20 September, 2020

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“He Comes From Jaffna”: An Insensitive Caricature

By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

The Older version of He Comes from Jaffna 

It was in the 1960s that my parents took me to see the play at the then-new Veerasingham Hall in Jaffna. A key attraction was that producer Ernest MacIntyre and his sister Evelyn had been living within a hundred yards of our home down Chemmany Road with their aunt Mrs. “Engineer Chinnappah” nee MacIntyre, a former teacher at Chundikuli Girls’ College. 

I do not remember too much of the play from then except where Durai, the man from Jaffna, came to Colombo with drumsticks, and that scene where to evade a visitor the householder sends his wife to tell the visitor that he is busy in the toilet. And then the visitor insists on waiting. After a long fruitless wait, he remarks that he hears no noise from the toilet. The wife then tells him in a stilted Colombo sing-song accent “No, no. He is in the bathroom next to that bathroom.” 

I remember going home happy, listening to contented comments exchanged by my parents. So, when the play was staged 15-17 February 2019 at the Lionel Wendt as the first version had been, I had to go with two of my daughters.

Unkindly Theme

The audience laughed a lot. They all seemed English-speaking. The play promotes the caricature of a miserly, untrusting North (epitomized by Durai) that attempts to influence a naive and generous South represented by Durai’s brother-in-law Raja, who is remarried to the European Marion. The play also propagates ideas of a backward, parsimonious, hierarchical Jaffna Tamil, while contrasting this with the generous, open-hearted, modern Colombo “Tamil” who had renounced Jaffna. There is the added dynamic of Durai being Hindu and Raja a Christian. 

Jaffna’s Durai blamed anyone who gave a loan without interest and said “must be from Jaffna” of any defaulter. The audience had many a laugh at the North’s expense. From what I have seen in Jaffna, loans are freely given to poor neighbours without surety, but even the poor had the dignity to bring as surety a wedding talisman or a goat saying “you will not worry about my defaulting and I will feel pressure to return the money as soon as I can.” 

One of my daughters felt the play was saved by the last act. In it, they attempt to show Durai and Raja as two sides of the same coin. Both are shown as generous and family-oriented and learn from each other. In this sense, the play taught us how we can learn from our neighbours. 

The Cast with a Ramanathan Portrait from well after 1908

Looking Down

I am not surprised that it is a production from S. Thomas’ (and not St. Thomas’ as I have been “corrected” many times). I recalled from the crowd the time when I came first to Colombo and was laughed at for pronouncing captain as ‘captin’ and told it should be ‘captan’. My mother said not to mind it and told me that Chundikuli girls spoke good English until Colombo schools were evacuated during WWII in the expectation of a Japanese invasion, and Ladies’ College girls were sent to Chundikuli – just as “S Thomas’,” Gurutalawa was begun in 1942 to accommodate evacuee boys.

Balcony Seats

Any wealth I have, I attribute to our saving for the next generation. Meaning we live carefully within our means, so our children can be secure. For example, we bought the cheapest balcony seats for the play and were happy to meet a Thomian Director from public service but with clear Jaffna roots also there with us. Lionel Wendt was full save the balcony. Yet, the play seems to capture this cultural-nuance as an ungenerous spirit of the North. 

Jaffna’s Calvinist and Puritan Thrift

The play draws on Jaffna’s legendary thriftiness to laugh at us. Why is this thrift especially true of Jaffna Tamils? It is because nearly all in Jaffna were Christian in Dutch times, with the Calvinist-Puritan emphasis on hard work and discipline. Jaffna, besides Galle and Colombo, is where church councils were formed with many Reformed Church Predikaants to spread the Gospel. As for the attitude to profit, it is said that when a Dutchman spoke of religious liberty, his king pulled out a Rix Dollar and said “Voila! Votre religion” – “There! Your religion”.

Since many Jaffna Tamils – nationalists who without any evidence claim to have resisted conversion – will contest that their ancestors were Christians, let me document it. Here is what Prof. S. Pathmanathan says (p. 17 in “Religion and Social Change in Northern Sri Lanka. 1796-1875: Protestant Missionary Activity and the Hindu Response” 1986): 

“Under Dutch rule most of the inhabitants of Jaffnapatnam were officially reckoned as Christians. In 1722 Valentyn recorded that there were 189,388 Christians. It was found that there were 182,226 persons who could be considered as Christians in 1760.” 

For, the Dutch required being a Christian to hold any government office and to have a church wedding for the children to be eligible to inherit parental property. Thus by 1684, says Emerson Tennent (Christianity in Ceylon, London: John Murray, 1850, pp. 73-74), Jaffna had 180,364 Protestants in a population of 278,759, and by the year 1758 AD, says K.M. de Silva (A History of Sri Lanka, London: Hurst & Co.,1981, p. 196.) Jaffna had 200,233 Protestants. Allowing for the large numbers of Roman Catholics and Muslims who refused to convert, it would appear that practically most Hindus had converted to Christianity.  

Caste: The Obverse

The other side of Jaffna is caste-consciousness which Puritanism could not stamp out. Caste claims for oneself means finding ways to feel superior to everybody else. Among other things, this means staking the current nationalist claims of denying that their ancestors were Christians. However, in moments of weakness when there is a need, I have seen many marriage proposals from staunch Hindus to Christian families claiming, and thereby admitting, that a generation earlier they were Christians. 

Sometimes it is the need to boast. For example, the biographer of Ponnamabalam Ramanathan, M. Vythilingam (The Life of Ponnambalam Ramanathan, Colombo, 1971, Vol.1) lambastes Christians for converting to go after privileges and then, forgetting himself and what he wrote elsewhere in the same book, boasts that Ramanathan’s maternal grandmother’s father, Edirmannasinha Mudaliyar, held the office of Governor of the Vanni District under the Dutch. Vythilingam seemed not to be aware (William Howland, Historical Sketch of the Ceylon Mission, 1865, p. 7) that the Dutch made “assent to the Helvetic confession of faith necessary to the holding of any office of profit or trust under the government.” Edirmannasinha Mudaliyar was surely of the Dutch Reformed Church.

Positives of Production

The costume and set design were remarkably done, as was the lighting and audio. The acting was good, especially Durai and Martin – with good pace, emotions, and improvisation (like when Durai’s son Danu accidentally broke a table but they improvised lines to incorporate that). Script was well-written.

Sari Draped like Victorian Dress – St. James’ Nallur – Approx.1915

Flaws

Set in 1908, the background of the set had a portrait of Ramanathan from a much later period.

The character Kamini Fernando did not reflect the sari of around 1908 which was draped to look like an English dress. Durai is rarely a name in Jaffna, which is far more likely to be Thurai. Durai in the play had a modern Sharvani of such shiny cloth as unavailable in 1908. In one newspaper depiction he is in an orange sannyasi costume and head dress.

Drumsticks

When gifting drumsticks on his arrival from Jaffna, Durai gives a few and then takes back a few regretting his generosity to great applause. Most of the time I failed to understand why the audience was laughing or applauding. 

A Jaffna director would know what it means to bring drumsticks and mangoes from our own compound and how much it is appreciated. In season, I always carried these to my aunts and cousins in Colombo. Today, with this kind of caricature, young men refuse to carry these. A kind of cultural genocide? I have regularly been carrying Jack fruits and pumpkin from our ancestral house to relations in Colombo.

A Triumphalist Laugh at Jaffna

Unlike MacIntyre, a man steeped in Jaffna and its Calvinist and America-Ceylon Mission roots, this caricatured rendition lacked authenticity and identification with Jaffna. Indeed, of the cast of ten, there is only one Tamil, Danu Innasithamby. I venture that not one member of the cast understood and appreciated the strengths of Jaffna culture from that era.

Although this was an attempt to play on generalizations inoffensively, this satirical play highlighting a vulnerable population was harmfully divisive given the recent war and current ethnic-instability. I suddenly understood the Tamil saying about a bull trampling over a man who had fallen off a palmyra tree. Already many youths are shy to admit they are from Jaffna. This play will worsen the phenomenon.

Perhaps as an afterthought, in the last ten minutes of the two-hour play the characters discover what is good about Jaffna and decide to take the Yal Devi to Jaffna. Some consolation!

I come from Jaffna and am very proud of it.

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Latest comments

  • 3
    1

    Shame on caste system in this global village ..
    It is indian import ideas.
    It is devil ideas of shaytan feeling.
    Its an arrogance in the name of religion.
    Shame on you to speak in suport of it now.

    • 4
      1

      I think to that time, 4 decades ago in the country, the caste and creed related social grouping were inevitable in then-society. Europeans say, they also had the kind of social classes. So, we the developing folks are not alone.

      That MP Niroshan Premararatne, whose background became even clearer with SL’s drug kin pin/alleged multi murderer Madhus ‘s arrest in Dubai few weeks ago, revealed to the press, that premaratne was looked down upon by their villagers just because of his caste.I myself experienced the way how our elders treated their laundary men/women, cinnamon peelers, sawyers and jambu collectors those days. Teachers, lawyers, Engineers, doctors were respectable positions in then-society. Buddhist monks were given a much higher place in the society. Nor were they abusive by their
      As their kids, we never questioned why our parents were upto treat the others looking them down upon ?
      Today, looking back it is wired to think even why we did nothing against our own parents and relatives’ thinking regarding any kind of discrimination within the own community. One of the lowest caste was berawa/rada. They were discriminated since their birth.
      :
      Elders in general were always overrespected: Sometimes it was too much. I mostly stood against my parents. THe bond between parents and children were then stronger I would say. But looking back parents or teachers were not close to the us as is the case in today’s society. I know The educated were respected more. Today, world is seen as a small village with the revolution of information technology. Young generations would not hang on only what they are taught by parents and teachers.
      .
      Hindsight everyone is clever. This is also common to our culture. They criticise today anyone and everyone easily. Was that at all possible in the past among our circles. Never.

    • 4
      1

      TO BE CONTINUED:

      Not just the langauge but peoples attitudes were set so that they treat the other not their peers as But looking back how our sinhalese parents got on with their circles, I dont think we have bigger differences with tamil srilankens and their caste issues. Even within sinhala community, yet today, ones coming from colombo circles treat others from rural corners looking them down upon. I got to know few old st bridgetians in Europe. Most of them are so snobish the way they just behave. They dont know that they too belong to lanken folks

      Elders in general were always overrespected: Sometimes it was too much. I mostly stood against my parents. THe bond between parents and children were then stronger I would say. But looking back parents or teachers were not close to the us as is the case in today’s society. I know The educated were respected more. Today, world is seen as a small village with the revolution of information technology. Young generations would not hang on only what they are taught by parents and teachers.
      .
      Hindsight everyone is clever. This is also common to our culture. They criticise today anyone and everyone easily. Was that at all possible in the past among our circles. Never. Not just the langauge but peoples attitudes were set so that they treat the other not their peers as But looking back how our sinhalese parents got on with their circles, I dont think we have bigger differences with tamil srilankens and their caste issues. Even within sinhala community, yet today, ones coming from colombo circles treat others from rural corners looking them down upon. I got to know few old st bridgetians in Europe. Most of them are so snobish the way they just behave. They dont know that they too belong to lanken folks

  • 22
    1

    Dear Sir

    Once again, a little context: The “Colombo Set” neither belong nor identify with any tribe but its own. This theatrical wanna-be’s (they have allusions to Broadway etc.) belong to the so-called “Colombo Elites” and comprise of folks from all ethno/religious groups in Sri Lanka, albeit from the upper and upper-middle class.

    I remember taking my mother – a Colombo-born, English educated, highly accomplished professional woman from a middle-class family – to a Lionel Wendt play that was primarily in English. My mother was highly offended by the play. When I asked her why, she said that it made subtle, and many not-so-subtle insults against those that were not from the “Kultur” classes of Colombo.

    This elite-class is very snobbish and quite childish in their mimicry of anyone who doesn’t belong to their small – but influential -group in Colombo. They seem to think that they are of a better-cut and have “better” breeding than the rest of us. BS!

    So do not let their silly and rather insecure attitudes affect you. You, I hope, know who you are and have high esteem for the culture that produced the thrifty and accomplished individual you have turned out to be. That should be enough.

    At the end of the day, the accent with which you speak does not mean anything about how good a human being you are. Buddhism tells me that. Might be a useful read for you, even though you are a christian.

    • 12
      0

      Sinhalese Buddhist – Spot on! The ‘Colombo Set’ has for too long firmly believed that ‘their shit didn’t smell’. Alas, the rest of the country has got wise to it.

    • 20
      14

      There, you’ve done it, honest Prof Jeevan Hoole.
      .
      You’ve probably made yourself a thousand new enemies.
      Only five comments on display as I write. Apart from this by “sinhalese buddhist” there are comments by “Lankan, Jane Doe, JD, and Logical one”. I shudder to think of what your arch-enemy “Kumar R” will say. It would be good if you allowed yourself to stick to the wonderful work that you’ve done as an Elections Commissioner, and ignored all else.
      .
      Or focus on dishonesties in the actual running of some of your schools in Jaffna. There are guys who occasionally send me messages about schools there:
      .
      One person says:
      .
      “The Chairman and other members of the Boards of Uduvil and Jaffna College also don’t follow the Constitutions of the schools; nobody except JC Alumni has taken this up. Taken up but not filed a court case. A major problem is that since the Minutes of Board meetings are secret and there are doubts about how the Constitutions are and if they valid, it is very difficult to challenge the Chairman.

      The Trustees apparently allowed all kinds of strange decisions possibly to avoid a court case against them. Documents filed at Norfolk Probate Court from an independent audit of BoD of Jaffna College in 2014 reveal that millions have been diverted to JDCSI, appointment letters of many teachers did not exist, unpaid ETF/EPF contributions since years,serious problems with book keeping etc. Neither side of the court cases has published audits for 2015, 2016 and 2017. The audits of Uduvil are unknown.

      The audits by Ernest&Young and the legal costs of BOTH sides will apparently be paid by the Trust.”
      .
      He goes on to speak about the “butterfly” Principal of your own school, St John’s.

      • 10
        0

        Sinhala Thomian man

        Did you hear the sermon today. When they persecute you and say all manner of things against you for my sake (my principles) rejoice. If the pharisees in the church did not persecute you it means you have a long way to go. Prof. Hoole should take the case to the Church too.

        This “school by the sea culture” is getting very sick. Parippu better in this than thora.

        Or are you too a typical thomian. Little belief. Only brand name.

        • 9
          9

          Dear Blessing,
          .
          I find that yours are extraordinarily difficult questions to answer.
          .
          The easy things are that although I call myself a “Game Iskole Mahattaya”, I was educated at S. Thomas’ – three schools, and in terms of what they mean in Sri Lanka’s social context, one has to acknowledge that they represent huge social differences. Both the branch schools that I was in still had British missionary Heads in my time. My usual practice of playing down those differences is a bit tongue in cheek; I dare not do it with you, since your anonymity apart, your question has a serious air about it.
          .
          I’m making a conscious effort to circumscribe my use of the term “Thomian”; I think that indiscriminate use of the term in public is vulgar. Insensitive to the fact that the vast majority of schools in the country have names that don’t lend themselves to the coinage of such adjectives.
          .
          Yes, the Pharisees have persecuted me. To such an extent that I no longer subscribe to organised religions. It goes against all logic to subscribe to the notion that the religion that I was born in to. My background is very much Christian. There is one group of Christians that has no creed or dogma that results in other religions being considered “heathen”; the Quakers:
          .
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quakers
          .
          None in Sri Lanka; insignificant worldwide, but with influence beyond their numbers. My interest in them was kindled around 1965; I attended my first meeting just before leaving my teens. Searching for them, I’ve attended over fifty silent meetings. They are known for pacifism and integrity – actually too lofty for me!

      • 12
        9

        Sinhala Man,
        .
        You are right – you have every reason to shudder! I too shudder – I shudder at the thought that Jeevan’s stupid writings would convince and stir up unnecessary emotions widening the chasm between communities rather than helping narrow that.
        .
        Never mind what I say about Jeevan as an “arch enemy” as you would describe. Let’s see what you, his ardent fan, the relenting devotee had to say about Jeevan in the past – inexplicably illogical, over grown school boy, eccentric… I possibly don’t recall all.
        .
        Anyhow let me note that both you and I agree on one thing – that Jeevan should stick to writing about his job at the elections office and not stray into areas where he has no business. I think what he writes is stupid, unnecessarily stirring up pointless controversies or bragging and fishing for compliments or pleading for measly benefits at work. You too want him to cease writing on topics other than about his work. I feel so vindicated!!
        .
        Perhaps you saw that interview about a week ago by a Sinhalese student from, I believe, Ratnapura, who gave her impression about Jaffna and its people. She is only an undergraduate and she has the maturity that Jeevan, the DSc pushing 70, can never dream to achieve.
        .
        Am I wrong if I observe that since Jeevan’s return he has repeatedly made so many bigoted religious commentaries obviously wanting prove superiority, provoking and taunting the Hindu’s repeatedly – to name a few, Navalar issue, Christian majoritarian advantage to be leveraged, Christian University of Jaffna, criticism of Krishna dance shamelessly attributed not wanting to take responsibility, Hindu temple dancers in orgasmic ecstasy, and now this rubbish! (To be cont..)

        • 8
          8

          Kumar,
          Nobody forces you to read and even comment on what Dr. Hoole posts. He enjoys writing, people read and a large number of readers comment. Why do you not write something yourself?

          • 8
            5

            Victor,
            .
            Would it make sense if I turn right back at you with “Nobody forces you to read my comments”.?!
            .
            Thoughtlessness is not an asset!!

          • 6
            6

            Dear Victor,
            .
            This odious guy, Kumar R, is of unknown identity. If you look below, you will find that I had made a generous response to one of his decent comments.
            .
            The simple fact is that Jeevan Hoole is an honest man who writes sincerely; all his c.v. etc are known. We read Prof. Hoole because he always says things that are of some interest. My concern is that he lays himself open to attacks by trolls like this.
            .
            Kumar is not an unintelligent man, but rarely is he able to say anything that is not bitter and nasty.
            .
            There are two people who are highly critical of both the Hoole brothers who contribute much to making our society better. One is this guy, the other is SJ. However, there is this huge difference – SJ is the brilliant ex-Peradeniya Engineering Professor Sivasekeram, whom I “knew” by sight and reputation when I was an Arts undergraduate. We know his identity, and many of his comments are sharp and worth reading.
            .
            There seem to be home and home battles between these Jaffna guys. Professor SJ doesn’t write articles himself; I wish he would. The Hooles are worth reading. Jeevan, unfortunately, lays himself open to attack by being too honest. I find them stimulating, so I read most things that he writes. I choose to disagree with him sometimes.
            .
            None of us really wants to read what this horrible man says. It is just that after reading Prof. Hoole’s articles we come across this excreta. Using a pseudonym is all right if there is a level playing field. If the comments are constructive and balanced there’s no need to reveal identity.
            .
            My identity is known to all regular readers – perhaps to you as well.
            .
            Just ignore this coward!

            • 6
              2

              Sinhala_Man,
              .
              Re-read what you wrote: “There, you’ve done it, honest Prof Jeevan Hoole. You’ve probably made yourself a thousand new enemies” Thousand new enemies with just one article – so, why now SJ and Kumar R. are the only two foes?
              .
              You add “It would be good if you allowed yourself to stick to the wonderful work………, and ignored all else”! Not really a heartfelt invitation for more “inspirational” writing, is it?!
              .
              Your belligerent outburst with nothing more than self contradictions and name calling only goes to betray the desperation of your compulsive need to shield Jeevan, the “over grown school boy”, the surprisingly logic challenged,” “eccentric” guy as you have yourself repeatedly characterized.
              .
              Here is a new twist. Please see the bold and explicit insinuation by Rtd. Lt. Reginald Shamal Perera that “Jaffna people when taken in general are a stingy bunch.” He makes that offensive slur as a serious commentary, and not in the context of an exaggeration for satire. It is a direct challenge to the smarter-than-all Professor, the singular DSc, if there was one! Let’s see how this brave and smart Prof who was quick to feign rage at the satire now defends the honour against this serious insult to not just him, but his whole community by the simpleton sad-sack Shamal.
              .
              There is a particular form of stupidity identified in the Tamil advice “thaddiya kuduthu adi vangira mathiri.” I believe the Sinhala version goes “polla dheela gutti gaha gatha wage” (I may not be entirely correct, but you get the gist). Is the Prof up to defending the honour of the community, or will he prove to be that coward who escapes your tinted glasses?!
              .
              Hopefully you and Victor understand a little better why I shudder when Jeevan writes!

      • 12
        9

        Sinhala Man
        (Cont..)
        .
        Jeevan starts off as critiquing a well-known, and well received classic spanning several decades – and his critique is that the caricature is an exaggeration of Jaffna Tamils as miserly! Give me a break. What is a satire, if not an exaggeration?! Prudence, frugal, thrifty with modest exaggeration will become miserly and stingy – and that is indeed a critical part of developing a satire – it is not a News item! Grow -up Jeevan!!
        .
        The irony is that Jeevan has no hesitation in describing the women at “Kattu pathai” (No exaggeration here?) were all, not just girls but even married women, were whores exposing themselves (No exaggeration here too?) to the cultured Tamil boys (sans exaggeration here? Really??)
        .
        As I see it, and as you correctly pointed out (“over grown school boy”) Jeevan is still to have several adolescent issues resolved while pushing 70! The vivid reflections of Kattu Bedda, not just the women issue, but the “shame” of not being good enough for Peradeniya (the only proper University for Engineering then), the “Captin” issue that again seems so deeply engraved, all point to that. Possibly these are behind not being able to have a steady position either at Peradeniya (dismissed for whatever reason) and being relegated as an adjunct to instruct “ethics” rather than engineering despite the DSc. Hence the need to pursue political games supporting Rajapake for back door entry?

      • 9
        0

        Sinhala Man,
        Thank you for the information on some of the schools in Jaffna. There have been multiple victims of sexual abuse at a minimum of four schools in Jaffna. It is possible that due to the war the quality of the teachers and principals is so low that sexual abuse is increasing.

        It is true that the Board of Jaffna College was caught red handed in the only independent audit that has been disclosed in the far away court in Boston. Millions from the Trustees and parents intended for the school have been transferred to JDCSI, other religious activity and projects without financial transparency. Despite this now being known there have been no consequences. The other audits you mention and studying appointments of staff would likely show that the there has been very little change.

        • 5
          1

          Dear Victor,
          .
          Some of these things happen:
          .
          https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/australian-cardinal-george-pell-convicted-of-sexually-assaulting-two-choirboys/2019/02/25/078d7e22-3960-11e9-a06c-3ec8ed509d15_story.html?utm_term=.65e6f65d6428
          .
          It may be that what happens in “Western Countries” even gets “over-reported”, but exposing these things is necessary to ensure that there is no repeat.
          .
          One does get sick of most institutions where these occur.
          .
          And our government must investigate the end of the War. Is anything like this other story possible here?
          .
          https://www.npr.org/2019/02/25/697805189/u-n-court-says-u-k-must-give-up-control-of-chagos-islands
          .
          I leave it to other readers to decide whether these ought to be followed up:
          .
          https://www.npr.org/2019/02/25/697805189/u-n-court-says-u-k-must-give-up-control-of-chagos-islands
          .
          I don’t want to litter the comments section with garbage, but these were two “stories” that I found this morning, and I think them relevant to our own refusal to correct injustices.
          .
          I feel that we must have an investigation of War Crimes allegations in Sri Lanka if we are to progress at all as a country. I don’t enjoy exposing all this but both these reports are shocking (many other reports of each story to be found this morning).
          .
          One other danger is that too many reports from elsewhere may lead to our “succeeding” in “shaping” our own faults by claiming that they happen “everywhere”. Yet responsibility for alerting about such is very necessary. Let us hope that “Kumar R” can at least understand what we are saying and either come forward with his identity or else shut up.
          .
          Is he the sort of guy who buys five copies of the same newspaper every day to make sure that what he reads is true. Every time there is an article by Professor Jeevan Hoole, he comes up with the same things.

        • 1
          0

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  • 2
    1

    Not the Christian way!!!

    May be Thomians believe that Jaffna men are misers and should be portrayed like Shylock the Jew from Shakespear. Few Jaffna men would have attempted to kiss the lady like they showed. Totally uncalled for and for the audience to laugh at such unjustified insults, it showed a total lack of class or worse.

    Is S. Thomas imparting cultural condescension on the Jaffna people who have lost everything due to the war? Both D. S. Senanayake and S. W. R. D Bandaranayake were produced by S. Thomas. No one is surprised. The matter should be considered seriously by the school.

    As a student from a Colombo Christian private school I tell you, spiritually it was a struggle to be how Jesus wanted us to be or enjoy meaningful devotions. Most teachers or principals need education to actively help the Christian children in these schools to cultivate Christian virtues and be immersed in their tradition.

    Quite a few Christian parents send their children to Christian schools not to learn to be ultra uppish, or look down on any one. Unbending discipline alone is not enough to form a cultured person.

    The vision of a missionary school was compromised. The Anglican Bishop should apologize and find ways to teach cultural sensitivity. Hope he is sensitive to the feelings of the marginalized sections of his Church.

  • 7
    5

    If Rathnajeevan Hoole is correct, he says Yapanaya was full of Protestants, most of the Hindu Kovils must be new and Hindus should be recent migrants from South India because, the american Missionary church was there even before 1948. It is the Disgruntled Protestants who went to war and not the recent migrants of Hindus.
    On the other hand, I can read the Protestant almighty’s claim of GOD CREATED EVERY ONE EQUAL. Hoole says DURAI ia not from YAPANAYA. It should be THURAI. Some adulteration of Protestants.
    Again, Evelyn, Ernest MacInture, were they talking Tamil, american English, English or Gaelic. So, even the protestant Tamils should be highly mixed.?
    It is like SAMUEL JAMES, a son of a pastor, is the TAMIL FATHER or FOUNDE.R

    • 8
      0

      Never mind all the hoo-ha about Jaffna Protestants, some of the best in the South too acquiesced to being ‘front side Christian, backside Buddhist’. I am thinking of the Bandaranaike’s, Jayawardena’s Coreas, et al. How to win the favour of the white mastah without a bit of flattery, ha?

    • 6
      7

      According to Dagmar Helmann-Rajanayagam, the British built 500 Hindu temples in Jaffna their first year. (Helmann–Rajanayagam, Dagmar, “Arumuka Navalar: Religious Reformer or National Leader of Eelam,” The Indian Economic and Social History Review, Vol. 26, No. 2, pp. 236–257, 1989)

      The East India company forbade the presence of missionaries saying they are bad for business. According to the Britannica (1989edition):
      “The British East India Company, conscious of the disadvantages of unnecessarily antagonising its Indian subjects, excluded all Christian missionary activity from its territories. Indeed, the company continued the patronage accorded by indigenous rulers to many Hindu temples and forbade its Indian troops from embracing Christianity. The growing evangelical conscience in England brought this policy to an end with the renewal of the company’s charter in 1813. The company’s policy then became one of strict impartiality in matters of religion, and missionaries were allowed to work throughout its territory.”

      • 1
        0

        British and other Europeans also committed GENOCIDE all over the world.

        • 2
          0

          Unfortunately our only chance was at home.

      • 1
        0

        Portuguese destroyed over 550 Hindu temples in the north and east , including the original Iswarams. Their stones were used to build churches , forts and mansions for the colonial rulers. Why don’t you mention this too Protestant Christian bigot , constantly running down Hindus. Who were your ancestors , they were all Hindus and either your grand father or great grand father converted for a bag of rice or a government job.

  • 3
    0

    why in this digital world of multiculturalism still some Tamils are proud of their caste.. this is nothing but to exploit others in the name of religion.. All those so called high marry low cast when they go to Europe for European passports. this is nothing but evil thought .. Religion that discriminate between people can not be a true religion. In some Hindu temples some people can not enter. Is this religion that promote peace..Will never have peace if you divide people like this.

  • 5
    0

    “Allowing for the large numbers of Roman Catholics and Muslims who refused to convert, it would appear that practically most Hindus had converted to Christianity.”

    Where did the practice of not counting ‘Roman Catholics’ as ‘Christians’ come from?

    • 8
      0

      Agnos
      Don’t say it too loud.
      I got the flack from an infuriated Catholic priest (may the Good Lord forgive him) on these pages sometime ago for saying that the term Christians commonly refers to those other than Roman Catholics.
      *
      I really do not know who started it, but I suspect that Roman Catholics were quite happy to call themselves Catholics for a very long time. Thus the various Protestants effectively could have had the label ‘Christians’ assigned to them.

    • 2
      4

      Isurupaya education ‘suppose. RC or non RC. Different text books. AT peradeniya all the other religions have only one worship place. Christian’s have RC and non RC
      If you ask a sir lankan Roman catholic are you Christian, he will emphatically say NOOOO! I am Catholic. This is from the Dutch times.If you ask a new protestant catholic he would recoil as if you are asking whether he practices voodoo. Some priests still refuse to give communion to protestants who are allowed to by the Pope to.

      Ingrained.

      • 2
        2

        You have rightly identified some reasons, and as you say, they are local.
        .
        However, it was what the Catholics also claimed. They said that theirs was the only valid church. But then, the Anglicans have these words in their creed: “I believe in one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church”. After all, final separation was only for Henry VIII to get his divorce from the sister of the Spanish King; the Pope who had already conferred honours on Henry would have granted an “annulment” if not for Mary’s connections to the Spanish monarchy.
        .
        There was the Anglican High Church; St Michael’s Polwatte (Colpetty) “is said” to follow that tradition. I’m no longer sure! We had Canon Arthur John Foster at STC, Gurutalawa. A really good man. High Church. Statue of Mary; the consecrated host in the tabernacle with an oil lamp lit 24X365; confession once a term (we had to make it credible, but not too shocking!). Since they were Anglo-Catholics, they referred to the older church as “Roman Catholic”. The adjective was furiously repudiated by the Popish persuasion.
        .
        In criticising Calvin, the Pre-determinist, in an earlier comment, I forgot to mention the other, earlier, reformer Martin Luther. He, too, got drawn into Wars, and finally to suppression of peasants etc. but those were owing to the realpolitik of the time, not his dogma.
        .
        This is my two cents worth on stuff I don’t really know. Prof. Hoole obviously is very learned – as in most things. I announce surrender before being challenged!
        .
        The Non-RC religion paper is set by the National Christian Council of Sri Lanka. The evangelical groups are not granted membership of that Council. Why Church of Ceylon, not Lanka? Looking forward to (Protestant) Church Union, which few expect to come about.
        .

        DH, you have a typo in ” protestant catholic”, don’t you?

    • 8
      2

      “Most of the time I failed to understand why the audience was laughing or applauding. “
      One’s sense of humor, if one has any, is also socially acquired.
      Thus, one has to understand an audience to understand its sense of humor.
      Dissecting a joke can at times be overdone.
      *
      There was “Banda Comes to Town” around the same time as “He Comes from Jaffna”.
      The social context had changed even as early as mid-1960s for either play to be socially relevant. But there is nostalgia. They plays are in English and as then it is meant for a limited audience.
      *
      Humor generally has a touch of cruelty, intended or otherwise, but is seldom noticed.
      However, there was nothing nasty in the two plays I referred to, unlike in some of the comments that the writer himself has frequently made against other faiths and customs.

  • 6
    0

    There are two matters I wish to comment on. One, before the Dutch invaders arrived in the Peninsula, did not the Portugese invaders report back home that they had ‘successfully converted almost the entire population to christianity’?
    How did the Christian population in Jaffna dwindle in numbers within decades after the Dutch and later the British left the shores?

    Did anybody re-convert them to Hinduism and if so, who??

    All the previous conversions were purely due to direct and indirect persecutions and enticements with special favours such as English education and jobs! Most of them were only nominal Christians in whose conversion nobody could take pride!

    The other matter is about caste being construed as something of an exclusively Hindu custom. Will the author deny that not so long ago, there were separate benches in the rear of Churches in Jaffna reserved for the ‘lower castes’?

    • 7
      0

      Until the British came, Sri Lanka was not fully under western control. The Portuguese controlled ony the coasts — the so called maritime provinces. The Dutch went deeper in but not fully. So many Roman Catholics whose faith was banned by the Dutch in Jaffna, moved to Mullaitivu and Kandy. Some Muslims also moved to Kandy and Batticaloa.

      I well known Doctor from Chavakacheri used to say all Christians are Rice Christians — those who converted to Christianity for Rice — and the good Hindus stayed Hindu under the Dutch. It is a fact contraindicated by the numbers given in this article citing Pathmanathan, Tennent and de Silva.

      A likely explanation is that the Rice Christians went back to Hinduism when the British introduced religious freedom, and the sincere converts stayed Christian.

      • 4
        3

        Sound reasoning, dear Jaffna Siva.
        .
        That is despite a few obvious typos.

      • 4
        0

        Conversion to Roman Catholicism was under the Portuguese; and Catholics were persecuted under the Dutch. But, overall, the Catholics did not yield.
        Education and employment were attractions that had roots in Dutch times, but really caught on under the British.
        American missionaries took the initiative in Jaffna for a variety of reasons.
        *
        Repression of Jaffna Hindus by the Portuguese was more severe than that of Buddhists. (There were political reasons too.) Except for early converts to Catholicism others mostly hid their religious identity. The practice continued for some time under the Dutch, although the Dutch (unlike the Portuguese) did not pursue conversion with much vigour in their colonies.
        *
        Protestant Christians are predominantly middle class or upper middle class, in contrast to a predominance of working classes among Catholics both Tamil and Sinhalese.
        *
        When conversion is for convenience, it is easily reversed, especially by an opportunist middle class.
        Switching back to Buddhism was as easy (if not easier) in the South as switching back to Hinduism in the North.
        *
        God is happy to take the back seat when it comes to wealth and position in society.

        • 4
          3

          Dear SJ,

          An important difference is that the Portuguese, although fanatical Catholics, were not racist. They encouraged miscegenation, which, among other things, prevented them from migrating to the then “White Australia” – “after 1956 and all that.”
          .
          The Dutch were racist at that time – effects seen most clearly in Apartheid South Africa.
          .
          Organised religion is sickening. Especially during those religious wars. Please read about this good man:
          .
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Servetus
          .
          Then you will understand how nasty “Helvetic Protestantism” was. We all laugh at Malvolio in Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”, but when the Cromwells (father and son) ruled England from 1648 it must have been similar to the Rajapaksa Rule that we must stamp out.
          .
          It’s complex, isn’t it? Study the life and poetry of John Milton. Isn’t it significant that it is after “The Restoration” of 1660, that the fascinating “Paradise Lost” was written? The “Puritan Poet” was so much more successful writing about the “Fall of Man” than about the “Redemption”. Although “Paradise Regained” is much shorter than the earlier Epic, I never succeeded in completing my reading of it.
          .
          All that was in my school days! I won’t attempt it now. More to the point: can’t we forget all this nasty History and Religion – all of it?
          .
          “The world is weary of the past,
          Oh, might it die or rest at last!”
          .
          Well, at least not dish it out in skewed fashion to kids before they understand.
          .
          What have all of us done to investigate our nasty war? Shouldn’t we all agitate for that? Jeevan’s brother, Dr Rajan Hoole has made wonderful efforts:
          .
          https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-culture-of-impunity/

  • 3
    0

    Was that play directly alerted the audience on how northerners screw the crooks or it educated future crooks on how to polish up their traditional sales pitches to cheat the poor people?

    It seems these kids didn’t ask their parents how their grandparents and great grandparents made assets in the first place while they only worked in the governments to distribute international aides to poor people!

    Anyway, when are we going to see school plays that are going to alert the audience about unpublishable big bang theories that were tried out by their trusted priests?

  • 5
    0

    Prof Hoole,

    Considering all this, I can only offer ‘Father, forgive them what they do…and say…and write’

    My sneaky feeling is that the man from Jaffna has had the last laugh.

  • 4
    0

    “He comes from Jaffna” was a satire written and produced by Prof, EFC Ludowyke, In reply was staged “Down South” by a prominent lawyer in the north namely SD Tampoe. Bensen

  • 7
    7

    The Tamils desperately want to be European. Even Hoole is always in full suit and very proud of British qualifications and honours. They are always calling themselves lawyers, economists, professors etc . But we all saw what Mahendran/Aloysius did at the Central Bank .

    Maybe Hoole is even a British citizen earning in Pounds or dollars. No wonder the Tamils came across as caricatures.

    • 5
      2

      This clearly shows that education is not necessary to earn money and a parliamentary seat.. It only needs a brain If you use your brain properly you can not only earn in Rupees but also in Foreign Currencies
      Kolla ! you seem to be jealous of Hool’s education. A Jaffna man cannot call himself a professionals unless he has the appropriate qualification. He will be spotted even by a vegetable seller in JAFFNA, IF HE CLAIMS TO BE WHAT HE IS NOT.

    • 8
      3

      Dear kolla,
      .
      Before you write, why don’t you do some cursory checking?
      .
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ratnajeevan_Hoole
      .
      Prof Jeevan Hoole is indeed a dual citizen, American-Sri Lankan. Aren’t his qualifications mainly American – I must have read them, but why should I undertake homework for you? I’m sure that Prof. Hoole must, for decades have practised the thrift which he advocates. If he has a little saved up do you envy him that, given all that he has done for “us” – I mean for Sri Lanka?
      .
      Do you imagine that just because his photograph published with his CT articles shows him in a suit he wears them even to bed? that’s Ravi Karunanake! I have the impression that Prof. Hoole dresses with a certain degree of formality (shirtsleeves and tie), but he travels a good deal in ordinary buses. Shame that you don’t recognise and respect his directness and simplicity.

      • 5
        2

        Sinhala Man

        I am a big fan . Cheers.

  • 6
    3

    Mr. Anaga ,the jaffna guys followed Prabkaran and a gang of uneducated terrorists for over 30 years!. All over the world they are looked at with suspicion because of the bare faced lies they write on their Visa applications to the West !

    • 5
      2

      Your parliamentary members are educated?. but the actions and activities are far from an educated behavior. 55 members have been pointed out as mischievous elements not fit to be in the Parliament’ Another 24 are ear marked as drug pushers. You president don’t understand the constitution thus leading himself to the supreme court. Your past president wanted to creep through the back door to become the Prime Minister.
      The so called uneducated lot with Prabaharan was fighting for a cause whether you like it or not. If they write lies in their application it is due to your dirty deeds in not allowing them to live peacefully even in the North and east . Your government is an embodiment of false hood whether it is here or in GENEVA
      You seem to be a KOLLA- you have to learn a lot Sona.

    • 4
      0

      Have you not heard of Sinhalese refugee status claimants?

    • 12
      1

      Kolla,
      .
      Canada, most of Europe and Australia opened up offices in 1983/84 right here in Sri Lanka to process refugee applications, almost exclusively for Tamils., not because the countries thought Prabaharan was terrorizing Tamils (or Sinhalese) but because they jointly realized that the Sinhala Government was instrumental in terrorizing Tamils, using scums and thugs.
      .
      The current suspicion of “brown skins” stems from the 9/11 event and the scrutiny world wide does not discriminate between Sinhala Sri Lankans or Tamil Sri Lankans.
      .
      It is the Tamils who migrated to those democracies who are most often and repeatedly publicly acclaimed for disproportionately large civic contributions to strengthening their own societies, economically, politically and socially. Read some news papers.
      .
      Your “gonibilla” views certainly fits the Kolla identity!

      • 5
        2

        Thanks, Kumar R.,
        .
        It’s nice to have a balanced response from you; in giving it you have proved an earlier statement by me (on this same page) to have been wrong and quite unjustified.
        .
        But personal preferences ought to have no place in discussing important issues.

      • 0
        0

        Kumar R.
        beg to differ, I am from Europe.
        I dont think offering refuge to anyone on the aforementioned soils are explained by what you added above. There are lot more refugees kept coming to Europe are categorised by them as ” economic refugees”. Among those came from SL to Europe or other destinations belong to the same catergory. So going by their welcome to offer anyone refuge on their soils are connnected with basic laws in those countries. They cant deny it according to humanitarian acts they had signed long ago. Even if they would deny but they have to agree with the laws.
        Please talk to tamil or sinhala diasphora and also syrians keep coming to Europe. THere you will be able to collect the facts about those so called refugees.
        What became clear lately, most entered to Germany and France recently are not real refugees. The RATES go up to over 60 % or little more.

  • 6
    0

    When you leave your country for survival or gain, you can’t speak of absolute integrity. If for survival, you are leaving behind those who were close to you to face the unpleasantness by themselves. If for gain, you are selling yourself and competition is morally ambivalent.
    Emigration as a result of what was made possible or necessary by communal violence has reduced the Tamils demographically, but it is not a gain for the Sinhalese or the Tamils remaining at home. We have a second and third generation of Tamils abroad who have grown up hating Sri Lanka and many of them are in high positions of influence in government and in the world of finance. That is why the politics of chauvinism is foolhardy.

    • 9
      4

      Dear Jaffna Citizen,
      .
      It saddening to read your comment, but what you say in both paragraphs is true.
      .
      Since it is successive Sinhalese-dominated governments who created this situation, will you please accept an apology (I know that it’s not worth much in monetary terms) from me, on behalf of the huge number of Sinhalese who never supported such government policies?

      • 7
        1

        Dear Mr Sinhala Man,
        pleased to read from you again. I hope you are keeping well :)
        .
        Govts are elected by the people. So it is no right to repeatedly put the blam only on govts. Democracy seems to work for us SRILANKENS only to hold elections when the politicians intend to abuse people’s franchise. And you and I know it very well that People #s poltical literacy is very low regardless of the fact that even rural people are literate the island. It is the highest in the region, I guess it should be 93% by now. This is comparable to that of a developed country. Germany has over 5 millions that are illiterate for some reasons., meaning more or less the literacy rate is comparable to that of ours. Anyways, higher literacy rates would not NECESSARILY bring much so long people ‘s gullibility would guide them being caught by vicious politicians. Researchers believe that the superstition of average mind set would have been one of the main reasons peoples not to changen their perceptions easily. Consequently, predatory politicians abuse their gulibility for their election.
        :
        I have no idea if you Mr Sinhala Man, watched weekly programme called ” Yatharuppa” telecasted by SLRC within the first years of GGgovt. The program was one of the best informative one I have ever watched in lanken TV. There, what came to know was, that indian rationalist Dr. Abraham Thomas Kovoor had catergorised lannken people as to be very naive regarding their thinking patterns.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._T._Kovoor

        to be continued

      • 5
        0

        contd.
        .
        . Meaning regardless of the educational level, people’s tendencies to hang on to supertious beliefs are really high in SL and India. Over 90% of lanken population are after astro prediction and follow sorcery: Latter may be one good reason them to get misguided by tricksters easily. When politicians and other prominent figures would take the lead, of course, average would follow them.
        :
        Lately what revealed to the world was that SOCERRY trickster Fake Prof. Keerthi Disanayake’ s valampoori related fortune bringing programmes were just lies. This was warned by experts in Marine Biology not once several dozens of times, but people coming from various walks of life in SL, never believe what researchers found, continued to be followers of Disanayake. Now the man is caught by police (after long 8years of abusive business). .
        :
        I respect your thoughts regarding the aforementioned issues, but I think not only Politicians but also the people should also be made complicit for not thinking twice. There is a sinhala saying, යකාගෙ හැටියට තමයි විමානය ගොඩ නැගෙන්නෙ -பிசாசின் விருப்பத்திற்கு ஏற்ப அரண்மனை கட்டவும்the palace would be built going by the wishes of the devil.
        .
        Just talk to a cross section of the society, there you will get it ” black and white” that a significant portion among us sinhalayas yet, today would never change their RACIAL behaviours. Gomanpila, Weerawanse, Rajaakshes are their representatives.People are well aware of this but they just hang on to them. Sometimes they treat their own people by looking them down. Not just because of caste and creed but that is part and parcel of their culture. Older generations more than today’s generations.

        • 7
          1

          Thanks, “desperateasnoother”,
          .
          I do tend to spout opinions on all sorts of subjects where I am not qualified.
          .
          However, the questions of English “accents” has come up. Every speaker has an accent. Our accents of English are Sri Lankan. In this subject, I have had a sound professional grounding. I want to make some comments on the accents during the next few days.

  • 2
    0

    There was this myth that “The British laughed at themselves”. It was fashionable in middle class Colombo to ape the ‘masters’ and this continued after independence.
    “He comes from Jaffna” illustrates this mindset of yesteryears.
    .
    A remake today is not appropriate. Are there remnants of Brit-affectionate still?
    .
    SRH H, please tell us the relevance of the statement “………Indeed, of the cast of ten, there is only one Tamil, Danu Innasithamby……..?

  • 8
    2

    Mr.Hoole

    I come from Jaffna and am very proud of it.
    Being grateful is part of being a Jaffna Tamil. But I remember you as a man despite being given a front seat by the Indian Consul during an event you were scathing. You cant be proud of yourself. I am grateful for India forcing Mahintha to open a Consulate to recognize Jaffna as a seperate entity. Are you proud that India is slowly but surely taking over Sri Lanka. Are you based in Jaffna to enjoy the fruits.

  • 1
    1

    Genealogy of Jaffna citizens show diversity of origin.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceylonese_Mudaliyars

    The play as described by Prof. Hoole gives a wrong impression.

    • 9
      0

      Justice,
      .
      As for “the play gives a wrong impression,” so did the internationally acclaimed, globally celebrated musical satire “My Fair Lady” and its original “Pygmalion”! Exaggeration is a critical element in any satire.

      • 11
        4

        Justice,
        .
        One other thought.
        .
        Jeevan’s biggest complaint is how Jaffna man is unfairly portrayed as miserly. I couldn’t help laughing when I read Jeevan’s statement “When gifting drumsticks on his arrival from Jaffna, Durai gives a few and then takes back a few regretting his generosity to great applause. I failed to understand why the audience was laughing or applauding. “
        .
        When Jeevan came back to settle in Jaffna, he originally explained in these columns that he returned to the country in gratitude and to repay the tax payers who had given him the opportunity of basic education that enabled him to go abroad and broaden and build his academic career. (As an aside. in a discussion that followed he did concede what motivated his return was more fundamentally to spend time in Jaffna).
        .
        In any case, after he returned and Mahinda failed to follow through on his promise for VC position at UOJ, MR found a temporary parking spot at the Elections Commission with the privilege to work from Jaffna, with regular (monthly) expenses-paid trips to Colombo for meetings, a privilege not often enjoyed by the politically non-influential.
        .
        Having started at the Commission, he promptly made an appeal through these very columns for a measly $15 per month for driver allowance. A guy who claimed he returned to Sri Lanka to repay the tax payers is now pleading for a measly $15 driver (hardly an hour’s wage at Mc Donalds?) allowance per month? Really?!
        .
        Perhaps that explains where the exaggeration from frugality to miserly takes shape! Perhaps, now Jeevan is enlightened as to why the “audience was laughing or applauding.“

        • 6
          5

          This fellow Kumar R will do anything for the Rajapaksas. He must have got a fresh payment to restart his mercenary work of lying vilifications against Professor Hoole after his brief silence noted by Sinhala_Man.

          When Prof Hoole returned from America, I am pretty sure it was after the new GG Government was in place after August 2015. At the time MR was out of power and he did not even have a representative on the Constitutional Council to put Prof. on the Election Commission or arrange for privileges.

          We Tamils say if you are lying at least make the lie fit the circumstances. Working for Rajapaksa, Kumar R seems to have lost connection to Tamil maxims like this.

          Try again Kumar R but make your lies a little bit more believable.

          • 3
            4

            Dear Fact Checker,
            .
            Thanks for doing your bit to expose this evil coward.
            .
            It’s all right for a person like you who makes general observations to do so anonymously. But Kumar R keeps making very personal attacks on Prof Hoole & his brother, who are some of the few heroes in our country.
            .
            The worst people in our country are our Sinhalese politicians, almost all of them. Kumar should be added to that list.
            .
            If there’s a Presidential Election, please give No.1 to Nagananda Kodituwakku. Do you know that you can vote for a SECOND and a third candidate? I haven’t even met Nagananda.
            .
            Let’s try to remake our country into a happy and peaceful place once more.

          • 5
            0

            Fact checker:
            .
            Fact-checking involves checking the facts, not guessing on what may have happened. There is public media report where Jeevan’s compatriot himself recorded (in sympathy to Jeevan) that the appointment to the Commission was given only as a temporary position because MR could not get him the promised UOJ post and Jeevan had remained unemployed for a length of time. If you are unable to track it down, let me know and I will give you the reference. Thought I’d first check on your capability in fact checking!
            .
            Having boot-licked both MR and even Douggie, and having compromised your own community’s interest for the few crumbs thrown by MR who I believe has the singular honour of taking a DSc for a ride, now you guys want to play cute by blaming the other guy for supporting MR! The audacity of you scum bags!!

            • 0
              0

              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. We welcome debate and dissent, but personal attacks (on authors, other users or any individual), persistent trolling and mindless abuse will not be tolerated. The key to maintaining the website as an inviting space is to focus on intelligent discussion of topics.

            • 0
              0

              Kumar
              Mahinda appointed the man, and Douglas ‘disappointed’ him, (Was it in 2005/6?)
              I think, in post-Mahinda years, Hoole desired a certain post but was granted the present one.
              *
              His first appointment as VC Jaffna was by CBK, in disregard of the preference of the UoJ Council. But the LTTE ensured that Hoole remained a ‘Virtual Vice Chancellor’ for 3 months. He gave up because it was not feasible to run the university by remote control..
              I denounce both actions– the appointment and the blocking.
              *
              Later he applied for the VC’s post in the Eastern University but did not score well to be within the ‘shortlist’ and there was no chance of his being appointed.

              • 2
                1

                Such wrong statements with absolute certainty. That is SJ.
                I was not appointed VC by Chandrika. She appointed me to the UGC I. lasted as VC for more than 3 months. SJ should know because the Council was forced to pay me.

                I do not think I need too correct this silly man on every point

                • 0
                  0

                  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. We welcome debate and dissent, but personal attacks (on authors, other users or any individual), persistent trolling and mindless abuse will not be tolerated. The key to maintaining the website as an inviting space is to focus on intelligent discussion of topics.

              • 1
                2

                Professor Hoole,
                .
                It’s sad that a man of SJ’s brilliance should play these nasty games. He has all this intelligence, learning and wit, yet descends to this level. At least he doesn’t deny his identity, unlike Kumar R.
                .
                I hate to write these things about a man who could do so much if he avoided this pettiness. We need to progress far beyond this, and SJ could contribute so much. Why do these two hark back to past animosities?
                .
                I followed the all that fiasco relating to the appointment of one from a Jaffna mafia, rejecting Prof. Sam Thiagalingam of Boston for the position of Vice-Chancellor, Jaffna. There were many articles on CT. I’m not sure that this is the most apposite:
                .
                https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/jaffna-a-university-sinking-in-mediocrity-and-sectarianism/comment-page-1/#comments
                .
                Prof. SJ – can’t we be more constructive? You indirectly create problems for those who try to bridge the ethnic chasm; You harm our entire community on this island. There admittedly are people who have done more damage, but they were not of your calibre.
                .
                You are a man of such immense learning. Why not put forward your own vision for our future in some articles?

          • 0
            0

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  • 0
    0

    My favourite play is yet to be written:
    “He comes back from Colombo”

    Soma

  • 0
    0

    Leaving aside the main article the comments exchanged throw some light on the Hindu, Catholic, Christian, Muslim Portuguese, Dutch, English , South Indian hotchpotch of the Northern population. Added to this is the South Indians brought for tea plantations and tobacco plantations.
    I have raised the question an innumerable times on this column who are the ‘Tamils’ in respect of a ‘political solution’?

    Soma

  • 8
    2

    Prof. Hole,

    You may be from Jaffna and you maybe proud of it. But that doesn’t take away the fact that a majority of the Jaffna fellas are Stingy devils.

    Perhaps, you may even be not a stingy person but the point is, Jaffna people when taken in general are a stingy bunch.

    I remember once I was at a Passport office to renew my Passport. Some of the clerks at the passport office was chatting to me about my ancestral town of Kandy when they found out I was from there. Then a walked a man who looked like a Nallathamby from Jaffna. The clerks slowly took 5 cent coins out of their wallets and started throwing them without Nallathamby seeing that. I asked why. The clerks said, that’s a stingy man from Jaffna who works as a translator at the office. And upon seeing the 5 cent coins on the floor, he will slowly start picking them and putting them in his pocket and for me to watch without direct eye contact.

    Now, there is another point here. I think it’s fine if we have a few laughs at the expense of the Northern bugger. After all, you fellas call us Sinhala Modayas, don’t you? Now where’s your outrage about that? Or is it just when the Northern Jimmy is the target that you seem to care about pride?

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    Any man from north is not fit for a leader, simply because of the conflicts they have in mind. This is THE cause for the failure Tamil struggle!

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    Dear Sinhalese Buddhist,
    .
    I’ve been a teacher, and we guys are a pain to students as well as those who just want to get on with the task of getting an important message across. However, since there seem to be some who want to know about “accents” I’ll give you some insight into the problems we face in Sri Lanka today. The technical features I will come to only at the end of what may well have to be about seven 300 word chunks. Perhaps most readers would do well not to read all this but just apply common sense.
    .
    One warning before I set the scene: even many teachers of English imagine that there are 45 sounds (phonemes) in English, and if you get those right you have perfect English. If , as an adult, one concentrates on that, one is going to end up with a horrible mash; one’s general English (easiest assessed through writing) has to be up to the mark, and much more difficult is getting the stress and intonation patterns right.
    .
    What would be a good model for us all? Take Prof. Kumar David, another Engineer, not one of us language teachers:
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/mangala-malik-shady-or-senseless/
    .
    He writes so well that I tried to find out more about him, and included there links to him speaking as well as something of his biography. He has no Wikipedia entry – not cared to get one made, I guess.
    .
    You have said, above, that “At the end of the day, the accent with which you speak does not mean anything about how good a human being you are.” Very true. All “soft skills” (that is now the vogue term) must come after human decencies have been acquired.

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      Dear Sinhalese Buddhist,
      .
      I think that I’ll have to undertake the much more arduous task of turning all that I had submitted yesterday into a proper article and hope that Colombo Telegraph will accept it as something worthwhile.
      .
      I think that what I had submitted as comments was getting to be off the topic of this discussion. Rules are rules, I guess.

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