Author Archive for Rohana R. Wasala


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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Poson Brings ‘Hope, the Only Thing Stronger than Fear’

Friday, June 21st, 2019

By Rohana R. Wasala Buddhism aims at creating a society where the ruinous struggle for power is renounced; where calm and peace prevail away from conquest and defeat; where the persecution of the innocent is vehemently denounced; where one who conquers oneself is more respected than those who conquer millions by military and economic warfare; […]

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BAILA EPA, Cassandra!

Tuesday, June 11th, 2019

By Rohana R. Wasala Courtesy The Island Cassandra ends her piece ‘Cry the Beloved Country’ (The Island/June 7, 2019) with an ominous note contained in these words, where she refers to herself in the third person, as she usually does in her weekly column to give her writing a dramatic touch: Honestly Cassandra has lost […]

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Bathiuddeen stations another set of Saharans at Wilachchikulama

Friday, June 7th, 2019

බදියුදීන් විලච්චිකුලමේ තවත් සහරාන්ලා පිරිසක් රදවයි.. 7, 2019 (Unsolicited verbatim translation by Rohana R. Wasala without any commitment to the veracity of its contents.) It has now been revealed that, in the recent past, there were safe houses that provided security for Wahhabist terrorists in the Muslim villages established by the person called Rishad […]

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Crimes Unpardonable

Wednesday, June 5th, 2019

By Rohana R. Wasala Many opinion writers, particularly in the English medium newspapers, expressed more consternation at the release from prison of the Bodu Bala Sena leader Ven. Galaboda-aththe Gnanasara Thera on May 23, 2019 than they did at the National Thawheed Jamat’s terrorist suicide bombings on the Easter Sunday a month before (i.e., on […]

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Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

By Rohana R. Wasala This is a concerned ordinary Sri Lankan’s response to two statements coming from the West regarding Sri Lanka. No sane Sri Lankan would deny that the country has been brought to the brink of disintegration and destruction, to the boundary (the event horizon) of a black hole from which no return […]

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Abolish the presidential system of government: Friday Forum. Why? Is it the mother of all evils? – II

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

By Rohana R. Wasala (Please bear with me, Readers. In the following sentence from Part I: Most of the observations these reputed intellectuals make through this statement about the failures of governance that facilitated the recent attacks on some mosques and hotels (in Negambo, Colombo and Baticaloa) are generally correct;….”, the word ‘mosques’ is a […]

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Abolish the presidential system of government: Friday Forum. Why? Is it the mother of all evils? – I

Tuesday, May 14th, 2019

By Rohana R. Wasala Introduction The question in the title is relevant to the current crisis in Sri Lanka. The sudden (actually, it was not sudden, it was years in the making, as it shockingly transpires now) incursion of ISIS terror is the only significant ‘foreign direct investment’ that the Yahapalana government has attracted, that […]

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‘Everybody Lies’, a book on Big Data: Benefits of Digital Truth Serum

Saturday, April 20th, 2019

By Rohana R. Wasala Courtesy The Island ‘Everybody Lies – What the Internet Can Tell Us about Who We Really Are’ (Seth Stephens – Davidowitz, London, Bloomsbury Publishing, Paperback edition, 2018, 338 pp, ISBN 978 – 1- 4088 – 9473 – 6) is a book on Big Data (a term explained below), which introduces a […]

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‘How can we know the dancer from the dance?’ A comment on the recent dialogue about the anatta doctrine in Buddhism

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

By Rohana R.Wasala There was recently an exchange of views published in The Island newspaper between February 22 and March 14, 2019 and here in Lankaweb in the same period concerning the concept of ‘anatta’ in Buddhism (traditionally translated into English as soullessness, no-soul, non-self, etc). One of the most definitive responses, in my view, […]

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Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

By Rohana R. Wasala Our future is a race  between the growing power of our technology and the wisdom with which we use it. Let’s make sure that wisdom wins.-Stephen Hawking (The following essay by me as a nontechnical reader of BRIEF ANSWERS TO THE BIG QUESTIONS and a longtime Hawking fan refers to its […]

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Red herrings and real issues

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

By Rohana R. Wasala Courtesy The Island Ref. ‘Saving Sri Lanka!’/The Island/January 17, 2019 by Fr J.C. Pieris. It is a response to certain critical comments that I made in The Island of January 9 on a previous article published in the same paper on January 2 by T.M. Premawardana (translated by Fr Pieris). The […]

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Answer to the question ‘Who can save Sri Lanka?’

Thursday, January 10th, 2019

By Rohana R. Wasala Courtesy The Island Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most, that has made it possible for evil to triumph. Haile Selassie (Emperor of Ethiopia 1930-74) The admirable feature article ‘Who can save Sri […]

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‘Dhatusena’ – Rehabilitating Kashyapa   

Tuesday, December 25th, 2018

By Rohana R. Wasala History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce. -Karl Marx ‘Dhatusena’(ISBN 978-955-0955-79-4/Visidunu Prakashakayo Pvt Ltd, Boralesgamuwa, Sri Lanka, 2017) is a short historical novel in Sinhala written by veteran novelist, poet, and socio-political thinker and activist Dr Gunadasa Amerasekera. It is a story related by a first person narrator who […]

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Friday, November 30th, 2018

By Rohana R. Wasala In a democracy, constitutions can be drafted, revised or replaced by the people as they wish, but when such a sovereign nation is disintegrated through a constitution (or by some other means), it can hardly be reintegrated into unity. Sri Lanka is today being threatened by one of the worst existential […]

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‘LINCOLN IN THE BARDO’: Loving in a World of Conditionality

Saturday, November 17th, 2018

By Rohana R. Wasala The 2017 Man Booker Prize winning novel ‘Lincoln in the Bardo’ by American writer of fiction George Saunders is almost entirely peopled by corpses or ghosts in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Georgetown, Washington DC, on a February night in 1862. The text reads like a film or drama script that […]

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Sinhala Only’ in Retrospect

Thursday, November 8th, 2018

By Rohana R. Wasala Courtesy The Daily Mirror The ‘Sinhala Only’ legislation of 1956 was immediately turned into a bogey by anti-majority propagandists to frighten off progressive political reforms aimed at redressing the historical injustices perpetrated against the nation by European occupations of the previous 450 years. But the dethronement of English by making Sinhala […]

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The envious hate those whom they can’t help admiring

Sunday, October 28th, 2018

By Rohana R. Wasala As a fairly frequent contributor to Lankaweb I welcome feedback from discerning readers. My way is to accept decent responses with equanimity whether they are positive or negative. But I pay more attention to negative comments, because they usually reflect on aspects of an issue that I might have failed to […]

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Mahavamsa : 2500-year history of  heroic Sinhalay people mellowed by humanity

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

By Rohana R. Wasala Courtesy: The Daily Mirror The  Mahavamsa or The Great Chronicle of Ceylon (to use the title of the English translation by Wilhelm Geiger of the ancient classic) is a book of history in the form of a poem in the Pali language composed by a Bhikkhu named Mahanama at Anuradhapura around the […]

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For making Sri Lanka great again

Friday, October 12th, 2018

By Rohana R. Wasala The USA, which tabled Resolution 30/1 against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in October 2015, has by now left that body in disgust. Sri Lanka co-sponsored this resolution against itself to its eternal shame. President Donald Trump, addressing the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly […]

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A layman’s view of the Mahavamsa

Wednesday, October 10th, 2018

By Rohana R. Wasala (This article was first published in The Island newspaper (Sri Lanka) more than ten years ago ( on January 23, 2008). The writer wishes to share it with the Lankaweb readers. The original title was: Is the Mahavamsa a Tissue of Myths?) The  Mahavamsa or The Great Chronicle of Ceylon (to […]

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Don’t try to federalize Sri Lanka’s history!

Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

(An internet post as translated by Rohana R. Wasala) Professor Raj Somadeva is the head of the Postgraduate Institute of Archaeology of the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. He is a scholar who is engaged in archaeological excavation and exploration, devoting himself to efforts that even go beyond the demands of his profession, in order […]

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Budunge Rasthiyaduwa”: Has the Author Bitten off More than He Can Chew? – Part II

Friday, October 5th, 2018

By Rohana R. Wasala Defusing a live grenade before dumping it in a garbage heap Old clothes upon old sticks to scare a bird” K.K. Srinath’s novel Budunge Rasthiyaduwa”  is probably intended to be a literary hand grenade against the most radical spiritual thinker of all time, the Buddha. Though the novel looks like an […]

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“Budunge Rasthiyaduwa”: Has the Author Bitten off More than He Can Chew? – I

Saturday, September 29th, 2018

By Rohana R. Wasala Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion.–Jack Kerouac Most Buddhists are likely to bristle at the very mention of the title of K.K. Srinath’s novel because of its apparent characterization of the Buddha as a tramp, a vagabond, a vagrant or a […]

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Denying the success of the Janabalaya Demonstration is a totalitarian attack on the people’s freedom of expression

Saturday, September 22nd, 2018

By Rohana R. Wasala Kumar David (KD) in his column titled  Deciphering the Jana Bala Demo (JBD)- Not a flop (about 75,000), but it was fun and frolic not a political avowal” (Sunday Island/ September 16, 2018) tries to pretend that the JBD challenge fell flat; it was game and set (only) to Yahapalana”. To […]

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Mending Walls instead of Mending Fences:  Anticipatory comments on “Kanepahara (A Box on the Ears )”

Thursday, September 13th, 2018

By Rohana R. Wasala Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it, And spills the upper boulders in the sun; And makes gaps even two can pass abreast. Robert Frost (‘Mending Wall’) ‘Kanepahara’ (lit. ‘A Box on the Ears’) is the title of a series of radio dramas scheduled […]

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