Category Archives: citizen journalism

Revamping Lanka’s Government Structures? CTF Proposals In. Prospects Dim.

Sanjana Hattoruwa,  in The Sunday Island, 7 January 2017, where the title is “A Report on Reconciliation“… with the highlighting below being the work of The Editor, Thuppahi

chandrika manouri-muttetuwegama

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Last week, the Consultations Task Force (CTF) handed over its final report to former President Chandrika Bandaranaike-Kumaratunga. It was supposed to be handed over to the President. However, he wasn’t present at the ceremony, on a date and time his office had negotiated after many delays spreading over months. As widely noted, the CTF comprised of eleven members drawn from civil society and was appointed by the Prime Minister in late January 2016, to seek the views and comments of the public on the proposed mechanisms for transitional justice and reconciliation, as per the October 2015 UN Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka, co-sponsored by the Government of Sri Lanka. Accordingly, you would expect the PM, whose brainchild the CTF was, to be present at the handover ceremony. He wasn’t either. Continue reading

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The Full Monty: Commentary and Debate around Thuppahi’s Sinhala Mind-Set

I reproduce here the series of sporadic comments on my opening ‘signature’ entitled SINHALA MIND-SET. These occurred for the most part between 2010 and 2013 and I have taken the liberty of highlighting segments of the commentary as guidance and as a stirring of the brew. I invite readers to use these thoughts as an inspiration to serious reflection on the situation in Sri Lanka today in its recent ‘evolution’ after the end of Eelam War IV. I will be presenting an article with my own thoughts so you will have scope for two bites at this mango. This second post will include a bibliography, but an even more extensive bibliography on “Disappearances” is in the planning stage.

 aa-jane-r Jane Russel aa-xcharlieCharles Ponnadurai aka Sarvan michael-2015Roberts

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Meet Asra Nomani, a Muslim American who supported Trump

Asra Q. Nomani, in The Washington Post, 10 November 2016, where the title is “I’m a Muslim, a woman and an immigrant. I voted for Trump”

Asra Q. Nomani is a former Wall Street Journal reporter and a co-founder of the Muslim Reform Movement. She can be found on Twitter at @AsraNomani.

A lot is being said now about the “silent secret Trump supporters.” This is my confession — and explanation: I — a 51-year-old, a Muslim, an immigrant woman “of color” — am one of those silent voters for Donald Trump. And I’m not a “bigot,” “racist,” “chauvinist” or “white supremacist,” as Trump voters are being called, nor part of some “whitelash.”

asra-q-nomani-twitter from Twitter

In the winter of 2008, as a lifelong liberal and proud daughter of West Virginia, a state born on the correct side of history on slavery, I moved to historically conservative Virginia only because the state had helped elect Barack Obama as the first African American president of the United States. But, then, for much of this past year, I have kept my electoral preference secret: I was leaning toward Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Tuesday evening, just minutes before the polls closed at Forestville Elementary School in mostly Democratic Fairfax County, I slipped between the cardboard partitions in the polling booth, a pen balanced carefully between my fingers, to mark my ballot for president, coloring in the circle beside the names of Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence. Continue reading

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Intimidating Assault Tactics behind Phil-Hughes’ Death by Bouncer

Michael Roberts

Background information known only to a few has emerged during the coronial inquest into the tragic death of Phil Hughes after he was felled by a bouncer bowled by Sean Abbott of New South Wales (NSW) at the personal score of 63 runs on 25 November 2014 – with the revelations produced by the Hughes family in response to the coroner’s approach fueling this new fire. From my particular political position on the practices that prevail on the cricket field, let me summarize the conclusions that I draw from this corpus of data.

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A. Phil Hughes was regarded as one of the most potent batsmen in the South Australian side and the game plan fashioned by the NSW team management and leaders was to subject him to a short-pitch bowling barrage – as blurted out by Trent Johnston, NSW bowling coach to Matthew Day (a cricketing mate of Hughes) in the immediate aftermath of the accident during hospital vigil.

B. This tactic was supplemented by the verbal badinage and abuse that is a standard practice in Australian cricket[1] – a practice referred to as “sledging” and regarded as legitimate by all-and-sundry in Australia.

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The Rajasingams and Their Profound Legacies

Rajan Hoole, being the text of speech delivered at Trimmer Hall, Jaffna, 22 September 2016… and reproduced in the Daily News with the title “The Rajasingam Legacy: A Quest for Quality”

  rajasinghamsin1990parentsofdrrajani aaa-rajasingambavinck-rajasingham

After nightfall on 21st September 1989, Rajasingam Master called on his bicycle at my mother’s home quite unexpectedly and delivered his pithy message, “Rajini has been shot.” His voice showed no evident emotion. After a brief exchange of words, he turned back. He was stoic, incorruptible, who lived by his strong sense of duty. Master, his wife MahilaAcca, and their daughters, Nirmala, Rajini, Sumathy and Vasuki were familiar to us from childhood days in the St. James’ Church choir. Had Master been more ambitious during his university days, he would have left his mark as an outstanding mathematician in our university. What he did as a school master at Hartley and Jaffna College was no less important. His zeal for catching hold of students who seemed to be in need of inspiration and getting them to work Mathematics problems remained a passion with him to the end of his life.  rajani-t Rajani Thiranagama nee Rajasingam

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Where Ratwatte and CBK Stood Strong: Coping with the Elephant Pass Debacle in April-May 2000

Michael Roberts, courtesy of Colombo Telegraph

 ANURUDDHA General Ratwatte in 1990s

  CBK 30 Dec 1999 BBC President Kumaratunga in BBC Interview at the end of 1999

Preamble:[1] When Generals Perera and Fonseka laid out contingency plans to evacuate the Jaffna Peninsula in April/May 2000 and appear to have been in panic, General Anuruddha Ratwatte, who was President Kumaratunga’s uncle and chief security advisor, stood sturdy and refused to countenance the planned evacuation of all troops from the Jaffna Peninsula.

Ratwatte had been among the chief architects of the disastrous military strategies in the period 1995-2000. But no one would dispute his fearlessness.[2] On this occasion in 2000 the bravado was backed with political sense: when President Chandrika Kumaratunga (CBK) caved in on the 18th May 2000 and accepted the request from the Overall Commander in Jaffna, General Janaka Perera, to sign the evacuation plans (via VVT and Point Pedro) drawn up with guidance from his immediate deputy, General Sarath Fonseka,[3] Ratwatte asserted that such a step would be the end of Sri Lanka.

3551970071_cd625b70f5 SLA RM 70s firing

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Reflections of a Maverick Tamil Intellectual about Politics amidst OEG, DS, Banda and Others

From the Daily News, 12 July 2016

suntharalingamOn the land like unto ocean, I assume the form of a wave, And trusted dreams as a lifeI was trapped in the whirlwind of three desires, Ensnared day after day For the mound of my body I searched for food Without rest night or day I eat, eat and sleep seeing nought else, I get no gain On the shore of sorrow, I erect a tent of five virtues, I regarded thou as my mother, my son Yet thee treat me in this fashion Without interceding on my behalf Standing in-between and questioning meIs it good to remain so? Oh! My Lord! The Lover of Sivakami!! Thou who created me, oh! Natarajah of Thillai!

This poem from the Natarajapathu was translated by Suntharalingam on January 14, 1978 (Thaipongal Day) and annotated in his mother’s copy of the Kandapuranam from 1930.

What does a grandfather’s letter mean to you? Boring… pedagogical… jam-packed with advices? For C Anjalendran, his grandfather’s letters reveal a bygone grand era of Ceylon. His grandfather was a strange combination of being a professor of mathematics, lawyer and – most interestingly – a politician walking shoulder to shoulder with D S Senanayake, S W R D Bandaranaike, J R Jayewardene, Sir John Kotelawala and Sir Oliver Goonetilleke.

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