Author Archive for Rohana R. Wasala

Importance of cultural values in the delivery of sexuality education

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala Courtesy The Island This is in response to two recent articles published in The Island that relate to the aftermath of the debate about the suitability of the booklet titled ‘Hathe Ape Potha’ as supplementary reading material for introducing sexuality and reproductive health education for Grade 7 students in Sri Lankan […]

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Controversy about ‘Hathe Ape Potha’, a supplementary reader in Sinhala for Sexuality and Reproductive Health Education for Grade 7

Friday, March 6th, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala Recently, there was a heated discussion about a supplementary reader in Sinhala titled ‘HATHE APE POTHA’ for Grade 7 students in government schools in Sri Lanka for ‘sexuality and reproductive health education’, which is a novel subject to the country’s school education system. The writer believes that this controversy surrounding an […]

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‘Nationalism’ disambiguated

Friday, February 7th, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala Like ‘secularism’, ‘nationalism’ is a much abused term in the vocabulary of the opponents of the unitary status of the Sri Lankan state. A previous article of mine (‘Why secularism is good for Sri Lanka’/Lankaweb/posted January 23, 2020) explained my opinion that the principle of secularism in governance is a good […]

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Throwing a spanner in the works through the national anthem? (A personal opinion)

Monday, February 3rd, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala Singing or not singing Sri Lanka Matha/ apa Sri Lanka…..” in Tamil is not a problem for ordinary Tamils. Neither is it an issue for ordinary Sinhalese or other Tamil speaking Sri Lankan citizens. But, apparently, it is a crucial subject for some foreign NGOs, separatists among expatriate Tamils in the […]

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Why secularism is good for Sri Lanka

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala Courtesy The Island Secularism and nationalism are two terms which are deliberately misdefined by internal and external destabilizing agents in various forms in the current political context in Sri Lanka for confusing and misleading the largely monolingual Sinhala or Tamil speaking electorate. Properly understood, secularism will be found to be quite […]

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Tuesday, January 21st, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala ‘The Child is father of the Man’ William Wordsworth, ‘My Heart Leaps Up’ I will not try to label a diamond. But diamonds deserve to be on display. Trained valuers assess them in terms of- Colour, clarity, carat weight, and cut.  But those who view them whole just admire them.  The […]

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Affronts to Buddhist monks must stop

Tuesday, January 14th, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala Courtesy The Island This is a reply to the opinion piece under the heading ‘Separating Religion from Politics’ sent in by George Braine (The Island/January 13, 2020). According to Braine ‘The various Mahanayakes and other Buddhist leaders must act quickly before the deterioration of the Sangha hits rock bottom. Another danger […]

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The Dew Is on the Lotus! – Rise Great Sun!’

Wednesday, January 1st, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala (The title is a line from the concluding passage of  Sir Edwin Arnold’s ‘Light of Asia’. The Spanish title and name Don Quixote used below is pronounced dong khee khothe”) ANNO FELIX, HAPPY NEW YEAR, TO YOU! Rejoice my beloved Mother Lanka! With us your dear children just debunking The entrenched […]

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The people’s victory must be protected from the Jabberwocks, the Jubjub birds and the Bandersnatches

Thursday, December 19th, 2019

By Rohana R. Wasala Beware the Jabberwock, my son!The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!Beware the Jubjub bird, and shunThe frumious Bandersnatch! The latest developments in the Sri Lankan political arena including diplomatic mockery in the form of a staged abduction episode by a minion of the global hegemon brought to my mind those […]

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Adding insult to injury: A response to crooked advice

Monday, December 2nd, 2019

By Rohana R. Wasala Courtesy The Island Latheef Farook, as usual, goes off on a tangent when writing about the alleged ‘plight’ of the Muslim minority vis-à-vis  the Sinhalese Buddhist majority (Muslims expect positive overtures from President’’/The Island/November 27, 2019). The title of the piece implies that the Muslims are experiencing a sense of alienation […]

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Presidential swearing in at Ruwanveli Maha Saeya, Anuradhapura: Lest its symbolism is misread by rabid antinationalist racists

Wednesday, November 27th, 2019

By Rohana R. Wasala  I love my country. I am proud of my country. I have a vision concerning my country. I appeal to all Sri Lankans to join together in building a prosperous land for posterity”  declared Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on being sworn in as the seventh executive president of the Democratic Socialist Republic of […]

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Mud-slinging is a sign of desperation

Tuesday, November 12th, 2019

By Rohana R. Wasala Courtesy The Island Today Sri Lanka is facing, arguably its worst survival crisis since independence, following the two armed JVP insurrections (1971 and 1986-90) and the long drawn out armed LTTE separatism (1976-2009), both terrorist movements. A considerable number of good but ill-informed or misinformed young Sri Lankans believe that the […]

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Empowerment or Entrapment? The Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact and the Message of the Fasting Monk

Sunday, November 10th, 2019

By Rohana R. Wasala  The Ministry of Finance published an announcement on the website on November 1, 2019 to the effect that the ‘MCC agreement drafted with the consent of AG will be presented in parliament’. The self-explanatory first paragraph mentions what the Millennium Challenge Corporation means and what projects it is going to […]

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From the Eve of Disintegration to the Dawn of a New Era of Democracy and Prosperity

Tuesday, October 29th, 2019

By Rohana R. Wasala Two of the three important presidential candidates have, by the time of writing, October 28, unveiled their election manifestos. SLPP’s Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and National People’s Power candidate JVP’s Anura Kumara Disanayake (AK) did so on October 25 and 26 respectively. Be that as it may, the contest is actually between two […]

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‘Awakening the Nation’ from Down Under

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019

By Rohana R. Wasala ‘Sri Lanka 2020 and Beyond is a forum that will provide Sri Lankans living in Australia with an opportunity to engage in a dialog with the intent of shaping the future blueprint of Sri Lanka. This forum will provide with an opportunity to directly interact with the panel of experts on […]

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Foreign power influence and impact on the presidential election – A response

Friday, October 18th, 2019

By Rohana R. Wasala Courtesy The Island Latheef Farook (‘Foreign power influence and impact on presidential election’/ The Island, October 16, 2019) asserts that a number of countries ‘including China, India, United States, its European allies especially United Kingdom and France, Russia and Israel’ ‘competing to control the Indian ocean’ (he identifies these countries collectively […]

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Revisiting January 2015

Sunday, October 13th, 2019

by Rohana R. Wasala The following article of mine was published in The Island newspaper and in Lankaweb respectively on January 14 and 15, 2015. I thought the present circumstances warrant a reprint of the same.  If you see any unimportant inconsistencies here in relation to the current ground reality in the political landscape, please remember that […]

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Beware of False Flags and Media Firewalls

Wednesday, October 9th, 2019

By Rohana R. Wasala You take a country like Cuba. For us to test the possibility that engagement leads to a better outcome for the Cuban people, there aren’t that many risks for us. It’s a tiny little country. It’s not one that threatens our core security interests, and so [there’s no reason not] to […]

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Friday Forum! Quo vadis? Running errands for someone?

Thursday, September 19th, 2019

By Rohana R. Wasala Friday Forum’s observations on Presidential Elections And The Peoples’ Options” (sic) published in The Island of September 3, 2019, are far wide of the mark. This is not surprising in view of their past press releases about related or similar topics. The ‘peoples’ in the title implies that the internationally respected […]

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Professor Carlo Fonseka – A Tribute

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019

By Rohana R. Wasala Courtesy The Island Those who pursue the higher life of wisdom, who seek to live by spiritual principles, must be prepared to be laughed at and condemned.” Epictetus, Greek Stoic philosopher (55-135 CE) (Following is an updated version of an article published in two parts in The Island in the last […]

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A role for Sajith and UNP ginger group

Tuesday, August 27th, 2019

BY ROHANA R. WASALA Courtesy The Island The artificially sensationalized controversy within the UNP ranks about the authenticity of the party deputy leader Sajith Premadasa’s educational qualifications, in the twilight of its barely legitimate rule, is a strangely anticlimactic, but justly retributive, reversal of its unbroken mudslinging campaign against the Rajapaksas, whose democratic return to […]

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Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

By ROHANA R. WASALA And we shall play a game of chess, Pressing lidless eyes and waiting for a knock upon the door. –·  From ‘A Game of Chess’ (the second canto of The Waste Land” by T.S. Eliot) (The following article was first published in The Island and Lankaweb simultaneously on June 29, 2016, […]

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Saturday, August 10th, 2019

By Rohana R. Wasala (‘Hamartia’ is the fatal flaw that leads to the downfall of the tragic hero in classical Greek Tragedy; it is Greek for ‘missing the mark’.) The artificially sensationalised controversy within the UNP ranks about the authenticity of the party deputy leader Sajith Premadasa’s educational qualifications in the evening twilight of its […]

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Wednesday, July 31st, 2019

By Rohana R. Wasala ‘I am an entertainer, albeit one with the temerity to deal frequently with serious ideas, concepts or – as we say in the theater, where I came from – the spines” of drama. Simple things like the abuse of power, the conspiracies of manipulators, the debasers of the public weal, the […]

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Saturday, July 20th, 2019

By Rohana R. Wasala The Bodu Bala Sena organization held (seemingly the first edition of) its Siv Hele Maha Samuluwa or National Convention of Siv Hela  at the Bogambara Grounds in Kandy on July 7, 2019. Its purpose was, presumably, to propose a democratic, non-violent way out of the present political morass that the country […]

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Saturday, July 13th, 2019

By  Rohana R. Wasala It would probably not be an exaggeration to say that more outrage was expressed by interested parties at an incidental comment made by the Most Venerable Warakagoga Gnanarathana, the Mahanayake Thera of the Asgiriya Chapter, during an anusasanawa (homily) than at the April 21 Easter Sunday suicide bombings by Wahhabi Islamists. […]

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First Stirrings of a Sinhala Buddhist Spring – II

Friday, July 5th, 2019

By  Rohana R. Wasala The polity consisting of the majority community (Sinhalese) cannot behave like this. In any country, it is normal for the majority community to be unconsciously undermined by a false sense of security vis-a-vis the minorities, whereas the latter feel a bit too paranoid with or without reason. The Sinhalese voting public […]

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First Stirrings of a Sinhala Buddhist Spring – I

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019

By Rohana R. Wasala Five hundred years of European colonial occupation could not destroy the dominant Sinhalese Buddhist cultural identity of Sri Lanka. The Sinhalese have a distinct language called Sinhala that evolved entirely out of indigenous roots over thousands of years. It is one of the few still extant oldest languages in the world. […]

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Monday, July 1st, 2019

By Rohana R. Wasala We are dismayed by these reports that will see Sri Lanka surrender its positive record on the death penalty. Executions will not rid Sri Lanka of drug-related crime. They represent the failure to build a humane society where the protection of life is valued. The last thing that Sri Lanka needs […]

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Of Barbarians and Blockheads

Sunday, June 30th, 2019

By Rohana R. Wasala The true barbarian is he who thinks everything barbarous but his own tastes and prejudices. -William Hazlitt Sunday Island columnist Sanjana Hattotuwa (‘What we are today’/June 23, 2019), as if stoned on the drug of racist hatred and prejudice against the majority Sinhalese Buddhists who constitute 70% of the Sri Lankan […]

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