Category Archives: citizen journalism

Andrew Fidel Fernando’s Encounters and Travels in Sri Lanka

 Arjuna Ranawana reviews “Upon a Sleepless Isle” by Andrew Fidel Fernando

Fans of Andrew Fidel Fernando will be surprised, and those who are new to his writings, delighted. The well-known Cricket writer, a returnee to Sri Lanka, has written a book, “Upon a Sleepless Isle,” in which he travels through the country, crisscrossing the island on buses, tuk-tuks, scooters and bikes. In doing so he reveals a deep love for this land and its peoples as well as its most exasperating idiosyncrasies.

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Filed under architects & architecture, art & allure bewitching, citizen journalism, cricket for amity, cultural transmission, economic processes, education, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, modernity & modernization, patriotism, photography, pilgrimages, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, tourism, transport and communications, unusual people, working class conditions, world events & processes

Tisaranee’s Secularist Thesis is Simplistic

Thank you for forwarding me Tisaranee Gunasekara’s article.

Tisaranee in her analysis cites secularism as a panacea for all the ills that are prevalent in Sri Lanka.….. I am afraid she is not only misguided, but her anti-Sri Lankan sentiment ignores the fact that many societies in the world that have adopted a secular constitution are in practice the very antithesis of the concept of secularism. You do not need to immerse yourself into Hegelian dialectics to eschew her simplistic approach in the analysis of Sri Lankan society.

I didn’t know secular humanists HAD missionaries!

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Filed under citizen journalism, communal relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, governance, historical interpretation, Left politics, legal issues, life stories, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, social justice, sri lankan society, unusual people, world events & processes

A Muslim Lankan’s Thoughts on the Atrocities and Their Implications

Irfan Husain, in Sri Lanka Guardian, 29 April  2019, where the title isJihadis in Sri Lanka

Whenever there’s a terrorist attack anywhere, I pray that Muslims weren’t involved. And if they are, I cross my fingers and wish none of them were Pakistanis. In the horror stories emerging from Sri Lanka, I seem to have got my second wish. However, this is scant consolation for the mayhem unleashed by a little-known Islamist group, the National Towheed Jamaath (NTJ), backed by the militant Islamic State (IS) group.

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Filed under accountability, Bodu Bala Sena, citizen journalism, communal relations, conspiracies, cultural transmission, heritage, historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, island economy, jihad, life stories, Muslims in Lanka, patriotism, politIcal discourse, psychological urges, reconciliation, religiosity, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, terrorism, tolerance, trauma, women in ethnic conflcits, working class conditions, world events & processes

Hanging Israel Folau: Corporate Power in ‘Marriage’ with the Bigotry of Progressives

Steven Chavura, in The Australian, 25 April 2019, with this title “Beware the Choke Tackle of Diversity”

In the seminal textbook of liberalism, On Liberty (1859), John Stuart Mill depicted a Victorian England full of prudishness and prejudice, describing social convention, rather than the government, as the greatest threat to freedom of speech. In some ways little has changed, for it is not the government that has sought to punish Israel Folau for his public Christianity. Yet at the same time it is not society either, at least not in the sense of a grassroots movement to see his contract terminated. Indeed, many fans in lower-middle-class multicultural suburbs would find nothing offensive about the sentiments on homosexuality that he expressed in his infamous tweets.

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Filed under accountability, Australian culture, australian media, citizen journalism, cultural transmission, democratic measures, fundamentalism, heritage, historical interpretation, legal issues, life stories, meditations, politIcal discourse, press freedom, self-reflexivity, unusual people, world events & processes

Yellow Jacket Protests in France: The Power of Social Media and Populism

Jeremy Harding, review essay in London Review of Books, March 2019, with this title “Among the Gilets Jaunes”

When they gathered at roads and roundabouts at the end of last year, the French government was caught off guard. Within a week of their first nationwide mobilisation, they were turning out regularly at intersections across the country to slow up traffic, and marching through Paris and the big provincial cities. Hasty polls announced that 70 or 80 per cent of the population, including many in France’s largest conurbations, supported this massive show of impatience. Yet the gilets jaunes first came together beyond the margins of the major cities, in rural areas and small towns with rundown services, low-wage economies and dwindling commerce. They were suspicious of the burgeoning metropolitan areas, which have done well on a diet of public funding, private investment, tourism and succulent property prices. Among them are people who grew up in city centres but can no longer afford to live in them: these barbarians know where they are when they arrive at the gates. Parading in central Paris and the new, carefully massaged hubs of French prosperity – Toulouse and Bordeaux especially – they end proceedings with a show of violence and destruction. After 15 weeks of costly protest, public sympathy in the big metropolitan areas has only recently begun to fall off. That is one of many puzzles.

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Filed under accountability, centre-periphery relations, citizen journalism, governance, landscape wondrous, life stories, meditations, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, social justice, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, working class conditions, world events & processes

A History of Political Machinations directed against Nagananda Kodithuwakku

Victor Ivan, in Ravaya, where the title is “Barring of Nagananda Kodituwakku from Practicing Law”

The Supreme Court has issued an order barring Nagananda Kodithuwakku , Attorneyat-Law and  Public Interest Litigation Activist who has entered the  political arena of Sri Lanka as a prospective presidential candidate, from practicing as a lawyer for three years. I think it is important that we assess Kodithuwakku’s role in the light of this incident.

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Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, centre-periphery relations, citizen journalism, conspiracies, disparagement, governance, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, politIcal discourse, power politics, press freedom & censorship, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, unusual people, vengeance

Citizen Perera in Incisive Thoughts on China’s Global Outreach amidst USA’s Overwhelming World Machinations

A NOTE from Michael Roberts

With the wide sweep of social media today Ordinary Joes and Ordinary Sandras have been encouraged to express their views in ways that can sometimes be (A) incendiary or (B) silly or (C) meaningless. I happen to receive two sets of ongoing debates among Sri Lankans (some resident abroad and some at home) which are vibrant …. But also include views which seem to be off-course if not ridiculous in my estimation.

However, I was stimulated by the sagacity and common-sense embodied in a recent exchange arising from US pressure on Venezuela – which exchange brought to my notice an item on China’s role in constructing a railway between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans in Peru. In the context of China’s One Belt policy in Asia and the hullabaloo about Hambantota port raised by American, Sri Lankan and others, this commentary was refreshing. Well -it IS refreshing and worth airing in Thuppahi.

Take a bow Gus, Rajeewa and Brendan.

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Filed under american imperialism, authoritarian regimes, centre-periphery relations, China and Chinese influences, citizen journalism, economic processes, growth pole, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, power politics, security, self-reflexivity, the imaginary and the real, transport and communications, world events & processes

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