Jayadeva Uyangoda, in Sunday Observer, 26 May 2019,where the title runs thus “Fight Terrorism. Avoid Islamophobia”
Islamophobia is a term that gained currency in the 1980s in British English. It referred to prejudices against Islam and Muslim people that had begun to spread in the UK since the 1970s. As a cultural, intellectual and political phenomenon, Islamophobia also began to spread throughout the Western world after the 9/11 attacks in the US. The Christian Right in America has been the leading force that promoted Islamophobia as a new strand of political ideology in the world. It spread to the Hindu and Buddhist worlds as well amidst the rapid rise of ethnic identity politics and conflict.
The blue, red, yellow, orange and white lights are on, as are the makeshift stalls selling lanterns. Yet few pause to see, haggle, buy. Vesak, so near chronologically, had never seemed so far away spiritually. After the Easter Sunday Massacre, fears were raised about Vesak too being turned into a bloody spectacle by the IS, working through its local adherents. As it turned out, neither the IS nor its local adherents were necessary to turn Vesak into a season of violence. The Sinhalese managed the task on their own.
My thoughts are organised in point-form in order to assist succincttness.
A = I recall seeing a news item a day or so back which indicated that Sri Lanka was in the process of acquiring sophisticated cyber-technology from China in order to pursue its intelligence work the better. Quite logical that — though late in the day.
Ruki Fernando, in Sunday Observer, 21 April 2019, where the title is “Christians and Religious Freedoms under Fire” **
From February 3 to April 14 this year, across Sri Lanka, there has been some sort of disruption against a Christian worship service every Sunday – on 11 successive Sundays to be specific.Christians in Sri Lanka suffer violations of their right to religion and belief regularly, but most incidents do not make it to the news – or even to the Twittersphere. But the attack on the Methodist Church Centre in Anuradhapura, last Sunday, which was also Palm Sunday, a day of religious significance for Christians, was widely reported because of the forthright personal testimony and determined efforts of the President of the Methodist Conference, Bishop Asiri Perera, who had experienced the attack first hand.
Lakshman Gunasekara, in Horizons, 31 March 2019, with this title “Supremacism: harnessing myth, paranoia”
“…Before we deal with the fertility rates, we must deal with both the invaders within our lands and the invaders that seek to enter our lands…” declares the mass murderer of Christchurch in his 80 plus page long ‘The Great Replacement’ political declaration which he had posted on the internet.Does this declaration by a deadly mass killer ring a bell to us, Sri Lankans?
Readers only need to refer back through our own post-colonial national discourses to come up with loads of this stuff. Our news media and other publishing archives and records will reveal the sheer volume of similar such statements expressed in political party rhetoric, nationalist activist arguments, and even in parliamentary debate over the decades since our island society won back its freedom from European colonialism. Continue reading →
ONE = Greg Sheridan: “A Manifesto for a Dark Age,” in The Australian, 23 March 2019
The manifesto of Brenton Tarrant, the alleged Christchurch gunman, displays an extreme contemporary embodiment of six historical trends. It is the mirror in morality, personality and rhetoric of the archetypal Islamic State terrorist. It is the inheritor of the most extreme traditions of white racism, both the North American tradition and its Germanic cousin. Its outlook is crippled by an addiction to conspiracy theories of a type long familiar, especially in the modern US.
Editorial in the Sunday Observer of Sri Lanka, 17 March 2019, entitled “Christchurch and our own national experience”
Blood is being spilt with the claim of protecting one’s own ‘flesh and blood.’ It happened last Friday in Christchurch, in usually quiet New Zealand; it has happened in this country in sustained internal conflict over decades; and, it has happened all over the world throughout human history.
The gloom instilled by this litany is, however, dispelled by the bright success of societies in overcoming violence between communities, in managing conflict and, channelling social energies toward civilisational attainment. Happy are the societies that are warmly inclusive, that bravely embrace differentiation and unfamiliarity. Happy are those who celebrate co-existence and avoid or resolve the disruptions between groups, between people. Continue reading →
With the growth of Western civilization from the 16th century onwards and its sweeping sway in the world today, we have seen the power vested in the individual atom known as “man” in its non-gendered sense. Individuation, and its blood-brother, egoism, is the warp and woof of everyday living in most parts of the world and is most pronounced in the states identified with the “West.”
It is imprinted and glorified in many sports competitions: say, surfing, marathon-running, motor-cycling, gymnastics, et cetera. Its imprint has been expanded by new technology such as skateboards and fancy bikes. There are also age-old sports which sustain the emphasis on intense individual action: for instance, fishing and hunting.
In recently facing up to internet challenges and clarifying the term “chauvinism,” I proceeded at a general level and presented definitions within a comparative framework that brought the concepts of “racism” and “tribalism” into our framework of analysis. I now provide instances of ethno-religious confrontation from Sri Lankan history that illustrate this phenomenon.
Thuppahi's Blog · This web site presents the interventions of MICHAEL ROBERTS in the public realm with reference to Sri Lankan political affairs. It will embrace the politics of cricket as well. ROBERTS was educated at St. Aloysius College in Galle and the universities of Peradeniya and Oxford. He taught History at Peradeniya University and Anthropology at Adelaide university. He is now retired and lives in Adelaide.