Sunday, November 20, 2005

What Our Trolls Teach Us

Let's start talking about non-election-related things.

This is something I've been wondering about for quite some time now. Sittingnut (I think) brought this up during one of his ceaseless arguments with one of the trolls (Just give it up man! No point wasting your time going down to their level. That goes for you too Ashanthi).

A lot of the trolls we here have gotten used to like our ol' pal Dextr, j5, Jini and now Kesbewa and T4011, are most probably Sri Lankans who live abroad. Most of them I would assume to be Sinhala and also probably Buddhist considering the kind of things they say here. Taking the places where Sri Lankans generally move to, they probably live in Australia, England, Canada or the US. We know Dextr lives in Australia.

Any Sinhala Buddhist living in a foreign country would be a part of the minority community there. Sinhala Buddhists in Sri Lanka have come to take for granted the fact that they are a majority and do not even bother to think of what it would feel like to be a minority community. But for the large numbers of Sinhalese living abraod I would assume the realities of being a minority community, and being treated as one, would have sunk in.

And we know how minority communities are treated in those countries. Perhaps they are not openly discriminated againt like we find in Sri Lanka, but there's just a thin veil of tolerance covering deep rooted anti-immigrant sentiment.

I can't even pretend to know what it feels like to be a minority as I have never been one so I will not attempt to articulate what it feels like to be one. But what I say about Sinhalese learning about the other side of the story comes from many conversations with friends who have lived abroad for many years.

From my interactions with them, particularly a few members of my family, it is very clear that even though they do not face any direct discrimination, they have very understood what it feels like to be a minortiy in someone else's country. Upon their return to Sri Lanka many of them have begun to put themselves into the shoes of a Tamil person who belongs to a minority community in their own country. But it's only possible if the person who is living abroad is open actively investigating the dynamics of minority mentality. I'm not saying write an academic paper on it. Just sit back and think about what it feels like to be a minority.

As we have found with our trolls and with groups like SPUR, many of these people are not even aware of the fact that they are minorities living amidst a people who don't really like them too much. They don't see their minority status as an opportunity to (to a certain degree) put themselves in the shoes of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka.

Dextr for one is unable to grasp his situation. He is living the life of a beggar in a country that doesn't really like immigrants when he could live a good life here in Sri Lanka. I would expect him to explore the socio-political dynamics that have made him a beggar in Australia, but apparently like many Sinhalese living abroad, he fails to come to terms with his minority status. In this particular case perhaps he just lacks the analytical skills to explore his context.

A Sinhalese living Australia, or England, or the US, or in Canada or anywhere should be able to identify what it means to be completely powerless politically, what it means to accept the fact that a person from your community will never have significant political power, what it means to be treated like you're a disease, what it feels like to be pulled over all the time, what it feels like to be an utomatic suspect whenever something goes wrong, to be tolerated and left alone yet never really liked and accepted.

I would expect these people to have some kind of sympathy for the life that the Tamil people of Sri Lanka have been subjected to for the past 49 years, (Yes it's 50 years since 1956 next year) but the sad truth is many of them don't. They remain minority-hating, Sinhala racist bigots. Though they move thousands of miles away, and change their socio-econo-political context completely, the I'm-a-majortiy-so-f***-you mentality never leaves them.

The Sri Lankan diaspora have such potential to be a part of the solution, instead they insist on making themselves a part of the problem.


yeah yeah - ok bossy boots - it's not as if I'm feeling all alone & miserable with no-one to console me about this farce of an election & the bloody mess my country is in - now you have to start telling what to do ... :-( SULK

besides - I hate trolls :-( - SULK even more...
Those four countries (Aus/Can/US/UK) are also the major destinations for tamils fleeing the war. In fact, tamils heavily outnumber sinhalese in those countries. I wonder what role that dynamic plays in things?

Not to infer any communal tension abroad, i'm sure it exists but as far as I know it isnt significant and i've never experienced it. But I wonder if it's a factor or a source of more resentment.
Another person from the UNP camp unable to accept the concept that Sri Lankan citizens - no matter where they live - have a right to speak up about Sri Lankan affairs.
Not only them, but those people who have Sri Lankan origins also have a right to speak about Sri Lankan affairs and voice their opinions. Of course, Morquendi thinks otherwise. Facists then to think like that.

If we were to follow Morquendi's facism, all those Sri Lankans - both Tamil and Sinhalese - living in India, Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East and elswhere, would be prevented from voicing their opinions on what is going on in Sri Lanka.

Morquendi cannot handle people exposing his flaws, he cannot handle people voicing different opinions to his. His only solution is to ban all speech that offends him and his sensibilities by trying to convince both himself and others than only those who have their feet planted on Sri Lankan soil have a right to open their mouth, pull out their pens and speak out or voice their opinions. I guess all foreign newspapers must cease reporting on Sri Lanka immediately, because they are breaking Morquendi's cardinal rules.

Now Morquendi, you do know what it feels like to be a minority because your views and your social standing are in the minority in Sri Lanka. Please stop pretending as if it's otherwise. Do you honestly think that the majority of Sri Lankans follow your line of thinking? I highly doubt it.

Now hitch up your pants and get it through your facist head that Sri Lankans have a right to speak about what is happening in their country. Neither you nor your facist friends can stop that from taking place. I hope this is crystal clear to you.
ok, i will not kick the trolls here any more though it was fun, like feeding ...oh, never mind.:-)

when somebody advocates a position that does not directly benefit them you have to be suspicious of their motives. everybody after all are selfish.
I would think one of the most selfish persons in Ranil of UNP. He wanted all the glory for himself. Unfortunately (or more correctly fortunately) he is not going to get any.
Mahinda has no grasp of reality. It may take him a while to realise that he has been passed a poisoned chalice.

At heart, I don't think he is a bad guy, but he is surrounded by nasties and is pretty dim.

The down-to earth politics of Hambantota where people can be won over with personal charm and homespun wisdom will not work at the centre.

The grim economic and political reality of the centre will tax the keenest mind and stoutest heart.

He does not know what he is in for, poor bugger. God only knows what we we are in for.
Clearly Ranil was not keen and stout and we should be glad that he lost the election. If he had won he would have sold of Sri Lanka piece by piece just to win a Nobel Peace Prize and have people fall at his feet and get his picture in some magazine. Sri Lanka does not need "leaders" like that.
Morq - am I allowed to talk to Jack Point or is he a Troll too

you're most obedient blogger ...
Why is it that UNP supporters display such an amazing propensity to kiss ass? Is it part of the party's culture or something? Because time after time it can be witnessed (just look at Ashanthi's post above) that many UNP supporters spend dawn to dusk patting each other on the back without dealing with real issues that actually matter. It's no wonder the party lost the presidential election with a work ethic like that.
Hey hey, whose calling me a troll?

What is a troll anyway? Nothing nice I gather, but what exactly?
Shit missed putting my name, sorry, above is by Jack Point
as a former anon - mind you i was never a troll (phoof) - i earned my stripes so frankly to not be a troll or an anon - you have to go the whole hog ....

you have to get your own blog ... anyways - bossy boots Morq does not seem to be around so i think it should be kinda ok for me to talk to jack point ...

jack point - poisoned chalice - i totally agree that other dummy chandrika has been drinking out of it for years

Mahinda a dummy - hmm not to sure about that one - he seems to have demolished the UNP political apparatus for the time being

Is Mahinda a nice guy - hmm not is a position to comment - but we don't call him buffalo mo for nothing - i think he's just a bit too much of a smoothie

one thing is for sure - we are a torn & all but destroyed nation. What we need is someone with compassion & understanding to heal the wounds. What we also know is that no-one is gonna do this for us. Nobody cares about us. Look how bad the international press coverage was - it was crap.

They say Bill Clinton is comming over again for a bit of sprint visit on his way to Ache - call me cynical but I know Bill - he's probably fallen in love with our attractive ladies - yeah yeah I know you're saying that's way too cynical.

I guess I feel the same way about Trolls as I do about Politicians - i just don't trust them.

Anyway - I better scoot before Morq get's back - been nice talking to you Jack Point - c u o
ps - some trolls are pets & one can pat them occasionaly

of course - i still agree totally that trolls should absolutely NOT be FED
Morq - There is much that can be said but I'll just add a few points.

By and large it takes migrants three generations to naturalize. The first gen see themselves as outsiders, the second gen do it the hardest balancing between two cultures, by the time it get's to the third gen they are naturalized.

IMO you need to seperate migrants from students who travel overseas for their studies.

change their socio-econo-political context

The problem is many never see themselves in these terms thus never takepart in any sense of introspection and local politics. They don't see (or refuse to accept) the cultural alienation, downward socio-economic mobility (ie. change in class/status), the social isolation and loss of social capital, etc, etc.

I've seen some people seriously screw up themselves and/or their families by feeling worthless after migrating.
some do not get naturalized even in third generation ref. the recent riots in france.
but you are right.

Well I don't think I will get round to doing a blog of my own-not for a while.

Jack Point, after all is only a jester, whose comments should not be taken too seriously.

As the original Mr Point says

"I've wisdom from the East and from the West,
That's subject to no academic rule;
You may find it in the jeering of a jest,
Or distil it from the folly of a fool.
I can teach you with a quip, if I've a mind;
I can trick you into learning with a laugh;
Oh, winnow all my folly, folly, folly, and you'll find
A grain or two of truth among the chaff!"
naughty little Troll - won't do as he's told...

hmmm - fine well this is good-bye then....
sittingnut - Yes, then there is the french issue which is actually quite distinct. The migrant experience in france appears to be very different from anglosphere countries.

I am of the view that the anglosphere countries (Aus/Can/US/UK) are much better at integrating migrants than france and the european mainland states. Aus, Canada and the UK officially practice differing versions of multiculturalism and the US has the melting-pot. These coupled together with liberal tolerance, respect for the individual freedoms and open economies seem to be providing migrants and their kin with many opportunities to find success and continue most of their “reasonable” cultural practices (i.e. honour killings and the like are a no no) without interference.

In France it’s different and there seems to be many causal factors for the migrant dissatisfaction including their official policy of “french integration”. Everyone is considered to be a “French” citizen and denies the existence of distinct migrant cultural identities. Really lame statist economic policies that have resulted in high unemployment rates. Strong currents of racism which permeate mainstream society and discriminate against outsiders by labelling them as “unfrench”. High-levels of uneducated migrants from French colonies brought in as “factory-fodder” and grouped together ( of course the English have this problem too ). A hard-arse police force. Basically, intentionally or unintentionally, they seem to have constructed a lot of barriers to entry into French society.

I think fukuyama may have hit the nail on the head in this article about europe’s identity problems published just days before the French riots.
damn is the link for above.

I am a Sri Lankan Sinhala Buddhist Living in the U.S. While it is tru of what Nittewa said (most don't think about them being a minoity etc...) one really has to work hard to think they are not a minority. In fact, pathetic attempts are made by people to fool themselves into thinking, 'ah yes, this my culture and I am an (American/Australian/British - insert apprporiate country here) poombah now'.

The other thing with us (Sinhalese) is our superiority complex. Put a bunch of Sri Lankans to gether in another country and within 5 minutes there will be two sides. If there are enough people, by the end of the night, the village whore, village idiot, token mudalali will all have been identified, judged etc.

Whats is in our blood that disable us from getting over the petty squabbles?

As for Kesbewa, is badmouthing supporters of UNP the only thing he knows? Would he be like that if UPFA lost? And more interestingly, which policies of the UPFA made him decide to support them?
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