Monday, July 25, 2011

Lately In The Political Lankanosphere....

If all has gone according to plan you'll be able to look at my mindmap above and see the structure of this post. It might be on the left though, I haven't decided yet.

It's a complicated mindmap, there are links, lines and bubbles all over the shop and even I, who sometimes can read my own handwriting, find it hard to get to grips with.

The crux of the matter is that the Lankanosphere has suddenly launched itself into a round of politics and political posts, the likes of which we haven't seen for some time.

To quote Jack Point

"After a very long sojourn, politics seems to have returned to the local blogosphere. What is more interesting is that it has sparked some reasonable debate, something that has been missing for a long time. "

Where and when did it all start? My thoughts are that a lot of it was catalysed by both The Killing Fields and Sangakkara's Cowdrey lecture. I'm uncertain how things began in the Sri Lankan blogosphere, but certainly the first post that caught my attention, very probably yours, was this one, by Indi. Entitled "The War Is Over. Tell Your Friends" it created lots of feeling.

The main theme of it can be summed up in this quote:

"For a long time Sri Lanka was defined only within the war frame. Indeed, many local people/publications (like Groundviews) have trouble adjusting to a post-war mindset. They’re still all war all the time while the average Sri Lankan is like, ‘breakfast?’"

Indi then tried to prove his theory with some of those word cloud things, showing the most commonly used words on some websites, including Groundviews. A bit of a bitch fight between Indi and Sanjana threatened to break out but nothing came of it really. Disappointing. I'd quite like to see a proper physical fight break out. In fight between the two of them they're both so lacking in the Chuck Norris / James Bond / Sly Stallone stakes that I suspect they'd both lose. David Blacker would probably win without being in it or even being near the scene.

And lots of people, including me, took a different view to Indi. Some commented on Indi's blog, some wrote posts.

I wrote this little one and it generated a bit of discussion too. It seemed to annoy a lot of intelligent people, which wasn't my intention. DD threw all his toys out of his pram and left me staring at my monitor in disbelief with some of the things he said. I put it down to the fact that he must have had a particularly busy week dreaming about killing muggers. Muggers that is, who sound like Dick van Dyke trying to do cockney.

"Cor blimey guv'nor, I'm a cockney don't you know, now hand over yer frickin' wallet. I've got a chimney to sweep."

I do get frustrated when I see the diaspora being tarred with one brush, as I tried to explain in this later post. One of the ironies is that I was criticised for tarring people with one brush with what I said.

Then, with my apologies if I haven't got the chronology totally accurate, we had the great Indi vs Guru debate on Al Jazeera. It was a bit of a let down when Indi's connection got lost for an important chunk of the segment, but it was interesting. Many thought that, in the win / lose context it was billed, Guru emerged as the clear winner. I agree, yet feel disappointed that it had to be billed and presented in that context. Indi has said on too many platforms to link to that he was trying to reframe the context of the debate rather than engage in it.

A couple of now rare yet much welcomed voices entered the arena. First we had Electra, showing us that she's still around and lurking with intent. This post was a very specific response to Indi as well. When I first read it I thought that Electra has said some similar things to my thoughts, just with bags full of intelligence, eloquence and detailed knowledge that I don't possess. Sometimes I wish I wasn't so simple.

I smiled to myself at the fact that a load of comments have appeared on Electra's post advertising cheap made in China sportswear sites.

And Cerno chipped in his two cent's worth too. He says:

"All those clever arguments seem far removed in the un air-conditioned reality live by most Sri Lankans (I’m only partially air conditioned). The war and its political fault lines (both current and historical) seems far away from the grinding business of life."

Which I suppose is one of the key points that many people are trying to say; that while some go on about sanctions, inquiries, international bodies and punishment, many in Sri Lanka are trying to deal with some very harsh realities of daily life.

I know only too well about these day to day trials and tribulations. I was looking at the price of Dominic Sansoni's new bags in Barefoot only the other day and thinking that there must be a small percentage of the population who can't even afford basics like these.

There's an element to Cerno's post that I don't understand; it;s the bit when he talks about the irrelevance to the Sri Lankan blogsphere. I'm unsure if Cerno is saying that the Lankanosphere is pissing in the wind by talking politics or that us bloggers aren't interested in SL politics. If it's the former, then I see it differently, but I'll come to that at the end. If Alanis Morissette writes another song, perhaps calling it "Ironic two" she should bung this line in it:

"That Cerno, ooh ooh,
Could have the time ooh ooh,
to write a blog post, ooh ooh,
saying that he envies those who ooh ooh,
find the time to blog (big drum fill here)"

Jack Point, the most serious court jester to ever exist, put out this post which told us his thoughts on things. He was one of the many who reminded us of the evil, terror and despicable actions of the LTTE. For what it's worth I reckon these actions should be remembered by all, to help put things in perspective.

Groundviews published a bit of a round up of the state of play at the time, specifically on the "Sri Lankan identity and race relations" theme that has run consistently while everything else has been going on.

Meanwhile over on the all comments are closed blog owned by Rajiva Wijesinha, the man who makes my accent sound heavily Sri Lankan, things are carrying on as normal. His approach, of attempting to shatter the credibility into a zillion pieces of anyone or any institution that deigns to criticise the GoSL, continues.

Finally, let me tell you my current concluding thoughts. These are subject to change without notice.

Yes, the war is over. No, the memories and consequences of it are not and they need to be dealt with.

Talk, when constructive and positive, is good and needed. Someone told me the other day that my opinion, me saying things, won't change anything. I agree. But someone, somewhere will be the person with the millionth or billionth opinion, blog, comment or statement that just might break the camel's back and cause change.

Apologies for the long post, the jewellery shop's worth of links and the crazy jumble of fonts and quotes. One of these days I really must change over to Wordpress!



Jack Point said...

What, me serious?


Good summary of the domino effect.

DD said...

I believe that you border on having the same qualities of one Nibras Bawa. Take a good long look for if you do fail to see it, it would indeed be a wee sad, eh?