Category Archives: religiosity

An Essential Coupling: For A Bilingual National Anthem on 4th February

It appears that there are pressures in motion[1] to return to the old Rajapaksa programme of rendering the National Anthem on Independence Day in Sinhala Only. As Eranda Ginige has contended, this would be a retrograde step. Towards our comprehension of the issues, I present a preliminary and incomplete bibliography of pertinent items — including the work of Kushil Gunasekera and his Foundation of Goodness in fostering the Murali Cup; the endeavours of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene; and Sasanka Perera’s slashing criticism of the parochial responses to Kishani Jaysinghe’s operatic rendering of “Danno Budunge.”

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The Aussie Jihadist Terrorist Mind Today

Rodger Shanahan,  in the Lowy Institute Website, mid-November 2019, = https://www.lowyinstitute.org/news-and-media/multimedia/audio/rodger-shanahan-australian-terrorists-views-world …. where the title is

In order to better understand what motivates Australian radical islamists to join or support a terrorist group it is first necessary to get a better understanding of who they are.  This working paper examines data sets from 173 Australian citizens and residents to paint a picture of our own cohort of radical Islamist terrorists, including how likely they are to be rehabilitated. For the accompanying infographic feature accompanying this report, click here.

Since 2012 several hundred Australians have travelled to Syria and Iraq to undertake jihad with Islamic State, al-Qaeda or other radical Islamist groups.[1]  Dozens more provided financial support to them or other jihadis, or planned, conducted or supported terrorist attacks in Australia on behalf of Islamic State.

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Superstition meets Science in Early Modern Europe: Ulinka Rublack’s Path-breaking Studies

Lilo Berg, in Humboldt Kosmos  2019, pp.3033 ** where the title reads as “Witches, Fashion Fiends and Cabinet Curiosities”

Ulinka Rublack’s book about the astronomer Johannes Kepler, who defended his mother in a witchcraft trial, caused a stir. Drawing on old sources, the historian reconstructs a fascinating image of the Early Modern Era in which superstition meets science

The Historian Ulinka Rublack at work in Wolfenbüttel
The Historian Ulinka Rublack at work in Wolfenbüttel (Photo: Humboldt Foundation / Jörg Scheibe)

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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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Deceitful Presidential Frontrunners …. Boru Kaarayo!

Rajeewa Jayaweera, in Sunday Island, 20 October 2019, with this title “Mendacious Presidential contenders”

A record number of 41 candidates have paid deposits to contest the November 16 presidential poll. It is a foregone conclusion; no more than five candidates will receive over 100,000 votes. The leading presidential contenders, Gotabaya Rajapaksa (GR), Sajith Premadasa (SP), and Anura Kumara Dissanayaka (AKD), have kicked off their campaigns with rallies at Galle Face, Anuradhapura, and Thambuttegama respectively.

They spew the same old falsehoods, fabrications, and deceptions similar to those of their predecessors. The Sri Lankan born world’s first female Prime Minister in 1970 promised to bring rice even from the moon!

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Essays on Sinhala Buddhist Extremism towards the Muslims in Sri Lanka

 Iselin Frydenlund** presenting a review article in the Journal of Religion and Violence, Vol. 6, No. 2, 201830 … reviewing Buddhist Extremists and Muslim Minorities: Religious Conflict in Contemporary Sri Lanka. Edited by John Clifford Holt. Oxford University Press, 2016. 254 pp. Hardcover $105.00 /ISBN: 9780190624378. Paperback $35.00 / ISBN: 9780190624385.

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Gnanasara Thero leads BBS Defiance of Court Injunctions at a Kovil in Mullaitivu

 Meera Srinivasan, in The Madras Hindu, 28 September 2019, where the title is “When the Saffron Robe has the Final Say”

The recent passing away of a Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka and his subsequent cremation in the northern district of Mullaitivu has brought to the fore an old concern — the power wielded by the Buddhist clergy and the impunity shielding them. It wasn’t the monk’s cremation that was the problem, it was the site.

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