Category Archives: racist thinking

For the Singing of the National Anthem in Sinhala Only: Two Adamant Voices

On the 21st January 2020 two personnel who are part of an “Email Collective” in which I am a member (mostly as a recipient) raised challenges by a comment within the Thuppahi route (Perera) and by an Email Note to the Collective (Hewapathirane) — arguing for the singing of the national anthem in Sinhala Only. Expecting the issue to arise on February 4th and overwhelmed with work on my two websites and other pursuits, I did not respond immediately. Janaka Perera is nothing if not persistent and has tapped me on the shoulder again.

Let me place their theses in the public domain first so that other voices can chip in. My answer will appear in a day or so as a separate entity.

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Bracegirdle and the Early LSSP in Anti-Colonial Thrusts

Vinod Moonesinghe, courtesy of Roar, 21 May 2017, where the title reads “Bracegirdle: The Young Anglo-Australian Behind Sri Lanka’s Independence Struggle”

After the Matale Revolt of 1848, the independence struggle in Sri Lanka was quiescent until the 1930s. Only in 1931 did the short-lived Jaffna Youth Congress call for total independence (poorana swaraj) and boycotted the general election.However, in far-away America, a young Sri Lankan student, Philip Gunawardena, had already joined the League Against Imperialism and For National Independence, an international organisation committed to the complete national independence of the colonial and semi-colonial peoples, including Sri Lankans. He later went to Britain and worked for the League. He belonged to a Sri Lankan group called the “Cosmopolitan Crew”, mainly students such as himself, including N. M. Perera, Colvin R. de Silva and Leslie Goonewardena.

Bracegirdle with L.S.S.P. leaders in Horana. Image courtesy Victor Ivan

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The Vicious Political Fervour promoted by Social Media Today

Michael Roberts

My past studies of ethnic pogroms in Sri Lanka and India alerted me to the power of oral communication and emotional voices in sparking retaliation against an ethnic other in neighbourhood or region.[1] In May-June 1915 oral tales of Muslim atrocity (mostly concocted one can assume) were carried along the railway tracks and thus converted a clash at Castle Street Kandy on the night of the 28th May night into a series of violent attacks on Muslims residing in such towns as Kegalle, Rambukkana, Colombo, Panadura on the 29th and 30th May and thence to Galle and Matara and their outlying road networks between the 1st and 4th June.

 

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Violence in Sri Lanka: Slipshod Scholarship

Michael Roberts

I recently circulated a whole set of articles by some Muslim scholars (located in the Eastern Province and abroad) as well as a few others in Western universities — mostly written in the 2011-19 period. I am beginning to go through them slowly when I can carve out time for this set of tasks. A few have focused on the incidence of crime and communal violence in the post 2009 period.

What strikes me on reading these ventures is the limited degree of reading of past works that has been pursued and the appalling gaps in their background – lapses which also impinge on their comments on the death toll in the last stages of Eelam War IV.

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Narendran’s Critical Dissection of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Victory Day Speech on 18th May 2009

Rajasingham Narendran, courtesy of Colombo Telegraph, 19th May 2009, where the title is “A Response To The President’s Address On Victory Day”

I read with much interest the President’s ‘Victory Day’ speech at the Galle Face Green, yesterday [18th May 2009], reproduced in CT.   While I agree with much of his recount of recent history, there are glaring gaps in the story he recalled.  Further, he has failed to address the current concerns of the victims his forces liberated, at all.  I have selected some sentences and sections from his address to express my concerns.

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A Patriotic Muslim Sri Lankan … now permanently disabled – shot by the Zahran Hashim Cell

BBC News Item, 31 May 2019, entitled  “The man who might have stopped Sri Lanka’s Easter bombings”

 

When bombs planted in churches and hotels killed more than 200 people in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, few had realised that the nation had a problem with Islamist militancy. One man who did, reports the BBC’s Secunder Kermani, was Mohammad Razak Taslim. Lying on a hospital bed, Mohammad Razak Taslim’s face contorts with pain. The left side of his body is completely paralysed, but he reaches out with his right hand, trying to clutch at his wife and brother-in-law who stand anxiously over him. His wife, Fatima, presses a handkerchief to his head. One side of his skull has caved in. It’s where he was shot in the head in March. Ever since, he’s been unable to speak, unable to walk.

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Calm Intelligence Required, not Islamophobia — says Uyan

Jayadeva Uyangoda, in Sunday Observer, 26 May 2019, where the title runs thusFight Terrorism. Avoid Islamophobia”

Islamophobia is a term that gained currency in the 1980s in British English. It referred to prejudices against Islam and Muslim people that had begun to spread in the UK since the 1970s. As a cultural, intellectual and political phenomenon, Islamophobia also began to spread throughout the Western world after the 9/11 attacks in the US. The Christian Right in America has been the leading force that promoted Islamophobia as a new strand of political ideology in the world. It spread to the Hindu and Buddhist worlds as well amidst the rapid rise of ethnic identity politics and conflict.

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