Category Archives: commoditification

Australia: International Students– Chinese Inflow

‘Tim Dodd, in The Australian, 18 April 2018, with the title “Chinese defy warnings and flock to Australian universities”

Chinese students have defied unspecified ‘‘safety’’ warnings from their government amid fears of undue Chinese influence, flocking to Australia in larger numbers this year than ever before. Official figures to be released today show 173,000 Chinese students enrolled in Australian universities, colleges and schools in the first two months of 2018, 18 per cent more than in the same period last year.

In total, 542,000 students from more than 190 countries have enrolled in Australia so far this year, according to the latest data. This is 13 per cent more than for the same period last year, indicating yet another boost is on the way for education exports, which were valued at $32.2 billion in 2017. Continue reading

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Gregory Peck in “Purple Plain” in Sri Lanka …. and Elsewhere

ITEM in Thinkworth  =

Gregory Peck’s flu was cured by ginger-coriander tea when filming in Ceylon (Original Title)

TW has embedded a 7+minute Utube clip of the film “Purple Rain” shot in Sri Lanka …. from 

The ‘Spotlight’ column returns after a lengthy interval. The focus this time is on American actor Gregory Peck. There is no particular reason other than nostalgia for writing about this former Hollywood idol at this time. Born in 1916, Peck passed away in 2003. So this year 2015 does not mark any significant anniversary in his life or of his death. Continue reading

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Caste in Sri Lanka and the Rise of the Karava: Meeting Susan Bayly’s Review in 1983

Michael Roberts: with original title being  “From Empiricist Conflation to Distortion: Caste in South Asia”  – reproduced from Modern Asian Studies, 1983, vol 17/3, pp. 519 -27.**

Susan Bayly has done me the honour of reviewing the book on Caste Conflict and Elite Formation: The Rise of a Karava Elite in Sri Lanka, 1500-1931 at considerable length.[1] Her essay is appropriately entitled ‘The History of Caste in South Asia’. This title provides a clue to the interpretative pathways which have led her systematically to misunderstand the arguments within the book. No less problematical is her implicit belief in the possibility of constructing a composite picture of the caste system qua system on the basis of empirical data drawn from different regions, regions as widely different as Sri Lanka, southern India and western India. Let me elaborate this charge, and in doing so reiterate the arguments which I presented.

Contemporary migration patterns of fishermen derived from Fritz Bartz: “Fischer auf Ceylon,” Bonner Geographisische Abhnadlungen Heft 27 (1959)

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Filed under British colonialism, caste issues, centre-periphery relations, commoditification, cultural transmission, discrimination, disparagement

Introducing Prophetic Indictments by Mervyn De Silva

Noel Ranjith

Regular readers of “The Island” newspaper over the twenty year period from the 1980’s will remember the almost weekly columns written by Dr. Mervyn D. De Silva, who was in those years a Deputy Director of the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs, followed by being appointed as the Director of the Ministry of Plan Implementation, and later becoming a Member of Parliament through the National List. His most profuse and provocative period was during the tenures of four Presidents from Mr. J. R. Jayawardene to Mrs. Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga. His writings covered a wide range of public and national concerns and took their cue from what the controversial American journalist I.F. Stone believed was the purpose of good journalism  –to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable”.

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Soccer: World Cup Trophy ends its Journey

YOU TUBE …. with Felicity George and Edgar Watson on Stage


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Machang. China as Sri Lanka’s Best Friend

Don Manu in Sunday Island, 18 February 2018



Even as the Chinese New Year of the Dog dawned this Friday, it is becoming crystal clear that China is fast turning out to be Lanka’s best friend.. And that this country, reduced as it is to the nadir of its economical and political existence and the recent loss of its moral compass, should grip the hand of friendship. China, for whatever reason, has so earnestly extended to her. If last week’s election result showed the political negative Yin of Chinese philosophy, it has become vital that the nation embrace the positive Yang on the economic front and anchor its last buck and its first faith to the growing power of the Chinese Yuan.

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Roundtable Investment Forum with Sovereign Wealth Funds in Colombo

Island Report, 11 January 2018

Malik Samarawickrama, Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade opened a two day Roundtable Investment Forum with Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) in Colombo yesterday under the patronage of the Prime Minister.

The Roundtable was an initiative by the minister following his visit to the Global Investment Forum in Dubai during November 2017 and is jointly hosted by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and the Board of Investment. He met several of these Funds in Dubai and they were enthused by the potential of Sri Lanka as an investment destination. The fact that so many SWFs accepted the invitation to participate in the Roundtable at short notice was a validation of our nation’s value proposition and its increasing attractiveness due to the current economic policies under adoption, a press release said. Continue reading

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