On the 3rd September 2019, I invited a selected body of individuals to review and comment on the article in the ISLAND newspaper of 3rd September presented by a cluster of eminent intellectuals with the headline “Presidential Elections And The Peoples’ Options” – an item that has also been reproduced in Thuppahi too with a different title.
These invitees are busy people and one could not expect responses from all of them. However, I received two critical evaluations from Rajiva Wijesinha and Vinod Moonesinghe; while Rajeewa Jayaweera has penned an appraisal in his regular column in the Island. Gerald Peiris indicated that his close friendship over many years with some of the key personnel precluded any engagement; but he presented comments on the Forum’s evaluation of the JVP on the foundations provided by a long history of engagement with the JVP as well as more recent exchanges with some of its personnel. Continue reading
Political Editor in Sunday Observer, 4 August 2019, where the title is “The Problem with ‘Candidate Gota’,”
Exactly a week from today, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) is set to hold a huge rally in the central city of Kandy, where expectations are that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa will formally take over the reins of the fledgling political party that swept the February 2018 local authorities election. August 11 is also when the SLPP rank and file strongly believe the former President will finally anoint the party’s presidential hopeful. Most of the party believes this candidate should be the man who functioned as Secretary to the Ministry of Defence throughout his brother’s decade-long presidency, Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
The article by Wilfrid Jayasuriya on “The Force of the Moors” in Sri Lanka generated an ethnographic note which led to clarifications from Mohamed Mowzil and Ameer Ali. They provided details about the practices followed by the Moor (Muslim) people in the course of meals termed sawan and kidu. This practice of feeding oneself from the same communal dish in the centre of a small table is especially marked on days of feast or collective recollection. In some instances, the family collective would include men and women. Where outsiders (usually bosom friends or distinguished personnel) are party to this intimate occasion, only males would participate in this practice.
Filed under communal relations, cultural transmission, ethnicity, historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, life stories, politIcal discourse, religiosity, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, Uncategorized
Muttukrishna Sarvananthan, being an article entitled ‘Terrorism’ or ‘Liberation’? Towards a distinction: A Case Study of the Armed Struggle of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)” in Perspectives on Terrorism, Vol.12/2, 2018 ….
Abstract: This article based on extensive empirical field research and primary sources/data attempts to distinguish terrorism from liberation / freedom struggle by means of a case study of the armed struggle of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka. It is argued here that the LTTE was primarily a terrorist organisation/movement because: (i) it’s struggle was overwhelmingly based on armed violence; (ii) it demanded support from the masses through persecution; (iii) it intentionally targeted civilians; (iv) it substantially relied on suicide attacks; (v) it substantially deployed under-age children; and (vi) it was proactively involved in internecine war.
Keywords: Civil War, Freedom Fighters, Liberation, LTTE, Sri Lanka, Tamil Tigers, Terrorism
Filed under atrocities, ethnicity, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, military strategy, politIcal discourse, power politics, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil Tiger fighters, Uncategorized, unusual people, war crimes, war reportage
The Spectator as presented in The WEEKEND AUSTRALIAN, 27 April 2009. with this title “Declaring a war was just what the terrorists wanted”
It has become commonplace to describe terror attacks as “senseless”. The horrific Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka make little sense. The only way to understand them is as a symptom of the growing globalisation of terror. The tactics — synchronised bombs on a Christian holy day — are grotesquely familiar. The attacks clearly targeted Christians. The culprits are local Islamic extremists. The purpose of the attacks, therefore, was to increase tensions between Muslims and non-Muslims.
A policeman frisks a Muslim devotee as he arrives at a mosque to attend Friday noon prayer in Colombo on April 26. Picture: AFP
Sri Lankan Australians in all the cities have initiated gatherings to grieve and honour those killed in the merciless attacks on Churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday 2019. I reproduce one notice from Dr. Charitha Perera, Hon. Consul for Sri Lanka in Adelaide. I will be adding illustrative photographs from some of these events in the next few days and request friends to send striking snaps of these sad moments of ANGUISH and REMEMBRANCE (coinciding as they do with the reflections of ANZAC DAY).
SinhaRaja Tammita-Delgoda, in Island, 6 April 2019, where the title is “A Journey to the Heart of Our Civilization. In Search of the Malwatu Oya”
The second longest river in Sri Lanka (102 miles), the Malwatu River is also the most historic. Connecting the northwest coast with the city of Anuradhapura, the capital of the country for over 15 centuries, it is of enormous significance to the story of civilization in Lanka. Starting from the holy mountain of Ritigala, the Malwatu Oya flows across the face of the Raja Rata to enter the Bay of Mannar, near Arippu. As it nears the sea, it becomes the Aruvi Aru. The second largest river basin in Sri Lanka, it lies at the very heart of Sri Lanka’s ancient past.
We kept travelling every day, from morning till night, still along by the river side, which turned and winded… Here and there, by the side of this river is a world of stone pillars, standing upright and other heaps of hewn stones, which I suppose formerly were buildings: and in three or four places are the ruins of bridges, built of stone: some remains of them yet standing upon stone pillars. In many places are points built into the river like wharves, all of hewn stone… ” … An Historical Relation of the Island Ceylon (1681) – Robert Knox