Category Archives: reconciliation

Reconciliation via Cricket and Charity? The Political Ground is a Waterlogged Minefield

Michael Roberts

It is possible that Velupillai Pirapaharan remains a revered leader and symbol of the nationalist drive for Thamililam among some Tamils residing within the island f Sri Lanka today – even though they are circumspect in expressing such thoughts in public. Indeed, it is possible that some Tamils in the island worship him as a deity in the manner espoused in some quarters abroad by Tamils of the diaspora (see image below).

So, how does one measure the political reverberations of the well-meaning efforts towards reconciliation and the bridging of the Tamil-Sinhala divide delineated in several essays presented recently[1] in THUPPAHI?

Continue reading

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, australian media, Bodu Bala Sena, Buddhism, communal relations, cricket for amity, cultural transmission, disparagement, doctoring evidence, fundamentalism, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, Indian Ocean politics, language policies, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, nationalism, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, power politics, power sharing, prabhakaran, propaganda, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, social justice, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, world events & processes

Cricketing Amity, September 2002: Janashakthi XI vs Jaffna District Cricket XI

During the ceasefire period after Eelam War III some leading members of the cricketing world in Colombo reached out in reconciliatory mood to Jaffna by organising a high-profile cricket match.[i]

Enthusiastic Jaffna Fans mob Murali

Chandra Schaffter: The Jaffna Match, 1 September 2002

With Ranil Wickremesinghe becoming Prime Minister in 2001, a ceasefire agreement was negotiated with the LTTE and the A9 was opened after many years. Janashakthi took the opportunity to open its Jaffna branch in August Because of our association with cricket, we felt that the best way would be to stage a cricket match which would bring the enthusiastic cricket fans in Jaffna out of their homes.  It was a major rush but my son Ramesh,who was adept at such events, began organizing the match as well as the  opening of the branch.  I had just returned to Sri Lanka after managing the cricket team in the UK and I had agreed with a team of about 15 of the cricketers to go up to Jaffna in a special bus and play a match – not so much for cricket per se but in order to create an impression in Jaffna.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under cricket for amity, cultural transmission, ethnicity, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, performance, pilgrimages, politIcal discourse, prabhakaran, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, Uncategorized, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

The Buddha’s Middle Path is the Route to Lanka’s Present Constitutional Dilemma

Dayan Jayatilleka in The Island, 25 September 2017, where the title is  “The ethnic issue: Fantasy vs. Reality. Response to Ladduwahetty and Hulugalle”

At a time when national borders are vanishing, the borders in our own mind need to be erased in the interests of serious inquiry and discussion.”—Mervyn de Silva, The Age of Identity, 1993

As in life, there are no guarantees in politics. One can only avoid the most obvious mistakes and cultivate the wisdom to manage things prudently. A Constitution cannot function as a prison house. Countries, like people, stay together because of consent and mutual agreement. The “stability” that both Ladduwahetty and Hulugalle crave, cannot be ensured by rigidity and unilateral imposition. The stability of the whole can be achieved only through dialogue and consensus, involving mutual compromise and concessions, between the component parts. That is surely the logic and spirit of the Social Contract. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, authoritarian regimes, Buddhism, centre-periphery relations, China and Chinese influences, constitutional amendments, devolution, economic processes, foreign policy, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, legal issues, life stories, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, world events & processes

How the Sinhala Chauvinists are Ruining Reconciliation as well as Sri Lanka

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”.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, democratic measures, economic processes, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, vengeance, world affairs

An Indivisible Nation in the New Constitution says Sambanthan

Sandasan Marasinghe & Camelia Nathaniel,  in The Daily News, 22 September 2017, where the title is  “Constitution formulated within a united, undivided, indivisible Sri Lanka: Sampanthan”

The process of formulating a Constitution for the country is being done within the firm framework of a united, undivided and indivisible Sri Lanka, said Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan yesterday.He also said that the successful conclusion of this Constitution making process on the basis of an acceptable reasonable and substantial national consensus would bring about a firm finality to this issue and Sri Lanka would perpetually be a united, undivided and indivisible country in keeping with the basic and Supreme Law of the country, and on the basis of the free will and consent of all its people. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under constitutional amendments, democratic measures, ethnicity, governance, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, language policies, life stories, patriotism, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, power sharing, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, world affairs

Sri Lanka’s Constitutional-Political Dilemma TODAY: Three Types of Sri Lankan Separatists

Dayan Jayatilleka, in the Island, 19 September 2017,where the title is  “Constitutional choices and Tamil politics.  Three Types of Sri Lankan Separatists”

At the heart of the Constitutional Question is the crux of the continuing Sri Lankan crisis. And that is what may be variously called the Tamil Question, the Tamil issue, the Tamil problem, the Tamil national question, the Tamil nationalities question, the Tamil ethnic issue etc. I tend to see it as Sri Lanka’s North-South Question.

What is the Tamil Question? It is the problem of accommodating the identity and aspirations for irreducible political space of a community with a justifiable sense of pride and achievement, and doing so while not impinging upon the identity and aspirations for a secure space, of the unique community that forms the majority on this small island placed on a strategic sea-lane and in close proximity to a massive landmass with a huge population.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under centre-periphery relations, constitutional amendments, devolution, economic processes, electoral structures, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, language policies, legal issues, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, the imaginary and the real, TNA, world events & processes

Cricketing Outreach: Building Amity among Lanka’s Ethnic Groups?

Michael Roberts

 A recent Skype chat with Uvindu Kurukulasuriya in London about Kumar Sangakkara inevitably led me to reflect upon the many reconciliatory measures Kumar has participated in – steps attempting to build bridges across the Sinhala-Tamil ethnic divide in Sri Lanka. Among these efforts, the most striking act was the powerful ecumenical statement he asserted at the end of his momentous Cowdrey Lecture at the MCC in London in 2011. “Fans of different races, castes, ethnicities and religions who together celebrate their diversity by uniting for a common national cause. They are my foundation, they are my family. I will play my cricket for them. Their spirit is the true spirit of cricket. With me are all my people. I am Tamil, Sinhalese, Muslim and Burgher. I am a Buddhist, a Hindu, a follower of Islam and Christianity. I am today, and always, proudly Sri Lankan.[1]

 Murali Harmony Cup launched 2012  Ian Botham with Murali

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under centre-periphery relations, charitable outreach, communal relations, cricket for amity, cultural transmission, ethnicity, historical interpretation, life stories, LTTE, patriotism, politIcal discourse, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, tolerance, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes