Category Archives: plural society

Traversing Lanka: Walking Woman emulates the Bike Man

Devika  Casiechetty matches up to Rob, the British Bike-Man

 Rob as in https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/a-british-bike-mans-bike-ride-in-sri-lanka/

Nushka Nafeel:She stepped in where Angels feared to tread,” Daily News, 29 March 2017

Women today have progressed in a variety of fields and reached the pinnacle of achievement but yet when a girl informs her parents or elders that she would be travelling out of town, or even stepping out of the confines of her home, the first question everyone in Sri Lanka asks is “Who are you going with? Will you be safe? Are you not scared?” The premise is that girls are not safe going out on their own and this is the question that Devika Casiechetty set to answer when she decides to walk around Sri Lanka alone. Her mission is, “A Girl on a Solo quest.”

Casiechetty’s idea was simple as it was to walk around Sri Lanka on her own to prove that Sri Lanka is the safest place to walk around solo as a woman but with the course of time, her initial plan begin to change. “I have now decided to not only explore whether Sri Lanka is safe to walk alone as a woman but also to ascertain whether it is unsafe and how we could make it safer for women,” she said. Continue reading

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Filed under cultural transmission, life stories, plural society, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, the imaginary and the real, tolerance, travelogue, unusual people, women in ethnic conflcits, world affairs

Bridging Lanka I: Sustaining Mannar’s Kulams

BRIDGING LANKA is a multi-faceted programme initiated by the Sri Lankan Austrailan Jeremy Liyanage and friends from circa 2009(?) to assist the social welfare of all the peoples in Mannar island and its adjoining hinterland. I was an observer at a town planning jam-session way back around 2011(?) and have been in touch with Liyanage ver since. Thuppahi is delighted to feature the several social service paths that BRIDGING LANKA is pursuing in the locality.

Protecting and Rehabilitating Mannar’s Kulams (ponds)

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Our aim: This project aims to rehabilitate Periyakamam Kulam as a ‘demonstration kulam’ so that authorities and residents alike will be inspired to value, protect and rehabilitate other kulams in Mannar. The sharp decrease in the number of kulams caused by severe encroachment has led to worsening annual flooding in the urban area, resulting in much human displacement and misery.

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Filed under heritage, legal issues, life stories, modernity & modernization, patriotism, performance, plural society, reconciliation, rehabilitation, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, social justice, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, unusual people, voluntary workers, welfare & philanthophy, world affairs

The Muslims in Sri Lanka: Trends, Dangers, Failures

ameer_ali-140x150ACL Ameer Ali,  courtesy of Colombo Telegraph where the title is Paranoia & Paralysis: The Buddhist-Muslim Tragicomedy” …  Note that the highlighting emphasis below is that of the Edito , Thuppahi

The military victory led by an overwhelmingly Sinhala-Buddhist army over the tyrannous LTTE in 2009 has, among other things, injected in the minds of certain sections of the Buddhist community that Sri Lanka belongs only to the Sinhala Buddhists and others are permitted to live here only at the behest of the Buddhists. This twisted ideology which is now developing into an anti-Muslim, anti-Christian and anti-Tamil paranoia is totally contradictory not only to the noble teachings of the Enlightened Buddha but also and more significantly to the millennial historical tradition of ethnic and religious tolerance indelibly engraved in the long legacy of the island’s Buddhist monarchs. To deny this historical truth is to court intellectual dishonesty.

sinha-le-15-feb-ss maha-jaatiya-image

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Filed under historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, life stories, Muslims in Lanka, plural society, politIcal discourse, power politics, reconciliation, religiosity, riots and pogroms, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, tolerance, violence of language, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes, zealotry

The Full Monty: Commentary and Debate around Thuppahi’s Sinhala Mind-Set

I reproduce here the series of sporadic comments on my opening ‘signature’ entitled SINHALA MIND-SET. These occurred for the most part between 2010 and 2013 and I have taken the liberty of highlighting segments of the commentary as guidance and as a stirring of the brew. I invite readers to use these thoughts as an inspiration to serious reflection on the situation in Sri Lanka today in its recent ‘evolution’ after the end of Eelam War IV. I will be presenting an article with my own thoughts so you will have scope for two bites at this mango. This second post will include a bibliography, but an even more extensive bibliography on “Disappearances” is in the planning stage.

 aa-jane-r Jane Russel aa-xcharlieCharles Ponnadurai aka Sarvan michael-2015Roberts

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Filed under accountability, citizen journalism, communal relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, disparagement, ethnicity, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, landscape wondrous, language policies, life stories, modernity & modernization, plural society, politIcal discourse, power politics, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, social justice, sri lankan society, Tamil migration, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, tolerance, truth as casualty of war, vengeance, world events & processes

Rathika Pathmanathan Face-to-Face and Woman-to-Woman

Frances Bulathsinghala, courtesy of Daily FT, 5 October 2016, where the title reads Facing the past, bridging the divide” ... with emphasis inblue highlghts added by the Editor, Thuppahi.

The life of 25-year-old Rathika Pathmanathan is a testimony of a post-war nation at the crossroads. She has lived the hideous gore of war, bloodied trenches and is now living the possibilities of peace. She has dared to trust and she has dared to forgive.  In her book ‘There is a Darkness Called Light and I Grope for Myself in the Thick of It,’ published in English, Sinhala and Tamil, recounts her days as a teenaged fighter in the LTTE frontlines of the last phase of the war; the nights and days of starvation in the trenches, the excruciating combat training, the loss of family and the new world of Colombo where she arrived for medical treatment for the leg she almost lost. Seated in the small, sparsely-furnished room she occupies on rent in a remote Sinhala majority suburb in the outer periphery of Colombo, Rathika speaks of wanting to rebuild her life, to study and most of all to actively work towards reconciliation in Sri Lanka, a task she is engaged in at present through her book and as an activist.

rathika

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Filed under accountability, cultural transmission, ethnicity, heritage, Indian religions, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, medical marvels, meditations, patriotism, plural society, politIcal discourse, press freedom, reconciliation, rehabilitation, religiosity, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, tolerance, trauma, unusual people, war reportage, welfare & philanthophy, working class conditions, world events & processes

Ban Ki-Moon’s Confusions: Kashmir, the Burmese Hill-Peoples and Northern SL Tamils in One Pot

Dayan Jayatilleka, courtesy of the Daily Mirror, 28 September 2016, where the title reads Ban Ki-moon’s “New Union” for Sri Lanka”

ms-and-ban You’ve heard of the “We Tamils” (who beat up High Commissioner Ansar). Now we have the “E-Tamils”–the “Eluga/Ezhuga Tamils” (or simply Eelam Tamils?). They shut down Jaffna, took over its streets, raucously demanding federalism, an international investigation and cleansing of the army and Sinhala Buddhist symbolism/presence from the North (thereby turning it into a mono-ethnic enclave). Meanwhile the smooth operators Suma-Sam-Sara-Suren canvass federalism and an internationalized ‘war crimes’ investigation in the corridors of Colombo and Western capitals.

   aa-gp-map-ethnic-dsitribution-1981

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Filed under accountability, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, life stories, LTTE, nationalism, plural society, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, propaganda, Responsibility to Protect or R2P, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, war crimes, world events & processes

After Nandikadal: A Deteriorating Road towards Creeping Federalism

Dayan Jayatilleka, whose preferred choice of title is “The Road from Nandikadal: A New Revivalism”  ... likely to draw interesting comments in Colombo Telegraph when it appears

The TNA-Tamil Diaspora-UNP project is a frail, minimalist State with a weak centre. Would India have allowed Ban Ki moon to travel to Kashmir and have a political dialogue with strident Kashmiri nationalists?  The Sri Lankan Government permitted and facilitated a meeting between the UNSG with the Northern Provincial Council and its Chief Minister. Every parent knows that you do not reward bad behaviour with a gift. Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran presented the infamous Genocide Resolution to the Northern Provincial Council and then handed it over to a visiting senior UN political official. He was rewarded for that move with the kind of meeting that no Sovereign State arranges between the UN Secretary General and the Chief Minister of a restive border province, in which a truculent separatist psyche is far from dead.

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Filed under accountability, american imperialism, democratic measures, devolution, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, life stories, plural society, politIcal discourse, power politics, religiosity, security, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, TNA, truth as casualty of war, vengeance, war crimes, world events & processes