Author Archive for Rohana R. Wasala

Politics as usual no remedy for Islamic extremism

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala A heated exchange took place in parliament a couple of days ago (November 26 or 27) about the so-called Batticaloa Sharia University between Opposition MP Kavinda Jayawardane of the Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) and Minister of Education Prof. G.L. Peiris MP (SLPP), as reported on Hiru TV. Following is a rough […]

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President’s Address to Nation: Taking the Bull by the Horns

Wednesday, November 25th, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala I do not normally speak as a Sinhalese, and I do not think that the leader of this council ought to think of himself as a Sinhalese representative, but for once I should like to speak as a Sinhalese and assert with all the force at my command that the interests […]

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UN RESIDENT COORDINATOR’S MISSIVE TO THE PRIME MINISTER AND WHAT AN ORDINARY SRI LANKAN THINKS ABOUT IT

Wednesday, November 18th, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala UN Resident Coordinator Ms Hanaa Singer’s outrageously meddlesome missive offering unsolicited advice on governance (November 12, 2020) to Prime Minister Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa, with copies to the Minister of Foreign Relations Mr Dinesh Gunawardane, and Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous  Medicine Mrs Pavithra Wanniarachchi hasn’t still elicited an official response […]

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‘Truth and Science’ has won the US presidential election; will America win the world through it?

Wednesday, November 11th, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala America is the most religious and the most nationalistic country in the world, in addition to being the only global superpower. When the Democrats who fought the election on a platform of ‘Truth and Science’ defeated the Republicans who were guided or misguided by a person/a cult figure (instead of a […]

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‘Have the Sinhalese been struck blind?’

Wednesday, November 4th, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala  A simple solution to the tyranny of minoritarianism. This is just a personal opinion for what it’s worth.  Post-independence politics in Sri Lanka has been characterised by a continuous struggle between exclusive minority communalism and inclusive majority nationalism, in the form of roughly thirty years of cold war between the two […]

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THE WAY FORWARD AFTER 20A

Friday, October 23rd, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala The Sinhalese in independent Sri Lanka have been nationalistic, but never narrowly communalistic; they have never illtreated non-Sinhala minorities on the basis of race or religion. Those who are wallowing in a sea of misinformation having been swept there by tides of hostile propaganda over the decades, may bristle at this, […]

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Valorising mythology to invalidate known history

Saturday, October 17th, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala Feisal Mansoor (‘Muslims and ban on cattle slaughter’/The Island/October 9, 2020) opens his piece with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi, obviously taken from the web: The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” However, there is some doubt about the […]

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Clarity is power

Friday, October 9th, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala While surfing the net this morning (October 6) I saw a flash of a You Tube video purportedly uploaded by Niroshan Premaratne, former UPFA Matara District MP (2015-20) from the Wimal Weerawansa-led Jatika Nidahas Peramuna. He failed to enter parliament in the general  election held on August 5 this year. It […]

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CLARITY MATTERS

Thursday, October 8th, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala While surfing the net this morning (October 6) I saw a flash of a You Tube video purportedly uploaded by Niroshan Premaratne, former UPFA Matara District MP (2015-20) from Wimal Weerawansa led Jatika Nidahas Peramuna. He failed to enter parliament in the general  election held on August 5 this year. It […]

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CONSTITUTION MAKING – A layman’s view

Saturday, October 3rd, 2020

by Rohana R. Wasala ‘At least since Rousseau’s Social Contract and the end of the divine right of kings, the state has been seen as party to a contract with the people – a contract to guarantee or supply the necessary order in society. Without the state’s soldiers, police and the apparatus of control, we […]

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Cattle slaughter ban and common sense

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala It was reported in the media (September 8, 2020) that prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s proposal for a ban on cattle slaughter received cabinet approval as well as the approval of the government parliamentary group. Some Buddhist monks and allied groups who have long been agitating for such legislation to be enacted […]

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IN REMEMBRANCE OF ANAGARIKA DHARMAPALA

Sunday, September 20th, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala (The 156th birth anniversary of the Anagarika falls today, September 17, 2020. The following lines are in celebration of the event.) The pioneer of true national thinkingWas none other than the historical Hate-figure of anti-nationalistsGreat Anagarika DharmapalaWho engineered social reform through itTo kindle hopes of freedom from foreign rule. History will recognize […]

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Wigneswaran up against a wall of scholarly opposition

Tuesday, September 15th, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala It seems to me that the former NPC CM and present Jaffna District MP octagenarian C.V. Wigneswaran has taken to dispensing racist hatred in order to wipe out the Sinhalese race as a pest. It is funny, but regrettable that he indulges himself in this sort of thing. But since the […]

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Wigneswaran’s tribal perspectives in perspective

Friday, September 11th, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala  The feature article: ‘False historical perspectives of Wigneswaran’ jointly written by Rienzie and Kusum Wijetilleke (The Island/September 4, 2020) provided the cue for the following positive  response. The Wijetillekes’ article makes interesting reading, though Wigneswaran’s tribal perspectives are hardly worth talking about except for the danger of their acquiring a false […]

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A brief history of two monk activists

Wednesday, August 26th, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala Courtesy The Island In my opinion, Ven. Athuraliye Ratana and Ven. Galaboda-aththe Gnanasara were following two different lines  of activism in the arena of inclusive nationalism until their recent  joint pratfall in the mire of dirty politics. The first appears to be a shrewd politician who is trying to get involved […]

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No monks in parliament, please!

Saturday, August 22nd, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala Courtesy The Island A few Buddhist monks who have long been vocal protestors against the anti-Buddhasasana activities of a large number of foreign funded fundamentalist religious groups and a hitherto unheard of, relatively obscure monk by the name of Wedinigama Wimalatissa are embroiled in a violent controversy over the single national […]

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Elect good, honest, educated, and morally upright people as MPs

Tuesday, August 4th, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala Courtesy The Island Elect good, honest, educated, and morally upright people as MPs” is not a new slogan. It has been heard at least over the past half a century without any indication of its being heeded by the average voter. This is usually because the voters have no choice over […]

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An object lesson in archaeological conservation

Wednesday, July 29th, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala Buvaneka Hotel? I wanted to renovate the place when I was Secretary to the Urban Development Authority, but the owner refused to give it up for renovation. An amused President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to some young men who asked him, during his campaign tour of the Kurunegala district on July 27, why […]

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Five Slaves and Four Slaveholding Presidents in the Early United States of America

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala Courtesy The Island Stop the Runaway. Fifty Dollars Reward…… A Mulatto Man Slave, about thirty years old, six feet and an inch high, stout made and active, talks sensible, stoops in his walk, and has a remarkable large foot…..will pass for a free man…..The above reward will be given any person […]

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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Friday, July 17th, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala Courtesy The Island The SLPP has called off  its scheduled  propaganda rallies for the time being in view of the rising threat of a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. Its national organizer Basil Rajapaksa has instructed all party organizers to abide by this decision. This must have been a difficult […]

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Let candidates display their preferential numbers freely as before

Tuesday, July 7th, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala Shylock:Ay, his breast:So says the bond: doth it not, noble judge?‘Nearest his heart:’ those are the very words.………………………………………………………………..Portia: Have by some surgeon, Shylock, on your charge,To stop his wounds, lest he do bleed to death. In Shakespeare’s play The Merchant of Venice, the vengeful usurer Shylock’s wicked attempt to settle an old […]

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AUGUST 5: D-DAY FOR SAVING SRI LANKA

Friday, July 3rd, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala Today, at the end of seventy two years of  so-called independence, Sri Lanka finds itself pushed to the edge of a precipice, despite the many sacrifices made by patriots in blood, sweat and tears for its unity and stability as a flourishing sovereign state during that period (and before, for that […]

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FIGHTING IN POLLS FOR A FIGHTING CHANCE

Friday, July 3rd, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala Courtesy The Island Today, at the end of seventy two years of  so-called independence, Sri Lanka finds itself pushed to the edge of a precipice, despite the many sacrifices made by patriots in blood, sweat and tears for its unity and stability as a flourishing sovereign state during that period (and […]

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PLEASE ALLOW INNOCENT SRI LANKANS TO BREATHE!

Wednesday, June 10th, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala The Sinhala language online lankacnews/June 6, 2020 reported that the controversial Elections Commission member Ratnajeevan Hoole, in an interview with the regional Tamil language DAN TV channel in Jaffna, asked the voters in the north not to vote for the SLPP at the coming general election. The website carried the piece […]

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LET THE POSON FULL MOON DISPEL THE GLOOM!

Thursday, June 4th, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala Let the Poson full moon dispel the gloom! May peace, health, and content in the land bloom! The first three months of the lunar calendar of the Sinhalese: Bak, Vesak, and Poson (roughly corresponding to the months of April, May and June in the Gregorian calendar which is in common use […]

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Who are the real victims of ethno-religious extremism and bigotry?

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala One Shiffer Mohammed (SM) in an article published in a mainstream national paper on May 27, 2020 expressed his apprehensions about what he called ‘another ethno-religious war’ breaking out in Sri Lanka, blaming it on alleged racism, religious extremism and bigotry prevalent against Muslims in Sri Lanka. He may be genuinely concerned […]

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National heroes, memorial statues, and politicians unworthy of them

Thursday, May 21st, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala Vinod Munasinghe’s constructive feedback comments (‘A statue of Mandela will do no harm’/The Island/May 18, 2020) on my opinion piece of Saturday (May 16) titled ‘This is no laughing matter’ provided the cue for this attempt to submit my ideas, for reader scrutiny, about the subject hinted at in my title […]

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A Nelson Mandela statue in Colombo: No laughing matter!

Friday, May 15th, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala A news report in The Island of May 9, 2020 under the heading ‘One location for national heroes’ (by Zacki Jabbar) says that Media and Higher Education minister and co-cabinet spokesman Bandula Gunawardane told a news conference held at the Information Department that a cabinet decision was taken on Wednesday (May […]

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Making a mountain out of a molehill to hide behind?

Wednesday, May 13th, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala The Island on Monday 11, 2020 reported: ‘Samagi Jana Balawegaya leader Sajith Premadasa, yesterday, called for an end to the discriminatory and prejudicial manner in which the government conducted the last rites of Muslims who had died of Covid-19, and continued racist attacks on Muslims. “Racist attacks perpetrated against our Muslim […]

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The Organization of Islamic Cooperation Statement and drowning local politicians clutching at straws

Wednesday, May 13th, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala The Island on Monday 11, 2020 reported: ‘Samagi Jana Balawegaya leader Sajith Premadasa, yesterday, called for an end to the discriminatory and prejudicial manner in which the government conducted the last rites of Muslims who had died of Covid-19, and continued racist attacks on Muslims. “Racist attacks perpetrated against our Muslim […]

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