in the summer. He also held a rally at New Road in Worcester, stopped in at Lord’s, and had lunch at the Nevill Ground in Tunbridge Wells, where he spoke about how much he enjoyed the “very English scene”. Continue reading

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