Category Archives: violence of language

The Transformation of Muslim Politics in Sri Lanka and the Growth of Wahhabism from the 1980s

Ameer Ali,** courtesy of Colombo Telegraph, where the title is “Anatomy of An Islamist Infamy”

The Easter carnage that consumed the lives of nearly two hundred and fifty innocent worshippers and bystanders including children, opens another chapter in Sri Lanka’s post-colonial bloody history of communalism and majoritarian rule. Unless one is prepared to accept this fundamental flaw in the nation’s political development and remedy it sooner rather than later the future may become even bloodier. Sri Lankan masses, Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims or Burghers, are not to be blamed for this tragic history and they should be kept out of the equation. Instead, the political and religious leadership must bear full responsibility for laying the path of democracy with bloody bricks. 

  a madrassa

The Easter mayhem, is now becoming increasingly clear, as the result of a combined failure of a Muslim leadership which was in a state of denial for decades and a government in a state of paralysis. The first part of this analysis will deal with the Muslim variable. Continue reading

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The Emergence of Salafi Jihadists in the Kattankudy Locality in the Eastern Province

 Ameen Izzadeen and Abdullah Shahnawaz from Kattankudy, in Sunday Times, 28 April 2019, where the title reads “Lightning, thunder and a blast: On the trail of terror leader”

April 17: A man walks into the Kattankudy police station to complain that something unusual had happened on his land at Palamunai.  Police visit the scene and discover a Scooty motorcycle has been blasted using explosives. It had been blasted the previous day, April 16.

April 18: A young Kattankudy woman visits her old parents living in a house in a nearby area to give them lunch. That was the last time she saw them. She assumes the father who was complaining of a leg pain, has gone, accompanied by the mother, to see a native physician in Kinniya. But he never goes anywhere without informing the daughter.  This puzzles her, but on April 21, she pieces the puzzle together and realises her family’s involvement in the worst ever terror attack to shake this country.

              The face of terror: Zahran Cassim

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Where End Goal and Zeal produce a Deadly Cocktail

  Chandre Dharmawardena, in Colombo Telegraph, 6 April 2019, where the title is “Why Do “Educated” Youth Join Extremist Terrorist Movements?”

It is often asked  why educated youth “coming from good homes” join extremist organizations. Simple  references to “brain washing”, or the stupidity of the young are no explanations. There is no scientifically recognized   process called “brain washing”. It is also  naive to assume that  educated youth  join the IS (Islamic state)  to go to heaven and get their 21 virgins! Many youth radicalized in British Universities ended up fighting for the ISIS. At least one of the Sri Lankan Muslim Kamikazi had a British training, had four children, a flourishing business and lived in a million dollar home in Colombo. A British education in a narrow subject like “information technology” not touching any  broad scientific or cultural subjects, given in a British “red Brick” university can have no effect on already acquired belief systems. Don’t our “most educated” ministers go to Tirupathi, India,at the drop of a pin?

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Christchurch Hate Killings and the Hate Arising from the Digana Contretemps: Editorial Reflections

Editorial in the Sunday Observer of Sri Lanka, 17 March 2019, entitledChristchurch and our own national experience”

Blood is being spilt with the claim of protecting one’s own ‘flesh and blood.’ It happened last Friday in Christchurch, in usually quiet New Zealand; it has happened in this country in sustained internal conflict over decades; and, it has happened all over the world throughout human history.

The gloom instilled by this litany is, however, dispelled by the bright success of societies in overcoming violence between communities, in managing conflict and, channelling social energies toward civilisational attainment. Happy are the societies that are warmly inclusive, that bravely embrace differentiation and unfamiliarity. Happy are those who celebrate co-existence and avoid or resolve the disruptions between groups, between people. Continue reading

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Digana: Tales and Reflections One Year after Disastrous Riots

Rajitha Jagoda Arachchi, in Sunday Observer, 3 March 2019, where the title runs Digana: Ground Zero one year on

A year ago, the peaceful village was an unrecognisable hotbed of hate and violence and this street on which Samsudeen’s home now stands reconstructed, was filled with concrete and glass, debris from the attacks on Muslim-owned homes and businesses around town. The shoe merchant Samsudeen lives in a newly built house in the middle of town. The man in his 60s invited us into the bedroom cum living room of his modest home, and motioned to his wife to bring refreshments for his guests.

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Deciphering Chauvinism through Incidents of Confrontation

Michael Roberts

In recently facing up to internet challenges and clarifying the term “chauvinism,” I proceeded at a general level and presented definitions within a comparative framework that brought the concepts of “racism” and “tribalism” into our framework of analysis.[1] I now provide instances of ethno-religious confrontation from Sri Lankan history that illustrate this phenomenon.

Pics from Gerald Peiris 2017

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Addressing  “Chauvinism” and  Primacy in Modern Lanka

Michael Roberts

After I presented an old article in which I displayed and criticised the rantings of a Sinhala extremist named Chand Wijeywickrema (a Peradeniya graduate of my vintage), I was directly challenged by two Facebook members to clarify my depiction of Wijey (and like others) as “chauvinists” – or, in this situation, as Sinhala chauvinists.

Rather than heading immediately for a dictionary, I decided to explore the issue by raising the question with my tennis mates, mostly Australians from university or professional backgrounds and thus from the West. The term “chauvinism” generated puzzlement. It was not part of their immediate political vocabulary and a few of them referred to “male chauvinism” – immediately referring to recent trends of female emancipation and the feminist criticism of male dominance.

Ah, dominance! That is one clue in our assessment of the term.

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