COLOMBO : The sudden demise of Sri Lankan journalist, Professor Qadri Ismail in the United States, has sent shock waves to the media world .
In Sri Lanka,Ismail, who was well-known for his independent reporting.He also covered the ethnic war in Sri Lanka before he moved to the USA.
He was the son of late Proctor Shakir Ismail and Fazeera Ismail,he edited the famous academic book call Un-making the nation and later authored a book on Sri Lankan nationalism called ” Abiding by Sri Lanka” and more recently he produced a book called ‘Culture and Eurocentrism.”.
Ismail was associate professor of English at the University of Minnesota, USA, and has also been a journalist in Sri Lanka. His areas of speciality include cultural studies, postcolonial literature, literary theory, gender/sexuality, historiography, democracy, human rights, the enlightenment, the British 19th century and cricket.
As a journalist mired in the war-torn jungles of northern Sri Lanka in the late 1980s, Qadri Ismail– lay wounded on the ground with no feeling in his body from the neck down. Temporary paralysis from the shrapnel that seared through his neck left him frozen and bleeding.
A reporter for Time magazine and the Sri Lankan Sunday Times newspaper, Ismail was shot by a passing Indian army helicopter as he tried to leave the restricted war zone he had snuck into just days earlier.
On hearing Ismail’s death, one of his friends,Mahendran Thiruvarngan said : “ Very saddened to hear about the passing of Prof. Qadri Ismail. His work on nationalism and literature has always inspired me. I also admire Qadri Ismail for his forthright critique of Tamil nationalism. He courageously exposed the majoritarianism and intolerance that resides at the heart of Tamil nationalism in an academic context where Left-leaning academics sometimes hesitate to call into question the exclusions that notions like self-determination and ethnic homelands produce. Such a great loss. I am sure his work will continue to make us reflect critically upon concepts, frameworks and paradigms that have been upheld in a fallacious manner as avenues for liberation.”
Ismail’s funeral arrangements will be notified in due course.