I also would like to comment on some of the issues that are worth discussing, arising out of your anonymous writer’s attack on Dr. Kumudu. (වියරු වැටුණු බාහිර ලෝකයේ ගොදුරු වූ මේ කුමුදු සහ අහිංසක ස්ත්රිය කවුද? Posted: 7:24 pm, June 22, 2013 )
Your criticism of Dr. Kumudu is that he has said that the X Group wanted to bring to an end the university education in Sri Lanka. Didn’t the X Group claimed in its writings in Mathota and London that with the age of internet the university teacher becomes redundant and that anyone could go to the internet and self-study? ( Minister SB came into the scene a long time after the X Group’s attack on the university system in Sri Lanka.) X Group’s attack on Sri Lankan universities was part of its general attack on Civil Society. For example, Prof. Jayadeva Uyangoda would remember how he was taken to task by leading members of the X Group in public without allowing him to speak.
Thus didn’t the X Group reject the very idea of university education that takes place between a teacher and student as having no validity anymore. Perhaps we should browse through some of the old issues of London and Mathota. The claim of the X Group then was that the universities in Sri Lanka had lost its rationale ( “atharkika wela ” ). Isn’t the decline in the influence of social science and humanities education in the universities in Sri Lanka due to changing social-cultural-political factors that lead to making swabahsha education the medium in teaching in the universities since 1960s and their implications? ( That the JVP came under criticism from the Old Left including its intellectuals located in the universities is due to that the JVP’s futile attempt to take over the state in 1971 was carried out immediately after the 1970 SLFP-Left coalition came to power on a popular mandate and was hoping to push a left-oriented agenda through parliament democracy).
You claim you gained the intellectual hegemony in Sri Lanka since the decade of 90s and you still hold it. To support your claim on gaining intellectual hegemony in Sri Lanka, can you show instances where your intellectual hegemony is accepted in the mainstream intellectual activities in Sri Lanka, in the 90s or now? For example, can you show any ideas you have introduced to the mainstream discourse in Sri Lanka which have gained currency and discussed and debated among the intellectuals?
You try to discredit Dr. Kumudu by saying that he does not criticize his brother Mr. Bandula Padma Kumara for running down Lake House as its chairman. Aren’t you making a spurious relation, to say the least? Do you mean to say Dr. Kumudu should act as his brother’s keeper? Do you mean he has written on how public sector media has been run down and purposely avoided criticizing his brother’s role in it? In other words, in what context of the writings published by Dr. Kumudu that he has avoided addressing the case of Lake House? If your political group has such a strong criticism of Lake House under Mr. Bandula Padma Kumara how do you explain that Mr. Saman Wickramaarchchi has become a columnist at Lake House and your web site republishes his columns hiding their source? To which criticisms of Dr. Kumudu are you referring to when you claim that Dr. Kumudu’s criticisms are always directed against those who deprive him of his enjoyment and not against the totality? Also, do you think unless someone criticizes the totality it is not a valid criticism? Isn’t the notion of totality is only one way of looking at things rather than the only way?
Your writer refers to Dr. Kumudu’s marriage as follows: “ පළමු කසාදයෙන් වෙන් වී දෙවන විවාහයට සිත සදාගෙන ආත්මීයව පර්වර්තනයක් වෙමින් සිටි එම කාලයේ.” Can you pl. explain what does your writer mean by this as a response to Dr. Kumudu’s criticism of X Group? What is the “ආත්මීයව පර්වර්තනය” your writer is referring to here? Does he suggest that Dr. Kumudu’s second marriage disqualify him from discussing political ideas?
Your claim that it is the X Group that created an intellectual climate for Dr. Kumudu in this period does not stand to scrutiny. It is known Dr. Kumudu had been a founding member of the editorial board of Mawatha cultural magazine in 1974. At the same time he was also on the editorial of Janawegaya, newspaper. In the 80’s he was working with Dr. Newton Gunasinghe on the SSA project on Capital and Peasant Production. In 1995, Dr. Kumudu organised a series of seminars on Post Modernism at the International Center of Ethnic Studies which began with a presentation by Prof. Jayadeva Uyangoda on Foucault and ended with a lecture by Dr. Arjuna Parakrama on “What is post-modernism trying to do?” Wasn’t it due to the pressure of some leading members of the X Group that Dr. Kumudu was invited to talk at the inauguration of the magazine London because those members wanted to bring within the X Group the critique Dr. Kumudu had been making about the X Group in his discussions with members of the X Group at Colombo University? When you read the speech made by Dr. Kumudu at the inauguration of the London magazine which was included in an article published by Balaya magazine later, did it show that Dr. Kumudu was trying to curry favour with the X Group by giving this talk or was that a strong critique of the ideology of the X Group? By that time Dr. Kumudu had been conducting study circles at the ICES and Vibhavi with some leading members of the X Group attending these seminars. In this context how can the X Group stand by its claim that it provided a stage for Dr. Kumudu? Why would the X Group do that?
Isn’t it clear that this entire criticism of Dr. Kumudu by your writer is a politically motivated attack rather than being based on facts?
I hope your writer will respond to these comments.