21 May, 2024

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Two Experiments In Social Psychology & Their Relevance To Sri Lanka 

By M. S. Thambirajah –

Dr. M. S. Thambirajah

Mired in corruption, communal disharmony, crooked political leadership and religious nationalism, Sri Lankans would benefit from stepping back from all that has happened over the last fifty or more years and taking a meta view of interethnic conflict and other ailments that have overshadowed the more pressing problems of economic development, peace and prosperity. A social psychological approach may provide such valuable insights. Here we discuss two ground- breaking studies in social psychology that may provide an understanding into the group dynamics that underpin our interethnic problems.

The first was an experiment called the Minimum Group Study (or Paradigm) devised and carried out by Henry Tajfel in UK in the 1970s and the other is by Muzafer Sheriff called the Robbers Cave experiment carried out in the 1950s in the US. These studies have been repeated by other social psychologists and the results have been the same.

In the Minimum Group Study1, the participants were school children aged 14 and 15 who did not know one another previously. They were categorised into two discrete groups on trivial criteria such as preference for the paintings of two painters (in later experiments they were categorised based on toss of a coin). Next, the participants were asked to distribute rewards or points to each of the two groups using a specially designed matrix. The recipients are anonymous, except for a number and which group they were in. The matrices were set up such that they could  choose to allocate points either for maximum joint profit where boys could give the largest reward to members of either group without discrimination (fairness condition) or for maximum own group profit where the boys could choose the largest reward for the member of their own group (ingroup favouritism condition).

The results were revealing. Each group was found to consistently allocate more points to those belonging members of their own group. Their understanding, it was found later, was that the points would be converted into rewards of some sort. The findings of these experiments clearly demonstrate the phenomena of ingroup favouritism and outgroup discrimination even when the groups were formed using complete arbitrary criteria, such as flipping a coin. Thus, group membership itself is a sufficient condition for ingroup favouritism (and hence, outgroup discrimination) to occur.

Numerous studies conducted over the last twenty years have found this to be a robust effect. In social psychology this is known as the minimal group paradigm. The authors concluded that the mere existence of an out-group was sufficient for social comparison and in-group favouritism to occur. Findings from numerous similar studies show that the in-group will act favourably towards members of their own in-group. In Tajfel’s words, ‘groupness trumps fairness’.

The second study known as The Robber’s cave experiment was carried  he 1940s and 1950s each year for several years (and is given here later in the article or sake of clarity)2. The experiment was designed to address issues of group formation and intergroup behaviour. This experiment, known as The Robbers Cave experiment (called so after the name of the park where the camp was held) is considered a landmark experiment is social psychology. The subjects were 22 boys, 11-12-year-old. They had no idea that they were being studies They were invited to attend a summer camp and the experimenters passed themselves as the camp director, counsellors, and even an odd-job man. The boys were chosen from different schools and neighbourhoods so that none of them knew one another. The study took place in three separate stages that were approximately one week apart.

In the first phase of the experiment, the boys were randomly allocated into two groups and transported to the Robbers Cave State Park. But the groups were unaware of each other’s existence. Each group took part in common events such as dinners, watching movies and other socialising events. but separately. Each group spent their time organising the camp, doing activities together such as coking, playing games, hiking, swimming  and socialising. Very soon they bonded together, elected a leader and divided the work for upkeep of the camp amongst themselves. Each group developed their own conventions: they gave themselves a name, one called itself ‘Rattlers’ and the other ‘Eagles’, they stamped these names on their T-shirts; each group devised a flag for themselves. In short, they started identifying themselves with their group and working together.

In the second stage of the study, the two groups were brought together and the staff arranged for  intergroup contests such as base-ball, tug-of-war, treasure hunt and other events. A trophy was awarded for the winning group. Individuals who excelled were given medals and prizes. The two groups now became preoccupied with the contests spending much of their time planning strategies to beat the other side. In order to mimic real life situations, the experimenters also created situations where gain for one group was loss for the other group. For example, on one occasion the one group was late in joining a picnic and the other group had eaten their food. At this point there were remarkable changes in the behaviour of both groups. It began with  booing and name-calling at the other group during the games. Soon the hostilities escalated and went beyond the playing field.  For example, after being defeated in a game, one group raided the premises of the other group, burnt their flag and indulged in fist-fights.

At the third stage of the experiment, the researchers improvised ‘superordinate goals’ that could only be achieved if the two groups worked cooperatively. For example, the water supply to both camps were cut off. The sole water supply for the camps was from a reservoir on the mountain nearby. The two groups worked together to find out where the pipeline was had ‘broken down’ and discovered that the outlet pipe was blocked. Both groups discussed methods of overcoming the problem and laboured together for hours unblocking it. Both groups cheered when the water supply was restored.  On another occasion the two groups were told that they could watch a movie, but they could watch either “Treasure island” or “Kidnapped”. After some discussion amongst them they decided to take a vote. The majority of the boys in both groups voted in favour of “Treasure island”. At this point the staff declared that the film would cost $ 15 and there was not enough money to get the film. The two groups deliberated over the matter and decided contribute money towards renting it. None of these activities alone was sufficient to eliminate intergroup hostilities, but the overall effect of these joint activities produced significant change in attitudes towards the other group.  Eventually when the experiment ended the two groups opted to travel together and some even exchanged telephone numbers and parted as friends.

As can be seen, the study was designed in a way that included three social phenomena: group formation (first stage), intergroup competition (second stage) and, conflict reduction (third stage). The main findings of the Robbers cave experiment may be summarised as follows: The first finding was that groups form very quickly. i.e., human beings have an inherent tendency to form groups, quickly and spontaneously. In the experiment boys who were strangers to one another had identified themselves with their respective groups within a week and established themselves as groups. Solidarity and cohesion were evident within a short time.

Secondly, when the two groups were brought together under conditions of win or lose competitions, the experiment transformed the 22 previously well-adjusted boys into gangs that were bent on extracting revenge showing that competition for resources results in hostility and enmity. Sheriff described the situation at this state thus: “If an outsider had entered the situation at this point with no information about the preceding events, he would only have concluded……… that these boys were wicked, disturbed and vicious bunch of youngsters”.   

Thirdly, when the two groups had to work cooperatively to attain common goals that could not be achieved by the efforts of a single group alone antagonism between diminished and the relationship became more amicable and harmonious. Thus, striving towards  mutually desirable goals that cannot be obtained without the participation of both  groups reduced hostility and improved intergroup harmony.

The implications of these findings led Sheriff to develop the realistic conflict theory (RCT).

The main premise of RCT is that intergroup conflict arises  because of competition between two groups for some limited resources. In other words, hostility between groups is a function of the material relationship between the groups. On the other hand, where two groups have the same goal but the goal can only be achieved by cooperative interaction (a superordinate goal), the groups cooperate and thus help each other, producing more favourable intergroup attitudes. Realistic conflict theory has received strong empirical support from a number of field experiments.   

Also note that the real conflicts of group interest not only create antagonistic intergroup relations but they also heighten identification with, and positive attachment to the ingroup. The more intense is the intergroup conflict, the more likely it is that the individuals who are members of each group will behave as a function of their respective group membership, rather than in terms of their individual  characteristics or their individual relationships.

Thus, the opposing claims for scarce resources, such as employment, access to education or wealth generate ethnocentrism (the belief that the people, customs and traditions of one’s groups are better than those of the outgroup) and antagonism between groups. This tends to intensify out-group hostility towards groups that are politically or socially subordinate such as minorities.

The social significance of the study is all the more noteworthy if one considers that the fact that two groups boys recruited for study do not really meet the criteria that define social groups. Social groups such as ethnic groups are defined by their interaction over time, their social identity and the emotional ties within the group. It would be interesting to speculate what it would have looked like if the two groups were of different ethnicity.

It should be noted that in this experiment the realistic conflict was between two groups who were equal power. When asked about the issue of power, Sheriff is reported to have said, “If one of the groups had been given decision making power, a war would have broken out and the situation would have got out of control”.   

Parenthetically, it must be observed that power rested with Sheriff and his research team who manipulated the groups into competition and corporation. Logically speaking the fury and rage of the two groups should have been directed at them not at each other. Unfortunately, this is true in real world situations as well. It follows that when two or more groups are in conflict a logical question to ask oneself is ‘who (or what) is the third party that is setting us against each other’?   

In real life power is distributed asymmetrically. In a parliamentary system of government social power is rests with the majority. Thus, in intergroup context, social power can be defined as the degree of control that one group has over own fate and that of outgroup/s. In the case of the Sri Lanka, even the least chauvinistic of persons would concede that the basic issues that contributed to the interethnic conflict could be traced back to competition between the two major ethnic groups for government jobs (when the government was and is the main employer).

Taken together these two experiments demonstrate that: (1) Groups form quickly especially when they are involved in common activities (2) Intergroup activities are characterised by own group favouritism (‘we deserve more’ attitude), (3) Under conditions of competition intergroup hostility develops quickly and gets out of control rapidly and (3) Common goals shared by members of both groups, that can only be achieved by mutual cooperation reduce conflict and promote cooperation and understanding. I am sure readers of this journal are sufficiently knowledgeable to apply these findings to the intergroup conflict that has plagued Sri Lanka for more than half a century.     

Ingroup favouritism causes people to give preferences and privileges to members of their own group, while often excluding those from other groups. The tendency to favour their ingroup develops quickly in young children, increasing up to about six years of age, and almost immediately begins to influence their behaviour. Young children show greater liking for peers of their own sex and race and typically play with same-sex others after the age of three.

How can we account for the hostility, rejection, and antagonism between groups? One psychological approach is to regard that these qualities as ‘residing’ within the personality structure of individuals. Called the ‘Theory of authoritarian personality’, it was an influential though mid-twentieth-century theory that was used to explain the mass appeal of Nazi fascism. Persons with an authoritarian personality are thought to have a number of “traits” such as  extreme respect for authority, status and hierarchies, blind and rigid allegiance to conventional attitudes towards gender, sexuality, race etc. and have extreme respect for authority but is more likely to be obedient to those who hold power over them. They usually hold right-wing political views. They show a greater inclination for putting people into the categories of “us” or “them”. They  consider the “us” group superior. They project their hostility toward groups that are weak. One example of such a target is ethnic minorities. A measure called the F-scale (also known as the Fascist Scale) is used to measures such traits as authoritarianism, rigid ideology and cult of personality. Available at: https://www.idrlabs.com/f-scale/test.php).

But psychology is not destiny. While human beings may have an inborn tendency to favour one’s own group after millennia of evolution man is more civilised and wiser than his predecessors. Psychological insights from the above studies may – may just – make people rethink about race relationships in our country.

The final word goes to Neil DeVott, professor of politics and international affairs at Wake Forest University, the author of ‘Blowback: Linguistic Nationalism, Institutional Decay, and Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka’. He says: “Majoritarianism rarely, if ever, accompanies good governance, and Sri Lanka is a case in point. Unwilling to build on a history of pluralism, the island’s post-independence elites manipulated ethnoreligious fissures for political gain. Besides leading to a civil war that lasted nearly three decades, it has also unleashed violence on Muslims and Christians even as the island has consolidated its status as a Sinhalese Buddhist ethnocracy. The ensuing political Buddhism has compromised Buddhism and democracy and placed the country on a militarised and authoritarian trajectory”.

References

[1] Tajfel, H., Turner, J. C., Austin, W. G., & Worchel, S. (1979). An integrative theory of intergroup conflict. Organizational identity: A reader, 56-65.

[2] Sheriff, M. (1954), Experimental study of positive and negative intergroup attitudes between experimentally produced groups: robbers cave study. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma.

[3] Neil DeVotta, Blowback: Linguistic nationalism, institutional decay, and ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004. Pp. 204.

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Latest comments

  • 133
    118

    At the end of the article, the author finds the usual culript. Perhaps another flawed experiment.

    • 134
      95

      *culprit

    • 95
      131

      Your pal agrees with Dr.T. You don’t?
      “Govigama people thinking that they owned this country and no one from any other caste should become its head of state. Over 75 years they only have worked self preservation not to uplift the country economically. You see today the results they have yielded. A sad story.”
      Clear enough.

      • 123
        83

        The author already reached a conclusion before performing the experiment. So his methodology is flawed.

        • 87
          77

          Lester – I can’t be bothered to correct the codger the idiot every time he makes a joke out of himself. He clearly has issues understanding simple concepts even the much talked about concept among them tamils – majoritarianism!
          .
          The author concludes the problem in Sri Lanka is majoritarianism. Majoritarianism is oppression of a small group by a large group in the simplest terms.
          .
          What I have described by the comment the idiot has quoted is manipulation of the masses by a very small group of people that belongs to a particular caste and a class. That’s not majoritarianism. In fact it is exactly the opposite.
          .
          Yet this fellow can’t grasp it. And he uses the comment I have made elsewhere taken out of context and claims I agree with the author.
          .
          Responding to him and his in-group is a total waste of time. That’s why I don’t, most of the time. Then he thinks it’s because he is right! A total nut job.
          .
          TBC

          • 80
            52

            Continued…
            .
            You are right this essay shows that the author’s thinking process lacks logic and is flawed. He also seems to suffer from confirmation bias.
            .
            For example the conclusion he comes to at the end has no relevance to the two studies the he refers to in the title and he explains in somewhat detail at the begining. I don’t know about the two studies but judging by the authors own account neither of them demonstrate majoritarianism. Support for majoritarianism comes from a third reference he makes. Therefore the use of the first two references to support the conclusion is logically flawed and in my opinion is a result of confirmation bias.
            .
            In fact the first two studies jeopardises his coclusion. Because they are about group rivalry in which both groups are equally at fault and are responsible for the tensions and comflicts inbetween them. Whereas in majoritarianism the fault lies with the majority group and the minority group is a mere victim. There’s no shared responsibility.
            .
            TBC

            • 78
              48

              Continued…
              .
              Funny that no one other than you seem to have not noticed how the author’s argument is flawed. Once again it’s a sheer display of inability to think logically and of course confirmation bias.
              .
              Any garbage that concludes blaming Sinhala Buddhists will be celebrated regardless of whether the argument presented has any merit or not. And sinhala buddhists are supposed to be the racist ones.
              .
              Strange!

              • 70
                48

                * no one other than you seem to have noticed… b4 the grammar nazi jumps in and try to sabotage the conversation.

            • 56
              97

              “Therefore the use of the first two references to support the conclusion is logically flawed and in my opinion is a result of confirmation bias.”
              .
              I suppose this is not confirmation bias:
              “It is about Tamils being a superior race and wanting priviledged treatment, when infact they are nothing but a bunch of crooks, sick bastards – organized criminals – Terrorists.”

              • 66
                49

                Find the meaning of confirmation bias first.

            • 90
              61

              Ruchira,

              “The conclusion he comes to at the end has no relevance to the two studies the he refers to in the title and he explains in somewhat detail at the begining.”

              Exactly. Sri Lanka had a 26 year war against terrorism, that’s it. The war was not over “land” or “limited resources” in the sense that the author purports. If so, it should be a zero-sum game. Meaning, Tamils should have lost their land to Sinhalese. There should be no Tamils left in the former war zone. Which is clearly not the case. Context: after WW2, millions of German civilians were chased out of Poland and the Soviet Union, e.g. Kalingrad/Königsberg.

              Regarding “majoritarianism”, well, one group has to be the majority. There can’t be two majorities simultaneously. For the human rights champions, any majority is evil. Like you suggested elsewhere, this is how they make their living. Write books and fill journals by twisting something that is perfectly natural or inevitable.

              • 70
                58

                *Kaliningrad

              • 60
                0

                Hello Lester,
                “For the human rights champions, any majority is evil”.
                Not necessarily, it is the illegal actions of Majorities that can be considered “evil”. I would use the words unlawful or criminal instead of “evil”. Minorities can be just as unlawful, however they are usually prosecuted internally.

                Best regards

                • 70
                  64

                  LankaScot,

                  Sri Lanka never applied “majoritarianism” to the detriment of Tamils. In fact, Tamils were discriminating against each other long before 1983. Here are just a few examples of how the higher caste (Vellalar) discriminated against the lower castes.

                  Taboo on wearing a shirt or covering the upper part of their bodies, the shawl having to be lowered in the presence of Vellalar.
                  Taboos on tying the tali, and having a wedding procession or musical accompaniment during weddings
                  Taboo on naming their children with high caste names and using common ponds and common wells
                  Taboo on cremating dead bodies. (They have to be buried , but in their special cemeteries not in the Vellalar cemeteries.)
                  Taboo on equal seating and equal dining in schools and churches,
                  Taboo on temple entry and on worshipping Gods of the high caste
                  Taboo on entry into cafes, restaurants and equal seating in public transport,
                  Taboo on wearing slippers or any kind of foot-wear and holding umbrellas. (pp. 57 -58 – Ibid)

                  Vellalars still discriminate against Christians: https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/religious-discrimination-by-staff-short-jaffna-engineering/

                  Most agricultural land in Jaffna is owned by Vellalars. There is a law in place called “Thesalavamai” which prevents them from selling it to low-castes.

                  • 43
                    59

                    Lester:

                    Your usual pathetic diversionary tactic.

                    The long prevailing majoritarianism and Sinhala-Buddhist fascism in Sri Lanka cannot be swept under the rug. JUST IMPOSSIBLE.

                    • 60
                      22

                      Sugandh:

                      You are right, Vellalar fascism cannot be swept under the rug. That’s why Gothabaya had to take extreme measures at Mullivaikkal.

                  • 10
                    49

                    Lester

                    “Most agricultural land in Jaffna is owned by Vellalars.”
                    Could you cite your reference.

                    ” There is a law in place called “Thesalavamai” which prevents them from selling it to low-castes.”

                    Is there?
                    Now tell us everything that you know about “Thesalavamai”. It shouldn’t take more than two lines.

              • 68
                63

                Lester – These sociological analyses may have some value but they are definitely not like natural laws. Reality is more complex and nuanced you can’t just explain away things so simply in one word answers like – majoritarianism.
                .
                Also note from LankaScot’s comments below:
                .
                “For a more nuanced exploration of Sheriff’s work read this if you can – The Lost Boys: Inside Muzafer Sherif’s Robbers Cave Experiment by Gina Perry.
                […]
                As she says in her book she came to – “the rather obvious conclusion that people can be deceived and manipulated into doing things they would never normally do”.
                .
                The author Thambirajah hasn’t mentioned about the criticisms of Sheriff’s work and presents them as some solid facts or rules carved in stone.
                .
                Disingenuous.

                • 10
                  48

                  Lester

                  “Vellalar fascism cannot be swept under the rug. That’s why Gothabaya had to take extreme measures at Mullivaikkal.”

                  What are you talking about?
                  Are you sure Gota killed only Vellalar fascism?
                  Where did Gota find Vellalars?
                  Did he check them with lists of castes?
                  Most Vellalars have gone abroad, some stayed in deep north, Jaffna, …
                  Remaining few would have been buried under the Vihares, ..some of them have been given acid bath, …

          • 50
            64

            “manipulation of the masses by a very small group of people that belongs to a particular caste “
            Aren’t you the guy who claimed that the Sinhalese don’t practice caste discrimination?
            And that all “Sinhalese ” have the same DNA?

            • 46
              46

              No.

        • 52
          61

          Lester and Ruchira:

          Cut the bull.

          Go read the author’s ref. #3 from which he had quoted:
          ———
          Neil DeVotta, Blowback: Linguistic nationalism, institutional decay, and ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004.

          The author has drawn from the work of Neil DeVott, professor of politics and international affairs at Wake Forest University.

          You two should cut down on your hoodwinking and diversionary tactics.

          • 59
            46

            Well, I did suspect a link between majoritarianism and the two social psychology experiments given in the first two references, but Dr. M. S. Thambirajah does not highlight them.
            .
            Reviewing and critiquing Neil DeVotta’s work is a separate exercise in itself, something I’m not inclined to undertake at this point.
            .
            It is up to Dr. Thambirajah to bring specific relevant citations from DeVotta’s work in support of his own argument. You can not expect me to compensate for his failures.
            .
            If Dr. Thambirajah presented his argument primarily based on DeVotta’s work highlighting the relavance of the two experiments in formation of majoritarianism this problem would not have arisen. He has not done so.
            .
            TBC

            • 56
              46

              Continued…
              .
              I can further clarify the poisition I am taking but given the confrontational attitude you have been displaying right from the very begining of my presence in this forum, as well your inability to comprehend the difference between heart diseases and coronary artery disease that is being discussed in a different thread, and your cheap tactic of accusing me of saying things that I never said, along with various personal insults and name callings directed at me, I’d rather not waste more of my time on you.

              • 49
                45

                PS: Also note from LankaScot’s comments below:
                .
                “For a more nuanced exploration of Sheriff’s work read this if you can – The Lost Boys: Inside Muzafer Sherif’s Robbers Cave Experiment by Gina Perry.
                […]
                As she says in her book she came to – “the rather obvious conclusion that people can be deceived and manipulated into doing things they would never normally do”.
                .
                The author Thambirajah hasn’t mentioned about the criticisms of Sheriff’s work.
                .
                Why?

                • 45
                  53

                  I’m sure there is plenty of reviews and analyses of Muzafer Sherif’s Robbers Cave Experiment.

                  This is Colombo Telegraph and it is not the place to expect the kind of comprehensive report which encompassed a review and acceptance/rebuttalof all studies and analyses on the particular published study.

                  The author presented what he weighed as sound research findings.

                  • 47
                    44

                    No one is expecting anything you have mentioned.
                    .
                    In very simple language for the Nth time – the author does not say how the two experiments (the main focus of his essay) are relevant to his conclusion.
                    .
                    There’s a fundamental flaw in his essay which makes his opinion and conclusion invalid.
                    .
                    We can’t be doing our own research on behalf of him. It’s up to him to provide a valid opinion. A conclusion based on sound reasoning.
                    .
                    Nothing to do with experimental methodology or peer reviewing or any such thing.
                    .
                    That’s all.

                    • 44
                      49

                      What was author’s conclusion?

                      This was the author’s conclusion in his own words:
                      “But psychology is not destiny. While human beings may have an inborn tendency to favour one’s own group after millennia of evolution man is more civilised and wiser than his predecessors. Psychological insights from the above studies may – may just – make people rethink about race relationships in our country.“

                      Are you having difficulty comprehending how the author’s concluding statements tie in with the quote from Neil DeVotta’s publication?

                      If that’s the case, the author is not fault. It’s your own inability to connect the dots.

              • 46
                48

                Ruchira Baba,
                “I’d rather not waste more of my time on you.”
                OK, nobody’s stopping you. Run away as usual.
                Why is practically everyone on this forum guilty of this “cheap tactic of accusing me of saying things that I never said,”?
                Perhaps it’s because you yourself don’t understand what you write? Except of course Lester.

                • 10
                  24

                  old codger

                  “Perhaps it’s because you yourself don’t understand what you write?”

                  I am sorry, when did they write?
                  They just type.

              • 44
                40

                “along with various personal insults and name callings directed at me, “
                So, let’s see what “personal insult” Sugandh directed at you? Did S call you dimwitted or a clown?
                You have the right to remain silent. But if you can’t produce the “insults”, you are a liar.

            • 46
              43

              You do realize this is Colombo Telegraph and not the likes of Nature, American Journal of Sociology (AJS), etc.?

              Need to have realistic expectations. There are CT imposed constraints on authors in terms of length of the article.

              There’s a certain unwritten onus on scientifically enthused audiences to further explore the subject matter on their own.

              It is absurd to comment on experimental methodology etc. on an article that is essentially an opinion piece published on CT.

              • 38
                45

                It is up to the author to express his opinion within the given limits in a meaningful manner. Providing some ad hoc references does not amount to an opinion. The relationship between the two experiments and majoritarianism if there’s any is missing. Without this crucial piece of information there’s no valid opinion expressed. Doing further research on your own is a separate matter. There should be some basic logic to anything anyone says, scientific or otherwise. Without such logic such opinions boil down to just word salads that has no meaning. CT has provided a space for readers to comment and as readers its within our rights to criticise what’s being published in manners we see fit. Finally no one asked for experimental methodology. But author has used enough space to describe them to some degree. He could have used the same to explain the link between the two experiments and majoritarianism. Your comments show that you can’t comprehend what others say. Your pal seems to have the same problem for some reason. That said do your own research – the idea of majoritarianism is not a natural law there’s plenty of work that critique the concept.

                • 48
                  40

                  All this long winded explanations of your opinion is merely to defend against the negative reflections on Sinhala-Buddhist fascism in this country.

                  After 75 years of history, we don’t need experiments to corroborate the negative consequences of majoritarianism in this country.

                  • 33
                    45

                    Long winding articles are written mostly by Tamil authors here. C V Wigneswaran, Sankaralingam, this author, to name a few. I was just merely commenting on them. But it looks like you and your other Tamil pals are a little uncomfortable when such articles are criticised. Your hypocrisy I think has been well exposed. I’m glad that I spent some time here unless I would also have believed some of this cooked up bollocks.

              • 34
                46

                It is up to the author to express his opinion within the given limits in a meaningful manner. Providing some ad hoc references does not amount to an opinion. The relationship between the two experiments and majoritarianism if there’s any is missing. Without this crucial piece of information there’s no valid opinion expressed. Doing further research on your own is a separate matter. There should be some basic logic to anything anyone says, scientific or otherwise. Without such logic such opinions boil down to just word salads that has no meaning.
                TBC

                • 29
                  46

                  CTD
                  CT has provided a space for readers to comment and as readers its within our rights to criticise what’s being published in manners we see fit. Finally no one asked for experimental methodology. But author has used enough space to describe them to some degree. He could have used the same to explain the link between the two experiments and majoritarianism. Your comments show that you can’t comprehend what others say. Your pal seems to have the same problem for some reason. That said do your own research – the idea of majoritarianism is not a natural law there’s plenty of work that critique the concept.

                  • 46
                    33

                    CT has offered us the readers the privilege of commenting on articles published here. Try to use this privilege responsibly.

                    • 31
                      44

                      The author is simply feeding a (questionable) narrative that has been popularized here on CT for sometime by Tamils and other pro Tamil elements. To confront that narrative is to invite backlash in the form of various personal insults. I think my work here is done. At least for the time being. It’s the New Year season and I feel my time is best spent on different activities. So you have the floor once again for yourself and the clan. Try to enjoy it while you still can. Because the war has already been won and it will only be a matter of time before it is publicly announced.

                    • 44
                      33

                      “Because the war has already been won and it will only be a matter of time before it is publicly announced.”
                      Another gamey chandiya threat from the loser of arguments. Par for the course.
                      What happened to the “lightening”?

                    • 31
                      42

                      Someone here seems to see threats everywhere. Wonder what such people are called?

                • 49
                  30

                  “Without such logic such opinions boil down to just word salads that has no meaning.”
                  So, what are you so worked up about then? 😂😂😂😂😂

                  • 44
                    30

                    o.c., so much fodder around here for your humour.

                    I certainly appreciate your humour.

                  • 28
                    42

                    Usual tactic, when no legitimate response could be made. 😏

                  • 44
                    9

                    OC
                    Please don’t waste ur precious time for a self-proclaimed pundit. Unfortunately these men were sponsored by Bandarawela man.
                    Greetings to u and LS as always 😘 from central Europe

          • 36
            47

            The author can appeal to space aliens or Warren Buffet, it doesn’t make a difference. This is the fallacy of “appeal to authority.” Something is not necessarily true because a famous guy releases gas.

            • 32
              45

              True.

    • 56
      36

      Was any experiment at all necessary to identify the usual culprit in Sri Lanka or the strong tendency of humans around the world to form groups, Lester?

      • 46
        24

        S
        I do not think that the experiment was designed for us.
        The language parameter is not even a part of the study.
        However, it is of some learning value.
        *
        But look at the comments below this to see how keen people are to drive a wedge even before attempt is made to get people to sit together,

        • 49
          31

          SJ, absolutely!

          If the tendency for groupness amongst a rather homogeneous population itself is substantial, one can imagine in a highly heterogeneous population (i.e., factoring in language, religion, caste, etc) how deeply groupness is bound to grip.

          • 13
            46

            Another assumption.

            • 47
              30

              Nope. It’s a Hypothesis. Know the difference.

              In all likelihood, it’s already been studied and proven.

              • 15
                44

                Then it can’t be a hypothesis.

                • 42
                  16

                  There is Avagadro’s hypothesis, still known by that name centuries after acceptance in chemistry.

                  • 43
                    30

                    SJ, that sounds familiar!

              • 13
                40

                There’s no difference hypotheses are assumptions.

                • 45
                  30

                  Hypotheses aren’t constructed randomly but driven by rationale.

                  Assumptions can be random and irrational.

                  • 14
                    38

                    That doesn’t make a hypothesis a fact. It’s still an assumption. In addition rationales could be challenged.

                    • 44
                      30

                      In science, hypotheses and assumptions are distinct from each other.

                      There may be certain assumptions declared in the testing of a hypothesis.

                      Decide whether you want to stick to scientific terminology or layman terminology. Don’t mix up both.

                    • 13
                      42

                      Ok suddenly you want to talk science. Good. You will be mostly talking to yourself.

                • 37
                  28

                  Check with a good dictionary.

                • 55
                  31

                  Ruchira,
                  You read a lot. Obvious. You are assuming that that makes you wise. Not so. At times, keeping quiet reflects wisdom.

      • 34
        60

        Speaking of groupness, was it the Sinhalese or Tamils who wanted a monoethnic state encompassing 33% of the territory for 10% of the population?

        This Convention further declares –

        that the State of TAMIL EELAM shall consist of the people of the Northern and Eastern provinces and shall also ensure full and equal rights of citizenship of the State of TAMIL EELAM to all Tamil speaking people living in any part of Ceylon and to Tamils of EELAM origin living in any part of the world who may opt for citizenship of TAMIL EELAM.

        https://www.sangam.org/FB_HIST_DOCS/vaddukod.htm

        • 62
          32

          It is pretty evident that the Sinhala-Buddhist fascists want 100% of the island for Sinhala Buddhists. This has always been the case.

          Why else would they be building viharas and planting Buddha statues and have been colonizing in the North and East (legally, as sponsored by the state, and illegally, propped by Sinhala Police and military and the state)???

          • 30
            46

            Sugandh,

            Are you suggesting 70% of the population should not be allowed to live on 33% of the land?

            • 35
              17

              Lester:

              Thanks for your stupid question.

              You’re excused. We expect nothing more from devout Sinhala-Buddhist fascists like yourself.

          • 44
            22

            Lying Jester, the northeast and the northwest coast of the island have always been the Thamizh homeland from ancient times and never been Chingkallam, therefore it does not matter if is 10%. 20% or 30% of the island’s area, as a people called Chingkallams until 1948 hardly lives there or never had control of these lands. The people living here had maintained their ancient Thamizh identity and their Saivite religion and did not become Prakritised convert to Buddhism on a large scale and evolve as Chingkallams, like the rest of the island did. They were also ruled largely by Thamizh kings and chiefs, until European colonisation. Therefore, the Chingkallams have no right to claim it as their stating it is unfair that Thamuzh own 30% of the island and we own 70%. Yes, the Thamizh speakers are 25% and Chingkallams 75% and the 70% that the Chingkallams own are very fertile lands, whereas the Thamizh areas are arid.

            • 42
              22

              In the UK where you live the Scottish are 5% of the population but Scotland’s land area is around 30% of Britain’s, ask you friend Lanka Scott. You should know that too. Are the English claiming and complaining about this? The answer is no, as they know that this land has always been Scottish. In India the Telugu speaking lands are twice the size of Thamizh lands, despite the fact the difference between Telugu and Thamizh speaking people are around 10 million the most and Thamizh lost a lot of their northern lands to the Telugu and Kannada during the state’s reorganization. Kannada speakers are only around 40 million, but Thamizh speakers are around 80 million, but Karnataka is 1.5 times the size of Thamizh Nadu, so are the Thamizh there complaining that this unfair and they want more land? The answer is no. Do not come up with stupid lying arguments/excuses. The north and east has never been Chingkalla land and the Chingkallams had never had any control of these lands until 1948, thanks the unitary state and the British.

        • 54
          32

          Hi Jester, my lying racist Chingkalla kunju from London, it is the Kottankulangara Chamayavilakku at Kollam at the moment. During this festival men and boys dress up as women, especially if they have taken a vow and it has been fulfilled and attend the temple with their family (Wives, mothers. daughters, sisters and brothers). Please attend the festival with me and family Jester, you can take a vow, that you will in future tell the truth and be truthful for a year. I think you will look cute in a saree with lots of jewels and flowers on your hair like this.

          • 46
            32

            Please Jester Kunju hope look cute like these men and boys dressed up as females. I asked my boyfriend to shave his mustache and beard and attend the temple with me and family dressed up like this, but he refused, hope you dress up like this and attend next year and spread love instead of hate. Lanka Scott Amava please ask you friend Jester
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kC7By1IGAk8
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TgCbYL-uUQ

          • 45
            0

            Hello Pandi Kutti,
            There is a German word “schadenfreude”. Your attitude is a little different, you get pleasure in making fun of a few (usually 2) men in CT posts. The usual phrase in the UK is “winding them up”😎. Sometimes it works but the phrase “water off a duck’s back” might be more appropriate.
            My friend and colleague in Qatar was part of a Charity group that organised events called a “Hash”, where they would run around looking for clues etc. He was arrested (along with others) on one of these Charity Occasions for dressing in a tight red Ladies Dress whilst running on the outskirts of Doha. At 6 feet 2 inches and well built you can imagine the pictures. It took a phone call from a senior Brigadier explaining that it was for one of the Emir’s Charities to get him released. Don’t laugh
            Best regards

            • 47
              33

              Oh, but Lanka Scott Amava, please do not make fun of these ancient customs. My mother’s relatives will be very offended as this is no Hash or Bash but an ancient customer when a want or a request by men, o the mother goddess at this temple, has been fulfilled, men and boys dress up as females and attend this temple with a specific type of lantern to thank the goddess. Usually their wives, mothers and family also attend with them.

              • 46
                33

                Many transvestites also take advantage of this ancient custom and come out in full force, as no one will humiliate or attack them as this is an ancient sacred ritual. In the Hindu religion, the so called third sex is also very sacred and in many temples around India, during certain festivals, men do dress up as women and attend the temple, take part in ceremonies and dance in front of God or Goddess. Here they do this, as in ancient times the temple was only open to females, therefore, if males had to attend, they had to dress up as females. . However, Jester Kunju needs to be a good boy and pray and request to the goddess at this temple that he will be a good boy and not be racist and will spread love, his wish will be granted, and he can then thank the goddess next year dressed in a beautiful Osariya like a good Kandyan. Love you, Amava.
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVbeMfWOnf8

                • 41
                  18

                  Aravanis are more feared than respected, although ‘Hindu’ mythology is kind to them.
                  As a social group they are vulnerable to attack by some “normal” groups.
                  There are important social figures who stand up for them ad are therefore resented.
                  *
                  Eunuchs were powerful in the Chinese Royal Court. But that is all over now.
                  *
                  The kind of comment that LGBTQ people attract her shows that we are rather behind in our understanding of humanity.

                  • 30
                    23

                    SJ you naughty Thaatha, do not call them Aravani anymore but they are called Thirunangaiyar. Yes, I get attracted and love lots of things. Butterflies, bees, moths, cats, dogs, horses, donkeys, birds, fish, tormenting Jester, maybe you. LGBTQ people, Straight people, and all sorts of people but love and get attracted most to my boyfriend. Please understand my humanity. Lanka Scott Amavan does. :-). This is because he is a fellow westerner like me.

              • 44
                3

                Hello Pandi Kutti,
                I wasn’t making fun of your customs, but I was making fun of my friends not understanding Arabic customs. They didn’t ask me if there would be any problems. I had told them previously about me and a group of Marines being questioned by the Police in Saudi Arabia for running round the back streets in the early morning and evening in our shorts and T shirts, The Police had a problem with men in shorts and complained that we were encouraging the Devil to tempt Arabic Men. Luckily the owner of our Villas was the Police Chiefs brother.
                Best regards

  • 50
    34

    Truth: groupness trumps fairness.
    Lesson: Both Sinhalese and Tamils should get rid of our politicians.

  • 57
    37

    A very good article. Any common sense human being should understand that the social, political and economic crisis is due to Majoritarian Sinhala Buddhist Fundamentalism. Unfortunately, none of the political leadership over the eight decades understands or realised at least now we should get rid of the philosophy of Majoritarian Sinhala Buddhist Fundamentalism from the governance. The blood shed by this small country over the past seven decades is much more than any other nation in this region. We call this country is blessed by Lord Buddha and his teachings but how you can explain that this is the worst country that took thousands of lives in the name of Lord Buddha. Even after this crisis does buddhists wants more blood in this soil? Can our political leaders take an oath at the coming elections that we are united to get rid of the majoritarian Sinhala Buddhist Philosophy?

    • 55
      34

      Ajith now they are not only trying to claim ancient historical Saivite and Thamizh Mahayana Buddhist temples and ruins as their but now have also started to install Buddha statues inside small Hindu shrines in the north and east. What is called commonly in Thamizh Vazhi Pillaiyar, small shrines dedicated to Lord Ganesha or Pillaiyar under Bo or Banyan trees, where travelers and people seek the god’s blessings on their way. The recent installation of a Buddha statue on a wayside Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Ganesha under a Banyan tree, at the junction where the Mullaitheevu and Pulmoddai roads meet. You can see in a photo taken a two years ago the shrine was dedicated to Lord Ganesha and now recently someone or a group of people have inserted a statue of Buddha next to Lord Ganesha.

      • 55
        33

        You can read it in Tamil win. These sorts of activities can only be done with the help of the Chingkalla authorities and the occupying Chingkalla armed forces and police. They are deliberately targeting even small Hindu temples way sides and inserting Budda statues everywhere, using the resources of the bankrupt Chingkalla state to wear down the local Thamizh and their politicians in their fight agains forces Chingkalization. The country can go to the dogs but their Chingkalla Buddhist agenda and to claim the entire island for the Chingkallams only goes on no matter who comes into power. They are all united in this agenda.

        • 58
          33

          Here is the link it is in Thamizh but you can get the gist. Looking at the pictures. As you can see no Budda statue in the Hindu way side shrine in an entirely 100% Thamizh Hindu area, only the statue of Lord Ganesha and then all of a sudden, Buddha statue/statues appear next to Lord Ganesha. Is this some sort of macabre joke? What an insult even to actual Buddhism and to Hindu Lord Buddha. The Chingkalla mindset and the Mahavamsa mentality will never change. Country bankrupt, people are starving and going around with a begging bowl, but racism aided and abetted overtly and covertly by even the west and India going strong.

          https://tamilwin.com/article/buddha-statue-placed-in-pilliyar-temple-1712498518

          • 54
            33

            PK,
            “IS THIS SOME SORT OF ‘MACABRE JOKE’?”
            NO!??
            It is a Practical Manoeuvre to keep the “Macabre Populace” from going crazy, and keep them occupied and engaged otherwise, so as to ensure, they don’t get to any indiscriminate, Indoctrination or Mischief!!!???
            POLITICIANS AND RELIGIOUS PEOPLE – of whom, we Sri Lankans have ‘One Too Many’, at PRESENT, to be of any ‘GOOD’ – OR ARE AN “AWEFUL LOT OF INFIDELS” TO BE ADMIRED by any stretch of Imagination, or even, WITH A “PINCH OF DISPICE”, TO ENRICH SOCIETAL VISION AND OUTLOOK anywhere in this Planet!!!???
            High-time, they were “Pensioned Off”, for the Greater Good of Humanity!!???
            GROBR – Good Riddance Of Bad Rubbish!!!??? Action NOW, delay causes further deterioration!!?

      • 54
        35

        “Theruvit Pillaiyar, Sinhala Buddhism” (TPSB), because the LOT has accustomed to new terminology – ‘BANKRUPTCY’ – from our erstwhile friend, Visionary RW – the entire LOT, have no money, resources to provide, for “NEW ABODE” for Lord Buddha and for ‘THEIR MEALS’ (so they beg from Dayakas) – but funds available, Only for Buddha STATUES!!?? “FUNNY Indeed” and Real Specimens of alacrity, unmatched by any other community, anywhere else, worthy of mention!!?? Unique B_____S!!??
        What a Plight, these people have been driven to!? Why can’t these mutts pay their debt off instead OF MAKING Buddha Statues, for other People’s Temples?
        ROB PETER TO PAY PAUL!!?? OR Clean Suite Empty Pocket!!??
        Concept of TPSB, is very clever and Unique!!! But they must well remember, if it was employed the same theory and stratagem in Managing their “ECONOMY”, they wouldn’t have STARVED OR SUFFERED the IGNOMINY OF DEPRIVATION!!!??? No!!?? They wouldn’t understand that complication, which evidently proves their lack of Erudition and with superfluous Cunningness, which they mistakenly and wrongfully go on to, identify as Intelligence!? NONE!!???

        • 51
          41

          Mahila, according to recent WB report one forth of Lankans are starving. Must be a group thinking.

        • 40
          37

          S
          Pillayar worship exists in some ancient Sinhalese villages the Anuradhapura district.
          They refer to him as Pullaiyar Deviyo rather than as Gana Deviyo elsewhere in the country.
          I hope that this will not be confused with ‘Sinhalisation’. I see only the presence of a mixed system of worship.

          • 48
            35

            Pillayar worship in many of these so called ancient (Purana) Chingkalla villages in Anuradhapura bordering Thamizh Vani areas is an ancient throwback to when these villages were once Thamizh but now Chingkallam. Now despite calling themselves Chingkalla Buddhists they are still following many of the Hindu customs of their ancient Thamizh ancestors. However, this worship is part of their ancient culture and custom and no one is forcing them to worship Pillaiyar or Lord Ganesha nor is any Thamizh coming and installing Lord Gansha’s statue inside the shrine of Lord Buddha, if it is done it has been done voluntarily by the local Chingkallams and this is the difference, whereas in these ancient Thamizh Hindu villages in the border areas of Vavuniya and Mullaitheevu , Lord Buddha statue has not been installed by the local Thamizh villages but by Chingkalla extremists, racists and hardliners aided and abetted by the occupying Chingkalla armed forces, police and government officials, as form of humiliation and forced Chingkalization of Thamizh areas.

            • 47
              35

              Insert a Buddha statue next the Hindu god’s statue, under the Bo or Banayan tree, in a paddy field, someone’s front garden a Hindu temple and then come and concoct a story that this area was an ancient Chingkalla Buddhist area and claim the entire area as Chingkallam. This is the game. Vast difference. You know this but as usual deliberately trying to trivialize this.

              • 38
                37

                If Tamils got Sinhalised, it is equally possible that the reverse happened too.
                Many bigots could be in for a surprise to know their true ancestors.

                • 32
                  23

                  Yes the reverse happened too Thaatha, especially in the interiors but still forcibly installing Buddha statues inside Pillayar shrines to deliberately humiliate Thamizh and give the message that we now can do anything to you with impunity is not acceptable. The Thamizh turned Chingkallams in these areas are voluntarily worshipping Piillaiyar and no one is forcing them. This is the vast difference.

      • 54
        43

        Hello Pandi Kutti:

        Sounds like the Sinhala Buddhist fascists are picking up the pace. Certainly, such activity has been taking place more so in the past 15 years.

        I have been shocked and disgusted by how the Kanniya hot wells site in Trincomalee district has been transformed into a loud, commercialized place with a newly built rather large Buddhist shrine over powering with loud speakers disproportionate to the space. I have witnessed military presence; the military personnel actually worked on the construction.

        Whenever I had visited the site during my childhood, it was a pristine place, attached to Hindu shrines and, if I remember correctly, it was basically looked after and administered by the Hindu priest and staff there. The area was still a jungle at that time.

        Now, it’s a circus. Commercialized and Sinhala Buddhistised. Simply pathetic.

        The pursuit of building a vihara at the site seems to be on hold;
        https://www.tamilguardian.com/content/tamils-protest-kanniya-hindu-temple-destruction-despite-sinhalese-assaults-and-security

        • 33
          19

          Same action and Ploy that was employed, Kataragama et all!!???

  • 56
    40

    Authoritarianism is rampant in the West. It is explained in various ways. One is the rise of nationalism promoted by the influx of illegal migrants. The rise of Trump and Brexit in UK are results of such nationalism as are the rise of right wing leaders in Hungary, Poland, Italy, etc. But, what happened in postcolonial states like Sri Lanka is that majoritarianism started much earlier even before freedom as Rajan and Kirupiamalar’s bookDemocracy Still Born shows. The rise of Sinhala Buddhist chauvinist leaders with extreme fundamentalst views dominated Sri Lankan politics. This can be explained in a variety of ways. The rewriting of history, the perversion of Buddhism are hall-marks of these developments

    • 43
      28

      “Sinhala Buddhist chauvinist leaders with extreme fundamentalst views”
      There are a few who are in important positions, but not dominant. I know important narrow nationalist leaders on all sides, but I doubt if they pushed “extreme fundamentalist views”.
      The tragedy is that key aspects of narrow nationalist thought (call it fundamentalist if you like) have seized our minds.
      Look at the derogatory comments based on caste and religious identity coming from some of the ‘victims’.

  • 49
    17

    Hello Doctor
    You have written comprehensive analysis of social experiment to prove natural behavior of human to form group, favor their own group and have a conflict with other group without considering the effect caused by the the creator of the group. Remember you are addressing the audience who are rooted with differences with ethnicity, religion, economic divisions, cultural differences and cast segregation at his best. They may be intelligent but has no rationality to understand what you are saying in multiple pages of writing. Concepts are admirable but people are not mature to take them on board.

    • 47
      27

      J
      So let us go on killing each other!

    • 47
      0

      Hello Jack,
      In the 1960s and 70s in the UK it was socially acceptable to have a few (or more) drinks at the local pub and then drive home. Smoking on Trains and Planes was also acceptable. Beating your wife was maybe frowned upon, but was treated by the Police as a “Domestic Issue” and no action was taken.
      All of these things are now socially and legally unacceptable. How did these changes take place? How did my generation manage to change the entrenched beliefs of the Majority Older Generation? Because we told them that we would not listen to them anymore and that we had the power to make these changes, legally and socially in a democratic society through our vote. So the Politicians were pressured to make the Legal changes and we set about persuading our parents and grandparents that they were wrong. Sometimes we used sarcasm or ridicule, even reasoned argument. Eventually and reluctantly they changed their attitudes. To a certain extent the vote against Churchill after the end of WW2 and the empowerment of women (who did men’s jobs during the War) laid the foundations for our overturning of the Status Quo.
      Best regards

      • 50
        37

        LankaScot, you’ve made a strong case for hope! Cheers.

      • 32
        42

        “….even reasoned argument” 😆

      • 46
        35

        LS,
        “Legal changes and we set about persuading our parents and grandparents that they were wrong. Sometimes we used sarcasm or ridicule, even reasoned argument.”
        What we have here are not old folks convinced of their righteousness but ignorant old farts like this, wielding more power than is good for them:
        https://colombogazette.com/2018/06/25/germany-calls-hitler-comment-by-lankan-monk-plain-stupid/
        Try sarcasm on this lot, and you end up in jail.

        • 41
          0

          Hello OC
          From your Link – “Sri Lanka seems to have eliminated a lot of these since 2015, though some aspects still linger. Hopefully things like the RTI and an independent judiciary and police will eliminate the remainder over time, if given the chance and not sabotaged by uneducated priests”.
          Maybe the author was a little over-optimistic?
          Best regards

        • 34
          21

          OC,
          “Under Hitler’s leadership and racially motivated ideology, the tnen German Nazi regime was responsible for the genocide of at least 5.5 million Jews and millions of other victims whom he and his followers deemed “Untermenschen” (sub-humans) or socially undesirable.
          Hitler and the Nazi regime were also responsible for the killing of an estimated 19.3 million civilians and prisoners of war.
          In addition, 29 million soldiers and civilians died as a result of military action in the European theatre.”
          The most venerable, are of Very High Erudition being High Priests and Sangha Mahanayaka’s are very considerate that they have conscientiously immersed themselves in study of Buddhist Theology! They didn’t have any time to Dwell on History of recent times especially last 100 years, which they Knowledgeably, felt was of NO significance to Buddhism, not connected to Buddhist Theology and therefore irrelevant to their CHERISHED pursuit as Mahanayaka’s!!!
          Whilst appreciating the necessity to study, Historical elements of Germanic Hitler and his immense contribution to Humanity, whilst acknowledged, request to be excused in this instance for any and all lapse, which we feel irrelevant, foreign and is modality to, western colonial Influence!!!??

    • 53
      34

      Jack

      “Concepts are admirable but people are not mature to take them on board.”

      People never get mature when racism, majoritarianism, …… militarism, religion, .. are being used as educational tools and as driving forces in the nation building process, … and Jackasses are elected to the higher offices regularly and recruited to run the state, people should not be unfairly expected to become wiser and …. mature.

      Look at the last elections an alleged murderer who also believed to have committed war crimes and crime against humanity was elected by more than 6.9 million to the top office hoping that strong man would deliver, however it transpired the strongman became a coward and did a runner. Asgiria too welcome a fascist as a leader.

      In the past 75 years the country has been turned into a colony of morons.
      The government has decided to transform “Hingurakgoda to be Sri Lanka’s sixth international airport”. Look who is going to be in charge of the Rs 17 billion project, it is the Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Aviation, Nimal Siripala de Silva.
      (A paradigm shift in airport and port development – https://archives1.sundayobserver.lk/2023/08/27/paradigm-shift-airport-and-port-development) by the way we must welcome the project

      • 49
        34

        NV,
        Why Hingurakgoda??? Why so Special

        • 49
          35

          Mahila

          “Why Hingurakgoda??? Why so Special”

          What I gather from media is that Hingurakgoda airport would serve as the main transport hub for many tourist places, cultural triangle, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Kandy, Polanaruva, Sigiriya, a number of National Parks, …..

          Already there is an old Brit built runway and rudimentary aerodrome.

          Why not another international transport hub, …. helping tourists easy access to tourist places. ……

          This airport will help nimal fernando (a pious VP supporter) easy access to Malwattu and Asgiriya, …….

          • 38
            23

            Proposal to build an international airport at Hingurakgoda was first mooted by late president Premadasa, as it would be central to Trinco, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa. It would have been a white elephant, but better than Mattala. It will cater to only tourists and not much to local population, Fortunately he died and it was forgotten, and now there is a move to construct it. International airport other than Colombo which will be economically viable has to be built in the north. Best site for it would be at Mankulam which is equidistant to Jaffna, Anuradhapura, Trincomalee and Mannar. High speed roads linking it to these towns will make it easy for people to travel. It will cater not only to tourists but to vast Tamil Diaspora. Once the road beteween Dhanushkodi and Trincomalee is completed, People in deep south of Tamil Nadu will also use the airport. No Sinhala government will under take it, and it will be a reality only if Tamils become independent or India takes over the land.

          • 32
            19

            Native,
            “This airport will help Nimal Fernando (a pious VP supporter) easy access to Malwattu and Asgiriya, …”
            Good effort on your part to express some concern towards NF’s Concerns and related matters!!! Whilst agreeing, those concerns are well founded, whilst NF considers them to be “CONCERNS”, he would be happy and content with what Nimal Siripala (NSDeS) would do in circumstances, when Hingurakgoda AP, Graduates to “International esteem”, than being relegated, “BACKWATERS” of POLLONNARIWA, which keeps on electing, unelectable MP and President, continuously and sustained manner, erstwhile ‘AIYO SIRISENA’ HAMU!!!??? Whilst those aspects may be real, PORTEND VALID CONCERNS, the bigger question is what would NSDeS would do, if it happens to be the day he has to go overseas thru’ this airport and the Dalai Lama or some other High Priest from SEA happens to emplane too!!!???
            HE MAY DECIDE TO INTERN THE FOREIGN PRIEST TO BE HELD AT SRI MAHA BOGHIYA IN ANURADHAPURA, AASL, arranging 5-star Hilton Hotel to service the priest’s ‘culinary needs’ and proceed on his trip to Japan, wherever!!!??? NSdeS is Very Versatile OPERATOR, enabled to meet all these challenges!!???

      • 51
        35

        Hello Native Vedda and Jack,

        Yes, disheartening realities.

        Is there a generational gap developing in the positive direction? I see so many young citizens aspiring to leave the country. Is that an indication of anti-regressive evolution?

        If the trend of brain drain continues, the consequences at home will be much worse. Stopping this trend may necessitate social and political progress and not just economic growth… I hope.

        • 49
          34

          Sugandh

          “I see so many young citizens aspiring to leave the country.”

          Before 1958 a few people left the country.
          After 1958 Burghers, Tamils and Middle and upper class Sinhalese left Sri Lanka.
          1970s ….
          1980s ….
          1990 ….
          2000 ….
          2010 …
          2020 …. and after youth as well as others have left because the 75 years of Sinhala/Buddhist lies have been exposed to the people, those who leave now may be for good, will never return.
          In a way it is good for the country, people and themselves.
          Forget worrying about brain drain, we deserve it.

          Every successive government had tried its best to get rid of people who have knowledge and skills, while we are stuck with 225 + 360000, 74000, ……. 6.9(?) … and we are proud about it.

          Ranil is worried.
          Ranil is trying to brain wash school children with fancy words, hoping to retain them within the failed system, fearing these children also may leave.

          Lets hear from old codger, nimal fernando, nathan, regarding mass exodus of young people.

          Could you let us have one reason as to why the young should remain in this country and what is there for them to look forward to?

          • 45
            4

            N V ,

            ” Forget worrying about brain drain , we deserve it . “
            You mind correcting it to ” Wallet Drain ? ” Everyone
            calls the other a ” Buffalo .”

  • 51
    27

    “…when two or more groups are in conflict a logical question to ask oneself is ‘who (or what) is the third party that is setting us against each other’?”

    When the majority community fails to see that they, or violent segments of them, are being manipulated by one political group or another, as the plain truth behind all the so-called ethnic conflicts in our country, then as the author shows our majority community and their victims who beyond a point also turned violent just went down a distributive spiral from which we have yet to emerge with meaningful rapprochement to resume a fresh attempt at nation building with north and south together.

    It was refreshing to note Mr Anura Kumara Dissanayake offering this opportunity to the our northern brethren last week.

    The spirit of the entire section 29 of the Soulbury constitution was never given a chance to establish some conventions we could proudly call our parliamentary ethos which enabled all to live in peace and harmony, expending all its energy at expanding economic opportunities for all.

    Many believe we are on the cusp of a meaningful change in the near future when the two national elections are held. We can only hope that it will bring in a set of representatives who will work tirelessly at remedying many errors that have occurred in our governance.

  • 53
    38

    A very interesting article!

    Sadly, it seems we are wired for groupness. Surely, it imparts evolutionary advantages to species as it relates to inter-specie and intra-specie competition.

    Obviously, intra-specie groupness among the homo sapiens is most destructive. Is it because we are the smartest animal?… but not smart enough and also most gullible?

    • 44
      0

      Hello Sugandh,
      “Sadly, it seems we are wired for groupness”.
      One of the findings from the “Robbers Caves” experiment was – “The first thing is to remember, at the core of tribalism is not truth, but beliefs. And the one thing you cannot do is reason anyone out of their beliefs. After all, beliefs are not arrived at with reason, and so cannot be dismantled with same”.
      William Golding explored tribalism in his book “The Lord of the Flies”. I studied this for SCE O Grade English along with “Animal Farm” and the usual Shakespeare stuff. We had many debates re Lord of the Flies which I maintained over simplified the “Tribal” over the significance that Human Civilisations had on peoples collective behaviour. It’s strange to see this discussion being resurrected 55 years later.
      If Realistic Conflict Theory (RCT) is an adequate description of Human Behavior then it has to explain The Declaration of Human Rights, Adomnan’s Law of the Innocents 697 AD and the existence of The United Nations (which is under threat).
      TBC

      • 45
        0

        Continued
        For a more nuanced exploration of Sheriff’s work read this if you can – The Lost Boys: Inside Muzafer Sherif’s Robbers Cave Experiment by Gina Perry.
        There are many critiques of Realistic Conflict Theory and the notorious Milgram experiments of the early 60s, – Human beings are much more complex than simplistic “Pop” Psychology Theories as are their Cultures.
        As she says in her book she came to – “the rather obvious conclusion that people can be deceived and manipulated into doing things they would never normally do”.
        Best regards

        • 51
          38

          Hello LankaScot:

          A great topic of discussion. But a complex one, no doubt. Seems we can blame our politicians’ deception and manipulation for what ails us… Not unique to Sri Lanka.

          Here’s is one of many articles on brain research related to religious beliefs;
          Religious Belief at the Level of the Brain: Neural Correlates and Influence of Culture
          Albert C Gaw. J Nerv Ment Dis. 2019 Jul.
          https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31259793/

          I wonder whether there’s a genetic component which determines pre-disposition to religious belief and fervour!

          • 41
            0

            Hello Sugandh,
            Have you seen his other articles e.g.
            A psychospiritual perspective of decision-making for a complex thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm repair.
            I think this is one of the best wind-ups since Alan Sokal’s on Post Modernism – Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity https://physics.nyu.edu/sokal/transgress_v2/transgress_v2_singlefile.html
            Best regards

            • 44
              39

              Thanks, LS. You’re upping the complexity for me!

  • 44
    48

    Thanks M S T for the valuable article.
    Is not ‘JEALOUSY’ of Singhalese root cause of all the ills in the country. Tamils greatly benefited from western clergies activities in the North and East. The schools & churches established by them improved their education and employment chances. Agricultural activities in North and East too contributed to their wealth

    • 45
      40

      Naman,
      The schools and churches by clergies were not limited to the North or East. Kandy and Galle received the same benefits.
      Divide and rule tactics played a role in providing employment, for sure.

    • 34
      27

      Naman,
      “AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES in North and East TOO CONTRIBUTED TO THEIR WEALTH”
      What with continuous and sustained limitation on availability of Water!!!??? Over-Extraction of ‘well water’ contributed substantially to aggravated Salinity, which before the ‘30 year war’ was MANAGED, by limiting extraction preventing excessive sea water seepage into Groundwater aquifer’s, killing agriculture than nurturing it!!!??? However, the near 150,000 service personnel deployed in the Peninsula and surrounds have made the situation – worst salinity at present!!!
      NO GOOD FOR AGRICULTURE or HUMANS!!???

  • 22
    54

    After reading the main article and the comments made up to now, I can easily conclude that LankaScot is a Sinhala Buddhist Racist!
    🤣🤣🤣

    • 33
      0

      Hello Ruchira,
      Good Joke 🤣.
      Best regards

      • 35
        52

        LankaScot- couldn’t help. 🤣 More serious thoughts are expressed above in response to Lester’s comments.

        • 52
          32

          “More serious thoughts are expressed above in response to Lester’s comments.”
          This seems a better joke than the previous one.

          • 54
            41

            A very astute observation, SJ!

    • 38
      52

      “I can easily conclude that LankaScot is a Sinhala Buddhist Racist!”

      Dr. Sankaralingam and Pandi Toilet/Rohan/Sharma/Lanka Canuck reached that exact conclusion.

      • 42
        0

        Hello Lester,
        Koheda yanne with this? Mage nama Alan Siya to my Sinhala grandchildren and Sudo Siya to the local children that don’t know my name. So that negates the “Racist” part. I have contributed to both the local Temple and Kovil here in Elpitiya so there goes the Buddhist bit and finally “Je ne comprends pas bien Sinhala” and that completes my description. Now if you said “Bloody Scottish Atheist Unbeliever, I would have to plead guilty. And as Robert Burns said “Man to man the world oer shall brothers be for a that”😎.
        Best regards

        • 34
          39

          Hello LankaScot,

          Is “Alan Siya” simply the cover for your M14 identity… maybe you’re on the run from the Israelis after assisting rogue Arab nations with developing advanced weapons systems. If that’s the case, I recommend avoiding windows… but back to reality, good on you to trade one set of “hills” for another in the twilight years though personally I prefer the sea. The main thing is peace of mind… you are not searching for Hanuman’s bridge or Kumari Kandam or creating fake states on the map. I do wish you a pleasant stay.

          • 34
            38

            *M16

          • 23
            1

            Hello Lester.
            Thanks for the advice, I still like the Sea, but Aberdeen is too cold and wet. As for avoiding “windows”, that advice is good for Russian Oligarchs (with apologies to SJ😎). One of my sisters swears that I must be MI6, but she’s wrong. I tell her stories (true ones) that feed her conspiracy theories. Having worked for many years in Electronics/IT Engineering in the Oil and Diving Industries plus Teaching Government Departments and Tri-Services Military, you meet many well known (and Security) people. And despite what SJ believes I am well aware of the state of Intelligence Gathering by the Chinese “Research Vessels” and Huawei 5G Routers/Switches/Crypto Devices etc. As an aside, the US is well known for their Surveillance of Communications Worldwide and as OC may remember the Saudis used to jam the BBC World Service broadcasts.
            Best regards

            • 10
              32

              LS
              I used to listen to the BBC on MW from the Salalah relay early mornings. As I remember, there was more jamming by the local sewage pump than the government 🤯🤯. True, the US eavesdrops on practically everyone, but not so ostentatiously.

              • 10
                0

                Hello OC,
                As we drove from Ras Tanura to Dammam the signal would get progressively weak and be replaced by a repetitive square wave (like a Machine Gun) at its worst around Al Qatif and then slowly fade.
                Do you remember the American Compound at Ras Tanura. Our General Manager told us that the Military wanted the Beach towards Ras Tanura be fenced off and declared a Restricted Zone. So Aramco sent out a team of Labourers to put up the Fences and Signposts in Arabic and English “Keep-out Restricted Zone”. As soon as the team finished their work they were arrested for being in a “Restricted Zone”. Apocryphal or true? I don’t know but I saw the fences and signs.
                Best regards

                • 8
                  21

                  LS,
                  Yes, Najmah beach. It wasn’t fenced off, only the part towards the refinery. The jamming around Qatif probably had something to do with keeping the Shias in the dark. They all favoured Khomeini.

        • 38
          30

          LS,

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrnjllfAskM

          This may be interested to you and other rational thinkers.

          • 10
            0

            I haven’t actually read this article by Dr. M. S. Thambirajah, although it looked significant.
            .
            However, seeing the above comment, by “leelagemalli” listed (now – 15:45, Lankan time) I clicked on the link.
            .
            It is a YouTube; as such it has an audio component, which played in Artificial Intelligence English narration only, distorting all Lankan names. When subtitles are enabled, they, too, work, in English. What they say is credible, including a reference by name to the Editor of Colombo Telegraph, and the caption below the YouTube reads:
            .
            When will Sajith grow up? |Uvindu takes a jab at Tilvyn!| The Leader TV
            .
            Yesterday, I saw all this content in a Sinhala YouTube.
            .
            Interesting? Yes, but puzzling as well.
            .
            Is digital technology playing tricks on us who employ it? Simpler human beings, who avoid technology, seem to be going about their lives, unconcerned.
            .
            Panini Edirisinhe

            • 13
              47

              SM,
              I noticed the computer dubbing too. It sounds very unnatural and irritating to me.

          • 15
            0

            Hello Leelagemalli,
            A very strange article translated badly with AI that has no idea how to pronounce Sri Lankan names
            Who finances the Leader TV and who is Sirimalee Liyanagama?
            Bet regards

  • 75
    146

    Some concluding thoights..
    .
    This essay written by one Dr. M. S. Thambirajah is just another attempt to feed a false narrative that most Tamils here on Colombo Telegraph have been propagating. It is evident by below statement of Thambirajah:
    .
    “I am sure readers of this journal are sufficiently knowledgeable to apply these findings to the intergroup conflict that has plagued Sri Lanka for more than half a century.”
    .
    As if the readers are qualified sociologists or anthropologists.
    .
    The author himself admits that the two experiments cited does not display any power imbalances in between the groups studied nor have the groups defined by any ethno-religious identities making them irrelevant to the conflict in Sri Lanka.
    .
    The essay lacks logic and is a poor attempt to tarnish the image of the majority community in Sri Lanka – the Sinhala Buddhists!
    .
    Yet he seems to think that it is justifiable to apply them to the Sri Lankan context and leaves the reader to do so.

    • 143
      100

      “As if the readers are qualified sociologists or anthropologists.”
      Are you?

      • 133
        101

        OC,
        .
        “mama thamayi hariyata kora wage- Gota’s famous stupid remarks” That’s why almost everyone in CT disagrees with his ludicracies. Just look at if any single comment with meaningful content ?

        • 117
          116

          LM,
          When he isn’t drunk and feeling sorry for himself he writes almost passable stuff. Now that he’s run away, poor Lester is in trouble.

    • 163
      149

      “As if the readers are qualified sociologists or anthropologists.”

      Believe me, training doesn’t make much difference in understanding these particular subjects, which fall under the category of “social science.” It’s different from something like physics, where you need extensive mathematical training to obtain a deep understanding (even poor Faraday was outdone by Maxwell). Have you heard of a famous experiment called, “On Being Sane in Insane Places?” The author demonstrated that trained healthcare practitioners could not tell the difference between the sane and insane in a perfectly controlled environment. The logical conclusion, then, must be that the field of psychiatry in general is BS. Which is what Thomas Szaz tried to prove in “The Myth of Mental Illness.”

      The so-called “psychologists”, “anthropologists”, etc. are trained mostly in methodology. How to perform particular research and evaluate data. But the data in itself does not justify the validity of the experiment. In any field, there are so-called “paradigms” that dominate. To better understand the paradigms, the students are exposed to literature e.g. journal articles. These journal articles are mostly semantic gobbledegook. To make it seem more plausible, they try to add some statistical analysis.

      Anyway, that’s my opinion.

      • 123
        151

        Pathetic lamentations of two Sinhala-Buddhist fascists!

        Failed attempt at white washing the long history of Sinhala Buddhist fascism in Sri Lanka.

        • 73
          0

          Hello Sugandh,
          At school I found it very difficult to understand why a cultured, educated and pretty much law abiding people (the Germans) could allow or take part in the atrocities perpetrated against the Jews ( and other minorities). As young boys in the 1950/60s we bought small War comics that were full of anti-German (masquerading as anti-Nazi) propaganda. My father discouraged us from believing the comics, explaining that the Nazis had used this sort of propaganda to gain power. I didn’t fully comprehend then what message he was trying to convey.
          Many, years later I was teaching senior Judges in the UK Royal Courts of Justice and got into a conversation with a Lord Justice (who was Jewish) during a break from teaching. I asked him about the Judiciaries (German) attitude to the rise of Fascism in Germany. He outlined to me the systematic destruction of the Independent Judicial System and the role of propaganda in replacing the courts with Hitler’s Nazi special courts. Basically Hitler bypassed the Judiciary using the Reichstag and replaced Judges that would not toe the line.
          TBC

          • 60
            7

            Continued
            Judges were told that if there was a conflict over political cases Judges must take the Nazi line. In 1942 Hitler gave a speech in the Reichstag and said “I expect the German legal profession to understand that the nation is not here for them but they are here for the nation.. From now on, I shall intervene in these cases and remove from office those judges who evidently do not understand the demand of the hour.”
            Once the independence of the Judiciary was complete Hitler was able to enact laws as he saw fit. Autocratic and Fascist Governments have always recognized the need to control the Media. Germany’s Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda controlled the Media to shape the German population’s attitudes and beliefs. They financed Film Director Leni Riefenstahl’s very professional Propaganda Films. They controlled the Press, Radio, Advertising Cinema and TV (fairly small audience).
            So what comparisons can be made? Is Sri Lanka a Fascist Country or on its way to becoming one?
            Best regards

            • 65
              0

              Should be “Once the independence of the Judiciary was removed, Hitler ….
              Best regards

            • 51
              11

              LankaScot,

              Nazi Germany was a totalitarian state with a full press censorship, Gestapo, race laws, and dictator for life. The population was brainwashed at every level – whether school, entertainment, or employment. The economy was centralized with planning and production under the control of the State. There is no modern-day parallel, except perhaps North Korea and (when it existed) the de-facto “state” of “Tamil Eelam”, which required each family to donate a child to the LTTE.

          • 104
            160

            LankaScot,

            The Nazis never won an election. The Nazis have one thing in common with the LTTE, besides fascism: they never allowed criticism from intellectuals.

            • 45
              59

              Lester,
              “The Nazis never won an election. “
              .
              “The Nazi Party (NSDAP) registered a large increase in votes in 1933 and gained a Reichstag majority together with its coalition partner, the German National People’s Party (DNVP). This was the first time since 1930 that a governing coalition had held a parliamentary majority”

            • 45
              0

              Hello Lester,
              Yes they did in July 1932 – “Following another Reichstag election in July 1932, the Nazis became the largest party with 230 seats and 37.3% of the vote”. Hitler was not immediately appointed Chancellor but 6 months later “Hitler was sworn in as the chancellor of Germany on the 30 January 1933. The Nazis were now in power”. – https://www.theholocaustexplained.org/the-nazi-rise-to-power/the-nazi-rise-to-power/elections/
              There are many books about Fascism and the rise of Hitler. It is quite difficult to make an all- encompassing definition but it would include – “extreme militaristic nationalism, contempt for electoral democracy and political and cultural liberalism, a belief in natural social hierarchy and the rule of elites, and the desire to create a Volksgemeinschaft (German: “people’s community”), in which individual interests would be subordinated to the good of the nation – https://www.britannica.com/topic/fascism
              People or Parties can have Fascist ideology but in order to enforce their Ideology they must seize control of the State.
              Best regards

              • 42
                47

                Hello LankaScot,

                The issue is not so clean-cut.

                “The Nazis never received more than 37 percent of the popular vote in any free national election.”

                https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/hitler-was-not-voted-into-office/2016/03/18/04443d06-e615-11e5-a9ce-681055c7a05f_story.html

                So the Nazis did not have a “mandate” from the German citizens to pursue their fascist agenda. Because the rules in Germany at the time required a majority to form an independent government, the Nazis had to enter a coalition government. And then Hitler assumed power through various nefarious means, such as burning the Reichstag.

                Elimination of the Jews is also a misunderstood narrative. Hitler himself did not attend the Wansee Conference. Contrary to popular belief, Hitler spent more time on architecture and military operations than a “Final Solution.”

                You are wondering why the Germans didn’t overthrow Hitler to prevent the Holocaust? Because the concentration camps were largely outside of Germany. The German citizens only knew about the ghettos. They didn’t know the final destination of the trains.

                Regarding fascism, one should give a clear definition at the outset.

                • 16
                  0

                  Hello Lester,
                  “Regarding fascism, one should give a clear definition at the outset.” Can you give one?
                  Best regards

                  • 15
                    0

                    Hello Lester,
                    I am not buying a subscription to the Washington Post so that I can read what is actually an opinion piece. The historical fact is the Nazi Party had a majority in July 1932 (as others have pointed out) as the largest party. They held another election in November 1933 and gained 43.9 percent of the vote. (Still not an outright Majority). Hitler like many Authoritarians/Fascists always claimed to act according to the “Law”. So if a law doesn’t suit the law is changed. The “Reichstag Fire Law” (probably a false flag operation) resulted in the suspension of most Civil Liberties and gave the Nazi Party much more power. The rest is history we should learn from it!
                    Best regards

                    • 12
                      17

                      LS
                      Thanks.
                      It is true of fascist conduct all along.
                      Defeat in WWII and memories of the pre-war years held back the fascists for a long time, but they have caught up to pose a real threat.
                      Asian brands of fascism make a sub-class of fascism with an ethno-religious sectarian agenda.

                    • 31
                      15

                      LankaScot,

                      Not quite.

                      In the German federal elections of July 1932, the Nazi Party indeed emerged as the largest party in the Reichstag (the German parliament), winning 37.3% of the popular vote and securing 230 out of 608 seats. However, they did not have an outright majority.

                      In the subsequent election held in November 1932, the Nazi Party’s share of the vote decreased slightly to 33.1%, and they lost seats in the Reichstag. Despite this, they remained the largest party.

                      Your statement incorrectly states that another election was held in November 1933, and the Nazi Party gained 43.9% of the vote. In reality, there was no federal election in November 1933. Instead, in March 1933, after Adolf Hitler became Chancellor, the Nazi regime exploited the Reichstag fire and the Reichstag Fire Decree to suppress political opposition and consolidate power. Subsequently, in the election held on March 5, 1933, under conditions of intimidation and repression, the Nazi Party received 43.9% of the vote, securing a plurality but still not an outright majority.

                      After the March 1933 election, the Nazi regime passed the Enabling Act, which effectively granted Hitler dictatorial powers, leading to the establishment of a totalitarian dictatorship in Germany.

                    • 27
                      5

                      LankaScot,

                      If 37% counts as “winning” to you, I concede (for the Reichstag elections). It’s around 1/3 of the population. That 37% probably came from the Great Depression and the ensuing economic collapse in Germany – rather than the Nazis themselves. Because during the 1928 German parliamentary elections the Nazis had just 2.6% of the vote. Hindenburg was always more popular than Hitler, beating Hitler twice in the run-off elections in 1932 and 1933.

                      Here are the actual results of the 1932 Presidential elections: https://markgelbart.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/screenshot-314.png

                    • 3
                      0

                      Hello Lester,
                      Yes I made a mistake – where I said “November 1933 and gained 43.9 percent”, it should have been March 1933. The November election was held after the Enabling Act and gave them over 92 %
                      Best regards

                • 14
                  18

                  Even democracy does not have a clear definition that all agree on.

              • 14
                26

                Lester,
                You said:
                “The Nazis never won an election.”
                Now you say:
                “The Nazis never received more than 37 percent of the popular vote”
                You lied, got caught, and now, as usual, trying to pretend your foot isn’t in your mouth. Will you never learn?
                “Regarding fascism, one should give a clear definition at the outset.”
                Use a mirror.

      • 24
        46

        Lester – “The author demonstrated that trained healthcare practitioners could not tell the difference between the sane and insane in a perfectly controlled environment.”
        .
        Yes it’s a famous experiment.
        .
        “The logical conclusion, then, must be that the field of psychiatry in general is BS.”
        .
        Yes. There’s a school of thought that supports this and moves are already underway to give psychiatric diagnoses a biological basis.
        .
        Currently they are based on mental phenomenology and other social criteria like maladaptions and these criteria have been adapted through a process of consenses building which in itself is not entirely scientific.
        .
        Basically it means what is a pathology and what is not are decided by experts’ vote not necessarily through an evidence based process.
        .
        In fact the arbitrary nature of the current diagnostic criteria laid down by the Diagnostic And Statistical Manual (DSM) is begining to become evident, especially with the advancement of genomics.
        .
        TBC

        • 19
          17

          Continued….
          .
          Yes. Psychology has no strict laws like in the case of natural.or physical sciences.
          .
          Instead it has theories and models to explain phenomena and also to make interventions thst yeild significant results giving them a certain validity. But they are not carved in stone and most importantly there are multiple theories and models that could be applied to an any given problem and/or situation.
          .
          I believe this to be the case for other soft sciences like social sciences too.
          .

          • 14
            21

            Wow, unsurprisingly, some have decided that the New Year will not keep them as busy as they thought. So what was all that weeping and gnashing of teeth about?

          • 15
            21

            LOL, Psychiatry and Psychology are not the same but one helps understanding the other better.
            ” there’s a school of thought ( which school ??????) that supports this, moves are already underway to give psychiatric diagnoses a biological basis “. Psychiatry I believe like any other medical field considers all causes including BIOLOGICAL factors (physical health, genetic vulnerability … ) Social factors ( relationship, support network , current circumstances / stressors …… … ) and Psychological factors ( personality traits, coping / social skills, self esteem / assertiveness ….. in making a diagnosis. What is called as a bio psycho social model / approach.
            “So the logical ??? conclusion must be, then, that the field of Psychiatry in general is BS” . Last I heard, human still having one brain, having many many functions. Due to this fact, many neurological conditions like seizures, stroke, Parkinson’s, dementia ………. lead to co-morbid psychiatric issues like depression, psychosis, delusions and hallucinations. Such illogical / paranoid conclusions makes Neurology as well Psychiatry, in general BS. Can anyone address Diabetes without considering family history, diet habits, physical activity , mental and other stressors, smoking / drinking, individual personality traits / beliefs, culture . . . . . . very funny. Keep going.

            • 5
              20

              Paranoia in general has no limits. One needs common sense to understand the co-relation between 1) dementia and depression / delusions 2) Delirium, an acute crisis seen in all medical fields ( covid, organ failure . . . . . . end stage disease of kidney, liver, heart, lung, or brain ) , where person exhibits psychiatric symptoms like confusion, paranoia, delusions, hallucinations, bizarre behaviors / speech/ thinking 3) Alcohol withdrawal / delirium tremens , commonly treated by psychiatrist more than neurologist. 4) psychosis can be caused by simple electrolyte abnormality ( sodium, calcium……) 5) like in many fields people are now specialized within the field to provide optimal care. Hence there are medical cardiologist, cardio thoracic surgeon, cardiac anesthetist, cardiac physio therapist, electrophysiologist . . . . who work as a team, can one make other a BS ???? 6) many times psychiatrist are called in consultation by other specialist to manage their patient. 7) what more all transplant
              ( legally mandated ) , cancer, and Bariatric teams consist of a PSYCHIATRIST ( some countries also mandate a psychologist ) , others being surgeon, pulmonologist, general medicine, anesthetist, and cardiologist.

        • 21
          14

          Ruchira,

          Thanks for that explanation. I’m somewhat familiar with the DSM and understand that various behaviors such as “homosexuality” have been re-defined at times due to lobbying pressure. From 1973-1980, it was characterized as a mental illness, but afterwards this behavior somehow became “normal.” That’s not scientific, if you ask me. If I want to change F = ma to F = ma^2, I would have to do some experiment consistent with the behavior of the universe. I can’t change a definition because a politician decided to cross-dress.
          Regarding mental illness, I don’t think its always a myth. But the current approach or treatment mostly involves turning the subject into a zombie by administering strong drugs. The zombie is effectively too exhausted and cognitively impaired to act irrationally. However, as many incidents show, once the subject goes off the medicine, all hell breaks loose. And as Szaz himself noted, the diagnosis often fails to differentiate between between normal and abnormal behavior. Lately I’m beginning to think that much of the pharma industry is a big racket. Of course the drugs work. But you can maximize your sales if people are addicted. Psychiatry is great business for the pharma industry for obvious reasons.

          • 20
            5

            Lester – You are right about homosexuality. They make such changes from time to time to DSM when they revise the manual. But it’s not black and white. I mean you can’t say everything is bull shit or drugs are not required at all. Because lot of these people may need some form of help to get on with their lives as their symptoms make it difficult for them to lead a normal life. Help comes from two broad categories. One is taking drugs. The other is various forms of psycho-social interventions that could vary from simple counselling to advanced psychotherapy and changes to ones life. But this is difficult because it may take years to get results. Also needs commitment from both parties – that is the patient and psychologists who provides interventions. So many people prefer drugs as a quick solution. Combination of drugs and psychological interventions too are possible when indicated. It’s a big topic. Don’t have much time to explain in detail.
            .
            TBC

            • 20
              4

              Continued…
              .
              But if you interested listen to this TED talk by one Eleanor Longden. She was diagnosed of Schizophrenia when she was in the university but later due to the influence of better informed doctors she ditched her medicines and went on to qualify herself as a psychologist. It explains somewhat arbitrary nature of psychiatric diagnoses.
              .
              https://www.ted.com/talks/eleanor_longden_the_voices_in_my_head?utm_campaign=tedspread&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=tedcomshare
              .
              The story of young Gillian Lynne the Dancer and choreographer is another famous one if you want to have a quick look at.
              .
              Sorry I may not come back for a while to reply. In that case hope you will have a good new year..

          • 6
            0

            Hello Lester and Ruchira,
            Look at the history of Largactal and other Psychiatric drugs for the control of Prison Inmates (in the UK) and the dangers of long time use and addiction. https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/commons/1978/dec/15/prisons-drugs
            Despite this there are occasions when it can be used safely. I like French Blue Cheese and kept some in our fridge here in Sri Lanka, Due to the Power cuts last year our fridges had been down many times for long periods of time. My Blue Cheese caused me food poisoning and unstoppable Hiccups. I visited the local Hospital where they gave me Omeprazole. I complained that I didn’t have GERD and it would do no good. A few hours later I was still the same and having breathing difficulties, when a Consultant examined me. He contacted one of his colleagues in another Hospital (Asiri) who suggested a half tablet of Largactal. My Nephew drove over, collected and paid for the Drug. Half an hour later I was fast asleep and Hiccup free. Lesson learned, I don’t eat Blue Cheese anymore.
            Best regards

  • 47
    0

    Lester

    “The Nazis never won an election.”

    Are you sure?
    Please tell us about March 1933 German federal election.

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