Challenging Michael Roberts … with Straight Left and Right Hook

Gerald Peiris ... in the spirit of vigorous debate which we used to pursue in the Arts Faculty and the Ceylon Studies Seminar at Peradeniya University in the late 1960s and the 1970s, Gerry Peiris has responded with two sharply critical notes of some significance to my critical review of Sri Lankan society and politics, an essay that is directed by an optimistic eye …. Ha! Ha! … towards a major overhaul.

Gerry’s Straight Left

Michael, The difficulty I have in responding to your memorandum is that it contains so many specific points each of which deserves to be probed in detail. I cannot do that unless I were to place several of my other commitments in cold storage. I cannot do that just now.

As extempore general observations, I state:

(a) that you have not given adequate attention to issues relating to ‘Education’ and ‘youth entitlements’;

(b) that it is the Provincial Council system that ought to be disbanded and replaced with a far more meaningful (especially from perspectives of effective devolution within a spatial framework) District Council system (the latter, incidentally, is not in existence).

(c) that you have ignored the all-important factor of external intervention including the phenomenon of irredentism.

(d) more than all else, that there is no basis for the idea of the Sinhalese believing in their proprietorship of Sri Lanka. That is sheer nonsense. There are people in the Sinhalese lunatic fringe who think that way. But since ethnic differentiation in this country cuts across (and does not conform to) socioeconomic stratifications, that fringe has hardly any impact on the daily lives of the people (strangely, even in times of insurrection in areas that were under the control of insurgents) — certainly not in the same way and to the same extent it does in countries like the United States or Australia and so many other nation-states.

Best regards, Gerry

…. Followed by a Right Hook

Michael, I have this urge to respond when I see something interesting. So, here’s my response to this morning’s discourse by you. “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, vengeance is mine; I will repay, says the Lord”.   Epistle to the Romans, Chapter 12 Verse 19.

Note: When St. Paul said, “for it is written”, he was referring to a decree by Jehovah, recorded in the Old Testament (Mahavamsa of the Israelites), Chapter titled Deuteronomy.

Yes, this is Peiris, the Devil, quoting scriptures, but his devilry is intended only to tell you that, despite what the Gananaths, Bruces and hosts of other Anthropological Angels sing about their discoveries in Sri Lanka, revenge is a universal phenomenon. Nothing particularly Sri Lankan about revenge. Gosh, how do these people miss this obvious fact! It has occurred globally in trillions of situations – those that range from, say, the Nuremburg Trials to Thomson’s bouncer aimed at Duleep Mendis’ head.

Duleep Mendis being carried off after being felled by Thompson’s ouncer at Kennington Oval, June 1975

Best regards, Gerry

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