Tag Archives: Independence Day

Civil War in Hindu Society – Happy Independence Day!


Received August 15th evening

Violence broke out this morning on the highway.

We’ve been at Una Police Station since afternoon. The Una victim families, Balubai Sarvaiyya and others who feel threatened want police to escort them back to their villages after violence broke out on the highway today morning. Two cars have been burnt, vehicles are being stoned, roads are blocked. They also want police to put up a post in their villages. But the police is keeping mum. The families continue to agitate in whatever ways they can to express their anguish but the police is clearly indifferent. The Yatra came to an end today on a high note but how much has anything changed?

As Dalits march in hundreds of thousands in the Dalit Asmita Yatra from different places to Una, where four Dalits were flogged for skinning dead cattle, one contingent was physically attacked by ‘upper’ caste villagers at Samter village yesterday. A Bolero with 8 people inside was attacked, the vehicle was damaged and petrol was poured on the vehicle

(Video courtesy Dalit Camera)

Here is the route of this extraordinary journey covering 81 kilometers

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A Quick Analysis of the Independence Day Speech by President Rajapaksa

“There is great chaos under heaven – the situation is excellent.” Mao Zedong quoted by Slavoj Zizek a year ago amidst the revolt against Mubarak in Egypt.

Given recent developments, I am jotting down a quick analysis of the positions, concerns and silences in President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Independence Day speech today. The tone and substance of this speech is slightly different from the last few Independence Day speeches characterised by triumphalism and exuberance. The context of the speech is the mounting protests on the ground and increasing economic pressures.

The location of the speech in the historical city of Anuradhapura and the reference to Kebethigollawa in Anuradhapura District – the site of a horrific LTTE attack on a civilian bus in 2007 with tens of lives lost and scores injured which contributed to shifting the Sinhala public opinion fully behind the war effort – are attempts to remind the public of the horrors of war, the war victory and to mobilise Sinhala Buddhist nationalism. The solution, at the outset of the speech to all of Sri Lanka’s woes, is emphasised as the government’s “giant development works” as part of the march from “backwardness to modernity”.

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