Category Archives: China and Chinese influences

Thomas Meaney, A Review Article, courtesy of the Author and the London Review of Books,… with emphasis by highlights added by The Editor, Thuppahi … SEE www.lrb.co.uk

prabha-with-pistol-2   prabha-tiger

Rescued from the Nation: Anagarika Dharmapala and the Buddhist World by Steven Kemper, Chicago, 480 pp, £31.50, January 2015, ISBN 978 0 226 19907

Tamil: A Biography by David Shulman, Harvard, 416 pp, £25.00, September 2016, ISBN 978 0 674 05992 4

The Seasons of Trouble: Life amid the Ruins of Sri Lanka’s Civil War by Rohini Mohan, Verso, 368 pp, £16.99, October 2015, ISBN 978 1 78168 883 0

Independence was handed to Ceylon’s elite on a platter. ‘Think of Ceylon as a little bit of England,’ Oliver Ernest Goonetilleke, the first native governor-general, said. This was a point of pride. Don Stephen Senanayake, the country’s first prime minister, remarked: ‘There has been no rebellion in Ceylon, no non-cooperation movement and no fifth column. We were among the peoples who gave full collaboration while Britain was hard-pressed.’ After independence in 1948, Ceylon alone among the former colonies not only retained but promoted the monarchy: the Union Jack flew alongside the Ceylon flag; a new constitution was drafted by a former LSE professor, Ivor Jennings; Colombo debutantes were presented at Buckingham Palace; and, thanks to some genealogical ingenuity, George VI was recognised as the latest monarch in the ancient line of Kandyan kings. While the rest of the empire in Asia smouldered – in India there was Partition, in Malaya the Emergency, in Burma the civil war – Ceylon became Whitehall’s model for the transfer of colonial power. ‘There was no fight for that freedom which involved a fight for principles, policies and programmes,’ Solomon Ridgeway Bandaranaike, the anti-colonial head of state who took power in 1956, said when he reviewed the transition a decade later. ‘It just came overnight. We just woke up one day and were told: “You are a dominion now.”[1] Continue reading

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February 10, 2017 · 1:03 pm

Lanka’s Sovereignty as a Lilliput amidst Several Gullivers in the World Order

Rajiva Wijesinha,  in The Island, 9  November 2016, where the chosen title runsIgnoring the sovereignty of the Sri Lankan nation” … Highlights and colouring  have been added to aid the reader. Editor, Thuppahi

The contempt in leading elements of the current government for the interests of Sri Lanka as a sovereign nation had long puzzled and worried me. A clue to its possible origins emerged recently when I was looking at Michael Roberts’ collection of ‘Documents of the Ceylon National Congress and Nationalist Politics in Ceylon, 1929-1950’. Roberts has there, on p 2802 of Volume 4, an article by J R Jayewardene that recommends ‘An Indo-Lanka Federation’. He does say that ‘It is not possible here to define the status of Lanka in such a federation’, but he claims that amongst important conditions to be fulfilled are that ‘India and Lanka must be one unit for the purpose of defence’ and ‘In the Federal Legislature, Lanka must be accorded a status equivalent to the status of the Indian Provinces’.

jrj-cbo-tel young Jr Jayewardene rg-senanayake RG Senanayake

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The Non-Aligned Movement THEN and the Security of Small States Then and Now

Izeth Hussain in The Island, 7 November 2016, where the title is “The Security of Small States,”... Highlights are my work–Editor, Thuppahi

Some years after the holding of the 1976 Non-Aligned Summit Conference in Colombo, the Marga Institute held an international seminar on the security of small states. I wrote the lead paper for it, which was fitting because at the Foreign Ministry I was in charge of the subject of the Non-Aligned Movement which had not given specific attention to the problem of the security of small states. The seminar was regarded as one of the most interesting ever held by the Marga Institute and as a path-breaking one. Substantial chunks of my paper were reproduced in the Lanka Guardian. Thereafter the idea that the security of small states was a problem that had to be addressed fell out of sight. Around 1990 I attended as a Marga representative a UN Conference on the Indian Ocean as a Zone of Peace at Sochi in the Soviet Union. My address focused on the problem of small state security, which particularly interested Howard Wriggins, scholar and former Ambassador to Sri Lanka, and an American observer who was there. It was thereafter published in the Lanka Guardian. That American observer told me that my address was exceptionally interesting and he was surprised that it made nothing like the impact that it should have made. Clearly I was dealing with an idea whose time had not come.

meeting_of_the_heads_of_state_at_the_16th_summit_of_the_nam_1 16th Summit meeting of the NAM

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November 7, 2016 · 1:40 pm

Palitha Kohona’s Review of USA’s Relations with Sri Lanka, 1948-2016

palitha_kohona-blogs-uvu-eduPalitha Kohona, courtesy of the International Press Syndicate, October 2016, where the title isSri Lanka and the US – The Past, the Present and the Future.”  Kohona’s sub-titles are in red.  Emphasisin blue highlighting has beena dded by the Editor, Thuppahi.

Sri Lanka’s relations with the US go back a long way and have encompassed many different areas of interest. These have mostly enriched the relationship. In recent times, the bilateral relationship has undergone considerable stress. As to whether Sri Lanka occupied the central attention of US foreign policy makers to any significant degree in the past, or even at present, can be the subject of a useful discussion, perhaps after a few glasses of good Californian wine. But for Sri Lanka, the US has been a vital foreign policy concern, especially in the recent past. A brief survey of the relationship in the past reveals that the US established a consulate in Galle as far back as 1857, at a time when many of the countries with embassies in Colombo today, did not even exist as countries. Then, the main interest of the US was the need to provide consular services to the US whaling fleet operating in the Indian Ocean. Continue reading

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Natasha Maurice questions the Bona Fides of the Geneva Campaign Mounted by USA

Natasha Maurice nee Gooneratne … Statement presented by J. Natasha Maurice (nee Gooneratne) at the Panel Discussion ‘Geneva and You’ On 29th September 2016 … with highlighting emphasis in blue and red being impositions by The Editor, Thuppahi 

gyou-11-natasha Natasha addressing Geneva and You

I’d like to start off by firstly thanking Sri Lanka Inc for organising this event, and am confident that it will provide more avenues to discuss the resolution and events surrounding it. This paper will very briefly explore 4 topics, that of multilateral affairs, geopolitics, economic and trade issues, and the issue of the one size fits all model.

Any form of discussion on this resolution becomes so highly politicized, that it is now presumed that you are either anti-government or pro-former government, or that you are pro or anti US or pro or anti UN, if you have any sort of opinion on it. But the background and content of this resolution is not so simply polarized, it’s far more complex. And if we are not careful, we can get so caught up in the politicisation that we can miss the legitimate issues that surround it. These ramifications impact both the macro level, in relation to Sri Lanka as a sovereign entity, and ultimately trickle down to the micro level, in relation to the lives of individual Sri Lankans. … [including] you and me sitting in this room. Continue reading

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The Geneva Juggernaut and the Yahapalanaya Complicity

gyou-11A Panel Discussion entitled “Geneva and You” was organized by the civil society group Sri Lanka Inc. on 29th September 2016 at the Sri Lanka Foundation institute. The event aimed to educate people about the US led UNHRC Resolution which was co-sponsored by Sri Lanka by exploring the events surrounding the adoption of the resolution and its possible impacts on Sri Lanka as a whole. In this manner the aim was to stimulate discussions on the issues developing from this process.

The line-up of panelists expressed concerns about the nature of events surrounding its adoption and current setting. While all the panelists agreed on the negative aspects of the resolution, views differed on the overall reality behind its adoption and ultimate implementation. The event was chaired by Chamithri Rambukwella, former 2nd Secretary to the Permanent Mission to the UN in New York. The speakers and panelists were Natasha Gooneratne Maurice, Fr. Vimal Tirimanne, Chris Dharmakirti, Dr Palitha Kohona and Dr. Dayan Jaytilleka.

gyou-11-rambukwellaChamithri Rambukwella opens the panel  gyou-11-audienceA segment of the audience

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Placing Sri Lanka’s Woes in the International Context: Critical Comments on the Marga Readings

Jean Pierre-Page, an original essay in a friendly critique of the Marga Think Tank’s Review of the UNPoE and International Order’s Interventions over Sri Lanka — specifically the booklet entitled Issues of Truth and Accountability. The Last Stages of the War in Sri Lanka (2014) …. with the title of this presentation and the highlighting in blue being liberties imposed by the Editor, Thuppahi.

jean-pierre-page    aamarga

I would like to share with you a few ideas in relation to the 3rd narrative of the last stage of the war in Sri Lanka. I will try to make myself as clear as possible! I don’t believe in this notion that it is the influence of the Tamil Diaspora that determines Washington’s foreign policy and that of its Western allies! And I think it is very wrong and dangerous to put all the Tamil Diaspora in one basket. Most Tamils I know outside this country do not support a separate State. They are not separatists, and they are not Terrorists.[i] If Sri Lanka is to formulate an offensive strategy rather than a defensive one, it should take my reflections here  into consideration!

Of course, the Tamil separatist forces outside do have relations with Washington and its allies, but these relations are determined by the national and geostrategic objectives of the US and its allies, as we have seen in Afghanistan, or now in Iraq, Syria and the Ukraine. For the West, when it suits their objectives, they are good Tamil Tigers and when it doesn’t, they are bad Tamil Tigers, like the good jihadists and bad jihadists. It all depends on the circumstances. Today, the LTTE has been defeated, but tomorrow it can become useful again![ii] Continue reading

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