Category Archives: tolerance

Gay Marriage! Where Muslims, Jews and Christians Unite in Horror: Western Sydney

Andrew Jakubowicz    in The Australian and in The Conversation 15 November 2017…. with the title “How social conservatism among ethnic communities drove a strong ‘no’ vote in western Sydney

The “yes” vote on same-sex marriage carried the day in every state in Australia, but the “no” vote was strongest in New South Wales – particularly around western Sydney.  The results suggest that, as predicted, social conservatism among many ethnic communities loomed large as a factor.

In NSW, the “yes” vote came in at 57.8% and the “no” at 42.2%, with a participation rate of 79.5% – but in some western Sydney electorates the “yes” vote was as low as 26.1%.

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Reviewing the Statistical Computations on Civilian Deaths in the Last Phase of Eelam War IV

Lt. Colonel (Retd) Athula Lankadeva, in Sunday Island, 12 November 2017, where the title is “A Critical Analysis of UN Panel of Expert Report which says SLAReviwe killed 40,000 Civilians During the Last Stage of War” … highlighted emphasis has been inserted by The Editor, Thuppahi

The Sunday Times of 29 Oct carried an article referring to Lord Naseby on demanding to remove the war crime tag from Sri Lanka. Lord Naseby researched classified documents to find that UN has fudged the casualty figure of 40000 civilians killed during the last phase of war in Sri Lanka whereas it was a guess by the UN Panel of Experts (POE) better known as Darusman Commission. According to the classified documents filed by then British Defence Attaché in Colombo Lt. Col Anton Gash, the civilian killed from Feb 1 – 26 April 2009 is 6432.  The figure could be higher with the civilian deaths occurred within next 3 weeks. However, the total civilian deaths included civilians killed due to collateral damage during combat operations by the Armed Forces against LTTE, civilians killed intentionally by the LTTE by design and deaths of LTTE combatants dressed in civilian clothes.

In this photograph released by the pro-LTTE website TamilNet.com on May 2 are what they say show some of the 64 people killed and 87 wounded by shelling at a makeshift field hospital in Mullivaikal…In this photograph released by the pro-Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) website TamilNet.com, obtained by Mercy Mission, on May 2, are what they say show some of the 64 people killed and 87 wounded by shelling on May 2, 2009 at a makeshift field hospital in Mullivaikal, in the south of the last scrap of land held by the guerrillas. The military denied the report saying the LTTE may have set off explosions near the hospital. Sri Lanka has disregarded heavy Western pressure to call a truce to protect tens of thousands of civilians trapped by the LTTE in the war zone, a 5-square km (2-sq mile) strip of coast. It is difficult to get a clear picture from the war zone, which is generally off-limits to outsiders. REUTERS/www.Tamilnet.com/Handout

Island 29 April 2009

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Dog Beseeches God

Dear GOD. It’s me The Dog

Dear God: Is it on purpose that Our Names are spelled the same, only in reverse? Continue reading

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About the Portuguese Burghers and Kaffirs

Nan, in Island, 4 November 2017  where the title reads as “The Portuguese Burghers and Kaffirs”

Ethnic groups are disappearing and thus the research interest on these endangered human groups, their language and culture. One such research that is on-going is on the Portuguese Burghers by the Universidade de Lisboa with funding from the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme of SOAS, University of London. The International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES) which is collaborating with the research, facilitated a discussion on the Sri Lankan Portuguese Burghers and their heritage with those on the research project: Hugo Cordosa, Patricia Costa, Rui Pereira, Mahesha Radakrishna – all of the University of Lisbon; Dinali Fernando of the University of Kelaniya and Earle Barthelot, representative of the Portuguese Burgher Community and former secretary of the Burgher Union of Batticaloa.. This was on Tuesday 31 October.

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In Search of Sunil Santha

Tony Donaldson, courtesy of THE CEYLANKAN, Vol  XX, November 2017, … with highlighting emphasis being an imposition by The Editor, Thuppahi

In November 2016, I travelled to Sri Lanka at the invitation of the Sunil Santha Society to deliver the inaugural Guru Devi Sunil Santha Memorial Lecture in Colombo. I wrote the lecture in September and titled it Sunil Santha: The Man who Invented Sinhala Music for a Modern Age. The cardiologist Dr. Ruvan Ekanayake, a great fan of Sunil Santha’s music, translated the lecture into Sinhala. I spent 25 days in Sri Lanka. What follows is an account of the trip with a few critical reflections. I will not expand on the lecture as it exists as a published book and it need not be repeated here.

  With the Sunil Santha Samajaya. l-r. Upali Ariyasiri, Lanka Santha, Tony Donaldson, Vijith Kumar Senaratne, Lloyd Fernando, and Pushkara Wanniarachchi.

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John Holt rebuts Gerald Peiris: A Focus on Buddhist Extremism

John Holt, A Short Memorandum addressing Gerald Peiris, 28 September 2017

It is 3 years since I gave the keynote address at the International Centre for Ethnic Studies (Kandy) conference on Buddhism in relation to other religions.  My presentation was revised an subsequently published as the lead article in the book that was a by-product of the conference.  My thesis was simple:  to illustrate how recent social, economic and political changes in Theravada-dominated countries have had an effect on their respective religious cultures.  My argument about Sri Lanka was also quite simple:  that 26 years of civil war had contributed to the emergence of Buddhist militancy–the BBS being the classic example.  Immediately following that conference, Gerry Peiris sent out sharply critical e-mails about my presentation to an extended group of his like-minded friends.  When I came to know about his rather personal attacks through some of my own Sri Lankan friends, I quietly exchanged several detailed e-mails with Peiris engaging him quite thoroughly and, as I thought at the time, putting the matters to rest in a civil manner.

Muslims stand next to a burnt shop after a clash between Buddhists and Muslims in Aluthgama June 16, 2014. At least three Muslims were killed and 75 people seriously injured in violence between Buddhists and Muslims in southern Sri Lankan coastal towns best known as tourist draws, with Muslim homes set ablaze, officials and residents said on Monday. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

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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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