Category Archives: authoritarian regimes

Jehan Perera evaluates New President’s Cautious Approach

Jehan Perera, in Island, 28 January 2020, where the title is “Adopt a problem solving approach for the north”

Contrary to expectations the government is treading a cautious path with regard to past commitments on controversial matters made by the previous government. This may be disappointing to its more nationalist supporters. They might have expected an immediate change of approach and rescinding of agreements they see as unfair or not in the national interest. In the run up to the presidential election campaign, the present government’s front line campaigners claimed that the MCC grant of USD 450 million by the US government that had just received cabinet approval would endanger the country’s national security. Members of the government and their nationalist supporters were emphatic in saying that the former government had betrayed the country. This effectively sank any prospect of election victory that the former government’s presidential candidate may have had.

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Sampanthan’s Devious Reasoning and Twisted Historical Review

Rajeewa Jayweera, in Island, 18 January 2020, where the title runs President’s policy statement and Sampanthan’s amnesia” … with underlining emphasis being i positions by The Editor, Thuppahi

During the two-day adjournment debate on the policy statement delivered by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R Sampanthan’s outburst had more holes than a target sheet in a firing range (and Swiss Ambassador Hanspeter Mock’s charge of the abduction, molestation, and interrogation by unknown persons of embassy minor employee Garnier Banister Francis aka Sriyalatha Perera).

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Barefaced Lies in the OHCHR REPORT from Geneva: Weerasekera’s Challenge in 2016

Dharshan Weerasekera, in Lankaweb, 15 January 2016, with this title “A rebuttal of the OHCHR Report, 1: Outright Lies”

To my knowledge, the Government has to date not commissioned an official assessment of the OHCHR report (also called the OISL report) or at any rate if it has, such report is not available to the public.[1]  And yet, one reads in the newspapers that the Government is about to start ‘the consultation process to design’ mechanisms to probe the ‘past,’ in order to satisfy recommendations made in UNHRC resolution A/HRC/30/L.29.[2]

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Becoming and Being Sri Lankan: The National Anthem in Our Mother Tongues

Eranda Ginige, on in Lanka News Web, 6 January 2020, where the title is “The Language of the National Anthem”

The Dominion of Ceylon was formed on 4 February 1948 with the singing of Britain’s national anthem “God Save the King” and it continued to be the anthem for another four years

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Bracegirdle and the Early LSSP in Anti-Colonial Thrusts

Vinod Moonesinghe, courtesy of Roar, 21 May 2017, where the title reads “Bracegirdle: The Young Anglo-Australian Behind Sri Lanka’s Independence Struggle”

After the Matale Revolt of 1848, the independence struggle in Sri Lanka was quiescent until the 1930s. Only in 1931 did the short-lived Jaffna Youth Congress call for total independence (poorana swaraj) and boycotted the general election.However, in far-away America, a young Sri Lankan student, Philip Gunawardena, had already joined the League Against Imperialism and For National Independence, an international organisation committed to the complete national independence of the colonial and semi-colonial peoples, including Sri Lankans. He later went to Britain and worked for the League. He belonged to a Sri Lankan group called the “Cosmopolitan Crew”, mainly students such as himself, including N. M. Perera, Colvin R. de Silva and Leslie Goonewardena.

Bracegirdle with L.S.S.P. leaders in Horana. Image courtesy Victor Ivan

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A Critical Interpretation of Gotabaya’s Political Programme

ACL Ameer Ali, in Daily FT, 20 December 2019, where the title is “GR’s political exclusion and economic inclusion”

“There should be a huge program to make them (bhikkus) aware of what a modern state is. This has to be a secular state and politicians – not monks – should make the decisions. We have not fully developed the idea or understanding of the modern state. Religion should not be a factor… Buddhism is myself, and how I treat you…” – Ven. Galkande Dhammananda Thera, 18 July 2006.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa (PGR) appears to have found a magic solution to the national question of ethnic division and religious turbulence in Sri Lanka, a solution that somehow seems to have escaped the minds of previous political leaders and social scientists. He consistently maintained that the majority is against devolution of power to north and east.

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The Decline of the LSSP in 20th Century Sri Lanka: Sivasambu’s Question

Fr l-to-r= Philip, Colvin R, NM and Reggie Perera

ABOUT Nathan Sivasambu: Nathan Sivasambu is an old-school Trotskyite and a Sri Lankan to the core. After his undergraduate degree from the University of Ceylon in the 1950s he migrated to England. He has sustained his interest in island politics as well as the literary world associated with the Bloomsbury Group and Leonard Woolf. His batchelor-flat near Russell Square placed him close to the Bloomsbury arena in London… and the British Museum as well as SOAS and its Sri Lankan stock of books.

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