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
Filed under accountability, atrocities, Bodu Bala Sena, Buddhism, cultural transmission, discrimination, disparagement, economic processes, fundamentalism, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Indian religions, Islamic fundamentalism, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, tolerance, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, violence of language, war reportage, world events & processes
SinhaRaja Tammita-Delgoda, courtesy of The Diplomat, 20 January 2017 , where the title runs thus: “Sri Lanka: The Rajapaksas Rise Again”
“We’re not the same guys who used to tell you various things and then forget about it three days later… We want the world to know that we’re different—that we’re going to do what we say we’re doing.”
–Harsha de Silva, Sri Lanka’s deputy minister of foreign affairs, to National Geographic (November 2016)
Disillusionment with the Sirisena regime is running high, giving the Rajapaksa clan a chance to reclaim lost glory Politics is shaped by leaders’ ability to deliver. It is all about doing and achieving, “doing what you say what you say you are going to do,” to paraphrase Dr. Harsha de Silva, Sri Lanka’s current deputy minister of foreign affairs. It is not about good intentions; it is about getting results. It is not about pleasing outsiders; ultimately it is about keeping your own people happy, satisfying their aspirations, reassuring them, protecting them, and advancing their interests. This is the fundamental truth that is beginning to dawn on Sri Lanka’s body politic.
Sri Lanka’s former President Mahinda Rajapaksa (C) waves at his supporters at the end of the five-day protest march against the incumbent government in Sri Lanka -August 1, 2016)-Pic-Reuters dinuka Liyanaaratchchi
Filed under cultural transmission, electoral structures, fundamentalism, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, politIcal discourse, Rajapaksa regime, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, trauma, violence of language, working class conditions, world events & processes
Reuters, 14 April 2017 with the title Pakistani student beaten to death by peers in latest ‘blasphemy killing’
The ransacked university hostel room of slain Pakistani student Mashal Khan has posters of Karl Marx and Che Guevara still hanging on the walls, along with scribbled quotes including one that reads: “Be curious, crazy and mad.” The day before, a heated debate over religion with fellow students broke out at the dorm and led to people accusing Khan of blasphemy against Islam. That attracted a crowd that grew to several hundred people, according to witnesses. The mob kicked in the door, dragged Khan from his room and beat him to death, witnesses and police said. The death in the northwestern city of Mardan is the latest violence linked to accusations of blasphemy in Pakistan.
Filed under Islamic fundamentalism, life stories, politIcal discourse, religiosity, self-reflexivity, the imaginary and the real, trauma, vengeance, violence of language, world events & processes, zealotry
Michael Roberts, being a reprint of a review article in South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, s., Vol. XXVII, no.1, April 2004 …… with a review of this essay by Bandu de Silva having appeared earlier Thuppahi. The version here has highlighted emphasis to aid the reader –clearly a ‘work ‘in 2017.
Alfred Jeyaratnam Wilson, now regrettably with his maker, remains Sri Lanka’s leading political scientist, with numerous books associated with his name. He had secured eminence as early as the 1970s, when attached to Peradeniya University, and this reputation enabled him to move to a Professorship at the University of New Brunswick around 1972. It was his considerable scholarly reputation that encouraged the president of Sri Lanka and leader of the right-wing United National Party, J. R. Jayewardene, to utilise his consultative services in the political negotiations and constitutional engineering that occurred in the period 1978–83. His participation was facilitated by K. M. de Silva, a confidante of the president as well as Wilson’s long-time friend.
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