Category Archives: power politics

Dharmapāla’s Seminal Moment at Buddha Gāya in 1891: An Anagārika for the Universe

 Michael Roberts, courtesy of  The Island and Sunday Times and with thanks to Sasanka Perera & Steve Kemper

Sasanka Perera has recently introduced readers to a new book by Steven Kemper entitled Rescuing Dharmapala from the Nation (University of Chicago Press, 2015) – a book which surveys the socio-political activities of the Anagarika Dharmapala in a refreshing manner. I have yet to get hold of the book, but Sasanka provides enough commentary to provoke a discussion.

 Dharmapala in USA –probably at the World Congress of Religions 1893

Within a context where Dharmapala aka Don David Hewavitarne is regarded as an influential Sinhala Buddhist chauvinist by many social scientists analysing Sri Lankan history and politics, Perera indicates that Kemper provides broader dimensions by re-situating Dharmapala “within the Buddhist world of his time by … focusing on his international activities in aid of Buddhist causes and cross-faith discussions.” Kemper’s new work, therefore, is a modification of the Protestant Buddhist thesis popularized in social science circles by Gananath Obeyesekere’s writings in particular. Continue reading

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Hidden Treasures

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Vorsicht! Looking for a Hitler in Sri Lanka Today

Tisaranee Gunasekara, in Sunday Observer, 12 August 2018, where the title is “On Doctors and Kings. An authoritarian wind is sweeping across Sri Lanka”

The current yearning for the heavy hand of a strong leader is in tune with the Zeitgeist. Across the globe, people, disillusioned with democracy, are opening their ears to the siren song of authoritarianism. As Barrack Obama pointed out in his Mandela Centenary Lecture, “We now stand at a crossroads – a moment in time at which two very different versions of humanity’s future compete for the hearts and minds of citizens around the world.”

In Sri Lanka, the less immoderate, less illiberal government is in a state of semi-paralysis. The extremist and anti-democratic opposition is surging ahead. The myth that democracy is part of ‘The Problem’ (or even ‘The Problem’) rather than the least bad form of governance is ascendant. If democracy is the problem, then the solution, by definition has to be anti-democratic. This is the dangerous place to which Sri Lanka is careening. Continue reading

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Pirapāharan’s Inspirations and Mind-Set

Michael Roberts … being an expanded and illustrated version of an article that has been presented in the Daily Mirror = http://www.dailymirror.lk/article/Understanding-Velupillai-Pirapaharan-s-mindset-153407.html ...where it has received 1878 hits thus far

Recent revelations on the detailed course of Eelam War IV in its last phase in 2009 made possible by Lord Michael Naseby’s extraction of the contemporary readings of the battle theatre provided by the British Military Attache in Colombo, namely Lt. Col. Gash, permits one to chart specific strands of deceit and conspiratorial design perpetuated by the Western states led by USA and Norway[1] with the implicit or explicit participation of a host of humanitarian agencies, such as ICG, AI and HRW together with several agencies in Colombo.[2]

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NEVER AGAIN! Groundviews Recalls Black July 1983 … Towards Meaningful Reflection

Borella Junction Mayhem–Pic bt Chandragupta Amarasinghe

A Forgotten Community: Remembering Black July

Writer S Karunakaran reflects on Black July from the perspective of a marginalised and often forgotten community – the Malaiyagha Tamils – and specifically those who tried to resettle in the North…

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Young Pirapāharan’s Inspirations and Ideology: Ragavan’s Incisive Memorial in May 2009

Ragavan, being a reprint from The Sunday Leader, 24 May 2009, where the title runs Memories of a much-mythologised rebel leader by a former LTTE fighter ” …. with the highlighting being the work of The Editor, Thuppahi

  The body identified as that of the Tamil rebels’
leader, Velupilai Pirapaharan, was carried Tuesday
through Sri Lankan troops — 
Courtesy Reuters

“Those who bear arms acquire and wield an extreme measure of power. We believe that if this power is abused, it will inevitably lead to dictatorship.” – Pirapaharan, from an interview with N. Ram, 1986

The LTTE’s supreme leader and commander, Velupillai Pirapaharan, along with his wife, children and the entire leadership of the LTTE, have been completely wiped out by the Sri Lankan military. The LTTE began as a guerrilla unit during the 1970’s, at its peak, it controlled vast territory and built up a conventional force consisting of an army, navy and air force. The group won many battles against the Sri Lankan Army, crushed all Tamil opposition groups functioning in Sri Lanka, and was seen as a deadly, brutal and disciplined organisation.

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Transforming the Sri Lankan Army

Editor, News-in-Asia, 7 August 2018, where the title is “Sri Lankan army set to become a multi-faceted, capacity-based force”

By Editor on August 7, 2018No Comment

The Sri Lanka army, which in May 2009 did what was thought to be “impossible”, namely,  annihilate the dreaded separatist militant group, the Tamil Tigers, is today in the process of transforming itself into a multi-faceted and capacity-based force capable of tackling multifarious threats to national security from a multiplicity of sources.

The SLA, led by the tough Special Forces officer cum qualified engineer, Lt.Gen.Mahesh Senanayake, is putting his officers and men through training in various skills which will enable them  to tackle any situation, whether man-made or nature-made. Continue reading

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