19 July, 2024

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The War Against Words

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“We are accused of terrorism, If we dare to write about the remains of a homeland…. About a homeland where birds are not allowed to sing, About a homeland where writers must use invisible ink….” ~ Nizar Qabbani (We are accused of terrorism)

Had writer VV Ganeshananthan lived in Jaffna instead of New York, she would have been summoned by Sri Lanka’s Counter Terrorism Investigative Division (CTID) and grilled for a couple of hours over her second book, Brotherless Night. As the Vavuniya CTID did with Pradeepan Deepachelvan. a young Tamil writer, over his first book, Nadugal (translated into Sinhala by PP Sarath Ananda as Smaraka Shilavatha). He was questioned for over 2 hours on such matters as whether he is trying revive the LTTE.

I recently sent a letter to a terrorist I used to know. With such self-incrimination begins Ms. Ganeshananthan’s book. So much in that one line to keep the CTID busy for a year. The author admits she knows a terrorist, which, in all probability, means she is one too (once a terrorist, always a terrorist). Later on the same page, she talks about the first terrorist she knew, meaning she knows more than one. She probably knows their addresses too, and, may even be writing to all of them. If that doesn’t count as an attempt to revive terrorism, separatism, and the Tigers, what would?

Of course, Brotherless Night is a novel, a work of fiction. But then so is Mr. Deepachelvan’s book, reportedly the first novel written in the North post-war. Yet the CTID wanted to know who the character Maran is where he is now!

In 2011, at the Royal College Prize Giving, President Mahinda Rajapaksa proclaimed that “songs disgracing the country could help those who want to divide the motherland” (Daily Mirror – 3.5.2011). The antithesis of patriotic songs has to be traitorous songs. 13 years on, that Rajapaksa worldview continues to animate our police in general and the CTID in particular.

It is unlikely that Mr. Deepachelvan would be arrested, as Lankan Muslim poet Ahnaf Jazeem was. Certainly, not so close to an election. Maybe, the AG’s Department has learnt something from its disastrous decision to okay the arrests of comedian Nathasha Edirisooriya and You Tuber Bruno Diwakara under the ICCRP. Last week, the Department was compelled to withdraw all charges due to lack of evidence.

Nathasha Edirisooriya

Just one year ago, the situation was quite otherwise. The police and the CID were busy chasing those who allegedly slandered the Buddha and Buddhism, while crimes of more violent and tangible sort proliferated. The police actually commenced an investigation against five activists who called a media conference to protest Ms. Edirisooriya’s arrest. Political monks and their lay backers wanted those who laughed at the comedian’s jokes investigated as well. No major political party protested this travesty of justice. Most evade the issue even now.

The spate of arrests using the ICCPR came to a halt only when the judiciary delivered a scathing judgement while approving bail for Natasha Edirisooriya. Colombo High Court judge, Aditya Patabendi explained why neither the ICCPR nor the penal code could be used against Ms. Edirisooriya then said, “Especially just because complaint is made by a Buddhist monk or another religious leader or an influential person in society, it is not the task of the investigating officer to arrest a person based on that alone,”.

Persecuting words is neither new nor exclusively Sri Lankan. In the US, book banning is reaching epidemic levels, with more than 4349 books banned in schools and libraries between July and December 2023, according to Pen America. The banned books include such classics as Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eyes and internet sensations like fantasy writer Sarah J Mass’s A Court of Mist and Fury. Not even children’s picture books are spared in this heightening war against words. In Alabama, Read me a story, Stella, a picture book featuring a girl, her brother and their dog, was included in the banned list because the author’s last name happened to be Gay (clearly our CTID or police are not unique and have their intellectual counterparts in the US). Most of the book banning is being done in red states like Florida, but, if not stemmed, the tide of intolerance could spread to the rest of the country and have an impact beyond American US shores, including in our own tiny corner of the world.

O little light in me, don’t die, even if all the galaxies in the world close in*

Arundathy Roy won the Booker Prize in 1997, the year before Narendra Modi became the general secretary of the BJP (he was assigned to the BJP by the RSS). She was a global sensation and he wasn’t much known outside India. Now he is the prime minister, adored by millions of supporters (who didn’t laugh when he elevated himself to ‘divine’ status during election season), kowtowed to by Indian elites (including Bollywood superstars), and feted by Western powers. And, soon after being sworn in as prime minister for the third time, he seemed to have decided to make an example of one of India’s most iconic authors.

Ms. Roy is being charged with promoting terrorism under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The charge refers to a comment in a speech she made 14 years ago stating that Kashmir was not a part of India. Sheikh Showkat Hussein, a Kashmiri political analyst and a former professor at the Central University of Kashmir, is to be charged alongside Ms. Roy. Both can be detained for a long period of time even sans a trail.

In 2009, Lankan editor Lasantha Wickrematunge was murdered in broad daylight, at a busy intersection abutting a high security zone. That sent a clear message to all media personnel about the dangers of criticising the Rajapaksas. The English language media, which had continued to make sporadic attempts (and against tremendous odds) to report some of the less palatable truths of the war, silenced itself. The sudden discontinuation of the Iqbal Athas’ ‘Situation Report’ was the most potent symbol of this wave of self-censorship.

Mr. Modi is probably aiming for a similar ripple effect of fear and dread. Ms Roy is being targeted both for who she is and as a message to those opponents and dissenters emboldened by the BJP’s stunning electoral underperformance. (Still) have teeth; will bite. Mr. Modi’s telling them; no one’s too big. Absolutely no one.

While America bans books, India has taken several leaps forward down the same path, and is burning libraries (an activity not unfamiliar to us, the spectrum ranging from the burning of the Jaffna library to the burning of Ranil Wickremesinghe’s collection of books). On March 31, 2023, a Hindu mob chanting Jai Shri Ram burnt down the Aziza Madrasa library in Bihar. Around 4,500 books were lost including ancient manuscripts. The library was more than a century old and was built by a woman, Bibi Soghra, in memory of her late husband. The burning didn’t make much of a stir even in India.

Half-a-continent away, in Gaza, Israel is engaged in human and cultural genocide, systematically pulverising Palestinian schools and libraries. Between October 7th and December 2023, 14 Palestinian writers and poets were killed by Israeli bombs. Among the more than 37,000 Palestinians killed so far are at least 116 journalists, according to the IFJ. Arrests and other acts of persecution are innumerable in the West Bank and in Israel. As Palestinian poet Najwan Darwish said, “Words, speech – that’s what’s being targeted. Israel could target you for just posting something on social media…” (The Guardian – 20.1.2024).

In Western capitals, anti-war protestors are facing censorship and persecution even as most Republican and some Democratic politicians are preparing to honour alleged genocider, Benjamin Netanyahu. No cause seems to be as impermissible as that of Palestine. As Indian American student Shruthi Kumar said in her Harvard commencement speech, “This semester, our freedom of speech and our solidarity became punishable.” 13 Harvard undergraduates were denied graduation because of their support for Palestine.

In the same speech, Ms. Kumar pointed out the need for universality of compassion and solidarity, across natural and human-made barriers, “Can we see the humanity of people we don’t know? Can we feel the pain of people with whom we disagree?” Where such solidarity and compassion are absent, the stage is cleared for atrocities. Narendra Modi’s electoral ascendance was marked by the Gujarati pogrom. Why did it not make Indian voters shun him – at least out of a sense of decency – rather than embrace him? Why weren’t they outraged and disgusted? This question needs to be asked not just in India but everywhere from the Orient to the Occident, from Sri Lanka to Ukraine/Russia.

How come so many advocates of fundamental rights are unmoved by the carnage in Gaza where even new born babies are denied the most fundamental of all rights, simply because they happened to be born in that besieged enclave? The barbarity of Hamas is insufficient to account for the silence about the continuous murder of women and children by the Israeli military. And why equate violent language of some of the anti-war protestors with actual violence (murder and destruction on a mass scale no less) by Israel?  Is it possible equate the fear felt by a Jewish student in an American campus on hearing the cry, From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free with the fear felt by a Palestinian in a tent-city in Gaza on hearing the sound of Israeli bombers? (This is not to deny the deplorable presence of anti-Semitism in the anti-war camp).

Intolerance or words and persecution of writers is not the exclusive privilege of any ideology, country or party. Which is why issues such as the abuse of ICCPR and the dangers of the new Online Safety Act should feature prominently in the political discourse this election season. All major candidates and their parties should be questioned about their stance on these matters. Unfortunately, beyond heaping praise on one’s preferred candidate and excoriating all others, a rational discussion on most subjects is conspicuous by its absence. That is a dangerous absence. For the wave of intolerance has only ebbed temporarily. It can flow again, and will flow again, especially after the election, when the winners and/or losers need diversions, an issue to flog, an enemy to attack.

If I must die, let it bring hope, let it be a tale**

18th Century France was a battleground of ideas. Marie-Ann Doublet was an enthusiastic combatant of these wars of and on words. Not only did she run a salon where ideas were debated. She was also the facilitator of a clandestine newspaper. A valet would visit the servants’ quarters of neighbouring houses to gather gossip, which he would enter in two registers: reliable and unreliable. When the participants of the salon arrived, they’d check the registers for the latest gossip and add their own news to them. Later, the servants of the house would read the register of credible news and circulate copies of the latest bits in the neighbourhood. Copies of the copies would be made and sold. In a country, where words were heavily censored, and news was a scarce commodity, the demand for such clandestine papers was high across the society.

France’s first newspaper did not appear till 1777 and was heavily censored. The state and the Church were united in trying to keep the people in a state of ignorance. France was burning books even in the latter half of the 18th century. In this climate of suppression, both underground publications and gossip thrived. People found ways to talk, write, and disseminate. Not even the looming shadow of the Bastille could silence men and women eager to know the world. Born to unfreedom, they knew how much freedom mattered.

Now words and writers are being persecuted even in places such persecution was nothing but a dim memory until recently. The world is moving backwards, to a more intolerant era, as is Sri Lanka. Article 291A and Article 291B of the Penal Code criminalise the deliberate wounding of religious feelings. They are a legacy of colonial rule and were hardly used during the first 50 years of independence. An Indian atheist like Abraham T Covoor could settle down here and publicly challenge popular beliefs, godmen and even monks without anyone demanding his arrest. In 2023, he would have been incarcerated under ICCPR and deported.

On February 25th 2024, Aaron Bushnell, a serving member of US Air Force, immolated himself outside the Israeli embassy in Washington. As the flames engulfed him, he stood straight shouting Free Palestine. He was 25. His last social-media post set out the reason for his impending sacrifice. Many of us like to ask ourselves, ‘What would I do if I was alive during slavery? Or the Jim Crow South? Or apartheid? What would I do if my country is committing genocide?’ The answer is, ‘You are doing it. Right now.’

Killing oneself is not the answer. But Mr. Bushnell’s question is valid. How should we respond when the history we read about begins to repeat itself around us? What should we do in a world slipping into greater unfreedom? What should we do when a comedian is imprisoned for blasphemy and a novelist is accused of promoting terrorism? Even more pertinently, why are such vital issues being ignored by all candidates and all parties? What makes us think that under a President Sajith Premadasa, more comedians will not be persecuted for insulting Buddhism, as happened under Presidents Ranil Wickremesinghe? What makes us think that under a President Anura Kumara Dissanayake, art will not be divided along patriotic-traitorous lines, as was done under President Mahinda Rajapaksa? How can change be change when so many vital issues are ignored, brushed under the carpet or addressed only as slogans?

__________________________________________________________

*From Not Just Passing by Palestinian poet and novelist Hiba Abu Nada, killed in her Gaza home by an Israeli airstrike on October 20th. She was 32.

**From If I die by Palestinian poet, Refaat Alareer, murdered by an Israeli precision bomb, along with his brother, sister, and four nephews and nieces

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Latest comments

  • 6
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    Tisaranee writes that 2 poets have been killed in their Gaza homes through genocide of Israeli air strikes on Gaza on October 20th. I expect TG to know that Hamas from Gaza without any warning attacked Israel on October 7th 2023 and Israel defended itself from Hamas and other terrorists and bombings continues to date. This war could easily escalate into the Armageddon war described in the bible in Ezek.38, if Gog\Russia gets provoked to attack Israel together with Persia\Iran, Turkey, Ethiopia, Libya and mid-east Arab countries.

    • 16
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      DTG
      It is very sad to see that you have gone back to your Zionist extremist self.

      • 0
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        Human Touch, when will you ever understand that this is not my Zionist extremist self but only what is prophesied in the bible and that it will definitely take place. I don’t have the capacity to formulate world change. Only the Creator of this world can do that.

  • 3
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    What is India imitating Sri Lanka?
    Or, should I be asking,
    What is wrong with Sri Lanka imitating India?

    • 6
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      I think the freedom of social media has become an arming of various criminals or any rascals in today’s Sri Lanka. I firmly believe that strict law and order should be implemented to tame this nation where the majority favors crime more than the other way around.
      :
      Karaniya Metta Sutra is rapped by a music producer and put on air in Sri Lanka, how does the bugger singer fall so deep?
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlTR8uzWxTk
      What happened to law and order?
      If it had been so in terms “christianity” in Europe, the whole European people would have united and stood against it.
      I don’t see any kind of anti-religious behavior being repeated by rappers or other poppers in Europe.

      In retrospect, Natasa’s public statements against Prince Siddhartha ‘s father and mother were just as wrong as the singer’s rapping of Karaniya Mehta Sutra.

      However, Sri Lankans today do not dare to defend honor and respect due to certain reasons.
      Not many SAFRONISTS still do openly criticize them. Some monks are making every effort to bring their loyal leaders in the upcoming elections, but something in Sri Lankan society has completely prevented them from progressing.

    • 7
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      Nathan
      Imitating a positive aspect of India is not bad, why not.
      But on the other hand there are so many negative things about India we should avoid at all cost.

  • 5
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    …….Yet the CTID wanted to know who the character Maran is where is he now?……..
    is one line of Tissaranee.
    Perhaps, CTID can comb the entire North-East and pickup Train-Loads of Maran.
    By the way could it be MaRa?

  • 8
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    “I expect TG to know that Hamas from Gaza without any warning attacked Israel on October 7th 2023 and Israel defended itself from Hamas and other terrorists and bombings continues to date.”

    I don’t know which religious principle uses the word “terrorists” and defending means killing of people. The world is divided into Two powerful groups. Depending on the needs of their own needs they simply use words “terrorists” and “defending” irrespective of what is right or wrong. Even those who preach religion are violent enough in this phenomenon.

    • 5
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      Ajith
      If you can justify the genocide taking place in Israel due to October 7th, then you should also accept the aftermath of the unprovoked killing of 13 Sri Lankan soldiers by the LTTE on July 1983, that lead to Black July attack on Tamils.

      • 16
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        There is a vast difference between what happened. The Hamas attacked raped and killed innocent Israeli civilians and not members of the IDF, whereas the LTTE attacked soldiers and not civilians in 1983. Soldiers are there to fight and combat with the LTTE and these Sinhalese soldiers in stationed in the north even then were no saints and were engaged in atrocities against the Tamil civilian population there. Also, unlike the JR led racist Sinhalese Sri Lankan state that had already preplanned the July 1983 pogrom in detail and was just only waiting for a trigger to start it, knowing that there will be a skirmish between the LTTE and the Sinhalese Sri Lankan armed forces and a Sinhalese soldier will either die or get injured soon , as an excuse to start this well-planned anti Tamil pogrom in July 1983. They already had enacted legislation like in Nazi Germany that excluded home and goods insurance claims through arson and looting and electoral rolls with the names of Tamil homes, had already been printed in advance to be given the Sinhalese and Muslim looters, killers and rapists, down south. Israel did not pre plan this and, like the Sinhalese Sri Lankan state did in 1983. You are just another Sinhalese racist trying to find lame excuses to justify what happened to the island’s Tamils. Human Touch indeed.

        • 15
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          The killing of thirteen Sinhalese soldiers and not Sinhalese civilians, who were sent to the north to fight and combat with the LTTE, knowing some of them will get killed and get injured doing this, this is what soldiers are there for, not to dress up and look pretty in a parade, does not justify what happened to the island’s Tamil in the preplanned anti Tamil p[pogrom in July 1983, at the same toked the deliberate preplanned killing of innocent Israeli and other foreign civilians by the Hamas, to deliberately provoke the Jewish state does not Justify what Israel did to the Palestinian civilians in Gaza and the West Bank. You should have the intelligence to analyze this inhuman touch.

          • 14
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            The Irish IRA were killing and maiming thousands of British soldiers in Northern Ireland and their bodies were coming to mainland England, Scotland and Wales, they even bombed many public places and many were killed and even Islamic extremists have done this in the UK and other parts of the Europe and the West and have you ever seen English, Scottish, Welsh mobs in the UK attacking innocent Irish civilians and their businesses in the UK or the general civilian population rising up and killing Muslim civilians living in the UK and in Europe. The answer is no. However, in Sri Lanka, Sinhalese and opportunistic Muslims who are actually Tamil by ethnicity, egged on by their politicians, élite and their clergy, were constantly attacking, raping looting and killing innocent Tamil civilians and their homes and possessions down south, at the drop of a hat to teach them a lesson, not to demand their just rights, even when it was peaceful and the state and the Sinhalese armed forces and police looked on and many times joined in. Trying to give lame excuses to justify genocide and war crimes that the Sinhalese Sri Lankan state committed against the island’s Tamils.

            • 3
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              Hello Rohan25
              “The Irish IRA were killing and maiming thousands of British soldiers in Northern Ireland and their bodies were coming to mainland England, Scotland and Wales”.
              The total of all killed in the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland was around 3600 of which 1400 were British Military.
              There was an anti- Irish backlash especially in England not so much in Scotland. People were arrested and imprisoned only to be released years later after being shown to have been wrongfully arrested and sentenced. Irish Rebel songs were unofficially banned by the BBC in England – https://www.anphoblacht.com/contents/28337
              During the Troubles many people were arrested and imprisoned without Trial (Internment) leading to the Hunger Strikes in NI Prisons.
              The Good Friday Agreement led to a cessation of hostilities in Northern Ireland and the IRA gave up its weapons.
              The chances of such an Agreement in Sri Lanka are pretty much “Nil”, unless it is enforced from outside the Country.
              Best regards

        • 5
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          Roshan
          You see how it hurts when your people are massacred under whatever circumstances.
          That is what I wanted to show by using Jaffna 1983 incident
          I am not a supporter to what happend then, if fact we felt quite pained about what happend to innocent Tamils in the hands of mobs.
          But the fact remains that so many innocent have been massacred by Israeli forces and that too is not correct regardless of the excuse.
          People sympathised with Jews when the same thing was happening to them in Europe, a big bloody war was fought to save them, now the tables have turned and the Jews are the oppressors.
          Don’t justify the killing of Palestinian people. It is wrong.

          • 9
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            It is Rohan not Roshan. Why did ever state anywhere that killing of innocent Palestinian or any civilian is justified as a way of revenge. Moreover, Israel and Sri Lanka are states and not guerilla or resistance organizations like the Hamas or the LTTE. At least Israel is committing violence and war crimes on non citizens, not that its excused but Sri Lankan was deliberately doing this to its own Tamil citizens pretending to fight the LTTE, all in the name of Sinhalese Buddhism and a Mahavamsa fairy tale that the British colonials and later all Sinhalese led governments since independence promoted that the island only belongs to the Sinhalese Buddhists and the Eelam Tamil nation, who have a far more ancient history and a homeland are outsiders and do not belong. Just because they retained their ancient Tamil Saivite identity and did not convert to Buddhism and evolve into the Sinhalese identity, like the rest of the island did. Which is even worse that what is Israel is doing. The LTTE is now dead and gone, it is 15 years and will never be revived, however much some try, but many nations including India, the west and Sri Lanka are still using the LLTE card to justify the continuing structural genocide and war crimes being committed on the island’s Tamils and use it an excuse to marginalize them and deny them their rights and the TNA is useless.

            • 2
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              Rohan
              You say at least Israel is committing violence and war crimes on non citizens.
              In which way is that better than committing violence on innocent citizens?
              So if India start killing people I’m Sri Lanka, is it acceptable?
              Besides Palestinians are citizens of Israel too.
              Don’t have double standards, killing and hurting innocent civilians is wrong regardless of who is doing it. We should all understand that and condemn it.
              That is the point I am trying to make.

              • 3
                1

                Why don’t you use your intelligence instead of deliberately trying to twist what I commented to justify your previous comment. All violence against innocent civilians is wrong but a country committing genocide, war crimes and ethnic cleansing against a section of its own population in the name of race/ethnicity, language and religion is even worse and this what the Sinhalese Sri Lankan state is doing, and you know what I meant and do not try to twist everything what I stated to suit your diabolical racist Sinhalese agenda.

          • 4
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            “Don’t justify the killing of Palestinian people. It is wrong.”
            Human Touch,
            Once again you showed your true mentality on this subject. Who justified the killing of Palestine people? It is you who justified.
            Tamils suffered long under Sinhala rule similar to Palestine people suffered under Israel.

      • 8
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        Human Touch,
        Where did you find that I justify the genocide taking place in Israel due to October 7th or genocide taking place in genocide taking place historically by Israel in Palestine.
        You have to open your mind a bit wider to look at the problems instead of looking at only the incident. Genocide does not only mean to killing but many others. Burning of a historical library is also genocide. What about 1958 killing of civilians in Colombo? You are trying to cover up all the crimes committed against Tamils by killing of 13 Sinhalese only Military? Touch your human heart before making such justification.

        • 6
          4

          Ajith
          You see how it hurts when you are at the receiving end.
          No innocent civilians deserve to die in the hands of military forces. A civilian is helpless against military weapons and bombs no matter which race, caste or creed they may be.

          • 4
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            HT the Tamil racists have united against you. Most of them live abroad and continue their war for a separate state in these columns. Your reasonable comments are anathemas to them.

    • 0
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      Ajith, the word terrorist is not a religious principle but a descriptive English word which causes fear of undeserved harm to people the terrorists wish to subjugate specially to rob what belongs to them. Psalm 83. For e.g. Hamas terrorists, Fatah, Hezbollah terrorists want to grab the wealth and land of Israel, given to them by the Abrahamic Covenant from Creator God Jehovah in Gen. 15,18 as “To your descendants I have given this land” God’s purpose was to give the law through the Jewish people to bring Jesus to earth to redeem sinful mankind, and this he did through his crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, and Holy Spirit sending through Pentecost. Jesus is coming again to Jerusalem, which has to be free from these misguided terrorists who will be destroyed as God’s covenants are everlasting.

      • 0
        7

        In Exod.4,22 God sent Moses to Pharaoh to say, ” Israel is my son, my firstborn. If you refuse to let him go, I will kill your son, your firstborn”. It happened exactly that at Passover. Rom.9,4 states “Christ is an Israelite, through whom came Jewish law, adoption, glory, covenants and promises”. All the Islamic terrorists even if they capture the whole world, can never alter this and will finally be destroyed some day in the future, by Jesus who comes to judge and make war, Rev.19,11 with the writing on him as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

        • 6
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          DTG
          “Jesus Christ is an Israelite, through whom came law adoption”, seriously, are you on drugs?
          Israelis do not recognize Jesus Christ. They believe in the Torah.
          When will you understand this?
          Muslims on the other hand recognize Jesus Christ and his second coming.
          What kind of bloody messed up mindset do you have?
          Please don’t preach stuff you are ignorant about. Instead keep quiet and stick to things you are conversant with.

          • 1
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            Human Touch, Jesus was born and grew up in Israel, crucified, resurrected, ascended and glorified from Jerusalem where he will come back again. He and disciples were called Israelites, Galileans, Nazarenes as they don’t call each other Jews. Israelis recognized Jesus who was prophesied in the Torah as the Son of God and Jewish disciples went all over the world to show his love for all non Jewish humans including ignorant you. But the Pharisee Jews did not accept him. In Acts 2,41 after Peter’s sermon, about 3000 became messianic Jews. If you go to the church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem today, you can ascend Calvary site of crucifixion, touch the spilt rocks, see the Anointing stone for his burial in the Tomb exactly as written in the bible where the angel sat watching. Can receive Holy Communion at the slab, though the grave is far below. Your messed up mind if not corrected, will take you, sad to say to the wrong place eternally. Recognise that I quote bible so people can check truth in their bibles.

          • 0
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            Human Touch, Rom.9,4 says that Jesus Christ is an Israelite. Why should that be a problem for your mind.

            • 3
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              Because He isn’t recognised, an Israelite

              • 0
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                Mahila, does recognition of Israelite come from you. Rom.9,4 says Jesus Christ is an Israelite. Are you trying to write another bible. Jesus lived and died and rose again in Israel, and coming back too to Jerusalem, capital of Israel,

          • 7
            2

            HT,
            “Israelis do not recognize Jesus Christ. They believe in the Torah.
            When will you understand this?”
            Exactly. But DTG pretends not to know.
            Muslims accord more respect to Jesus Christ than Jews do.

            • 0
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              old codger, you say I pretend not to know. Really, I don’t even know what it is that you say I pretend about, as I generally speak quite openly. However, Jesus and his disciples and the 3000 that accepted Peter’s sermon were all Israelites. Muslims respecting Jesus is not sufficient as they need to accept his promise of salvation, healing and deliverance as the new covenant of Jesus eternally which says, “No one comes to the Father except through me”. John 14,6 Also Muslims do not worship the Creator God Jehovah, but only Allah.

              • 6
                2

                DTG,
                “Muslims respecting Jesus is not sufficient “. Do Jews “accept his promise of salvation”? Give me a honest answer.
                What you pretend not to know is that Jesus is just a heretic to religious Jews.
                To Muslims, he is the prophet before Mohamed. Do you even know that the stories of the birth of Jesus (Isa) his mother Mary (Mariam) are found in the Quran too? They are definitely not found in the Jewish Torah.In Muslim countries, it is forbidden to make idols or pictures of not only Mohamed, but also Jesus.
                BTW, the biblical personal names found in the Quran are closer to the originals than the highly Anglicised names which you use. For example, Yusuf (Joseph) , Isa (Jesus)
                Yuhanna (John).
                You should read other people’s holy books too.

          • 5
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            Prince Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha was born a HINDU, became Buddhist after enlightenment and attaining Buddhahood!!!???
            Does that make Lord Buddha – Hindu Post enlightenment!!??

            • 0
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              Mahila, when did Siddharta Gautama become a Buddhist? He was cremated as a Hindu.

              • 1
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                Hello DTG,
                Martin Luther, born into the Catholic Faith died a Protestant probably the first one.
                Best regards

      • 3
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        dtg,
        I know the word “terrorist” is not a religious principle but that is not practised in real life. I do not want your preaching of your religion or naming some groups as terrorist by those who are practised terrorism whether they say themselves as religious leaders.

        • 1
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          Ajith, I know that the truth hurts, but who asked you to take anything from me. Please leave me alone to say what I want to say, and you are free to say what you want to say. That is the whole purpose of the discussions here. This site does not publish what it needs to reject.

        • 1
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          Ajith, it would be wise for you to learn the difference between preaching religion and quoting a bible passage with the actual reference cited in case someone wishes to read it.

  • 10
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    “Words, speech – that’s what’s being targeted. Israel could target you for just posting something on social media…”

    This has been happening in Sri Lanka too in recent times, the targeting often being done under certain provisions of the ICCPR. Naturally, we need a homegrown version of the ICCPR but one that leaves out all the positive things and focuses on the punitive aspects, which can be used against free speech.

    Now, this is what the Online Safety Act, the brainchild of Ranil Wickremesinghe, represents.

  • 9
    1

    ” The author admits she knows a terrorist which in all probability . means she is
    one too ( once a terrorist , always a terrorist) . ” Karuna Amman is now possibly
    RW’s hero to the East . ” He is a son – of – a – bitch but he’s our son – of – a – bitch . “
    Franklin D Roosevelt remark on Anatasio Somoza Garcia , a gruesome character
    but a democrat . Today’s cabinet minister Kanchana’s father Mahinda Wijesekara
    was the first such character from the south to Sirimavo before Karuna and Pillayan
    to MARA . I am not going to say much about how it is today in our politics . Any
    crap is ok as long as we get our share ! This policy can work for Franklin but
    doubtful if it can work for us because Our Franklins Have Already Been Labelled
    Thieves !

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    The plight of Sri Lanka is that it’s cursed with dubious politicians with autocratic trend, Be it the father and mother of racism the Banda Srima couple ,JR , Senior Premadasa, & to cap it all the Mahinda plus Gota bulls, not to forget the bogus liberal democrat Ranil. All these bigots have blood in their hands. Take the case of JR’s famous San Francisco speech pleading forgiveness for the Japs, who ran amok during 2nd world war. Back at home in 1977 he said “if you want peace I will give you peace and if you want war I will give you war”! Remember at this time of history LTTE had less than 10 active members with one pistol or so. In 1983 he said I don’t care about Jaffna Tamils life any more and if they are killed the Sinhalese will be happy. My foot, what a practicing Buddhist! No wonder Sri Lanka is the first bankrupt country in Asia courtesy, these morally bankrupt politicians, repeatedly voted in by the intellectually bankrupt populace.

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      “In 1983 he said I don’t care about Jaffna Tamils life any more and if they are killed the Sinhalese will be happy. My foot, what a practicing Buddhist!”

      Was Cyril Mathew also a practicing Buddhist?

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        Caluadevage Cyril Mathew WAS a practising Buddhist.
        https://www.scribd.com/document/361090665/Cyril-Mathew

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          It seems that the jungle fake historian has run away. Did he think Mathew was a Christian because of his name? Even the notorious Anagarika was Don David.

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