Author Archive for Rohana R. Wasala

A voice from the past about Bodu Bala Sena

Sunday, July 1st, 2018

By Rohana R. Wasala After reading Dr Daya Hewapathirana’s excellent article titled The Bodu Bala Sena Movement: Socially Engaged Buddhism”   (June 30, 2018), I thought I should share with the Lankaweb readers the following article of mine carried in The Island newspaper on May 6, 2014. It was still the time of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s presidency. […]

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Killing a mosquito with a cannon

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

ROHANA R. WASALA Courtesy The Island June 28, 2018, 10:20 pm Sasanka Perera, a sociology professor at New Delhi’s South Asian University and its vice-president, uses a cannon to kill a mosquito (‘Pining for Hitler’/The Island/June 27, 2018). The funny thing is that there isn’t even a mosquito to kill in this case. He marshals his […]

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Furore over Anunayake Thera’s ‘Hitler’ remarks: sound and fury signifying nothing  

Wednesday, June 27th, 2018

By Rohana R. Wasala A cogent piece of advice given by Ven. Wendaruwe Upali , the Anunayake Thera of the Asgiriya Chapter to Gotabhaya Rajapaksa  in the course of a 30 minute long anushasanawa (sermon) at the conclusion of an alms giving ceremony held at his residence at Mirihana to invoke blessings on him  on […]

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In defence of Gotabhaya the idea and the icon

Sunday, June 24th, 2018

By Rohana R. Wasala Courtesy Sunday Island Sunday Island recently carried two articles that tried to undermine a probable foray into the 2020 presidential fray by Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, who was the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development in the previous government led by his brother President Mahinda Rajapaksa: ‘Stop Gotabaya-Rex! Choice of […]

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May Buddhists look to the Mahanayake Theras at this hour of need!

Monday, June 18th, 2018

By Rohana R. Wasala (The following consists of the first few paragraphs of an article of mine under the title No more backing out at the hour of need, please!”, which happens to be of current relevance. The aforementioned article was published in The Island newspaper and Lankaweb simultaneously on February 1, 2016. I inserted […]

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Anti-Buddhist propaganda with an academic veneer – III

Monday, June 11th, 2018

By Rohana R. Wasala An intellectual hatred is the worst, So let her think opinions are accursed. –B. Yeats/ ‘A Prayer for My Daughter’ In this concluding section of my article, I am making an attempt to suggest how anti-Buddhist propaganda has polluted even the academia, and how, as a potent factor, such misinformation has […]

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Anti-Buddhist propaganda with an academic veneer – II

Friday, June 8th, 2018

By Rohana R. Wasala Just as Andreas Johansson is mistaken about the cause of the recent communal unrest between some Sinhalese Buddhist and Muslim groups in the Kundasale Teldeniya area near Kandy, he is mistaken about the genesis of the more serious and the longer persisting separatist problem. What he so simplistically asserts is that […]

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Anti-Buddhist propaganda with an academic veneer – I

Tuesday, June 5th, 2018

By Rohana R. Wasala A recent  article titled ‘Why Violent Buddhist Extremists Are Targeting Muslims in Sri Lanka’ by Andreas Johansson of Lund University in Sweden available at is a classic example of the relentless anti-Buddhist propaganda carried on by the Western and allied media outlets for a long time now. Johansson’s inexplicable antipathy […]

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A local office to monitor Sinhala language FB content: Is it a wise move?

Thursday, May 3rd, 2018

By Rohana R. Wasala Courtesy The Island It is reported that Sri Lanka is to ask Facebook to set up an office in Colombo to help monitor content posted in the Sinhalese language so that the medium is not used for nefarious purposes such as creating communal conflicts” (‘Lanka to ask Facebook to bar objectionable […]

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“JVP’s help to rightwing politics” – A clarification

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

By Rohana R. Wasala Courtesy The Island Ref.  The opinion piece titled JVP’s help to rightwing politics” by attorney-at-law Nimal de Alwis (The Island/March 13, 2018). My sincere thanks to the writer for the illuminating comments that he’s made on my previous opinion piece under the heading JVP at a crossroads (March 7, 2018). However, […]

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Communal and religious reconciliation in the future

Monday, March 12th, 2018

By Rohana R. Wasala I was prompted to write this short piece as a complimentary (and complementary, perhaps) comment on Shenai Waduge’s excellently informative article titled Power of institutional religions – Christianity and Islam against Buddhism and Buddhists” (12/03/2018). Religion usually involves absolute belief in and mandatory worship of/praying to some mysterious supermundane/supramundane power (that […]

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JVP at a crossroads

Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

By Rohana R. Wasala Courtesy The Island From the commonsense point of view of the average voter in Sri Lanka, there are four broad political groupings or blocs that contest elections with a view to taking part in democratic government. These  are: (1)the neoconservatives (or neoliberals) usually represented by the UNP that is committed to […]

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JVP delusions and nationalist victory

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

By Rohana R. Wasala Courtesy The Island At the outset, I’d like to make it clear to the reader that the word ‘nationalism’ (and related forms) is used here in its basic meaning of ‘the love of one’s country, the principles, and efforts that the feeling characterizes’. But in Sri Lanka today, anti-nationalist agents, propagandists […]

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The just opening bud of hope

Tuesday, February 13th, 2018

By Rohana R. Wasala “Although voters gave a clear win for Mahinda’s SLPP, they deliberately avoided giving SLPP 50%. In fact, Mahinda’s party received 2% less votes than January 2015 when he was replaced by Sirisena. Put it differently, the Sirisena Alliance (DNA, Swan) retained its 6.2 million votes while Mahinda lost 700,000 votes from […]

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An unhappy prologue to the swelling act of the imperial theme

Thursday, February 8th, 2018

By Rohana R. Wasala Courtesy The Island We must not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we began and to know the place for the first time. S. Eliot On February 4, 2018, Sri Lanka completed seventy years of independence from Britain. My inclination until that day […]

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The only royal in the country

Friday, January 26th, 2018

By Rohana R. Wasala The Island editorial of Monday  January 15th 2018 paid a glowing tribute to  the incumbent Vaedda Chief Uruwarige  Wannialaeththo, describing him as the one true leader we still have, and further suggesting that he is perhaps ‘the last of the Mohicans’. Both descriptions are, no doubt, exaggerations prompted by the editor’s […]

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Propaganda as poetry

Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

By Rohana R. Wasala (Courtesy The Island) (This is The Mask of Anarchy continued from January 6, 2018) ‘Rise like Lions after slumber In unvanquishable number, Shake your chains to earth like dew Which in sleep had fallen on you — Ye are many — they are few.’ (lines 151-155) Shelley composed ‘The Mask of Anarchy’ […]

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The Mask of Anarchy

Saturday, January 6th, 2018

By Rohana R. Wasala Courtesy The Island THE MASK OF ANARCHY. WRITTEN ON THE OCCASION OF THE MASSACRE AT MANCHESTER” was composed by Percy Bysshe Shelley during his sojourn in Florence in Italy on hearing about an unprovoked attack by a group of militia cavalrymen on a peaceful and orderly protest rally attended by some […]

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Cockeyed Kumar David cues for suppression of democratic opposition

Sunday, December 17th, 2017

By Rohana R. Wasala This refers to the feature entitled Arrest Gota or not per the evidence: NO to fundamentalism, racial-extremism and neo-populism” (Sunday Island/December 10, 2017) by Kumar David. The title itself is extremely misleading because what it suggests is malicious fiction. No evidence has been found against Gota; given the fact that three […]

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About confusing ‘government’ with ‘state’

Friday, December 8th, 2017

By Rohana R. Wasala This refers to a minor but significant verbal inaccuracy in the feature article by senior economist Usvatte-aratchi under the elaborate title State and govt. not interchangeable: Same goes for revenue and income hoax of free education and free health services” posted in the Lankaweb of December 5, 2017. My focus here […]

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Culture shock

Friday, November 24th, 2017

By Rohana R. Wasala In my opinion, two visiting British women were made to experience different forms of culture shock in Sri Lanka recently.  Both were subjected to discrimination and harassment, though in the later or the second case described here, these elements were almost totally concealed by melodrama. The reference here is to tourist […]

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The darkest hour is just before the dawn – III

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

By Rohana R. Wasala Ven. Abhayatissa’s more recent utterances show that he has been somewhat reassured by the president. He sounds hopeful that after all this constitution making problem will soon be resolved. The monk believes that the president is the only person who can be expected to do this and save the country from […]

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The darkest hour is just before the dawn – II

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

By Rohana R. Wasala Something worth keeping in mind in this context is that the nationalism of the Sinhalese has always been territorial nationalism. (.) Sinhalese domiciled in a country other than Sri Lanka, will never ask to be recognized as a ‘nation’ in that second home country however large their numbers in that country […]

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The darkest hour is just before the dawn – Part I

Friday, November 10th, 2017

By Rohana R. Wasala Courtesy The Island Fiat justitia – ruat caelum! (Let justice be done though the skies fall!) In May 2009, we ordinary Sri Lankans suddenly had everything before us, whereas for the previous thirty years, we had nothing before us.  Most of us had been inured to believe that  the separatist militants were […]

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Alleged ‘noise’ pollution from Buddhist temples

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

By Rohana R. Wasala The opinion piece under the title Temples and noise pollution” (The Island/November 6, 2017) by a virtually anonymous writer who signs ‘HMNW’ makes some censorious remarks about Buddhist temples conducting traditional religious observances like pirith chanting and bana preaching, using amplifiers. He or she charges that pirith chanting and (by implication) […]

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Closure of the modern day Arahant case?

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

By Rohana R. Wasala 16-10-2017 The media reported today (October 16, 2017) that Ven. Pitiduwe Siridhamma Thera  (self-styled  Arahant Siri Samanthabhadra)  called on the Ven. Mahanayake Thera of the Malwatte Chapter and formally apologized to him over his recent offensive conduct, and insulting remarks attacking the Dalada and criticizing the Mahanayake Theras. He said he […]

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Constitutional reform committee report at a glance

Friday, October 13th, 2017

By Rohana R. Wasala (This was first published on June 24, 2016 as part of a longer article under the title A glance at PRCR report in the context of drive for federalism”, which was featured in The Island on June 22 & 24, 2016. That article was posted on June 23, 2016 in toto […]

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Case of a modern day Arahant – II

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

By Rohana R. Wasala September 16, 2017 (What was published in The Island of September 18, 2017 under same title was an edited version of the concluding part of my article. The following re-revised text is closer to the original.) Continued Incidentally, disparagement or what appears to be attempted desacralization of the Tooth Relic by […]

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Case of a modern day Arahant – I

Saturday, September 30th, 2017

By Rohana R. Wasala September 14, 2017 There is no doubt that Buddhists were shocked and pained  and gravely upset by what Ven. Samanthabhadra  Thera recently said about two of the most venerated objects of Buddhist worship in the country: the Dantha Dhatu or the Sacred Tooth Relic and the Lalata Dhatu or the Sacred […]

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Nila Maha Yodaya praised

Thursday, September 7th, 2017

By Rohana R. Wasala Excellent! Thank you, you anonymous scholar  writing under the pen name Nila Maha Yodaya  (Lankaweb/September 6, 2017) සිල්වාගේ ප්‍රශ්නය – කතෝලික බැතිමතුන්ට ආගමේ අය යයි කියන්නේ ඇයි? පිලිතුර– වචනයේ පරිසමාර්ත අර්ථයෙන්ම  කතෝලික ආගම ආගමකි. කතෝලික අය බෞද්ධගම් කාරයින්ට කියන්නේ අන්‍යාආගම් කාරයින් කියායි Yes, I for one, agree with your answer to […]

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