International Bullshit

Dear Amnesty, thanks for making it hard to be a moderate 


Parts of the SL Blogosphere reject anything ‘international’ out of pure insecurity, when I think a lot of it has merit. International generally means ‘other people’ and I think they can be judged on what they say. Sometimes, however, they just talk cock. Two examples are Amnesty International’s poor sportsmanship in the Cricket World Cup and Simon Robinson’s poorly researched article in Time magazine. For the first, Cricket is the last vestige of national unity we have. The team is composed of a Tamil Hindu (Murali), Tamil Christian (Arnold), Sinhala Christian (Vaas), a Muslim and numerous Sinhala Buddhists. These people play together, they win together, and the nation cheers them together. It is something leading us forward, and Amnesty’s comments only strengthen chauvinists here. Second, the Time article is general, but full of such simple errors that it corrupts whatever analysis it supplies.

Cricket

Amnesty International is handing out cricket balls for people to sign, urging Sri Lanka to ‘play by the rules’ in terms of human rights. There are human rights abuses in Sri Lanka, the worst by Karuna and the LTTE, but I fail to see how the Cricket World Cup is the time or place. It’s the one thing we as a nation all cheer for, and where Sri Lankan johnnies will get really pumped for the players to work together and win, Tamil, Muslim or whatever. As covered on Groundviews, it makes people who defend and try to learn from the international community look like idiots. Basically, as a moderate this bullshit is making me look stupid.

Cricket is like a religion here and you are basically walking into Temple with your shoes on and acting like dickheads. This is the one place where we have peace. Please let us have at least a few hours of reconciliation.

Time

A friend sent me a link to the Time article, which I thought was general and OK, except for a glaring error. Then I looked and found more. It is just poorly researched by Mr. Robinson. This is the email letter I sent Time:

Mr. Robinson’s article is a bit thin and has numerous errors. This is understandable for a foreign correspondent, but when trying to give a definitive view of a complex conflict, these things matter. The factual errors are compounded by a clumsy analysis which doesn’t really portray the situation (or more accurately, the perspectives) in Sri Lanka. For example,

1. ‘One Country. One People’ isn’t a Sinhala chauvinist campaign, it’s actually a reconciliation movement showing Sinhala, Tamils, and Muslims living together. There is a lot of chauvinism, but this particular movement is the exact opposite.

2. LTTE cadres don’t wear arsenic [as mentioned in the article], of which Wikipedia says the lethal dose is about 53 grams [about a 1/4 cup]. They wear cyanide.

Those are simple errors but shows that he hasn’t done the research or attempted to understand the situation in much detail, or generalities. He talks to a few sources and travels, but his analysis of one of the core problems (Sinhala chauvinism is based on a few random conversations and a falsehood:

Sri Lanka’s Tamils have some valid grievances: Sinhalese chauvinism is evident in everything from innocuous conversations with money changers to the billboards that dot Colombo stating “One Country. One People.”

So you talked to somebody in Pettah and drove around. Even looking at the billboards, however, might have let the writer know that it was a reconciliation campaign, showing all the races living together. Whether there’s Eelam or not, the majority of Tamils live in government areas, and we do have to live together. The One Country One People campaign actually shows the Sinhala Chauvinism has seen a remarkable decline and that people will no longer be quoted saying racist things. Not that the ideas and chauvinism isn’t there – I spend a lot of my time online fighting it – but things have gotten a whole lot better and the nation has matured. There are real examples of dickishness, but this is just sloppy journalism.

Finally, as an aside, I was looking up a rumor that fighting in the North used to stop during cricket matches, and I came across this extremely chilling Prabhakaran quote at eelam.com.

We also claimed responsibility when we shot Anandarajah (principal of St. John’s School in Jaffna). When the Sri Lanka government announced a reward of Rs. five lakhs for information leading to the arrest of his killers, the people of Jaffna came to know the basis of his relationship with the Sri Lanka government. They kept quiet fully understanding why we had killed him.

Anandarajah was planning to hold a cricket match with the armed forces at a time when they were killing our people, arresting young Tamil boys indiscriminately, burning Tamil property and raping Tamil women. We had to do away with him because the government was using the impending cricket match as propaganda to give the impression to the world that the Tamil civilians have very cordial relations with the Sri Lanka armed forces and that the ethnic problem is something created by a handful of militants.

So, he’s talking about cricket as a uniting force, and how they killed a principal for trying to harness it. Which is scary and wrong and bad, echhh. But that’s an aside. The main point is that I believe Sri Lanka needs the involvement of the international community, including our significant expat community. However, all inputs foreign and domestic should be criticized, and Amnesty and Time both get a rating of ‘poop sandwich’ from me.

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126 Comments »

comment
2007-04-07 07:31:38

Cricket is like a religion here and you are basically walking into Temple with your shoes on and acting like dickheads.
————————————————
Human lives in Sri Lanka appear to be cheaper than a game of cricket.

 
2007-04-07 16:14:21

Indi, you got quite bit of credibility (I’m not trying to be flattering or snide here) as an established name in the SL Blogosphere (Kottu etc). And you have a solid record of being articulate about your views about the war. You are clearly NOT a JHU type :).

ALl that, I’m willing to bet, will add some heft to an email-letter (perhaps to the editors) of Time/time.com. I’m not being naive to think that an email letter to the editor will lead to a retraction/correction but its worth a try. Specially if you’ve spotted serious factual errors in the article.

Think it might be more constructive than this for all its worth.

Meanwhile AI (in Sri Lanka at least) has some serious recovering to do.

 
overlooked
2007-04-07 19:37:34

why not a link to the time article dick head?

overlooked
2007-04-07 19:40:17

whoops, sorry just saw it… hehehe

Sophist
2007-04-09 12:22:54

Why the venom machan? It’s obvious that your goal is to hurl personal insults….this is manifested by the fact that even if an insult was at some point deserved you completely missed the bus. Do a bit to retract the original show of hatred will you…

(Comments wont nest below this level)
 
 
 
Zen
2007-04-07 20:47:20

Hi

No matter what the comments are, you’ve taken the initiative to set the record straight at a time when we Sri Lankans get castigated no matter what we do to live in peace. Everyone has a say; even morons do.

ale
2007-04-10 19:27:43

at a time when we Sri Lankans get castigated no matter what we do to live in peace
are you serious…?

you’re outta your mind… take a look around you and see what your “zen” like sri lankans are doing to the tamil people

by the way, why hasn’t the Dalai Lama EVER visited SL… the so called “home of buddhism”?

because he doesn’t support your wacky war preaching monks and their fake buddhism… buddha woulda been outraged…

 
 
2007-04-07 22:49:42

don’t blame it all on ai and sloppy reporting. that would be an all too easy way to disclaim responsibility for some people here.
who are their local suppliers of wrong information? who are helping to propagate the absurd ‘white van conspiracy theories’ dreamed up by ltte spin office without evidence? who believes and propagates the wrong idea that this conflict is one between races ? when in reality it is between a democratic government (composed from all the major democratic parties of minorities ) and a criminal terrorist group intolerant of any opposition. who here have adapted the racist idea that ltte stands and fights for tamil rights when in reality it is responsible for the great sufferings of tamils?

(btw who call ppl who ask those questions extremists? and self style themselves as ‘moderates’? )

when there such ppl here it is not a surprise that a sloppy foreign hack and ngo like ai will make use of them for their own purposes. don’t blame it all on ai.

 
Yaaro
2007-04-08 03:43:32

Talking about billboards- the ones that were in the lines of ‘Sri Lanka’s next Duttugemunu’ alongside a picture of the president of my country certainly doesn’t look good on a ‘One Country. One People popaganda’. Was it because Duttugemunu was the most outstanding king in the history of Sri Lanka? or does it have anything to do with Ellala(n)?

 
Jey
2007-04-08 04:55:26

Sorry to say this Indi but these are the ramblings of an ignorant fool. Regardless of your politics and idea of being a moderate, like many Southerners and Colomboers, you are unaware of the true situation on the island. You have and continue to live in an atmosphere of state censorship or where the media is state owned and directed.

Amnesty International are reknowned for their preciseness and neutral observations and I have no doubt that their records on the Sri Lankan states human rights records are detailed enough. Thus your criticisms of their approach to high light human rights abuses looks very childish and absurd. This is a common stance taken by most Sinhala people when foreigners and foreign bodies have something not so palatable but true to say about their beloved Sri lanka. All sense of right and wrong go out the window when the Sinhala jumps to defend Sri Lanka against any accusation, no matter how silly they look and sound. It is also common place in the South to pretend that no such attrocities are happening on the island and to live in a coccoon world in Colombo, which has led to the current state of ignorance, resulting in gasps of “OH’s” and “OOOHs’” in shock and disbelief at incidents like the Katunayake incident. Short term memory or voluntary insomnia are also partly to blame.

I am sure AI have taken into account the statement by the Nordic head of SLMM in October who blamed the Sri Lankan army for the massacre of 17 Aid workers for the French agency in Muttur and the subsequent coverup during investigations. They will be aware of the numerous Tamil civilian casualties during SLAF sorties and the displacemnet of hundreds of thousnads of Tamils, which are documented by foreign NGO’s and the forced child recruitment of Tamils as stated twice by Dr Alan Rock in his two reports. AI will be aware of the disppearnces, extrajudicial murders and shootings in close proximity to SL army checkpoints all over the island inluidng in high security zones. Are you aware of Sri Lanka’s latest appaling rankings on the international stage?

If I asked you Indi or most other Sinhala people they would not know who Father Jim Brown was and the discovery of part of his body in a sand bag in Jaffna’s high security zone, nor would they know of the rape and murder of atleast two Tamil girls in 2006, whose bodies have been found in wells, tied down by bricks. But this is what is on the lips and minds of most Tamils on the island and abroad. It is these same details that AI have taken into consideration when conducting their camapaign of awareness. I think this was a brilliant initiative by AI to use cricket. The truth is bitter but lets hope those in the South take the hint and do something to improve the human rights record Sri Lanka now has.

 
David Blacker
2007-04-08 11:27:26

“Amnesty International are reknowned for their preciseness and neutral observations”

Actually, AI is renowned for being just the opposite. Until recently (aroughly 15 years ago) they refused to criticize or campaign against ANY non-state body, regardless of how atrocious that body’s actions were. It was only when public opinion in donor naations began to gradually shift against some non-state groups that AI shifted its stance. A cynic might observe that one must change with one’s target market.

Regardless, many people (including myself) have wondered why AI has targeted only SL at the WC, when state’s like Zimbabwe & Pakistan have at least as bad HR records. There can be a couple of reasons. (a) The WC campaign has been initiated by AI’s South Asia Group and therefore the latter is not concerned with Africa, though thaat still leaves Pakistan. (b) Both Zimbabwe & Pakistan will not be around throughout the WC and therefore won’t be available as targets throughout.

The ICC has agreed to ban AI from all WC venues, and the latter has now claimed that the Beijing Olympics will be their next target of opportunity It remains to be seen if the IOC will allow it.

 
2007-04-08 13:38:46

ai’ internal organization is their own concern if they start a campaign at a global event it will be judged in the same level.
so why limit it to pakistan and zimbabwe if they think it is ok ( as opposed to disgusting)to protest against alleged human rights at world cup in the other side of the world? what about england and australia? after all ai already protests against their human rights abuses ( in less disgusting ways) so why leave them out here?

jey:
could you please point to any evidence that sri lankan military or government was involved in extra judicial killings etc that you go on about if you are so sure all that was ‘documented’ ?
you can of course in believe in ‘white van conspiracy theories’ dreamed up by ltte spin office and propagated by peacenik ngos, without evidence. you are free to do that if you are in sri lanka ( i see you don’t have a flag, are you in sl? ), but you will be challenged to produce or point to the evidence bc other ppl are not so naive.

it is precisely bc they don’t have any evidence that ai engages in this sort of nauseating publicity stunt big on noise and short on substance . if anyone was really concerned about human rights here they would support the government’s efforts to bring to justice the worst violator , the convicted mass murderer prbahakaran, thus ending the impunity such ppl have enjoyed so far.

if they wanted to pressure the government for some reason the correct method in a democracy is through the public here . without evidence , and with their inability leave their cocooned unreal world, peaceniks are unable to do that. hence ai’s disgusting tactics.

David Blacker
2007-04-08 15:39:57

I think you mistake my points for justifications.

2007-04-08 20:04:04

ok then.
my point was ai (not you) cannot justify its double standard clearly displayed here (by not targeting the mentioned countries) as due to it’s organizational structure.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
David Blacker
2007-04-09 09:21:50

AI’s not using this justification, in fact (as far as I know) they’ve not attempted to justify anything. I was just answering the frequently heard query (about Zimbabwe & Pakistan) by giving two possible answers.

2007-04-09 19:37:24

let me make it clear, the point was that internal organizational structure of ai is not a valid justification when confronted by the double standards displayed. period. whether the justification was used by ai, by others, or merely quoted, does not change its invalidity.

what your personal motives were or whether you intended to justify ai, make a point, or just give ‘possible answers’ is not the point here. don’t try to make it bc i will not follow you there. :-)

 
David Blacker
2007-04-09 21:14:32

OK, let me make it clear to YOU, Snut, since you seem to enjoy arguing with yourself. The points reasons pointed out by me have NOT been used as justification by AI or ANYone else as far as I know. If you know of anyone who has attempted to justify AI’s work with the above points, I suggest you locate those people and pick a fight with them.

“what your personal motives were or whether you intended to justify ai, make a point, or just give ‘possible answers’ is not the point here. don’t try to make it bc i will not follow you there. :-)”

Ha ha. What my personal motives are is none of your business, Snut, and whether it’s the point or not can be decided by the owner of this blog. My points were not made to you, so it seems it’s YOU who’s trying to make something of it. Personally, I don’t give a rat’s arse what you think, but for argument’s sake, if you do by some great chance actually have a point to make that you haven’t mentioned already, I suggest you hurry up and make it. I’m glad to hear you’re not a follower btw; everyone should forge their own path :).

 
2007-04-09 21:55:34

The points reasons pointed out by me have NOT been used as justification by AI or ANYone else as far as I know
if you want to take the credit of being the first one to write them ( justifications, reasons, points, answers, or whatever you want to call them, for the ai’s double standard ), do so. nobody is disputing that here.
but since you did write them here, i pointed out why they are invalid. nothing more.

as for the rest of your comment, as i said i wont follow you there.

 
David Blacker
2007-04-09 23:06:14

“if you want to take the credit of being the first one to write them”

:) Oh dear, we ARE fishing here, aren’t we Snutty. I believe it was YOU who said “whether the justification was used by ai, by others, or merely quoted”. The rest of us can find no such evidence for your own little conspiracy theory.

“but since you did write them here, i pointed out why they are invalid.”

I’m glad you’re putting yourself forward as the champion of validation on this site (I’m sure Indi’s EVER so grateful), but for a point to be invalidated, there must first be an attempt to validate it, shouldn’t there? Since there hasn’t been any such attempt, why are you bringing it up? Can’t find anyone to argue with on Lanka Librarian (or whatever your sorry site is)?

“as for the rest of your comment, as i said i wont follow you there.”

Glad to hear it. As I’ve told you many times before, it’s never too late for wisdom, Snut.

 
2007-04-10 01:11:05

I believe it was YOU who said “whether the justification was used by ai, by others, or merely quoted”.
yes, so ? did i disclaim it ? where?
as i said if you want to be the only one who ‘wrote’ the justification ( or whatever you want to call it), do so. it doesn’t matter ‘who’ made it, it is invalid. precisely what i said when i said “whether the justification was used by ai, by others, or merely quoted, does not change its invalidity.” :-)

The rest of us can find no such evidence for your own little conspiracy theory.
what ‘little conspiracy theory’ ? :-)

why are you bringing it up?
i merely pointed out that the point you wrote down (for whatever reason) was invalid. is that not allowed?

for a point to be invalidated, there must first be an attempt to validate it
really? :-) act of making or writing down ‘a point’ is not enough to point out its its invalidity ?

I’m glad you’re putting yourself forward as the champion of validation on this site (I’m sure Indi’s EVER so grateful)
did i ‘put myself forward as the champion of validation here’ or did i merely point out the invalidity of a point you wrote down? :-)
as far as i can see this is a comment section where various points regrading issues arising from the post above are made. some of them are challenged some aren’t, by various ppl not limited to indi.

imo i tried to keep to normal blog comment etiquette. :-)

 
David Blacker
2007-04-10 01:29:31

“yes, so ? did i disclaim it ? where?”

So who said you did, Snutty?

“as i said if you want to be the only one who ‘wrote’ the justification”

What justification, Snutty? And where did I say I was the only one to write it? I said there was no evidence of any such justification by AI. If you have such evidence, please point it out.

“what ‘little conspiracy theory’ ? :-”

This one, dear Liza, dear Liza, this one: “the justification was used by ai, by others, or merely quoted”

“i merely pointed out that the point you wrote down (for whatever reason) was invalid.”

No one said it was, Snutty.

“act of making or writing down ‘a point’ is not enough to point out its its invalidity ?”

Only if it has been put down as a point of validity. Beyond that you can only say its untrue. Let me explain it to you since logic doesn’t seem to be one of your strengths. If I say something is so, you could say it’s not. How exactly do you counter a claim that hasn’t been made without looking like a fool, Snutty?

“did i ‘put myself forward as the champion of validation here’ or did i merely point out the invalidity of a point you wrote down?”

Yes, you pointed out the invalidity of a point that no one claimed was valid:) Sort of like disproving a theory that doesn’t exist. Did you find that hard, Snutty?

“as far as i can see this is a comment section where various points regrading issues arising from the post above are made. some of them are challenged some aren’t,”

Which part of my comment are you challenging, Snutty?

 
David Blacker
2007-04-10 01:31:08

“imo i tried to keep to normal blog comment etiquette”

So in your opinion, acting like a pompous arse is normal blog etiquette?

 
2007-04-10 03:36:13

when someone misquotes it says a lot about their state of mind and their confidence in their won arguments .
“as i said if you want to be the only one who ‘wrote’ the justification”
What justification, Snutty?

correct quotation was “as i said if you want to be the only one who ‘wrote’ the justification ( or whatever you want to call it), do so.” so if you don’t want to call it a ‘justification’ call it whatever you want. :-)

And where did I say I was the only one to write it? I said there was no evidence of any such justification by AI. If you have such evidence, please point it out.
did i say there was any evidence ? as i said several times now, it doesn’t matter who (only you/you+others-ai/you+others+ai/any other combination ) made it, it is invalid.

“what ‘little conspiracy theory’ ? :-”
This one, dear Liza, dear Liza, this one: “the justification was used by ai, by others, or merely quoted”

the correct quotation is “whether the justification was used by ai, by others, or merely quoted, does not change its invalidity.” how is that a conspiracy theory? :-)

“act of making or writing down ‘a point’ is not enough to point out its its invalidity ?”
Only if it has been put down as a point of validity. Beyond that you can only say its untrue. Let me explain it to you since logic doesn’t seem to be one of your strengths. If I say something is so, you could say it’s not. How exactly do you counter a claim that hasn’t been made without looking like a fool, Snutty?

??!. a point is made, i point out its invalidity using argument that were not challenged. that makes me a fool? some logic, huh? :-)

“did i ‘put myself forward as the champion of validation here’ or did i merely point out the invalidity of a point you wrote down?”
Yes, you pointed out the invalidity of a point that no one claimed was valid:) Sort of like disproving a theory that doesn’t exist. Did you find that hard, Snutty?

actually since you did make the point, it did exist. since it did exist and i pointed out its invalidity.

Which part of my comment are you challenging, Snutty?
as i said i merely pointed out the invalidity of a point you made. why not ? :-) is there a prohibition on that? imo it is perfectly logical.

So in your opinion, acting like a pompous arse is normal blog etiquette?
:-) as i said i won’t follow you there.

frankly i really don’t see where this is going.

as things stand, david blacker made a point (which as he says himself, he does not consider valid ) as to why there is a double standard in this ai campaign, i advanced arguments as to why the point was invalid ( why shouldn’t one logically invalidate a point ?) in a sentence or two. those arguments were not challenged. nor did it matter who actually made the point.

as long as there isn’t anything new to above standing, imo there is no point in continuing in the above vein.

i have no intention of engaging in name callings, personal attacks, etc. nor do i intend to reply to further arguments based primarily on misquotations (see above).

 
David Blacker
2007-04-10 10:47:07

:)

“so if you don’t want to call it a ‘justification’ call it whatever you want.”

I will, thank you. In fact, I had already stated that it wasn’t a justification in my second comment. Did it take you this long to figure that out, Snutty?

“did i say there was any evidence ?”

I’m glad to see that, even at this late stage, you’re able to realise that there’s no evidence of any attempt at justification, Snutty. I’m happy for you that you’re finding your own route to wisdom. Better late than never, Snutty.

“the correct quotation is “whether the justification was used by ai, by others, or merely quoted, does not change its invalidity.” how is that a conspiracy theory?”

If you’re suggesting that there’s an attempt at justification by “ai, by others, or merely quoted”, point out the evidence of such an attempt. If you agree that there’s no attempt at justification, what exactly aare you trying to invalidate, Snutty? Aren’t you just tilting at windmills, Don Snutty?

“a point is made, i point out its invalidity using argument that were not challenged”

Since the point was not made as a justification, how can you point out its invalidity, Snutty? Do you not understand the difference between a reason and a justification — would a link to an online dictionary help, Snutty? I said my points were true, not that they were valid. It’s as if I said water was wet, and you kept insisting it’s blue. :) If you feel my points are untrue, please explain how.

“actually since you did make the point, it did exist. since it did exist and i pointed out its invalidity”

The point exists, Snutty, the validation doesn’t. Can you see anymore windmills, Snutty?

“Which part of my comment are you challenging, Snutty?
as i said i merely pointed out the invalidity of a point you made. why not ? :-) is there a prohibition on that? imo it is perfectly logical.”

There’s no prohibition on attempting to invalidate something that hasn’t been put forward as valid, Snutty, just as there’s no prohibition on maaking a fool of yourself online while attempting to do so.

“frankly i really don’t see where this is going”

Frankly, I doubt you could see where you were going when you hopped on with your foot in your mouth.

” david blacker made a point (which as he says himself, he does not consider valid ) as to why there is a double standard in this ai campaign,”

I didn’t make a point as to why there is a double standard, Snutty, I pointed out possible reasons why AI’s action haas taken this particular route. And I didn’t say those reasons were valid or invalid, Snutty. Validity would only come into it if it were a justification, which it is not. A point can only be invalidated if it is being used as an excuse or justification; beyond that it can only be challenged on truthfulness. Is that what you’re doing, Snutty?

“there is no point in continuing in the above vein”

I’m glad you’re coming to see the error of your ways, Snutty. There was reaally no point in your original comment either.

“nor do i intend to reply to further arguments based primarily on misquotations”

Good for you, Snutty. But you’ve been guilty of misquoting me, too. For instance, you left out the smileys when quoting me.

 
2007-04-10 19:28:28

Validity would only come into it if it were a justification
that is not correct. :-)
i will not repeat this in the future either, even if you repeat the same argument again and again , as you do with the rest of the empty ‘arguments’ you use.
-
as for the rest, since there was nothing new and consist of repetitions, arguments based on misquotations, name calling , etc. refer my previous comments esp. to latter section of last one.

 
ale
2007-04-10 19:57:26

whew… i think i finally agree with something you’ve said sittingnut…

i thought i was the only one…

you forgot to add that when he has no response david attacks you personnally or changes the subject and nitpicks at something else…

hahaha, no wonder his wife gave him the boot…

hahaha

 
David Blacker
2007-04-16 16:44:16

“Validity would only come into it if it were a justification
that is not correct. :-)”

How is it incorrect, Snutty?

 
 
 
 
 
comment
2007-04-08 18:50:34

I realise that this is a personal blog and you don’t necessarily have to apply the same standards of factual rigour and objectivity as a journalist or academic.

Keeping this in mind, I would like to point out an inconsistency in your response to this issue and your response in a previous post (http://www.indi.ca/2007/03/military-theatre/) to a factual error present in a New York Times article you used to support your viewpoint.

In that post I questioned a claim by Robert Pape an academic from a leading institution in USA (University of Chicago) that the LTTE is a Marxist-leninist outfit.

You confirmed that this fact was incorrect:
“It is weird that he called them Marxist-Leninist when they have almost no political content anymore.”

but then you proceeded to state the following:

“I agree that it’s not a very relevant label anymore. Don’t think that invalidates the numerical argument of the article.”

Yet you protest strongly about two mistakes in an article written bythe journalist Scott Robinson who does not claim to be an expert, disregarding any other possible merits or important points made by him.

From the article it is apparent that the journalist, (unlike Robert Payne or some other academic commentators on war and peace, and many people, including myself commenting here) has at least made a creditable effort to make trips to the field and is trying to make sense of the bloody chaos that is evident in such locations.

The journalist, makes the main point of this article quite clearly, in the opening paragraph:

“Like her country, Sinnathambi Jeevatharsini is beauty torn. Just 9 years old, she has long black hair tied up in two loose knots on either side of her head, and a smile that explodes across her face, as if someone has switched on a spotlight. She’s smart, too, likes social studies best, and especially learning about different cultures in far-off lands. Crouched on a mat in a refugee camp on Sri Lanka’s east coast, flicking the pages of a schoolbook, pencil by her side, she looks like a normal kid. And then you spot it: Jeevatharsini has no left arm. Through the hole in her dress where her upper arm should join her shoulder, a stump is just visible, the skin slightly puckered where the surgeon has stretched it back across the bone to stitch it together.”

And concludes his article with the following quote by Michael Ondaatje:

“In Sri Lanka, the reason for war was war.”

I am concerned that you are willing to overlook if not dimiss the journalist’s main contention of the bloodiness and bloody mindedness of this continuing war, and the harrowing accounts of people’s confusion and misery, due to the two factual errors pointed out by you; this contradicts your earlier position on the New York Times article used to support your viewpoint , when you correctly pointed out the importance of not dismissing the value of Robert Payne’s empirical study despite a factual error in his statement about the LTTE’s ideology.

2007-04-08 21:00:17

Valid points, but I do think my position is consisten.

1. Calling the LTTE Marxist/Leninist isn’t wrong, it’s just very debatable. From what I read, Marxist stuff played a big role in Balasinghams thinking and LTTE media, though not as much in practice. Payne doesn’t scaffold any further arguments on the sentence, so it doesn’t affect their validity regardless.

2. Time had serious factual errors. ‘One Country One People’ isn’t chauvinist, and LTTE cadres don’t wear a jar of arsenic around their necks. He does scaffold further arguments onto those facts, and that makes them structurally invalid. They may be true, but the mistakes hobble the piece logically. If you say ‘if X then Y’ and X is false, then you’re argument is broken. Whatever valid points he had about Sinhala Chauvinism are crippled because he practiced sloppy journalism.

I work in Media, and if we mess up mundane facts we get yelled at. We proof things and we check. I’d research the One C One P thing and an decent editor should catch the arsenic if I was writing that article. It is sloppy journalism, and it does affect the credibility of the article.

ale
2007-04-10 14:45:08

indi,
“one country, one people” is sinhala chauvinism…
because there isn’t “one people” in sri lanka…
there are 3 distinct “peoples” so to say there is one is to deny the other 2…
when we tamils see that phrase it doesn’t make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside…
it makes us feel like outsiders…
again, talking to you colombo 7 tamil friends isn’t going to give you a fair picture of what tamils think…
actually, your tamil friends will NEVER tell you how they really feel inside…
they’re too afraid…
they moderate the things they say to the “other”…

the fact that you take offense to the time article shows that you are no modeate… a moderate would be outraged by the things that the GOSL is doing in the east in YOUR name…

with regard to the AI campaign…
most tamils DO NOT support the GOSL team…
in fact i don’t know any who do…
they might not tell you, but deep down inside they take pleasure when they do badly…
in 1996 when SL won the world cup i was displaced from jaffna to colombo due and ALL the tamils i knew hated the fact that SL won…

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aadhavan
2007-04-10 16:32:46

That’s just not true.

 
aadhavan
2007-04-10 16:34:59

*the part about Tamils not wanting the SL team to win. The point about “one nation, one people” is a good one. The sign may not be chauvinist, it certainly is insensitive.

ale
2007-04-10 18:37:07

well we know different tamils…

EVERY tamil i know is against the SL team…
but then i only know the lower class/caste ones (of which i’m proud to say i’m one) not the “educated” colombo tamils…

do you really think that the 150,000 recently displaced and sitting around the flooded tents in batti huddling around a radio or SLA checkpoint to hear the cricket scores and cheering on the SL team…

they may want murali to do well…but not the team…

 
aadhavan
2007-04-10 20:32:40

I don’t think the displaced even care about cricket. Win or lose, they don’t give a toss. That’s different to saying they want the SL team to lose.

 
ale
2007-04-10 20:36:23

“want them to lose”
“don’t support the SL team”

half dozen of one, 6 of the other…

same difference… the tamils i know don’t give two shits how the SL team does and in fact cheer for the other team when they play

 
 
comment
2007-04-10 16:56:28

ale,

You make some very important points in your opening statement about the one nation, one people slogan. At a superficial level even after the information in this blog that it was a peace campaign, I too could see how people who were not from the majority group would feel the same.

Close to hundred years ago, Indian nationanlism…based on the concept of unity in diversity was far more progressive than the “one country, one people” slogan made in the 21st centuary.

In Sri Lanka, much water/or blood has flowed under the bridge over the decades, and now a peace movement cannot even take the Indian ideal out of the hat and expect things to be ok.

A criticism, that does not invalidate the points you make is that you should take care not to extrapolate your personal experiences to the general population. You have no way of knowing that most tamils do not support the team unless you have done a statistically valid survey or poll. It would have been sufficient to state that in your experience all the tamils you knew hated the fact that Sri Lanka won.

ale
2007-04-10 18:42:07

point taken about the personnal knowledge of the support or lack there of by tamils of the SL team…
no tamils I KNOW support the SL team… happy? :)

vis a vis the “one country” campaign… it shows the ingrained majority mentality that persists in the sri lankan sinhala psyche… they really DO believe it is one people…

the view that is taken in the “west” is “multi-culturalism” where in languages and cultures are respected and thosse are what make the country strong… in the US (jokes aside) there is a respect of the vairous cultures… the majority in SL don’t recongize the rights of the tamils and muslims to exist and revel in their language and culture…

that is why we must separate… or you can kill us all…

two choices…
you make up your mind…
we’ll never quit

 
N
2007-04-11 18:51:40

so kill anyone who doesn’t support the Sri Lankan cricket team? Eh…sounds fair to me…

 
 
 
 
 
Tariq
2007-04-09 11:19:23

For me any credibility there may have been in the Times article went down the toilet when he quoted Ranjan “one shot” Ramanayake

“”the conflict can be ended with the weapon of love, the weapon of having sex, the weapon of making little babies together.”

Great… One Shot… just great

David Blacker
2007-04-09 12:27:41

Should’ve included Manik Sandrasagara’s “Let’s all get stoned and be happy” just to round things out.

 
comment
2007-04-09 15:27:32

The journalist is quoting him. Not agreeing with him. As an outsider reading the article, it was quite clear to me, that it implied that even someone with a rather innocuous and unsophisticated turn of phrase was being threatened. Unless of course the character is known to be a compulsive liar and claims he is being threatned.

One Shot
2007-04-09 18:53:32

Your clearly have no idea of the evil that is Ranjan “one shot” Ramanayake… which is understandable being that you’re an outsider… Believe me the man is a menace and is guilty of inflicting reel upon reel of the cinematic equivalent of dog turds upon the general cinema going public.

His magnus opus “One Shot” (it was later renamed “One Shot One” giving rise to the chilling realization that a sequel was in the works) was possibly the worst movie ever commited to film (and I’m including any film by Uwe Boll) and forever tainted the annals of celluloid history. If ever there were to be a trial condemning a director to the gallows for crimes against art, this peice of tripe would be exhibit A.

The man himself is unhinged at best, willing to go to any length to destroy any last vestige of credibility that Lester James Peiris, Asoka Handagama, Prasanna Vithanage and more recently Vimukthi Jayasundera (I am leaving out so many) have built up in the name Sri Lankan film making… Read his website and you’ll realize what a twat he really is and why including him (by way of a quote or otherwise) in any think piece such as the Times article destroys any trace of journalistic integrity that may have existed.

http://www.ranjanramanayaka.com/

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comment
2007-04-10 17:35:16

Thanks. V. Informative :-) Ok…so…this is Sri Lanka’s answer to Bollywood

You should forgive his transgressions…the guy appears guileless. He has even provided his residential address and phone numbers!

Hope he really didn’t get death threats, because to be honest I find that too depressing, to think that people would actually even bother to harrass someone like this.

 
 
David Blacker
2007-04-09 19:11:50

Yes, RR is probably being threatened, but not because of his anti-war stance. Anyone who’s had even to endure a few minutes of his work will understand why he’s being threatened!

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ale
2007-04-10 15:33:54

also, as far as the principal of St. John’s School in Jaffna goes, it had nothing to do with cricket per se but to do with COLLABORATION with the occupying forces…

check history…

collaborators ALWAYS get what’s coming…

2007-04-10 16:43:16

whaaat what? That’s what’s so scary about the LTTE. That they decide not only who dies but who deserves to die. Killing a school principal for organizing a cricket game isn’t moral any way you spin it.

Also, it’s a direct Prabha quote that talks about cricket, so I think we can take his word on the cricket aspect.

comment
2007-04-10 18:19:46

Not sure if you have read the following. I would read both in the order given below:

1. Truth, lies and the murder of a Christian Pastor
January 20th, 2007
http://transcurrents.com/tamiliana/archives/273

2. Pathetic plight of Eastern Pillaiyar Temple Priest
February 13th, 2007
http://transcurrents.com/tamiliana/archives/285

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ale
2007-04-10 18:32:11

the temple priest was killed by the SLA/STF because he was going to go public to say he’d been forced to give tribute to mahinda…

it was part of the concerted propaganda by the GOSL to maginalize the LTTE…
the LTTE isn’t reacting to the offensives like the GOSL wanted it to… which was with suicide bombings etc… the bombings that have occured (buses etc) have been by Karuna and GOSL to give the LTTE a black mark…

all LTTE targets have been military

comment
2007-04-10 18:47:06

“all LTTE targets are milliary”
———————————————–
That is also being naiive. You can’t say that innocent civilians do not get killed intentionally or unintentionally in a war.

I don’t know who is right in this..if its propaganda or not…and really I will be going out of my depth if I do…wasn’t there!(Thank God)…so Im going to stop now.

 
comment
2007-04-10 18:50:49

correction:
“….and really I will be going out of my depth if I do….”

should be

“….and really I will be going out of my depth if I comment on this…..”

 
David Blacker
2007-04-10 19:25:18

Ha ha. OK, so every atrocity committed by the LTTE (killing of priests, bombing of buses, murder of children) is really done by the GoSL/TMVP, and all LTTE targets are only of military nature? OK, I think we all believe you now that you’ve argued so brilliantly :)

 
ale
2007-04-10 20:02:13

you’re always talking about proof…

where’s yours?

show the proof that the priest was killed by the LTTE… there ain’t none…

show the proof that the bus bombings are the work of the LTTE… your precious army and police couldn’t find their ass with both hands… you sri lankans are really good at categorizing the work of the LTTE… how about finding some of the abducted or the killers of the Tamil MPs…

 
David Blacker
2007-04-10 20:17:25

We don’t need to find proof, idiot. No one believes your fantasies outside the NE. Evidence? Got any evidence that the GoSL’s kidnapped or killed any MPs?

 
ale
2007-04-10 20:27:01

GOSL supports the killers of the Tamil MPs… thus they responsible for their actions… you’re not that naive david… who do you think killed em? the C. I. A.

by the way, there you go with the insults… the last refugee of the witless…

is that why your wife kicked you out and sent you back to SL…

hahaha

 
comment
2007-04-10 20:41:35

If both sides “played by the rules” we would have known the facts.

 
 
 
ale
2007-04-10 18:28:13

you’re very naive:
That’s what’s so scary about the LTTE. That they decide not only who dies but who deserves to die.
as opposed to what? the GOSL’s system of justice, torture, extrajudical killings, disappearances, white vans, execution of aid workers… ???

In war if you collaborate or take sides, you must expect the punishment.
You may know that the Tamil man who raised the SL flag when the GOSL invaded Jaffna in 1995 was killed a few weeks later… this is what happens in war…

ask those who supported the Vichy French govt during WWII… do a little research and see what their fate was… during the war the French Underground took them out… they were called “terrorists” too… who gave them the right to decide who dies or not…?

Killing a school principal for organizing a cricket game isn’t moral any way you spin it.
Morality is relative, there are no absolutes

I can ask if it was moral for the principle to arrange a cricket (or any sport) match when the opposition was DIRECTLY involved with killing, torture, rape…?
Why don’t you arrange for a cricket match with LTTE cadres in colombo? lets see how that goes down…

Also, it’s a direct Prabha quote that talks about cricket, so I think we can take his word on the cricket aspect.
again, it wasn’t becasue it was cricket per se it coulda been football or circle-jerking… the fact was that the principle was engaging and acceeding to the GOSL propaganda that everything was hunky dory in jaffna and the SLA and the Tamils were getting along great…

once he did that he lost his status as a civilian and became a collaborator and a pawn of the GOSL…
i’m sure he was given amply warning not to proceed but chose to ignor this advice and paid the price

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comment
2007-04-10 17:47:37

You don’t know the person who shot him. So you won’t know what really happened. Only the person who did it will be able to give the reasons.

My advice: I think this is where you avoid going to a place you know nothing about.

comment
2007-04-10 18:33:44

I would suggest you read the above articles as well.

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ale
2007-04-10 19:24:54

read ‘em months ago dawg

comment
2007-04-10 20:47:32

Just wondering ale….

does “dawg”…mean “dog”

…or is it an acronym for something?

 
ale
2007-04-10 21:02:59

dawg= dog… yes
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=dawg
hip hop slang

urban dictionary is also useful for those of you who have learned english recently…

i find it useful to figure out a lot of stuff people say

:)

 
ale
2007-04-10 21:13:59

look up “toss the salad” or “snowball” on that “urbandictionary.com” website…

these are things that david liked to do with his SLA army buddies…

lol

 
 
 
 
 
David Blacker
2007-04-10 19:28:16

It always amuses me that the nutjobs from the two ends of the spectrum (Sittingnut, Just Mal, Jey, Haha/Joke?Vakarai/Ale/etc) never engage each other in these discussions or even acknowledge each other’s presence. I guess it’s much easier to use mindless rhetoric against the moderates who actuaally use facts, logic, and insight to get a point across.

2007-04-10 19:32:24

moderates who actuaally use facts, logic, and insight to get a point across.
as you did above no doubt . :-)

ale
2007-04-10 19:54:50

hahaha… good one…

david you’re the worst, you’re a psudo-intellectual and are a prime example of how “a LITTLE” intelligence is a bad thing…

i still haven’t seen any facts to back up some of your arguments…

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David Blacker
2007-04-10 20:40:27

Which arguments, Ale?

You still around, Snutty? Maybe you & Ale could have a litttle get-together.

2007-04-17 02:28:59

you may shout as much as you like, that only justifications can be invalidated.
but that is simply not correct.
if you want a detailed explanation why that is so, comment here may provide one with links to wikepedia, if he or she wants to. i don’t. :-)

 
 
 
 
comment
2007-04-10 20:32:33

If both sides “played by the rules”…..we would have known the facts.

comment
2007-04-10 21:17:43

sorry….wrong place

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ale
2007-04-10 20:38:33

just so y’all know where david blacker is coming from this is from another thread:
http://www.indi.ca/2007/03/military-theatre/#comment-56772

in reference to the Senchoalai bombing…
Well at least those poor “orphans” are sorted out now. Maybe you should call KFC over to start an outlet, you could call it Eelam Fried Orphans (EFO). Catchy, no?

’nuff said…

ale
2007-04-10 20:40:05

just so y’all know where david blacker is coming from this is from another thread:
http://www.indi.ca/2007/03/military-theatre/#comment-56772

david blacker said in reference to the Senchoalai bombing…
“Well at least those poor “orphans” are sorted out now. Maybe you should call KFC over to start an outlet, you could call it Eelam Fried Orphans (EFO). Catchy, no?

’nuff said…

sorry forgot the quotation marks…

David Blacker
2007-04-10 20:43:11

BTW, what did the LTTE use on those “orphans” to simulate an airstrike — WP or just petrol?

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ale
2007-04-10 20:58:33

hey douche bag, even the GOSL says it hit that orphanage…
do you have any kids david…?

comment
2007-04-10 21:19:22

ale
“even the GOSL says it hit that orphanage”
———————————-
When? And where was the statement made?

 
ale
2007-04-10 21:25:45

sorry, i meant to say that “location” because david was saying that the airstrike was “simulated”

news story:

they admit they hit it…

tamils say it was a first aid training for the teenage girls at the former orphanage… UNICEF and SLMM visited soon after and confirmed that it was a civilian location
GOSL and their quislings say it was a LTTE installation

 
comment
2007-04-10 21:33:34

your link doesn’t work

 
ale
2007-04-10 23:20:28

works for me

 
2007-04-11 09:32:58

In that article GOSL doesn’t admit to hitting an orphanage, the first sentence literally is

The government vehemently rejects the allegation leveled by the pro-LTTE websites on the Air Force attack at a so-called ‘children’s’ home’ in Mullaitivu. We have ample proof that it is a military training centre.

These are the photographs of Velupillai Prabhakaran in his stripped military uniform opening the new wing of the training centre…

The training centre is named after Sencholai, the first LTTE female cadre to die in the battle field…

As the Military spokesman, Brigadier Athula Jayawardana pointed out the targets were pre identified and the locations are well confirmed via very reliable intelligence sources. And it was under the surveillance of the army for three years before they planted this attack.

 
David Blacker
2007-04-11 11:44:30

“sorry, i meant to say that “location” because david was saying that the airstrike was “simulated””

Where did I say that? I said that the death of little children at the training centre were simulated by the LTTE killing and burning some of their abducted conscripts and placing them amongst the trainees killed in the airstrike.

“UNICEF and SLMM visited soon after and confirmed that it was a civilian location”

They didn’t, however, elaborate on what the civilian location was being used for.

 
ale
2007-04-11 15:24:53

indi, i see you had time to answer this but not the question about where you get your history “education”

did you see my correction stating that the article shows that the GOSL did bomb that target…? and that the question was/is what that location was?

anyway, thank goodness y’all aren’t relavant to any of this… the decisions that will dictate the outcome of this war will not have anything to do with you all

it just amazes me how you guys try to spin everything… it’s extrodinary how skewed your perception of the problem/situation/solution is…

i mean, c’mon people… why is EVERYONE criticising the GOSL???
where there’s smoke there’s fire…

indi you received a western education i’m surprised at some of your warped sinhala nationalizt views…

why did your parents return to SL…?
failed in the west?
couldn’t hack it?
and you?
what’s the story?

 
comment
2007-04-11 15:55:38

You will get the answers to most of your questions if you start reading through his blog.

Reading through these comments, unlike some others, he hasn’t become personal with you, so I don’t see why you should attack him personally or his family.

You have some solid points to make so please don’t spoil that.

 
ale
2007-04-11 16:12:31

please see this link for SLMM and UNICEF statements…
i’ll take an IMPARTIAL INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS word over your BIAS SINHALA GOSL spokesperson…

http://news.sulekha.com/nlink.aspx?cid=123725

“Unicef and Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission officials who visited the site said the victims came from local schools.
Unicef spokeswoman Joanna Van Gerpen told the BBC: “We did see more than 100 [wounded] in the local hospitals, some with loss of limbs, head and shrapnel injuries.”
She said most of those injured were girls aged 16 to 19, and there was no evidence that any were rebels.
Ms Van Gerpen added: “From what we understand at this point, these children were from surrounding communities.”
She could not confirm how many people had died in the raid.
A spokesman for the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) – which also visited the area – said no sign of rebel activity had been recovered from the site. ”

UNICEF
http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/sri_lanka_35357.html
http://www.unicef.org/media/media_35336.html
“UNICEF staff from a nearby office immediately visited the compound to assess the situation and to provide fuel and supplies for the hospital as well as counselling support for the injured students and the bereaved families. “These children are innocent victims of violence,” said Ann M. Veneman, UNICEF Executive Director while UNICEF’s Joanne van Geiter said “At this time, we don’t have any evidence that they are LTTE cadres”.”

SLMM
http://news.sulekha.com/nlink.aspx?cid=123725
“Retired major general of the Swedish Army, Ulf Henricsson the Head of the Nordic truce monitors SLMM said that his staff his staff had not finished counting the dead, but said the official count of 61 killed seemed “fairly correct.” “We couldn’t find any sign of military installations or weapons,” Mr. Henricsson said. “This was not a military installation, we can see.””

Other statements:
“United Nations spokeswomen Orla Clinton told the media that investigators confirmed that at least 19 students had been killed in the attack and added that the agency was investigating further.She was also quoted:
“What we know at the moment is that these seem to have been students between 16 and 18, A-level students, from the Kilinochichi and Mullaittivu areas, who were on a two-day training course in first aid””

http://www.transcurrents.com/Aerial_terror_results_in_massacre_0820.html
“UNICEF Kilinochchi Head Penny Brune and SLMM Kilinochchi monitor Matti
Vanionpaa inspected the massacre site and visited the hospitals where the
injured girls were being treated.The UNICEF also provided fuel and medicine to
expedite and aid the medical treatment given to the victims.

The SLMM later observed that the place was not a military installation. The
SLMM also said that ten large craters had been made by the bombs. The
UNICEF went on record that schoolgirls had been killed and injured in the
incident and that there was no evidence of the victims being LTTE cadres.”

 
2007-04-11 16:52:31

Haven’t read your later comments Ale, cause I do kinda blank out after the personal attacks. In this forum, if you want to be taken seriously, I’d recommend relying on building compelling arguments rather than name-calling.

There are plenty of valid arguments for the LTTE but my childhood and David’s marital status don’t really factor into them. Personal attacks won’t win you any new supporters, and they make your argument look like it’s run out of actual steam.

 
ale
2007-04-11 17:07:45

where was the personal attack prior to the post about why you came back?

and i notice you let david’s name calling go…

whatever…

i was just curious about you and how you were enlightened?

 
comment
2007-04-11 17:10:11

Indi,

While this doesn’t justify geting personal about someones’s marital status etc. I think David Blacker hasn’t been paricularaly reticent about getting personal either.

Hope you will be consistent in your approach and maintain credibility. People like Ale, would be more likely to be suspicious about your motives and biases.

 
comment
2007-04-11 17:12:24

ale

“where was the personal attack prior to the post about why you came back?”
——————————
If you read a few posts up, you will see I have also refered to it.

 
ale
2007-04-11 17:14:17

no response to the quotes from the SLMM and UNICEF…?
or are the LTTE-bodies…?

 
ale
2007-04-11 17:17:06

comment,
was it directed at indi?

david attacked me so i gave it back… the bugger is going through marital problems that’s why he’s so psycho… it give me a warm glow though… hahaha

 
comment
2007-04-11 17:28:29

Ale

comment,
was it directed at indi?
———————————-
Yes. Since you want me to spell it out….

Ale
—————————————-
why did your parents return to SL…?
failed in the west?
couldn’t hack it?
and you?
what’s the story?

Also….
Don’t particularly see how somone going through marital problems or going insane could be a source of pleasure to another…so sorry…can’t relate to it.

 
comment
2007-04-11 17:30:43

Also…what is this…about
“hahahaha”

…..looks as though all these people seem to have watched too many bollywood movies!

 
ale
2007-04-11 17:34:22

ok, comment…

he didn’t answer my post, so i put that post, then he put a post saying he tunes out after “personal attacks”…

but my personal attack came AFTER he didn’t respond…

anyway… it’s irrelevant…

from what i can tell there are only about 20 different posters here and only a coupla hundred unique visitors…

thus not worth my time to argue with them…

 
David Blacker
2007-04-11 17:36:42

Most of your quotes are after preliminary investigations, and most of the spokepersons say that they’ve found no evidence of a military installation, but that they’re investigating further. Most NGOs are usually ready to believe an doctored scene. All you have to do is remove the weapons and recruits become “orphans”. One of the statements put the girls at military age (16-19).

The point is the LTTE is unable to capitalise on these propoganda opportunities cos a few days later they themselves are bombing buses and killing kids.

The days when a terrorist group could claim freedom fighter status and be believed by the IC is long past. Sympathy is no longer bought by killing your own people, or using them as shields.

 
David Blacker
2007-04-11 17:42:17

“thus not worth my time to argue with them…”

But then why do you keep coming back with a different name each week, Ale? Or should I say, Vakarai, Nuts, Haha, Joke, Awomanaman, or all the other names you’ve intuitively thought up over thhe past months. Your jargon, language, bad grammar, homosexual comments, are all exactly the same. Indi can probably confirm your IP’s the same too. Ashamed of yourself and who you really are?

 
comment
2007-04-11 17:58:34

Thanks for those links. I found them very useful. Was looking for some information on this.

 
 
 
 
 
ale
2007-04-10 21:30:58

Indi,
you grew up in the US and Canada…?

where do you get your “intimate” knowledge of sri lankan history…?

i’m not being facetions… i realy want to know…

reading? which books?
listening to dad?
websites?
media?

just curious what your “sri lanka history” studies have entailed…

do you know that the colombo english schools that all the elite’s children go to don’t teach sri lankan history as a subject?

americans studying american and european histroy etc… but the elite’s children, the future leaders of sri lanka, don’t really know or understand why they’re in this war… they just know what their politicians tell ‘em…

how can they aviod the mistakes the mistakes their leaders made if they don’t know histroy…
those who do not know histroy are destined to repeat it…

David Blacker
2007-04-11 11:49:17

“do you know that the colombo english schools that all the elite’s children go to don’t teach sri lankan history as a subject?”

Not sure what you mean by “english schools”; but if you mean the Christian Colombo schools (as opposed to international Colombo schools), they DO teach Sri Lankan history as part of social studies.

How can you criticise knowledge of history when your knowledge of the present is so limited?

ale
2007-04-11 16:18:41

the international schools… is royal a “christian school”…

and having history as a small part of “social studies” is not the same thing… if you’d gone to a real school you’d know that…

but the elite’s kids DO go to the internatinal school and they know noting about their history…

and ANY history taught according to the GOSL edcuation ministry is bound to be BIAS…

david you can’t begin to imagine the things i know…

(Comments wont nest below this level)
David Blacker
2007-04-11 17:16:18

“the international schools… is royal a “christian school”…”

Never said it was. I asked you what you meant by “English scools”, since as far as I know there’s no such thing in SL.

“and having history as a small part of “social studies” is not the same thing…”

Again, who said it was a “small part”? If you’d been to school you’d know that history forms the largest part of the social studies syllabus.

“but the elite’s kids DO go to the internatinal school and they know noting about their history…”

Well, the “elite kids” at the international schools form a tiny fraction of the SL middle and upper class, and most of them have very little to do with government or policy-making structure.

“and ANY history taught according to the GOSL edcuation ministry is bound to be BIAS”

Ah, so now we get to it. You put forward a misinformed conjecture, as soon as it’s shot down, you say “oh, never mind, even if I’m wrong, it’s all fucked anyway.”

You don’t seem to be awaare of much in SL, are you, Ale?

“david you can’t begin to imagine the things i know…”

No, but it’s patently obvious to us all what you don’t know.

 
 
 
 
comment
2007-04-10 23:15:13

It is the logic of our times,
No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse.
(Cecil Day-Lewis Where are the War Poets, 1943)

comment
2007-04-11 10:38:14

I wasn’t really sure about the merits of Amnesty’s campaign. But now, after reading this blogger’s post, and all these comments, I am convinced that Amnesty is doing the right thing because desperate times seek desperate measures. The protests and ill conceived logic of the peace activists based mainly in the south, against this campaign have also contributed to my views.

People in the country, especially those not living in the combat zone, seem to have lost all pespective.

The views expressing extreme reverence for cricket:

indi:
“Cricket is like a religion here”

and scant regard for the sanctity of life….

David Blacker:
in reference to the Senchoalai bombing…
“Well at least those poor “orphans” are sorted out now. Maybe you should call KFC over to start an outlet, you could call it Eelam Fried Orphans (EFO). Catchy, no?

Ale:
“collaborators ALWAYS get what’s coming”

has convinced me even more.

I firmly believe, we should not pass judgement on any of these talented individuals …they are a product of their environment (see above verse by C. Day-Lewis) and all the baggage foisted onto them.

It is the the leaders of this country and those who voted for them since independence and let them get away with things who have alot more to answer for this sorry state of affairs. A small snowball has turned into a giant one and keeps getting bigger and bigger.

Its time to put a stop to all this and get the LTTE, the Government of Sri Lanka and all other combatants to start playing by the rules before more people in Sri Lanka lose their marbles let alone their lives.

If I get the chance, Im going to sign that ball.

 
 
gg
2007-04-11 20:38:48

indi, david etc.,

i simply cannot understand your point. there are, according to some reports, 300000 people living under trees while at the same time ngos are kept off from helping them. people disapear almost daily in the capital etc. … so if amnesty uses a major sports event to highlight these human rights violations, then how can you write against that? what decent human being cares about cricket when hundred of thousands of people have to flee their home?

comment
2007-04-12 11:54:33

gg,

Those working and living in the combat zones know things can’t get worse than this. Something has to be done.

People outside these areas have a lot more and hence have someting to lose; not wanting to know that whatever modicum of stability they have is at the expense of a large section of the population living in the North and East.

I also think living overseas, we need to be sensitive to the possible consequences for people like Indi if they start thinking differently. I see many holes in his argument and in some ways I envy him for being able to rationalise things this way….ignorance is bliss. I have a feeling if like the oft maligned NGOs, he was exposed to some of the realities of people living in these areas, his views will change, and I hope for the sake of people like him, when this happens, the whole country would have changed by then.

howard
2007-04-12 13:50:54

indi have you ever been to the NorthEast?

(Comments wont nest below this level)
 
 
 
2007-04-11 21:48:59

Means and end. The question is does the AI campaign bring us any closer to resolving the human rights issues?

I agree that the human rights situation is deplorable. I agree that it’s important to speak out about it. However, there is the question of method. There is saying what you feel and trying to actually change something. The latter requires tact and compromise.

As an example, America’s policy of roundly condemning North Korea may have felt good to say, but North Korea developed nukes and only started holding back after negotiations. In work and life I see countless examples of people doing mindless and ineffective things, but if I just blackguard them or yell at them in the street I won’t get anywhere. I might feel better, but I’m no closer to making a positive difference.

In the same way, AI’s Cricket campaign is a counter-productive method with good intentions. Living in Sri Lanka, I realize that I can’t just tell ‘chauvinists’ that they’re dumb, I have to work with and talk to them. So you pick your battles, you talk, you negotiate, and you try to find some common ground. Giving the impression of campaigning against the cricket team is not a battle I would choose. It emboldens chauvinists and makes the middle looks silly. It might feel good to say at this time of suffering, but it hardens opinions and wins more enemies than friends. Now you have to explain why human rights matter, and why you don’t hate the cricket team. It might feel good for AI, but it makes human rights work harder on the ground in Sri Lanka.

gg
2007-04-14 02:35:52

Well then, your criticism against amnesty is that its campaign will make it harder for the “moderates” to convince the “chauvinists” that the tamils deserve some form of autonomy, right? But that again rests on the ASSUMPTION that the so called moderates have the (any?) ability to influence the mindset of the “chauvinists”. I would doubt that. In my view, it would be more effective to embarrass (isolate) the sri lankan state internationally as long as it does not conform to international democratic standards. Amnesty’s campaign can be seen as a step in this direction. They have done it with south africa and it worked. Pressure and talks, that would be the way to go. That was, actually, what worked with North Korea. Or do you believe that the north koreans agreed (?) to stop their nuclear program because they suddenly came to understand the wisdom in the american negotiation position. On the other hand, there is only pressure on the tigers, but no talks. .. and you can see the results with your own eyes.

 
 
Jey
2007-04-12 19:59:15

Well at least AI’s campaign has caused some to have this debate online. Improving awareness among the population is the key, so that they can take steps themselves. It’s a good thing for those who live in Sri Lanka. Maybe the HR situation might improve through more people taking action on the ground. AI however must continue with similar campaigns because the South frequently has bouts of voluntary insomnia.

Independence however is the only solution for the North and East, that can stop the gross Human Rights violations occuring there. The Tamil Diaspora have already been mobilised to boycott Sri Lankan food and textile products, to make Mahinda listen by affecting the economy.

 
howard
2007-04-13 14:21:37

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
PRESS RELEASE

AI Index: ASA 37/010/2007 (Public)
News Service No: 070
12 April 2007

Sri Lanka: Human rights is the issue, not cricket

The distortion in Sri Lanka of Amnesty International’s campaign “Play by the Rules” is a ploy to distract attention from the increasingly desperate plight of hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankan people.

“We are concerned at abuses by all parties to the conflict — civilians are killed, abducted and forcibly disappeared every day at the hands of government forces, Tamil Tigers, the Karuna faction and other armed groups,” said Purna Sen, Asia Pacific Director at Amnesty International. “Let us be clear — no side in this conflict has anything to be complacent about. On the contrary, all parties are breaching international law by failing to protect civilians.”

Increasing abductions, illegal killings and child recruitment in Sri Lanka are all going on unchecked and victims do not receive justice. The intensified fighting over the last year has forced over 300,000 people to flee their homes. At least 1000 people have been forcibly disappeared since the beginning of 2006.

“The situation in Sri Lanka has become so desperate for local people that urgent action is needed. Civilians desperately need better protection and a key goal of our campaign is to press for independent human rights monitors to investigate human rights abuses and identify the perpetrators, so they can be brought to justice,” said Purna Sen.

“Through our campaign we are drawing attention to the increasing human rights abuses committed against civilians by the Sri Lankan government, the Tamil Tigers, the Karuna faction and other armed groups. The lives of hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankans are being affected — our campaign is about these people, not the Sri Lankan cricket team.”

“The Sri Lankan government is failing in its responsibility to protect civilians; there have been over 4000 deaths since early 2006 while this government has been in power. Reported accusations that Amnesty International has ‘tarnished the country’s image’ do not bear scrutiny — the authorities need to look closer to home,” continued Purna Sen.

“The Tamil Tigers have killed hundreds of civilians in summary executions and indiscriminate bomb attacks. They are continuing to forcibly recruit child soldiers and have even prevented civilians from fleeing the fighting in the North and East.”

“It is a small step for all parties to the conflict to agree to allow access to independent human rights monitors but it would make a huge difference to the lives of ordinary Sri Lankans.”

“Cricket is a great game and the Sri Lankan people are rightly proud of their ethnically diverse national cricket team, which symbolises the best of Sri Lanka,” said Purna Sen. “But hundreds of thousands of people have had to flee the fighting to live in temporary shelter — and so are not able to live in safety let alone watch cricket.”

Amnesty International emphasised that it was not calling for a boycott of the Sri Lankan cricket team or Sri Lankan sports overall and is not campaigning in any stadiums in the West Indies.

Public Document
****************************************
For more information please call Amnesty International’s press office in London, UK, on +44 20 7413 5566
Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW. web: http://www.amnesty.org

For latest human rights news view http://news.amnesty.org

Jey
2007-04-13 18:36:34

Just one important point of clarification for the casual observer. The hundreds of thousands of civilians that Amnesty International claim to have been displaced in recent fighting are all Tamils. They were displaced by the Sri Lankan armies offensives since July 2006 in which they have captured large areas of the east from the LTTE in violation of the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement.

It must also be noted that throughout the 30 year war, the LTTE have not caused such mass exodus of Sinhala people from other parts of Sri Lanka in revenge, even though they have the artillery, aircraft and military ability to do so.

 
 
howard
2007-04-13 14:28:12

http://web.amnesty.org/pages/lka-020407-petition-eng

check out the pictures…

i knew there was a reason i loved brett lee…

 
Aththa
2007-04-13 15:34:01

Linking sports and human rights is not new and it will not stop. See: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/13/washington/13diplo.html?th&emc=th

 
2007-04-13 20:34:15

i too received that pathetic press release of ai yesterday. and sent a reply condemning the campaign roughly like the one below yesterday.
btw as everyone here knows by now ltte terrorists endorsed this campaign and called for a sports boycott of sri lanka. no doubt that would energize paeceniks of all kinds into supporting the ai campaign more openly and to call for a boycott, as can be seen here.

reply to press release:
>
as a sri lankan i strongly condemn amnesty international’s disgusting campaign without any reserve. the lame excuses you offer below in the press release are pathetic in the extreme.

1/
if you are really concerned about human rights here, why are you holding this publicity stunt in the other side of the world, where just about only sri lankans are the cricket team? why are you not holding it here asking sri lankan to sign silly balls? to say you are not targeting the team is disingenuous. you are in fact targeting the sri lankan cricket team. it is a disgusting and nauseating tactic.

2/
you are also applying double standards. you already have campaigns protesting the human rights abuses by england and australia in various places including iraq, using less disgusting methods. so if you think this campaign is not disgusting why did you not target the england and australia at the cricket world cup? are they too white skinned for you ? did you leave them out because your donors in those countries will find this kind campaign targeting sports disgusting as we do and prefer not to donate ? do explain the double standards.

3/
this campaign will be futile and counter productive. if you are really concerned about human rights here and want to do something about it, the correct method is to give moral support to the sri lankan government’s efforts to crack down and bring to justice the convicted violators of rights; ltte terrorists and their leader the convicted mass murderer prabhakan .

if you want to bring pressure on government for some reason, canvas the sri lankan public. this is a democracy and the only legitimate way to pressure the government is through the sri lankan public. this kind of disgusting campaign will only antagonize the public against such organizations like yours, rightly so in my own and others opinion.

4/
this is also hypocritical because it is in fact not concerned about human rights in sri lanka but a publicity stunt aimed at raising money. that also explains the double standards, and futile and disgusting methods ( see above) adopted. you seem to consider that as long as you get the money you do not care that sri lankan team is disgraced, you let england etc off the hook, and this is counter productive, shame

some of the statements you make in your press release are without foundation.
for instance you say “At least 1000 people have been forcibly disappeared since the beginning of 2006. ” in the press release below. from where do you get this information ? do you have evidence for this? or did purna sen your asia pacific director just invent the that 1000 ? or did you believe ltte terrorist propaganda without evidence? pl give a clear answer with evidence not unsubstantiated allegations.

if you have any self respect you would stop this campaign . but i think you would rather be disgusting, double standard applying, intentionally impotent , money grubbing , racist hypocrites . then wallow in all that.

quite sincerely,
[my real name, address and tel no]

howard
2007-04-13 20:49:21

hahahah,
you really are a nut…

sri lankan logic is incrdeble…
are you guys really so blind to how the international community views you?

the sinhala mentality is crazy…

Jey
2007-04-14 02:20:37

….And the international community wants us Tamils to find a negotiated settlement with these nuts and the even thicker nuts they have elected into parliament. (Consider the Defense Secretaries interview with AP yesterday 12 April 2007 – hahaha what a clown!).

There is only one langauge they understand in the South and the LTTE is best tutor for them. The lessons will be commencing soon.

You said it right Howard. “the sinhala mentality is cray”. It’s all to do with them teaching the crapy Mahavamsa (which itself has no logic as it states Sinhala were born from a lion) at the Sri Lankan schools from a young age. It messes up the brain there. Sinhala people born and brought up abroad don’t seem to suffer from this crazy mentality unless the madness is induced from racist parents who grew up there.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
2007-04-14 06:21:56

jay and howard (their racism so clearly exposed above from their own comments ) are the type of person that, peaceniks and ai, champion and find credible. peaceniks following such racist opinions ( and disregarding the actual reality ) subscribe to the racist notions that all tamils have the same opinions about democracy, sinhalese, and ltte methods of giving ‘lessons’, when all evidence indicates otherwise. they also propagate the unsubstantiated allegations and ‘white van conspiracy theories’ of such terrorist supporters .

is it any wonder that peaceniks, believing such absurd nonsense, have become increasingly marginalized, and their morale has come to depend wholly on ltte exploding a bomb killing civilians once in while (as jey so clearly expects).

and no wonder that international community has not and will not act on the advice of such fools. quite the contrary in fact, they have cracked down on terror support networks in their countries and are helping the military here to crack down.on the terrorists here.

in spite of all too clear actions of international community pecaeniks seem to believe (with howard ) that ic will interfere here ( as if they care or can ) to stop government’s action against terrorists. well even fools are free to dream and fantasize.:-)

 
 
 
Jey
2007-04-17 04:29:04

Stingingnut(case) said “depend wholly on ltte exploding a bomb killing civilians once in while (as jey so clearly expects). ”

Stop distorting the truth nutcase.

I never expect that and my arguments have always implied that such actions, against civilains of any ethnic background, are dastardly and unacceptable no matter what the political motivation is.

From my point of view peace, human rights and economic prosperity for all ethnic groups on the island can only come about with the recognition of Eelam and the first step towards that means there can be no SLA, SLN or SLAF on the island. Thats where the LTTE come in.

I hope I have made myself clear.

David Blacker
2007-04-17 10:17:51

“From my point of view peace, human rights and economic prosperity for all ethnic groups on the island can only come about”

When you use the word “only” in the context of the Only Way, Jey, you’ve already lost the battle for “peace, human rights and economic prosperity”. When you say “only”, there’ll always be someone who says “No, my way’s better”. Recognising the problem is the first step. And the problem is not the military arms of either side (GoSL or LTTE), they are merely arms of the central policy. It is the continuing racism of both the Sinhalese & Tamils that is the problem. Sort that out, and you won’t need the SLAF or the suicide bombers.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
 
 
 
2007-04-13 22:12:35

ai is not international community.
what ic thinks of sri lankan conflict is clear from their actions not empty publicity stunts like this from ai. those actions are more in the line of supporting the government’s to crack down on human right violators the ltte terrorists. in fact they don’t have any other choice if they are rational.

you and ai are free to be blind and irrational on your own choice, as well as being disgusting, hypocritical etc. :-)

 
2007-04-13 22:41:37

i missed this earlier
howard wrote:
the sinhala mentality is crazy…

regardless of my own mentality a person who generalizes like that is a racist of the first order . that a person like that quotes from amnesty says a thing or two about how low the ai has fallen.

comment
2007-04-15 10:37:35

sitting nut
that a person like that quotes from amnesty says a thing or two about how low the ai has fallen.
—————————————
An association fallacy is a type of logical fallacy which asserts that qualities of one are inherently qualities of another, merely by association. The two types are sometimes referred to as “guilt by association” and “honor by association.” Association fallacies are a special case of red herring, and are often based in an appeal to emotion.

Examples:
Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian. Adolf Hitler was evil. Therefore vegetarianism must be evil.
My lawyer lied to me. Therefore all lawyers are liars.
The Ku Klux Klan supports this initiative. The Ku Klux Klan is wrong on other issues. Therefore the public must vote against this initiative.

The LTTE support amnesty’s campaign, they have commited human rights violations and are against the Sri Lankan government, therefore Sri Lankans must not support Amnesty’s campaign.

A person making a racial statement supports Amnesty, therefore Amnesty’s ethics are questionable.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guilt_by_association

comment
2007-04-15 10:38:58

Sorry…should have put quotation marks…it is a direct quote from the source.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
2007-04-16 11:26:20

A person making a racial statement supports Amnesty, therefore Amnesty’s ethics are questionable.
no. you are drawing the wrong conclusion. mistake is partly mine. i should have been more clear
i should have said -
howard the racist quotes amnesty to back his arguments that shows a thing or two about low the amnesty has fallen.

it is not merely association but utilization.

 
 
 
 
comment
2007-04-17 12:43:07

Got some interesting snippets:

“The masses throughout the world, from the Andes in South America to Himalayas in Asia, are craving for a new journey. They have chosen the new path to liberate their lands from the re-colonization that had suppressed them for decades. The earnest message for the New Year would be that we should make it an opportunity to incorporate such a novel concept into our lives.”
Mr. Somawansa Amarasinghe, Leader of the JVP, April 2007
http://www.lankatruth.com/

Cyprus and Sudan Two Examples of their peace
http://www.jvpsrilanka.com/e_books_page.htm
(Unfortunately this is in Sinhalese…but would be interesting to know what it contains-also has some other
policy documents and ebooks in English)

Sri Lanka: JVP grovels to the Bush administration
By Nanda Wickremasinghe
9 May 2005
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2005/may2005/jvp-m09.shtml

comment
2007-04-21 13:55:10

This should not be under this section. It should be under millitary theatre.

 
 
comment
2007-04-28 06:53:46

Stop the Bombs, Thambi’s Bowling (The View From Victory Blvd)
http://www.passtheroti.com/?p=459

“In South Asia, it seems, cricket can do what the tattered remains of a five year old ceasefire cannot.

But like Sri Lanka’s now-defunct 2002 Ceasefire Agreement (CFA), without a consistent political process, it’s a stop-gap measure. And as we should be well-aware by now, the island doesn’t take too kindly to damming.

On Tuesday, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE, otherwise known as Tamil Tigers) carried out a second air attack against a Sri Lankan military installation in Palaly, Jaffna, following last month’s bombing of Katunayake military airport. The bombing, 16 km from the country’s only International airport, was claimed to be a “preemptive” strike, and unprecedented in the ongoing conflict, although rumors persisted throughout the CFA period that the Tigers were building up these capabilities. Unsurprising, given that both parties to the agreement showed little commitment, saving face with donor countries and the international community in periodic talks while stockpiling arms in the meantime………………….”
——————-
Just read this. Worth reading the rest of the article.

 
comment
2007-04-28 12:26:11

As David Blacker pointed out, Palay airport is not 16 kms from Katunayake. But the article is not about strategy and millitary power. Its about the issue of cricket, Sri Lankans and Amnesty.

Provides food for thought.

 
2007-04-28 21:13:08

Just to clarify here: As I noted in the other thread, the reference is to the distance of Katunayake from BIA. Am editing the post to make this clearer.

Thanks for the nice words, comment. In this ongoing insanity, it helps to find another person who cares to think through the complexities of being committed to Sri Lanka and all of its people.

 
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