Category Archives: wikileaks
… captured by Alan Marriage
Michael Roberts, courtesy of Colombo Telegraph where it appeared a few days earlier.. with a different title. The version here has minor embellishments.
Frontispiece images in the Gordon Weiss web-site — http://www.gordonweissauthor.com/press.html#
In the course of my researches into the emergence of Ceylonese nationalism in the British period, I delved in considerable detail into an event that was referred to then as “the 1915 riots” – the term “riots” in South Asia being a mechanical reproduction of the terminology of the British legal lexicon to describe affrays of all sorts. In 1915 this shorthand phrase referred to the assaults on the Mohammedan Moors (as they were called then) in the south-western quadrant by elements of the Sinhalese population (Roberts 1981). Amidst the complex processes that promoted this outbreak let me isolate a particular factor: a critical force inspiring the attacks was the incitement by those whom I have referred to as “stirrers” (Kannangara 1984; Roberts 1981; 1994a).
The outbreak of the July 1983 pogrom against Tamils living in the south-western and central regions of Lanka encouraged scholars to redefine such events as “pogroms.” On this occasion too, anecdotal testimony from friends and the article by Valli Kanapathypillai (1990) indicate that incitement by a diverse body of chauvinist stirrers was one factor behind a campaign that legitimised the terror wrought by depicting these activities as acts that would “teach Tamils a lesson.”
Dwelling on some anecdotal tales I was motivated in the 1990s to pen a literary essay of protest against the horrendous acts of July 1983: “The Agony and Ecstasy of a Pogrom: Southern Lanka, July 1983.” This article was written during a lonely sojourn in Charlottesville, Virginia, where my isolation promoted reflexivity. Central to this intervention was the deployment of two horrifying photographs extracted from the Tamil Times. In subsequent years I discovered that these images had been captured by a brave cameraman, Chandragupta Amarasinghe, who supplied me with better copies and clarified details about the mayhem around Borella Junction that 24th/25th night in July (Roberts 1994b, 2003). Continue reading
Ben Doherty, in Tamilnadu, India, from the Sydney Morning Herald, 11 Sept. 2011
On the broad sands of southern India’s beaches lie thousands of wooden dhows and fibre glass skiffs, plied in trades, legitimate and otherwise, in the Bay of Bengal. On one of these boats, from one of these beaches, two years ago, Rathidevi’s son Dhuuaragan leftIndia, and his life in a refugee camp, bound for Australia. She has not heard from him since. She does not know whether he is alive or dead. Four months after her son left in October 2009, she received a phone call from a number and a voice she did not recognise, telling her her son was in an Indonesian jail. The line then dropped out. ”I do not know who called me.”
Dhuuragan’s family invested everything in his trip. ”We had to pay 1½ lakhs [$A3100],” Rathidevi says. ”We sold all the jewellery we had, all the gold that I had. We sold everything to pay that money.”
With the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war two years ago, the movement of Tamil asylum seekers across the globe has slowed. But at least three times in the past three months, groups of Tamil asylum seekers have been arrested by authorities trying to leave for Australia, in one case caught standing on a beach in the early hours of the morning waiting for their boat. Last month, 147 men, women and children were arrested in Andhra Pradesh, about to meet their ”migration agent”. Continue reading
Angu Rajendran, in the Daily News, August 2011
They are full of enthusiasm! They are full of ideals! They are tomorrow’s leaders! They know to look at world issues and to analyse them. They know that every problem has two sides to it. They know that life is not all black and white. They know that you can agree to disagree when the going gets tough. The Sri Lanka Schools debating team is participating in the World Schools Debating Championships in Scotland from August 17 to 24. Five youngsters aged 15 years to 18 are accompanied by their coach – the 21 year old Kithmina Hewage who is here on holiday from Johns Hopkins USA where he is reading for a degree in Foreign Relations and Economics. The young debaters are very confident as they prepare for the world competition. Their confidence is born out of hours of research and debate on world issues. Combined with the idealism of youth and the excitement and adventure that awaits them inScotland, when debaters from forty three other countries gather to argue on the world’s most pressing social and economic issues, the young team of three girls and two boys is indeed a source of great pride for Sri Lanka.
The world debating competition consists of eight debates per team. They have four debates on given topics and four impromptu topics. “Of course the impromptu topics will only be given to us exactly one hour before our debate”, says Captain Sanjit Dias. These five debaters were the chosen ones, from the cream of top fifteen debaters who took part in the National Schools Debating Tournament conducted by the Debaters council ofSri Lanka. TheAllIslandcompetition was won by Colombo International School (CIS) who debated against St Thomas Mount Lavinia on the topic ‘Wikileaks should be banned’ in the final round.