Category Archives: religious nationalism

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

Leave a comment

Filed under British colonialism, charitable outreach, communal relations, cultural transmission, disparagement, economic processes, ethnicity, fundamentalism, historical interpretation, Indian religions, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, religiosity, religious nationalism, sri lankan society, Uncategorized, unusual people, world events & processes

Tisaranee dissects the Current Populist Currents and their Chauvinist Underpinnings

Tisaranee Gunasekara in The Sri Lanka Guardian where the title runs thus: “Blood-and-Faith Populism and Sri Lanka’s Future””

“As the great reformers of the 19th century well knew, the Social Question, if left unaddressed, does not just wither away. It goes instead in search of more radical answers.””……Tony Judt (Reappraisals)

This month, the populist wave suffered two critical defeats. In France outsider-candidate Emmanuel Macron beat Marine Le Pen. In Iran, reformist president Hassan Rouhani trounced Ebrahim Raisi, a religious hardliner backed by Supreme Leader Khameni and the Revolutionary Guard. These defeats come in the wake of other electoral setbacks for populists, especially in Austria and The Netherlands. Despite these welcome-defeats, the current wave of populism is far from spent – and would continue wreak havoc, until the forces of moderation manage to create a new synthesis between pluralist democracy and progressive economics.

Populism is hardly a new phenomenon. It flourishes best where there is economic loss and pain. Populist leaders succeed in their power-grabs by harnessing that economic pain to their political projects. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, communal relations, cultural transmission, disparagement, doctoring evidence, economic processes, electoral structures, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Islamic fundamentalism, Left politics, legal issues, life stories, modernity & modernization, patriotism, performance, politIcal discourse, power sharing, Rajapaksa regime, religious nationalism, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, world events & processes

Kemper in London on Anagarika Dharmapala and the Buddhist World

Listen to PODCAST by Steven E. Kemper introducing his book Rescued from the Nation: Anagarika Dharmapala and the Buddhist World (U of Chicago Press, 2015) from New Books in Buddhist Studies … in London ….. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/new-books-in-buddhist-studies/id458210899?mt=2&i=1000345817559

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Buddhism, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, education, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Indian religions, Indian traditions, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, religious nationalism, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, tolerance, unusual people, violence of language, world affairs, zealotry

A Battery of Cricketers condemn Sinhala Racist Attacks

Mahela Jayawardena :https://twitter.com/mahelajay/status/971269970964381696

Sanath Jayasuriya :https://twitter.com/sanath07/status/971296370408808449

Kumar Sangakkara :https://twitter.com/kumarsanga2/status/971293153969000449 Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, atrocities, Buddhism, communal relations, cricket for amity, democratic measures, disparagement, education, ethnicity, fundamentalism, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, human rights, landscape wondrous, life stories, meditations, Muslims in Lanka, nationalism, patriotism, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, racist thinking, religious nationalism, riots and pogroms, self-reflexivity, Sri Lankan cricket, sri lankan society, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, tolerance, trauma, unusual people, vengeance, violence of language, welfare & philanthophy

Prevent International Conventions creeping in as Law

Sriyan de Silva, Island, 17 October 2017, where the title is “Sri Lanka, International conventions and debasement of our legislative process”

Arising from Sanja de Silva Jayatilleka’s useful article, titled Government has Accepted the ICJ’s Jurisdiction over Sri Lanka [The Island, 18 September 2017], where she has stated that such acceptance is a consequence of the government’s ratification of the Convention on Enforced Disappearances, it is necessary to examine when/where Sri Lanka is legally bound by the International Conventions it has ratified. [Presumably she means the International Criminal Court and not the International Court of Justice].

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, anton balasingham, communal relations, constitutional amendments, governance, religious nationalism, Responsibility to Protect or R2P, unusual people, world events & processes

When Terrorism assailed Cricket at Lahore, 3 March 2009: A Cumulus Cloud of Questions

Michael Roberts, courtesy of Colombo Telegraph, where the title is different

A distant image of some assailants  

99793-H-Sun cover large

  a dead body is removed subsequently –Pic from AFP

A few years back I studied the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team when they were on their way to the Gaddafi Stadium at Lahore during the course of their Test Match vs Pakistan in 2009. This analysis is available as “Cricket under Siege:  The Lahore Attack, 3 March 2009,” in my book Incursions & Excursions in and around Sri Lanka Cricket (Colombo, Vijitha Yapa Publications, 2011).. I did not interview Brendon Kuruppu, the SL Team Manager, till after that work was presented. Since he presented a lucid account of his experiences, that essay lacks some of his insights. Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under accountability, atrocities, authoritarian regimes, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Islamic fundamentalism, jihad, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, life stories, LTTE, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, religious nationalism, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, vengeance, war reportage, world events & processes

Reflections on the Violent Buddhist Responses to Islam in Lanka and Burma

Stephen Labrooy

Ravi Velloor’s  article in THUPPAHI drew a private comment from Stephen Labrooy in Sri Lanka which is food for thought in itself, but carries particular value because it comes from Sri Lankan Burgher of some seniority[1] who has travelled abroad and presently serves as President of the Dutch Burgher Union. I have queries on several points and raised just two hurriedly (see below); but the “memorandum” has useful ethnographic information, while running several inter-related arguments. Hence its airing here.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under British colonialism, Buddhism, communal relations, disparagement, economic processes, historical interpretation, human rights, life stories, Muslims in Lanka, politIcal discourse, power politics, religious nationalism, riots and pogroms, security, sri lankan society, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, trauma, unusual people, vengeance, world events & processes, zealotry