Daily Archives: September 13, 2012

Jane Russell’s Reflections on Oppression, Violence and the Paths of Response available to Us All

Jane Russell, 13 September 2012

This lengthy comment was inserted by Jane Russell in response to Nalliah Thayabharan’s lengthy diatribe against the oppressions of the caste system in the Jaffna Peninsula in the mid-20th century. I believe Russell’s little essay deserves greater prominence and used my prerogative to present it as an article in its own right in thuppahi.  Clarification of the background is provided at the end of this post. Web Editor.

There are elements of fascism in every society — the class system in the UK, although ameliorated by a welfare state, still bears a strong resemblance to the brutal Victorian class structure which condemned millions to poverty, misery and death 150 years ago: the underclass in the USA today live in conditions akin to outcastes in Asian societies: in Africa, south and central America, China and Russia, there are millions of victims of proto-fascist social structures –everywhere human beings are divided, either by class or race or religion, and this enables one powerful group to abuse less powerful groups and to justify this abuse on the grounds that members of other groups are less human and deserving. If you want to find an example of modern social fascism, look no further than the gun lobby in the US… but there are so many examples..…..the treatment of homosexuals in certain African states, the mistreatment of Shia by Sunnis in Bahrain, the systematic murder of tribal peoples in central America……… the list is endless and endlessly enduring. Continue reading


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A Sinhalese reflects on the present in the light of July 1983, retributive Tamil emotions & the Tamil motto ‘work is worship’

Hemantha Warnakulasuriya, courtesy of http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/7233where the title reads: Work is worship’: The work ethic success of the Sri Lankan Tamils

I have often wondered why we, as a nation, cannot progress as rapidly as our neighbour – India. Any political analyst would of course heap the blame on the politicians and the political authority. I have pondered whether in fact this was true. All politicians are voted to power by us and we sometimes condone their activity. When Monnekulama was convicted for bribery by the Talgodapitiya Commission and disfranchised for seven years, he re-contested the Kurunegala seat and won again. People seem to accept the fact the politician need to be corrupt. They must have a phalanx of security guards and a fleet of vehicles to show their authority and power.

 Borella Junction, 24/25 July 9 1983–Pic by Chandragupta Amarasinghe Continue reading

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An American Analyst surveys the Sri Lankan Scene

Sam Baker, in The Asia Sentinel, where the title reads “Sri Lanka rejoining the World”
The place isn’t a paradise for minorities but the economy is recoveringThe government of Mahinda Rajapaksa in Sri Lanka has probably botched its dealings with the United States, the European Union and the United Nations. Still, the disenchantment with Colombo may be overblown three years after the end of the 26-year civil war, which ended in 2009.  While major countries and agencies continue to wag their fingers in irritation, they are privately moving ahead with interacting with the government.
During a recent macro research visit to the country, we found that there are lingering domestic tensions that risk renewed flare-ups of uncoordinated incidents of violent conflict, but domestically the civil war is now a non-issue with zero risk of a sustained violence derailing a structural peace.That doesn’t mean there has been much reconciliation. The New York-based Human Rights Watch NGO said in July that since the war ended the government “has not launched a single credible investigation into alleged abuses.” Continue reading

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