Competing Commemorations and A Hotbed of Political Manoeuvres — says Ferdinando

The Global Sri Lanka Forum (GSLF) celebrated Sri Lanka’s triumph over terrorism in May, 2009 with a public gathering in Dubai. Former Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohina addressed the gathering. On the invitation of the GSLF, Mrs S.G Juliet, mother of Corporal Gamini Kularatne of the Sixth Battalion of the Sinha Regiment garlanded a statue of her son. Gunaratne carried out suicide attack on an LTTE bulldozer on July 14, 1991 during the battle for the strategic Elephant Pass base, the gateway to the Jaffna peninsula. The event took place in the wake of the recent split in the GSLF, leading to the formation of another organization, World Patriotic Lankan Forum (WPLF), headed by Wasantha Keerthiratne.

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The Many Shadows from Black Hawk Down

Daniel Klaidman, in The Daily Beast, 10 September 2013, where the title is “The Lost Lessons of Black Hawk Down, https://www.thedailybeast.com/black-hawk-down

Twenty years later, the battle still echoes in America’s top policy circles. As the U.S. sets foot in Somalia again, men who fought in 1993 tell Daniel Klaidman what still haunts them.

Danny McKnight’s trip began in a tiny New England cemetery on Saturday, September 28, 2013—a crisp, clear fall morning. He kneeled by the gravestone of Corporal James Cavaco and placed a rock on top of it. McKnight’s wife, Linda, had painted the rock black, and on it, he had written with a silver Sharpie, “An American Hero” and “RLTW”—Rangers Lead the Way, the elite infantry unit’s motto. Continue reading

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Scaling The Heights of Everest: Johann Peries becomes Second Lankan to do this

Editorial Item in Newsin Asia, 22  May 2018, … https://newsin.asia/johann-peries-becomes-second-lankan-to-climb-everest/

Sri Lanka’s Johann Peries successfully climbed the 29,030 feet Mount Everest at 5.55 a.m in Nepal time on Tuesday, his support team in Colombo said.

 Johann Peries and Jayanthi Kuru Uthumpala, the two Sri Lankans who have climbed the Everest

This was his second attempt. Peries now becomes the second Sri Lankan to summit Mt. Everest after Jayanthi Kuru Utumpala did it in 2016. He left the Camp at 4.00p.m last evening. His earlier attempt in 2016 was unsuccessful when his oxygen tank failed 400 meters from the summit.

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Let Maj-Genl Holmes Speak as the SL Army enters the Propaganda War Front

Lasanda Kurukulasuriya, in Daily Mirror, 21 May 2018, with the title reading as War crimes charges Sri Lanka Army takes battle to propaganda front” …. while the highlighting emphsis here is the work of THe Editor, Thuppahi

Sri Lankan armed forces have not been in the habit of talking about themselves, even during the 30-year war,  or after, when sinister allegations of misconduct were (and still are) levelled against them. Army Commander Lt. Gen. Mahesh Senanayake’s recent forthright media interaction with Colombo-based foreign correspondents therefore came as an eye-opener about the activities, outlook, military culture and future plans of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA).  Nine years after proving its professionalism on the battlefield as a victorious army, the SLA, as the country’s biggest reservoir of human resources, is engaged in transforming itself into a peace-time force with a focus on nation building and contributing to world peace, he said. The SLA will also engage in fighting its own case now, with regard to allegations of war crimes. This is one of the tasks mandated to be carried out by the army’s ‘Directorate of Overseas Operations’ that was opened last month.   

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How It Became. Documenting the Ceylon National Congress

Michael Roberts

 

The four volume Documents of the Ceylon National Congress produced by the Department of National Archives in 1977 runs into 3208 pages. In keeping with bureaucratic rigidity, the four volumes are still sold at some Rs 250. The give-away price has not enabled it to reach the public. The treasure trove of documentary data within these four volumes –  encompassing LSSP and Communist Party meetings in their early days — remain unknown and unseen. How many scholars, let alone armchair historians, know that FC “Derek” de Saram, Oxford Blue and Ceylonese cricketer of note, was among the ginger group (identified as “Young Turks” by me as the editor of the documents) who attempted to rejuvenate the CNC in 1938/39 by converting it into a party that could contest elections?[1] Continue reading

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Tisaranee dissects the Current Populist Currents and their Chauvinist Underpinnings

Tisaranee Gunasekara in The Sri Lanka Guardian where the title runs thus: “Blood-and-Faith Populism and Sri Lanka’s Future””

“As the great reformers of the 19th century well knew, the Social Question, if left unaddressed, does not just wither away. It goes instead in search of more radical answers.””……Tony Judt (Reappraisals)

This month, the populist wave suffered two critical defeats. In France outsider-candidate Emmanuel Macron beat Marine Le Pen. In Iran, reformist president Hassan Rouhani trounced Ebrahim Raisi, a religious hardliner backed by Supreme Leader Khameni and the Revolutionary Guard. These defeats come in the wake of other electoral setbacks for populists, especially in Austria and The Netherlands. Despite these welcome-defeats, the current wave of populism is far from spent – and would continue wreak havoc, until the forces of moderation manage to create a new synthesis between pluralist democracy and progressive economics.

Populism is hardly a new phenomenon. It flourishes best where there is economic loss and pain. Populist leaders succeed in their power-grabs by harnessing that economic pain to their political projects. Continue reading

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Ceylon, Percy Fawcett and the Quest for the Lost City of Zed

Vinod Moonesinghe, courtesy of Roar Life, where the title is “The Lost City of Zed: Lanka’s Link”

In March 2018, the magazine Nature Communications published an article by a team of archaeologists from Exeter University. The team had been investigating possible ancient settlements in the Amazon’s upper Tapajós Basin, using a variety of modern techniques, including satellite imagery. They discovered 81 sites from the pre-Columbian era (about 1250-1500 A.D.).

 Shooting the giant anaconda, the cover of Expedition Fawcett, written by Brian Fawcett

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