28 October, 2020

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Against Duckspeak On The Sri Lankan Muslims

By Izeth Hussain

 Izeth Hussain

Izeth Hussain

My primary purpose in this article is to point out that the main instrument of most of our Governments since Independence in dealing with our ethnic problems has been duckspeak. It is a neologism coined by George Orwell in his Swiftian satire on totalitarianism, Nineteen Eighty Four. This is what he writes about it: “Ultimately it was hoped to make articulate speech issue from the larynx without involving the higher brain centers at all. This aim was frankly admitted in the Newspeak word duckspeak, meaning ‘to quack like a duck’. Like various other words in the B vocabulary, duckspeak was ambivalent in meaning. Provided that the opinions that were quacked out were orthodox ones, it implied nothing but praise, and when the Times referred to one of the orators of the Party as a doubleplusgood duckspeaker it was paying a warm and valued compliment”.

I feel the term should have much wider currency than it has had up to now. The reason why it has had scant, or rather no currency at all, is that Orwell was writing about the future in which totalitarian bosses make the people’s speech inane like the quacking of ducks. But that inanity has been a notable characteristic of the speech of politicians all over the world. Sometimes the speeches of politicians are deliberately inane, the purpose being to fool the people. Sometimes the politicians themselves are unaware that they are no more meaningful than the quacking of ducks. Both varieties of duckspeak flourish mightily in Sri Lanka at election time. Let the symbol of the Sinhalese people be the Lion – I am rather fond of the old flag. But the symbol of Sri Lankan democracy should be the duck.

Before making my comments on duckspeak on the Muslim ethnic problem I must make an important qualification. Duckspeak is a fairly normal human propensity, not something that is confined to politicians. All of us are guilty of it to varying degrees. It is something that we share with our politicians because there is no absolute divide between the people and the politicians. But there is a divide, though not an absolute one, in that the politician is far more devoted to the pursuit of prestige, money, and power, than the average member of the public. Consequently there have to be important differences in the way the two groups use duckspeak. It is with the people for the most part a lapse, while with politicians it is an art form that can be used with much finesse and sophistication. It has been the main instrument in dealing with the Muslim ethnic problem.

I left the Foreign Ministry in 1989 after having been subjected to stinking anti-Muslim racist discrimination, one of the worst examples of such discrimination in the world. The first thing I did in the public realm thereafter was to address a meeting at the ICES on the SL Muslims, which was chaired by the late Regi Siriwardene. Regi was a genius, a world class literary critic and intellectual, a man of total and fearless integrity, a friend since 1951, and for me the greatest Sri Lankan of his time. Furthermore he was perfectly at home in Sinhala unlike most Westernised Sri Lankans of his time, and he could speak with authority on Sinhalese society. Coming from him weight had to be given to his statement, which he made just after I finished my speech, that the Sinhalese hated the Muslims even more than they hated the Tamils. There seemed to be total assent from the largely Muslim audience. That statement fitted in perfectly with details I had gathered to show that under the racist JR gang discrimination against the Muslims, particularly in the upper echelons of the State sector, was even worse than against the Tamils. I have recently discovered that a segment of the Tamils – probably not a majority of them – hate the Muslims even more than they hate the Sinhalese. In the claustrophobic Paradise Isle of today the stench of racism is everywhere. I believe that this is the consequence of our failure to take action to counter racism. Instead we have had duckspeak on racism.

From 1989 onwards I wrote many magazine and newspaper articles, as well as some seminar papers on the SL Muslims. I noted that from 1975 to 2002 there had been anti-Muslim ructions practically every year, sometimes trivial, sometimes extremely serious such as the Hulftsdorp riots of December 1993, which I covered in a two-part article in the Lanka Guardian. Over the years a regular pattern in the anti-Muslim ructions was established. After the incidents some Muslim politicians would visit the area, there would be meetings between the Sinhalese and Muslim notables of the area, and normalcy would be officially restored. Of course the ructions would erupt again the next year. And of course there was no question of taking punitive action of the sort that would have a deterrent effect. I pointed out in my article on the Hulftsdorp riots that if anything comparable had occurred in Singapore, Lee Kwan Yew would have resorted to extremely tough punitive action without much scruple about the niceties of the law, and there would have been no further riots of that sort.

Why was it that no punitive deterrent action was taken? To answer that question we must first look at the public reactions to the anti-Muslim ructions. Around 2001 MIRJE issued an excellent detailed report on them. MIRJE was an NGO, and I won’t be surprised if the report had been inspired by foreign concern about what was being done against the Muslims. The indigenous reaction can be gauged by that of the newspaper editors, who were almost certainly reflecting the view of the great majority of the Sinhalese public. Every case was explained in terms of fracas between thugs without any ethnic dimension to them at all. It was not noticed, certainly not acknowledged, that although the riots began with fracas between thugs, in the aftermath one ethnic group, the Muslims, suffered consequences at the hands of another ethnic group, the Sinhalese, and therefore there was inescapably an ethnic dimension to the riots. Very probably the Government shared that view, and certainly saw no need whatever to take any corrective action on Sinhalese-Muslim relations.

I must mention that in the meanwhile the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress had emerged as a significant force in our politics. It was an avowedly ethnic party, established on the basis that all our other parties are also ethnic parties, that we have no politics except ethnopolitics, and that the only way of safeguarding and promoting legitimate Muslim interests is through a Muslim ethnic party. The emergence of such an explicitly Muslim ethnic party as a significant force, together with the ethnic ructions that I have outlined above, should have made it imperative for the Government to take effective action to repair Sinhalese-Muslim relations. But successive Governments have refused to take anything more than nominal action on contentious issues such as the proliferation of mosques, the spread of madrasas preaching the Wahabi version of Islam. Cattle slaughter and so on.

I believe that the reason, or the main reason, why successive Governments have failed to address such problems effectively is that they have become habituated to dealing with Muslim problems through duckspeak. The duckspeak is more or less along the following lines. Unlike the Tamils who have made excessive and unreasonable demands, including even a separatist agenda, the Muslims have shown a cool and shrewd pragmatism in pressing their claims, and consequently have done very well for themselves. The result is that Sinhalese-Muslim relations are essentially sound and will remain so, the ethnic ructions and so on to which I point being no more than passing hiccups to which no great importance should be given.

That that was duckspeak was shown spectacularly by the sudden eruption of the BBS and its protracted hate campaign and anti-Muslim action. As I have argued in several articles, all that had the backing of the State racists, by whom I mean the Sinhalese racists who have their hands on the levers of State power and their associates. This development has been accompanied by two other fateful developments which could have enormous consequences. One is that some Muslim representatives have been speaking out for the Muslims whereas earlier Muslim representatives have on the whole been notorious for bootlicking the Sinhalese power elite. At this point I must shout, Bravo Rauf! The other fateful development is that the Muslim ethnic problem has got internationalized. I don’t know what the consequences will be, but I am sure on one point: the Sinhalese duckspeak on the Muslims will continue.

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Latest comments

  • 3
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    Often in divided societies like ours it is best to make attempts to solve highly contentious issues behind the scenes between concerned leaderships. Washing dirty linen in public only exacerbates matters – notably in our own context. Peace-making efforts should be undertaken only by those eminently suited and accepted by the other side. If those identified holding unacceptable views and notorious for entrenched positions take the cause of peace, they merely deepen an already bad situation.

    The suggestion the Duck should be in the national flag is likely to inflame many in the country. Reading his post-1989 Foreign Ministry record, it is clear why Mr. Hussain writes like a man wounded. How does he propose to serve the cause of future Sinhala-Muslim relations when he injudiciously unearths something that he alleges the pious and much-admired Reggie S made decades ago “Sinhalese hated the Muslims even more than they hated the Tamils” By this statement Mr. Hussain contradicts the official Muslim position the anti-Muslim feelings seen in the country began only after the recent ascent of the demagogic BBS. It is best such inflammatory narratives are kept within the confines of private records – if they were made at all. Readers have commented in these very pages relations between communities become more pronounced when members of particular communities keep on harping, quite unnecessarily, on delicate matters that are best taken up privately.

    Here, in different words Hussain unwisely encourages Rauf Hakeem, already in deep trouble, to be combatant. It is up to the Muslim community to take steps to ensure those who take up their case, solicited or otherwise, are men free of a controversial background. Of the few names that come to mind are those of lawyer Javid Yusuf and educationist Jezima Ismail. I believe the Muslim Ulema took action in a similar matter in the days following the Halal controversy – and that seems to have worked.

    When there is a fire what is required is water to put the inferno down – not more fuel.

    Dr. B.I. Passe

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      Dr. B. I. Passe:
      You speak nonsense and you know it. Asking people who are subject to terror if they voice opposition to indulge in some kind of sophisticated response is simply pretending the simple reality that they face does not exist or that, worse yet, it can be responded to by subterfuge and sleight of hand.
      As for Izeth Hussain, I don’t know whether Orwell had a term for such as him whose view of “human rights” is very selective and does not extend beyond his own community.

      • 2
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        A quacking DUCK on the national flag of Sri Lanka would be perfect!

        The cowardly and criminal Muslim politicians have actually out done their Sinhala brothers when it comes to DUCK Speak, corruption and lies.

        Mr. Hussein, your “cool” hero, Rauf Hakeem is an INSULT to the concept of Justice: He voted for the 18th Amendment to make Mahinda Rajapaksa the military dictator of Sri Lanka to ensure his perks. Rauf Hakim and the Muslim “leaders’ of Lanka are disgusting, corrupt and opportunistic bunch of rent seekers – sorry to say Iseth Hussein. Wake UP and see the sky!
        Also, check out the corrupt clown Muzamil who is Mayor of Colombo and an insult to the people of the city!

      • 0
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        Palayang yakko writes that my notion of human rights does not extend beyond my community. Off hand I can recall publishing articles on the murder of the Leader editor, on the impeachment of the former CJ etc etc etc. There must be few , very few, with my record of speaking out against our Governments on behalf pf the people, over a period of several decades.

    • 0
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      Dr Passe advocates behind the scene action by the leaderships to solve Sinhalese- Muslim problems. That was precisely what was going on for decades, and that was precisely what failed. Is it not true that anti-Muslim riots went on relentlessly year after year for over a quarter century? And is it not true that the BBS erupted suddenly, carried out a protracted hate campaign accompanied by mass anti- Muslim action?
      The halal issue has been more or less resolved. Why? It was brought out into the open and subjected to public discussion which led to effective corrective action. The action was not limited to behind-the -scenes dialogue.
      I have not repeat not suggested that the duck should be put into the national flag.

      • 0
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        Talks to solve Sinhala-Muslim problems, Mr. Izeth Hussain, did not “relentlessly” go on for decades – as you claim. It is the Muslims themselves who complain today their political leadership was always concerned with their “cushy positions” and “ministerial posts” at the expense of the good and future of the community. The BBS “erupted” because the Muslim religious leadership took the Halal question to indefensible positions – the last of which to blackmail something like Rs.200,000 for the unnecessary Halal Certificate from ALL businesses in manufacturing. It was not “subject to open and public discussion” that lead to corrective action. The Muslim “religious” leadership was publicly forced to withdraw this spurious “Licence” that was nothing but an effort calculated to wholesale cheating.

        As to your suggestion for the Duck although you used the word “Sri Lankan democracy” the subject under discussion was the National Flag and you remain in default.

        My suggestion for behind-the-scenes talks between Sinhala and Muslim leaders was made in the interest of the Muslims community, in the current combatant atmosphere. After all, there are certainly many thousands of decent and peaceful people in the country who have served the country well. Even you will agree the pugnacious position Rauf Hakeem employs in public meetings railing the BBS is not only unwise and can bring greater harm to the Muslims.

        Dr. B.I. Passe

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          Dr Passe – the subject under discussion was not the national flag. It was duckspeak on the subject of Muslims. What I wrote may be open to misinterpretation, but only by careless readers. I want to be emphatic that I am not so silly as to advocate inclusion of the duck in the national flag, not even as a joke.
          I find most of your views strange. I don’t think there can be useful dialogue between us.

  • 3
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    Dear Izeth Hussain –

    “My primary purpose in this article is to point out that the main instrument of most of our Governments since Independence in dealing with our ethnic problems has been duckspeak. “

    You call it duckspeak. I call it lying. Mahanama Mahawansa speak. The basis for lying is the lies of Monk Mahanama Imaginations of the 5th Century.It has nothing to do with Buddhism. What the Sinhala Monk Mahanama Buddhists.

    Imaginations and facts of human decency are in conflict.

    To Quote Usha:

    “1. Bringing Lord Buddha’s Philosophy to shame and Disrepute. ”

    2. Sinhala Buddhist bigotry is the root cause of strife in Sri Lanka. If it were not, there will be recognition and respect for everyone’s rights, not a denial of those rights. This bigotry in the name of Sinhala Buddhism, no doubt bringing disrepute and shame to Lord Buddha’s philosophy and causing yet more strife in this beautiful island is a vexing question true Buddhists must now address.”

    The seeds were planted by Monk Mahanama Sinhala Buddhist Racism, in the 5th Century AD, in the Mahawansa Imaginations. Want to read more? It is the threat Sinhala Monk Mahanama “Buddhist” Racism that is practiced in SRI LANKA. Deja Vu… have seen it before. Yes, this is a exposure of a lie. You need to look at one of the BIGGEST SINHALA BUDDIST lies. The Monk Mahanama Imaginations of Mahawansa.

    Given below is a summary of the real facts. Remember Somarama who killed SWRD. They were ALL Sinhala Mahanama “Buddhist” Racists . “Buddhist” because they are NOT Buddhist. They are racists. So we had a situation where the Paradeshis. the Para-Sinhala killing Para-Tamil based on Mahanama racism. That is NOT True Buddhism. This is what the True Natives, Native Veddas have to say about the Para- Sinhala and other Paras-, the Paradeshis or foreigners.

    1. All the above descriptions support the Sinhala and Tamil as Para-Sinhala and Para-Tamil, like Para-deshi, Foreigners, as far a the Native Veddah are concerned, who walked at least 16,000 years ago when Lanka and India were connected by a land bridge as the sea levels were low. So, the Sinhala and Tamil Nationalism need to be identified as, Racism, Para-Sinhala Nationalism and Para-Tamil Nationalism. Monk Mahanama imaginations of Mahawansa need to be exposed and discarded. Why?

    Non- Confirmation bias of Mahawansa.

    Did Dr. Para-nawithana, the noted Sri Lankan Archaeologist believe the Imaginations of monk Mahanama of 5th Century such as:

    a) Grandfather of Para-Vijaya was a lion? Any DNA data in support of this imagination?

    b) Buddha visited Lanka three-times in 500 BC? any support for the Imagination.

    c) During one visit, Buddha left his giant footprint on top of Mount Samanala Kanda, “Adams Peak”. Did he fly by the Dandu Monera Yanthraya, Giant Bird, and parachute?

    d) The Veddah are the offspring of Para-Vijaya and Kuveni. Is there any DNA data to support this? No. Another Monk Mahanama Imagination. Sri Lanka’s indigenous inhabitants, the Veddas — or Wanniya-laeto (‘forest-dwellers’) as they call themselves — preserve a direct line of descent from the island’s original Neolithic community dating from at least 16,000 BC and probably far earlier according to current scientific opinion.1 Even today, the surviving Wanniya-laeto community retains much of its own distinctive cyclic worldview, prehistoric cultural memory, and time-tested knowledge of their semi-evergreen dry monsoon forest habitat that has enabled their ancestor-revering culture to meet the diverse challenges to their collective identity and survival. Further reference: Here some credible data and reference of the genetic Admixture. The Native Veddah were the original inhabitants of the land, well before the foreigners, the parades-his, came from South India.

    http://www.lankanewspapers.com/news/2007/6/15923_space.html

    The Genetic affinities of Sri Lankan populations – [Reproduced here on a special request made by our LNP friend MURU, this article (web site) was first found by our friend MAGHA.] Friday, 15 June 2007 – 11:25 AM SL Time Genetic affinities of Sri Lankan populations Human Biology, by Kshatriya, Gautam Kumar Genetic Admixture. Table 9 presents the estimated values of admixture for the two hybrid populations (the Sinhalese and the Tamils) based on 13 polymorphic loci, fitting a trihybrid model using the ancestral frequencies shown in Table 10. (Tables 9 and 10 omitted).

  • 3
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    Why some Tamils hate Muslims than Sinhalese?
    the answer is simple. Most Muslims play double game. They have the advantage of speaking same language as Tamils and they live side by side with the Tamils but they work for Sinhala Fundamentalists. In early eighties they were the informants to Sinhala military.

    • 5
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      Ajith,

      Why some Tamils hate Muslims than Sinhalese?

      Tamils dislike both Muslims and Sinhala, because they are not Tamils, even though the Muslims are Tamil speaking, but not Hindus.

      I think it has to do with the Muslims, especially the Northern and Eastern Muslims are mostly Tamil ethnicity, and they cannot control them as Tamils. The issue may have more more to do with the Upper Caste Tamils than the lower caste Tamils( who ate discriminated by the lower caste)

      However, it is my understanding that the Muslims do not have such animosity, but their suspicions arose because of LTTE and the expulsion of Northern Muslims.

      Do a statistically valid anonymous survey. You will get some answers.

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        Ignore Mad Amaraya and his stupid theories.

        • 3
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          wathie and other Avatars,

          Para-wathie, The Para-deshi

          Check your DNA and go back to South India, where you came by Hora-Oru aka Kalla-Thoni.

          So, life-is-suffering for you. Tske the 134 Bus from Colombo. They can cure your suffering.

          Monk Mahanama will not cure your suffering. He will increase your suffering, in this life as well as in the next life, if you believe so.

          So you STILL believe in all the Monk Mahanama Imaginations? What are your other Imaginations? Sun going around the Earth? About 25% of Americans and Europeans believe that.

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          He is right!
          Even the radical southerner respects a tamil who can converse with him in sinhala with the accent of the region and the same is true in the hindi speaking belt of India and it is true even in the western world.

          Even before the troubles when I as a kid spoke a couple of sihala words at jaffna asking for directions because I was lost they just shrugged their shoulders so I requested in tamil and then they abused me for speaking in sinhala(talle vingi tamalan; ha ha). I experienced the same at TN when I spoke hindi back in the 70’s so I converted to tamil and it all went well (of course I did not ask why to look stupid)

          Its all in the stupid politics of a nation.

    • 0
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      Is that why your brethren Tamil tigers not stopped by expelling Muslims from Jaffna but went on to murder them in their own mosques.

      • 0
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        Not really but because you started growing leeks.

    • 1
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      You’re absolutely right Ajith. They change their face time to time. Which ever side the wind blows they go in that direction. Blady scoundrels!

    • 2
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      Ajith:

      Why some Tamils hate Muslims than Sinhalese?

      Ha,Ha; You have grandiose opinions of yourself if you think Tamils like you any better than the Muslims. Little wonder your clan is called Kavun Kanna Modoyo. Dream on you silly fool.

      • 2
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        Muslims are known only to buy and sell even now adays.
        The mosques constructed in the north of india tell the story of Genghis Khan spawned Turks and their brutality- the mosque is built with the same stone of the temple.
        You are lucky there is no conversion to hindu or else you would be wiped out like Biggie Smalls money mo problems.Police kappan.

  • 1
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    Izeth Hussain,

    You are now getting closer to the truth; the independent Ceylon/Sri-Lanka regimes have treated ethnic/religious ‘others’ as peoples not to be bothered about, to say the least.

    The Sri Lankan state and its rulers have been lying and cheating Tamils and Muslims all along with some of our leaders putting up with it.

    Now comes Geneva, and ‘they’ are still trying to wriggle out, like worms.

    Hopefully the international community will fix these liars and cheaters .

  • 1
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    Like all champions of minority rights (not responsibilities), Izeth Hussain is whinging about the “Sinhala” atrocities to “his group”. He claims that “the Sinhalese hated the Muslims even more than they hated the Tamils.”

    For heaven’s sake, haven’t you heard of the saying that “one can’t clap with one hand”? Have you minority whingers ever thought about as to what causes this so-called “hatred” of the “Sinhalese” towards you, if there is any?

    Like Usha Sri Skanda Raja, Izeth Hussain should also go in front of a mirror and ask himself the question that seems to bother him – “WHY DO SINHALESE HATE US”. He might find some answers there!

    Think about the inward, group looking mentality among the Muslims. They consider every one who does not go the mosque with them as the “other”, or worse still as the “infidel”. They do business only among themselves. They vote only for Muslim candidates. They only think about the effect of every thing on “Muslims” and could not care less about anyone else.

    But they quote George Orwell and point the finger at the Sinhalese and every one else as “discriminating” against them!

    Take a look at yourselves. You Muslims have gained from the 30 year war than any other group. Go to any lane from Kollupitiya to Dehiwela and check who live on those walled houses.

    And you claim discrimination?
    Bugger me Hussein.

  • 1
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    As long as you were not a protege of A.C.S. Hameed ( probably the worst foreign minister we ever had – although incumbent is giving a good fight) I can accept that you faced discrimination based on your religion.

    If you were one of his boys….think again you probably got your just desserts !

    • 0
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      The much traveled (at taxpayers expense) All Countries Seen Hamid.

  • 7
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    One swallow does not make a spring. I think Izzeth Hussein has got it wrong by judging the Sinhalese based on his own personal experience. Sinhalese leaders do not neccesarily personifiy the Sinhalese people. Nor is it true about the Tamil people. His statement reagarding a few Tamils and Sinhalese may be true as even it is true for a few Muslims.

    My own experience is that I have more Sinhalese friends than Muslims and I have been helped more by the Sinhalese than the Muslims. Same goes for my wife and children. I meet so many Muslims and Sinhalese and a few Tamils and there is no problem except for those created by a few extremist politicians and racist monks. By and large we are not affected except for a few incidents.

  • 0
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    “””The other fateful development is that the Muslim ethnic problem has got internationalized. I don’t know what the consequences will be,””” Mr Hussain, you can forget the rest of your article because this last statement is what really matters and sadly the consequences will be horrendous for all concerned but sadly for the many innocent people of all races who will inevitably get caught in the crossfire. Much urgent work needs to be done to avoid the impending situation.

    • 1
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      Spring Koha,

      “Hussain, you can forget the rest of your article because this last statement is what really matters and sadly the consequences will be horrendous for all concerned but sadly for the many innocent people of all races who will inevitably get caught in the crossfire. Much urgent work needs to be done to avoid the impending situation. “

      Well stated. It will be additional calamity. Yes, a lot of innocents will suffer. I met an American women, whose parents were hippies from California. I asked her, what is Buddhism. She said, “Life is Suffering and desire is Bad”

      So, it looks like the Monk Mahanama followers want everybody to suffer.

      The world can do without the Sinhala, especially the Monk Mahanama “Buddhist” type racists, who do not follow Buddhism.

      In Sri Lanka, they follow Monk Mahanama ” Buddhism” called Lanka Maha Maraism,

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        Craco Amaraya has gone absolutely potty.

  • 0
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    Mr. Hussain, I presume you were in the Gov. service from the 50’s. When you were in your teens, you would have known there was no division between the Muslims and Tamils in the East as well as in the North. The population of Sinhalese in the North and East was at 3%. Historically the Sinhalese were not interested in moving to North and East. Those days living in these areas was not easy. One has to be very persevering and hardworking to live in these areas. In Colombo too there were more Muslims and Tamils living with Sinhalese. Because they moved to Colombo due to employment and Business. They purchased properties, worked and sent their children to schools in Colombo. Sinhalese, Muslims and Tamils had no communal issues at the beginning. Then came the Political parties vying for Power to get a majority rule. Majority rule came to be accepted as the norm. But all those who were returned from the East and North were Tamils MP’s. The Tamil parties vied to join the majority Party to get Ministerial Posts in the ruling majority Govt. Then the cut throat communal politics began in the 40’s with the majority Govt. beginning with reducing the Tamil population in the East and planting Sinhalese to contest elections in the East. There were a lot of ingenious methods used to divide the Muslims from the Tamils, creating enmity between Tamils and Muslims and achieving to settle Sinhalese from the South. Majority rule was used to enact Sinhala only policy creating burden for Tamils to get into Govt. Service, enter University etc. The Tamil struggle began and till today Tamils are still dealt with violence spreading from South to Colombo and into East and then North. From the late 70’s Police and the Army were trained to commit atrocities against Tamils and their interests. Now only the world knows what is going on. In this process comes the love for Muslims to cut out Tamils and now after finishing the Tamils comes the hatred for Muslims. This is cheap and easy politics as there was nobody to question. Tamils and Muslims are minorities dealt with Majority rule.

  • 0
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    I think the question should be whether or not Sinhalese and Tamils hate Muslims but Muslims have declared a global ‘jihad against ‘kafirs’. As we all know Muslims hate kafirs. And Sinhalese and Tamils are also kafirs.

  • 1
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    i dont agree that the sighaleese hate muslims as a general statement.
    this is not rawanda. where tribalism was ingrained.There are problems due to economics from time to time and stupid governments stroking the ethnic tensions to get votes. But generally as muslims we dont have problems.
    may be in the writers head due to victim mentality he sees a general problem.

    • 0
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      Jehan – the besetting sins of Sri Lankan polemics are ad hominem arguments and disregard for fair-mindedness. Both are exemplified in your response. I cited Regi Siriwardene’s statement that the Sinhalese hate the Muslims even more than they hate the Tamils. I did not comment on Sinhalese attitudes towards the Muslims. But you jumped to the conclusion that I hold certain views on that subject because of my victim mentality. What about Regi? Did he also hold that view because he had a victim mentality? You should eschew ad hominem remarks if you want to be taken seriously.
      You attribute to me views about the Sinhalese attitude towards the Muslims that I don’t hold at all. That’s typical of the disregard for fair-mindedness.

  • 0
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    As long as people view themselves as muslims,tamils or sinhalese,there will be problems.Therefore i think the problem is within ourselves.We should take a special mirror and look into our mind and clean it up.Unfortunately we have not devised a mirror like that.Our mirrors only reflect what is in our outer skins and then we take remedial actions even to the extremities of plastic surgery.

    We can’t clean other peoples minds and also it is not our business too to go around cleaning the dirt in others houses.we should just focus on keeping ourselves clean,inside and outside,first step being not viewing ourselves as tamils,sinhalese or muslims but as humans.Next step would be to speak out and fight against injustice wherever we see it happening to whoever it is being affected by unfairness and injustice,whether it is a muslim,tamil or sinhalese or eskimo.

    These are two simple steps on paper but are so difficult to do that majority of people not only in srilanka but the whole world will never achieve it in their life time because it is so hard to ditch one’s ethnicity that we are all so proud of like it is a badge of honour that differentiates us from others.It makes us feel special i suppose.Humans always like to be a part of a group,something in our genes.If we just say we are part of the human family we won’t be satisfied.We have to break it up into smaller ethnic groups to feel the special bonds.So we keep on creating it smaller and smaller.First tamils,sinhalese and muslims,then among tamils the jaffna tamils and batti tamils,among muslims the sunni and shia,among sinhalese upcountry,low country etc etc and it goes on and on smaller and smaller never satisfied ever.

    As for the next step of fighting against injustice,it is so easy to just look away saying where do you find fairness anyway in this world.

    • 0
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      Shankar – thanks for your observations. People all over the world want to belong to groups. That reflects a primal need for security, and is probably tied up with the survival instinct.The important point is to belong to groups, and at the same time have the capacity to transcend them. For that a universalist outlook is required.Some cultures have that outlook, others don’t, We don’t, and that is the source of our endless ethnic tragedy.

  • 1
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    The SLMC is no doubt as it’s name implies an ethnic party. At election times it is most vociferous in espousing the interests of the Muslims. But what happens after election victory? It turns the hat and becomes subservient to the ruling party, with the leaders feathering their own caps and leaving the ordinary Muslims high and dry! The name of the party is only a vote catching phrase!

    Sengodan. M

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      That’s practical politics my boy. Remember, Thonda sn had done the same.

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    [Edited out]

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      ela kolla

      “[Edited out]”

      It is not just the Sri Lankan army which beat the women recruits on their bump, the women get beaten up just about everywhere in medieval kingdoms. Read the excerpts:

      “1200 lashes and jail term for Lankan maid in Saudi Arabia

      A Sri Lankan housemaid in Saudi Arabia has been sentenced to a 12-year jail term and 1200 lashes after she was found guilty of a robbery, Foreign Employment Bureau media spokesman Mangala Randeniya said.”

      http://www.sundaytimes.lk

      What the hell are you (shameless men) going to do about it?

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        Mahilā Bhumiputra, (^‿◕)

        What can you do about it?

        They have no job so they go to the middle east for a very poor salary compared to folk of other nations.

        I have seen Filipino nurses being tricked and made to become a sex slave and then at the first opportunity they run to the church and get the assistance to go back.

        As a person in the shadow I once saw a gathering of happy Sihala housemaids/houseboys at Spain I was happy for them. Of course they work for families connected to ministry of interior and justice because they know when the time is right to play the card for the visa.

        What can you do as a proficient Mahilā Bhumiputra,??

        I think SARC & ASEAN must do a lightning strike lasting 1-3 months recall every citizen then negotiate terms conditions and applicable fines.
        Remember these Arabs don’t like blacks as much as they look down upon Palestinians.

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    Muslims play double games everywhere. They are not loyal to Srilanka. They would prefer Saudi Arabia over SriLanka. They will join Tamil Federal party. Then They will spy against Tigers. Their representatives will join UNP and when SLFP comes to power they will cross over. They served as intelligent officers in the army which tortured the Tamils. Now they are complaining of human right violations.When over 300 Christian churches were burnt down in the last 5 years no Muslim raised his voice. Did Raul Hakeem demand for the arrest of the culprits in church burning? Was any one punished for this? Tell us Mr. Minister of Justice.

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