Author Archive for R Chandrasoma

The Death Penalty – Hanging and its alternatives

Monday, February 18th, 2019

R Chandrasoma Killing enemies of the State (the Sentence of Death) is a hallowed tradition and its moral standing has been mostly ignored by both priests and politicians. Nevertheless, in this age of compassion – when even the slaughter of domestic animals for food and sustenance is viewed by some as a moral outrage – […]

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Pathetic performance of the Western Service of the SLBC

Saturday, February 2nd, 2019

R Chandrasoma In this forlorn country, the need of the hour is the intellectual upliftment not only of elites but ordinary people so as to better shape their lives ‘in an age of great socio-economic challenge. Adult education – the belief that the dynamic shaping of body and mind is a lifelong process – lies […]

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An Anomaly in Buddhist Practice

Monday, December 31st, 2018

R Chandrasoma On opening the Newspapers one is often regaled with the sight of a Political Big-Wig humbly worshipping a Buddhist priest in an ornate Temple with friends and onlookers in attendance. Nobody questions the worth of this sacerdotal performance by our elected leaders – but why is it that a female of like religious […]

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Fake Politics of the UNP

Friday, December 21st, 2018

R Chandrasoma It is now well-known that many ‘stirring’ news items highlighted in major news channels are fake – bogus ‘plants’ designed to advance a barely hidden political agenda. On a larger scale there is such a thing as ‘Fake Politics’ where a situation of crisis – threats of diverse kinds – are artificially foisted […]

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Personal Ambitions of Individuals eclipse Political Strategizing

Thursday, November 22nd, 2018

R Chandrasoma Politics in Sri Lanka today is underwritten by the epic struggle of some key individuals to secure positions of dominance in a wildly fluctuating and tumultuous political scene in which ideology and principles take a back seat. Take the classic instance of the Ex-Prime Minister now holed-up in his once- official abode known […]

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Presidential Postscript on Prabhakaran’s battle for Eelam

Friday, September 28th, 2018

R Chandrasoma In the recent address to the United Nations, President Sirisena found it strange that the ‘World Community’ – or more accurately, the movers and shakers in the West – interpreted the extirpation of terrorism in Sri Lanka as a camoflaged assault on the rights of a historic minority – the Tamils. This stance […]

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The New Fracture-Line in Political Thinking in Sri Lanka

Monday, September 3rd, 2018

R Chandrasoma Fractures mark discontinuities that are fundamental and almost impossible to bridge. As in the physical world, in politics and its ideological underpinnings, there are irremediable divisions that are best described as ideological ‘fractures’.  In the early days of Sri Lankan politics, the Marxists and their supporters spoke confidently of the ‘Revolution’ that would […]

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On Gods, Religion and the Public

Monday, August 13th, 2018

R Chandrasoma In a learned article on Buddhism (published recently in your Journal) Prof N A de S Amarasekara speaks highly of the rejection of ‘transcendentalism’ and the more overt forms of ‘sacerdotalism’ in the Theravada Buddhism of contemporary Sri Lanka. Unfortunately public displays and the ‘parading’ of  piety in what can be called ‘religious […]

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Capital Punishment – the Hanging Saga

Monday, July 16th, 2018

R Chandrasoma Reason and Compassion must defeat Wrath and Vengefulness in dealing with homicidal violence in a civilized society. The hoary argument  that the crime and its punishment must match in terms of severity and the infliction of harm  – is both primitive and dated. The aim of civilized governance is to repair injury – […]

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Fallacious assumption of symmetry in the resolution of the  so-called National Problem

Thursday, July 12th, 2018

R Chandrasoma It is a widespread belief entrenched both among political leaders and civil analysts that that the insurrectionist instincts in the North are matched by equally obnoxious attitudes of racial exclusiveness in the South. Indeed, it is openly stated by the Southern Political Leadership – that includes such luminaries as Ranil Wickramasinghe and Chandrika […]

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A problem in Buddhist Metaphysics

Thursday, June 14th, 2018

R Chandrasoma While the plight of Man in an unfriendly Universe and the struggle to achieve an emancipation that radically terminates his existential woes are the chief concerns of the Buddhist Pilgrim, there are issues – both historical and cosmological – that cannot be ignored. Let us start with planetary history – as currently revealed […]

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The Colonial Heritage

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018

R Chandrasoma Mr Senaka Weeraratna writes with great warmth on the cultural depredation and the wanton foisting of an alien culture by the Colonial Overlords of historic Sri Lanka. He – like many high-spirited nationalists and floridly patriotic folk – see the advent of the marauding foreigner and the foisting of elements of an alien […]

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In defence of MR – Supposed ‘Horrors’ revisited

Thursday, April 19th, 2018

R Chandrasoma The supposed misdeeds and the flagrant violation of the norms of democracy perpetrated by MR and his aids and accomplices are now part of a political legend entrenched this country. Not only was the populace robbed and cheated – they were in danger of being bumped off by hired agents of a merciless […]

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Endangered Nations and Endangered Cultures

Saturday, March 31st, 2018

R Chandrasoma Few countries in the world are now in peril because of the marauding spirit of powerful neighbours. This is a recent turn in history –across the centuries powerful nations were imbued with an expansionist spirit that spelt doom for those fated to be close to the ‘hegemonic power’. Protracted wars resulted when neighbours […]

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The Phantom Limb Experience and its analogy in Tamil Politics

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

R Chandrasoma With the rise of vehicular traffic in congested road-systems, accidents are common and the injuries incurred are often horrific. Amputation of a whole limb is not uncommon and such ‘amputees’ are restored to good health except that there are bereft of a part of the body that was once intimately tied to their […]

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The Preacher who lost his marbles

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

R Chandrasoma The results of the recently concluded local-government elections are a lesson for demagogues of all species but it is a telling lesson to sanctimonious humbugs who mix politics with high morals and who attempt to portray political opposition as a heinous form of moral decadence. The High-Priest of this brand of political preaching […]

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Sirisena’s Final Task

Saturday, January 20th, 2018

R Chandrasoma The President grandly announced that the moment of quitting the august position he holds is very clearly defined  – and he has no qualms about divulging the defining moment to the public if only to appease the thirst of his enemies in politics. He will quit when his sacred task is over – when […]

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Ranil’s  Hobby-Horses

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

R Chandrasoma While hammering away at a few overworked themes is a cardinal feature of the ‘discourses’ of politicians in general, it is surely a sign of intellectual vapidity when a political leader acts like a ‘repeating groove’ in an old-fashioned phonograph. Let’s take some of his (RW’s) favourite themes that are repeated ‘ad nauseam’ […]

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Mind-Set of a Kalu-Suddha

Monday, October 30th, 2017

R Chandrasoma In the Late Colonial Period, that cultural variant known popularly (and graphically) as a ‘Kalusuddha’ dominated society and was accepted as the ‘avatar’ of future cultural greatness. When Sir Oliver Gunatillaka spoke famously on the future Sri Lanka as ‘a little bit of England’ he was the archetypal Kalusuddha. It was widely believed […]

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The Most Intolerant Wins: The Dominance of the Stubborn Minority

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

R Chandrasoma ‘It suffices for an intransigent minority –a certain type of intransigent minorities – to reach a minutely small level, say three or four percent of the total population, for the entire population to have to submit to their preferences. Further, an optical illusion comes with the dominance of the minority: a naive observer […]

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The  Broken World  –  Buddhism and Existentialism.

Thursday, October 5th, 2017

R Chandrasoma Koswatte  Nawala  The renowned existentialist philosopher Gabriel Marcel used the memorable phrase ‘The Broken World’  to denote what he believed to be the cause of the ‘existential parlousness’  of mankind – the unremitting denial (or defeat) of  the  ‘ontological exigencies’ that irrevocably characterize his condition. Let us unpack the thinking behind this unsettling […]

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Strange Bedfellows – The Joy of the JVP and the Hurrah of the UNP

Saturday, September 16th, 2017

R Chandrasoma There is a long history of the Joy experienced by the elect on seeing the defeated ‘sinners’ being punished.  In the Holy Book of the Christians it is stated – Therefore the elect shall go forth…to see the torments of the impious, seeing which they will not be grieved, but will be satiated […]

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THE New Buddhism and its Eschatological Focus

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

R Chandrasoma In the exegesis of religion, the term eschatology refers to concepts and anticipations of things ‘post mortem’ – such as the immortality of the ‘soul’, rebirth, resurrection, metempsychosis etc. In most religions, the greater life lies in that which follows the extinction of this life and our current existence is thought to be […]

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WATER – The Existential Challenge.

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

R Chandrasoma It is pardonable to suppose that biggest existential threat to the peoples of this ancient Island comes from bungled politics and the incohesive social dynamic that is thereby entailed. While one must not underestimate the strength of these disruptive forces, there is a far more formidable threat that is hardly noticed by our […]

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Ranil Wickramasinghe’s ‘Pie in the Sky’ Economics

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

R Chandrasoma According to the wide-eyed prognostication of Mr Ranil Wickramasinghe, we in Sri Lanka are in a most fortunate position to secure that economic take-off that politicians of all stripes had dreamed of in Post-Independence Sri Lanka. His starting premise is that the ‘Centre of Gravity’ of global commerce and economic activity will shift […]

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The Pot calling the kettle black. A political simile

Sunday, July 16th, 2017

R Chandrasoma  The visiting United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter Terrorism – Ben Emmerson – is mightily aggrieved that Sri Lanka has been slack and legally incompetent in dealing with supposed cases of abuse arising out of the military action against the murderous Tamil Terrorists of Northern Sri Lanka. The issue which […]

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Free Trade and Open Markets have worsened the plight of the poor.

Sunday, July 9th, 2017

R Chandrasoma As part of the prevailing capitalist philosophy, the notion of nations trading freely in goods and services is seen as the panacea for all the economic ills that beset mankind. If we look around the world, do we not see a marked increase in material prosperity at all social levels in most countries […]

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Psychology trumps Politics in the Sri Lankan Electoral Process

Monday, June 19th, 2017

R Chandrasoma In Sri Lanka, the political behaviour of voters is largely governed by concerns rooted in their social identity. The latter – that which we call social identity – is a mind-set that is in place long before the challenge of political choice. This observation may seem counter-intuitive in the sense that the very […]

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Darwinian Fitness of the Tamils

Monday, June 5th, 2017

R Chandrasoma In Biological discourse, fitness is measured by the ability to overcome challenges and to expand into habitats heretofore unoccupied. This ‘Darwinian Fitness’ has little to do with intrinsic worth or elegance of organization. As an example, the Norway Rat has a world-wide distribution bespeaking its extraordinary Darwinian Fitness. In contrast, the Giant Panda […]

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Feasibility of Religious Cohabitation in Sri Lanka.

Sunday, May 28th, 2017

R Chandrasoma Issues relating to the desirability of things must not be confused with those concerned with their feasibility.  In the democratic pursuit of the ideal states of human well-being much is longed for but little attained. The Latin tag ‘Facile dictu, difficle factu’ is a pithy statement of this sad fact. The popular consensus […]

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