Category Archives: discrimination

Caste, Ur and Tamilness among the Tamils in Metropolitan London

Jane Russell. reviewing article by Thanges Paramsothy entitled  “Caste Within the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora” in Anthropology Matters Journal, Vol.18 No 1 (2018)

I usually avoid reviewing academic articles. Many are derivative and ones that employ original research can be turgid and dull. But that is not the case with this article by Thanges Paramsothy, currently South Asia Program Scholar at Cornell. While replete with sociological and anthropological information about Sri Lankan Tamil caste groupings, both past and present, it is also full of revealing insights into a social system that has been a veiled inner sanctum to many outsiders.

a toddy tapper

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under asylum-seekers, caste issues, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, cultural transmission, discrimination, disparagement, economic processes, education, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, politIcal discourse, refugees, religiosity, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, social justice, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, tamil refugees, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, working class conditions, world events & processes

Rumpf’s Diary and Other Archival Treasures with KD Paranavitana’s Hand in Archival Acts

The Department of National Archives, in introducing the English translation of thevTravel Diary of Isaac Augustin Rumpf

The National Archives of Sri Lanka (SLNA) is in possession of 7,570 volumes of archives written in the Dutch language. These mainly consist of Dutch Political Council Minutes, land records, all types of correspondence, reports and instructions. One of the most valuable series of these records is known as Memoirs of the Governors, Memoirs of other high ranking officers in the Dutch Government and the Tombos, namely, Head, Land and School Tombos. These records provide a vast knowledge of the Dutch administration, cultural interactions, commercial aspects, political background and various social and environmental conditions pertaining to the 17th and 18th centuries.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, ancient civilisations, authoritarian regimes, cultural transmission, devolution, discrimination, education, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, legal issues, life stories, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes

Experiencing Denigration in Sri Lanka: The Muslims Yesterday and Today

Shamara Wettimuny, in History Workshop, 7 September 2020, where the title runs “The Colonial History of Islamophobic Slurs in Sri Lanka”**

Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic, multi-faith island. Yet despite centuries of physical coexistence, ethnic, religious and linguistic differences continue to bring communities into conflict. Muslims in Sri Lanka (comprising around 9.7% of the population) are often vilified by both the Sinhalese majority (who are either Buddhist or Christian) and Tamil minority (either Hindu or Christian) for their religious beliefs, practices, and dress. Following the Easter Sunday suicide attacks in April 2019 – carried out by a group of extremists linked to the Islamist group, the National Thowheed Jamaat – the wider Muslim community faced a discriminatory and sometimes violent backlash. In 2020, as COVID-19 spread in Sri Lanka, Muslims were blamed for ‘spreading the disease’, and for wanting to bury their dead in line with traditional Islamic burial practices (as opposed to cremation as stipulated by the Sri Lankan government).

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, atrocities, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, chauvinism, communal relations, cultural transmission, discrimination, disparagement, economic processes, fundamentalism, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, Muslims in Lanka, politIcal discourse, religiosity, riots and pogroms, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, world events & processes, zealotry

Dunkirk Different! Migrants penetrate England by Small Boat

Sophia Sleigh & April Roach in Evening Standrard 10 August 2020, where the title is RAF plane patrols English Channel after nearly 700 migrants cross”

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, asylum-seekers, communal relations, discrimination, disparagement, economic processes, historical interpretation, human rights, immigration, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, the imaginary and the real, transport and communications, trauma, travelogue, unusual people, working class conditions, world events & processes

The Rajapaksa Reshaping of the Sri Lankan Polity

Asanga Welikala and Roshan de Silva-Wijeyeratne, in Groundviews, 25 August 2020, with this title “The Past and the Present in the (Re)Constitution of the State”  … 

The election of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in November 2019 marked the beginning of a new era of a Sinhala-Buddhist nationalist ascendancy in Sri Lanka. The Covid-19 pandemic provided an early opportunity for the government to establish an authoritarian governing style, helped by Parliament standing dissolved, and the Supreme Court’s refusal to subject the government to the constitution. In the delayed parliamentary election earlier in August, the government and its allies sought and obtained a two-thirds majority mandate.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under accountability, architects & architecture, authoritarian regimes, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, constitutional amendments, cultural transmission, democratic measures, devolution, discrimination, disparagement, economic processes, education, electoral structures, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, modernity & modernization, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, power sharing, Rajapaksa regime, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, unusual people, vengeance, welfare & philanthophy, working class conditions, world events & processes

Fortitude: Murali’s Fight to stay on the Field

Andrew Fidel Fernando. in Cricket Monthly within ESPNcricinfo, 11 August 2020, where the title runs  “Growing up with Murali,”

Ten years after he retired, a reflection on what Muttiah Muralitharan has meant – and means – to a nation

Before I watched an umpire no-ball Muttiah Muralitharan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, I had no idea that cricket mattered.

Security personnel and spectators look on next to a giant cutout of Sri Lankan spin bowler Muttiah Muralitharan erected on a 17th century Dutch-built fortress during the third day of the first test cricket match between India and Sri Lanka in Galle, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, July 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under accountability, atrocities, Australian culture, australian media, centre-periphery relations, discrimination, disparagement, ethnicity, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, performance, politIcal discourse, rehabilitation, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, taking the piss, the imaginary and the real, trauma, unusual people, world events & processes

A Scathing Dissection of TNA and Tamil Party Programmes Today by Tissa Vitharana

Tissa Vitarana, in Island, 29 July 2020, where the title runs “TNA has failed to come up with a realistic plan to address problems of the North-East people”

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has come out with its manifesto for the August 5 general election, and it is disheartening to see that the TNA has failed to come to grips with the new reality and introduce a realistic plan to address the problems facing the people of the North and the East, says LSSP leader, Professor Tissa Vitarana,

Prof. Vitarana has said in a media statement: “They have come out with the same set of demands that were raised by the TNA at the time the 30 year war of separation began. A news report of July 19 labeled it as a “low key event”, a clear indication of the lack of enthusiasm among the Tamil people.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, conspiracies, democratic measures, discrimination, doctoring evidence, economic processes, ethnicity, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, language policies, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, nationalism, Paranagama Report, parliamentary elections, politIcal discourse, power politics, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, TNA, truth as casualty of war, working class conditions, world events & processes

Kusal Mendis: His Car Killing and Aftermath reviewed on Facebook

Sugath Kulatunga on Facebook

As a person who has experienced dozing off on the wheel on long drives during my youth, I am sorry to see the virulent criticism of Kusal Mendis on the fatal accident caused by him. Falling asleep on the wheel can happen to any driver who has been driving for long hours or who is tired. This is not an attempt to exculpate Kusal from any guilt but to give a different aspect of the issue. Specific statistics on this category of accidents are not readily available in Sri Lanka. But it can be assumed to be fairly high.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, discrimination, legal issues, life stories, politIcal discourse, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, transport and communications, trauma, unusual people, world events & processes

The Threads of Intolerance within Contemporary Liberal/Radical Fervour

A Letter on Justice and Open Debate …. Harpers’ Magazine, July 7, 2020 ……………..
……… The letter below  will be appearing in the Letters section of the magazine’s October issue. We welcome responses at letters@harpers.org

Our cultural institutions are facing a moment of trial. Powerful protests for racial and social justice are leading to overdue demands for police reform, along with wider calls for greater equality and inclusion across our society, not least in higher education, journalism, philanthropy, and the arts. But this needed reckoning has also intensified a new set of moral attitudes and political commitments that tend to weaken our norms of open debate and toleration of differences in favor of ideological conformity. As we applaud the first development, we also raise our voices against the second. The forces of illiberalism are gaining strength throughout the world and have a powerful ally in Donald Trump, who represents a real threat to democracy. But resistance must not be allowed to harden into its own brand of dogma or coercion—which right-wing demagogues are already exploiting. The democratic inclusion we want can be achieved only if we speak out against the intolerant climate that has set in on all sides.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, democratic measures, discrimination, disparagement, education, ethnicity, European history, fundamentalism, historical interpretation, human rights, landscape wondrous, life stories, martyrdom, meditations, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, press freedom, racist thinking, self-reflexivity, slanted reportage, taking the piss, tolerance, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, world events & processes

The Exiled Malays, Javanese et al in Ceilao and Lanka Today and Yesterday

Greg Fealy reviewing Ronit Ricci, Banishment and Belonging: Exile and Diaspora in Sarandib, Lanka and Ceylon, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2019, 282pp, ISBN 978-1-108-72724-2…… https://www.newmandala.org/book-review/banishment-and-belonging-exile-and-diaspora-in-sarandib-lanka-and-ceylon-2019/

For well over a century, Sri Lanka was the Dutch colonial administration’s main site of exile for troublesome Indonesians. From the late seventeenth century, hundreds of ‘natives’ from the Netherlands East Indies who were deemed rebellious were consigned to the island, many never to return. They were a diverse community, including members of royal families from across the archipelago and their retinues, as well as soldiers, convicts and slaves. Among the nobles were kings, sultans and princes from Java, Madura, the Moluccas and Timor. Revered Islamic leaders were also banished there. Conditions for the exiles ranged from tolerably comfortable to miserable, with often tight restrictions on their ability to socialize and travel within the island, and also limited communications with family and peers in the Indies. The psychological toll of separation from their homeland was immense. Many felt humiliated and personally diminished by the experience. Today, the descendants of this exilic community are known collectively as ‘Sri Lankan Malays’ and they have a distinctive culture and identity borne of their peculiar historical experience.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, ancient civilisations, authoritarian regimes, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, cultural transmission, discrimination, economic processes, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Indian traditions, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories

%d bloggers like this: