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Tamils Yesterday, Rohingyas Today: Rohingya Issue and Its Wider Ramifications in a Nutshell

Ravi Velloor,, in The Island, 15 September 2017where the title reads “Rohingya issue and the danger to South-east Asia” … with highlighting being the work of The Editor, Thuppahi

Not since the landlocked Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan swept out its Nepali-speaking Hindu population in the late 1980s has Asia witnessed as relentless an action against a minority group as seen lately in Myanmar. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has called the sustained drive to push Rohingya Muslims out of Myanmar a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”. Continue reading

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Cricketing Amity, September 2002: Janashakthi XI vs Jaffna District Cricket XI

During the ceasefire period after Eelam War III some leading members of the cricketing world in Colombo reached out in reconciliatory mood to Jaffna by organising a high-profile cricket match.[i]

Enthusiastic Jaffna Fans mob Murali

Chandra Schaffter: The Jaffna Match, 1 September 2002

With Ranil Wickremesinghe becoming Prime Minister in 2001, a ceasefire agreement was negotiated with the LTTE and the A9 was opened after many years. Janashakthi took the opportunity to open its Jaffna branch in August Because of our association with cricket, we felt that the best way would be to stage a cricket match which would bring the enthusiastic cricket fans in Jaffna out of their homes.  It was a major rush but my son Ramesh,who was adept at such events, began organizing the match as well as the  opening of the branch.  I had just returned to Sri Lanka after managing the cricket team in the UK and I had agreed with a team of about 15 of the cricketers to go up to Jaffna in a special bus and play a match – not so much for cricket per se but in order to create an impression in Jaffna.

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A Study of Contemporary Buddhist-Muslim Relations in Sri Lanka

Gerald H. Peiris

 Peiris addressing John Holt  

               INTRODUCTION: Muslims in the Multi-ethnic Polity of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka shares with the other nation-states of South Asia the phenomenon of complex ethnic diversities based upon distinctions of religion, language, caste and tribe. Three ethnic groups – Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim – make up more than 99% of its population, with the Sinhalese accounting for 74%.  As enumerated in 2011, the Tamil segment of the population which accounts for 15.5% of the national total comprises two groups – ‘Sri Lanka Tamils’ (11.2%) and ‘Indian Tamils’ (4.3%). Moors and Malays (adherents of Islam) make up 9.6% of the population. In addition, there are the numerically small communities of Burghers (people of mixed European descent), Parsees (immigrants from western India), and Veddas (regarded as the aboriginal inhabitants of the country).

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A Tale of Resistance: The Story of the Arrival of the Portuguese in Sri Lanka

Michael Roberts, a reprint of an article published in 1989 in Ethnos, vol. 55: 1-2, pp.69-82.

  This essay decodes a sixteenth century folktale which records the Sinhalese reaction to the arrival of the first Portuguese. Where the historiography has interpreted this tale as benign wonderment in the face of exotica, a piecemeal deconstruction of the allegorical clues in the ‘story is utilised to reveal how the Sinhalese linked the Portuguese with demons and with Vasavarti Mārayā, the arch enemy of the Buddha. In this fashion the Portuguese and the Christian sacrament of communion were represented as dangerous, disordering forces. The piecemeal reinterpretation of this short text, however, must be overlaid by a holistic perspective and the realisation that its rendering in oral form enabled its purveyors to lace the story with a satirical flavour: so that the Portuguese and Catholicism are, like demons, rendered both disordering and comic, dangerous and inferior—thus ultimately controllable. In contending in this manner that the folktale is an act of nationalist opposition, the article is designed as an attack on the positivist empiricism which pervades the island’s historiography and shuts out imaginative reconstructions which are worked out by penetrating the subjective world of the ancient texts.

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Asela from Adelaide explores Sri Lankan Affairs in Chats with Six Committed Lankans

Courtesy of Asela aAtukorala and his blog site …. http://aselaatukorala.blogspot.com.au/2017/07/six-sri-lankan-specialists-discuss-sri.html … where the title reads: “Six Sri Lankan Specialists Discuss Sri Lankan Issues”

I travelled to Sri Lanka in May this year and had the opportunity to meet several specialists to discuss Sri Lankan issues that were mostly related to politics and economics. In this article, I’ll be sharing the highlights of my meetings with the 6 people I had the privilege of talking to.    

Monday 8th May 2017 ….This was the first meeting which was at Verité Research. Their workplace was an old house re-done as an office and it had great architecture.

Janeen Fernando

That afternoon, I met Janeen Fernando who’s the Head of Politics at Verité Research. As part of his role, he’s in charge of the Sri Lankan trilingual political tracking site Manthri.lk. I’ll now list some highlights from our discussion.   Continue reading

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52 Tea Parties to boost Ceylon Tea …and swamp that in Boston

THE Sri Lankan High Commission will celebrate 150 years of the tea industry in its country with a global tea party across time zones.

High Commissioner Somasundaram Skandakumar says the invitation-only tea party, which will be held on July 6 at the Sri Lankan High Commission in Yarralumla, will be echoed at all 52 Sri Lankan diplomatic missions at precisely 5pm in each time zone around the world. It’s been organised by the Sri Lanka Tea Board, which is the government’s main arm for promoting Ceylon tea, in collaboration with the Colombo Tea Traders’ Association. Continue reading

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Islamic Jihadists and Their Twisted Beliefs

Anthony Bergin,  in The Australian, 9 June 2017 — with title “Twisted Beliefs driving Islamic Butchers”

Terrorists operating against Western targets claim their acts are inspired, and in many cases required, by Islam. Federal Social Services and Multicultural Affairs Assistant Minister Zed Seselja should be commended for his plain speaking when he argues we have tolerated extremism too often and that the Muslim community should now do more to call out Islamic extremism (“Minister tells Muslims to call out terrorism”, The Australian, June 8). “Those who believe in this Islamist ideology are a small minority of Muslims, but there are still far too many of them. So it’s on the majority — including the moderate, peaceful Muslims of our world — to rise up against this,” he said. Seselja suggested his colleagues should stop dancing around the issue and “call it for what it is”, saying it was an insult to suggest terrorism wasn’t religiously motivated. “Pretending that Islamist terrorists are simply mentally ill and not driven by an extreme ideology is not only dangerous, it is insulting to all Australians … “We are surely mature enough as a nation to have an open discussion about the inspiration for Islamist terrorism in Salafist jihadist teaching, while acknowledging that most Muslims in Australia are good citizens who reject this extremism.”

Seselja   Bergin

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