21 November, 2018

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A Victory For ‘Cosmopolitanism’ Over Narrow Nationalism

By Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

It seems Sri Lanka has become enlightened, at least partly. It has taken a small but a firm step to move away from narrow nationalism towards ‘cosmopolitanism.’ This is not a wishful thinking of a perennial optimist but what is revealed by election results. Both the presidential elections in January and the parliamentary elections in August 2015 confirm a certain maturity of voters towards this direction.

Let me at the outset define or explain what cosmopolitanism means. If I may refer to Gerard Delanty (“The Sage Handbook of Nations and Nationalism,” 2006, p. 357),

“By cosmopolitanism is meant the consciousness of globality and of postnational ties; it is a critical and reflexive consciousness of heterogeneity as opposed to …a homogeneous vision of sovereign statehood.”

Cosmopolitanism is both internal and external. The internal aspect of cosmopolitanism is located in a rational critique of what is presented to us as ‘static or homogeneous ethnicity.’ This necessary critique can have our own local roots in Buddhism or Hinduism. I recollect what I read at the age of thirteen in 1958 written by EW Adikaram questioning stereotyped ethnicity (jatiya). Arguing that ‘ethno-nationalist is a psychopath’ (Jathiwadiya manasika pisseki), Adikaram tried to deconstruct the ethnic stereotyping based on Buddhist rationality on the subject. Although this was written before 1958 communal riots his message was not heeded. It is well accepted that cosmopolitanism cannot emerge instantaneously. It requires both experience and knowledge/awareness. There are also social/economic circumstances related to that development.

RanilComing back to Delanty’s definition, cosmopolitanism is about post-national ties, particularly in the internal context. Have we in Sri Lanka matured into a stage where people are in a position to look beyond their ethnic or narrow national ties? I would be surprised if it is not the case, given the tragic and traumatic experiences that we all have had to undergo during the last three decades. People should learn from the experiences, if not the opportunist leaders.

One indication of this maturity was the January presidential elections. All communities and particularly the minority communities rallied around a ‘common candidate’ given the issues at stake. What people objectively wanted after the end of the war in 2009 was not just ‘negative peace’ but positive peace and reconciliation even for developmental and livelihood purposes. The need for peace and the need for development and decent livelihood cannot be separated. The construction of highways was important, but not enough. The people understand it instinctively. The absence of war or terrorism was not enough. This was apparently in the minds of the average citizen. In the case of the Northern Tamils, it would have been like ‘peace in a graveyard,’ guarded and monitored by the military.

There was a difference between the presidential elections in 2010 and 2015. The first one was closer to the end of the war, and still there was hope for a long term peace. Yet it was a strange (or opportunist) decision on the part of the TNA to support the opposition candidate, Sarath Fonseka, irrespective of his military role. The people were obviously not enthusiastic and the turnout was quite low in the North. The other minorities, hoped and hoped, and went behind the incumbent, guided by the leaders. ‘Patriotism’ was a major issue against SF and it worked quite well particularly among the majority Sinhalese. Perhaps it was too early to move away from narrow nationalism.

It was a tragic experience thereafter. People learn the absurdities of ‘narrow nationalism’ slowly and mostly through lateral experiences. If your national hero is ‘corrupt, abusive or authoritarian,’ that is a good reason for the people to move away or doubt about ‘patriotic rhetoric.’ This should undoubtedly be consolidated through organized efforts. Education is one means to achieve that. At the 2015 presidential elections in January, this experience or trend was only marginal among the Sinhala majority, but it enlarged at the parliamentary elections. Otherwise the UNFGG could not have won 106 seats primarily in the South.

One can argue that on the part of the minorities, the voting for the ‘common candidate’ at the presidential elections must have been only ‘tactical,’ to defeat their main enemy. That may well be the case, mostly on the part of the leaders, but there are all indications that some faith was placed on the ‘common candidate’ irrespective of his ethnicity or the past affiliations. He carried the ‘olive branch’ to Vaddukoddai. This has to be strengthened if reconciliation and positive peace to be achieved. There were previous instances where the Northern voters transcended their ethnic affiliations. The voting for Hector Kobbekaduwa (SLFP) in Jaffna at the presidential elections in 1982 was one example. He even exceeded the votes received by Kumar Ponnambalam (ACTC) in five polling divisions. These trends were and are always favourable for building cosmopolitanism beyond narrow ethno nationalism.

Let me come back again on our conceptual understanding of ‘cosmopolitanism.’ In ordinary usage, cosmopolitanism means knowledge or empathy of different cultures. One who is beyond narrow local, provincial or even national biases or attachments is a cosmopolitan. Wikipedia definition gives a different angle with an emphasis on the ideological side of the coin as follows.

“Cosmopolitanism is the ideology that all human beings belong to a single community, based on a shared morality.”

All may be relevant in understanding what we mean by cosmopolitanism but it should best be understood as a ‘counter thesis’ to nationalism and particularly to ethno-nationalism. Nationalism is something developed in the modern era, post-16th century Europe, spreading into other regions. It went with capitalism and the formation of modern nation-states. Some roots of cosmopolitanism can be found even before the modern era. It is well known that ancient Greek, Indian and Chinese thinkers or their thinking were cosmopolitan. Ranil Wickremesinghe often brings the example of Lichchavi tradition to emphasise the importance of consensual politics, ‘to meet peacefully, discuss peacefully and disperse peacefully.’ It is like a prayer to him these days.

Cosmopolitanism was ingrained in some of these old traditions, no doubt. It is in the same Kathmandu valley that the King Prithvi Narayan Sha, the founder of modern Nepal, in the mid-19th century, declared that ‘Nepal is a floor garden of thirty two jati and four varna.’ Why cannot the four main jatis (Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim and Burgher) and four main agams (Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity) be a nice floor garden in Sri Lanka? No one would deny the historical contributions of ‘Sinhala-Buddhism’ or Sinhala and Buddhism, or the numerical positions or ‘greatness’ of each and every community. But there is no need to exaggerate or predominate. All other contributions also should be recognized.

The concept of ‘unity in diversity’ which is much emphasised by peace advocates or conflict resolution specialists today also has some ancient roots. It originates from the ancient conception of ‘Bhinneka Tunggal Ika’ in Indonesia, exactly meaning ‘unity in diversity.’ However, both concepts ‘unity in diversity’ and ‘cosmopolitanism’ should be understood in modern terms in order to apply them in modern times.

Let me come back again on empirical evidence during the recent elections. If the former president Mahinda Rajapaksa failed to raise the Sinhala (racial) card sufficiently at the presidential elections in January, for some reason, it was abundantly marketed during the parliamentary elections in August. Wimal Weerawansa was at the forefront. Yet he failed. The whole ‘bring back Mahinda’ movement was based on such a parochial nationalist sentiment. It is true that the UPFA gathered around 4.7 million votes and 95 seats in Parliament. However, it was nearly a million drop from 5.8 at the presidential elections. Moreover, the whole of UPFA votes or seats were not for Mahinda or ‘ethno-nationalism.’ There were other issues and factions involved. What is important at this stage is the general trend/s which needs to be properly cultivated further in the future.

There were other cosmopolitan trends discernible at the parliamentary elections. Let me list some of them one by one.

  1. The extremist political parties could not get much of a foothold at parliamentary elections whether in the South or North. This is well reported. The infamous Bodu Bala Sena party, Bodu Jana Peramuna (BJP), contested 16 districts but obtained only 20,377 votes and it was 0.18 percent of the total polled. The fate of the Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) was very much similar obtaining only 18,644 votes in Jaffna and 0.17 percent altogether.
  2. The UNFGG managed to win one seat each in Jaffna and Vanni showing a trend of cosmopolitanism among the overwhelming Tamil voters some of whom favouring national parties who assure minority rights.
  3. There are emerging synergies between cosmopolitanism, democracy and good governance. Cosmopolitanism could emerge only within democracy. The UNFGG, the namesake party for ‘good governance,’ made headway in districts where the electoral demography could be considered ‘cosmopolitan’ to mean multicultural and plural. Apart from Colombo and Gampaha, Nuwaraeliya and Mahanuwara signified this cultural diversity with emerging trends in cosmopolitan politics. There were similar other districts, plural in ethnic or religious lines. This demographic plurality is a healthy trend.
  4. The policy shifts and ‘moderation’ on the part of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), meaning Sinhala national heritage party, were significant in recent times. It has changed the name to United Good Governance National Front (UGGNF). Similar trends could be observed in respect of the Tami National Alliance (TNA) or the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) and other similar political formations.

Although the political trends discernible from recent elections could be characterized or even named as ‘cosmopolitanism,’ it is not a brand name anyone or any party has carried forward in Sri Lanka. That is also not necessary. So far it is an unconscious process. The task might be to make it conscious. What is important is to make a move away from narrow ‘ethno-nationalism’ while recognizing ethnic affiliations particularly on the part of the minority communities, I might add, as a defence mechanism.

There is a growing number of theoretical literature on the subject of ‘cosmopolitanism’ in recent times. I have referred to what Gerard Delanty wrote to a “Sage Handbook on Nationalism” in 2006 in respect of cosmopolitanism, countering narrow nationalism and also globalisation. Three years back in 2012, Delanty himself edited a “Routledge Handbook on Cosmopolitanism” itself. The subject or the topic has been of much interest to social science and political analysts since Emmanuel Kant’s work on ‘Perpetual Peace’ in 1795, which is also much relevant and important to Sri Lanka today.

The purpose of this article has never been to go into theoretical details of cosmopolitanism, but to show certain encouraging trends in the Sri Lankan public, judging by the recent election results, that hopefully moves away from narrow ethno-nationalism further. The youth seems to play a major role in this trend, although not analysed for want of space, along with professional groups, trade unionists and intellectuals. External or international aspects of cosmopolitanism were also not discussed. There is a growing symmetry, however, between professionalism, youth, multiculturalism, urbanization, organized workers, expanding middle classes that bring cosmopolitanism into being and action. This is hopeful. One last word about its possible limitations. In Sri Lanka, like in some other countries, cosmopolitanism might be associated with the elite or elitism. That is not or should not be the case. As argued by Mary Kaldor, a genuinely ‘democratic cosmopolitanism’ must give voice to the grievances of the great many people in society.

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Latest comments

  • 6
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    Not so fast Prof.!
    Pathala Champika is moving to consolidate his hold of the government and he is a racist in waiting to have coup and take over. Already having appointed himself the leader of the Good Governance coalition he now want to change the name to Jathika HelaUrumeeya!

    Also, this so called national government with the UNP and SLFP is a Sinhala National government because the TNA is not involved in it.

    Meanwhile if you have Cabinet of 90 Ministers the great majority who are corrupt, how can you expect them to set the institutions that investigate corruption like the Bribery Commission and the AG’s office straight. These corrupt politicians do not want to investigate themselves and Sirisena is turning out to be a rather dangerous player who wants to use the SLFP that is a party of corrupt thugs to stay relevant – even at the expense of good governance agenda.

    Civil society must hit the streets and protest against a cabinet of 90 for a Sinhala national government which really is a SInhala Nationalist Government consolidated with the likes of the racist JHU’s Pathala Champika Ranawaka..

    • 5
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      Dr. Laksiri Fernando

      RE: A Victory For ‘Cosmopolitanism’ Over Narrow Nationalism

      “It seems Sri Lanka has become enlightened, at least partly. It has taken a small but a firm step to move away from narrow nationalism towards ‘cosmopolitanism.’”

      Let us hope so.

      All the Para-Sinhala and Para-Tamils, as proven by the DNA in their bodies and the Chronicles must be constantly reminded that they are Paras in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho.

      The Paras are not there yey.

      The President and the Prime Minister have come to an understanding with the Rajapaksa Mafia, who robbed, killed and murdered the population, to go scot free.

      Through the Grape Wine, Bulath Wine and Vellila Wine.

      [Edited out]

    • 4
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      Rani, quite right.. 90 Cabinet and Deputy Ministers is going to cost a pretty penny – so what about Yahapalanaya? A Yahapalanaya govt should have only 10 cabinet Members.

      We are all being hood winked into feeling good about the Ranil-Maithree wedding, but this National Government is mainly a deal for the corrupt Sinhala Politicians in the SLFP , and of course Thondman and Dvandnada who are corrupt scoundrels to hide their corruption under the carpet..

      We need to know why the UNP as the party with the most seats cannot just go ahead and form a minority government with JVP and TNA which are not corrupt?

      The fact is as Sobith Thero said, Sri Lanka needs a new constitution to ensure that the politicians and POLITICAL PARITIES which are the source of all the criminality, racism, and corruption in the country are kept in check.

      So, the first Chapter of the new constitution must be a chapter on Good Governance of political parties. This is a global trend in constitution making and should include:

      1. END TO THE CROSS OVER CULTURE of corrupt politician crossing the floor of the house for cabinet posts and perks which the tax payer has to pay for.
      2. A 2 term limit on party leadership and central committtee member ship and an age limit of 62 to prevent political parties become geriatric ward and or fiefdom of a single individual or family dictatorship and to enable and give space talented young people to head the party.
      3. Asset disclosure by all politicians and a limit on campaign spending
      4, educational qualifications of at least a FULL Bachelors Degree from an recognized University now that Sri Lanka is a country with high rates of literacy and educational achievement unlike in the days of D.S> Senanayake.
      5. One third reservation for women in the party committee and nominations.

    • 2
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      Dr. Laksiri Fernando

      RE: A Victory For ‘Cosmopolitanism’ Over Narrow Nationalism

      “It seems Sri Lanka has become enlightened, at least partly. It has taken a small but a firm step to move away from narrow nationalism towards ‘cosmopolitanism.’ This is not a wishful thinking of a perennial optimist but what is revealed by election results. Both the presidential elections in January and the parliamentary elections in August 2015 confirm a certain maturity of voters towards this direction.”

      The Sri Lankan Voter is evolving for the better, but slowly. The best hope is to educate the younger generation, and hope that the older generation who caused so much agony will die of old old age and be history.

      Have you heard about Thomas Paine? T^he Common Sense Pamphlet? Still Relevant even today.

      After all, it was the Common (Sense) candidate Maitripala Sirisena, who dethroned, Mahinda Rajapaksa, MaRa, on January 8. 2015.

      Summary:

      Common Sense, a critique of America whose words helped launched the open debate for independence and paved the way for the American Revolution, holds as much relevance for today’s audience as it did during Thomas Paine’s era. Paine, the masterful writer, not only captured the sentiments of his generation of restless colonists eager for freedom, but has continued to do so today through his words’ timeless ability to incite ongoing generations of protesters and civil rights revolutionists in their expeditions for equality and justice. For this writer, Paine’s triumph into fame by way of his daring prose remains a high source of inspiration for my own passion to share through the written word (and a personal reminder to not be afraid of expressing my ideas, as I become my own worst critic). Paine is proof that well-written, passionate prose has the power to stir revolutions! Besides, when can you ever deny needing a little common sense for yourself?

      • 1
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        Dear Amarasiri,

        Sorry if I were sometimes ignoring your comments. But I think what I am doing is writing ‘common sense’ although not in the form of pamphlets. There are several others doing the same in Sri Lanka. Why don’t you write? Why do you repeat the same thing again and again?

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          Dr Laksiri Fernando

          “Why don’t you write? Why do you repeat the same thing again and again?”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Sense_(pamphlet)

          Thanks for your comments.

          Unfortunately, Amarasiri is pressed for time, because of other commitments, at this time, and is of opinion that the best way to get it done, is to entice and challenge other Sri Lankan writers to be the next Sri Lankan “Thomas Paine”. This is an opportunity for those who believe in “Just Do It”.

          The closest Amarasiri has seen is the 5-page letter President Maitripals Sirisena wrote to Mahinda Rajapaksa on August 14, 2015, which I would call a Mini-Common Sense Phamplet.

          Why should the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka had to write it?

          Maithri Reconfirms His Stance: Mahinda Rajapakasa Won’t Be PM

          President Maithripala Sirisena as the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party has sent the letter below to Kurunegala district candidate, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa today;

          https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/maithri-reconfirms-his-stance-mahinda-rajapakasa-wont-be-pm/

          Thomas Paine Writes about King George and his Bad Governance

          Maitripals Sirisena writes about “King” Mahinda Rajapaksa and his bad, corrupt governance.

          This isn’t easy to read in the scanned copy: here’s a Sinhala YouTube account which is easier to follow:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYmJQKeDpaU

          This account is not an authoritative translation of the text, but we have to make do with it for now:

          http://newsfirst.lk/english/2015/08/president-sirisena-writes-to-mahinda-rajapaksa-contents-of-letter-revealed/106986

          President Maithripala Sirisena states that if the United People’s freedom alliance obtains the 113-seat mark to form a government following the August 17 general elections, the post of Prime Minister should be handed over to a senior member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party who has not yet been granted this opportunity.

          The president had expressed this sentiment in a letter to former President Mahinda Rajapakasa. The Director of the presidential media unit confirmed that a letter was sent to the former president on Thursday.

          President Maithripala Sirisena’s letter, addressed to Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa states that, in the event the UPFA does not obtain the required number of parliamentary seats, he as the executive president can intervene and form a government, while ensuring the stipulated number of seats are achieved.

          President Sirisena states in the letter, that, under such a backdrop it is a senior of the SLFP who should be appointed as the Prime Minister and not Mahinda Rajapaksa. He adds that the Sri Lanka Freedom Party is the only party in the country that boasts of leaders who are intelligent, politically experienced and with much forethought, who could be appointed to the post of Prime Minister.

          The President urged Mahinda Rajapaksa to show flexibility and humility and give his blessings to appoint a party senior to the post of Prime Minister in the calibre of Nimal Siripala de Silva, John Seneviratne, Chamal Rajapaksa, Athauda Senevirathne , A.H.M. Fowzie, Susil Premajayantha and Anura Priyadarshana Yapa.

          President Sirisena requested Mahinda Rajapaksa not to make statements from the heart but to make statements using his intelligence – for the betterment of the country, without inciting communalism

          The president reiterated not to create divisions within the party and act to ensure that the UPFA garners as many seats possible at the upcoming elections.

          The President stated that he is writing the letter in the capacity of Chairman of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party – seven months after , Mahinda Rajapaksa lost the January 8th presidential election and recollects that the SLFP-led Alliance had secured victory at four presidential elections and four general elections during the last two decades.

          President Sirisena adds that both he and the former president had entered national politics through the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and that Rajapaksa was elected twice to the post of Executive President due to the trust placed by the people on the party.

          The president noted that he contested as the common opposition candidate at the upcoming elections and gave leadership – in order to secure the post of President within the party ranks, at a time the public mandate against Rajapaksa was steadily increasing

          President Maithripala Sirisena states that his success to garner the support of all could be attributed to the genuine and untarnished relationship he had with the Sri Lanka freedom party and reiterates that SLFP activists did not have to go through harassment and difficulty similar to 1977 and 2001 after the January 8 polls this year, due to him being elected as the President.

          President Sirisena further notes that he ensured the protection of party members and acted to suppress all violent activities following the polls and recollects the manner in which he assisted Mahinda Rajapaksa until 2005 during all decisive time periods. He says that he believes that there is no reason for Rajapaksa to forget the way in which he assisted him – to make Rajapaksa the prime minister in the year 2004.

          President Sirisena also recollects how Wimal Weerawansa used his full strength to defeat this and the manner in which he stood by Rajapaksa during this time period and ensured that Rajapaksa was nominated as the presidential candidate of the party in 2005.

          He reminded Rajapaksa the long-standing political friendship between the duo and the manner in which Basil Rajapaksa’s ulterior motives and actions had tarnished this relationship and how Basil Rajapaksa attempted to remove him from politics.

          The president adds that Mahinda Rajapaksa was well aware of all these actions and add that this has bore testament the fact that life is indeed a “boomerang, to those who wish ill for others.” President Sirisena notes that he expected Rajapaksa to act with humility and protect his independence and adds that Mahinda Rajapaksa failed to do so until he was appointed as the common candidate of the opposition.

          President Mairthirpala Sirisena adds that during the last seven months, when he met Mahinda Rajapaksa and even spoke to him over the phone, two days prior to the signing of nominations for the Kurunegala district, he had reiterated that Rajapaksa should not contest the polls due to the fact that he wanted to steer the party towards victory at the general elections.

          However, President Sirisena states that his aspirations were shattered with Mahinda Rajapaksa signing nominations and states that he lost the opportunity he had to rally people who supported his victory and cause. President Sirisena notes that he did not intend to remove Rajapaksa from politics and wanted to bring in constitutional amendments to provide him with an honorary position and is cognisant that most members of the Rajapaksa family were in support of this move.

          President Maithripala Sirisena note,s in his letter to Rajapaksa that, small groups are attempting to cling on to the voter-base of Rajapaksa to secure a parliamentary seat and adds that a full-stop will be put to the actions of such groups who does not have a political standing and believe that they can decide the SLFP’s future course.

          Comment: MaRa Exposed!

          MaRa MaRa Chatu MaRa
          MaRa MaRa Amana MaRa
          MaRa MaRa HoRa MaRa
          MaRa MaRa Dhushana MaRa

  • 8
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    Prof. Laksiri,

    Thanks for your essay highlighting the positive trends in the outcome of the recent elections.

    I would prefer the word ‘ Egalitarianism’ to the word ‘ Cosmopolitanism’. Egalitaranism, exemplifies the doctrine that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities. This word also cannot be equated or misunderstood to be same as elitism.

    I feel through my interactions with a cross section of all communities here that we as a nation are slowly, steadily and of course significantly edging towards embracing egalitarianism.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 2
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      Dr Rajasingham,

      Egalitarianism has a broader meaning not only confined to ethnic relations or cultural matters. I am all for egalitarianism but when the electoral trends are analyzed, it is a move away (although small) from narrow nationalism. When we try to conceptualize towards what (?) the best answer that we can come up with is cosmopolitanism. There is available conceptualization on the subject, quite pertinent to Sri Lanka. Otherwise we have to reinvent the wheel. Egalitarianism also might miss the external aspect of ‘globality’ although I didn’t have space to discuss. I try my best to be brief in writing. The best solution might be to have egalitarianism along with or as part of cosmopolitanism.

  • 0
    4

    Prof. Laksiri,

    Thanks for your essay highlighting the positive trends in the outcome of the recent elections.

    I would prefer the word ‘ Egalitarianism’ to the word ‘ Cosmopolitanism’. Egalitaranism, exemplifies the doctrine that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities. This word also cannot be equated or misunderstood to be same as elitism.

    I feel through my interactions with a cross section of all communities here that we as a nation are slowly, steadily and of course significantly edging towards embracing egalitarianism.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran
    Z

    • 1
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      Dr Rajasingham,

      I see the relevance of your point particularly in the Sri Lankan context. I cannot be sure (or remember) about the Tamil terms but ‘Samanathmathavadaya’ (egalitarianism) or ‘Sama Samja’ (equal society) in Sinhala could be the alternatives to ‘jathivadaya’ (communalism or ethno-nationalism). Thank you for your pertinent suggestion.

  • 1
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    Dr Rajasingham Narendran,

    I prefer the word Communism to your egalitarianism,mainly because people in this part of the world are much more familiar with communism than with egalitarianism.

  • 1
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    The writer unorthodox version of politics that he want to say his inappropriate of heretical way to be some conservative-neo-Liberals are innately superior and good, while others were created inferior and evil.

    Laksiri ‘s version of politics is that cosmopolitan and prehistory as a form of pseudo history to validate, its politics prejudices about national forces and Sinhalese races.
    He tapped into existing US, UK and Indian pool of sometimes centuries-old spurious Imperialist-colonial politics to justify their political-class and party in conclusion.

    Indeed idea of cosmopolitanism emerged during US led Hegemony expansion that while occupied land, sea, air, real estates,& cities of properties which major nation CITY centers control by new type of colonialism led by Western Capitalism cosmopolitan class of MCs and their local agents in many parts of develop and developing countries,

    In simple terms, though conscious of its complex multiple dimension of US hegemony politics of notion represents, politics of Western friendly regimes like UNP-RW, MS and CBK of moribund capitalist classes in Sri lanka, that will be future cosmopolitanisms.

    Therefor class of cosmopolitans in an Island are not that accept diversity- linguist,religious, ethnic, culture and ancient civilizations had been totally ignored by ongoing ruling class headed by UNP-RW.

    Since 2015 January 9th so-called ‘rainbow revolution’ led by Polonuwara leader MS and Feudal-capitalism lackey of family – CBK. Currently UNP-RW class in power headed by US ,UK and Indian, who are now engineering to be split of Sri lanka, which under the name of Federal state.

    This is new birth of the Anglo- US politics in our societies.
    In fact this must always be borne in mind. Hence religion in the US is inextricably intertwined with all national habits and all feelings to the fatherland give rise to USA. Will give it a peculiar forces of cosmopolitan politics of moribund bourgeoisies led by UNP-RW back by US and UK.

  • 1
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    Dear Prof
    Until the presidential election of this January, I was getting increasingly pessimistic that Sinhala Buddhist nationalism had an unstoppable momentum which would inevitably drive the country to ruin. The verdict of the Lankan electorate in the August parliamentary election clearly shows that things are not as black as they seemed. Yet, while cautious optimism is warranted, I would echo Lanka Rani’s sentiments: keep any feelings if euphoria in check.

    The Sri Lankan electorate has shown in the past that it abhors naked nepotism and corruption. It has repeatedly thrown out governments steeped in these vices, irrespective of their nationalistic credentials. The narrow nationalism, as you call it, may easily be reawakened to full vigour, particularly if the new order does not tackle these vices and if a neo-liberal transformation fails to improve the lot of the Sinhala Buddhist masses.

    • 0
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      Dear Mr Pillai,

      Thanks. I do agree that ‘narrow nationalism’ might be reawakened by the opportunists again unless the current ‘yahapalanas’ work earnestly, particularly on the economic front, and/or fails to address the grievances of the broad masses.

  • 1
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    Well said Laksiri, cosmopolitanism as meant by the consciousness of globality,post-national ties and a critical and reflexive consciousness of heterogeneity, is the way forward for Sri Lanka. It is not Sinhala Nationalism promoted by Dayan Jayatillake, who is singing hosannas to Mahinda Rajapaksa.

    I hope people like you will respond in a similar manner to Dayan Jayatillake, a prodigal son of a respected newspaper editor.

  • 0
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    Roman Kingdom also wanted to cosmopolitan.

    Roman Kingdom could exist so corrupt could exist as long as the Eastern kingdom of Byzantine.

    Anyway, instead, Vatican and Christianity became cosmopolitanism. Islam also want to be cosmopolitan. that is where the problem arises between the children of same two brothers.

    Now, USA is trying the same principal. It is simply because of Existence.

    IF it is cosmopolitan, why Australia was and probably is killing Australian aborigines as dogs. Why they are second class people in front of the immigrant White Australians ?

    Besides, Europe is tired of building multiculturalism. they are talking about the breaking point. Because, europeans only have sex but do not produce children. But, muslims are not the same. They don’t use birth control methods and only thing they want is large families because that is how the religion become dominant.

    Sinhala nation and the Sinhale is very mixed and Sinhale could tolerate that, every culture came into that country accepted that culture and became sinhalized. that is how Sinhala people are very mixed.

    AT present, Tamils want their way. Christians and Muslims want their way, europeans have refused it. North Aemrica make people line behind one flag.

    Australia is not different.

    Why Sinhale should be different ?

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      Yes the Sinhalese are largely a mixed people largely descended from the Tamils., both indigenous and immigrant Indian Tamil that migrated to the island over the centuries until very recently. Very little North or East Indian genes amongst the Sinhalese. Around 50 % of the present day so called Sinhalese ( may be including you, definitely most of the writers and commentators in the Sinhalese nationalist site called Lanakweb judging from the surnames) both low and high born are descended from recent and fairly recent Tamil immigrants from what the so called Tamil country a few centuries ago, modern day Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The present day Sinhalese castes of Karawe, Salagamma, Durawa,Huni, Hali( Most of the Lankaweb supporters) are descended from the low caste Indian Tamil imports brought into the island by the Portuguese and Dutch colonials. The sixth generation Sinhalese speaking descendants of these Indian Tamil imports are now the biggest Sinhalese Buddhist nationalists and racists and are predominantly the supporters/members of Sinhalese racist/nationalist parties like JVP Hela uramaya. Even many of the so called Sinhalese GOvigamma/Radala have a Tamil origin. Just look at their surnames like a Tamil who is who. Bandara/Banda Tamil Pandarar( Upper caste Hindu Tamil temple workers) Mudali( Like AuthulathMudali. Tamil Mudalali Mudaliyar. Pilli Tamil Pillai. Koon Kone(Eg Illangakone, Alagakone Weerakone) Tamil Kone Konar meaning the king. Hetti( Tamil Chetti or Chettiar) Arachchi Tamil Arachchi. Peruma from Tamil Perumal. Sekara( Kulasekara) from Tamil ( Kulasekaran)Sekaran/Sekaram. tunga ( like Kulatunga) Tungan. Like Kulatunga Pandian. The list goes on. Even the highest Sinhalese caste name Govi is derived from old Dravidian/Tamil Koi ( Meaning farmer or plucker/reaper) has an ancient Dravidian Tamil origin. In old classical Tamil the word Koi means to reap or pluck. Like Malar Koiyuthal. Kuyam: Sickle; Kuvil: Reaping, cutting (Tamil ); Koyiloo, Koiloo: A small paddy field, harvest, reaping; Koyyelu: Harvest ); Koy, Kuy: To cut, reap, pluck; Koyilu, Kuyilu: Cutting, reaping, plucking; Koyika: Man who cuts (Kannada, ); Koyu: To cut, reap, pluck (Telugu, ); Koyka: To cut, reap, pluck (Malayalam, ); Koyl: Harvest, reaping (Kota, ); Koy: To cut/ pluck/ reap/ harvest (Kodagu, Parji, Gadba, Gondi, Konda, ); Goye: To reap; Goytre: To have the crop reaped (Maltese, DED 2119); Goi: Government owned area leased for cultivation and habitation; Goi-veri: Lessee of a Goi; Goi-bai: The part of produce (bai: rice) given to the government by the lessee of a Goi (Dhivehi/ Maldivian).
      All this proves the ancient Dravidian/Tamil origin of the Sinhalese. The Sinhalese language is still around 35% -40% Tamil based in vocabulary .Its grammar lexicon syntax and alphabet is all from Tamil. Take the Tamil words from Sinhalese and there will be no Sinhalese. Amma Thattha Akka Nangi. Ayya all pure Tamil words, basic words to address close relationships. Sinhalese is basically built on a strong Dravidian/Tamil foundation on which a Indo Aryan super structure has been built due the Pali Influence of Buddhism. The Sinhalese are the descendants of the ancient Indigenous Tamils and other tribes and later Indian immigrants (90% of whom came from the Tamil country ) who converted to Buddhism and corrupted their Tamil with the Pali and Sanskrit of Buddhism to gradually form Sinhalese.
      The indigenous Tamils of the North East area the descendants of these ancient Nagas who did not change their Tamil root or identity and remained so. Even if they converted to Buddhism at one time and later reconverted back to Saivaism. To call them outsiders who do not belong and should assimilate to the Sinhalese identity, that came very much later and by many of these so called Sinhalese whose Tamil ancestors migrated from South India a few centuries ago is big joke. They have far more right to this island and their land language and religion than the Sinhalese have. This like the English in modern day Britain trying to call the far more ancient Celtic Scottish and Welsh as outsiders and do not belong. Your argument is as stupid and racist as that

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      Jim Softy,

      You are once again alluding to the ‘ Chicken or egg, which came first’ story, which will never be settled in this country.
      The Sinhalese should be different, because that will make a big difference, fortunately, it is happening and should be encouraged, apathetic reassured minorities would follow quite fast. The minorities know quite well which side their bread has to buttered, but unfortunately they were denied both the bread and the butter, for various spurious reasons and forced to withdraw into their defensive shells. Encourage them to come out with your words and deeds.

      Dr,RN

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    Dear Dr.Laksri Fernando

    A Victory For ‘Cosmopolitanism’ Over Narrow Nationalism

    You are I hope a clever individual and I give you Credit for your genuine willingness to right the Wrong and for Tamils to live with dignity and equality but have confused the two.
    You speak from a postion of Strength as the Ruling Class but we speak from a position of weakness as the Minority. We are not yet in a postion to trust the Majority with our Secirity. As minority we must have the means at our disposal to live without fear of not only Personal Security but also protect our culture and heritage. But I hope you will readily admit that we dont have that luxury so forced Cosmopolitanism is no different from Nationalsim. I have given below the meaning of Cosmopolitanism.

    “Cosmopolitanism is the ideology that all human beings belong to a single community, based on a shared morality. A person who adheres to the idea of cosmopolitanism in any of its forms is called a cosmopolitan or cosmopolite”. But the reality is we are not the same and that is the reason why the Civil War raged for 30 years.

    By implication A Victory For ‘Cosmopolitanism’ is a victory for Nationalism whether Narrow or Wide.

    Let me take you through your analysis by giving you my understanding .

    Cosmopolitan – Larger cities where the population is composed of people from various cultural backgrounds. These people co-exist with each other very easily because of their broad mindedness.

    A city can be both metropolitan and cosmopolitan, both but a metropolitan area may not always be cosmopolitan.

    The word cosmopolitan comes from the word cosmos which means universe. This explains the meaning of the word cosmopolitan and we can easily understand that it talks about a large city with diverse population of people from all over the world.

    Sinhalese Nationalism: Is not confined to the South.It envisages dominance over the whole of Sri Lanka.

    Tamil Nationalism: As a minoty community is Confined to North & East which is not dominace but a desire co exsit.

    1) It seems Sri Lanka has become enlightened, at least partly. It has taken a small but a firm step to move away from narrow nationalism towards ‘cosmopolitanism.’ This is not a wishful thinking of a perennial optimist but what is revealed by election results.

    *** If Cosmopolitanism is the ideology that all human beings belong to a single community wouldnt you say that it means a Homogeneous Society and what will happen to the Minority. Frankly they will cease to exist which is what the Nationalist want to achieve.

    2) By cosmopolitanism is meant the consciousness of globality and of postnational ties; it is a critical and reflexive consciousness of heterogeneity as opposed to …a homogeneous vision of sovereign statehood.”

    *** I think you are confusing the issue. You cant have both. It is one or the other. We are all the same or different.

    3) Cosmopolitanism is both internal and external. The internal aspect of cosmopolitanism is located in a rational critique of what is presented to us as ‘static or homogeneous ethnicity.’ This necessary critique can have our own local roots in Buddhism or Hinduism.

    *** I am struggling to understand the relevance.

    4) Have we in Sri Lanka matured into a stage where people are in a position to look beyond their ethnic or narrow national ties? I would be surprised if it is not the case, given the tragic and traumatic experiences that we all have had to undergo during the last three decades.

    *** What we have achieved in Sri Lanka is reluctantly let go of a Dictator despite his claim to have liberated the Country from Terrorism. But we have a long way to go to make sure that causes of the 30 years of struggle is eradicted.

    5) One can argue that on the part of the minorities, the voting for the ‘common candidate’ at the presidential elections must have been only ‘tactical,’ to defeat their main enemy.

    *** The above is a correct analyis.

    6)Let me come back again on our conceptual understanding of ‘cosmopolitanism.’ In ordinary usage, cosmopolitanism means knowledge or empathy of different cultures.

    *** I think you are utterly confused.Cosmopolitanism comes about through necessity. Let me explain and look at the following examples

    Colombo is a Cosmoplitan Society for reasons that we all know.
    Jaffna Town is Not.
    Kandy may be
    Trinco may be due to its location and attempts by successive Governments to Colonise.
    Kurunagala is not Cosmopolitan which is purely a Sinhalese Town.
    and so on.

    7) All may be relevant in understanding what we mean by cosmopolitanism but it should best be understood as a ‘counter thesis’ to nationalism and particularly to ethno-nationalism.

    *** This is I am sure the worry of all the Tamils are. What you are suggesting amounts to diluting the Tamil Polutaion in the North and East through I am sure colonosation without any mechanism to protect our Identity.

    8) The concept of ‘unity in diversity’ which is much emphasised by peace advocates or conflict resolution specialists today also has some ancient roots.

    *** The above is a backdoor Sinhalamisation.

    9) Let me come back again on empirical evidence during the recent elections. If the former president Mahinda Rajapaksa failed to raise the Sinhala (racial) card sufficiently at the presidential elections in January, for some reason, it was abundantly marketed during the parliamentary elections in August. Wimal Weerawansa was at the forefront. Yet he failed. The whole ‘bring back Mahinda’ movement was based on such a parochial nationalist sentiment.

    *** I have already expalined this and the switch by 1.1 million educated voters was due to fear factor of the consequences from external factors and not out of love for the Tamils and I am sure you know that. Individually MR polled the highest in Kurunagala and his son achieved the same in Hambanthota more than Sajith Premadasa.

    10) The purpose of this article has never been to go into theoretical details of cosmopolitanism, but to show certain encouraging trends in the Sri Lankan public, judging by the recent election results, that hopefully moves away from narrow ethno-nationalism further.

    *** Without wishing to be too critical I think you have confused yourself and tried to confuse others.

    In a multi racial Society like Sri Lanka cosmopolitanism cannot be forced on the Population. It will happen out of necessity in cities but not in rural areas. Under devolved powers if Jaffna Town becomes like Colombo and Sinhalese come to live under Tamil Jurisdiction in search of employment it will become a Cosmoplitan City like Colombo.
    Can Kurunagala become a Cosmopolitan Town. The answer is NO. Tamils will not go and live there in large numbers.
    The Sinhalese will go an live in Tamil Arears as they have the Army on their side.

    Cosmopolitanism is CIRCUMSTANTIAL and not by DESIGN.

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      Dear Kali,

      I hope you realize that when you pose so many questions or comments, it is difficult for me to answer/response particularly in a thread like this. Therefore, I have to consider what you express is your opinion on what I say and you have every right to do so. Some of the comments are also educational for me.

      But I differ on some others. You say the following for example. “You speak from a position of Strength as the Ruling Class but we speak from a position of weakness as the Minority. We are not yet in a position to trust the Majority with our Security.”

      I am not part of the ruling class (!) and we all are citizens with equal rights and responsibilities. That should be the case and we all should fight for it together. No one should speak from a position of weakness, whether minority or not. I agree that ‘a minority or minorities should not trust the majority for their security.’ We need to develop and evolve institutional and state structures and rules to safeguard security of the minorities and others. It is always better in my opinion to see the issues in broad terms.

      I also feel that you sometimes pose questions or express views in a binary way, although you have always been very decent. I do understand the circumstances under which you do so, but there are so many others who speak more in universal or common terms. I think we all should try to be beyond our so-called ‘inheritances.’ We all are human first and foremost. I think it is unfortunate if you or any other consider my advocacy of ‘cosmopolitanism’ as effort to impose something on others (majority over minorities). Let me tell a story about how I think about this ‘damn’ difference between Sinhalese and Tamils.

      In early 1983, I was invited to give a speech at a seminar somewhere in Batticaloa (at a remote farm) on ‘Marx and Trade Unionism.’ I am not saying who were there and it is a long story. I spoke in Sinhala which was translated into Tamil and I introduced myself as a ‘half Sinhalese’ (not because of any Portuguese ancestry!) but I strongly believe we all are mixed. All in the crowed took it very positively and all smiled! This is not the only instance I have introduced myself as such. I have done so among Sinhala audiences and except on some instances I have received positive responses. Of course, one can take even that as a ‘Sinhala’ conspiracy and me as a subtle agent but I think all this is quite unfortunate. We need to recognize ‘ethnicity’ or ‘nation’ without nationalism. My effort is that.

      My only appeal for you or any other is not to judge ‘cosmopolitanism’ only on the basis of what I have written. I am only introducing it. More dangerous is to take certain sentences or sections in isolation. I am not saying that it is a panacea. But it could be a way out among other ways and means. Cosmopolitanism does not liquidate identity, whether ethnic, religious or any other. Cosmopolitanism recognizes identity and at the same time try to transcend it through unity in diversity.

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        Dear Dr.Fernado:

        *** I have no problem with your Genuiness and you stand head and shoulders above others in that respect. You are not a pretender but I have to argue my case if I see some fault lines whether it be Deans Professors or Doctors. No Personal vendetta against although I have to admit Dayan might be the odd one out.

        Let me clarify some of your doubts.

        1) Some of the comments are also educational for me. But I differ on some others. You say the following for example. “You speak from a position of Strength as the Ruling Class but we speak from a position of weakness as the Minority. We are not yet in a position to trust the Majority with our Security.” I am not part of the ruling class (!) and we all are citizens with equal rights and responsibilities.

        *** What I meant and I am sure you appreciate is that you belong to the Majority.

        2) That should be the case and we all should fight for it together. No one should speak from a position of weakness, whether minority or not.

        *** Up untill 8th January we were suffering fromm the White Van Syndrome and Tamils suffered under the guise of being danger to National Security more than the Majority.

        3) I agree that ‘a minority or minorities should not trust the majority for their security.’ We need to develop and evolve institutional and state structures and rules to safeguard security of the minorities and others.

        *** That is not how it should be but that is reality in Sri Lanka. We were and are not treated equally.

        4) It is always better in my opinion to see the issues in broad terms. I also feel that you sometimes pose questions or express views in a binary way, although you have always been very decent. I do understand the circumstances under which you do so, but there are so many others who speak more in universal or common terms.

        *** I dont mince my words like many others and I speak my mind and tell it as it is. I am not a Muppet just to shake my head. If I had the oportunity to sit around the Table to talk to the Rulers my power of Persuasion would have won the day.

        5) I think we all should try to be beyond our so-called ‘inheritances.’ We all are human first and foremost. I think it is unfortunate if you or any other consider my advocacy of ‘cosmopolitanism’ as effort to impose something on others (majority over minorities).

        *** I have never critised you for having any hidden agenda and if I did that it will be a travesty. But sometimes I take issue with you on some of the things because of your over enthusiasm. But dont forget we tried for 64 years to put sense into the minds of the majority from top to bottom and look where that has got us. Death and Destruction.

        6) More dangerous is to take certain sentences or sections in isolation. I am not saying that it is a panacea. But it could be a way out among other ways and means. Cosmopolitanism does not liquidate identity, whether ethnic, religious or any other. Cosmopolitanism recognizes identity and at the same time try to transcend it through unity in diversity.

        *** But we need concrete steps to make the Tamils feel that they have a stake in the Society but there is no willingness to put that in to practice and all we have is lip service.
        Cosmopolitansim might not Liquidate Identity but it is not the answer to Sri Lankas problem.

        I have always said that

        Divided as two people and that is how God has created with means at our disposal to live in PEACE , SECURITY and above all DIGNITY
        to avoid the Horros of the Past we STAND.

        United under albeit Cosmopolitanism we FALL.

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    This article is like a breath of fresh air as compared to Dr DJ’s attempt to take the country back to 1815.

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    kali:-
    Cosmopolitanism is the word for the Ideal Solution.

    It is very difficult to change the minds of people who have been brainwashed during the last Thirty years to believe in an Enemy! And, I mean on both sides of the Equation!

    The change has to be brought about by EDUCATION.
    Not the History, propagated during the Years of Freedom from Foreign Domination, but a Rational One aimed at Reconciling Differences and Building Bridges.

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    A Victory For ‘Cosmopolitanism’ Over Narrow Nationalism?

    Pure and unadulterated humbug.

    It is nothing but yet another
    success story of Gobbllien propaganda.

    Sad story of how minds of minorities were poisoned. And new minority groups were created (dividing the Sinhalese as Buddhists and Christians).

    How a group of crafty rascals could create a Jesus Christ out of a Judas who survived 30 years of cutthroat Sri Lankan politics. How the ambition of a Gramasevak could be manipulated towards realizing your own ambitions.

    How concepts like ” Dharmishta Samajaya” , Yahspalanaya could be sold again and again to the same unsuspecting public by the same group of political crooks.

    I am totally at a loss to understand how this country would move towards unity and peace by ganging all minorities together by bolstering their ethnic and religious sentiments with a minority of the majority by creating hatred towards the men who once saved their lives against the majority of the majority who still could see through this dark project.

    And that you call A Victory For ‘Cosmopolitanism’ Over Narrow Nationalism?

    Soon those minorities will demand pay back for their share of the success and the minority of the majority who were fooled will begin tasting the Yahapalanaya delivered by their own rejects turned cosmopolitants like SB Disanayaka and Chaura Regina.

    Soma

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    Dr.Fernando:

    I should have added that

    Cosmopolitanism is CIRCUMSTANTIAL which comes about through necessity when people have to move in serach of jobs. The reason why there are so many Tamils living outside North & East is because Tamil areas were not developed under successive Governments and that is why Colombo is the only Cosmoplitan City as Tamils had to go looking for better opportunities. Whereas Trinco is being slowly Colonised and under MR the North which amounts to what I mean by Cosmopolitanism by DESIGN.
    Whereas NATIONALISM is an INBORN ERROR and cant easily be changed. I am sure you will b the fisrt to admit we have been trying for the last 64 yearss which led to DEATH & DESTRUCTION. I dont hold out much hope.
    We thought we have turned the cirner but I feel we are about to be let down by USA due to powerful Jewish Lobby who see danger in allowing an Inquiry into atrocities by Sri Lanka as there is now a Signature Campaign to force an Inquiry in to the Role of Nethnayagu of killing thousands of Innocent Civilians.
    Uncle Sam has come to the rescue of MR, MS and RW to deceive the World and carry on with forced COSMOPOLITANISM.

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    After we faced with a point of political crisis Sri lanka, in elaboration of so-called cosmopolitism political agenda of new concept of US and UK, that out of the project sovereign power must rely on the exercise of control by external power base.

    That is a outcome constant threat ,but by US & UK after having recognized these internal limits by new US concept of “cosmopolitan sovereignty” an opens with extraordinary forces towards the outside.

    The writer’s myth of democratic expansive tendency of UNP-RW, MS & CBK implicit in the political notion of hegemonic power must be distinguished from other, purely expansionist and US hegemonic forms of occupation.

    What is happening , when UNP and SLFP it expands new power of sovereignty, does not annex or destroy the other power, it faces ,but on the opposite to that opens to US ,including their allies as well.

    Indeed what is to be done cosmopolitan class led by UNP-RW and CBK,MS led SLFP which the concept of sovereignty has been reform .
    In centrally in this at issue, US modernity of democracy of nation state infiltrated by cosmopolitan class that led by US power expansionism and their local allies of UNP-RW.

    The cosmopolitan political class and their members are not new ,first they refused in the definition of the sources of power, return through the back door in the exercise of state power ,when the multitude is posed as finite and demanding key instruments of state of corrections and control by National type of Governances join hand of UNP and SLFP of coalition politics .

    The Writer is boasting of “cosmopolitan democracy” ,but it nexus with US network of powers and counter powers structured in a boundless while inclusive architecture of Junta type of regime in Colombo, that centrally control by out of power of sovereignty Parliamentary democracy.

    This is what exactly happen ongoing politics in Sri lanka.
    The Current State organs has designed for conquest public property, pillage against political enemies, hunting for progressive and democratic elements and re-coloinilaztion of brought back US slavery system of governances.
    In economic terms stop all foreign investment, that mainly Chinese ongoing projects has been suspended by advice of US and Indian-RAW.

    Against such Parliamentary democracy, US extended and consolidates the junta model of network power operated by UNP-RW, in the center of power of our Republic.

    New Parliament election 2015 August 17th ,that new boundaries are an open to Federal State for Tamils which extremely undermined Territorial Integrity of an Island of Sri lanka.

    The tension of these UNP-RW and CBK of these conceptual paradoxes will run throughout the articulation and establishment of US hegemony political practices in Sri lanka.

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    There is no victory for anyone or anything in this cursed Lanka. The only country still taking about some fake old story, an impractical version of Buddhism which they themselves do not practice but gloat over, wasting all the valuable time, while others are progressing, developing and reaching various heights. Just think of another stupid country in the world doing things like this,other than Lanka. This is the damn curse no one wants to realize.
    Forget about cosmopolitanism or metropolitanism… just think about some simple realism.
    Politicians are just too busy fighting, sidelining and even eradicating minorities, while US,UK, India is busy playing games for their own mutual benefits. Sadly, Lanka never produced a single visionary leader but foolish racist scums who have no idea about ruling a mixed racial country. They want to make this country into a one language, one religious, mono ethnic mono mono nation. They just hate all other people, religion and languages, while still carrying all the foreign names of conquerors. Displaying fake nationalism and fake religious practices just to get undue benefits from the people and state. No one is genuine. We are doomed if we trust these dishonest rascals.

  • 0
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    beautiful ………….
    He carried the ‘olive branch’ to Vaddukoddai. This has to be strengthened if reconciliation and positive peace to be achieved.
    ===========================================================================

    Thank you for the well detailed and enlightening article ,appreciate it alot.
    ———————-

    “Bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must protect, and to violate would be oppression.” –Thomas Jefferson: 1st Inaugural, 180

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    What is loosely termed as being ‘cosmopolitan’ is in fact has played out to be a west-leaning, anti-nationalist view, with some healthy rule-breaking thrown in for good measure.

    Paradoxically, the teaching of the Western universities is that all ethnic goups and cultures must be respected and preserved, even the traditionalist or even nationalist ones. In a democracy we cannot pick and choose what political views others should have, whether nationalist or anti-nationalist. Taking sides is not political commentary but politics pure and simple.

    “A Victory” for one side, but not for the other. So what is to say one side is right and the other is wrong?

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