The Newsletter of the International Institute of Asian Studies at Leiden reveals the interests of two recent Fellows at IIAS who have been delving into Sri Lankan issues in recent times. Herewith some summaries
Giacomo Mantovan is of Italian lineage:
“My research in social anthropology, which focuses on individuals and their relations with their social milieu, and in particular with state authorities, aims to grasp how certain critical times, such as civil war, exile, and illness, become moments of construction of subjectivity and memory.” Continue reading
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John Holt, A Short Memorandum addressing Gerald Peiris, 28 September 2017
It is 3 years since I gave the keynote address at the International Centre for Ethnic Studies (Kandy) conference on Buddhism in relation to other religions. My presentation was revised an subsequently published as the lead article in the book that was a by-product of the conference. My thesis was simple: to illustrate how recent social, economic and political changes in Theravada-dominated countries have had an effect on their respective religious cultures. My argument about Sri Lanka was also quite simple: that 26 years of civil war had contributed to the emergence of Buddhist militancy–the BBS being the classic example. Immediately following that conference, Gerry Peiris sent out sharply critical e-mails about my presentation to an extended group of his like-minded friends. When I came to know about his rather personal attacks through some of my own Sri Lankan friends, I quietly exchanged several detailed e-mails with Peiris engaging him quite thoroughly and, as I thought at the time, putting the matters to rest in a civil manner.
Muslims stand next to a burnt shop after a clash between Buddhists and Muslims in Aluthgama June 16, 2014. At least three Muslims were killed and 75 people seriously injured in violence between Buddhists and Muslims in southern Sri Lankan coastal towns best known as tourist draws, with Muslim homes set ablaze, officials and residents said on Monday. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte
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Kusal Perera, in Daily Mirror, 22 September 2017, where the title reads “Chaos, corruption covered by ‘Sinhala Patriotism” … with highlighting in Blue added by the editor, Thuppahi, while that in purple is Kusal Perera’s
“Save this Sinhala Buddhist country, not from those who rob their economic benefits, but from Tamil separatists and Muslim fundamentalists”
I have been given many epithets for trying to promote a decent and a civilised “North-South” dialogue for a common and a shared future with due respect to each other’s cultural identities. This week began with epithets like “Voice of (Tamil) Diaspora” and “A dollar paid Traitor”. Another called me a “Sinhala Buddhist basher”.
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