27 October, 2021

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In Memoriam Qadri Ismail: Limitations Of Sri Lanka’s Nationalisms

By Rajan Philips

Rajan Philips

Qadri Ismail, Professor of English, Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, passed away recently. His death was sudden and shocking. Yet another Sri Lankan scholar, writer and activist has been prematurely snatched away. Everyone who reads Sri Lankan politics in English knows of Qadri Ismail. I hardly knew Qadri apart from his writings. I have met him only once, and that was in Minneapolis, in 2007. The backdrop to our meeting was the rather long review article I had written on Qadri’s (thesis) book: “Abiding by Sri Lanka: On Peace, Place and Post-coloniality.” The article was published in 2006, in The Sri Lanka Journal of the Humanities. I owe a debt of intellectual gratitude to Dr. Senath Walter Perera, now Emeritus Professor of English and the Journal Editor at that time, who invited me to review the book and then introduced me to Qadri. In keeping with the many themes that Qadri touched in his book, and following up on my recent articles on the fiftieth anniversary of the 1971 insurrection, it is appropriate that I write this sequel on the limitations of Sri Lanka’s three nationalisms as a homage to the memory of Professor Qadri Ismail.

Qadri Ismail

Exceptional Accomplishments

It is also appropriate to highlight and celebrate Qadri’s exceptional accomplishments. He was an A’ Level science student who gained admission to the Medical Faculty to study Medicine. Instead, he turned down the admission to Medicine, changed course to pursue an Honours Degree in English, and completed it with a First Class in 1984. Qadri was only the second Sri Lankan to accomplish this feat. The first, nearly thirty years before Qadri, was Prof. Ashley Halpe who too gave up his admission to Medicine and went to on to secure a first in English. Halpe also topped the CCS (Ceylon Civil Service) examination after graduation, but chose the vocation of university teaching over a career in the prestigious civil service. Qadri initially chose journalism and political activism over university teaching.

Beyond his vitriolic wit and irrepressible irreverence to customs and conventions, Qadri brought to bear a heightened commitment on what he wrote and what he did. The commitment to “read the world as structured hierarchically and to confront, contest and combat hierarchization, oppression and exploitation.” And to nurture the faith and optimism that “something that has never existed,” in Marx’s felicitous phrase, can be brought about.” He carried this commitment and hope to Columbia University, where he spent his graduate decade (1989-1998), the secular North American version of the old seminary, completing his M.A. and his Ph.D.

At Columbia, Qadri Ismail became probably the only Sri Lankan to be tutored by the two pioneer giants of postcolonial studies and scholarship, the great Edward Said and Gayathri Spivak. Qadri was a graduate assistant to Said, the pathbreaking Palestinian American scholar with “an unexceptionally Arab family name (and) … an improbably British first name.” Said was born to Arab Christian parents in pre-partition Jerusalem and later became an agnostic. Gayathri Spivak is the multi-lingual Bengali American scholar and a prominent figure in Subaltern Studies, who, Qadri charmingly acknowledges in his book, “quite simply, taught me how to read.” Perhaps true to his ‘doctor parents’, Qadri blossomed into a postcolonial scholar, writing his own script, in his own inimitable tone. The list of his writings and the thesis topics of graduate students whom he advised and/or examined at Minnesota, is indicative of his scholarly sweep and comparative breadth. His 2015 book “Culture and Eurocentrism,” according to the publisher’s note, challenges the “dominant default assumption” of “discrete” cultures, and contends that “culture … doesn’t describe difference but produces it, hierarchically.”      

While at Columbia, Qadri wrote what I think is the first forceful formulation of the Muslim question in Sri Lanka: “Unmooring Identity: The Antinomies of Elite Muslim Self-Representation in Modern Sri Lanka,” that was published as a chapter in the 1995 symposium, “UnMaking the Nation,” that Qadri co-edited with Pradeep Jeganathan. What is unique about Qadri’s approach to the Sri Lankan national question is the demonstration of even handed forcefulness, namely, the assertion of “justice for the minorities,” on the one hand, and the commitment for “abiding by Sri Lanka,” on the other. There was a third dimension to Qadri’s commitments. To fiercely fight the sacred cows and bigotry within his own community and against the new fundamentalism of his old religion. 

All of the above, Qadri fitted seamlessly within his generously global and passionately postcolonial perspective. A key part of that perspective was to aggressively question the colonial legacies of European enlightenment, manifested in everything that makes up Sri Lanka’s postcolonial polity and society – from the constitution to lopsided parliamentary representation, from quantitative privileging of the majority over qualitative parity with the minorities to inequitable socioeconomic development, and from the reactivation of old pre-colonial follies to their emergence in new postcolonial forms.

Qadri discursively envisioned a Sri Lanka “that has never existed” – one that can only experientially evolve and not be built by brick and mortar. A Sri Lanka, where nationalisms are neither celebrated nor dismissed; where identities are neither encouraged nor questioned; and where differences are neither created nor denied. Qadri challenged the formulation of Sri Lanka’s national question as a privileged contest between Sinhala hegemony and Tamil self-determination to the exclusion of everyone else, and asserted that both the formulation of the question and its resolution must involve the dissemination of justice and equality among all Sri Lankans, including the Muslims, the Upcountry Tamils, and the Christians. The perennial failure of the State to attend to these tasks has reduced this naturally resplendent island to a politically, and violently for thirty years, dysfunctional family of nationalisms. The failure of the State is only one side of the political coin. The other is the limitations of Sri Lanka’s three nationalisms.

Limitations of Nationalisms

The limitations of Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim nationalism have manifested themselves in their respective domains. Insofar as the three nationalisms are constrained to co-exist within a small island, the effects of these limitations have been generally to contain the excesses of these nationalisms, but not always with significant success. While Sinhala nationalism is the most powerful of the three, its limitations can be seen in its inability to totally dominate, or crush, and eliminate the other two. In fairness, there are many Sinhalese and in critically sufficient numbers who do not approve of total domination or crushing of the Tamils and the Muslims. That in itself is a limiting counterweight to the more domineering instigators of Sinhala nationalism.

As for Tamil nationalism, its limitations and even losses have mostly surpassed its gains. But at every turn it has proved itself to be resilient and capable of regeneration. At the same time, just as much Sri Lankan Tamil nationalism cannot be eliminated from Sri Lanka, it cannot also overcome its ultimate limitation – that of having to find its due place within Sri Lanka. The Muslims, although they have been in the country like everyone else from the beginning of modernity and even before, are latecomers to the Sinhala-Tamil nationalist bickering. Their expectations are limited, and so their limitations are also immaterial. Yet, their arrival has not only transformed the debate but also widened the scope for finding potential accommodations.

The main contests of the three nationalisms have been in the arena of the state. In many political societies the emergence of the state facilitated the making of the nation. Hence the concept and experience of state-led nations and nationalisms. There was always the possibility of the postcolonial State of Sri Lanka spearheading the making of an inclusive nation along the lines that Qadri Ismail envisioned. That possibility is neither farfetched nor utopian. However, the Sri Lankan experience has been not one of a unifying and inclusive experience of nation making. On the contrary, the experience has been the rejection of that possibility, and the virtual appropriation of the state by Sinhala nationalist forces and agendas to the exclusion of others. But even that appropriation has shown its limitations, for while the state was able to conclusively defeat the challenge of Tamil separatism, it is not able to override the non-separatist expectations of Tamil nationalism.

At another level, the 2019 Easter bombings exposed not any limitations but the sheer incompetence of the Sri Lankan state and its functionaries. And while the last government could not prevent the bombing in spite of prior warning, including warnings by the Muslim community itself, the present government seems unable to find out, let alone reveal, who all the masterminds behind the bombings were. More than incompetence, there are also conspiracy allegations of connivance between the elusive masterminds and high echelons of not just the last government, but the present government also. And in a historic role reversal from the 1960s when the government of the day brought the Catholic Church  “to its knees” over ‘Catholic Action’, the Catholic Cardinal of today seems determined not to let the government pull the rug over criminal investigations.

A common feature of the emergence of nationalism(s) in Sri Lanka is the virtual absence of a significant economic base. The absence of a robust economy was a major factor in the developmental failure of an inclusive Sri Lankan nationalism. To the extent Sinhalese nationalism has appropriated the state, it has also appropriated the national economy. But time and again the state’s failure to come to equitable terms with the presence of Tamils and Muslims in the country, has also undermined its efforts to grow the economy even to its limited potentials. On the other hand, the economic underpinnings of the origins of Tamil nationalism were nothing more than grievances over government jobs, and later over depletions in university of admissions. At its highest stage, Tamil separatism rose over a veritable domestic economic vacuum. At the same time while the economic factor is a serious limitation on the extrapolations of Tamil nationalism, it is not going to be fatal to its continuing survival within Sri Lanka. It is fair to say that the Muslim community is more aware of the limitations of its nationalism than its Sinhala and Tamil counterparts, but it has become justifiably insistent that it cannot be indefinitely taken for granted.

The mechanics of the emergence of the three nationalism are to be found in the workings of Sri Lanka’s electoral democracy, the sociocultural structures of the three communities, and the robust assertions of their religious and linguistic inheritances. But nothing in the emergence or the mechanics thereof would suggest that the three nationalisms are inherently incompatible. The limitations of the nationalisms have prevented their excesses from becoming permanently excessive. The overarching role for integrating them can only be undertaken by the State of Sri Lanka. But there is scarcely any sign that those currently running the State are aware of this task, let alone undertake it.   

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  • 5
    3

    “Qadri challenged the formulation of Sri Lanka’s national question as a privileged contest between Sinhala hegemony and Tamil self-determination to the exclusion of everyone else, and asserted that both the formulation of the question and its resolution must involve the dissemination of justice and equality among all Sri Lankans, including the Muslims, the Upcountry Tamils, and the Christians.”
    *
    This something akin to what Sri Lankan Marxist Leninists have been constantly saying since the 1980s to formulate the national question in terms of four nationalities (S, T, M, HCT) and recognition of Burghers, Malays, Attho et al. as national minorities.
    Quadri is erring slightly in naming the Christians as a group on par with what would be nationalities. The Christians unlike Muslims do not assert an identity distinct from S or T people.
    The case for defending religious identity is, however, valid in the context of SB chauvinism. But that has to be on another level.
    Nevertheless, I consider Quadri among the brightest independent thinkers that Peradeniya produced.
    I have met him at my friend Prof. Thiru Kandiah’s house on quite a few occasions when he was a student. Thiru held him in high regard.
    Thank you for the tribute.
    I am sad to hear of his loss.

  • 5
    1

    No Rajan there were a few others who took first classes in English from University College (forerunner of UCoC) . One I am sure of is Doric, but there may be another two or three. There are people who can update us – maybe Panini who is an English 2(i).

    • 5
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      Kumar
      You seem to be at cross purposes with the author.
      The accomplishment referred to is not a First Class in English. I can add Yasmin Gooneratne, perhaps the fist female to achieve that in what was Ceylon. She is highly acclaimed as a writer of both poetry and fiction, and a literary critic among other things.
      *
      But the author refers to something else: gaining admission to the Medical Faculty, changing course to pursue an Honours Degree in English, and completing it with a First Class– something which Ashley Halpe achieved more than three decades earlier.

      • 1
        0

        The issue is whether it was his first class in English that made him into a postcolonial thinker of sort or his later education at Columbia with Edward Said and gayathri Spivak etc?(plus his first hand reading of Sri lanka’s nationalisms and their bases).

    • 1
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      It’s getting on for 4.00 am., Kumar. Yes, there have been about six or seven Firsts from Gananth Obeysekera on, but no time to tell.
      .
      Could have been put on many hours ago, but lack of feedback becomes a disincentive.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe

  • 4
    0

    I didn’t know Qadri Ismail personally. He had graduated from Peradeniya when I entered, but I heard about him from his colleagues in Economics, etc., who stayed on to pursue academic careers. I was familiar with his writings in the Lanka Guardian and the Sunday Times. Despite graduating from Peradeniya English, he was very critical of Ashley Halpe and the English Dept, calling it an “effete institution bogged down in bourgeois elitism.” He also maintained that W.H. Samaranayake’s ‘Practical English Grammar’ was outdated, despite its wide use in English teaching in SL at that time.

    I knew that Ismail, Taraki Sivaram, and Dayan Jayatilleka were part of a social studies circle in Colombo. The circle might have included DBS Jeyaraj. Ismail wrote about Sivaram, giving both positive and negative reviews of the latter’s political leanings. And Sivaram, whom I met a couple of times in the U.S., had a largely friendly view of Ismail, though they followed different paths and probably had stopped all contact by then.

  • 6
    0

    Qadri — may his soul rest in peace — is more familiar to many of us through his wife and regular CT writer Shreen Saroor.

    • 4
      1

      Jeevan, I hadn’t known whom Qadri had married, or even that he had got married.
      .
      Yes, we have got to know Shreen Saroor from her many constructive articles on Colombo Telegraph. Thanks for enabling the connections for me.
      .
      I’m easily the oldest of the guys referred to here, of course, but Qadri completed his First Class Degree around November 1984, and I graduated in December 1985.
      .
      I’m sure that I’ll be writing more about Qadri during the next few days, but thanks for telling about the wife – and kids to complete the picture?
      .
      Shreen, my sympathies to you; I knew Qadri well, and a few years ago I looked at some of the things said about him by the students he taught in Minnesota. They, too, had found him a mostly inspiring enigma!
      .
      But let me assure you, a good man whose demise will be mourned!
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe

  • 7
    22

    Can a Muslim scholar/intellectual totally free himself/herself from the shackles of irrationality and blind faith programmed during childhood and even if one occasionally does can he/she come out of the cocoon and be socially acceptable?
    .
    What I mean is can there be a Muslim born equivalent of a Richard Dawking who is loved and invited for discussion everywhere?

    Soma

    • 14
      1

      Yes, undoubtedly countless have freed themselves from the shackles of irrationality and blind faith programmed during childhood, whether it was religious or non-religious irrationality, whether it was racist supremacist ideology, or extreme economic policy ideology, or extreme political ideology.

      Individualism and rational thought has triumphed over irrational conditioning innumerably.

      Are you an exception Soma?

      • 2
        10

        Sugandh
        Yes of course, millions but they are all non Muslims.
        Know of any Muslim free thinker who could freely move around their own community? Like I said a Richard Dawkins.

        Soma

        • 11
          1

          Soma,
          “Know of any Muslim free thinker who could freely move around their own community?”

          Try this :

          https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://theprint.in/opinion/pov/these-muslim-women-comedians-are-making-us-laugh-in-india-of-2021-its-no-joke/590638/%3Famp&ved=2ahUKEwj4i-fe8ILxAhXOYisKHeXtB1MQFjAAegQIAxAC&usg=AOvVaw3giytVQ2TvqacOHCCWa3Eu&ampcf=1

          Also, I know of a non-Muslim country near you, where women are picked up by the police if they are out alone at midnight, where they can’t legally buy alcohol, and where writers are locked up for blasphemy. Do I have to tell you where it is?
          It’s not only Muslims, dear Soma, that have skeletons in their cupboards.

          • 7
            1

            Thanks, old codger, for taking control of Colombo Telegraph’s resident idiot, Gamini Somaratne.
            .
            Qadri Ismail was certainly fun to have around. There never was any question of his identity being anything other than Lankan Colombo Muslim, but he certainly was a human being one could associate with, and learn much from.

            • 0
              0

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            • 3
              0

              S.M,
              I wouldn’t take that much credit. Our friend is capable of intelligent discussion, unlike some others who only keep repeating their rants.

            • 0
              3

              Sinhala_man
              I went to ‘search page’ function and typed ‘Gamini Somaratne’ to find only one occurrence.

              Soma

          • 0
            4

            Old Codger
            Let these pretty comedians crack one joke about their Boss and see the result.

            Soma

            • 3
              0

              Soma,
              “crack one joke about their Boss and see the result.”
              As I pointed out before, there is a non-Muslim country near you where you can’t do that either.
              But you can do that in many other countries, such as our accusers at the UNHRC.

            • 2
              1

              Dear “soma”,
              .
              “their boss” – do you mean mine as well? Who is my alleged “Boss”?
              .
              I have no “Boss”.
              .
              This article, and comments thereon, were meant to celebrate the memory of Qadri Ismail. I don’t think that anybody really is concerned about “soma” who constantly makes comments with communal slurs. I’m not sure what you mean by “search page” but I used both Firefox and Google Chrome browsers and placed “Gamini Somaratne” there. Many results, confirming the existence of such an individual.
              .
              It is from a “mutual friend” (who doesn’t want his identity revealed) that I learnt that “soma” is Gamini Somaratne. Now, I find that the results returned by the browser correspond with startling accuracy with what I was told.
              .
              What an unnecessary debate! Tell us who you are? That will put an end to our troubling CT. I’m sure that “Reader Fatigue” has also set in.
              .
              “old codger” nobody has demanded revelation of your identity, but I do acknowledge that I went too far in labelling “soma” an “idiot”. So apologies to “soma” and all readers for my careless use of language. Qadri would not have approved.
              .
              Panini Edirisinhe

        • 5
          0

          Yes Soma, too many.

          When we take down the walls we ourselves have built around us, we open up ourselves to a whole new world of people… Free thinkers from strong Islamic upbringing too, even of Islamic upbringing in Islamic states, and even right here in SL.

          • 3
            0

            Dear Sugandh.
            .
            Thanks very much for that very strong affirmation that you will not allow a wall to be built around you.
            .
            Qadri was so ambitious that it wasn’t always easy associating with him. See what Agnos says above. There’s much more that needs to be said about his attacks on Ashley Halpe after Qadri had safely secured his First Class. Difficult issues have to be faced, but we must also be fair.
            .
            A lack of ambition can also cause problems! Qadri was awarded the Leigh Smith Prize for English for his 1984 Results. There never was any doubt that I was going to receive it the following year. See where I have got landed now, at the age of 72!
            .

            “Think now
            History has many cunning passages, contrived corridors
            And issues, deceives with whispering ambitions,
            Guides us by vanities.” T.S. Eliot
            .
            https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/47254/gerontion
            .

            • 4
              0

              Dear Sinhala_Man,
              This is perhaps a classic case of how we often don’t recognize our own shackles.

              Imagine the insidiousness of those shackles that prompts one to throw shade at the entire community of a man who’s being remembered so positively!

          • 0
            2

            Sugandh
            For example?

            Soma

            • 5
              0

              Dear Soma,
              The many that I speak of are real people whom I have met, gotten to know, and have befriended over the years; the many whom I have met through my travels. They are not people in the limelight.

              Let me speak of the women I had the fortune to meet in a hardcore Islamic state. These women, esteemed colleagues and now dear friends, broke traditions and shackles to become CEOs and leaders in their own country. Two dear friends there faced harassment by the state because they didn’t embrace the conservative values. These women have forged their destiny as much as they can even within an oppressive religious state.

              But it is not just those women but their fathers, uncles, brothers, and sons are also opening their minds and supporting the women in their life.

              Really too many to mention.

              Most of these folk aspire to immigrate to where? The United States of America or Canada (and less frequently EU or UK). Because they truly believe it is there human rights are respected, it is there they can be free and realise their potential.

        • 6
          0

          No need to go to this level really! When we discuss about an intellectual who just passed away,have some respect to the person and his work. We cant imagine of any free thinkers devoid of ideas. ideas come from all kind of sources and shades. As we grow older,they perculate into knowledge that some of us use to read the world. Quadri is no different. Why do we expect him to be a FREE thinker? He may have collected/learned/stored ideas from all different sources -including his studies,reflection, experience,dialogue,interaction and more. Those close to him may know better.

    • 1
      1

      History thoughts World Social Survey archive, Respondents reveal that most people believe in the existence of God and consider that God is important and very important in their lives.

      Most influential person in history noted in the ranking of 100 people by Michael H Hart the no 1 Supreme successful

    • 2
      0

      Soma ,

      I don’t feel you deserve an answer for this and neither am I happy
      about challenging you back because some smells are too stubborn
      to be eliminated ! I don’t know why you are looking for a Richard
      Dawkins from other world cultures and civilisations which have
      generously contributed to the modern world in its process of
      evolution where our brain now use 20% of our total energy intake ,
      which was only 3% about a million years ago ! Coming to your
      question anyway , Saudi Arabia which is considered the heart of
      Islam is , reported to have about 9% 0f its population Atheists !
      Second , read the history of Abdul Kalam becoming the president of
      India during Hindutwa rule and with the blessings of the opposition .

      • 2
        0

        Well said.
        .
        Religion? With the world even now awash with so many of them, I don’t know what to affirm as “mine”. Of those that I have learnt about the religion of the Ancient Greeks, with that rascal Zeus as the most interesting, but I’m pretty sure that the truth value of all that’s said there is close to zero.
        .
        However, religions mean a great deal to most people. A great deal of emotion invested in them. It’s best not to infuriate others by proclaiming what we hold to be our view to be the only valid way of looking at the world.
        .
        Panini Edirisinhe

  • 2
    0

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  • 5
    0

    Qadri Ismail is an intellectual giant and his sudden death is a loss to all those who know him and even to those who do not know him..
    The acceptance of three nationalisms- Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim is really a fine gesture to all three communities who inhabit the island.
    Yet, they are not qualitatively or quantitatively equal in the sense that, Sinhala, actually, Sinhala Buddhist nationalism is hegemonic, in that its scope covers the entire island and only ready to accommodate the other two on its own terms.
    The Tamil nationalism is regional in that its range encompasses only Northern and Eastern Provinces and accepts national minority status in the rest of the island.
    Muslim nationalism on the contrary is loosely island wide, not territorial and ready to be accommodated within Sinhala Buddhist nationalism. Muslim nationalism is territorial only in the context of Tamil nationalism.
    Christians play only a minor role. The Christian Sinhalese accept Sinhala Buddhist domination and Tamil Christians seek accommodation within Tamil aspirations.
    The upcountry Tamils are a different kettle of fish and ready to be treated as a national minority.
    A correct understanding of the aspirations of the different nationalism is essential in finding a common ground and finding a solution acceptable to all nationalities in the country.

  • 3
    0

    A fitting tribute by Rajan Phillips.

    I have heard about Quadri Ismail over the years, and also an account about him in the press by Rajiva Wijesinghe [Liberal Party etc ].

    I was also introduced to him by Dr.Thiru Kandiah somewhere in June 1983 at his residence next to Arunachalam Hall.

    I believe Quadri was the first Muslim to have been awarded a First class in English at Peradeniya.

    According to Rajiva,. Quadri s parents did not approve his switch to English from Medicine!

    Re. Doric, as per eekadevi above Doric was asked by one of his students why he did not pursue his Ph.D.
    Doric replied that there was no need for him to reassure himself!

  • 1
    0

    “The main contests of the three nationalisms have been in the arena of the state. In many political societies the emergence of the state facilitated the making of the nation. Hence the concept and experience of state-led nations and nationalisms. There was always the possibility of the postcolonial State of Sri Lanka spearheading the making of an inclusive nation along the lines that Qadri Ismail envisioned. That possibility is neither farfetched nor utopian. However, the Sri Lankan experience has been not one of a unifying and inclusive experience of nation making. On the contrary, the experience has been the rejection of that possibility, and the virtual appropriation of the state by Sinhala nationalist forces and agendas to the exclusion of others”. The problem is the lack of an overarching framework(at conceptual,institutional,cultiural or pragmatic levels) that can include all Sri Lankans in a happy marriage of co-existence? Words are not enough. This has to be a nation-building project with a vision for the country’s future and moving forward. If we listen to diehard nationalists of all hues, we will not get anywhere. Such a nationalism of co-existence cannot be enforced by force of the state(it is bound to fail like in other places except China). It has to be promoted through education,media, seminars, publications and most of all by civic leaders-if not the political establishment. Articulating the fundamentals of such an all embracing nationalism and what it entails in terms of citizenship (rights and responsibilities) conceptually is the first test. One problem here is that even within the majoritu Sinhalese, the deprivations exist in comparison to those who hold power. Any futuristic nationalism has to address that power imbalance also.

  • 2
    0

    Qadri

    Saddened to learn of Qadri’s sudden, untimely death. His loss will be greatly felt as is clear from the enconiums that have already appeared here and abroad. (Thank you for that Minnesota Uni. Tribute, Sinhala Man.) And Arjuna has beautifully captured the explosion that was Qadri.

    But I mourned another loss, the loss to this country when Qadri was embraced (enticed?) by a more tempting world, in which he might truly flower. This country has lost so many of its brightest sons and daughters – S.J. Tambiah and Siri Gunasinghe were among the earliest I recall – and this continues to diminish the resources the country nourished. We need to appreciate academics, like the writer of this poem, who continue to work here despite the obstacles and frustrations and even dangers created by intolerance and perpetual conflict.

    • 2
      0

      My previous comments were posted here in error, they were intended to go below Arjuna’s poem (hence ‘the writer of this poem’). My apologies.

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