Category Archives: centre-periphery relations

Encountering Prejudice in Lanka as a Person of Mixed Descent

Krystle Reid, from Groundviews, http://groundviews.org/author/krystle-reid/  where the title is “A Welcoming Nation”

The following is a list of things I’m often asked or told, revealing of Sri Lankan perceptions about the Burgher community.

  1. Are you Sri Lankan?
  2. Can you speak in Sinhalese?
  3. ‘You’re a Burgher? You sure don’t look like one’
  4. ‘Sounds like a Las Vegas stripper name’
  5. ‘They get drunk every Saturday and go to church the next day, no shame’
  6. ‘Burghers? Parents must be divorced then.’
  7. ‘Lansi no? Probably got the job because of her English and the mini skirt’
  8. ‘Burgher…. like a hamburger?’

I could continue but the real point I was trying to make is that 70 years after independence, our ethnicity is still misunderstood. Continue reading

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Individual Subjectivity in the Appraisal of 70 Years of Independence: Explorations in Groundviews

What does it mean to be Sri Lankan?

70 years after independence, our identity is defined mostly along majoritarian lines, which can be traced back to the divisions created under British rule. These divisions have contributed to violence and war, in the years since 1948.

To this day, there are communities who feel that what is commonly projected and defined as the Sri Lankan identity does not reflect their reality, or themselves. Looking at this, Groundviews produced a series of videos exploring identity and belonging in a country emerging from war, but not yet out of conflict.

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Is the Resounding Silence of the Western Powers Today a Meaningful Pointer to the Recent Past?

J. Natasha Gooneratne, in Island, 14 February 2018, where the title is “Yahapalanaya and silence of international community”.Note that the highlighting has been imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

Does the international community’s silence during the rule of Yahapalanaya mean Sri Lanka is finally on the ‘right’ path, or that we’re finally doing what we’re told to do!!!

Mangala Samaraweera at UN, 2015– http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/39111

From 2009 to 2014, Sri Lanka was so heavily featured in international news and foreign government feeds that it was impossible to ignore. From the US led resolution, submitted to the UNHRC, to opinions on how the former government leaders should be tried in international courts (one American journalist even explained how the former Defense Secretary could be taken out of Sri Lanka and be tried in a US court in order to remove impediments toward Yahapalanaya rule), to unsubstantiated claims about corruption, the international community seemed to only want to take out the Rajapaksa-led government, whether they had proof or not of what they were writing about. Continue reading

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D H Lawrence in Kandy 1922

Jane Russell

D H Lawrence came to Ceylon with his wife Frieda in late February 1922. Lawrence once referred to the later years of his life, spent wandering from place to place across the world in search of relief from illness, as his “savage pilgrimage”.  Interestingly, the Lawrences arrived just a couple of years after Hilda Westbrook (soon to be Kularatne) first passed through the Colombo Harbour steamboat passenger terminal.

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Is Sri Lanka creating A Dungeon for Itself?

Kalinga Seneviratne 4 February 2018 with this title  “Sri Lanka Celebrating Independence In Chains Of Its Own Making” at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/sri-lanka-celebrating-independence-chains-its-own-kalinga-seneviratne/

While Sri Lanka “celebrates” 70 years of independence from British colonial rule this month, its sovereignty is being threatened as never before since gaining independence in 1948 – tempting one to remark that Sri Lanka is celebrating ‘independence in chains’. The strategically placed Indian ocean island is an important lynchpin in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) which western powers – especially the United States and Britain – are keen to sabotage as its success would end their hegemony in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond.

 Sri Lanka troop transport catamaran in 2004-wikiemedia Commons

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Our Seventieth Year: Reflections on Sri Lanka’s Independence

Jehan Perera, in Island 5 Feb 2018, where the title is”How to celebrate 71st year of our independence with national unity”
article_image

This year’s Independence Day celebration was marked by a strong effort of the government to represent the diversity of the country’s people in the cultural expressions during the official events at Galle Face. In keeping with the new tradition set by the government in 2015, the national anthem was sung in both Sinhala and Tamil. But more than on previous occasions, the traditional dances and other cultural items that were conducted represented all the communities in their diversities. At the level of the people, this cultural expression represented the reality of the capital city, and also other parts, in which there is a strong representation of all the ethnic and religious communities who coexist in friendship and harmony for the most part. Continue reading

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Baththalangunduwa: An Isle Intriguing

Maneshka Borham, in Sunday Island, 28 January 2018

Around 38 kilometers or 20 nautical miles from the town of Kalpitiya off the Dutch Bay lies the island of Baththalangunduwa. A thin strip of an island about a mere five square kilometers in size, it is one of the few inhabited ones off the coast of Kalpitiya. However, despite  being a thriving fishing village, the island in its recent times has also become a popular destination for travellers looking for adventure off the beaten track.

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