If EVER there was a tale of gullibility and chicanery combining to spread violent killing and havoc among the populace, it is the manner in which some elements in the Sinhalese population accepted the validity of rumours that Muslim traders were dispersing infertility pills among the Sinhala peoples. Such rumours seem to have peaked immediately after the Digane-Teldeniya violence and may have been a factor inspiring the attacks. They are certainly part of the vicious propaganda being wrought by elements of the BBS type as well as gullible ordinary citizens.
From my studies of ethnic violence in the past, I note that this arena is where the voices and incitement of women contribute to the retributory actions we know as “riots” and/or “pogroms.” Michael Roberts ***
Camelia Nathaniel & The Editor, NewsinAsia, 16 March 2018, with the title “Lankan medicos nail canard about “infertility pill”
Colombo, March 16: There is no contraceptive pill which is known to exist that can cause infertility or sub fertility by simply being added to food, Consultant Physician Dr. Upul Dissanayake said. Addressing a media briefing at the Sri Lanka Medical Association Auditorium in Colombo yesterday, a group of independent senior medical specialists said there are no known sterilisation pills in the pharmaceutical sector known to the medical profession that can cause permanent infertility.
The group of senior medical professionals conducted the media briefing on the so-called sub fertility pill, which had caused a major uproar in the country lately, leading to racial clashes in Kandy and Ampara.
The media conference was convened by Prof. Chandrika Wijeyaratne, immediate past president of the Sri Lanka Medical Association and attended by a large number of senior consultants.
“We are a group of medical professionals not affiliated to any professional organisation who have come out on our own accord to dispel some myths on the current news which is causing much tension, the so called infertility pill, said to be mixed with food served at eateries,” said Dr. Upul Dissanayake.
“The pharmaceutical industry has been searching for a medicinal drug which can cause temporary infertility so that it can be used as a male contraceptive agent, similar to contraceptive tablets taken by women to prevent pregnancies. However, such a medicine has not been developed yet,” added Consultant Physician and Clinical Pharmacologist Dr. Chandani Wanigatunga.
However, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Dr. Lakshman Senanayake said surveys have shown some decline in the country’s male fertility. “In the past not many males were willing to come forward and have themselves tested. However, now males are coming forward to have their fertility tested and this enables us to have some idea of the numbers. One of the main causes of male infertility is the lifestyle changes. As men work in offices for longer hours, they wear tight clothing for long periods which can impede on their fertility. Further, smoking and consuming alcohol could also have an effect on male fertility. But, there is nothing to suggest that male infertility is caused by any contraceptive pill,” he said.
Meanwhile, an expert in Forensic Science, Toxicology, Pathology Prof. Ravindra Fernando said in instances of such complicated issues, it is the Government Analyst’s Department that makes the final decision.
“The Government Analyst had examined the substance that was found in the kottu roti, which created panic in the country, and determined that it was a particle of starch. Now there is no suspicion whatsoever that it was not a tablet but a mere particle of starch, which led to this unfortunate incident,” he said.
*** SEE ……..
Scenes near Teen Murti Hospital in Delhi as Indira Gandhi lay dying 1984
Michael Roberts: “Mentalities, Ideologues, Assailants, Historians and the Pogrom against the Moors in 1915,” in Roberts, Exploring Confrontation. Sri Lanka: Politics, Culture and History, Reading: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1994, pp. 149-81… reprinted as “Marakkala Kolahalaya: Mentalities directing the Pogrom of 1915,” in Roberts, Confrontations in Sri Lanka, Colombo, Vijitha Yapa Publications, 2011,, pp. 113 -53 (ISBN 978-955-665-035-8)
Michael Roberts: “Anguish as Empowerment… and A Path to Retribution,” 23 March 2017, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2017/09/14/a-study-of-contemporary-buddhist-muslim-relations-in-sri-lanka/
Roberts, Michael 1994c “The agony and ecstasy of a pogrom: southern Lanka, July 1983,” in Roberts, Exploring confrontation. Sri Lanka: politics, culture and history, Reading: Harwood Academic Publishers, pp. 317-25. …. Reprinted in Nethra, 2003 vol. 6: 199-213.
Tambiah, S. J. 2017b “The anti-Tamil Gal Oya riots of 1956,” 2 February 2017, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2017/02/02/the-anti-tamil-gal-oya-riots-of-1956/
Van Dyke, Virginia 1996 “The anti-Sikh riots in Delhi: politicians, criminals, and the discourse of communalism,” in Paul Brass (ed) Riots and pogroms, New York University Press, pp. 201-20.
Vittachi, Tarzie 1958 Emergency ‘58, London: Andre Deutsch.
Michael Roberts: “Kill Any Sikh: The Anti-Sikh Pogrom of 1984 in Delhi in Bhawan Singh’s Images,” …,” 26 March 2017, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2017/03/26/kill-any-sikh-the-anti-sikh-pogrom-of-1984-in-delhi-in-bhawan-singhs-images/