Dayan Jayatilleka, in the Island, 19 September 2017,where the title is “Constitutional choices and Tamil politics. Three Types of Sri Lankan Separatists”
At the heart of the Constitutional Question is the crux of the continuing Sri Lankan crisis. And that is what may be variously called the Tamil Question, the Tamil issue, the Tamil problem, the Tamil national question, the Tamil nationalities question, the Tamil ethnic issue etc. I tend to see it as Sri Lanka’s North-South Question.
What is the Tamil Question? It is the problem of accommodating the identity and aspirations for irreducible political space of a community with a justifiable sense of pride and achievement, and doing so while not impinging upon the identity and aspirations for a secure space, of the unique community that forms the majority on this small island placed on a strategic sea-lane and in close proximity to a massive landmass with a huge population.
Filed under centre-periphery relations, constitutional amendments, devolution, economic processes, electoral structures, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, language policies, legal issues, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, the imaginary and the real, TNA, world events & processes
A recent Skype chat with Uvindu Kurukulasuriya in London about Kumar Sangakkara inevitably led me to reflect upon the many reconciliatory measures Kumar has participated in – steps attempting to build bridges across the Sinhala-Tamil ethnic divide in Sri Lanka. Among these efforts, the most striking act was the powerful ecumenical statement he asserted at the end of his momentous Cowdrey Lecture at the MCC in London in 2011. “Fans of different races, castes, ethnicities and religions who together celebrate their diversity by uniting for a common national cause. They are my foundation, they are my family. I will play my cricket for them. Their spirit is the true spirit of cricket. With me are all my people. I am Tamil, Sinhalese, Muslim and Burgher. I am a Buddhist, a Hindu, a follower of Islam and Christianity. I am today, and always, proudly Sri Lankan.”
Murali Harmony Cup launched 2012 Ian Botham with Murali
Filed under centre-periphery relations, charitable outreach, communal relations, cricket for amity, cultural transmission, ethnicity, historical interpretation, life stories, LTTE, patriotism, politIcal discourse, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, tolerance, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes
Steven Kemper: Rescued from the Nation: Anagarika Dharmapala and the Buddhist World, University of Chicago Press, 2015
Anagarika Dharmapala is one of the most galvanizing figures in Sri Lanka’s recent turbulent history. He is widely regarded as the nationalist hero who saved the Sinhala people from cultural collapse and whose “protestant” reformation of Buddhism drove monks toward increased political involvement and ethnic confrontation. Yet as tied to Sri Lankan nationalism as Dharmapala is in popular memory, he spent the vast majority of his life abroad, engaging other concerns. In Rescued from the Nation, Steven Kemper reevaluates this important figure in the light of an unprecedented number of his writings, ones that paint a picture not of a nationalist zealot but of a spiritual seeker earnest in his pursuit of salvation.
Filed under British colonialism, Buddhism, cultural transmission, education, fundamentalism, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian religions, Indian traditions, landscape wondrous, language policies, life stories, literary achievements, meditations, nationalism, pilgrimages, politIcal discourse, power politics, religiosity, religious nationalism, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, unusual people, world events & processes
Filed under charitable outreach, communal relations, cricket for amity, cultural transmission, education, ethnicity, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, patriotism, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, tolerance, travelogue, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes