Category Archives: centre-periphery relations

Jayampathi Wickramarathna n Q and A on the Process of Constitution-Making

Sandun A Jayasekera in Daily Mirror, 25 July 2017, where the title runs New Constitution for Sri Lanka : ten experts working on initial draft of Constitution”

The Constitution making process is in limbo right now and the ‘Yahapalana Government’ seems quite content with the passing of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. Attempts to introduce a new Constitution has come under much criticism by many in the country. The Daily Mirror spoke to the main architect of the drafting of a new Constitution for Sri Lanka, Parliamentarian and Constitutional expert Dr. Jayampathi Wickramarathna on the issue.  Continue reading

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The Demons within the Proposed New Constitution: A Trojan Horse?

CA Chandraprema, in The Island, 25 July 2018, where the title is“The nature of the State and the Presidency” … with emphasis added by The Editor, Thuppahi

The new draft constitution prepared by a panel of experts, for the consideration of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly is now out. The panel of experts who prepared this draft comprised the following: Prof. Suri Ratnapala, N. Selvakkumaran, Prof. Navaratna Bandara, Asoka Gunawardena, Suren Fernando and Niran Anketell. Proposed Article 1 of the draft constitution describes the Sri Lankan state as follows: “Sri Lanka (Ceylon) is a free, sovereign and independent Republic which is an aekiya rajyaya/ orumiththa nadu, consisting of the institutions of the Centre and of the Provinces which shall exercise power as laid down in the Constitution. In this Article aekiya rajyaya // orumiththa nadu means a State which is undivided and indivisible, and in which the power to amend the Constitution, or to repeal and replace the Constitution, shall remain with the Legislature and the People of Sri Lanka as provided in this Constitution.”

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Profound Flaws in Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Victory Speech in May, 2009

Michael Roberts

 This article was penned in Sri Lanka in late May 2009 on invitation from Muralidhar Reddy and appeared in FRONTLINE as lead article on Volume 26 – Issue 12 :: Jun. 06-19, 2009  with the title “Some Pillars for Lanka’s Future” and with a significant guideline photograph of the Ceylonese gentleman of varied ethnicity who pressed for constitutional reform in the 1900s and 1910son the foundations of all island thinking – albeit with an elitist upper-class bias. Note the radical proposal at the end of the article –which has  died without any takers …so there is no thinking outside the box.

Frontline also inserted this comment at the start: “Rajapaksa should match his sweet words with political reforms that institutionalise devolution and reach out to Tamil minds.”

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Hambantota Port: Dirty Economics from the New York Times

Michael Roberts

The New York Times “distinguished itself” in 2009 by participating in the campaign to intervene in the Sri Lankan government’s campaign to end the LTTE military states’ control of parts of Sri Lanka. It was also partial to the Western powers’ successful efforts to oust Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Presidential Election in 2015 via the formation of what is known as the Yahapaalana Consortium.

The Hambantota Port gets only a small percentage of Sri Lanka’s port business, overshadowed by the main complex in the capital.CreditAdam Dean for The New York Times

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Creeping Neo-liberal Stranglehold on Sri Lanka

Tamara Kunanayakam, from Island, in Three Parts with title Sri LankJune 2018, an sovereignty, non-negotiable!”

Sri Lankan sovereignty – its supremacy in domestic policy and its independence in foreign policy – is under a two-pronged attack. In Sri Lanka, the neoliberals seek physical appropriation of territory and all that it contains, targeting the very substance of sovereignty and independence – the inalienable right of the people to full and permanent sovereignty, including possession, use and disposal, over all their wealth, natural resources and economic activities. Without permanent sovereignty, there can be no independent domestic or foreign policy; without it, independence and sovereignty are but empty shells.

 

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Hambantota Port City Prospects Burgeoning

Editor, NewsinAsia, 22 June 2018,  where the title reads ” Sri Lanka’s Hambantota Port aiming to attract $500 mn worth of investments

Colombo, June 22 (Daily FT) – As China Merchant Port Holdings Ltd. (CM Port) completes the final tranche of payment for the Hambantota Port joint venture, the public-private partnership is now aiming to attract as much as $ 500 million worth of investments to set up plants inside the port as well as general operation expansion.

Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG), the joint venture company formed by the Sri Lankan Government and CM Port, has already received 15 proposals to set up plants inside the port, Ports Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe told the media yesterday at a press conference held at his ministry.

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SBD de Silva: Marxist Scholar Extraordinary … Sharp Mind, Simple Life-Style

Gamini Seneviratne,  courtesy of The Island, 18 June 2018

SB who passed away last week at the age of 93 was undoubtedly the foremost analyst we have had of what his principal work defined as “The Political Economy of Underdevelopment”.  In that work, first published in 1982, as the blurb puts it, Dr. de Silva dealt with the theory of underdevelopment as he attempted a synthesis between the internal and external aspects of underdevelopment. In the Marxist tradition he focused on the impact of the external on the internal as the dominant reality.

Front Cover
RoutledgeMay 23, 2012 – Business & Economics – 646 pages

First published in 1982, this reissue deals with the theory of underdevelopment, as Dr. de Silva attempts a synthesis between the internal and external aspects of underdevelopment and, in the Marxist tradition, focuses on the impact of the external on the internal as the dominant reality.Viewing underdevelopment as a problem in the non-transformation to capitalism, this analysis is in terms of the character of the dominant capital and of the dominant classes. Underdevelopment thus encompasses the ‘traditional’ peasant economy and also the export sector where the ‘modernizing’ influence of colonialism was felt. The book finally considers how the contemporary internationalization of capital affected the economies of the Third World.

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