Shyamon Jayasinghe

Just take a look at the email correspondence below. You would note how persons who call themselves patriots, pour scorn, malice, and hatred against those who differ in opinion from them. Slander mail will not achieve anything other than to expose what petty, narrow-minded, and miserable creatures these guys are. The important thing is to counter an argument ; not to attack the arguer. In all these writings, one never observes any attempt to refute an argument. What does it matter if Jehan Perera’s educational qualifications are suspect?

Those, like Jehan, at the receiving end are all Sinhalese. Sinhalese cannibalising Sinhalese!

One patriot has used the name "Pukata Kelinawa" as his email address! A glance at the emails these people send from all over the world would show how foul the language is. How vicious their minds are. One JVP- inclined patriot has charged that a Sinhala- Urumaya patriot’s mother is a prostitute!

Last Sunday, the Divaina carried a piece written by a well-known Melbourne patriot who attacked all and sundry deemed traitors by him. He is the judge and jury. He attacked an excellent Melbourne Sinhala magazine (It is clear he referred to'Pahana') for carrying articles that don't suit him. Pahana is a Melbourne magazine avidly read and used by intelligent young Sinhalase men and women to freely express their opinion on varied matters. Printed media like Pahana and Serendib do a great service this way. Media growth (print, radio, and TV) among the Sinhala community has taken place over the past two years and it is a healthy development.

The patriot we refer to, implies in his Divaina piece that one must be "jathivadi" in order to confront the Tamil militancy and that magazines like Pahana are blunting such sentiments. In the same breath, he extols Victor Ratnayake, who stated recently at a Melbourne concert that Sri Lanka is faced not with a jathiwadi prasnaya but a thrusthawadi prasnaya. How can one meet a prasnaya which is not jathiwadi with a jathiwadi strategy? The writer does not see his own contradiction.

The patriotic writer also appeared to make deprecating insinuations against the German Technical College products who have come here in large numbers and are making a most valuable contribution to the community. Pahana is edited by a graduate and a Chartered Engineer. The writer doesn't seem to know even that. Actually, he even misunderstood Victor Ratnayake who followed up his initial comment by stating that Tamils and Sinhalese were "ekama jana kottasaya" and that if there had been a good network of roads in Lanka connecting the South with the North (as in Australia) this problem would not have arisen. Now, that I think, is good insight. Our leaders, except DS, have never shown such insight and far sight. We took the Tamil community for granted and here we are where we are. There is an economic strategy available to forge intensive interaction between the two communities. If this was worked out, questions of secession would not have arisen. This is what Victor was pointing out.

In an obvious reference to Nanda Malini, the writer attacks her for having allegedly made a statement to the effect that Sinhalese should have learnt Tamil. Now, is this not a sensible suggestion?

Expatriate patriots can contribute in thinking and in ideas drawn from their countries of adoption. As long as they keep their minds shut to a particular point of view, this won’t happen. Keeping windows closed won’t matter if these guys don’t become a nuisance to others by their intimidation. In Melbourne, the patriots have taken over a community radio in order to pour their views and to lock out those of others. Talented artists are shunning the radio because of this politicisation and that radio is now a barren organ only used by listeners to get at the community notices.

These patriots here and abroad not only paddle hate. They imagine conspiracies. Any opponent to their militarism must be funded by the LTTE, according to them. Those for the peace process, like me, are ”Sama Kakkas”. The normal reaction to a different point of view is to ignore it or to say that the exponents of such views are foolish or stupid. Then, why this hate and intimidation? The medical diagnosis of a reaction of this sort is neuroticism. (SJ)



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