16 October, 2019

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Beware Of Arousing The Genie: What Is Wrong With Nationalism?

By Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

There is nothing wrong with nationalism if it is moderate, balanced, civic, and realistic enough to incorporate global trends. Nationalism at a personal level might manifest as ‘patriotism,’ to mean love for one’s country of origin or even adopted country. There can be people who could balance between the two without much antagonism.

Love for the country or country of origin also could be identified different to nationalism or patriotism in a more sublime and a sophisticated form. There is no name, other than just ‘love for the country.’ It may be driven by old memories, having relatives or some attachment to the culture or physical landscape. Those who could be identified in this category may have their sentimental or ideological leanings elsewhere different to the ‘nation’ or ‘fatherland.’ 

There were many ‘Ceylonese’ who were in this category before or even after independence, but they have become a vanishing tribe, given the polarizations. Some also remained in the early diaspora. I have come across many Burghers or even Eurasians, talking about Ceylon with affection and love. They were born in Ceylon. 

Nationalism and Patriotism

If we wish a contrast between nationalism (of any kind) and patriotism, then the ‘nation’ is the cornerstone of nationalism, while the ‘fatherland’ constitutes its place for patriotism. The distinction is also geopolitical. Nationalism is more widespread than patriotism. Patriotism was nationalism’s equivalent or predecessor in some countries (i.e. Germany, Russia, some Eastern Europe countries). It is also through this tradition that communist countries in Europe opted to promote patriotism instead of nationalism. But in the case of China or Indo-China, it is more of nationalism than patriotism.   

I am not sure about the Tamil equivalent, but in Sinhala, there is no even a proper term for patriotism. Usually, it is ‘Deshapremaya’ (love for the land), but it does not signify the ‘ism’ part. Therefore, a possibility is to call it ‘Deshavadaya’ which is not so impressive for propaganda.

But in contrast, the notion of ‘nation’ has been there for a very long period with the Sinhala equivalent as ‘Jathiya,’ originating from Sanskrit ‘Jati,’ to mean an identity group. In this sense, it was similar to ‘Nacione’ in the Medieval Europe. It is based on this tradition that even today the Sinhalese, the Tamils and the Muslims are called ‘Jathien’ or ‘nationalities.’ There were times that ‘Jathi’ meant caste in Sri Lanka as the strict ‘Varna’ concept was not very popular. However, the distinction between ‘Jati’ and ‘Varna’ was clear in the subcontinent. For example, Nepal was considered a ‘flower garden of 32 Jatis and 4 Varnas.’ What a beautiful description? It was the characterization by the King Prithvi Narayan Shah, who founded modern Nepal in 1769.

There had been and are debates among theoreticians and historians whether the ‘nation’ is a modern concept or an ancient one. Those who argued it to be a modern concept called themselves modernists and often called the others ‘primordialists.’ In a sense, both were correct as they were talking about different stages of the same social development. Nations appeared as ethnicities in ancient times. The nations as united political entities are of course a modern necessity or phenomenon, although still embracing ethnic nations or nationalities within it. This is the modern reality even in Sri Lanka.

Nationalism undoubtedly is a modern phenomenon. It can be defined as an ideology or a movement or both. Although there were some nationalist ideological traits in ancient times, there were no nationalist ideologues, ideologies or mass nationalist movements. It is primarily the modern nationalists who glorify the past and invent their forefathers as heroes of nationalism. Otherwise, the ancient (ethno) nations were more dormant than active. Therefore, the intermixing was possible and it is as a result that there are many hybrid nations in the world today.

Nationalist Dilemma    

Nationalism or nationalist movement in Sri Lanka had been a belated and a temperate phenomenon compared to India before independence. Leading to independence, what appeared in politics was mainly a ‘constitutional reform movement’ within which there were conflicts, bargaining and compromises. The conflict aspect was characterized as ‘communalism’ (G. C. Mendis), and the compromising aspect ‘liberalism’ (A. J. Wilson). The movement was confined to the elite, so much so this elite even opposed the universal franchise in 1931. However, only thanks to the ‘liberal aspect’ of this movement, that Ceylon could achieve independence in 1948 in one piece. Therefore, this ‘liberal’ aspect is not something we should underestimate.   

The above of course was on the surface. Underneath, there were several other movements and two of them were: (1) the trade union and the left movement and (2) the Buddhist and Hindu (also Muslim) revivalist movements. Many of the writers who admire ‘nationalism’ today from the Sinhala side (nothing particularly wrong with it!), usually trace the inspirations from the Buddhist revivalist movement, their ideologues, the priests, the poets and fictions writers. What must be understood, however, is that there was the ‘other side’ to it, from the Hindu revivalist movement, of course from a minority community.   

What the modern historians have skipped largely is the parallel Muslim revivalist movement at the beginning of the twentieth century. If not for this, there wouldn’t have been a Sinhala-Muslim riots in 1915. When you go through Piyadasa Sirisena’s novels, this antagonism is extremely clear. Therefore, it was not merely against the Christian missionaries, ‘who came with the Bible in one hand and the sword in the other,’ that the ‘nationalist’ rage was unleashed, but also against our own ‘other’ people. Of course, it is possible, that the same rage was cultivated against the Buddhists as ‘infidels’ among the Muslims.

Who were the promoters of these antagonisms? Those were the emerging middle (petty bourgeois) classes who competed each other at the ‘market place’ or for the positions in the professions and the colonial administration. Who could possibly rescue the situation? The working class/s, the trade union movement or more pertinently, the socialist thinking. In this respect, there was a gap until the left movement was formed in the 1930s, as A. E. Goonesinghe succumbed to the nationalist pressures. Then the left movement also split into different segments, making the whole struggle weakened, and also capitulating to narrow nationalism, directly and indirectly.

For some, ‘socialism’ is about different theories of Marx, Lenin, Stalin or Trotsky. But socialism in essence is about social equality, social justice and a new economic order where major class differences could be eliminated. It cannot be achieved overnight, but socialism can be the guiding principles in the modern age, going beyond even the best of nationalism.

There is no one variety of nationalism but several. It is not about the hazy subjective understanding of the ‘good variety’ and the ‘bad one,’ but objective analysis of different varieties without hesitation to take knowledge from even the ‘western scholarship.’ What is mostly pertinent in the case of Sri Lanka is the distinction between ‘ethno-nationalism’ and ‘civic nationalism.’ I have written on this subject several times before. Hans Kohn (‘The Idea of Nationalism,’ 1944) interpreted the difference as possible stages in the evolution of an economic/social system from underdeveloped conditions to developed conditions. But the evolution is not automatic or certain as revealed in the case of Britain, for example. Uneven conditions might perpetuate ‘ethno-nationalism’ even after development (Tom Narin, ‘The Break-up of Britain,’ 1977).   

SWRD Bandaranaike and CBK

When SWRD Bandaranaike came back after studies in Britain, he had a good grasp of the potential as well as the dangers of nationalism. Although I am not able to quote him off hand now, his broad understanding was very clear in his early writings. His path was contradictory though. He formed the narrow nationalist Sinhala Maha Sabha (1936), but at the same time was supportive of federalism. His justification was that there was this Tamil Mahajana Sabha formed in 1921. 

Even when he was forming the SLFP in 1952, Bandaranaike’s ‘idea’ was to unite the Sinhalese first and then all others. That is there in the documents. People can have ‘ideas,’ but there are historical ‘dynamics’ as well. What is more pertinent is to refer to what E. W. Adikaram said in 1958 (Jathivadiya Manasika Pisseki – Communalist is a Lunatic). When you take the Genie out of the bottle you cannot control the fellow, he said. This is exactly what happened to Bandaranaike in 1959. A genie came and shot him!

This is also what happened lately to many Tamil leaders as well. The genies came and killed them. Most tragic was the killings of Amirthalingam and Yogeswaran in July 1989, thirty years after Bandaraniake killing. Only Sivasithamparam narrowly escaped. 

Therefore, if there is some antipathy for (narrow) ‘nationalism’ on Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga’s (CBK) part, it is understandable. She was just 14 years when her father was killed. She had to rush from school to see her father struggling for life in hospital. She was the most affected, I believe, given her sensitivities and age. But as far as I am aware, she has a good grasp of the country’s history, Buddhism and people’s sentiments for culture and heritage. The difference is that she is ready to understand the other side as well.

In recent times, her efforts for ‘Sanhidiyawa’ (reconciliation) have come under attack from those who perhaps don’t know where they stand. Groping in the dark for genies perhaps, one has said (Uditha Devapriya, Colombo Telegraph, 11 August), “That didn’t mean I disagreed with her point: it was a case of disagreeing with the person making the point”! This is just personal. This was with reference to the proposal that the ‘schools with mon-ethnic, and mono-religious student populations must be diversified.’

Theosophy and ‘Cosmopolitanism’

If the resistance came from the ‘Olcott schools,’ as reported, it is more unfortunate. If CBK was not that tactful in handling the matter, it was also unfortunate. Because ‘Sanhidiyawa’ is the crust of Henry Olcott’s philosophy of theosophy. While Olcott had more affinity for Buddhism (he became a Buddhist), he and theosophy in general was/is more for interfaith and above faith spiritualism. Theosophical Society founded in 1875, Henry Olcott as the President, moved its headquarters to Adyar, Chennai in 1886. It is still there. The Society emblem while having the Buddhist Swastika, among other symbols, says, ‘There is no religion higher than the truth.’

I am rather hesitant to raise this issue, but in his later work in Ceylon, Olcott was not that impressive of the emerging trends of narrow-nationalism and narrow-religiosity, to my knowledge. The following is what the Theosophical Society, Australia, is advertising in its website. 

The Theosophical Society welcomes students or seekers, belonging to any religion or to none, who are in sympathy with its Objects.” What are the Objects?

  1. To form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or colour.
  2. To encourage the study of comparative religion, philosophy and science.
  3. To investigate the unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in the human being.

Of course, the above comes from Australia! However, there is something for the Olcott schools or former students of them to learn from those sentiments and principles. If Olcott was living, he would be proposing the same on the lines of ‘Sanhidiyawa.’

The Dangers

It is erroneously claimed that “Benedict Anderson strived with his research to prove that nationalism inspired selflessness, the kind of selflessness that cosmopolitanism could not inspire.” Anderson didn’t try to prove anything about nationalism against cosmopolitanism! He was not at all an admirer of nationalism. He was rather neutral. His thesis was his objective reflections on the subject. He was perplexed when even the Marxists or so-called Marxist regimes were capitulating to nationalism particularly in Indo-China.

In defining his proposition, ‘nation as an imagined community,’ he defined it as (1) imagined, (2) imagined as limited, (3) imagined as sovereign and (4) imagined as a community. This is what he further said on the last point.

Ultimately, it is this fraternity that makes it possible, over the past two centuries, for so many millions of people, not so much to kill, as willing to die for such limited imaginings.” (‘Imagined Communities,’ p. 7).    

What he said about ‘limited imaginings’ is more pertinent to Sri Lanka unfortunately. Forget about ‘cosmopolitanism,’ if you are allergic! It is the ‘limited imaginings’ that paved the way for thousands and thousands of people in our country, after independence, to kill each other. Or ‘to kill or willing to die,’ whatever way you like to describe it. In addition, there were so much of other people who got killed even without belonging to those two categories. They are the innocents and the bystanders. More pertinent lesson for the present-day leaders and advocates of nationalism is from the fate of SWRD Bandaranaike and A. Amirthalingam. Beware of arousing the Genie.      

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  • 3
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    I have to confide. I skipped quite a large portion of the write up. Stopping half way down sentences and re-entering a para or two later. I repeated this pattern, till I reached the end. As such, I cannot claim that my comment is appropriate for the trouble taken by Laksiri Fernando. For me, the attempt is an unnecessary rigour.
    *
    The political situation we have in Sri Lanka is not a strange phenomenon. The world is full of similar conflicts. However, Sri Lanka differs in that no genuine attempt was ever made to arrest the descend into decay in a timely and satisfactory manner. Call it short sighted nationalism; call it stupidity. You wont be far from the truth. But, it was NOT patriotism. In patriotism there is no room for petty nationalistic pride.
    *
    If my comment is off the mark, I apologise. At my age I am tired of theoretical interpretations / analysis of practical issues!

    • 7
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      Dear Prof. Laksiri, there is nothing wrong about nationalism, in fact every one should be a nationalist to safeguard his language or religion from enemies. But when this nationalism transcends its boundaries with supremacist mind set to enforce its stand on other nations, then it becomes racism. There was nothing wrong in demanding Sinhala to be made the official language, but when denying the Tamils exercising the same right to demand to make Tamil also an official language is racism. Even worse is unleashing terror on Tamils for making this legitimate demand. There was nothing wrong to demand to make Sinhala as language of courts stating that Sinhala litigant cannot understand court proceedings as it is done in English, but when Tamils demanded exercising the same right that they should be tried in Tamil as they should have been allowed the same. Sadly even 30 years after Tamil was made an official language, still Tamil litigants have to continue to have their cases heard in Sinhala, with government giving lame excuse of not having enough Translators. In UK this basic right of providing translators is granted not only in judicial matters but also in hospitals and government institutions. When a foreign country is treating them with dignity, it is Sinhala racism that is preventing the same privilege being afforded to Tamils in Srilanka. Similarly there is nothing wrong in demanding Buddhism to be made state religion, but under this pretext to plant Buddha statues and construct Vihares all over the country as an act of aggression and provocation amounts to racism. Also despite knowing that Saivaism was the first religion to be practiced in Srilanka, to destroy Hindu temples and construct Vihares and Mosques over the destroyed sites is racism. Please be a nationalist but not a racist and remember patriotism is the refuge of scoundrels.

      • 3
        4

        “to destroy Hindu temples and construct Vihares and Mosques over the destroyed sites is racism.”

        A report submitted by Mr. Cyril Mathew to UNESCO entitled “An Appeal to UNESCO to Safeguard and Preserve the Cultural Property in Sri Lanka Endangered by Racial Prejudice, Unlawful Occupation or Willful Destruction” in 1983 gives solid examples of 24 archaeological sites linked to Sinhala Buddhists in the North Central part of Sri Lanka which are been vandalized or destroyed by Tamils. In that report he is making an appeal to UNESCO to intervene and save these historically valuable sites. Here are two examples:

        Nilaveri is situated ¼ mile away from Puttur in Jaffna District. There is an ancient well and foundations of an ancient structure by the side of an ancient Bodhi tree. To the west of the Bodhi tree are found pieces of sculptures, stone pillars and brick-bats scattered all over the place. A lime stone Buddha statue recovered from the site is exhibited in the Jaffna archeological museum.

        Ettama in Potuvil is a site with the remains of a Buddhist Vihara and a Stupa. At present a modern Hindu Kovil covers the site. At the site there is a beautiful foot-print of Buddha carved on a rock boulder.

        • 5
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          First religion to be practiced in Srilanka is Hinduism and not Buddhism. At one time there were Buddhists among Tamils who, for whatever reason have gone back to their original religion. Isurumuniya a Buddhist temple which was one of the first Buddhist temples to be constructed was formerly a Hindu temple. The name Isuru refers to Siva and the layout of the temple with circumnavigation of altar is only found in Hindu temples. Thondeeswaram in Dondra, one of the five pre-Buddhist Hindu temples was destroyed and a Vihare has been built on it. The evidence of this Hindu temple was discovered only by chance when digging to lay the foundation for a Buddhist building at that site. Now Kataragama a Hindu temple has been slowly converted to a Buddhist shrine with all evidence of a Hindu nature destroyed. Pillayar temple in Kanniya was destroyed in 1983 riots and now a Buddhist temple has been built on it. There were several attempts to knock Koneswaram temple down and build a Buddhist temple over it, but due to some reason it did not take place. There would have been several such Hindu temples that would have been destroyed at the time of introduction of Buddhism and Buddhist temples built on. If you are going to carry out archaeological studies around Hindu temples to prove your claim, then Hindus also must be allowed to carry out archaeological survey around Buddhist temples to unearth ancient Hindu places of worship. Recently an ancient Hindu site was unearthed in Mullaitivu by chance and the archaeological department has prevented from carrying out further excavation, due to false claims by Buddhists. When anyone makes a claim, he should be ready to permit independent impartial team to find out the truth. Unfortunately Sinhalese and their governments will never allow such studies to be undertaken. It is now conclusively proved by genetic studies that all the inhabitants of Srilanka have Dravidian origin. Also at one time their ancestors were Saivites. Veddhas worship Hindu Gods and not Buddha. Even the mythical Ravana has been portrayed as a Dravidian Saivite. So please stop your nonsense and restore Hinduism its rightful place as the prime religion .

    • 2
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      Dr Laksiri Fernando asks
      “Beware Of Arousing The Genie: What Is Wrong With Nationalism?”

      Well it encourages, motivates, forces people to perpetrate terrible things to “others”. It also makes even the supposed to be learned liberal intellectuals to lose their rational thinking at the spur of the moment, proposed “conferring of honorary doctorates in 2009 to the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, Gotabaya Rajapaksa by the University of Colombo.”

      It was sad the uni was used to add respectability to two members of kleptocracy and two war criminals. A small lion jumped out of the tummy of the proposer.

  • 0
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    Even Helena blavastsky and Colonel Olcott di dnot undersatnd buddhism properly. The three points that you show are exctly the buddhism. Religions would say if you become a follower of the almigty in their denomination or religion, he/she would become all those. the word buddhism, mysticism are all given by the westenrners they way they recognized it. Other than that, buddhiam is a doctrine and a way of life and not a religion. Even when it is a religion it is very democratic and promote independant thinking and doe snot have to submit to any creator.

  • 4
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    This is a blind theory, with blind and concocted connections, only with the intention of fooling all.
    Understanding the Nationalism & patriotism is different; bending those to justify the Appe Aanduwa’s actions is different. It is not true SWRD is the one created Tamil-Sinhala Divisions. Then bending the Nationalism as opening the bottle of Genies is only to compare the death of Amirthalingam with SWRD. The entire theory is convulsing to justify that Tamils should not have roused up against losing their right.

    The Sinhala Nationalism was rampant even at the State Council. Amirthalingam was not born at the time of the Sinhala Genie bottle was opened up.

    Insistence on Unitary government after well understanding that the control of Tamils was coming to their hand was the known gilt of all Sinhala leaders, after all Ramanathan’s cart was pulled by them just a few years ago. There is no comparison to the sex addict, drug addict, Buddhist Monks killing SWRD on sour business deals and the rebels killing Amirthalingam. This is how Sinhala Intellectuals twisted the truths and fooled the gullible Modaya voters.

    • 0
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      “There is no comparison to the sex addict, drug addict, Buddhist Monks killing SWRD on sour business deals”

      SWRD was not killed by a Buddhist monk. A Christian Ossie Korea has fired the shot and escaped. Assassination of SWRDB was the first regime change in Sri Lanka. The people who were behind the plot to assassinate SWRDB were Christians who did not like the changes introduced by SWRDB.

      • 3
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        False. Somarama was the one who shot first and last. SWRD ran into the house and collapsed at the dining table area. First hand eye witness accounts narrated to us. Somarama was a buddhist monk trained to be an assassin by Wimala Wijewardene Kelaniya Maha Vihara sponsors. Ossie was a plotter. But the shooting was done on the front porch of Tintagel by Monk Somarama who converted to Christianity before his neck was broken by a rope. Shalom!

      • 3
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        Stop distorting the truth. Somarama Thero went with an intention to kill SWRD. There was a plot by Buddharakita Thero and others to kill SWRD and Somarama was to be the assassin. There is evidence that Somarama took lessons to handle a gun. Ossie Corea went with Somarama that day to make sure that SWRD is killed in case Somarama misses the target due to inexperience. It was Somarama who fired the shots as all the bullets recovered from SWRD’s body came from the gun carried by Somarama. Had Somarama missed the target, Ossie would have finished the job. The people who were behind the plot were all Buddhists and Ossie was only an abetter.

      • 2
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        Eagle,
        “SWRD was not killed by a Buddhist monk. A Christian Ossie Korea has fired the shot and escaped. “
        Yes, I have it from reliable sources that Buddharakita was also a Christian, wearing trousers and drinking when he was not in the temple. Somarama of course was baptised before he was hung. SWRD was also a (supposedly converted) Christian. So what is there to argue about???
        Oh, BTW, I hear Gandasara Maha Thera is also a Christian.

        • 4
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          old codger

          “Oh, BTW, I hear Gandasara Maha Thera is also a Christian.”

          Is he? I thought he was a radical Hinduttwa BJP (Bodu Jana Peramuna) racist.

          • 1
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            Dumb native vedda is a lower class bully. cos’ You have a big mouth, you think only you can talk their mind and not others because you don’t like.

      • 1
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        Man why are you contradicting when it cannot get any better? Say Christian Ossie opened the fire and Somarama finished it. Is that going to invalidate the adjectives “sex addict, drug addict, Buddhist Monks”? No! They are there always. Our friend Amare is missing now, otherwise he going attach the sex addicts monk’s child rape video here. I do not know if the Ossie was priest and addict, but we all know about Somarama and Buddharakkhita were.

        Let’s not hitting hard on individual as there are always one or two deviations existed. But, remember our comments are about DSs & SWRDs opening the Genie bottles. Whether SWRD & DS were killed or he died by accidents, the 150,000 Tamils died in Mullivaaikkaal because SWRDs & DSs opening the bottles. Old King sold the Colombo Pong Cing to China because SWRD opened the Bottle. Ranil sold the Hangbangtota because SWRD opened the bottle. Even after Britain gave them freedom, Sinhalese became slaves of China and King Abdulaziz is because DSs & SWRDs opened the bottles. Otherwise the Sinhalese should have been enjoying a life like Singaporeans.

        Man doesn’t waste your time on things that will not help to portray the Wild Life Sanctuary as a Miracle of Asia! That is where the foreign funded moon’s rice and free Biriyani flow out from.

    • 1
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      SWRD’s death was not properly investigated. The truth is, SWRD’s death was a British job, British did not like SWRD’s nationalism, nationalization, and signing agreements with other counties which would jeopardize British authority, their income and assets. Notice, how they planned Gadafi’s death, his death was planned when they suspected him for Lockerby incident.

      • 1
        0

        Johnny Baby

        What are you trying to tell us?

        “SWRD’s death was not properly investigated.”

        So were the deaths of Denzil Kobbekaduwa, Premadasa, Lalith Athulath dirty bomb Muthali, Raviraj, Kumar Ponnambalam, Sri Ram, …………………………………………. and approximately another 200,000

        What have you done about it?

  • 4
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    Tamil rebels’ birth was only copying from JVP and as a result of Standardization of Badiuddin Mahmud. India had its own grudge against Appe Aanduwa on playing with it on Pakistan military planes landing in Colombo. Just because the boys were involved with TULF, it was not they were formed by Amirthalingam. Amirthalingam and other TULF members had to deviate from Tamil – Eelam and Vattukkottai convention only because of 6th amendment. When negotiating with Sinhala government even with the help UNHRC is only a mirage, at that time, without any help, Negotiating with government was only a dream of Amirthalingam. (I do not say killing him would clear the curdles. ) And after a really risky armed struggle was started and the cyanide vials were attached to rebels to prevent the world most cruel government’s tortures, on the captured ones, Amirthalingam returning back to negotiating tables because of 6th amendment was not viewed as conducive to armed struggle.

    The weakest link of this “Nationalist” theory is not that Amirthalingam opening the Genie bottle. The Lankawe history has one of the worst records of MPs and ministers death. Corruption and Oppression was the style of Appe Aanduwa from DS deported Up Country Tamils as the First Bill of Independent Ceylon and started oppressing Tamils. On the other side of CT, a strong debate is going on Kathirgamar death. The weak is not even Premachandra, Sruiyachchari, Athulathmudali , Raviraj, Pararajasingham and many other important Media personnel death not explained. It miserably failed to explain why the pampered Sinhala youths, with socialistic ideas of no religion, started against the Buddhist government? I would think Old King might have been pressured to reconcile after war by the West, unless biased Sinhala Universities conferred him a PhD on War crime.

  • 1
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    The one word “HYPOCRISY ” will speak volumes about this man.

  • 3
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    Nationalism/Patriotism has come to mean Race/Religion. One has only got to listen to Sinhala/Buddhists going On and On about all Muslims, after reading ISIS propaganda!
    Don’t they Realise that if Outsiders Listen to Gnanasara and Wirathu, they will begin to have similar Perceptions about Buddhism, too!

  • 2
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    Jathivadaya = racism. Jathikavadya = nationalism. There is a sutble difference. Regarding Olcott schools, well i didn’t go to an olcott school but i know quite few who went to those schools and they genuinely dislike CBK’s comments. For example she constantly critiques Ananda Vidyalaya but not Zahira College which is a few kms away. Even during my school days when she was the president she bashed olcott schools but not the Hindu or Muslim Colleges, Tamil or Muslim Vidyalams, etc. This is what angers many Anandians i know. She definitely has an axe to grind in my humble opinion. If she really cared about secularism then the correct thing is that all public schools must be multi gender-lingual-cultural/religious and only private schools can be selective. The irony is the war dragged on for 6-years under her presidency without any hope of peace and several of her top militaary commanders went to Pannipitya Dharmapala and Ananda. Regarding CBK’s willingness to talked to the others, WELL EXCUSE ME SIR, LAST TIME I CHECKED IT WAS CBK THAT THREW OUT A DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED UNF GOV IN 2004 WHEN MOST OF WORLD ESPECIALLY IN THE WEST WERE BEHIND SL AND CBK LITERALLY DESTROYED THE LAST CHANCE FOR A PEACEFUL SOLUTION PAVING THE WAY FOR A BRUTAL MR REGIME RESULTING IN THE DEATHS OF TENS THOUSANDS TAMIL CIVILIANS. CBK was only interested in extending her executive powers. Even at the constitutional task Force press conferences in 2016/2017 she is constantly prasing her own dead constitution she put forward in 2000. WTF?! Why she even in the CTF?

    • 2
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      _
      “. This is what angers many Anandians i know. She definitely has an axe to grind in my humble opinion.”

      Otherwise the Anandians are peace loving people. Thanks for the information. I trust what you have just typed.

      “Even during my school days when she was the president she bashed olcott schools but not the Hindu or Muslim Colleges, Tamil or Muslim Vidyalams, etc”

      Why do you think CBK should have bashed Hindu or Muslim Colleges, Tamil or Muslim Vidyalams, etc?

  • 3
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    Nationalism is an extreme form of patriotic views when it comes to wars against nations.. But in Sri Lanka Nationalism is an extreme form of racism. There seems to be no patriotic person in Sri lanka for the simple reason that the Sinhalese were intent on subjugating the Tamils and the Tamils were fighting for a place in the country’s governance and fighting the Sinhalese. If the country is ruled equally by both communities, there would arise a common feeling. SWRD opened the bottle and let the genie out and thus succumbed to genie’s evil displeasure.
    Why did Hitler massacre millions of Jews? Is it nationalism or racially motivated hatred of the Jews ?.

  • 2
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    Laksiri says “…….. There can be people who could balance between the two without much antagonism……”. The “balance between the two” refer to nationalism and patriotism. The majority do in fact are aware of the “difference” but form the core of the silent majority.
    It is inappropriate to exploit the “two” for political gain. The recent Charlottesville incident is one example. Brexit is another. Turkey is another. Just across the Strait this is happening which may lead to a war.
    Unfortunately in democracy anything from wads of money through to race, language and religion are being used.

  • 0
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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 1
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    White Nationalism is what helped President Trump win along with complex economic problems and the underclass. It was easy to use nationalism to win and by focusing on the Muslim bogeyman and Mexican rapists etc he appealed to the baser instinct of 62.9 million people. But not all were racists. The racist elements emboldened by him are now open. NeoNazis, White Supremacists and KKK are now emboldened and claim the WhiteHouse is their’s. They are the ones who kept saying “put the White back into the “White House”. Torch marches, and armed confrontations are coming. BBS look like silly boyscouts in contrast to the armed militias that will soon roam the streets in the US of A. See how the man who tweets on every shit in anger and insults people could not tweet condeming KKK or the Nazis. He took 2 days and then only read a prepared statement. His off the cuff remarks say and reveal a lot more about that madman than teleprompter speeches prepared by others. His chief domestic advisor is a fascist Hungarian racist dick called Gorka. Bannon is his alt-right Guru. Do not attack Sinhala or Tamil Nationalists anymore..USA is in for a merry ride of hate filled violence by Nazis.

  • 2
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    In Sri Lanka, ‘Patriotism’ is a misnomer misused for Sinhala Budhism.
    A Tamil patriot is treated as a traitor.

  • 2
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    S. Makenthiran

    “In Sri Lanka, ‘Patriotism’ is a misnomer misused for Sinhala Budhism.
    A Tamil patriot is treated as a traitor.”

    Patriotism is a very good hiding place for the crooks, thieves, fascists, psychopaths, war criminals, murderers, rapists, drug smugglers, presidents, politicians, ministers, irrespective of their race, religion, region, gender, ….. Invoke patriotism and nationalism if you are in real trouble, impunity is available on the spot some times with honourable doctorates.

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    I’m a supporter of Hinduvta, but I think of the ideology as being fairly progressive for a country like Sri Lanka.

    It provides for a manner in which Hindus and Buddhists (i.e. Tamils and Sinhalese) can unite and yet defend the culture of the soil. I also think that we should try to use traditional political philosophies rather than western ones.

    I support homosexuality and third gender. I support all sexual minorities including women. It’s something that the Europeans looked down on us for historically.

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