Michael Roberts ** … a reprint of an article published in South Asia, Vol. XIX, Special Issue, (1996), pp. 205-220. with the title “Teaching Lessons, Re mo ving Evil: Strands of Moral Puritanism in Sinhala Nationalist Practice
Expressions of Sinhala nationalism since the mid-nineteenth century, as one might expect, have been varied and multi-faceted. In this essay, I highlight a thread of moral puritanism which has not only been powerfully inscribed into the pogroms espoused in the period 1880s to 1910s, but also within the altered context of the 1950s-1980s.
Borella Junction, Colombo, 24.25 July 1983
A Hindu mob waiting to defend their own from Muslims in Bhagalpur –before becoming a marauding band seeking retribution — in a pattern also seen in 1915 in Sri Lanka during the anti-Moor pogrom
Filed under accountability, atrocities, communal relations, cultural transmission, disparagement, economic processes, ethnicity, female empowerment, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power sharing, religious nationalism, riots and pogroms, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, vengeance, women in ethnic conflcits
Michael Roberts, being a reprint of a review article in South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, s., Vol. XXVII, no.1, April 2004 …… with a review of this essay by Bandu de Silva having appeared earlier Thuppahi. The version here has highlighted emphasis to aid the reader –clearly a ‘work ‘in 2017.
Alfred Jeyaratnam Wilson, now regrettably with his maker, remains Sri Lanka’s leading political scientist, with numerous books associated with his name. He had secured eminence as early as the 1970s, when attached to Peradeniya University, and this reputation enabled him to move to a Professorship at the University of New Brunswick around 1972. It was his considerable scholarly reputation that encouraged the president of Sri Lanka and leader of the right-wing United National Party, J. R. Jayewardene, to utilise his consultative services in the political negotiations and constitutional engineering that occurred in the period 1978–83. His participation was facilitated by K. M. de Silva, a confidante of the president as well as Wilson’s long-time friend.
Wilson KM dde Silva Continue reading
Anonymous Reviewer in Sunday Times, 21 July 2013, where the title runs “Important contribution towards a dialogue on Lankan polity. Book facts”
When Michael Roberts left Peradeniya in the late seventies, he was part of an exodus of intellectuals from the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya, arguably one of the best universities at that time. The exodus of academics at that time was compelled by the economic difficulties faced by university dons. It was the second wave of such emigration that diminished the intellectual life of the university and country.
Pirapāharan and leading Tiger Commanders at the Indian sponsored training camp at Sirimalai in 1984
The Arts Faculty of the University of Peradeniya never regained its prestigious academic status after that. Today the University of Peradeniya cannot take pride in intellectuals of the eminence of E. F. C. Ludowyck, E. R Sarachchandra, H. A. de S. Gunasekera, Fr. Ignatius Pinto, Ian Van den Driesen and many others. Continue reading
Filed under accountability, communal relations, devolution, discrimination, education policy, Eelam, electoral structures, female empowerment, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, IDP camps, indian armed forces, island economy, landscape wondrous, language policies, law of armed conflict, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, power sharing, prabhakaran, Rajapaksa regime, Rajiv Gandhi, riots and pogroms, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, tamil refugees, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, vengeance, war reportage, welfare & philanthophy, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes
Niranjan Selvadurai, … a poem composed within a context derived from a personal experience in the streets Colombo, on Monday 25 July 1983
Pic at Borella Junction 24 July 1983 –taken by Chnadragupta Amarasinghe **
May we pass brother?
But are you one of us!
Or someone other?
Roving eyes survey thus Continue reading
Filed under accountability, atrocities, discrimination, economic processes, historical interpretation, human rights, landscape wondrous, life stories, politIcal discourse, power sharing, reconciliation, riots and pogroms, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, terrorism, trauma, unusual people, vengeance, world events & processes, zealotry
1= agitated Indians try to scale gates of the All-India Medical Institute, 31 October 1984
Michael Roberts on Bhawan Singh’s Pictorial Images
The first two images reveal the agitation and anguish of Indian citizens in Delhi who had rushed to the entrance of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences on the 31st October where Indira Gandhi had been rushed to in hopes of her resuscitation after she was shot by her own Sikh bodyguards. Two more pictures below underline the emotions coursing through the minds and bodies of these patriot citizens of India who were so moved by the prospect of her death that they rushed to her side so to speak. Continue reading
Filed under atrocities, citizen journalism, governance, Hinduism, historical interpretation, life stories, photography, power politics, racist thinking, religiosity, religious nationalism, riots and pogroms, security, self-reflexivity, world events & processes, zealotry