Category Archives: tolerance

The Threads of Intolerance within Contemporary Liberal/Radical Fervour

A Letter on Justice and Open Debate …. Harpers’ Magazine, July 7, 2020 ……………..
……… The letter below  will be appearing in the Letters section of the magazine’s October issue. We welcome responses at letters@harpers.org

Our cultural institutions are facing a moment of trial. Powerful protests for racial and social justice are leading to overdue demands for police reform, along with wider calls for greater equality and inclusion across our society, not least in higher education, journalism, philanthropy, and the arts. But this needed reckoning has also intensified a new set of moral attitudes and political commitments that tend to weaken our norms of open debate and toleration of differences in favor of ideological conformity. As we applaud the first development, we also raise our voices against the second. The forces of illiberalism are gaining strength throughout the world and have a powerful ally in Donald Trump, who represents a real threat to democracy. But resistance must not be allowed to harden into its own brand of dogma or coercion—which right-wing demagogues are already exploiting. The democratic inclusion we want can be achieved only if we speak out against the intolerant climate that has set in on all sides.

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Passing the Covid with the Cricket Ball?

Simon Kolstoe, in The Conversation, 6 July 2020, where the title reads Do cricket balls really spread coronavirus

Cricket is now back on in England, despite Boris Johnson declaring cricket balls a “natural vector of disease”. His statement has frustrated cricket fans and players, but has also raised the wider question of which activities spread COVID-19. After all, unlike other activities that the UK government is actively encouraging, such as visiting pubs or restaurants, cricket is an outdoor sport where players are very unlikely to come into contact with each other.

Cricket balls showing various amounts of deterioration after play. Acabashi/Wikimedia CommonsCC BY-SA

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Andrew Fernando’s ‘Innings’ runs away with the Gratiaen Prize for 2020

Dimitri Wijesinghe, in The Morning.lk, 5 July 2020, where the title reads “Andrew Fidel Fernando 2019 Gratiaen Prize Winner”

Andrew Fidel Fernando was awarded the 2019 Gratiaen Prize for literary excellence for his work, the travelogue titledUpon a Sleepless Isle’

The Gratiaen Trust went digital for the 2019 edition of the awards and things kicked off with the live stream at 6.30 PM on July 4, streamed on the official Facebook pages of the Gratiaen Trust, John Keells Foundation, and their media partner.

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Imbalanced Task Forces in Sri Lanka?

Jehan Perera, in Island, 30 June 2020, with this title “The Need For Better Representation In Divided Societies”

There has been a trend of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa making senior appointments in which those who are outside the established administrative systems are being brought in to provide leadership and ensure effective and non-corrupt practices.  As a large number of these appointments have been from the security forces this has given rise to a perception that the country is heading towards eventual military rule. There is a concern that the forthcoming general elections will be followed by constitutional changes that will entrench the military in governance as in some other countries such as Myanmar. This is unlikely to be the case in Sri Lanka as democratic traditions upholding civilian control of government are deeply ingrained in the fabric of political society.

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Smashing Statues: Issues of Sense and Sensibility … and Nonsence

Rihaab Mowlana, in Lifelk, 19 June 2020, where the title runs thus “Are We Erasing History?”

The statue of Thomas Jefferson, the founding father who also enslaved more than 600 people, was toppled in Oregon, while the statue of navigator and coloniser Christopher Columbus was ‘spray-painted, set on fire and thrown into a lake’. In England, the Statue of Edward Colston suffered a similar fate, resulting in ‘the boarding up of the Cenotaph in Whitehall and Winston Churchill’s statue in Parliament Square’. In many parts of the world, the predicament will befall many such monuments.

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A Glimmer of Hope for Australia-China Relations

Fair Dinkum

It is common for governments to issue travel warnings to their citizens. Australia does it frequently. Australia’s travel warnings to its citizens have sometimes annoyed other countries such as Indonesia and Jordan, to name a few. So, it should come as no surprise that China has issued travel warnings to its citizens over concerns about a surge in racist attacks against Chinese and Asians in Australia.

Pix deployed by RMIT in Melbourne to reach out to students affected by the situation through a campaign of care

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Browns for Black Americans

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June 6, 2020 · 1:36 am

Mateship Extraordinary – An Antidote to Covid Doom and Gloom

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Reading Stephen Champion’s Photo Event in 2008 …. Today 2020

Michael Roberts

When I came across some ‘new’ material[1] of great import relating to KP Pathmanathan’s valiant efforts to extricate the LTTE leadership from their deteriorating military situation in early 2009 and to whisk them away to Eritrea with the active support of the great powers, and then reiterated my longstanding criticisms of the Western powers’ imperial effrontery in a fresh article this April,[2] I was surprised to receive an email note out of the blue from Stephen Champion in March this year 2020 – one wholly supportive of my slashing criticisms of the West.

I assumed that Champion was writing to me from UK and was mighty pleased because I was aware of his enterprising camerawork in trying and dangerous conditions in the late 1980s and have a copy of at least one of his pictorial works.[3] I decided to seek out more information on Champion via Google and immediately chanced upon Saroj Pathirana’s report in the BBC Sandeshaya programme describing an event mounted by Amnesty International in July 2008 displaying some of Champion’s photographic collections (see Pix above). Adhering to the principle of progressing step-by-step in temporal order, I placed this item within my Thuppahi site on 20th April 2020.

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The Horrific Terrors of 21/4: Three Pronouncements

ONE = Ellise Ann Allen: Sri Lanka: One year after the Easter attacks,” Daily News, 23 April 2020, http://www.dailynews.lk/2020/04/23/features/217020/sri-lanka-one-year-after-easter-attacks

On the one-year anniversary of a series of Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka that killed nearly 300 people and injured 500 more, the nation mourned in silence, as the Government continues its investigation and families struggle to move forward.

To mark the anniversary of the April 21 attacks, the Sri Lankan government asked the entire nation to observe two minutes of silence at 8:45 a.m., the time the first bomb went off in St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Colombo.

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