19 October, 2017

Wither The New Turn?

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“….the inexplicable actually happens.” – Auschwitz, Our Home – A Letter (Tadeusz Borowski)

Travel restrictions are back. Foreigners can no longer visit the North without Defence Ministry permission.

Gota MahindaWhy re-impose such a restriction now, more than five years after the victorious end of the war?

“Defence Authorities had received credible information that some elements were trying to destabilise the North and create disharmony among ethnic communities in the country”[i], claimed the military spokesman. That official explanation can be dismissed as another Rajapaksa lie. In any case those who try to ‘create disharmony among ethnic communities’ are not foreigners but Lankans; and most are ensconced in the Rajapaksa-embrace, officially or unofficially.

So why travel restrictions? Why now? Why implement a measure which will seriously hamper tourism in the region and discourage potential investors?

The key to the puzzle might be in the timing.

The Rajapaksas are in election-mode. The first full-page advertisements, hailing Mahinda, the Saviour, have already appeared in the Sinhala papers. After reducing gas prices, the President visited the North bearing rich gifts, from trains to land to gold. Everything the Rajapaksas would say and do, from now until the polling day, will have just one object – Electoral Victory.

Is there a connection between the new restrictions and the impending election – and the Rajapaksa determination to win at whatever the cost to the country and the people?

The President’s Jaffna trip demonstrates the importance placed by the Rajapaksas on the Northern vote. The Siblings would know that most Tamils will not vote for them, even with bribery and violence. Their main aim would be to deny the Opposition as large a chunk as possible of the Northern vote. And that means doing whatever necessary to reduce voter-turnout in the North.

Mahinda Rajapaksa won one closely-fought election because Tamils obeyed Vellupillai Pirapaharan’s suicidally-inane boycott-order. Are they contemplating some sort of repeat performance, albeit via a different agency? Do they aim to confuse and confound the Tamil electorate by injecting religious-disharmony into Tamil polity and society?

When violence broke out in Aluthgama, the regime adopted an enabling attitude towards the attackers; it also imposed a de facto news-blackout, arguing that reportage would encourage violence. Since the incident happened in the South it was impossible to keep media personnel away. Many journalists used the internet and social-media to get the truth out to the public. But if there are religious clashes in the North, a de facto news-blackout would be far easier to sustain. Pressure can be applied on media-owners to stop local journalists from going to the troubled areas while the travel-restrictions already in place will keep out the foreign media.

Do the Rajapaksas want to prevent the media from accurately reporting what might happen in the North during the pre-election months? Are the travel-restrictions aimed at an information lockdown?

Buddhist-Hindu Friendship Month

The RSS has turned down the Bodu Bala Sena proposal for a Buddhist-Hindu alliance at the sub-continental level. But that has not stopped the BBS from beating the ‘Buddhist-Hindu unity’ drum. Now the relatively more sedate leader of the BBS, Kirama Wimalajothi Thero, has got into the act. This week he informed the media that the BBS and Sri Lanka Hindu Association are planning to have a ‘Buddhist-Hindu Friendship Month’, beginning on Deepavali Day (October 22nd).

BBS HinduReconciliation is a desperate need for war-torn Sri Lanka. But when the axis of reconciliation is on the Buddhist-Hindu line, it becomes counter-reconciliatory. A Buddhist-Hindu unity is exclusionary by definition; it embodies within it at least two deadly faultlines – anti-Christian/Catholic and anti-Muslim. It divides Sinhalese and Tamils along religious lines. It does not end ethnic-disharmony, but compounds it with religious-disharmony.

What is the real purpose of the ‘Buddhist-Hindu Friendship Month? Is the regime planning to ignite Hindu-Christian or Hindu-Muslim clashes in the North and elsewhere?

In his unusual take on the Inquisition (Medieval, Spanish and Roman), Cullen Murphy comments on “the power of a name to define a foe into existence”[ii]; the Inquisition would first conjure the heresy and then hunt for the heretics. Are the Rajapaksas following a similar path – first create the crime and then the criminals? The regime has already warned about a plan to ‘destabilise the North and create disharmony among ethnic communities in the country’. The crime has been named. Once the first incidents happen, the hunt for the guilty can begin in earnest.

In 1956, that consummate opportunist and cynic SWRD Bandaranaike used the Buddha Jayanthi celebration to further his own partisan electoral agenda. The Rajapaksas seem to be intent on using the 150th Birth Anniversary of Anagarika Dharmapala for their own purposes. At the Anniversary Celebration President Rajapaksa said that Anagarika Dharmapala raised his voice in the darkest period of Lankan history[iii]. Anagarika Dharmapala was indeed loquacious. But there was nothing anti-imperialist politically in what he said. His critique of the British was mainly religious and socio-cultural. It was not a critique of political colonialism but of Western cultural influences, Christianity and political liberalism (including democracy). Instead of uniting all Lankans against British colonialists, he sought to unite all Buddhists, against the minorities. The divisive and intolerant ideology he espoused has been a curse to independent Lankan and Lankans; but for power-hungry politicians it is an unending blessing.

Mahinda - Anagarika DharmapalaAnagarika Dharmapala was the foremost local representative of the virulent ideology of ‘Blood and Faith Nationalism’ which became extremely popular in many parts of the world, especially in Germany. A pioneer in this regard was the extremely popular Biblical scholar, cultural critic and Orientalist, Paul de Legarde who advocated the resurrection of the ‘German spirit’ by breaking with modernism, French cosmopolitanism and Jewish influences. Some of the socio-cultural ills he and his fellow ideologues identified were real ones; but the reasons they attributed and the solutions they offered were noxiously erroneous. As Fritz Stern pointed out, they “sought to destroy the despised present in order to recapture an idealised past in an imaginary future…. They sought a breakthrough to the past, and they longed for a new community in which old ideas and institutions would once again command universal allegiance.”[iv] Their work helped to make the collective German psyche more open and vulnerable to Nazism. Today these ideas of racial/religious/cultural purity are present in organisations ranging from the Bodu Bala Sena to Boko Haram and ISIS.

Closed eyes and closed ears need closed minds. Before a nation can be benumbed into crimes and atrocities its mind must be placed behind impermeable walls.

The Zeitgeist favours religious rather than ethnic divisions and conflicts. In any case, religious extremism was creating bloody mayhem long before nations or the nation-state came into being. Therefore religion’s continuing capacity to fuel conflicts cannot be underestimated. If there are religious clashes in the North, it will justify the imposition of greater restrictions, including Emergency, which in turn will render a stolen election more possible. Are the new travel restrictions aimed at preventing the truth from leaking out in time, if such a situation is to arise?

That the Rajapaksas will use the religious card as an election gimmick is certain. The only question is: how far down the slippery slope are they willing to go?

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Latest comments

  • 3
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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

    • 0
      9

      This can’t be a relo of Mr Emil VP……

      • 0
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        Why not?

        [Edited out]

        • 0
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          [Edited out]

          • 0
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            Excellent analysis Thisaranee dear, but it seems that a TIPPING POINT has been reached with regard to the DIVIDE, DISTRACT and RULE SInhala modayas policy of Gota the Goon..

            The Jarapassa brothers are now realizing that they need as many as possible minority votes since the Sinhala Moda majority is finally waking up and may not vote for another Mahinda Jarapassa term despite all the Sinhala Buddhist rhetoric..
            Their BBS Balu Sena has gone a bit too far and hence the SInhala Buddhist Nationalist DRUG is not working on the Modayas… In context, Things are now more confusing and hence the tie up between Balu Sena and the Hindu Nationalists… But the minorities have had belly full and this will eventually peter out. I think Jarapassa has got his nickers in the twist this time!
            Our big problem is the clown in the opposition Ranil Wickramasinghe who is unfit to be joint opposition candidadate and Sobith Thero and CBK s delay to come forward…

            • 2
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              Dodo, Are Sinhala “modayas” because they allowed their poor women to be raped by invading stray “burghers” from Europe and leave their human rubbish to populate our island?

              You may be right, you now.

        • 0
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          Bongso,

          [Edited out]

    • 4
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      Tisaranee Gunasekara ,

      “Travel restrictions are back. Foreigners can no longer visit the North without Defence Ministry permission.”

      “Gota MahindaWhy re-impose such a restriction now, more than five years after the victorious end of the war?”

      Thanks for the write up.

      Lying and more lying, and fewer and fewer Fools ( Modayas, Madus) left, to believe Rajapaksa liars.

      Whatever opposition candidate comes forward, there need to be exposure of MaRa corruption and nepotism. There is a dire need for a Common Sense Pamphlet, like what Thomas Paine did in 1776 for the American revolution, exposing King George III.

      What can writers and other do? Expose.. Expose and Expose the Mara regime.

      The current perception is that Rajapaksa Hegemony has taken over the UPFA/SLFP and people do not want dynasties.

      Tissaranee, what can you do? Expose and Expose widely. what can the people do? Vote against MaRa and the criminal gang.

      Can you be the Anonymous Author and Produce a Sri Lankan version of Common Sense in Sinhala, Tamil and English? You will do as much service to Lanka, the Land of Native Veddah Aethho, just like Thomas Paine did for America and France.You can expand this write up, and get there.

      Say, Because I have Common Sense, I will not vote for Mr. Rajapaksa and their criminal cronies for a continuation of a Family Dynasty, and say that Sri Lanka is a Republic.

      Rajapaksa had the opportunity. The power corrupted them. The People are sick of them. They even used Buddhism towards their ends. Even Sinhala Buddhists are fed up them, and they are showing their true colors.

      An Anonymous Author like Thomas Paine is needed with a Common Sense Pamphlet to expose the King, King George, the Rajapaksa Clan. Read, the Common Sense Pamphlet , by Thomas Paine, that inspired the American Revolution along with the other events. Common Sense (pamphlet)

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Sense_(pamphlet)

      Produce a Commons sense Pamphlet for Sri Lanka and say why it is in the best interest of the people of Sri Lanka to remove the King, aka Rajapaksa Dynasty from power and let the Republic be a Republic and Not a dynasty. This Pamphlet, in Sinhala, Tamil and English, need to be sent to each and every Sri Lankan Citizen, just like Thomas Paine’s Common Sense pamphlet.

      -Amarasiri

    • 1
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      Oh What comment in Wonderland of universe???????.

    • 0
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      George

      [Edited out]

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      Tisaranee Gunasekara –

      Wither The New Turn?

      VIDEO: Execution of Vice President al-Maliki demanded by protesters in Basra

      http://www.iraqinews.com/features/video-execution-vice-president-al-maliki-demanded-protesters-basra/

      Basra (IraqiNew.com) The people of the province of Basra came out in massive demonstrations to demand the execution of the current Vice President and former Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki.

      The protesters asserted that “Maliki is fully responsible for the massacre of Karbala in the area of Saif Saad” and that they “demand his execution on behalf of the widows and orphans of Shia and Sunni people of Iraq.”

      Question: Can this demand be extended to Lanka, the land of native Veddah Aethho?

  • 0
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    Did Ms T apply for a Press Pass to cover the Presidents recent rendezvous with the Dalits in the North !!!!!

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      K.A Sumanasekera

      Is there a historical connection between Koviar (Tamil) and Govia (Sinhala)?

      Your Karava.org celebrates VP on its site as

      “Karava Revolutionary Velupillai Prabhakaran the founder leader of the LTTE”

      http://karava.org/karava_timeline

      Aren’t you a secret admirer of VP?

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        Ayiyoo N V ;

        Do not talk like a Toddler.
        Don’t every body knows that;

        NOT only K A S, K A S,
        But also F King Jarapassa Admire the killer Velupillai Pirapaharan,

        The F king Jarapassa, His clan and Other Jarapassa Cronies are every day Pray and Worship The killer Velupillai Pirapaharan,
        for his Service killer Velupillai Pirapaharan Done
        to Jarapassa and his Governance to came to power.,

        If there is No HELP from the killer Velupillai Pirapaharan, How come Jarpassa become The Looting, pilfering Presidente of wonderland in Universe ???????.

        If was No killer Velupillai Pirapaharan,

        There is NO F king Jarapassa, His clan and Other Jarapassa Cronies.

      • 7
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        Dear Native Vedda,

        ‘ Goviya’ , Prisoners of War in the days of the Jaffna Kings are the’ Koviyar’ of today, according to legend . Since there is no ‘ G’ sound or alphabet in Tamil , the ‘ K’ sound took its place. These POWs became temple helpers in the initial stages and then progressively became a caste, with a place and function in the societal structure. They also became Tamils with time, as many Tamils have become Sinhalese. They are also very fair and may have had an infusion of European blood at some point in time. Anyone who was very fair among the Tamils were presumed to be koviars in Jaffna at one time, Further, during the Dutch period, a fair number of Dutch men also took Vellalllah wives and had fair and blue eyed children!

        They are the Vellallah brothers of Sumanasekera the Goviya and he may find many of his kin in Vellahla Thottam!

        Dr,Rajasingham Narendram

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    Is there no end to the Sinhala Buddhist opportunist politicians bashing the other ethnic/religious minority peoples to come to power, and to say in power?

    What a cursed country Sri Lanka has become under these unscrupulous mad fellows!

    When will the majority realize their folly of electing these senseless, selfish murderers?

  • 14
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    I said it once earlier, THE MURDEROUS JARAPASSAS WILL SET THE WHOLE OF SRI LANKA WITH IT’S CITIZENRY ON FIRE IF IT CAN ONLY PERPETUATE THEIR FAMILY POWER AND HOLD ON TO THE REINS OF THE GOVERNMENT.

    THAT IS THE ONLY WAY THEY CAN PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM THE JUSTICE WHICH IS WAITING TO HAPPEN FOR ALL THE ATROCITIES COMMITTED AGAINST THE NATION.

    THEIR FAMILY AND THEIR HENCHMEN AND BOOT LICKERS CANNOT IMAGINE A DAY WITHOUT POWER.

    THEY SAY POWER CORRUPTS AND ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY, THAT IS WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THESE MURDEROUS CLAN AND UNFORTUNATELY THE FOOLISH MASSES YET TO SEE THIS REALITY.

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    TNA Vellalas who now control all and sundry in the North didn’t want to see even the sight of the President.

    They all apparently stayed back in Colombo

    And even boycotted the TamilNet which reported the visit in its front page….

    And allowed the President to fully enjoy his rendezvous with the Dalits.

    So why would the Diaspora foreigners want to go to Jaffna when the President is there..

    Unless Emmanuel sent a few emissaries to meet and greet the President in Jaffna and say sorry for banning him not once, but twice visiting them in London.

    • 1
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      Sumanasekara,
      Truth behind this is TNA Vellalas do not like the sight of low cast Indonesian moors who changed their moor family name and took Sinhalese name… You know which family is that…

  • 4
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    ‘Anagarika Dharmapala was the foremost local representative of the virulent ideology of Blood and Faith Nationalism which became extremely popular in many parts of the world, especially in Germany’

    Conveniently taking out of context the Anagarika’s words used at a time of foreign occupation and dominance, to discredit him today and associate him with the Nazis.

  • 2
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    ‘Somehow Winning’…. Kusal Perera -Colombo Telegraph 16/10/14- (Post Script)

    I am writing a few words. But not directly related to the content in the letter yet may have some form of reference. My attention goes to the ‘much-hyped’ about gimmickry drama next on the card of the SL rogue ruler: THE BUDGET!

    Before go to wrestle with the upcoming short story to be read in the parliament I would challenge him to go back to, not too far, but to the two previous ones which were made in 2013 and 2014. Mr. President, what did you say in those budgets? Complete irrelevant! There was nothing said in those budgets were given or implemented.

    As much as it is a useless then it would be utterly useless in this time too. There is a common belief in our SL people that when it comes to budget time there will be host of goodies and concessions to the masses. It was only in the past. Under the present ‘shaky-government business’ (policy-less)there won’t be anything this man can offer to people. Even if he gives something, he will take that back from the other hand from people within weeks in 10 fold cost back in to his pocket. Mind you, be careful of such time-bombs coming your way wrapped in the budget wrapping paper!

    Thanks- senaka
    @SenakaDeZS

  • 4
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    Tissaranee, another incisive dissection of the criminal thoughts and actions contemplated by this criminal regime. What the MARA is afraid of is firstly the upcoming investigation. The despots think that by keeping foreigners away from the North there will be less opportunities for witnesses to reveal the truth. This shows that Gota is getting scared of the ICC and is taking whatever steps to prevent witnesses from appearing or submitting their evidence before the UNHCR. In this age of video conferencing and internet access, the MARA regime is going to lose the battle and will be exposed for what they are, a bunch of criminals and murders and thieves. The NPC intellectually are far smarter than these uneducated riff raff that are ruling the country and will soon be exposed.

  • 8
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    MR tried every trick in the book to fool the World but has failed miserably. Just to add insult to injury just consider the following and MRs days are numbered.
    Even if he is elected at the next election he will be forced out soon after

    1) India has unofficially lifted the ban on the Diaspora who now have freedom to move and canvass.
    2) EU has lifted the BAN on LTTE.

    More to follow.

    The reason for the Travel Ban to North is MR has a lot to hide ie the Colonisation. It is too late

  • 6
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    Two reasons for travel ban:
    1) This is a punishment for Chief Minister Justice Wigneswaran refusing to accept the invitation of Rajapakse.

    2) This is the beginning of voting irregularities that we are going to witness during the next Presidential election using the military power, which Rajapakse does not want the world to see.

    There should be a limit to the stupidity of Rajapakse. How can the Ministry of Defense enforce restrictions on foreigners? What authority do they have? This is a civilian matter. The Ministry of Defense does not have the authority to do this. Again the question arises, is the Northern province under Military rule?

    These actions are going to be added on to the list of violations already included in the UN Human Rights investigation charge sheet. After Rajapakse mentioning at the UN that there is peace in the country, how can he restrict foreign passport holders travelling to the Northern province? He has once again shot himself on his foot!

  • 5
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    I have news for all the Sinkalams and anyone who cares to comment will be taken in the order they appear.

    Mahinthas Billions has been wasted as all his efforts to fool the world have failed and the signs are ominous.

    1) EU have lifted the ban on LTTE and that is a prelude to Sanctions on Sinhala Lanka after the UNHCR vedict which is due to come out in January next year.
    2) India has given the Tamil Diaspora a free hand. This is Modis message to MR that he will be prepared to use the Tamils as a shield to check the advances of China in Sri lanka. Make no misteke India will be prepared to arm the LTTE when Indias security is threatened .

    I commented when our dearest and nearest Jeya was jailed that the Tamil fortunes are much bigger than one single Individual however painful the jailing of Jeya was. BJP will cease the oppotunity to make inroads into Tamilnadu politics as the future is not rosy with out Tamilnadu.

    Make no mistake MR is doomed.

    I expect comments from ela kolla the No 1 Moron follwed by others and no doubt also from the Hat flippers.

    • 3
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      Jayalalitha released on bail and her conviction was put on hold, meaning she can be CM again until conviction is held by Supreme court.
      Stupid sinhalese who celebrated will bury their heads in sand now.

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        Mani:

        We are all elated that our dearest has been released on bail. I am not sure if you are right whether she can be CM immediately as the conviction has only been SUSPENDED not QUASHED pending the appeal. But in any case she can celebrate Diwali at home.
        As for her guilt a lot of people have tried to stick dirt on her but I like to say that the only thing you can stick on her is a TAMPON but she is past that stage now and hope I can say the same after the appeal.

      • 1
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        manisekaran

        So you don’t want to cleanse the political parties and politicians who misuse the system and still you are happy to aid and abet them in their thievery especially when they steal from the poor.

        • 1
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          NV,

          I am all for cleaning the corruption but the current judiciary itself is corrupt to core, what rights it has to call someone theif when the same judiciary is biased on certain sections. exmaple, today BJP told in supreme court that it cannot reveal the black money holders in foreign banks? That means people who looted close to 2 lakh crores are exempted, and vodadra who amassed to the tune of 1000 crores enjoying free life, did the same karanatka court issued anything against reddy brothers who looted thousands of crores, why only pick on her! You cant say i only convict who i desire, that is not justice! This broad daylight mockery! not judiciary!

  • 1
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    Tisaranee,

    You read the situation and the hidden agenda of the despot precisely. Can you and others like Kumar David …. suggest a counter action against this?

  • 2
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    This woman is just trying to hoodwink the readers, by saying that the reporters will be barred from entering the North. It very clearly stated by the Defense Ministry that any foreigner can go to the North by identifying themselves to the DM, so that it will be easy to identify if anyone tries to create ethnic problem again. This is necessary because there are hundreds of cases where the Tamil Diaspora groups have infiltrated the North as tourists and tried to reactivate the LTTE. This Thisaranee (which means UNP,JVP & TNA Saranam Gachchami) is a well known traitor who is in the pay roll of a foreign NGO that is hell bent to destabilize Sri Lanka. This is another attempt of her.

  • 2
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    1. Which religious group will collaborate with BBS that attacks other religions?
    2. Hinduism is not organised like other religions with a central hierarchy and Hindus aren’t obliged to listen to any group that says they represent the Hindus.
    3.Is this a ploy of the government to get hold of a few HHindus to make them act so foolishly?

  • 3
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    There is definitely a plot to create a division among the Tamil Hindus and Tanil Christians. a few years back ., a leading monk in politics talked to me about the need for Buddhist – Hindu unity and marginalisation of Christians,
    I told him that ploy will not succeed among the Tamils, as Christuans are the kith and kin of most Hindu families, I further told him that Hindus accept all religions as paths to salvation ( Em Mathamum Samatham).

    Davidson Panabokke us right. Hindus, do not have an organized and structured religion. There is no one who can dictate to or lead the Hindus on religious issues. Each Hindu follows his on path according to what he accepts and identifies with in a very broad ocean of philosophy and beliefs. Hinduism is a large buffet table, from which one can pick and choose what is consonant with ones nature and predisposition ( Swabhava and Swadharna).

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 1
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      Dr Narendran has given the reason why Bishop Raiappu is firing on all cylinders for the Vellala TNA to get total control on the North, including an exclusive Tamil Catholic Church with a Tamil Cardinal in charge..

      It is good news,,

      One wouldn’t know Dalit from a Vellala even if he/she bumps into one in years to come…….

      Thai is progress ..like Dr Narendran’s earlier take on how our Dalit Karawe dudes from the South, created fair skinned Tamil Koviyars in the North and Wellala Gardens….

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    So! Lankan mindset is at it again is it! Now it’s good that Buddhists and Hindus are getting together to fraternize. It is a relief that Sinhalese and Tamils have found their common ground after centuries of belittling each other in terms that would make the Nazis blush. But come on! Need it get into the psychiatric disorder with such delusions that it becomes another of Lanka’s political stance which has the grave possibility going of ending up in other discriminations and bloodshed for those that do not belong? For example the Muslims.

    From Angarika Dharamapala, to the Pope, Lanka is looking for superlatives to stoke up the National Spirit. Now other countries do not have it to quite this extent. For example, the Pope is called to Amma-Rata because not because of any goodness he has in his ability to conjure up boons from spirits. He is not coming to Apae-Rata because the Catholic vote is needed. No, he is coming because Lankans and their leaders are enthralled by the sight of the pinnacle of the “Best Effort for the Utmost” – words that are drilled into Lankan children from the time they are born. Why, the Pope has nothing to do with goodness, and charity, and compassion, and love. He is all to do with power and majesty in the side of Buddhism that slides into Survival of the Fittest.

    Akin to the “Best Effort for the Utmost” is the Lion-Stance. Lankan kids are drilled from the time they are born to show racial and personal pride in the Lion-stance where no-one will ever get them. Now children from other countries are taught to love each other and care and share toys from a very early age. For Lanka’s children, the nation message is to never let down the Lankan Pride of the Lion. Cool….but in the absence of brains and other things, it becomes an embarrassing platitude. Too many Lankans are depressed, suicidal, blame-gaming, and unnecessarily hostile and paranoid when they cannot achieve the lofty goals.

    People! White people and Christians when they realized what the Survival of the Fittest meant, they started from ground up. They looked after their unwanted people first, and then gradually developed a superior culture that glowed out from the core of goodness and humility. For example, they let their gene-pools mix freely, and have encouraged other races and creeds to freely mix with them to enhance their learning process. But for Sri Lanka, everything went the opposite way since Anagarika Dharamapala – He who Encouraged the Lion-Stance.

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