Alan Strathern of Brasenose College, Oxford, with emphasis in colour being an imposition by The Editor Thuppahi
The story of Vijaya, has long been central to the Sinhalese idea of themselves as a distinct ethnic group of Aryan origin with ancient roots in the island of Lanka. The ‘national’ chronicle of the Sinhalese, the Mahāvaṃsa
(circa fifth century ce
) presents Vijaya, an exiled prince from India descended from a lion, as the founder hero of Sinhala civilisation. In a companion article to this, I argued that the narrative of Vijaya and other founder-heroes in the Mahāvaṃsa
revolves around the theme of transgression, and that this puzzling fact can only be explained by a consideration of the symbolic logic of the ‘stranger-king’ in origin stories and kingship rituals worldwide
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If EVER there was a tale of gullibility and chicanery combining to spread violent killing and havoc among the populace, it is the manner in which some elements in the Sinhalese population accepted the validity of rumours that Muslim traders were dispersing infertility pills among the Sinhala peoples. Such rumours seem to have peaked immediately after the Digane-Teldeniya violence and may have been a factor inspiring the attacks. They are certainly part of the vicious propaganda being wrought by elements of the BBS type as well as gullible ordinary citizens.
From my studies of ethnic violence in the past, I note that this arena is where the voices and incitement of women contribute to the retributory actions we know as “riots” and/or “pogroms.” Michael Roberts ***
The featured picture shows Sri Lankan police commandos guarding a riot hit market place.
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Listen to PODCAST by Steven E. Kemper introducing his book Rescued from the Nation: Anagarika Dharmapala and the Buddhist World (U of Chicago Press, 2015) from New Books in Buddhist Studies … in London ….. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/new-books-in-buddhist-studies/id458210899?mt=2&i=1000345817559
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High Commissioner Speaks to Muslim Diaspora in Melbourne,
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