Category Archives: psychological urges

Basil Fernando’s Searing Protest against Violence in All Its Forms

Basil Fernando: A Short Abstract re the book Body, Mind, Soul, Society: An Autobiographical Account

 This book (176 pages) is an attempt to contribute towards an understanding of the impact of violence on human persons and the society. It is based on the direct experience of living and working in Sri Lanka and Cambodia. However, references are also made to several more developing countries in Asia with which I have been engaged in working after the experiences in Sri Lanka and Cambodia. The book is written from the perspective of a victim who is also an observer.

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The Spy Thriller: John le Carre leaves us ….

Jason Steger, in  Sydney Morning Herald, 14 December 2020, where the title runs thus: “A sit-down with a spy novelist: what John le Carre learnt from the secret service”

“When you enter the secret world and you are engaged in the intensive examination of your enemy, your opponent, you in a sense begin to know him and think about him not just as an opponent but some kind of secret sharer.”

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Kamikaze, Mujahid, Tamil Tiger: Sacrificial Devotion in Comparative Lens

Michael Roberts, reprinting an essay drafted in 2007 and since presented in Fire & Storm in 2010 (chapter 19: 131-38)

  • Gandhi tried for years to reduce himself to zero” (Dennis Hudson 2002: 132).
  • Hitler: “You are nothing, your nation is everything” (quoted in Koenigsberg 2009: 13).
  • LTTE: “the martyr sacrifices himself for the whole by destroying the I…” (Dagmar Hellmann-Rajanayagam’s interpretation of a Tamil Tiger supporter’s poem; 2005: 134).
  • Spokesman for Al Qaida after the Madrid bombing: “You love life and we love death”
  • Col. Karuna, ex-LTTE: “Death means nothing to me….”
  • The Hagakure is “a living philosophy that holds that life and death [are] the two sides of the same shield” (Yoshio Mishima in his The Way of the Samurai, quoted in Moeren 1986: 109-10).
  • Bushido means to die” (Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney 2002: 117).
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVpbl0azdFM …. Kamikaze strike

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The Ideology of Sacrificial Death and Australian Nationalism during World War One

ALSThis short essay appeared  in the year K????K within the Website run the Library of Social Science headed by Richard Koenigsberg and he has sent it to me this month (November 2020) — presumably inspired by the recent jihadist attacks in Europe and by Thuppahi’s determined pursuit of the comparative literature on martyrdom pursued in a variety of contexts by diverse forces (not merely Islamic).

Michael Roberts

Addressing the practices of remembrance in Australia, Richard Koenigsberg has noted the irony that a battlefield defeat at Gallipoli in World War One, 1915, served a people as an emblem of nationhood: the “Australian nation, came into being on the foundations provided by the slaughter of its young men.”

Burying the dead at Gallipoli in 1915 ,,,and The Last Post

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Sri Lankan Expressiveness: Warm Gratitude and Vicious Vituperation

Michael Roberts

I did not see the article that highlighted the manner in which the Tamil people of Vishvamadu feted and lamented the departure of the Sinhalese Military Commander of that arena, Ratnapriya Bandu, when it was originally placed in the public domain in late 2018. This striking presentation was the result of a combination between Shenali Waduge in Lanka and the SPUR organisation in Melbourne, an alliance that immediately indicates orientations laced with sentiments of a chauvinist Sinhala hue.

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Myth-making Ridiculous: Raavana on Fire!

Grace Bains in  Scoopwhoop where the title is A Demon For Us But A Hero For Sri Lankans, The Fascinating Story Of Ravana, According To Lanka” and Chandre Dharmawardena, in Island, 11 September 2020

As we celebrate Dussehra, we recount Ramayana and the lessons that come with it. For us, the Ramayana isn’t just a story of Lord Rama winning over Ravana and rescuing Sita. It is about good winning over evil despite the many obstacles. It is the story that gives Indians hope and motivation to keep fighting for what they know is right.

But we all know that every story has two sides.

Source: Daily Mirror

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Donald Friend assessed by Venerable Bhikkhu Dhammika in 2003

In this era of political correctness and moral extremism exemplified in the Me Too movement, the assault on ‘offensive’ statues of famous men with questionable attributes, etc, etc, let me tweak the nether regions of these evangelical reformists by featuring Donald Friend, an Australian homosexual and paedophile of a brazen disposition, who displayed a wide range of artistic talents and happened to sojourn in Ceylon for quite a while — linking up with the talented and wealthy Bawa brothers (themselves members of the gay middle class community in the island’s tolerant ‘climate’– an environment that also attracted Arthur C. Clarke) …. Michael Roberts

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Smashing Statues: Issues of Sense and Sensibility … and Nonsence

Rihaab Mowlana, in Lifelk, 19 June 2020, where the title runs thus “Are We Erasing History?”

The statue of Thomas Jefferson, the founding father who also enslaved more than 600 people, was toppled in Oregon, while the statue of navigator and coloniser Christopher Columbus was ‘spray-painted, set on fire and thrown into a lake’. In England, the Statue of Edward Colston suffered a similar fate, resulting in ‘the boarding up of the Cenotaph in Whitehall and Winston Churchill’s statue in Parliament Square’. In many parts of the world, the predicament will befall many such monuments.

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Pablo Neruda and Thangamma … His Work in Ceylon

Dr. Kumar Gunawardane. in Island, 13 June 2020, where the title runs “Neruda and his daughter”

“It’s night time ,
I’m alone and sad,
Thinking in the light of a flickering candle,
about joy and pain,
about tired old age,
and handsome arrogant youth”
Pablo Neruda

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Gananath Obeyesekere’s 1975 Article on Murder by Sorcery

Gananath Obeyesekere: “Sorcery and Premeditated Murder: The Canalization of Aggression”[1]

In this paper I want to deal with a series of interrelated problems beginning with the following specific questions and propositions. First: how far can we make inferences about the human psyche and social structure from official statistics computed by government agencies, in this case statistics on homicide and crimes of violence? Criminology as a discipline is especially concerned with this problem, and criminological studies in Sri Lanka have made social structural, cultural and psychological inferences from the statistical data.[2]  At the outset, let me emphasize that I am not concerned with the conventional debate about the accuracy of governmental statistics. Criminologist who have dealt with this issue are agreed that Sri Lanka’s official statistics on homicide and violent crimes are reasonably accurate, and on the face of it there is perfect justification for using these data for social analysis.

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