Pelican flotilla- Pic by Alan Marriage Continue reading
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Rohan de Soysa
Calverley House, built in 1868, was the residence of a famous barrister, Frederick Dornhorst KC (1849 to 1926), in whose memory there is a much coveted prize given each year at Royal College to the most popular student. It was situated in what was then Turner Road, later re-named Turret Road, and now called Anagarika Dharmapala Mawatha. It was a substantial colonial style mansion typical of such late 19th century/early 20th century houses, well-suited for such an eminent person. Continue reading
The High Court will today determine the fate of pregnant mother Ranjini and 50 other refugees deemed security threats by ASIO. MY feelings are dead. I have my body and my soul only. All my parts of the body are now stopped working properly. Hearing, looking, tasting and all the feelings are gone and I am living without anything. So says Arjuna. Arjuna writes to stay sane, but feels like he is losing the battle. He survives on a diet of sleeping tablets and tries to keep thoughts of self-harm at bay by thinking of the wife and child he was forced to leave behind in Sri Lanka. Continue reading
Rapier SAMs on Blackheath Commons in London, apparently installed to protect the London Olympics. They were last used in the Falklands in 1982, where their performance was, frankly, pretty poor. Perhaps they’ve been upgraded. But what will arrest Al Qaida, and its rhizomic offshoots, with or without Osama bin Laden?
The Kodigahakanda forest in the Olaboduwa North Grama Niladhari division in Horana will be declared a sanctuary in November under the Forest Conservation Department, K.Munagam (President of MEDEF, that is, the Mihithala Mithuro Environmental Development Foundation)told the Daily News. “This is the first wildlife sanctuary in the Kalutara district,” he said. Kodigahakanda bio-diversity centre at Gonapola was opened by Kalutara District Parliamentarian Vidura Wickramanayake on Sunday.
Kodigahakanda Conservation Society and Mihithala Mithuro Environmental Development Foundation (MEDEF) with the financial support of Global Environmental Foundation (GEF) through United Nation’s Development Program (UNDP), built this centre to conserve the biodiversity of the forest with the participation of the regional community. The initial financial allocation for the centre was Rs 1.5 million.
Kodigahakanda is an 18 acre secondary scrub jungle on top of a granite based hill rock, 378 feet above sea-level at its highest point. It is located in a 600 acre coconut plantation. Though the land belongs to philanthropist Rohan De Soyza, he has kept the forest without exploiting it for economic gains. He had wanted to keep the jungle unharmed for the benefit of diverse creatures living there. Continue reading
Mike Marqusee, sent directly but written for The Hindu … also see www.mikemarqusee.com
“Criminality pure and simple” was Prime Minister David Cameron’s initial verdict on the rioting. From the right came the mantra, “Down with sociology! Up with water cannon!” Don’t think but do act – harshly, punitively, peremptorily. In the wake of the riots, a powerful vested interest has been at work – a vested interest in people not making links, not searching for causes, not weighing contexts. Above all, an interest in derailing the growing resistance to the government’s austerity programme.
In the vast realm of human phenomena there are few things as impure or as complex as a riot, with its ever-shifting array of motives and circumstances. It is a social phenomenon and requires a social analysis and response. It’s the denial of that duty that’s reckless and irresponsible, not the alleged “socio-economic excuses” reviled by conservativ Continue reading
Pic of injured children from AI web site
Web Editor: This presentation isolates and recuperates a selected thread of discussion within postings on the Sri Lankan situation in 2009 provided by Jim Macdonald of Amnesty International, USA, in the official AI web site in September 2009. I requested “Mango” to extract his series of engagements with Macdonald on this site, excluding other entries and other cross-talk (some quite virulent). The reasons for this step are clarified in a separate post. Michael Roberts.
Pic of Tamil people escaping from the LTTE’s last redoubt to western shores of Nandikadal lagoon
Summary: Amnesty International has been a vociferous and consistent critic human rights abuses committed by ‘both sides’ during Sri Lanka’s war against the LTTE. Yet opinions expressed by its ‘country specialist’, Jim McDonald in 2009 shows that AI’s real thinking correlated deeply with the ‘Righteous’ mindset. His beliefs can be summarised as follows:
– Sri Lanka didn’t try anything other than a military solution to end the conflict.
– Sri Lanka disregarded risks to civilians in the war zone.
– The government never sought a political solution
– Demands for autonomy were never met by the government
– The government didn’t try to ‘undercut’ the LTTE’s support base
– Refused to provide evidence that AI had not received funding from EU official bodies.
Notes to reading this document: comments and replies are in chronological order as they appeared on the AI USA blog. When I have quoted from Jim’s writing in my own replies, I have used the phrase [Jim says] or similar. Typos and other errors have been left as originally written. The most ‘interesting’ admissions and/or statements made by Jim McDonald have been highlighted in bold and blue text. SEE “Sri Lanka: Time for action by the UN” http://tinyurl.com/36rqtg5 as well as http://tinyurl.com/36rqtg5 and http://tinyurl.com/3s534vr and http://tinyurl.com/yhcrg5m.
Note from MANGO: “some temporal oddities are seen on this particular blog posting. I was being censored by AI, hence the double and repeat posts. All times and dates are visible on the originalALblog post.”
September 15th, 2009 at 8:01 am
Will AI indemnify Sri Lanka if IDPs are sent back to their original homes in mine-uncleared areas? Perhaps AI could create a chart listing compensation for loss of life and limb due to mine injuries. How about $500 for a leg? Or is that too expensive? What is AI doing about returning Sri Lankans previously ‘ethnically cleansed’ out of their homes by the LTTE, who are still languishing in miserable IDP camps? Remember them?
Or is AI still going through the grieving process at the total annihilation of its favourite terror group, the LTTE?
One pedantic point: GOSL will argue this isn’t ‘arbitrary’ detention, but necessary to weed out the remaining hard-core LTTE cadres, who are amongst the refugees. There may be other hard-core cadres in the rest of the country, but major combat occured in the North East, so obviously, they’ll be in amongst this group of IDPs. So AI’s logic is faulty. No real suprise there.
Jim McDonald Says: September 15th, 2009 at 7:15 pm
In response to Mango’s comments, I would say: Continue reading
The Ondaatjes are of Colombo Chetty and thus Tamil lineage, but intermixed with the Burghers and all sorts. As such, they — and this product– is quintessentially THUPPAHI — like the web editor. Keep Smiling ….and ENJOY.