Monday, September 29, 2008

SRI LANKA HOLIDAYS; Non violence in Buddhism

Non Violence in Buddhism : Part 1

by B. U. N. Peiris, Moratuwa, Sri Lanka © B. U. N. Peiris

Recently a friend of mine wrote to me “When the US was massacring in cold blood Buddhist Vietnamese, the Buddhists in Sri Lanka never raised a word against them - nor did any Buddhist volunteer to go to Vietnam and fight on behalf of his brothers” Such absurd statements are products of the ‘Frog in the wall” mentality. To make a short story short, it must be said to make such statements is to labour under the delusion that one religion could be viewed through a lens of another religion. Everyman for himself & God against all.

In order to encapsulate, firstly, it must be stated that there is no conception of a Buddhist Brotherhood or Buddhist brothers: according to Buddhism all humans are brother irrespective of the race or religion. Secondly, Buddhism has no militant streak as in some religions;it denounces all forms of violence to the ultimate border making no provision for so called defensive militancy even where life or the religion is being threatened or being destroyed. Thirdly Budhist have never preached or practicsed aggressive conceptions such as anti-capitalism or anti communism:while mainly Buddhist China has been Communist, mainly Buddhist Japan has been Capitalist. Thirdly Buddhist have never displayed a paranoid hatred of United States of America in spite of atriccities commited against Japan, Korea, Vietnam & Cambodia. Most of all practice of Buddhism never given birth to conceptions similar to hysterical anti-Semitism & anti-Americanism manifestations of which were shell-shocked into the psyche of the rest of the world on 11th September 2001.

Buddhism, a highly profound religion is laid down in three books called Thripitaka, preaches toconquer hatred by love; conquer evil by good; conquer the stingy by generosity; conquer the liar by truth. It would be absurd to claim that such preaching are adhered by many given the human condition. Situation is similar to the Christianity in which non-violence is the cornerstone set by the theology & the example of the Christ & his disciples.

Although Crusader wars launched by the popes violated the conception of non-violence in Christianity, in contrast mainly Buddhist China & other mainly Buddhist Japan, Korea, Vietnam,Cambodia, Burma, Nepal or India in the ere of Emperor Asoka, have not collectively or individually have launched violent expeditions to defend Buddhism. In fact Afghanistan, Malaysia & Indonesia & some parts of India were converted from Buddhism to Islam by sword & fire.

In spite of being twice nuclear bombed, it has not held the United States of America in hatred but has embraced the American technology since the end of the second world war to rise with the electronic age & miraculously emerge as one of the most vibrant &strongest economies of the modern world within three decades

As the United States is the most advanced industrial nation in world it was able to make full use of the latest developments in technology in its war against North Vietnam. B-52 bombers, that could fly at heights that prevented them being seen or heard, dropped 8 million tons of bombs on Vietnambetween 1965 and 1973. This was over three times the amount of bombs dropped throughout the whole of the Second World War and worked out at approximately 300 tons for every man, woman and child living in Vietnam.

As well as explosive bombs the US air force dropped a considerable number of incendiary devices. The most infamous of these was napalm, a mixture of petrol and a chemical thickner which produces a tough sticky gel that attaches itself to the skin. The igniting agent, white phosphorus, continues burning for a considerable amount of time. A reported three quarters of all napalm victims in Vietnam were burned through to the muscle and bone (fifth degree burns). The pain caused by the burning is so traumatic that it often causes death.

The US also made considerable use of anti-personnel bombs. The pineapple bomb was made up of 250 metal pellets inside a small canister. Gloria Emerson, a reporter in Vietnam, witnessed their use: "An American plane could drop a thousand pineapples over an area the size of four football fields. In a single air strike two hundred and fifty thousand pellets were spewed in a horizontal pattern over the land below, hitting everything on the ground."

The United States also experimented with the use of plastic rather than metal needles and pellets in their antipersonnel bombs. The advantage of plastic was they could not be identified by X-Ray machines. Dropped on highly populated areas, antipersonnel bombs could severely disrupt the functioning of North Vietnam. It has been claimed that the major objective of the US bombing raids on North Vietnam was not to kill its 17 million population but to maim them. As was pointed out at the time, serious injury is more disruptive than death as people have to be employed to look after the injured where they only have to bury the dead.

One of the major problems of the US forces was the detection of the NLF hiding in the forests ofVietnam. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy approved Operation Ranch Hand. This involved the spraying of chemicals from the air in an attempt to destroy the NLF hiding places. In 1969 alone, Operation Ranch Hand destroyed 1,034,300 hectares of forest. 'Agent Orange', the chemical used in this defoliation programme not only destroyed trees but caused chromosomal damage in people.

Chemicals were also sprayed on crops. Between 1962 and 1969, 688,000 agricultural acres were sprayed with a chemical called 'Agent Blue'. The aim of this exercise was to deny food to the NLF. However, research suggests that it was the civilian population who suffered most from the poor rice harvests that followed the spraying.

In economic terms, the bombing hurt the economy of the United States more than North Vietnam. By the beginning of 1968, it was estimated that $300 million of damage had been done to North Vietnam. However, in the process, 700 US aircraft, valued at $900 million had been shot down. When all factors were taken into consideration it was argued that it cost the United States "ten dollars for every dollar's worth of damage inflicted."

Three million US soldiers served in Vietnam between 1965 and 1973. Only about a quarter of these were involved in direct combat with the NLF. The majority were employed in supplying the needs of the combat troops. However, because of Guerrilla Warfare, there were no 'front-lines' and most Americans in Vietnam came under attack from the NLF at some time during their stay in the country.

The United States Army drafted (called-up) soldiers at the age of eighteen. To protect them from the stress of war, draftees served in Vietnam for just over a year. As victory did not appear to be in sight, surviving this period became the soldiers' main objective. As one marine explained: "You developed a survival mentality. You stop thinking about what you're doing, and you count days. I knew I was in Vietnam for three hundred and ninety-five days, and if I was still alive at the end of those three hundred and ninety-five days, I'd go home and forget the whole thing. That was the way you operated."

Not all young men in America were drafted. There were several ways that men could avoid being sent to Vietnam. The most popular way was to go to college. For example, eight of 10 Vietnam-era presidential candidates managed to avoid going to Vietnam. George Bush, the current president of the United States avoided the war by enlisting in the Texas Air National Guard. B-52 bombers, that could fly at altitudes that prevented them being seen or heard, dropped 8 million tons of bombs onVietnam between 1965 & 1973. This was over three times the amount of bombs dropped throughtout the whole of the Second World War & it worked out at approximately 300 tons for every man, women & child living in Vietnam.

As the war continued, more and more Americans turned against it. People were particularly upset by the use of chemical weapons such as napalm and agent orange. In 1967, a group of distinguished academics under the leadership of Bertrand Russell, set up the International War Crimes Tribunal. After interviewing many witnesses, they came to the conclusion that the United States was guilty of using weapons against the Vietnamese that were prohibited by international law. The United States armed forces were also found guilty of torturing captured prisoners and innocent civilians. The Tribunal, and other critics of the war, claimed that the US behaviour inVietnam was comparable to the atrocities committed by the Nazis in Europe during the Second World War.

In November, 1965, Norman Morrison, a Quaker from Baltimore, followed the example of the Buddhist monk, Thich Quang Due, and publically burnt himself to death. In the weeks that were to follow, two other pacifists, Roger La Porte and Alice Herz, also immolated themselves in protest against the war.

Henry Kissinger was put in charge of peace talks and In October, 1972, he came close to agreeing to a formula to end the war. The plan was that US troops would withdraw from Vietnam in exchange for a cease-fire and the return of 566 American prisoners held in Hanoi. It was also agreed that the governments in North and South Vietnam would remain in power until new elections could be arranged to unite the whole country.

The main problem with this formula was that whereas the US troops would leave the country, the North Vietnamese troops could remain in their positions in the south. In an effort to put pressure onNorth Vietnam to withdraw its troops. President Richard Nixon ordered a new series of air-raids onHanoi and Haiphong. It was the most intense bombing attack in world history. In eleven days, 100,000 bombs were dropped on the two cities. The destructive power was equivalent to five times that of the atom bomb used on Hiroshima. This bombing campaign was condemned throughout the world. Newspaper headlines included: "Genocide", "Stone-Age Barbarism" and "Savage and Senseless".

The North Vietnamese refused to change the terms of the agreement and so in January, 1973, Nixon agreed to sign the peace plan that had been proposed in October. However, the bombing had proved to be popular with many of the American public as they had the impression that North Vietnam had been "bombed into submission."

The last US combat troops left in March, 1973. It was an uneasy peace and by 1974, serious fighting had broken out between the NLF and the AVRN. Although the US continued to supply the South Vietnamese government with military equipment, their army had great difficulty using it effectively.

On June 11, 1963, Thich Quang Due, a sixty-six year old monk, sat down in the middle of a busy Saigon road. The monk poured petrol over his own head and lit a match to set himself on fire. One eyewitness later commented: "As he burned he never moved a muscle, never uttered a sound, his outward composure in sharp contrast to the wailing people around him." While Thich Quang Due was burning to death, the monks and nuns gave out leaflets calling for Diem's government to show "charity and compassion " to all religions. Quang Due became a hero to the Buddhists in Vietnam, and he dramatized their cause for the rest of the world..

The government's response to this suicide was to arrest thousands of Buddhist monks. Many disappeared and were never seen again. By August another five monks had committed suicide by setting fire to themselves. One member of the South Vietnamese government responded to these self-immolations by telling a newspaper reporter: "Let them burn, and we shall clap our hands." Another offered to supply Buddhists who wanted to commit suicide with the necessary petrol.

SRI LANKA HOLIDAYS: Teaching English

Good morning to you, sirs.

First things first. And that is, I feel privileged to have a chance to teach non other than Buddhist Bhiksus themselves, albeit English language. 

My name is Upul Peiris. You can call me Upul. Ideally, we must speak only in English in this class. But then again we will speaking in Sinhala on & off. After all, our mother tongue here & there makes matters easier while learning English. That is a bone of contention. Some says we mustn’t speak in Sinhalese in English classes.

Now, when we speak in English I am supposed to address you Sirs. Reason is obvious, of course. You are above me. Of course, there is one above all of us. So we have a reversal of mode of addressing in this class. You may of course, simply call me Upul. 

Now let me give you the good news. There is only one rule of grammar in English Language. That is subject must agree with predicate. Subject must be in concordance with Predicate. As in Sinhala Ukthaya must agree with Akhyataya.So some of you are having a smile & others are having a hearty laugh.And some others are muttering “what nonsense?” What about all the rules we have learnt all these years?

Now, all other rules you have heard or you have learnt are not really rules. Those are conventions of the language.  Sampradaya  See we used Sinhala & you got it on the double.

It is said Shakespeare broke the conventions here & there. But then that was Shakespeare. As the saying goes, Shakespeare invented English language. So he is entitled to do things we aren’t. We cannot break the conventions.

OK, let me give you bad news, now. And there are numerous conventions. Many conventions. And you have to learn all the conventions of the English language.  You may learn all & adhere to all. OK, I’ll give you good news again. Don’t worry once you learn the tenses of the language, remainder is easier. Easy piecy

Then again how many tenses do we have in English language? Ok, how many tenses do we have in Sinhala language?  ThreeNow, we have twelve tenses in English language.Remember that as A NEAT DOZEN.  So you don’t forget how many. OK?A dozen is a lovely number. Everybody loves a dozen. No. there isn’t a dirty dozenSo first of all, we go about learning the tenses. We can make it, mostly interactive so that you it would be easier for you to remember.Now again, since you are Buddhist monks your level of concentration is superior to the average students of English. So you begin with an edge over others. It cannot get any better.

So, with your training steeped in Buddhism, with your discipline anchored in Buddhism, you have a definite advantage over others to learn English quicker.

I am of the opinion the present generation of young Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka must achieve proficiency in English.  So the next generation of monks would become much more proficient in English. We need you, Sirs, to guard our nation in the future too as you have been doing throughout our unbroken recorded history. In this modern world you need proficiency in English language. Our enemies are sophisticated; we need to keep abreast with them.

No matter, you are of superior powers of concentration. You must revise the lesson within 24 hours. After 24 hours your memory begins to fade. So to renew your memory of the lesson, to retain the substance of the lesson, please go through it within 24 hours following each lesson of ours. You can make it quick, short, but you have to do it.

There are a couple of herbs recognized as having the quality of enhancing human memory. One is Gingko Bilabo of Malaysia. The other one is our own Gotukola. We have the right stuff. To prepare Gotukola Sambola you need to get it washed with soap, yes soap & water & then with salt water & water to get off the parasites. Porridge is fine since boiled food is free of parasites. Too bad, now I am talking about killing with Buddhist Bhikshus. 

You need to set your heart & mind to our joint effort. Manadil Urdi Vendum.  Moral courage is necessary. Yes, that is Tamil. But fanaticism has nothing to do with courage.

Together we can do this. You will learn & you will learn fast. I had a couple of chances to have chats with young Buddhist monks at Ali Denna Pansala & Godigamuwa pansla. Having listened them I thought how useful if they were proficient in English language too. They could compose enlightening articles to foreign newspapers. Sri Lanka needs all the publicity on our heritage. Buddhist monks must lead the campaign. We will follow.

I have set an objective. That is to raise your level of English language to a certain level. Once I take you up to this level, you become hungry of English language & get used to reading.Then onwards the path is easier to achieve a superior command of English language.

Now don’t think you can master English language. At which level of proficiency would you say that you have mastered English language? Because, as you know, when it comes to learning, there is no end. Mastery never comes or you never reach mastery. But you can achieve a superior command of language. If you would like call somebody a master of English language, there is only one choice. And he is dead. His name is William Shakespeare. All other writers, Conrad, Dickens, Hardy  etc., turned out tremendous volume of works with their superior command of the English language. Much superior than any living writer. To Buddhist there is only one master. His name is Gauthama.So master & mastery are sacred words too. We need not use such words in vain. Once, exhausted, Tony Greg told his fellow Indian commentator to spare the words. Indians, you know, like all the big words in the world. Just call the spade, a spade. Don’t call it land excavating tool. If you do, by god, I would call the grave digger, a subterranean excavating engineer. Now, how strong is your English vocabulary? How many words are you familiar with?

Now, listen to this.To speak English language fluently you must have a vocabulary of at least 7000 words. As they say, to roll in English language you must have a vocabulary of 7000 words.

Shakespeare is known to have made use of 30,000 words in his works.  Can you imagine? Dickens 20,000. Most of other prominent writers around 15,000. English language has 600,000 plus words. Yes, that’s an enormous number of words. British ruled half the world, remember? So they have numerous foreign words too. For eg. Disease Beriberi is derived from Sinhalese bary bary. Catamaran is derived from Tamil words Kattu maram meaning two logs.  What is our target?

By the end of our study course you must feel like having a vocabulary of minimum of 8000 words. You must feel you speak better than an average speaker of English language. By the end of our study course you must be conversant with grammar.By the end of study course you must feel hungry, very hungry to read & read. Once you have read tons, you will write with a superior command of English. Speaking is easier. You watch TV, you read newspapers, you speak in English in our class

You will be picking up English all the time. You will be speaking fluently within a couple of years.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

SRI LANKA HOLIDAYS: From Justine to Samson

From Justine to Samson by bunpeiris
Most of the European tourists tour in Sri Lanka are keen bird watchers. So I thought you too could be interested in the flying birds. Nice to here that you are & now have it right on your office desk.  I of course, am a great lover of non flying long legged birds. No, I didn’t mean Ostrich & Kiwi. What do you imagine, am I a Camel? Yes, I know you guys in Europe have no problems, no qualms in watching birds of many feathers as they do have in America. So it was at the expense of Janaet Jackson’s nipple that the Americans were leaving no effort spared  to produce boobgate or nipplegate. Justine Timberlake &  Janet Jackson were performing “Rock your body“ during the 18 minute interval show during AFP telecast of Super Bowl ( everthing in USA is super & everything else in USA is grand, kidding or no kidding,)  & Timberlake has just sung “I’ll get you naked by the end of this song“ as he moved in to pull off a leather cup to expose Janet.  Timberlake was as good as his word, or the words he sang so enthusiastically. And thanks & credit to him, America had a gleeful eyeful of nice boobful! Alas! Activist groups cried bloody murder just for a tit as if it was dynamite. What the hell men, just shut up. Oh! Poor Janet. Don’t cry, honey we love your music. We love you too, with or without you displaying your lovely chololate tit. This too will pass. Wet lingering French kiss betweeen Madona & Britney Spears on the MTV awards last August passed too. Naughty MTV!
By the way,Janet, honey,  if you hadn’t learned meanings of the words, decency & vulgarity  in the secondary school, you could have joined my master class: Man is the measure of all things ( with apologies to Pythagoras); words would not have existed unless the  conceptions are already instilled in the humanity. “Shakespeare invented the human as we continue to know it“argued Professor Harold Bloom  in his bold Thesis “Shakespeare: The Invention of Human.“ The Master has made use of 30000 words. Should that turns out be Greek to you honey, let us read German:Terry Lane has defined schadenfreude as the sensation experienced when you see two Mercedes Benz collide; Clive James admits to schadenfreude when he sees his rival's books in the remainders bin. What’s more, the word has come into vogue these days, with American news of the celebrity & elite. Times Digest of 14th March 2004 ( from The New york Times) reports, “For many, the joint Omarosa-Martha beheading was a double schadenfreude. Both women have been frequently slapped with b word by detractors, who despise in them the aggressive, self absorbed & haughty behavior that is routinely countenanced in male masters of the universe.” The report refers to Martha Stewart, billionaire chef, designer celebrity who fell from grace with tax evasion charges & on obstruction of justice as well as the NBC hit reality show “The Apprentice“ contestant audiences loved to hate, Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth who was ritually fired by real estate developer business tycoon Donald Trump. Two tragedies fell upon two women within the space of two days are twin joys (double schadenfreude) to most of other women as well as some men. Shameless Naked Apes!
R. C. Trench, etymologist and author of “English Past and Present and On the Study of Words” says       ” What a fearful thing that any language should have a word expressive of the pleasure which men feel at the calamities of others; for the existence of the word bears testimony to the existence of the thing.”  Now you got the form & substance, honey, isn’t it? Didn’t I drive the point to the hilt, honey pot? The words decency & vulgarity exists together with the conceptions. Just remember, such little words & life would be much simpler to you, honey. Shut the f.. up man, treat the lady with some respect. Who the bloody hell are you to preach, what have you achieved? And the lady is in the top of the world.
The National Football League was fuming. “We were extremely disappointed by the MTV- produced half time show. It was totally inconsistent with assurances our office was given about the content of the show. The show was offensive, inappropriate & embarrassing to our fans & us. It’s unlikely that MTV will produce another Super Bowl halftime.”  The Americans learned their lesson: on 29th February 2004, at the Oscars, or Academy Awards, the U. S. film industry’s highest honors given by Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, for the first time ever the live telecast had a five-second delay in case some star decided to make some other daring move like Janet. It wasn’t needed. No star dared to pull Janetine stunts.
“It was not my intention that it go as far as it  did. I apologise to anyone offended, including the audience, MTV, CBS, & the National Football League“ We accept your apologies sweetheart, yet just in case you are still  serious of exposing your treasures- brown boobs with choloate nipples- Private Ltd, producer of adult movies, sponsores of Cannes Hard Porno Film Festival of 2004, would surely  be pleased to accomadate you to compete with gorgeous stars posing with pulled up  or rolled  up  complemantary Private brand T-shirts  to dazzle proud creamy boobs with strawberry nipples.They did just that in 2003 at Festival De Cannes at the Mediterranean island of Santa Magurita, a French Reveira at Cannes. Those sultry & lissome hard porno stars, all pretty maids in row were nice, sexy & daring, perhaps even bit too daring for some of the proffessional, they had to lock themselves up in the nearest men’s room to get the the high tension off in the electrfying atmosphere.  Most were not satisfied with showing off their luscious boobs. Kissing, hugging, caresing, necking, petting..  oooh! la la . This is France: that is the place. Hard porno festival: that is the time.  Right time & ideal place for the perfect dolls, Janet, honey. Impreesive tits of superstar Rita Palthoyana were at all times were focal point of most avid photographers, she obliged by even licking  her own strawberry nipples while pushin up her proud cream boobs, that she cupped in her downey palms. And  with all smiles radiant. You could be daring too Janet.  And the American shy boys who daren’t  steal a glance not to mention direct ogle would dream of a phonographic version of  “Corner Shot“ with a shooting range of 200 meters with a 5.7 mm rifle that provides protection to the soldier by enbabling him to engage targets out of their line of sight & shoot down a street, through a window or a door frame with maximum accuracy while keeping out of the line of fire. Russian soldiers during the bloody World War 2 siege of Stalingrad first had the idea of bending the barrels of their rifles to shoot around corners & their Nazi opponents developed a purpose built attachement fitted with a periscope they called the krummerlauf. E- mail address of the inventor, Amos Golan, a retired lieutenant colonel of Israeli anti-terrorist unit &  joint CEO of Corner Shot Holdings, a Israeli-US company is available on order. Please contact We accept Diners Club Cards & Master Cards.
Oh! Yes, I agree with you, of course I’ll put my bet where your mouth is, on your side at your insistance that those TV viewres who made the protest & thretnening to sue poor Janet are the ones, who would lean forward to ogle at the details of her chocolate tit. I wonder what would the Americans say for a Swedish style weather forecast with a sultry blonde meterologist stripping herself off piece by piece. Weather forecast with a striptease to entertain you. Joys in the world are endless as is the suffering. Oh! Sweet Jesus, Maria & Joseph, such toned & tanned long legs!  Oh! Captain general Colombus, Santaaaa Mariaa, Nina & Pinta,  grant us to  discover what she uncover. What a gorgeous  bird? Fly over my starboard & perch on my bridge. Oh! Dear! Deer Hunter ( handsome Robert De Niro), if you remember, was in love with the wife ( regal Meryl Streep)  of his friend (Christopher Walken) who became addicted to playing Russian Roulette on gambling in Saigon blackholes, refused to return to States. It was the wife of his friend that De Nero hunted & seduced since he returned to States. In Eastern Literature beautiful & innocent women are depicted as Deer. She deer. The title of the film “The Deer Hunter“ was arrived on this concept. The opening scene of the film, game  hunting of Deer was not relevant to the tilte of the film. Nor was the Vietnam war in which the story was set in. In spite of being in love with the wife of his friend, De Niro returns to Saigon to bring his friend back to States & to back to his lovely young wife. “One last game, just one last... We will be returning Home.“  No, man, no... no  no... do not do this..  no,.   Gun held to the temple .. one gun .. one bullet... six chambers..   play the ultimate gamble...  this just one last time, after all these years of astonishing luck, feel & weight of the chamber, the bullet was in the wrong chamber of the revolver. At April 1979,The Deer Hunter won  Oscars for best film, best director, best supporting actor.
What would have stired if not shaken ( sorry Bond) the mind of a second world war veteran friend of yours who fought in Russia that he could no longer aim a hunting gun at a Deer while still among traditional hunter family members? While Eurpoeans are keen game hunters, even in that game Americans have done one better, or rather worse: in their gluttony  to have  more moose meat on the dining table, instead of hunting simply Moose thay have started killing Wolves too. The theory is if the population of Wolves who prey on Moose is minimised the hunters will be able to have a part of the Wolve’s share too in addition to the hunter’s share. To this end Alaska it is now legalised for private citzens to shoot wolves  from fixed winged, single engine small private aircrats  & helicopters.That is not game hunting, that is bloody slaugter. In one of thedistricts of Alaska,  limit forkilling wolves has been increased from 10 wolves a year to 10 wolves a day. Age-old war on Wolves has resumed with a age-old savagery by the modern naked Ape. Disgusting! Could you please pass roasted once again? Delicious!
In your experience, it was the birth of your daughter that triggered emotions that overwhelmed the appetite to hunt hares & ducks & fish. Amazing, isn’t it? But lovely. How nice to get rid of the habit of game hunting & angling?  According to Budhism it is a sin to take lives of other living beings.  Once Reuter reported of how a Sinhalese soldier  treated and cured a calf seriously wounded by a stray bullet during a battle with separatist Tamil Tigers. Even after a ferocious bloody battle the soldier’s kind feelings towards the beast reamined unabated.Most of the battle hardened soldiers of Sri Lankan Army are still, at heart are boys from rural areas who wouldn’t say boo to a cat. Stillmore, in their rural upbringing, they are used to sheperd,  york cows & buffalows. Once during a conscription nterview a military officer questioned the would be soldier on his qualifications on sports.  Sir I can wrestle with any rouge baffalo, tame & york it the plough within half an hour“ replied the boy. “Sir this is my youngest son. My two elder sons already gave their lives for our country. Take my third & only remianing son to fight for his country too, sir, for he is as brave as his brothers.“That was his mother.
In the biography of Asia’s second Pol Pot,“Inside an Elusive Mind”  Prabhakaran, Indian journalist  M. R. Narayan Swamy narrates. “Kittu frequently zipped around in Jaffna, with a small monkey perched on his shoulders. Kittu had once shot a monkey by mistake. When he saw that the killing had orphaned its young one, he made it his pet” No more monkey killing, bloody Ape. Kittu was Asia’s second Pol Pot’s most trusted lieutenant until he was killed in naval battle with Indian Navy during a gun running operation. In fact Kittu must have killed the monkey, in Vietnam style, for Monkey meat is a delicacy to the savages. Biographers are sympathetic to their heroes. but to give the devil his due credit, the Tamil Tiger would have saved the young monkey.  Yet the Tamil Tigers destroyed the whole Island. As if the loss of lives & limbs were not enough, colossal damage to the economy wasn’t enough, byproducts of long drawn out war since 1983 have erupted in every sphere, field & aspect of our island nation: whole social fabric was torn into pieces; social conventions are shattered; sense of morality is blunted. We are sliding down the spiral towards the abyss. To the rich & powerful & corrupted, the poor & powerless & innocent have become the most exploitable citizens.
While I was in Sri Lanka, my second sister was given date in June for the surgical eye operation for Cataract. The best eye surgeon of the Island Dr. D. Amara has become so famous our stupid Sri Lankans were wiling even to have been kept in the waiting list for long months. That was in the main government eye hospital in  Colombo.  Since it was an incredible folly to wait until June, We tried another hospital a couple of miles from our city only to have the operation in April. I gaped, April???   “That’s how the matters grind on here.” said my father. “More like matters have grinded to a halt” I groaned.  So we made a move towards a private hospital. The eye surgeon therein advised my sister to have the operation done by Dr. D.Amara himself, since he was the one who had already successfully operated her right eye a year ago. The kind doctor explained since my sister is still young (42) & the technology used by herself (non foldable lens) & Dr. D. Amara (foldable lens) being different - it would be much better to have the operation done by Dr. Amara.. Good doctor scribbled a letter on behalf of my sister– Dear Charith, Please be kind enough…  
Dansons, Colombo. The island’s oldest & one of the best private hospitals. All local physicians & specialists educated in 4 universities of Sri Lanka are required to work in the government hospitals in view of free university education scheme (pay back time now, dear doctors.) Yet they were allowed to practice in private hospitals after hours & on holidays. Dr. D. Amara who works in the main eye hospital of Sri Lanka also do work on Durdens private hospital too. “Consultation appointments with Dr. D. Amara are given only on Sunday. Today we have 70 patients & 30 of them have undergone eye-operations & have returned for post operation examination.” Said a clerk at the reception Center. “ Dr. De Mel   of Delman Hospital wants us to hand over a letter to Dr. D. Amara.” I said. “ In that case, could you please  wait until 6 pm when Dr. Amara’s receptionist nurse comes you may speak to her try your luck” That’s fine Thanks. 
There were 70 patients. We didn’t have a number, yet my sister was called in just after No. 6 patient. My sister rushed in with my eldest sister while I waited outside. Good Doctor has spoken to them kindly.  I am unable to do the operation tomorrow. “today is 19th Jan. Is 25th Jan is fine for you?” That’s wonderful Doctor.”
All of a sudden, the matter is so easy.  I was naïve. I ought to have realized the leading medical specialists do have breaks & blanks in their schedule to entertain the requests of high & mighty. So why not the relations?
At my brother’s home : “So what happens to the existing lens?” asked my 11-year-old nephew “I have no idea.”  On the day of the operation while we were buying the crystalline foldable lens at M/s Delmage Forsyth & Co., I learned what happens to the existing lens. It is crushed in to dust with a drill & suctioned out of the eye & replaced with the crystalline lens. So I reported back to my nephew, (eh! His questions & queries are endless) when we returned home after the operation. “Last week he didn’t know what happens to the existing lens. Now he got to know that too. He wouldn’t play a second fiddle to grandfather” remarked my third niece (14) to her elder sister (16).
The crystalline lens cost USD 100 & hospital charges USD 100.  The most prominent eye-surgeon of the island, Dr. D. Amara charges USD 70 as surgeon’ fees alone for an operation that is done in ten minutes.  USD 70 X 30 Patients a day- 30 cataract operations. USD 2100 a day for at least 4 days a week. And the monthly salary of a female nurse is USD 100. Disparity of income tantamount to obscenity. It is profane & really offensive. How do we justify this colossal disparity in income of our little island? Nobody cares: nobody even dream of rectifying such affairs: regulating the hospital & doctors charges at private hospitals. Do our stupid Sri Lankans like it very much? Two decades ago seven newly formed finance companies collapsed making the depositors beat their breasts for the rest of their lives. Chairman of one of the companies escaped to Australia leaving a plaque on his office desk: “when going get tough, tough get going.’ Obviously a great fan of Bruce Springsteen. It was only after the notorious failure, the Central Bank introduced a regulatory body for the finance companies. Our bureaucrats failed to establish a regulatory body in the beginning & gave them the finance companies a free hand; our stupid masses, who failed to realize the absence of a regulatory body on finance companies, deposited their life savings in view of higher interest rates compared to established & renowned bans. That is our Island.
Since we are now tired of discussing all these bitter affairs, perhaps it would be soothing to relax & focus on a Pretty Women. The business tycoon  is furious his down town working class sleeping patner  was snubbed . (“They were mean to me”) at a high end designer outfits, haute couture shop at Beverly Hills. He escorts her back.
Richard Gere: (Nodding at the direction of Pretty Julia Roberts) You see this lady over there? Do you have anything in this shop as beautiful as she is?
Beverly hill shop Manager: Yes, of course…. Oh! No no no I mean we have many things as beautiful as she would want to be, that’s … that’s the point… I think we can all agree on that.
Richard Gere: We are going to need few more people helping her out as we are going to be spending an obscene amount of money in here. So we need a lot more help sucking up money.
Beverly Hills shop Manager: Sir, if I may say so, you are in the right store & right city, for that matter.
Exactly how obscene the amount of money you have in min, profane or really offensive?
Richard Gere: Ree….a..a.lly Offensive.
Beverly Hill shop Manager: I like it very much.
If we, the stupid Sri lankans do like it very much, the reason ought to have been we have become indifferent to our day to day  travails amidst the chaos of social decline, caused by the terrorism by the sectionist  guerrillas. Some years ago I too had a sort of disparaging indifference.
Once a friend of mine faxed me a letter to editor by one Mrs. Golbai Gunasekera narrating, vehicle traffic, garbage dumps, politicians what not….  I replied to him, minced no words: “While we are wondering about the lives of thousands of those splendid young men who gave their lives so that others could live, but all in vain since the days are numbered of the Island Race of 2500 years of unbroken recorded history, it is fascinating to see the suffering at which Golbai beating her breast about. She cry her heart out that og garbage close to her home; how sinister is the colour of tinted shutters of the vehicles our buffaloes traveling by the Diyawanaa Oya; that of being invaded her privacy at home by the policeman while she was not wearing her wonderful make-up. Which third world country is free of such harassment of the masses at the hands of those in power? If I have a reason to be glad, in spite of the imminent doom of the Island, let it be, that so far no politician was able to pump millions of Dollars of people’s money to Swiss banks as Bhutto,Marcos, Suharto & others of their kind did. Would you please come back when that happens? With Love (Italics are mine too )
My friend replied.  “I have to give it it you! Know something, I was highly impressed by what she has written. However your comments completely changed my thinking... How come I missed such a vital point? Your writing is classic. Congrats.
Since then I have developed a sharply contrasting point of view: I have come to realize, in spite of the economic & social chaos caused by the terrorism, we must not fall into a time of indifference. We must talk of Kings & Cabbages: why we have only one cancer hospital for the whole island; why only 4 universities that could accommodate only the cream of the cream of the nation; why we do not get assistance from European countries to have technical colleges founded in the line of German Technical College of Sri Lanka: why don’t we found hospital in the line of Japanese gifted hospital; why we do not hire foreign physicians & specialists; why we do not have foreign expertise on national security; why should pay offensive government tax; municipality tax; why is the high price of rice; why public funds wasted on luxury cars for the politicians; why we have such a high percentage of cataract patients; why state transport decline day by day; why we do not have more & more duplication roads in parallel with main roads in the capital city; why we do not expand railway network; why is this cruelty to  children. We must rise up, speak up, push our politicians, statesman & administrators & civil servant, & beurocrats to wounds scattered all over the national social fabric. We must not sink into abyss. We must find solutions to all;solve all. All is not lost.
In his maiden speech, “Cruelty to children’, as a Member of Parliament delivered at the Rajya Sabha of India, in 1989, by famous Indian writer R. K. Narayan stated  ”…. “I am now pleading for the abolition of the school bag, as a national policy, by an ordinance if necessary. I have investigated & found that an average child carries strapped to his back like a pack-mule, not less than six to eight kgs of books, notebooks & other paraphernalia of modern education in addition to lunch-box & water bottle. Most children on account of this daily burden develop a stoop & hang their arms forward like chimpancies while walking, & I know cases of serious spinal injuries in some children too. Asked why not leave some books behind at home, the child explains it is her teacher’s orders that all books & notes must be brought everyday to the class, for what reasons God alone knows. If there is a lapse, the child invites punishment, which takes the form of being rapped on the knuckles with a wooden scale; a refinement from our days when we received cane cuts on the palm only. The child is in such terror of the teacher, whether known as sister, Mother Superior, or just Madam, that he or she is prepared to carry out any command issued by the teacher, who has no imagination or sympathy. “That was in 1989. On 3rd March 2004, One Mohammed Haseebullah form India writing to Saudi Gazette states. “Finally we are on the Raj Bhavan road, but again there is a traffic jam. Another VIP entourage? No, this time it is an accident, an auto with just 11 school going children & their 20 kilo bags (each) collided with an Indian feeling- good father who was taking his four children to school on his scooter.”
Plight of school children in Sri Lanka is not far behind. When I asked my 10 year old niece why her school bag is so heavy she replied since on some days periods at school is not held according to the time tables all children are asked to bring all text books & note books so that they would be ready for any change of schedule in subjects on any given day. As Narayan said teachers of the third world countries have on sympathy or imagination. Once my eldest sister happened to witness the holy antics of the Reverend Mother, principal of the convent college to a couple of parents who were seeking admission of their daughter. “We do not accept Buddhist Children That is the end of the story” proclaimed the Reverend Mother thumping on the desk.“ Taken aback by the outrageous insolence the father of the child retorted. “This is not the manner even a reverend sister ought to speak. And you are a Reverend Mother, a principal of a college, if you have no idea how a Mother ought to speak, kindly that is, you must know at least how to speak as a human being ….  Shouting & thumping like a thug. We are going to petition to Bishop himself.” My nieces, now 21, 16 & 14 were admitted to the Convent College only thanks to the recommendation letter from the Commanding Officer of the Air force base close to our city. My eldest niece (21)  now follows a degree course in Microbiology in Banglore. My 4th niece (10) one & only child of my third sister was admitted to the same college only because  her 3 cousins studied Christianity as religion at the college. It was at my behest my nieces started studying Christianity at the college. With my move, their father was quick to have them admitted to Buddhist Sunday School so that they could learn Buddhism at least on Sunday. His death in an aircrash brought in untold sorrows & loss to all of us. He was our front man, point man. I have never seen him taken a step back. On that fateful day, it was not his turn to fly. When it was only a couple of weeks ago Tamil Tigers has acquired Surface to Air (SAM) missiles & shot down two military aircrafts, he volunteered to fly. He lived & died like Samson.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


The Literary Canon Vs Barbaric ignorance by bunpeiris

Written by B. UPUL N. PEIRIS, Sri Lanka

In the beginning there was the word: the word that spreads as bush fire on this bloody day is not confined to a little known island in the east, but all around the world. A minority community, which has been unjustly subjected to so called racial discrimination, at last, being at the receiving end of their great patience & humanity takes up arms against the regime of the majority, David against Goliath. There goes the reporter’s sensationalized interpretation, a far cry from the truth. Once again, the history, as the wise say repeats. Blood is spread & thunder is heard. Murder is everywhere & mayhem is the order of the day: paradise lost. Ah! There lands John Milton.

Ah! Milton goes to work. “How was that you gentleman in such haste managed to report the half a dozen of civilians killed in the crossfire between the defense forces & the terrorists while you failed to report the bloody massacre of half of that village, by the terrorists, just a couple of miles away?" Asks our military spokesman from our just landed Milton. “Oh! We ran out petrol & there was no way of reaching there.” Replies Milton getting into stock answer barrel. Stock answer shock the listner. “The function of a good news paper & therefore of a good journalist is to see life steady & see it whole” James Fallows, former Carter Aide & & an editor of the Atlantic Monthly & author of Breaking news, comments: “ Seeing life steady means keeping the days events in proportion. Seeing it whole means understanding the connections of varied happenings”. He finds most of the world media dramatically lacking when measured against this simple standard. Far from seeing life steady, the media unsettles the conduct of the nation’s affairs; far from seeing it whole, it fractures reality into inconsequential bit & pieces.

Close at the very heels of the journalists are the politicians for the simple reason for both parties are unable do without other. “What’s the matter sir, what’s in a parliamentary seat sir, to a wealthy man of your caliber? Even if you loss at the elections, you will still be enjoying your wealth, turning out designer furniture at your factory, having the services of your loyal followers, so what’s the point of sulking to this extent?" “ Why don’t you see point, stupid? This is not dissimilar to hooked on to Opium. Opium of power gained by way of politics is an addiction. How could I live without the power bestowed upon me by virtue, or rather by vice of being a parliamentary member, a minister & honor that court me day & night every nook & cranny?" “ Well, sir, there is a way out, one way of your party winning the election”. “I am listening”. " Why don’t you play up to the minority?"

Just a couple of concessions here & there to the minority at the expense of the majority & your party will secure the whole damn minority votes, block & seats & before dawn your once again in power with a coalition. : "Will not my ancestors turn in their graves?" “They will, anyway sir, if you lose at the elections”. "How do I go about this?" “Oh! Just say of course minority is suffering; they have legitimate grievances alien to the majority: it was injustice to constitute language of 75% of the population of the Island as the working language of the state in spite of minority language being the working language of minority areas. We must redress the wounds”. “The truth is that politics, which should be most simply defined as the solving of societal problems, is often anything but that. Says Film Director John Malkovich. Could the terrorist ever dream of better bedfellows than politicians of the majority? On the day, the 72% of the majority of the population, a race which is already designated as endangered is given the Final Solution by the Asia’s second Pol Pot, in the tradition of Herr Hitler to the Jews, would there be at least a footnote in the annals of history recording the politicians of the majority race being the perpetuators of the sodomy of their own race? Time will tell, definitely.

And then follows no other community but the Useful Idiots: so called intellectuals, as Lenin himself was quick to recognize the invaluable use of those. Oh! Yes, it is truth, but nothing but absolute truth: the minority has been suffering for a long time, It is high noon the majority redress the grievances of the ethnic minority. The strong man with a dagger is followed by the weak man with the sponge, quipped Lord Acton. Until the boy who yelled, “ The King is naked” emerge once again from the madness, wilderness, melee & chaos, there is no escape. Waiting for the boyot. In the year 1995, State Department awarded USD 500,00 contract to a Yale University genocide research, head by Ben Kiernan, a professor well known-even self confesses-as an early apologist for the Po Pot regime. An academic battle triggered when Harvard Research associate Stephen Morris attacked Kieran in he All Street Journal. Under the headline “ The wrong man to investigate Cambodia, Morris called his fellow Australian “radical activist-cum-academic known as one of the Khmer Rouge’s most ardent defenders during Pol Pot’s reign of terror….who spoke tirelessly against most refugee accounts & Western reporting.” Kiernren’s supported countered that Kiernen’s subsequent “mature" work far outweighed what one called "juvenilla" Kiernan then weighed in himself, explaining that in 19179 he had penned a “frank admission” that he had been “late” in assessing the Cambodian tragedy. He was late by 2 million lives of human beings. They were killed like flies. So much for the intellectuals & academics. What was the value of life of Kiernan to his parents? What is the value of his son’s life to Kiernan? What is the value of 2 millions human beings? The average man, the man in the street has miserably failed to make out the endless idiocy of the pundictocarcy: perceive how extreme is the mental imbecility of the so-called intellectuals & academics.

Professors such as Ben Kiernan are not a rare breed; they are all over the world all the time. Justin McCarthy, professor of history at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, says that he thinks events were not genocide because some Armenians survived. 1.5 million Armenians were killed by the Turks. Bernard Jouanneau, President Memoire 200, Paris in a response to an four page advertisment together with a propaganda DVD which was distributd to 500,000 subscribers in more than a dozen European countries, placed by Ankara Chamber of Commerce on 6th June 2005, asked “ Can you imagine the same words being said about the Jewish Holocaust? Would such a statement be acceptable to Time magazine? Time magazine apologized. Assailants, Attackers, Bombers, Captors, Commandos, Criminals, Extremists, Fighters, Group, Guerrillas, Gunmen, Hostage-takers, Insurgents, Kidnappers, Militants, Perpetrators, Radicals, Rebels, Separatists, Activists

Quote Tara Pepper
When Hitler became chancellor of Germany in 1933, an army of Brown shirts paraded through Berlin to thunderous cheers. In the first volume of a new trilogy on Nazi Germany, “the Coming of the Third Reich”(641 pages, Allen Lane) Richard J. Evans describes how a young boy, Hans-Joachim Heldenbrand, noticed that the same men kept appearing in front of him again & again. “There you see the con trick,” his father told him. “ They’re constantly marching around in a circle as though there were a hundred thousands of them.” Evans, a professor of modern history at Cambridge, has taken on the daunting task of looking beneath the trick of this charged period.

Postwar historians like A. J. P. Taylor placed the rise of Nazism in the context of the spread of totalitarian governments across Europe, arguing that the course of European history made it inevitable. Evans’s detailed, unflinching narrative, which covers the period up to the summer of 1933, argues that the conditions in each country that gave rise to such tyranny varied markedly- & that in Germany, at every key moment.

Evans doesn’t shirk from the uncomfortable conclusions his research yields. Watching the Nazis take over during the spring of 1933, lawyer Raimund Pretzel wondered why there were no protests from the 56 percent of the Germans who voted against them. “The simplest & -if you looked deeper, nearly always-the most basic reason was fear,” pretzel wrote. “ Join the thugs to avoid being beaten up.’ Though it’s been argued that political apathy brought Hitler to power, Evans suggests that electoral turnouts were good & that citizens were, in fact, highly aware. German history didn’t make Nazism inevitable. But Hitler’s policies did alleviate the humiliation caused by the Treaty of Versailles, which confiscated 13 percent of Germany’s land. The violence that erupted on the streets as parliamentary authority was destroyed- & the shouts of “ Death to the Jews!”- were largely ignored because many thought they would eventually be quelled. Evans notes that a bibliography of books on Nazism currently lists 37,000 works. But his thoughtful take clearly justifies one more.

Quote Micheal Shermer Enigma : The Faustain Bargain of David Irving 3rd May 2005, eSkeptic

After failing to complete his degrees, Irving moved to Germany and worked in a steel factory where he learned the German language and culture first hand. It was here that he first heard about the allied mass bombing of Dresden (from the German perspective, of course), which led to the publication of his first book The Destruction of Dresden, and his decision to become a writer. His empathy for the plight of the Germans during the war, and his sympathetic portrayal of the Nazi leaders, led him into what he calls “the Magic Circle”—the surviving former Hitler confidants. And it is here where he chose the path down which he has never diverted.

In sociology there is problem known as the “co-option” of scholars, particularly by cults and New Age religions, whereby a scholar, in entering a group and spending considerable time with them, publishes a paper or book that is not as objective as he or she perhaps believes. In fact, sociologists Stephen Kent and Theresa Krebs have identified numerous cases of “when scholars know sin” (an article in a 1998 issue of Skeptic magazine), where allegedly nonpartisan, unbiased scholars find themselves the unwitting tools of fringe groups striving for social acceptance and in need of the imprimatur of an academic. The problem is not merely one of exposure. Such groups need mainstream credibility that they can get from the academy. Academics need original research projects that they can get from studying fringe groups. The process involves a feedback loop between scholar and subject, where the more open and sympathetic the scholar appears, the more the subject opens up with honest portrayals of the group. But it is not enough for the scholar to fake a conciliatory attitude. Humans are good at detecting deception. The best way to beat a lie detector is to believe the lie yourself. That way your body will not betray you. (Evolutionary psychologists speculate that there was a deception/deception-detection arms race in human evolutionary history, where we became good at both lying and detecting lies.) Deception becomes self-deception.

In my opinion, Irving’s self-deception began when he entered the Magic Circle. “I carried out major interviews with all these people on tape. And what struck me very early on… is that you’re dealing with people who are educated people.” Hitler, he explained, “had attracted a garniture of high-level educated people around him. The secretaries were top-flight secretaries. The adjutants were people who had gone through university or through staff college and had risen through their own abilities to the upper levels of the military service.” These Hitler confidants were well-educated and they spoke highly of their Führer. Who was Irving to argue? “Coming as I did with an as-yet-unpainted canvas, this was really the seminal point, the seminal experience—to find twenty-five people of education, all of whom privately spoke well of him. Once they’d won your confidence and they knew that you weren’t going to go and report them to the state prosecutor, they trusted you. And they thought, well, now at last they were doing their chief a service.”

That was the shift from deception to self-deception, the co-option of David Irving by Hitler’s Magic Circle. Hitler’s war became Irving’s war. The Faustian bargain was made, and David Irving shall forever pay the price. Yet, with his background and temperament, it is a pact he could not help but form, and a cost he is only to willing to incur.
Unquote Micheal Shermer

We made a mistake”, a Saudi official told me, writes Joe Klein in Time 7th March 2005. “We thought that when teachers cursed Christians & Jews, that it was just words & there would be no impact. It is said that communists take control of a country using trade unions & Arab nationalists take control through the military. Well, the Islamists take control through the schools. We gave them free rein starting in the 1960s. They have penetrated everywhere, & it is difficult to roll back.”

Says Film Director Jon Malkovich, of his film “the Dancer Upstairs”-a thriller that fictionalizes the hunt in Peru in the 1980s for Abimael Guzman, the enigmatic leader of the guerrilla organization Sendero organization Sendero Lumioso, or the Shinning Path- And in fact it was a macabre dark path, a bloody path, a terrorist path. “ There is a line in the script where Rejas & Yolanda, the dancer, go to a photo exhibition. Some of the people in the photos are murder victims. And one asks the other, “ Who is that?’ “ I think he’s judge.” And in fact he’s a murderer. The point is that we get half the people we meet wrong, & that’s what this film is all about”

We are wrong & they are right. We have been in human all these long years & it is only justifiable they rise to struggle. No, No, we do not justify bombings, but you must understand………….. there goes the argument. True, end doesn’t justify the means, but you must understand…. They had no option….. These boys are the voice of the minority. The arguments shake the very foundation of the humanity. To bring about democracy, the so called liberators put fellow citizens to the sword & fire. First of all ethnic minority mayor of the main city of the maim minority area. The Pol Pot the second himself assassinates the mayor & admits & boasts. There goes bombs & bullets. Rampage & carnage. “Now if the masses did not believe that it matters, it always matters, to name rubbish as rubbish; that to do otherwise is to legitimize it.” Comments Salman Rushdie. And the masses fails in its duty. The first principle from which Hitler started was a value judgment: the masses are utterly contemptible, wrote Huxley. Since you are so contemptible, in this context, I will not let you down, of course I will take you down, the whole race of just 15 million. Do you hear the whisper of the thunder? The masses are bewildered. to masses long cherished truth becomes a blatant lie. All of you have been living a lie, masses are told. Somebody somehow manages to realize the folly & tries in van to put up his argument. His reason & truth known to all until yesterday, his voice is no longer heard: it is drowned in the deafening noises of the propaganda bombs. He is lost in the uproar. Could it be possible all of these peoples are wrong? No it ought be myself, who is wrong. Oh! Yes, there ought to be long suppressed legitimate grievances of the minority for them to take up arms & resort to violence of such sc ale. And now he is unable to understand the so-called grievances of minority are common to all & sundry: of the poverty stricken country. to both majority as well as minority: unable to recall majority itself rebelled against the democratically elected government. His credulity is tested to apocalypse: his gullibility is stretched to abyss. Heart of darkness.” Let us imagine a desert country lying in absolute darkness with many living things swarming blindly about it

A man leads a sheep by a rope, his favorite sheep & the wonderful pet of his little son. On the way a passing friend of his asks him “Why are you carrying a dead hedgehog by rope, for what purpose would it serve?” The man ignores his friend & carry on. He couldn’t go long before another friend if him who happens to come across asks the same question. The man turn back to have a hard & intense look at the sheep & reassure himself. And then again & again. Once again & once again, oh! Hell all lands the same question I must have become insane . this couldn’t be my sheep. My sheep must be playing with my little son at home. I must get rid of that carcass before it is too late & becoming the butt of all jokes of whole village. The truth is no longer the truth.

A train load of academics en route to a conference. The train crosses a frontier, & passes a sheep. Oh look, says the sociologist, “ the sheep in this country are black’. No, says the physicist, “one sheep in this country is black’ “ Too risky, replies the mathematician, “one sheep in this country is currently black.” “Hump says the philosopher, “one sheep in this country seems black on one side”.

Now have you ever seen green sheep? Have you ever seen just one animal of a family with a singular color with exception of albinos? Have you ever seen an animal with two colors on each side? Have you ever seen an animal who is black on Sunday & White on Monday? To go by received wisdom & plain common sense would for these temporal matters.

Following (in italics) is an excerpt from the article CONNECTING THE DOTS
The paradoxes of intelligence reform.
by MALCOLM GLADWELL published in The New YorkerIssue of 2003-03-10 Posted 2003-03-03

In the early nineteen-seventies, a professor of psychology at Stanford University named David L. Rosenhan gathered together a painter, a graduate student, a pediatrician, a psychiatrist, a housewife, and three psychologists. He told them to check into different psychiatric hospitals under aliases, with the complaint that they had been hearing voices. They were instructed to say that the voices were unfamiliar, and that they heard words like “empty,” thud,” and “hollow.” Apart from that initial story, the pseudo patients were instructed to answer every question truthfully, to behave as they normally would, and to tell the hospital staff—at every opportunity—that the voices were gone and that they had experienced no further symptoms. The eight subjects were hospitalized, on average, for nineteen days. One was kept for almost two months. Rosenhan wanted to find out if the hospital staffs would ever see through the ruse. They never did.

Rosenhan’s test is, in a way, a classic intelligence problem. Here was a signal (a sane person) buried in a mountain of conflicting and confusing noise (a mental hospital), and the intelligence analysts (the doctors) were asked to connect the dots—and they failed spectacularly. In the course of their hospital stay, the eight-pseudo patients were given a total of twenty-one hundred pills. They underwent psychiatric interviews, and sober case summaries documenting their pathologies were written up. They were asked by Rosenhan to take notes documenting how they were treated, and this quickly became part of their supposed pathology. “Patient engaging in writing behavior,” one nurse ominously wrote in her notes. Having been labeled as ill upon admission, they could not shake the diagnosis. “Nervous?” a friendly nurse asked one of the subjects as he paced the halls one day. “No,” he corrected her, to no avail, “bored.”

The solution to this problem seems obvious enough. Doctors and nurses need to be made alert to the possibility that sane people sometimes get admitted to mental hospitals. So Rosenhan went to a research-and-teaching hospital and informed the staff that at some point in the next three months he would once again send over one or more of his pseudo patients. This time, of the hundred and ninety-three patients admitted in the three-month period, forty-one were identified by at least one staff member as being almost certainly sane. Once again, however, they were wrong. Rosenhan hadn’t sent anyone over. In attempting to solve one kind of intelligence problem (over diagnosis), the hospital simply created another problem (under diagnosis). This is the second, and perhaps more serious, consequence of creeping determinism: in our zeal to correct what we believe to be the problems of the past, we end up creating new problems for the future.

Again, on 16th August 1998, Cape Town, South Arica. Americans Linda & Peter Biehl swallowed hard & told the media: we understand. Just the way they said & did five years ago, when a mob stoned & stabbed their 26 year old daughter to death in South Africa. As onlookers chanted anti-white slogans, as her black friends ran towards her to beg for her life “ She’s a comrade, a comrade” a black high school student plunged a knife to the hilt, into the heart of Amy Biehl. “ To be honest, I don’t have it in me to hate the killers, I just don’t” Peter says. “ To me, I never personalized it with the killers’, Linda interjects. “ I think you can say who really is responsible for this killing. You go back to creators of apartheid. These guys are political victims”. Do you hear this word? If the parents of the murdered innocent girl herself profess to understand, unable to personalize the murder of their own daughter, sees the bloody murderer as a political victim & not a cold blooded murderer, do you expect me, a outside viewer with no higher rights in the perspective of parents- daughter blood bond, to come up with a argument to the contrary? I’ll be damned. Let me bring her brother. Zach who was 16 when his sister was murdered, now 21, doesn’t like to talk about Amy’s death. He is tired of being known as the guy whose sister got killed in South Africa, tired of being at the receiving end of continuous Hate Mail that brands the family “Bloody Nigger Lovers”. ‘I rather not really comment on that because I don’t necessarily agree with their forgiveness of my father & mother.

The marginal man understands very well since he doesn’t understand at all. That is he does not understand the so-called intellectuals, propaganda experts, apologists of blood & thunder & his own power hungry politicians. Neither does he understand Linda & Peter Biehl. As Isaiah Berlin has honesty to write “to understand all is to see that nothing could be otherwise than it is. In other word, to understand all is to capitulate to the status quo” Let’s keep the basics: thou shalt not kill: you have no right to take the life of another human being. “What are the grievances they suffer from that we ourselves do not suffer? “Even if they are suffering, they have no right to take up arms. I don’t see them as very political, at last in the best sense of the word: I see them as sick, warped & depraved fanatic mass murders” says the mother of 10 children. “ What can do except taking up arms when the causes of their suffering are not addressed & their grievances are not redressed? Asks the baby of the family. “Suffer them,” replies the mother of ten. She is not educated but, far from it, she is not even literate. but she never misses the Sunday sermon by the local parish priest. The brief reply of hers is the base of whole of the Christian cannon. No matter it is 21st century, now, blood or thunder, Narcotics & Guns, Rapes & legalized abortions, Aids & contraception, come what may, the Pope refused to budge an inch. No. the whole moral fabric would crumble, once provisions are made to the stipulations, exceptions are made to the commandments. As Pope repeated & repeatedly repeated, we cannot relativise what is absolute & no great cause of our will have a meaning unless right to life of humans are protected.

Victor Davis Hanson & John Heath write in “Who killed Homer”.

Canons that are unchanging offer a permanent, if sometimes unpleasant solution to the crime & conflict alike. And this absolutism runs much further than Moses’ tablets. At the core of Greek belief system lays the conviction that there are unchanging absolutes in the world, ageless & immune from situation & interpretation, a small but vital body of knowledge that is largely agreed-on & indisputable. This is a body of guided hammered out through trial & error, vote & veto, consensus & discord. It is derived from generations of rational discussion & argumentation by wise men & ultimately by from the traditional approval of the citizenry.

That straight arrow Vaclave Havel once said “My position seems to be one of a dreamer who mumbles something about ideals, completely untouched by real life, where politics takes a different course. But this is a very banal view. In reality it seems to me that my constant repetition of certain planted seeds”

In a village dispute in decided to Punjab area of Pakistan in the year 2002, a tribal village council its decision to punish a family condemned Mukhtaran, a tall slim young women to gang-raped by her neighbours. The begging , crying women was stripped naked, raped by four & sent home naked. Iso shamed, in spite of temptations to commit suicide, she turned out to be tenacious , found courage to live & demand prosecution of her attackers. Six were convicted & sent to death row. She received USD 8300 in compensation & built two schools for girls & boys.

Although she her herself being, Illiterate, she believes education is the best way to get rid of tribal attitudes such as the savagery which inflicted damage & shame upon her. In September 2004, Nicholos D. Kristof visited Mukhtaran in her village & in rspose to his column about the tribal savagery, avalanche of mails together with 1300 donations totaling to USD133,000 at the time Mukhtaran’s family cow was sold to keep the schools running. Mercy corp, a first rate American aid group has agreed to assist Mukhtaran.

Meanwhile the Big Bully neighbor spares no chance. Let’s train the guerrillas so that we could teach the buggers a fine lesson. They have been bloody arrogant to open up the economy of theirs when our giant & great county is content to carry on with closed socialist economy. At the rate tiny island is developing, we would be at a disadvantage to compete for the location for the re-establishment of that great commercial hub should it opt to shift the base with the change of guard form colonialists to the Communists. Its 99 year lease is coming to an end & this bloody island neighbor of ours with its newly opened up economy hasn’t already passed signals? The terrorists change gear: here is a God Mother, moral succor, material support, military training, intelligence & land for the training bases so that they could hit & run & hide in the God Mother’s sari? God Mother little knew what was soon coming onto her then onto her son.

Now the greatest of all hopes to the minority lands from unexpected quarters. What else on the earth could better than visa to a Western country? The great sympathizers are not aware the so called sharp weapon scars are inflicted on the applicants by their own comrades for the benefit of the visa officers.” Look at my shoulders & chest, aren’t these the are tangible evidence of torture at the hands of security forces?’ Thousands of terrorists are among the hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens of the minority. All to the West. Westward ho! Oklahoma Land rush, California Gold Rush… Yahooooo………..A contribution to a worthy cause: charity to the deserved desperate & desperate deserved. First charity, then coercion, the utter force: true Mafia style in their adopted Western lands. Now American, Canadian & Australian dollars flow in to the kitty of the terrorists. French Franks, Swiss Franks, Norwegian krones, Dutch Guilders…. Crash lands. The gunrunners, arms dealers pay regular visits. Where is the money for deals of the predators? You name it, we give it. So easy. Of course you may in any of those hard currencies or in a mixed bag of currencies. Welcome aboard. Shop around, lick you lips don’t be shy to ask us how these modern mass killing weapons are operated. Look at those multiple barrel launchers, not even your enemy the government has these darlings its armory. You can wipe out whole damn camps off the face of the mother earth & no son of a bitch would be spared. You will no longer be hit & run guerrillas. You will become conventional army overnight. If the Young men aren’t enough get the girl, form a baby brigade; you know teenagers will go headlong.

Plenty is what the terrorists bring in that is plenty of all evil, murder & mayhem, blood & gore, rack & ruin. Major battles, N\Bomb blasts of key government buildings, banks, power stations, main transport depots, aircrafts, trains, oil refineries, suicide bombing of Prime Minister of the Big Bully, President of the Island, Cabinet ministers, Military Commanders, midnight massacres of villagers, gunning down of monks at temples, people praying at mosques, decimation of all rival gangs, killing of Appas & comrades & anyone of their own race who whisper a single word in protest & as many as possible of majority of the country.

“O Arjuna,” Krishna Continued, “ in this world I have taught a twofold way of life; the way of knowledge for men who engage in a contemplation, & the way of works for men of actions. One cannot maintain even one’s physical life without action. Therefore, do your allotted work regardless of results, for men attain the highest good by doing work without attachment to its results. Resign yourself to me & fix your consciousness in the self, without desire or egoism, & then fight, freed from your fever.” Thousands of unknown sons of the soil give their lives so that others could live; & others their limbs. Thousands.

Once upon a time there lived two tribes of wise monkeys o the banks of a wonderful river similar

To the one you see in Blue Lagoon yet minus semi naked Brook Shields on debut. While the Monkeys of the tribe “ Reason” lived I the village side of the wonderful blue river of clear & clean waters. Didn’t I say these were wise monkey? They respected received knowledge unlike the terrorists. On both banks of the river there was bounty of Banana treed. There was no mutiny on the bounty. Didn’t I say both are with its own bounty of Banana? You wouldn’t witness such bountiful of rich Banana even in the Republic Banana. Those were luscious bananas; fat as Sultan of Paradise & long as the capital of Pathans & ripe & sweet as Monica.. And here is the variety. Variety of Banana & customs. The Monkeys of the tribe ‘ Reason” used to wash the bananas in the wonderful blood river, peel & eat. But the monkeys of the tribe “Truth” never washed Bananas but just pealed & whacked to the hearts content. Yes, to the tummy’s content too. No They never did. They never did go to battle on the custom of the other tribe. The reason was simple. Though the non-bloody monkeys were wise they were never burdened with the “word” in which they could have imposed their custom upon the other tribe. There was no language in spite of the Banana culture,. In the Banana circumstances there was no way of pushing your culture down the throat of the other tribe. They lived happily. They lived happily in peace. No. the lack of ‘word” wasn’t the reason. There was bountiful of Banana on the both banks of the river, So there was always bountiful of Banana to eat, play , waste & experiment. That was the reason. Oh! No that wasn’t the reason. Look at Quebec clamoring fro a separate state in affluent Canada. One of the tribe was Truth while other was Reason & both of the tribes respected received Wisdom. How could there ever be a conflict? Oh! No! that’s not the reason either. There was no Pol Pot among the apes.Don't you need an Pol Pot to give birth killing Fields? Jonathan Kay writes in National Post of Canada in June 2000, “ What causes armed rebellions? The mainstream view in the West is that they are the product of the long standing in equality & repression. And many of us assume the violence would stop if the rebels’ grievances were dealt fairly. But recent research casts doubt on this charitable attitude. According to 35 year survey of 161 countries released in June 2000 by the Development Research Group of the World Bank, economic inequality has no statistically discernible effect on the ignition of civil war. Nor does a nation’s political system: All other factors being equal, a countr4y that provides citizens with democratic rights is no more or less susceptible to civil war than that does not. And where predicting future conflict is concerned, the World Bank study shows that a “ grievance- based” model of civil war is less accurate than a “greed-based” model. Under the later, armed rebellion is analyzed strictly by reference to objective factors that affect a rebel group’s access to plunderable resources such as diamonds & cocaine. Of course, when they solicit funds, rebels always speak the language of grievance, not greed. As the report notes, “ where rebellions happen to be financially viable wars will occur. As part of the process of war, the rebel organization must generate group grievance for military effectiveness. The generation of group grievance for war. Thus, the war produces the intense political conflict, not the intense political conflict the war.” The report also notes that if the society in which the rebellion occurs is ethnically diverse… the obvious discourse for the rebel leadership to adopt with its recruits is that of ethnic grievance.’ Johnathan kay writing a step further, says two months ago, the Development Research Group published data suggesting that Diaspora remittances substantially increase the risk of conflict in war-torn countries. For instance, researchers found out that, all other factors being equal, the risk of conflict starting after the at least five years of peace is six times greater in nations with the largest Diasporas as compared to those with the smallest. The report’s observation that” after peace has been restored, the legacy of conflict-induces grievance enables rebel movements to restart conflict by drawing on the support of their Diasporas. It took word Bank 35 years to come to senses. It would take another 35 years to implement the policing to suppress the rebellions.

Some say there would never be peace in Angola because of the diamonds & the oil. Mozambique, because it has no oil & no diamonds- in other words because it is a poor country-could expect a lot more.

Sweet bloody sixteen plus two bloody years later. Thousands of human lives later; lives of the dependents of those killed put into disarray hundreds of thousands later; destruction of public & private property, billions later; and the funds that would have financed the island at the time of possible Japanese investments in the style of Indonesia & Malaysia (didn’t we miss the bus or rather bullet train?), billions later, a former ambassador to the Island from a western Economic Power house laments of the migrant smuggling, drug trafficking, street violence, extortion, passport forgery & fraud, fund raising (USD 2 million a month from 38 western countries & Australia) for terrorism being done by a section of the people to whom he granted visa to his affluent country. Jonathan Kay writes in National Post of Canada in June 2000 “ Our failure in this regard arises in large measure from a misguided interpretation of multiculurism that seems to hold that, if we are to show full respect for our newcomers, we must be prepared to tolerate any & all vices they may bring with them, which may include bitter animosities & plans for the resolving of differences in their former homelands by violent means. Surely we can find a way of receiving, & indeed, rejoicing in the richness & diversity that newcomers bring to this country without having to accept views that are fundamentally in conflict with our values & that suggests that they have litt6le interest in our country except as a convenient place from which to settle vendettas I the other parts of the world. An even greater failure on the part of our country, however, is that we have allowed ovrselves at the political level to be manipulated & exploited by them.”

Ours is a tragic era. Tragedy is not confined to the democratically elected governments of under-developed countries battling terrorism. It is seen in every field, sphere & aspect of human life. I t seems, there runs a ferocious high tide to turn the history, ethics & justice. Art & Literature upside down, inside out. Laments the most powerful nation on the planet on its ally.” Every generation has to rewrite the history, we’re in the middle of a serious revision. Anyone with children will know that homework stands everything you ever thought on its head; heroes are really villains, battles won are really massacres inflicted, black is white & black are right.” That’s a mouthful of history. And our island is not far behind: government would not even allow a screening a cartoon film set on the life & battles of a hero of the majority race.

In United States, antiabortion fanatics wave their Bibles in one-hand & torch family planning clinics with the other. Some Sate governments distribute, free of charge, disposable injection needles to the College students so that they wouldn’t contract ids by way of using of using using the needles o to have heroin & Ecstasy into themselves; a shot in the arms for the errant & deviants. Condoms too are distributed into the bargain. All that instead of launching a campaign to get the students off the hook of drugs. And you may visit your preferred college library reference sections: petting & heavy petting. Isn’t that a fine code of ethics? That’s the land of Lincoln, Jefferson, Edison & Einstein.

Among the 200 men named the “ Most Stylish of the 20th century” in an issue in 1999 British GQ Was a Nazi. Filed Marshal Erwin Rommel, Desert Fox was tapped as a man who’d retained style in the face of true adversity” After a firestorm I the British papers, which included complaints from Holocaust, & with due respect to the 6 million victims was the naming of Desert Fox good enough a reason to amake an uproar & then to have the editor dismissed? When we are unable to sort out justice even in a fashion parade of dead soldiers, should we argue on genuine issues?

The starting point for all systems of aesthetics must be the personal experience of a peculiar emotion. The objects that provoke this emotion we call works of art. “Look at the dried dung! “ What ? If I said “Look at the sunset!”, would you have asked “ what”? On 29th October 1997 Royal Academy of Arts held a fine exhibition of Arts: Sensation- Young British Artists from the Saatchi collection. Among the Works of Art was a cross section of a calf immersed n a glass vat.” All you need is a bit of twisted imagination & chain-saw.” Said the Young Artist Damien Hirst himself of his Work Of Art. He said it. And that’s art for you: dung. Well done Damien, goddam artist, aberration incarnate. To which cannon, to which tradition, to which culture, to which era does your art belong? Would you ever be able to imagine or dream just a half a stroke of paintbrush of Van Gough or Monet?

The Marquis de Sade, whose name provided the word Sadism; who professed absolute freedom, which according to him warrants all imaginative crimes, including murder; who rebelled against God, against man, against morality, against justice, against ethics, against literature, against everything, was recently rehabilitated by ay of English translations of all his banned & hidden books following the so called liberating sweep of 1960, which brought pornography & obscenity to all wayside bookstalls, public libraries, theaters & cinema of the west & most of all to the living rooms of the West. Roger Shattuck writes,” Sade’s success in our day explained by the dream that he had in common with contemporary thought: the demand for total freedom coldly planned by the intelligence… two centuries ahead of time on a reduced scale, Sade extolled totalitarion societies in the name of unbilled freedom. That’s an incredible advocate to our devils. Shattuck asks” Shall we receive among our literary classics, the works of another who desecrate & inverts every principle of human justice & decency developed over 4000 years of civilized life? Has the 20th century made, in respect of the Marquis de Sade, one of history’s most egregious errors of cultural judgment by placing his works among our masterpieces? “Sell me the slut Julliete, I’ll pay for her. I want to buy her. Let’s besmirch ourselves together-you by the sin of selling her to me. I by the even more stimulating sin of paying for in order to kill her. OH! Yes, yes, Juliette let’s murder your daughter. And pulling out his….show it to me: Examine how this execrable idea inflame all my sense. Get yourself f… now, Julitte……….

Crime has nothing fearsome about when you are…. And it’s always in the midst of waves of come that one must cherish its charms. I am being f…. Noirceuil asks me a second time what I want to do to my daughter. Oh! Monsieur, I cry out while disch… “ you wi, your perfidious power smothers every sentiment in me except crime & infamy. Do what you want with Marianne, blasted villain; I turn her over to you.

He had no sooner heard these words then he pulls out of her, grasps the poor child, throw her naked into the middle of the flames……………. Jullietee by Marquis de Sade. Words, on which I have relied, so long, fail me miserably. I’ll never love again. No, I do now & will till I drop dead.

Is the general degeneration of human values is a result of terrorism or is it the ferocity of terrorism resulted in a degeneration of human values, or is it a cycle? “ All I see is that we cannot know! This burns my heart”. We can only live, err & strive according to our mortal lot; die tat. According to our lights in received wisdom. If such is fate of ours, how do we arrest the decline in human values? Back to school. Let’s bring back the Western Literary Canon back to school. This is not to hold fast to the argument that stupidity is merely a simple absence of knowledge that can be corrected by education. But if we do not try will the world change? Even if the ground is lost to the argument that stupidity is a dimension of human existence, it can still be controlled with continuous education. Education from primary grades with Gulliver’s Travel” to grades with “Iliad & Mahabaratha” to infuse in the mind & heart of the young youth with a deeper sense of humanity. Humanity throughout the epic of Homer’s Iliad needs no elaboration. Homer said all about sanctity of nature & humanity that could have been said within the limitations of expression of a mortal. Roger Shattuck’s writes Forbidden Knowledge, “In swift’s satirical fiction, Gulliver describes the wonderful invention of gunpowder & cannon to the King of Brobodingang; the king is “ struck with horror” & protests that he would rather lose half the kingdom than be privy to such a secret, which he commanded me, as I value of my life, never to mention any more”. Such is the humanity of fiction taught in the primary grades in those days. We cannot do better but revive the same tradition of education.

In the year 1970, I one of his essays an I Israeli schoolboy wrote “ Who will give something to bring about a situation such as this-that all human beings will live in peace, will not murder & will not covet the land of one’s neighbor? Twenty-four years later. Baruch Goldstein, now a grown up man who preached Ten Commandments so, massacred dozens of Arabs at prayer in the West Bank city of Hebron. Does this leads to the conclusion that educating children with reasons on humanity would not serve our purpose in the end, would all be in vain ultimately? Hardly so. Goldstein provide us with all the more reason & passion to make greater efforts t o shape the characters from the very beginning, by way of constant repeatition of very essence of Great Literature of humanity.

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