Category Archives: security

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.

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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

Wahhabi Ideology is the Root of Islamic Extremism

Nur Yalman, courtesy of Colombo Telegraph, where the title runs Islam, Extremism & Hypocrisy” … highlighting emphasis is that of th Editor, Thuppahi

Suicide attacks in beloved Barcelona. We are once again left aghast at the cruelty of an entire group of malevolent people. These evil acts should have no place in civilized existence. Where do they come from? What is their purpose? What is to be done? First of all we must note that these murders are part of a “Death Cult” associated with the profound radicalism deriving from an unusual Wahhabi version of Islam.

 

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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?

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The Devolution Debate: Indelible Facts

Gerald H. Peiris … an original article with emphasis in black being that of the author and that in blue being an imposition by The Editor, Thuppahi

 

Several articles by Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke published in The Island during the past few days indicate that he is very definitely the most articulate and, arguably, the most “intermestic” exponent of the notion of the ’13th Amendment’ (implemented more comprehensively than at present with all powers and functions referred to in its Ninth Schedule vested on Provincial Councils – PCs) being the constitutional via media that would ensure stability, good governance and interethnic harmony. Dr DJ is no doubt aware that, following the misguided curtailment of Presidential powers through the 19th Amendment of the Constitution in 2015, alongside the practice of foreign agents including diplomatic personnel bypassing the Colombo government in their transactions with the ‘Northern PC’ emerging an unofficial ‘convention’ in Sri Lanka’s external relations, his prescription would actually entail the creation of a more autonomous network of PCs than envisioned at the promulgation of the 13th Amendment thirty years ago. Continue reading

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Three Historical ‘Journeys’ into the Colonial Past

Geedreck Usvatte-Aratchi, in Sunday Island, 1 October 2017, where the title reads “War, Doom and Re-generation”………………. A Review of three books

  • W.I.Siriweera and Sanath de Silva (2017):Warfare in Sri Lanka
  • Gananath Obeyesekere (2017): The Doomed King
  • Sarath Amunugama (2016): The Lion’s Roar

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The Rohingya Issue: Bangladeshi Diplomat in Q and A with Ratnawalli

Darshanie Ratnawalli,  from The Island, 23 September 2017, where the title reads “The Rohingya future generations in danger of radicalization”

When the attractive and affable High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Sri Lanka, called the editor of this newspaper to discuss the Rohingya issue, he was engaging with the people of Sri Lanka in a refreshing act of non-traditional diplomacy.  He was doing for Sri Lanka what the Kofi Annan Report was urging Myanmar and Bangladesh to do, engaging in “dialogue that promotes better mutual understanding, both at the level of the country’s leaders and people-to people ties” because “Myanmar and Bangladesh have different narratives on the challenges along their shared border. Despite the large numbers who have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh, the popular perception in Myanmar is that the problem is illegal immigration into Myanmar. There are also different historical narratives about the origin of communities and their population growth. These differences can only be narrowed by dialogue.”

 High Commissioner Riaz Hamidulla

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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

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