I am 3/4ths Sri Lankan (Jaffna) Tamil, 1/8th Sinhalese and 1/8th Irish; a proper mutt. Maternal: Grandfather a Govt Surveyor married my grandmother of Sinhalese/Irish descent from the deep south, in the early 1900’s. They lived in the deep South, are generally considered Sinhalese and look Eurasian (common among upper class Sinhalese). They were Anglicans (Church of England), became Evangelical Christians (AOG) in 1940's, and built the first Evangelical church in the South. Paternal: Sri Lanka (Jaffna Tamil). Paternal ancestors converted to Catholicism during Portuguese rule (1500's), went back to being Hindu and then became Methodists (and Anglicans) around 1850 (ggfather). They were Administrators and translators to the British, poets and writers in Tamil and English. Grandfathers sister was the first female Tamil novelist of modern times I was brought up as an Evangelical even attending Bible study till about the age of 13. Agnostic and later atheist. I studied in Sinhala, did a Bachelor in Chemistry and Physics in Sri Lanka. Then did Oceanography graduate stuff and research in the US. I am about 60 years old, no kids, widower. Sri Lankan citizen (no dual) and been back in SL since 2012. Live in small village near a National Park, run a very small budget guest house and try to do some agriculture that can survive the Elephants, monkeys and wild boar incursions. I am not really anonymous, a little digging and you can find my identity.
Excerpts and link to article written by a classmate of mine a former Senior Intelligence Officer in the Army. ——–
he 1998 bomb attacks in Coimbatore, India have been the base for this research. Why? The attacks took place under similar circumstances and still holds water. Coimbatore, for some time, had been a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism.
February 14, 1998 saw the group killing 58 people and injuring more than 200 people by carrying out 12 bomb attacks within an area of 12 sq km.
There were plenty of indications that some kind of incident was going to occur. Some Muslim Leaders/Politicians had warned the govt of possible terror attack, some even naming possible suspects*. The incidents or information were either ignored or worse perpetrators were released.
*This is quite different from main stream Tamil politicians who kept shielding at minimum or encouraging the LTTE who were referred to as our “boys”. eg SJV Chelvanayagam, Amirthalingam etc who finally were assassinated by the “boys”.
Possible reasons for Inaction by the Govt a) In fighting within the govt and finger pointing at the previous Rajapakse regime. b) Current govt and President were elected on a minority vote and reluctance to clamp down on a segment of their constituency.
A simple timeline a) December 2018. Buddhist Statues vandalized in Mawanella
d) March 2019: Mohamed Razak Taslim, Minister Kabir Hasims’s Coordinating Secretary is shot by muslim extremists. Taslim had been assisting the CID in investigating December 2018 vandalizing of Buddhist statutes.
e) April 2019: Easter Sunday Massacre targeting Christians and Westerners: 300+ killed.
**Wanathavilluwa is kind of middle of nowhere, big (for SL) rolling coconut Farms/estates and scrub jungle, but still a center. 10 km from Wilpattu National Park (Jungle). 140 km from the Colombo center. From nearby Kalpitiya or Karaithivu by boat approx 100 km to Dhanuskodi or Toothukudi
Ancillary Information a) National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ) and leader Mohamed Zahran (Abu Ubaida) also called Moulvi Zahran Hashim were responsible for the massacre.
b) Note there is Sri Lanka Towheeth Jamaath (SLTJ)., Ceylon Towheeth Jamaath (CTJ) and a Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamaath.
c) Apparently Moulvi Zahran Hashim and NTJ have/had YouTube videos in Tamil calling for killing of Kafirs (non Muslims) and jihad. The local villagers say those videos were common and had watched at least some of them.
What can be done a) Stop teaching of Arabic after school. All the Muslim children in this village do two hours of Arabic lessons after school. Prevention is better than cure b) Moulavi/Lebbes/Imams visiting Pakistan or Saudi Arabia should be kept under investigation. c) Madrassas should be investigated. d) Either heavy military presence in mono ethnic enclaves, including Jaffna. Or change in population composition, if needs be by State intervention, so be it. e) Foreign Aid, donations cannot be to a single ethnic group or religion.
Some excerpts from News http://www.ft.lk/top-story/Blame-game-over-terror-attacks/26-676853 Meanwhile, Highways and Road Development Minister Kabir Hashim claimed that some of the members linked to the NTJ and suspected to be responsible for the terror attacks on Sunday had earlier been arrested over the Wanathawilluwa explosives raid on 18 January but were later released. “I have been informed that one or two persons that were arrested during Wanathawilluwa explosive haul were released by the Police because of political influence. There is speculation that one person that got released was involved in a suicide attack on Sunday,” he added. However, Hashim said that he could only confirm this information within the next couple of days. Police also identified the suicide bomber of the Shangri-La Hotel as Imzaan Seelavan. Presenting evidence before the Colombo Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, Police said that Seelavan’s wife, his brother and two children had died in the explosion in Dematagoda on Sunday. Seelavan, who was an owner of a factory in the Wellmapitiya area, had about 100 people in his employment, Police told courts. Nine of his employees had been arrested during a joint operation by the Colombo Crimes Division and Terrorist Investigation Department (TID). The nine suspects were remanded till 6 May. Court ordered Police to conduct an in-depth investigation and present the findings to Court. The magistrate also gave permission for Police to obtain phone records of the nine suspects. The three Policemen who died in the Dematagoda blasts were posthumously awarded promotions.
Muthamma lived with her husband in the forested and hilly tribal areas surrounding Coimbatore. About 20 years ago, she and her husband started working for a yoga ashram in the area as a daily labourer. Subsequently, she had three children – two sons, now 24 and 19 years old, and a daughter who is 20. They have also been working in the ashram since their childhood and continue to do so today, as does her husband. Muthamma says that those that get work sporadically earn between Rs 250 and Rs 300 daily, while those doing regular work earn about Rs 130-150 a day. Muthamma herself stopped working at the ashram when she joined one of 18 self-help groups (SHGs) set up by a local NGO about ten years ago. She remembers that when she left, she was earning Rs 15 a day.
The SHG collapsed after a few years when its members were told that they would have to ask for tenders to have access to the forest produce and this was beyond their means.
The ashram stepped in and started using Muthamma and others like her to accompany its members into the forest to share their inherited knowledge of medicinal plants. Once this knowledge was transferred, they were abandoned and, since they were ‘illegal trespassers, it was the ashram members, armed with the traditional tribal knowledge that they had accessed in an underhand way, who were given access to the forest and its bounty.
Along with the nearly 200 tribal families, Muthamma and their newly-found allies put in an RTI application and gained copies of the documents connected with the 44 acres of land. They then approached the district administration to allot the land to them for house sites, which they needed desperately
The tribals are not alone in the struggle against the activities of the ashram. The Vellingiri Hill Tribal Protection Society filed a PIL in the Madras high court in March against the unauthorised structures that have been constructed on the wetlands at Ikkarai Poluvampatti by the ashram.
But the ashram has powerful friends. It is owned by the Isha Foundation headed by Jaggi Vasudev, who is now as much in the news as any of his fellow celebrity ‘holy men’. Just a few days before the March PIL was filed, the prime minister himself unveiled a 112-foot-high bust of the ‘Adi Yogi’ Shiva at the ashram – despite being requested by environmental activists not to be present at an occasion when a new violation of building norms was added to a long list of earlier violations.
I had this comment why are African Americans so so down. Apparently thats because they are not part of the Santa Danda Claus belief. Nothing to do with Santa belief people coming in and taking the jobs of those jungle Bunnies.
Now we have Kamala Harris taking up the cloak of Jungle Bunnies while playing pander to Santa Danda Claus.
What could have been. This is Watts Stax, the answer to Woodstock.
Just before the Santa Danda Claus started invading and taking the jobs.
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Something to keep in mind, an egalitarian/equal society is equally important to happiness of society.
Excerpts from Article
While the US ranks among the least equal and mobile countries in the developed world, recent work shows that it contains places that span the global mobility distribution.
Persistence in income from one generation to the next is higher in unequal societies like the UK and the US, and weakest in the relatively equal Scandinavian countries (the ‘Great Gatsby curve’)
Would would this map out similarly in South Asia, I think yes)
For example, equality and mobility are highest in the Midwest, where Scandinavian ancestry is common. The same goes for every group we study – for example, income mobility is lowest in areas where the population has Italian or British roots.
From Comments (read them too, please). One should point also out the common observation that all that Scandinavian solidarity is built on a great deal of ethnic homogeneity. The US problem has always been getting the melting pot to melt.
My mother, life-long Republican and descendant of Swedish grand-parents, blamed the “socialist” bent in MN on the dumb Ole-and-Lena’s who maintained their village mind-set of caring-through-conformity post-immigration. In her opinion, worldly-wise people knew better than to just hand money out to strangers. I thought about that a little when reading Tuesday’s piece about trust in society, and cat sick’s comment that keeping business (or wealth) within networks is a way to mitigate risk.
Sibi is a small rural town in Pakistan’s Balochistan Province and like many such places it has little to recommend it. It is occasionally the scene of terrorist attacks by Balochi separatists, it has no forts, palaces or ancient ruins that might attract tourists from outside, and it often records the highest temperatures in Pakistan. But as unlikely as it may seems this woebegone, dusty town was once the setting for one of Buddhism’s most enduring and beautiful legends.
In ancient times it was the capital of the small city state of Aritthapura and at one time was ruled by a king named Sivi or sometimes Sibi or Shibi. This king gets a mention in the Mahabharata and the Cholas of south India claimed to be descendants of him, a claim that had no basis in fact.
The earliest mention of King Sivi however is from the Jataka, in the Sivi Jataka, number 499 of the collection. According to this story the Bodhisattva was once reborn as King Sivi and he had made a vow to give anything if anyone asked it of him. Aware of this vow, Sakra decided to test the king to see how genuine his vow was. He manifest himself as a blind man and approached the king pleading; “Give me sight. Will no one give me sight?” Hearing this, filled with compassion, and determined to fulfil his vow, the king led the blind man to a surgeon and asked that his own eyes be taken out and transplanted into the sunken sockets of the blind man. At this point the Jataka increases the tension of the story by having the surgeon ask the king; “Are you sure this is what you want to do?” But the king is adamant and requests that the operation proceeds. What follows is a fairly explicit description of how the eyeballs were squeezed from their sockets, how the optic nerve (or is it the extraocular muscles?) is severed, and the pain this caused. Before the surgeon severs the optic nerve for good he again asks; “Are you sure you want me to do this? Once I cut it there is no turning back.” The king, now in terrible pain, begs the surgeon to hurry up and do the needful. The scene is so vivid that one is tempted to think that the ancient Indians may have actually tried to perform such an operation. As happens in most such Jatakas, the drama ends well with the king’s sight being restored.
In later Buddhist Sanskrit text there is another version of this story. Here King Sibi makes a vow that he will do whatever he can to save a life should the need ever arise. Saka manifests himself as a hawk who catches a dove within view of the king. Seeing this the king pleads with the hawk to release its prey but the bird retorts: “Then how am I to feed myself and my young?” The king thinks for a moment and then says; “I will cut some flesh from my thigh and give it to you if you let the dove go.” Driving a hard bargain the hawk agrees but says it wants the same amount of flesh as would have been provided by the dove. The king agrees, a pair of scales are produced and the process of slicing off a dove’s-worth of flesh is about to begin when Sakka reveals himself and expresses his satisfaction that King Sibi has had the courage to go through with his vow.
Although the imagery of cutting eyes balls out of their sockets or slicing flesh off a living person are disconcerting, even shocking, the purpose of both versions of this Jataka story is clear. A true hero will be prepared to sacrifice much of himself or herself for others. Jesus said pretty much the same thing in the Gospel of John: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
The Sivi version of the story is depicted in a relief from Sarnath and Nagajunakonda in Andhra Pradesh, in a mural on the walls of the Mulkirigala temple in Sri Lanka and elsewhere.
This version has had an unexpected consequence. Sri Lanka has the highest number of people willing to donate their corneas after death to be used to help restore sight to the blind. This is due to campaigning starting in 1964 by the Sri Lanka Eye Donation Society and also because Buddhists in the country are familiar with the story of King Sivi’s gift. The society has 450 branches in the country and every year is able to provide thousands of corneas to be used in eye surgery around the world.
The alternative Sibi version of the story is depicted in the art of numerous Buddhist countries. Perhaps the most well-known of these is the depiction on one of the panels of the great Buddhist temple of Borobudur in Java. In the middle of the panel a pair of large and impressive scales can be seen and in the right hand dish of the scales the dove is waiting to be weighed against the king’s flesh. This version of the story has had an influence too, although in literature rather than medicine.
In around 1597 William Shakespeare wrote his famous play The Merchant of Venice. In the play a young merchant promises to guarantee a loan his friend plans to take out in order to woo his sweetheart. The agreement is that if the loan, which is given without interest, cannot be repaid by a set date the moneylender will be repaid not in cash but with a pound (about 450 grams) of the guarantor’s flesh. The moneylender has made this stipulation because he secretly hates the guarantor and hopes that he will not be able to repay the money. The date passes without the loan being repaid and the moneylender demands his pound of flesh. The lender is soon able to repay the loan and even offers to double the amount rather have his flesh cut off, but the moneylender demands that the original agreement be kept. He does not want the money, he wants the pound of flesh. They go to court and the judges uphold the original agreement but they also decide that moneylender can have his pound of flesh but without shedding a drop of blood, which would be a criminal offence under the law.
This is one of Shakespeare’s most dramatic plays and the origin of the ideas in it have been explored in great detail. Its chief source was Giovanni Fiorentino’s llPecorone written in 1378. But where did Fiorentino get the idea of cutting off flesh of a certain weight to repay a loan? The simple answer is that no one knows. But the idea is so gripping, so iconic, so unusual, that one cannot help thinking that at some time before the 14th century, probably many centuries earlier, it may have travelled from India, through the Middle East and eventually filtered into Europe. If this is correct, it may be a small contribution Buddhist literature made to the works of Shakespeare.
The story of King Sibi endured for centuries despite the disappearance of Buddhism in India. In 1907 M. Longworth Dames published his Popular Poetry of the Baloches, containing English translations of verses, songs and poetry he had transcribed in the Balochi tongue during the previous decades. One of the poems he recorded in 1884 is immediately recognizable as the Jataka story, only the king is a Muslim named Ali.
But to return to the town of Sibi. In a semi-desert area to the south of the town is a collection of ruins. One of these looks suspiciously like it was once a stupa. We know that there was such a monument somewhere in or near the town because the Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang mentioned one in his travelogue, erected “where King Sivika sliced his body to ransom a dove from a hawk, in order to acquire Buddhahood.” No archaeological examination has ever been done to determine the date and purpose of this monument, and probably never will be. But it is quite likely that it is what remains of the stupa erected to commemorate King Sivi’s noble deed.
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