Category Archives: communal relations

Gotabaya’s Team overcomes the Odds

Rajeewa Jayaweera, in Island, 23 November 2019, with this title “GotabayaR prevails against all odds”

In the 2015 Presidential Elections in January 2015, Maithripala Sirisena defeated President Mahinda Rajapaksa by a majority of just under a half a million votes. It was in no small measure due to ethnic Tamil and Muslim communities voting for him in large numbers. 2019 was worse than in 2015. Gotabaya Rajapaksa (GR) received only 8% of the Northern vote, 24% of the Eastern ballot, and 18% of the total N&E vote. Mahinda Rajapaksa, in 2015, received 20% of the Northern vote, 26% of the Eastern ballot, and 24% from the N&E vote.

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The ‘Devonshire’ reaches Queensland with 500 ‘Cingalese’ Coolies in 1882

Thiru Arumugam. courtesy of THE CEYLANKAN, vol XXI: 4, November 2019, where the title is How 500 Ceylonese arrived in Queensland in 1882 in the s.s. Devonshire to work in the cane fields”

In 1882 about 500 Ceylonese were recruited in Ceylon and transported in a chartered steamship, s.s. Devonshire, to work on contract terms in sugarcane fields in Queensland, which was then a colony of Britain. This article describes how they were recruited, transported, received in Queensland and their subsequent life in Australia. The entire episode was a private arrangement by the sugarcane Planters of Queensland who were desperately short of labour. The Governments of Ceylon and Queensland were not involved in any way. Since the Ceylonese were British Subjects, there was no problem in their coming to work in the colony of Queensland on contract terms. This was by far the largest single block of Ceylonese migrants to arrive in Australia.

a picture added by The eDitor Thuppahi to evoke the character of shipping in the late 19th century

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The AUSTRALIAN ‘Umpire’ bats for Sajith and depicts Gota as Anti-Democratic Ogre

 Amanda Hodge in The Weekend Australian, 16 November 2019, where the title runs Sri Lanka election dilemma: democracy or the dread of dynasty”

Ahead of Sri Lanka’s polarising presidential elections on Saturday, an editorial tinged with desperation in the Sunday Observer newspaper urged voters “to keep the lights on in Asia’s oldest democracy. Vote to keep the journalists in this newsroom and newsrooms across the country, who are trying to be truth-tellers, safe from harm,” it said. “There are 35 candidates on the November 16 ballot paper, but a presidential election is ultim­ately a choice between two candidates. One of them terrifies us.”

Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa with the Sinhalese-Buddhist nationalist party on Wednesday during the last political rally before heading to the polls on Saturday. Picture: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images.

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Media Blitzkrieg from Keenan, Al-Jazeera et al: Fear Gota

THUPPAHI NOTE: A fear psychosis is being spread through the airwaves and web-routes by powerful players  who present a picture of Gotabaya as a potential dictator …. and even deploy the fallacious readings of the death-toll in Eelam War IV perpetrated by the drawing room boffins[1] who constituted the UN Panel of Experts (Darusman, Sooka et al) as one pillar in this campaign  (see https://www.srilankacampaign.org/a-decade-of-impunity-unlocking-accountability-for-the-victims-of-sri-lankas-killing-fields/ ………… for this dimension). Note that Alan Keenan’s essay is sponsored by the Lowy Institute.[2] Do read these items with a discerning eye and form your own conclusions.

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Violence in Sri Lanka: Slipshod Scholarship

Michael Roberts

I recently circulated a whole set of articles by some Muslim scholars (located in the Eastern Province and abroad) as well as a few others in Western universities — mostly written in the 2011-19 period. I am beginning to go through them slowly when I can carve out time for this set of tasks. A few have focused on the incidence of crime and communal violence in the post 2009 period.

What strikes me on reading these ventures is the limited degree of reading of past works that has been pursued and the appalling gaps in their background – lapses which also impinge on their comments on the death toll in the last stages of Eelam War IV.

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The Tamil Parties chase Chimeras and miss the boat

Rajeewa Jayaweera, in Island, 12 November 2019 … “A message to Tamil voters in the North”

German ‘Iron Chancellor’ Otto von Bismarck between 1862 and 1890 effectively first ruled Prussia and then a unified Germany. He famously said, “Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable — the art of the next best.”

The five-party Tamil coalition TNA, Tamil Maakal Mootni (TMK) led by former Northern governor CV Vigneswaran and Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) fired a broadside recently. It consisted of 13 demands. They promised to rally the support of northern Tamil voters for any of the frontline Presidential candidates who agreed to make good their conditions.

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USA’s Political Programme in Sri Lanka and the Peace Corps Initiative

Daya Gamage, in response to the Thuppahi Invitation to Address Shenali Waduge’s Memorandum

This Pic  does not relate to a Sri Lankan issue; but it captures the tone in which Hillary Clinton pilloried Sri Lanka on 22nd April 2009 when the GoSL government did not abide by USA’s direct orders and proceeded to penetrate the LTTE’s last redoubt beyond Nandhikadal Lagoon — see https://frontline.thehindu.com/static/html/fl2610/stories/20090522261001600.htm

ONE: US Support for Tamil Separatism

In 1984, the CIA and the State Department produced a joint document – a highly classified one – solely on US foreign policy towards Sri Lanka after the LTTE started its terror campaign to bifurcate Sri Lanka followed by the JR Jayewardene administration seeking Washington’s help for military assistance.

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