Author Archive for Rohana R. Wasala

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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ACADEMIC ADOLESCENTS AGAINST THE NATIONALIST CAUSE

Friday, May 1st, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala The online Asian Tribune of February 21, 2020, carried a profusely illustrated article under the title A Historical Leadership Program Launched by Professor Nandana Wijesinghe”. The event was reported to have been conducted on the weekend -14th -16th February 2020 at the Ridee Viharaya Conference Centre, Ridi(ya)gama, Kurunegala, organized by this […]

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Villainizing the victim trapped between 19A and Covid-19 emergency courtesy of free media manipulation? A point to ponder

Tuesday, April 28th, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala The news of the postponement of scheduled parliamentary elections by the Elections Commission was carried in the online Asian Tribune newspaper with an apparent anti-government bias. After closing the nominations on March 19, 2020, the EC postponed the general election, earlier scheduled for April 25, in view of the situation caused by […]

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Reckless sliding tackles

Saturday, April 25th, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala Three current unavoidable circumstances that only anti-national forces could exploit to stymie the government’s progress in its anti-Covid-19 drive thereby contributing to general oppositional efforts to destabilize the Sri Lankan state are   (1) the recent announcement of a new date for the next parliamentary elections by the Election Commission, (2) […]

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Losers fishing in troubled waters

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala The November 2019 inauguration of president Gotabhaya Rajapaksa rekindled bright hopes of national resurgence. The visions of peace and prosperity that bloomed in the years following the end of nearly three decades of civil war in 2009 faded in the years 2015-19. While the people were eagerly looking forward to electing […]

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Who is politicizing the COVID-19 crisis, for whose benefit?

Wednesday, April 15th, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala The Island newspaper of April 10, 2020, in a front page news report (PB ‘reads Election Act’ to EC chief”), published  a letter dated April 06, 2020 addressed to the Chairman of the Election Commission Mahinda Deshapriya by Presidential Secretary P.B. Jayasundara, which was in response to two letters from the […]

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Canines and the moving caravan

Tuesday, April 14th, 2020

By Rohana R. Wasala This article was partly inspired by Orpheus Perera’s commendable writeup under the title ‘Open letter from the Chinese embassy to the Editor of the Wijaya Newspaper’/Posted April 11, though my subject is not the same as his. As Perera’s article suggests, there are more plausible explanations of the actual origin of […]

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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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