Category Archives: chauvinism

Debating Modern Ceylon History with Daggers Drawn: Roberts vs De Silva, 1986-91

Two Peradeniya colleagues from yesteryear, Professor Kingsley de Silva and Michael Roberts, took sharply different positions on facets of the island history in British colonial and post-1948 times in hardhitting essays in local journals and newspapers in the period 1986 to 1991. The series began with Michael Roberts’s article-length review of KM De Silva:  Managing Ethnic Tensions in Multi-Ethnic Societies: Sri Lanka, 1880-1985  (Lanham, University Press of America) ….. and continued with KM De Silva’s hard-hitting review of the book, People Inbetween (Colombo, Sarvodaya, 1989) where Roberts was the principal author in a triumvirate that included Percy-Colin-Thome and Ismeth Raheem.

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A Searing Wide-Ranging Critique from Qadri Ismail after 21/4 in 2019 ……. Now a Requiem

Qadri Ismail, in Groundviews, 5 May 2019 after the 21/4 Atrocities

Photo by Asanka Brendon Ratnayake for The Washington Post

We hadn’t seen him in years, ever since he left to work abroad. So, on the day of his return, his mother invited the extended family to lunch. As he walked through the door we reacted collectively, gasped audibly. He wore a sharp suit but sported one of those long, unkempt, rowdy beards. Perhaps, I thought, there are no barbers in Saudi Arabia. (You never know, it’s a weird place).

 

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People Inbetween and Professor K. M. de Silva’s Diehard History

Michael Roberts, in Daily News, 27 March 1991 … reproduced here with highlighting emphasis added

Professor K. M. de Silva’s review of the book People Inbetween Volume I in the Daily News on the 19 and 20 September, 1990 has come to my notice. My response here to seeks to raise issues regarding the way in which history can be written.

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Sri Lankan Tamil Rally in London: Protest in Commemoration

Tamil Guardian News Item, 18 May 2021

British Tamils rallied in London today to commemorate the tens of thousands of lives lost in Mullivaikkal in 2009. Protesters demonstrated at Parliament Square, demanding justice for the atrocities perpetrated by the Sri Lankan state in Mullivaikkal 12 years ago.

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Dujuan’s History Lesson for Non-Aboriginal Australians All

Vibeke Venema of BBC News, 6 May 2021, where the title reads “The ‘smart and cheeky’ Aboriginal boy teaching Australia a lesson”

A documentary about a 10-year-old Aboriginal boy’s experience in school, In My Blood It Runs, has reignited a debate about Australia’s failure to give indigenous children a good education and a fair start in life.

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Facing Religious Zealots: Easter Sunday 21/4 Placed in a Global Conetxt

  Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake, in .. where the ttile runs thus “Geopolitics Of The Easter Attacks: The Weaponization Of Religion Amid Hybrid War”

“We have met the enemy and he is us” — Walt Kelly from Pogo Comics, quoted in “The ISIS is US: the shocking truth behind the Army of Terror”[1]

“Crime is a form of communication that is both complex and fascinating as it is always characterized by a relationship that can be established between elements present and something absent, or yet to be discovered…Investigating a crime and trying to prevent recurrence means evaluating every possible voluntary and involuntary message left by an author..”[2]

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/3/7/sri-lanka-catholics-demand-justice-for-easter-bombing-victims

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Prince Philip’s Indelible ‘Marks’ in Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy of my old student pal Piyasiri Wickramasekara ….more details below

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Debating Human Rights in Warring Contexts

Chandre Dharmawardana, 30 March 2021, in Email Memo entitledAlleged Human Rights Abuses of the Sri Lankan Army” ………..  a memo commenting on responses to his previous Essay[i] … with highlighting imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

Ramesh Somasundaram, (commenting on the Thuppahi website) is absolutely right in saying “that the Sri Lankan governments and the Sri Lankan military personal have been correctly accused of human rights abuses. “Sri Lankan Soldiers have been accused of grave crimes, and they should be investigated and brought to trial. Many of the soldiers were simply carrying out orders, and so the high command must bear the final responsibility except in cases where the soldiers exceeded their acts as soldiers and acted even more inhumanely than needed.

Situation Map 2 February 2009an excellent work by, I think?, the Daily Mirror

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The Making of Wahhabi Zealots in Sri Lanka, 1980s-2019

Michael Roberts

All those addressing the fervour that promoted the killing work of the Zahran Hashim jihadist network in Sri Lanka in April 2019 must come to grips with the modern currents of Wahhabi political thinking that go back to the outpourings of the Egyptian intellectuals Sayyid Qutb[1] and Al-Zawahiri[2] in the latter half of the 20th century. This step will then take investigators to the Al-Qaida movement[3] and thence to the more recent brand of Wahhabism embodied within ISIS.

Sayyid Qutb  al-Zawahiri

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Rise in Anti-Chinese Sentiments in Australia

Naaman Zhou, in The Guardian, 4 March 2021, with this title “How Anti-Chinese Seniment in Australia seeped into the Mainstream”

  Photograph: Torsten Blackwood/AFP/Getty Images

Community members say current levels of anti-Chinese sentiment have been fanned by the pandemic, Donald Trump’s rhetoric, souring trade relationship and a political atmosphere that encourages a ‘creeping distrust’ of Australians of Chinese heritage. 

Threatening letters sent to Asian councillors and a surge in race hate attacks during the pandemic has renewed calls for a centralised hate tracker.

Councillor Kun Huang received [a hate] letter on a Monday. Among the insults about his name, the threats of death, the blame for the Covid-19 pandemic, the accusation that he had been stealing all the milk powder, buying up all the houses and bringing disease to Australia “for centuries”, the staff at the Cumberland Council noticed a name and an address. This was a race hate letter signed by its supposed perpetrator.

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