Category Archives: China and Chinese influences

China’s Transcontinental Pathways … and Indian Ocean Issues for Lanka

Philips and Kurukulasuriya … and other items

I > Rajan Philips: “One Belt-One Road from China, but no Bridge to India: Lanka’s Development Dilemmas,” Island, 20 May 2017

Even as he bade farewell to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the end of his Vesak visit, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe was all but ready to take flight to China to attend the economic summit of the 21st Century. This was Beijing’s big splash on the world economic map, and one that India chose not to officially attend. Japan was another boycotter. A number of Indian business and think-tank figures went to Beijing as ‘unofficial delegates’, and they were critical of their government’s decision not to send at least an official delegation. 130 countries marked their presence at the two-day (May 14-15) event in Beijing, including 29 state and government leaders. Even the Trump Administration, despite its spiralling turmoil in Washington, was represented in Beijing.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, centre-periphery relations, China and Chinese influences, energy resources, foreign policy, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, military strategy, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, transport and communications, truth as casualty of war, world events & processes

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

Continue reading

3 Comments

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

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?

  SNAIL AS TESTESMANGALA

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, atrocities, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, China and Chinese influences, constitutional amendments, disparagement, doctoring evidence, foreign policy, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, military strategy, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, world events & processes

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

1 Comment

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

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, China and Chinese influences, democratic measures, economic processes, education policy, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, legal issues, life stories, modernity & modernization, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, security, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, world events & processes

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

Continue reading

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, China and Chinese influences, cultural transmission, economic processes, foreign policy, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, Responsibility to Protect or R2P, security, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, truth as casualty of war, world events & processes