Author Archive for R Chandrasoma

Modi’s  Bonhomie and the New Machiavellian Twist in Indian Diplomacy

Saturday, May 20th, 2017

R Chandrasoma The accomplishment of strategic aims can – at times – be achieved by suavity and charm when a direct and blunt approach would make the opposition bristle in fear and anger. Let us take the overarching or grand strategy of Modi and the Indians in dealing with their historic neighbor Sri Lanka. There […]

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Education as Embodied Cognition

Saturday, May 13th, 2017

R Chandrasoma It is traditionally supposed that learning – education in its broadest sense – is an activity of the Mind and that the body is a mere appurtenance that works in the service of the mind. Indeed, the  traditional view is that the corporeal must be subdued for the ‘unleashing’ of the mental.  In […]

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Hegemony through Destabilization – the New Indian Political Strategy

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

R Chandrasoma Large and powerful countries live in fear of neighbours  – not because the latter pose a serious threat to their stability and dominance in military terms  but because of an atavistic fear that distant World Powers that do pose a challenge may enlist the support of the weak neighbours  to overthrow the local […]

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On Africans and Dravidians

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

R Chandrasoma The concept of ‘race’ has had a troubled history since both ethnographers and geneticists have difficulty in giving an objective definition of the supposed basic divisions of mankind. Certain human groups have clear-cut physical features that make their separation objective and socially acceptable. Thus the ‘mongoloid facies’ is very distinctive with such things […]

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Unhealthy fantasies of a Minister of Health

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

R Chandrasoma In this prodigious (and Buddhist) country the Minister of Health is in an unhealthy state of un-supressed agitation when lambasting those he sees as enemies of the anointed government of which he is part – a government that (supposedly) ushered in the Age of Decency and Righteous Governance. It is known to science […]

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The Clarion-call for Unity while doing the damnedest to promote disunity

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

R Chandrasoma An extraordinary feature of the system of governance of the current ‘yahpalanaya’ leadership is the stark contradiction between word and deed. The word ‘Yaha’ signifies bondage or concordence – a declaration that the system of governance envisaged will be based on consensus. If this is truly the case, one would expect the Rulers […]

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Romanticizing the Past as a form of Political Deceit

Saturday, March 25th, 2017

R Chandrasoma It is a weakness of the system of memory-recall in humans that the good things that happened to us remain vivid in our memory while the misfortunes and travail that dogged our life tend to be pushed into oblivion. Nobody gets any joy in recalling an unpleasant past. Historians show the same weakness […]

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Infections of the Mind – Lies that work

Monday, March 20th, 2017

R Chandrasoma It is commonly assumed that a factual statement or a proposition of some importance is deemed true or authentic only if there is proof of its validity. In other words, a proposition – if acceptable – must rest on sound evidence. In the world of politics this wisdom is rarely seen. To be […]

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An Ancient Island in Dire Peril

Monday, March 13th, 2017

R Chandrasoma Ancient Sri Lanka paid heavily for its misfortune in being very close to that politico-geographic behemoth called India. Indeed, the history of our land is – broadly speaking – coterminous with our encounters with our dangerous neighbour. The fact that we are – to some degree – plagiarists in matters of culture and […]

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Optimal versus Stable strategies in the politics of devolution

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

R Chandrasoma In the study of the dynamics of complex systems a distinction is made between outcomes that are ‘optimal’ and those that are ‘stable’. The ‘optimal state’ is that which is most rewarding for all parties concerned. Unfortunately in many realistic situations, optimal states are unstable as they are vulnerable to ‘attacks’ from competing […]

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Buddhism and Transhumanism

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

R Chandrasoma According to some versions of Buddhist apocrypha, the condition of our species – mankind – varied tremendously across vast ages. We live in an age of decadence and finitude wherein life is short and mankind is inexorably menaced by pain and death. Under these conditions, The Compassionate Buddhas bearing a salvific message appear […]

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Schooling of the Young – Assessment of Costs and Benefits

Friday, February 10th, 2017

R Chandrasoma  Professor Susan Engel is a development psychologist and School Director in the USA. Writing in the Huffington Post she has this to say about schooling in her country.  Far too many children in this country spend their energy warding off the tedium, frustration and constriction of school. At worst, they end up dropping […]

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Troubled Future for our Species.

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

R Chandrasoma Since his emergence as a semi-civilized species many thousands of years ago, the threats to human survival have been both severe and sustained. Throughout the ages Famine, Disease and War kept populations dynamically stable and environmental degradation was kept within sustainable limits. This ‘fortunate’ state of affairs no longer holds – for two […]

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Can the Science of the West be ignored in contemporary Buddhist thinking?

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

R Chandrasoma This question is asked because the expositions and exegeses of learned Buddhists – chiefly the Bikkshus – are time-shifted in the illustrative paradigms employed to bring out a religious truth. Thus India at the time of a great spiritual efflorescence about two and a half thousand years ago is the favoured background for […]

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The Worth of a Referendum  – Slow and Fast Thinking.

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

R Chandrasoma The Nobel-Prize winning psychologist Kahneman has identified two kinds of thinking as basic to knowledge-acquisition and decision-making – the Slow and tthe Fast.  Slow thinking is rational and tortuous – it involves cognitive operations that depend on a close survey of facts and logic that is  not easy to come by. In contrast […]

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Hysteria, Morals and Politics

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

R Chandrasoma Let us begin with a few words about Hysteria. This a conditon of trance or transient behavioural aberration induced by powerful external stimuli such as a deep rhythmic drumbeat with plaintive or emotional singing to a large and frenzied audience. Under these circumstance some young wome lose all sense f propriety and behave […]

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Is Patriotism the last refuge of the Scoundrel?

Sunday, December 6th, 2015

R Chandrasoma In an impassioned address to Parliament recently the President MS concluded his speech by quoting the words of that illustrious statesman Jawaharlal Nehru – that ‘Politics is the last refuge of the Scoundrel’. It was Samuel Johnson who first made this quip to his famous buddy Boswell and it  was said facetiously. Whether […]

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The Agenda of Separatism – Triple Assault on Sinhala Naionalism

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

R Chandrasoma There are three political moves curremtly afoot that can spell doom to Sinhala Nationalism and the identity of Sri Lanka as a distinctive Nation with a proud history. The first of these moves is the abject recognition that we have done great wroing to the Tamils by using military force to crush Prabhakaran […]

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Truth-seking and Path-following – A moral conundrum for the Ardant Buddhist.

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

R Chandrasoma The Tathāgata was a Seeker of the Truth before his enlightenment – and his career as the Great Expositor was preceded by a dialectical interaction with the leading saintly intellects of the day. The Jaina Teachings provided the initial stimulus for his path-breaking spiritual innovations and the Brahaminic wisdom of the day was […]

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Re-Writing History – the Mangala-Kerry  Recension

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

R Chandrasoma A strange and doctored  reading of the history of the recent past is being ‘manufactured’ by the new political actors who currently occupy centre-stage following the historic defeat of MR. According to this new ‘recension’ or ‘editing’ the removal of MR was much more than a political shift to the right – it […]

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Is corruption linked to systems of Government?

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

R Chandrasoma The great debate raging in our country is about corruption and its (supposed) genesis in the abuse of power by autocratic leaders who find high-level thieves and cheats their best friends in their quest for unlimited personal power – and social dominance for their kith and kin, The assumption here is that a […]

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Sacerdotalism edges out  Authentic Buddhism in Sri Lanka

Monday, April 6th, 2015

R Chandrasoma Religious practice is generally a tripartite affair involving the lay population, the priesthood and the Doctrine or Sacred Teaching. The Priesthood usually assumes dominance in this interactive triad and when this asymmetry is very marked – that is when the Priests assume the role of leaders and instructors  in doctrinal interpretations and practice […]

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Palks’s Strait Fishery Dispute a Beggar’s Wound

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

R Chandrasoma A begger’s wound is coddled and kept on because it excites sympathy and donations that are mightily useful to the beggar. In politics and international relations there is a curious counterpart to this – where disputes often of a very serious nature are deliberately kept unresolved in pursuance of higher political goals. The […]

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The Grand Coalition against Sri Lanka

Saturday, March 7th, 2015

R Chandrasoma Time was when Sri Lanka had no international significance and its petty affair relating to internal governance did not turn heads or arouse any semblance of fear in other nations. Things have changed since then – there have been quantum shifts in the relations between the Big Powers and new dangers (real or […]

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Kafkaesque Politics in Sri Lanka

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

R Chandrasoma Let us begin with a story of Bees and Wasps. A flourishing colony of Bees is sometimes ‘captured’ by an invasive group from another colony. The events are roughly as follows – the Queen of the invaded colony is killed and replaced by a Virgin fancied by the aliens. Next the ‘battle force’ […]

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Fighting Corruption must stand by when the bigger fight is against external threats to our survival as a Nation

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

R Chandrasoma  In our contemporary world, the destabilization of heretofore stable nations and the gross interference in the internal affairs of the weak and the unprotected appear to be a system-features of its global dynamics. The so-called Big Powers feel it their right and duty to monitor – and often direct –  the affairs of […]

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Strategic Rebalancing of Global Political Forces and the Defeat of MR

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

R Chandrasoma It might appear at first that the defeat of MR is the result of the interplay of strictly local forces and agencies arising from discontents and antagonisms that are inevitable at the close of a long and event-filled Presidency  – one that excited the envy – even hate – of foreigners while charming […]

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Sunday, January 18th, 2015

R. Chandrasoma The negative things that were done to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, similar things were done to President Obama by those who opposed him. President Mahinda Rajapaksa inherited a mess of a country in 2005 from CBK/RW. He took the demoralized army and with Col. Gotabaya Rajapaksa refurbished it and defeated the LTTE in 2009. He […]

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Why religion is bad for aging brains

Friday, December 20th, 2013

R Chandrasoma It is now well established that just as limbs and joints must be regularly exercised if they are to remain supple and effective organs of locomotion, the brain must be used and challenged if is to be an efficient organ of mentation in adulthood. Children and young adults do exercise their brains as […]

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Context-free versus Context-dependent Political Strategies – the dilemma for Sri Lankan Rulers

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

R Chandrasoma It can be argued that politics must be based on inalienable moral principles that are unflinchingly applied irrespective of consequences. Thus, it may seem eminently reasonable that the Death Penality should be abolished because the taking of the life of even a convicted murderer is morally wrong and judicial executions cannot be be […]

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