Category Archives: centre-periphery relations

Christopher Hitchens in Perceptive Reading of the LTTE Defeat in May 2009

Christopher Hitchens,in Slate, 25 May 2009, where the title is “The End of the Tamil Tigers” … and where the chief by-line saysInsurgencies don’t always have history on their side” … See my brief NOTE at the end re the late Christopher Hitchens and note that the  highlights are my imposition

In the late fall of 1978, I was approached by a Sri Lankan Tamil rights group, which visited the office of the socialist weekly in London where I was then working and entreated me to pay a visit to their country. I say “their” country, though they actually referred to it as “Ceylon”: the British colonial name that continued to be the country’s name after independence in 1948. It was only changed in 1972. The word Lanka is simply the name for island in Sanskrit, and the prefix Sri has a connotation of holiness, and the alteration generally reflected the aspirations and preferences of the Sinhalese-speaking and Buddhist majority. So the difference in emphasis there was pretty large to begin with.

 Sri Lankan soldiers with the remains of what’s said to be Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran = pic & caption as in SLATE

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Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, centre-periphery relations, China and Chinese influences, Eelam, foreign policy, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, nationalism, politIcal discourse, prabhakaran, Rajapaksa regime, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, war reportage, world events & processes

The Games that the Almighty Play: Syria Now, Sri Lanka Then

Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka, from The Island, 10 April 2017, where the title is “Watching Syria, seeing Sri Lanka” … highlighting in this presentation being my workas Editor …. and with further Commentary and Bibliographic References at the end

It was not easy to watch the proceedings on Friday April 7 that the UN Security Council’s emergency ‘open session’ on Syria without thinking of Sri Lanka, although the actual circumstances of the UN’s engagement with the two countries are very different. Only one thing seemed alarmingly similar. It seemed like a set up. US Ambassador Nikki Haley’s dramatic gesture of holding up photographs of chemical-gassed children only served to bring to mind the now famous theatrical display of a vial of anthrax by US Secretary of State Colin Powell at the same venue to warn the Council of the imminent danger that lay before the world from WMDs in Iraq.

Image #: 24024242 Pigeons lie on the ground after dying from what activists say is the use of chemical weapons by forces loyal to President Bashar Al-Assad in the Damascus suburbs of Arbeen August 24, 2013. Picture taken August 24, 2013. REUTERS/Ammar Dar (SYRIA – Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT ANIMALS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) REUTERS /STRINGER /LANDOV

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Filed under accountability, american imperialism, authoritarian regimes, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, disparagement, Eelam, foreign policy, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, Indian Ocean politics, landscape wondrous, Left politics, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, news fabrication, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, Responsibility to Protect or R2P, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, tamil refugees, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, vengeance, war reportage, world events & processes

Mangala’s Testicles in a Selfie-Twist

Lasanda Kurrukulasuriya, courtesy of Daily Mirror, 5 April 2017 where her chosen title is Geneva resolution is about prosecutions, not reconciliation”… so the Thuppahi title is an Editorial Imposition.

After the UN Human Rights Council 34th session ended in Geneva, the US said it introduced three resolutions that were adopted with ‘broad cross regional support.’ The list included Resolution 34/1 on Sri Lanka.  The statement says that ‘Sri Lanka was one of the 47 co-sponsors’ of Resolution 34/1. This assertion is extremely disingenuous, if it is made on the basis that the resolution was adopted without a vote in the 47-member HRC. How could any member state of the HRC or friend of Sri Lanka be expected to raise its voice against the resolution when Sri Lanka itself had submitted to co-sponsoring it?


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Initiating Marinas in Sri Lanka: Big Plans

Rajkumar Kanagasingam,  courtesy of Daily Mirror, 16 March 2017, where the title is “Establishing first-ever marinas in Sri Lanka

M “Establishing first-ever marinas in Sri Lankaarina is an unheard name to many Sri Lankans, but not anymore. Dr. Dietmar Doering, a German hotelier based in Marawila in the North Western Province of Sri Lanka, is venturing into establishing a first-ever marina in Marawila.  He pioneered sports tourism in Sri Lanka nearly three decades ago by establishing Asian-German Sports Exchange Programme; now it’s his turn for enhancing nautical tourism in Sri Lanka. Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga also has given the green light to make this marina venture a success. Generally, the Mediterranean region is famous for some of the world’s finest marinas; they are harbouring thousands of yachts and boats which are owned by rich and adventurous boaters around the world. Those boaters are not only cruising around the Mediterranean Seas but crossing the Suez Canal and entering into the Arabian Sea and many of them are venturing towards East Asia.  India and Sri Lanka are getting their importance because of their location but hardly any marinas to serve them other than the recently established Kochi International Marina in the Indian state of Kerala.

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Filed under centre-periphery relations, commoditification, cultural transmission, economic processes, life stories, modernity & modernization, sri lankan society, tourism, travelogue, world events & processes

Constitutional Reforms in the Melting Pot: Bulathsinghala and Perera

I. Frances Bulathsinghala: “A glimpse into the saga of Sri Lanka’s constitutional reforms,” South Asian Monitor, 24 February 2017,

The attempts by Sri Lanka’s National Unity government to draft a new constitution in order to seek a permanent solution to the long drawn Tamil ethnic question is afloat in the grey skies of ambiguity.

Although six subcommittees on various subjects had submitted their reports based on wide scale public consultations and the Steering Committee had drafted its own report based on the recommendations by the sub committees, plans of presenting the report to the Constitutional Assembly which comprises the current members of parliament, has been stalled.


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Unique Prime Ministerial Encounter at Manuka Oval in Canberra

An Unique Happening occurred at Manuka Oval and thereafter in Canberra on the 15th February 2017. It involved  1) a Courtesy extended by the Australian Prime Minister to a national team visiting for a very short tour;  2) The Toss being enacted by by the two Prime Ministers with the captains in attendance; and  3) a Group photograph of the teams with both Prime Ministers…. and 4) The presence at the match of the Governor General H.E Peter Cosgrove and Lady Cosgrove in addition to the two Prime Ministers and some members of both Parliaments.



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Filed under Australian culture, australian media, centre-periphery relations, governance, landscape wondrous, patriotism, performance, politIcal discourse, world events & processes

Constitutional Issues in the Limelight … Liyanage and CBK

ONE:  Constitutional Reforms: Would it be a solution to the national question?” by Sumanasiri Liyanage, in The Island, 16 February 2016

A German friend of mine whom I met after 7 years in the middle of our conversation asked me about the state reforms project of the Yahapalana government. He said that many people he met had been sanguine about them in spite of some minor difficulties. Lankans have been talking about the state reforms since the second republican constitution was promulgated in 1978. Three main questions have been posed, namely, (1) The executive presidential system and the  over-centralized architecture of the constitution; (2) the constitutional relevance in ethnically divided society; and (3) the representational deficiency in the system of election. After a heated debate in the 1980s and 1990, the heat of the constitutional debate has now subsided as many seem to believe that the present system has reached some stability. This may be partly due to the rigid character of the constitutional design. However, it is not totally true as we have had Parliaments with the necessary 2/3 majority [to effect change if requisite].


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Filed under accountability, centre-periphery relations, constitutional amendments, governance, Left politics, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, world affairs