Category Archives: the imaginary and the real

From SILENCE to MADNESS …… Pauline Schokman

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Filed under Australian culture, economic processes, education, ethnicity, female empowerment, gender norms, heritage, historical interpretation, immigration, landscape wondrous, language policies, life stories, literary achievements, meditations, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes

Addressing the 9/11 Conspiracy Theorists: Where Fervour Trumps ‘Deep Throats’

Michael Roberts

When one of my articles on the jihadist network that perpetrated the 21/4 attacks in Sri Lanka referred to the inspirations behind the 9/11 attacks in USA, I was surprised to receive vehement rejections of the latter contention from two good friends and one distant  ‘aide’ in Canada – challenges sent independently of each other.

These challenges have been rejected by other friends – at times quite bluntly. But Jeremy Liyanage,[1] Jean-Pierre Page[2] and Chris Black[3] are individuals with whom I have interacted fruitfully and whose commitment to the pursuit of truth and reform in this world are not in doubt. So, this revisiting of 9/11 and its perpetrators on my part is a personal journey that addresses my three friends, while yet seeking to raise significant issues in today’s world – especially embracing the ramifications of the ideological currents known as “Wahhabism” and “Salafism” (terms that seem to be deployed interchangeably).[4] Continue reading

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Filed under accountability, Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, arab regimes, architects & architecture, atrocities, authoritarian regimes, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, cultural transmission, fundamentalism, historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, landscape wondrous, life stories, martyrdom, photography, politIcal discourse, power politics, security, self-reflexivity, slanted reportage, Taliban, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, transport and communications, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, world events & processes

Anti-Muslim Violence Present and Past

Shamara Wettimuny, in Sunday Observer, 14 July 2019, where the title is “A brief history of anti-Muslim violence in Sri Lanka”

The recent Easter attacks targeting a number of churches and hotels devastated Sri Lanka. Over 250 people were killed, and many more injured. Within days of the attack, it emerged that the perpetrators of the attack were affiliated to radical Islamist groups in Sri Lanka. However, the identification of the perpetrators as ostensibly adherents of the Islamic faith opened the floodgates of discrimination and violence against the broader Muslim community in Sri Lanka.

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Filed under accountability, atrocities, authoritarian regimes, Bodu Bala Sena, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, conspiracies, cultural transmission, discrimination, disparagement, economic processes, fundamentalism, historical interpretation, Indian religions, Islamic fundamentalism, island economy, jihad, life stories, nationalism, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, power politics, religious nationalism, riots and pogroms, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, trauma, truth as casualty of war, vengeance, violence of language, world events & processes

The VVT Thonies and Their Mastery of the Oceans Past

Somasiri Devendra, in Island, 13 July 2019, with this title “VVT, Tahiti, and the ghost of the Bounty. The ship from Valvettithurai which sailed the seven seas” and this dedication “Dedicated to the late Mr. Kumaraswamy of Oxonia Institute, Colombo, proud son of Valvettithurai, with whom I was to co-author a work on our northern nautical culture. On him, be Peace.”

article_imageA traditional Thoni showing the backward-coiling Surul and nailed-on occulus.

The story begins …

In 1937 an adventurous ‘Yankee’ sailed a small yacht round the world – the smallest to do so, at that time – stopping awhile in Ceylon. After many adventures, he returned to Ceylon in search of a Jaffna-built ship whose elegant lines had caught his eye. He found her, bought and refitted her in Colombo and sailed for Boston, with an all-Jaffna crew. Boston was as overwhelmed by the vision of this ‘ghost’ of the legendary Bounty, as by its dusky crew and of the voyage itself. But a couple of months later she was sailed again, this time with an all-American delivery crew, to Tahiti. And then, like the Bounty, she disappears.

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Profound & ‘Coloured’ Insights into Our Environmental Degradation

Prasad Abu Bakr, in Sunday Observer, 7 July 2019, …. http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2019/07/07/art/book-review-slow-cooked-thoughts

This is a ‘must-read’ book for those who lived during that glorious past, which is quietly slipping out of our grasp. It is also one for the next generation, who live in a world of make-believe – thinking that demolition of that glorious past and the pristine environment that was there, in the name of ‘development’ is aimed at making the world a better place to live in.

In her Foreword, Jill Macdonald refers to Slow-cooked Thoughts as a compelling compilation of writings both occasional and various, linked by a common motif of the writer’s passionate and unwavering belief of what constitutes a right relationship with the world around us.

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Canadian Cha-Cha-Cha: Genocide Claims

Chandre Dharmawardana, in Colombo Telegraph, 5 July 2019, where the title “Two Alleged Genocides – And Canada’s Claimed Support For Conflict Prevention In Sri Lanka”

David McKinnon, Canada’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka  has stated, on Canada’s National Day  that  “Canada would continue to support conflict prevention efforts in Sri Lanka, where  it has been seen how hate speech and media can entrench communal divisions”.  Meanwhile back in Canada, successive Canadian governments have failed to understand how this very “hate speech” is being entrenched in Canadian municipal discourse and even in parliamentary proceedings by militant diaspora groups. They wish to replay the old ethnic animosities of their homeland  in Canada too.

fervent demonstrations in Toronto mounted by Canadian Tamils in 2009 … presaging recent claims

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Sri Lanka’s Cricketing Merry-Go-Round and Angelo Mathews’ Flower-Petal Ball

Andrew Fidel Fernando, in ESPNcricinfo, 1 July 2019, with this title Angelo Mathews and the craziest ball of the 2019 World Cup”

Gather round, kiddos. Let me tell you a story about Sri Lankan cricket. What would you like to hear? The story about how Dimuth Karunaratne, who hadn’t played ODI cricket for four years, became captain for the 2019 World Cup. Ah, that is a good one. Crazy, no? Unbelievable even. All the things you want in a good story. Or what about the tale of the Sri Lankan selectors who picked about five wrong players in a squad of 15 for the tournament? That is not that hard to believe, I suppose, but it’s not bad as well.

But actually, lamayi, the one I’m thinking about is even better than those two. It’s dramatic. It’s funny. It’s colourful. It is hauntingly sad and fabulously uplifting at the same time. Like the best stories, it has so many layers. Most of all, it’s beyond insane.

Angelo Mathews dismissed Nicholas Pooran off his first delivery to seal the match for Sri Lanka Getty Images

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Filed under life stories, pulling the leg, self-reflexivity, slanted reportage, Sri Lankan cricket, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, world events & processes