Category Archives: political demonstrations

Pictorials: Platform Poses and the People-in-Front

READER QUIZ:   Impose your captions for these PICTURES …. COMIC!@##! or DEADLY SERIOUS

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A Naval Rating’s Assault on Rajiv Gandhi, 30 July 1987: Detailed Account

Retd. Lt. KH Perera’s Account of the Background, Circumstances and Immediate Aftermath of the Assault on Rajiv Gandhi, on 30th July 1987

Preamble:  Via mediation by Rtd Commodore Somasiri Devendra,[1] Michael Roberts visited Retd Lt. KH Perera’s house at Boralasgamuwa on Thursday 25th July 2019 in the company of Devendra.  Retd Lt Perera responded readily to the questions presented about the attempt to clobber the Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi when he was inspecting a naval guard of honour gathered in front of the President’s House outside the Post Office in the Fort of Colombo on 30th July 1987. As Master Chief Petty Officer, KH Perera was in command of the naval ratings mustered for this important state occasion. The details elicited during our discussion and compiled here with aid from Somasiri Devendra are of considerable importance and cannot be overestimated. Continue reading

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Buddhist Zealots in Sri Lanka and Myanmar stir the Cauldron

Hannah Beech, in New York Times, 8 July 2019, where the title runs “Buddhists Go to Battle: When Nationalism Overrides Pacifism” …. A call to arms for Sri Lankan monks. Ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya in Myanmar. A Buddhist faith known for pacifism is taking its place in a new age of nationalism

GINTOTA, Sri Lanka — The Buddhist abbot was sitting cross-legged in his monastery, fulminating against the evils of Islam, when the petrol bomb exploded within earshot. But the abbot, the Venerable Ambalangoda Sumedhananda Thero, barely registered the blast. Waving away the mosquitoes swarming the night air in the southern Sri Lankan town of Gintota, he continued his tirade: Muslims were violent, he said, Muslims were rapacious. The aim of Muslims is to take over all our land and everything we value,” he said. “Think of what used to be Buddhist lands: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir, Indonesia. They have all been destroyed by Islam.”

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French Revolutionary Songs …. Marchons! Marchons!

 Satyajith Andradi, in Island, 12 July 2019, with this titleLa Marseillaise And L’internationale – Revolutionary Songs From France”

 “How many on our flesh eat their fill?
But if the ravens, the vultures, One morning disappeared,
The Sun would shine still.” …..
L’Internationale; trans; Michell Abidor

the Storming of the Bastille

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Anti-Muslim Violence Present and Past

Shamara Wettimuny, in Sunday Observer, 14 July 2019, where the title is “A brief history of anti-Muslim violence in Sri Lanka”

The recent Easter attacks targeting a number of churches and hotels devastated Sri Lanka. Over 250 people were killed, and many more injured. Within days of the attack, it emerged that the perpetrators of the attack were affiliated to radical Islamist groups in Sri Lanka. However, the identification of the perpetrators as ostensibly adherents of the Islamic faith opened the floodgates of discrimination and violence against the broader Muslim community in Sri Lanka.

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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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Political Intolerance on the Rise. Fostered by Social Media

Chris Kenny, in The Australian, 8 May 2019, where the title runs “Egg attack on Morrison hints at rotten state of public debate”

The Albury egging was so pathetic it didn’t even crack the egg. But there would have been milliseconds of sharp concern and shambolic reactions, with one woman knocked to the ground, that ruined what otherwise would have been a terrific event for the Country Women’s Association. And while they will be outwardly phlegmatic, Scott Morrison, his staff and the Australian Federal Police close personal protection officers will be — pardon the pun — walking on eggshells for a while.

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