« Prince Salie: A story of sapphires and steamships » by Ramla Wahab (Groundviews)

« Mohammed Usuff Mohammed Salie was born in 1877. He was the grandson of Mohamed Usuff, the Alim of the Kandawatte mosque in Galle, who was responsible for handwriting a Quran he knew by memory for his mosque.

Prince Salie was sent at a young age to Madras for his religious education. Like generations before and after him he learned to speak in the Arwi tongue, more commonly known as Arabo-Tamil which is a written register of the Tamil language that uses an Arabic alphabet. The language was an outcome of the cultural synthesis between seafaring Arabs and Tamil speaking Muslims of Sri Lanka. »

Via http://groundviews.org/2013/07/11/prince-salie-a-story-of-sapphires-and-steamships/

source: Groundviews

« Interview with MIXED RICE: Standing up for a diverse Sri Lanka » by Groundviews

The fact is, there are peaceful Sri Lankans all over the country, who contribute heavily to the society, love Sri Lanka as much as anyone else, and could not dream of being anything other than Sri Lankan. These people are having their rights and lifestyles threatened by those who seemingly wish to create a racial and religious hierarchy. Sri Lankans are being treated as outsiders in their own land, and as fellow human beings, we cannot and will not stand for that.
Read more here.
source: Groundviews

« The ascendent hate speech in Sri Lanka: In conversation with Mohamed Hisham » by Groundviews

Many Sri Lankans remain in denial about the horror of those years and resist calls to unearth (sometimes literally) the evidence. Some, obviously, are fearful that what they – or those close to them – did, or failed to do, will be exposed, while others may prefer to shy away from confronting the scale of suffering. The fact that certain leading figures in the government and opposition may be implicated has added to the pressure to let the past stay buried.
However this refusal to get to grips with what happened is not only unjust to the dead, the bereaved and the traumatised but may be largely to blame for the massive violence that has taken place in twenty-first century Sri Lanka and ongoing ethnic, religious and social divisions. What is more, all civilians are at risk when the state is regarded as unaccountable to anyone, able to torture, burn and kill with impunity.
See full interview here.
source: Groundviews

« The Asymmetric Relationship of Buddhist-Muslim Bond in Sri Lanka » by By Riza Yehiya

« Today, that certain segments of the media and some Buddhist clerics are spawning the thought that Islam and Muslims in Sri Lanka are a threat to Sinhalese Buddhism is a unique invention that no previous Buddhist scholars, leaders or laity have ever found. This is a foolish aspersion mocking  the intelligence of the people of this country. »

Read more here.

Source: Groundviews

« Sheep No More… » by SCT (Groundviews)

This evening (Friday, April 12th 2013) around 7.15pm on Havelock Road in front of the Sambuddhatva Jayanthi Building adjoining Laurie’s Road, I was reminded anew that there is no freedom in our land.

I am nearly 45 years old now, and for 30 long years, I have been reminded over and over again in different places, at different times that in many ways the citizens of Sri Lanka are trapped. We have been and still are, in fact increasingly so, trapped by our fear, our intolerance, our ignorance, our sheep like obedience, either to the powers that be or to our own desperate need to play safe and stay safe.

I am not a lawyer, a journalist, an academic or an activist. I am just an ordinary citizen who is sick of being intimidated by the forces that are empowered by us to protect us. I am tired of our short sighted, nepotistic governments, our corrupt politicians, our arrogant law enforcement officers, our extremist religious leaders, and our ignorant, complacent citizenry. I am just plain tired.

Read the article in full – http://groundviews.org/2013/04/13/sheep-no-more/

Source: Groundviews

« Police in Sri Lanka show their true saffron colors » by Groundviews

Clearly then, in Sri Lanka today, Buddhist “monks” destroying private property are kosher, but citizens attempting to light a candle, and walk peacefully in solidarity, are fit to be physically assaulted, hurled abuse at, arrested, intimidated and brutishly dispersed.

Our tweets and retweets are reproduced below, and include links to several Facebook status updates as well that clearly highlight fear, concern and opposition to what is now mainstream ethno-religious extremism, condoned by Police and with complete impunity, openly supported by Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the government of Sri Lanka.

Via http://groundviews.org/2013/04/13/police-in-sri-lanka-show-their-true-saffron-colours/

source: Groundviews