Category Archives: zealotry

Reflections on the Violent Buddhist Responses to Islam in Lanka and Burma

Stephen Labrooy

Ravi Velloor’s  article in THUPPAHI drew a private comment from Stephen Labrooy in Sri Lanka which is food for thought in itself, but carries particular value because it comes from Sri Lankan Burgher of some seniority[1] who has travelled abroad and presently serves as President of the Dutch Burgher Union. I have queries on several points and raised just two hurriedly (see below); but the “memorandum” has useful ethnographic information, while running several inter-related arguments. Hence its airing here.

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Extremist Cricket Fans: Where Anguish spawns Violence

Michael Roberts

The recent outbursts of abuse and riotous act on the cricket grounds at Pallekele and Rangiri when our cricketers were defeated after some poor cricket are significant in the wider scheme of local culture and ethics. Such reactions reveal the reverberations that can be generated by a small body of extremists. It is ironic that some of these very same extremists, some among these abusive fans, would have been among those who indulged in effusive cheering an adulation of the cricket team when they triumphed.

 The India vs Sri Lanka ODI in Pallekele was marred by crowd trouble as Sri Lankan fans threw bottles on the outfield, which stopped play for 30 minutes.(AP)… NOTE: in 1996 a Eden Gardens Calcutta Indian fans reacted in similar fashion when they were losing –to Sri Lanka as it hapens

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Australia has No Place in Asia — In Cricket!

Andrew Faulkner, in The Australian, 29 August 2017, where the heading reads ” 

Black clouds are billowing over Australian cricket but the Test team would prefer clouds of a more literal kind to intervene at Dhaka’s Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium. With Bangladesh 1-45, and leading by 88 runs, the monsoon looms as the most likely saviour in the first Test after the Australian batsmen played true to form by not playing very well in Asia. Actually, no one bats as badly in Asia as the ugly Australians. Even Zimbabweans — who haven’t won a Test since 2013 — bat better in Asia than Australians.

 Mehidy Hasan Miraz roars after pinning David Warner lbw Getty Images

As the tourists succumbed for 217 all out yesterday, with Ashton Agar making an unconquered 41 to show up the batsmen, Fox Sports posted numbers that told a chilling story. Australia are ranked last among the Test playing nations for scoring runs in Asia. Certainly no one would describe the Fox stats as a beautiful set of numbers. At 26.69 per innings, Australian batsmen average the lowest in Asia across the past 10 years. Continue reading

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Solheim and Sri Lanka: Q and A Today

Padma Rao Sundarji  courtesy of Asian Tribune, 20 August 2017, where the title reads Ërik Solheim : “Regret we could not spend more time with Prabhakaran”

Erik Solheim, Norwegian peace mediator in the 30-year-long Sri Lanka civil war breaks his silence on his controversial role to Padama Rao Sundarji.

If we had spent more time with him (Prabhakaran), we would probably be able to influence him more,’ said Solheim

Padma Rao Sundarji: How and when did the government of Norway decide to mediate in Sri Lanka and why did they pick you?

Erik Solheim: We were invited in absolute secrecy by the then President Chandrika Kumaratunga. At the time, only two people in Colombo knew — she and foreign minister Lakshman Kadiragamar. It stayed like that for one-and-a-half years. Only later, it became public. I believe we were invited because we could potentially be acceptable to India as a small nation. And, we were invited because we had, at that time, seen some successes in the Middle East. They were small successes. But as a small, faraway nation it was felt that we could not really mess up Sri Lanka and could be acceptable to both the Tigers and the government of Sri Lanka at the same time. Continue reading

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Religious Zealots: Mashal Khan killed by Fellow-Uni Students for Blasphemy

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.

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Eelam War IV Images: Kanchan Prasad, A Times Stringer and Makkaal Padai

In my Flickr Web sites … Michael Roberts

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The Collective Consciousness of the Sinhalese During the Kandyan Era: Manichean Images, Associational Logic

Michael Roberts, being a reprint of an article with the same title in Asian Ethnicity, Volume 3, Number 1, March 2002

ABSTRACT:  An analysis of the form of the dynastic state known today as the Kingdom of Kandy provides a backdrop for an exploration of the sentiments that directed its resistance to the imperial expansion of the Portuguese, Dutch and British in the period from the 1590s to 1818. Known in its day as Sinhalē, a concept that could embrace the whole island of Lanka, the state and its cakravārti king served as the focus for a Sinhala collective consciousness that was embodied in epic tales, war poems and onomastic folklore, while also being promoted by the sacred topography associated with pilgrimages. These sentiments embraced both the ruling elements and the ordinary people. Within this body of thought, two threads stand out: first, the demonisation of Threatening Others; and, secondly, an associational logic that merges present with past, old enemies with new. This logic is akin to the atidēsa function identified by Ranajit Guha. In its ethnographic specifics among the Sinhalese, it merged the ‘vile-cum-fierce Tamils’ with the disordering Portuguese, English, et al. All were para rupu, ‘alien enemies’. The imagery is Manichean.

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