Opinion

Burqas and empire, again

The lead up to the Afghan war in post-9/11 used the rhetoric of “women’s rights” to mobilise the American public. We were supposed to save their women from the Taliban and their “backward ways”. Laura Bush used the language of women’s rights to wrap the bombs of war with supposed democratic purpose. But not then, […]

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Reflections of Buddhist intellect: A light in dark times

nguished Sri Lankan, Dr Thakshan Fernando, died last Thursday in New Zealand at the age of 81. A Muslim place of worship was attacked on the day after Eid, in Grandpass, Colombo, on Saturday. What is the connection?
Dr. Thakshan Fernando
The distinguished Sri Lankan in question, a former student of Ananda College and a Buddhist of […]

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From Weliweriya and the marauding army to Grandpass and the saffron robed thugs

“A five-month old baby-girl had been raped, in our Sri Lanka – a horror symbolic and symbiotic of the moral-ethical malaise affecting our society. That is a non-political issue, one which should concern all of us, irrespective of every difference. The fact that it has not engaged the attention of political and civil society and […]

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Killing fields of Weliweriya -not the first and won’t be the last

“The object of terrorism is terrorism. The object of oppression is oppression. The object of torture is torture. The object of murder is murder. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?”
― George Orwell,
Government sponsored intimidation
In my column on Sunday, October 14, 2012 I commenced thus: “Government-sponsored intimidation of […]

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Planned attack on unarmed protesters by Sri Lanka’s army in Weliweriya: Crowd control or murder?

Gagging the media
The full extent of the outrage committed in Weliweriya unfolds slowly but surely, in spite of crude attempts to gag the
media. Grisly details continue to emerge from the countless testimonies of the bereaved, the assault victims, their relatives and the rest of the community. It’s unlikely that dozens of village people would […]

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Divisive role of religion grows despite Buddhist teachings

The most likely point of new inter-community conflict at the present time is between those who espouse nationalist Buddhism and the Muslim community. Although not widely reported, the attacks against Muslim places of worship and Muslim owned businesses are continuing. In a six month period from January to June this year, at least 155 anti-Muslim […]

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Bullets for Water: Militarization comes home to the Sinhala Buddhist nation

“We asked for water tanks; they sent army tanks”
A woman resident of Weliveriya (BBC – 3.8.2013)
They had every reason to feel confident and safe, to expect consideration and justice.
They were almost exclusively Sinhalese and predominantly Buddhist. They would
have supported the military wholeheartedly (quite a few would have kith/kin in uniform) and rejoiced in the […]

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Governance, legitimacy and the ethics of violence

The ancient Chinese, most notably Confucius, used to call it The Mandate of Heaven. Rulers may rule successfully only so long as they respect and enjoy the Mandate of Heaven.
The last war started when the terrorist Tigers deprived Sinhala farmers of water by shutting off the supply at Maavilaru. The war came home to the […]

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Sajith speaks out…is it too little, too late now?

“Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit and intelligence of the citizens. They fall, when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.”
~Joseph Story
Diehards
In the immediate aftermath of the defection of the Kurunegala […]

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The Jekylls and Hydes of Religions

“Imagine a garden with a hundred kinds of trees, a thousand kinds of flowers, a hundred kinds of fruit and vegetables. Suppose, then, that the gardener….knew no other distinction than between edible and inedible, nine tenth of this garden would be useless to him. He would pull up the most enchanting flowers and hew down […]

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Opinion

Afghanistan Burqa Woes

Burqas and empire, again

Many Afghan women have been activists on their own behalf long before the US invaded, says Eisenstein The lead up to the Afghan war in post-9/11 ...

Issues

Dr. Thakshan Fernando

Reflections of Buddhist intellect: A light in dark times

nguished Sri Lankan, Dr Thakshan Fernando, died last Thursday in New Zealand at the age of 81. A Muslim place of worship was attacked on ...

Issues

buddhist monks attack muslim mosque in sari lanka aug 2013 cnn.com

From Weliweriya and the marauding army to Grandpass and the saffron robed thugs

“A five-month old baby-girl had been raped, in our Sri Lanka – a horror symbolic and symbiotic of the moral-ethical malaise affecting our society. That ...

Opinion

protest welweriya aug 1,2013

Killing fields of Weliweriya -not the first and won’t be the last

“The object of terrorism is terrorism. The object of oppression is oppression. The object of torture is torture. The object of murder is murder. The ...

Issues

Quote published in a   local newspaper

Planned attack on unarmed protesters by Sri Lanka’s army in Weliweriya: Crowd control or murder?

Gagging the media The full extent of the outrage committed in Weliweriya unfolds slowly but surely, in spite of crude attempts to gag the Defence Secretary ...

Opinion

Divisive role of religion grows despite Buddhist teachings

The most likely point of new inter-community conflict at the present time is between those who espouse nationalist Buddhism and the Muslim community. Although not ...

Opinion

dammika perera 3

Bullets for Water: Militarization comes home to the Sinhala Buddhist nation

“We asked for water tanks; they sent army tanks” A woman resident of Weliveriya (BBC – 3.8.2013) They had every reason to feel confident and safe, to ...

Opinion

Governance, legitimacy and the ethics of violence

The ancient Chinese, most notably Confucius, used to call it The Mandate of Heaven. Rulers may rule successfully only so long as they respect and ...

Opinion

Sajith

Sajith speaks out…is it too little, too late now?

Sajith “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit and intelligence of the citizens. They fall, when the wise are banished from the public councils, because ...

Opinion

Prof Salam

The Jekylls and Hydes of Religions

“Imagine a garden with a hundred kinds of trees, a thousand kinds of flowers, a hundred kinds of fruit and vegetables. Suppose, then, that the ...