Category Archives: communal relations

Smashing Statues: Issues of Sense and Sensibility … and Nonsence

Rihaab Mowlana, in Lifelk, 19 June 2020, where the title runs thus “Are We Erasing History?”

The statue of Thomas Jefferson, the founding father who also enslaved more than 600 people, was toppled in Oregon, while the statue of navigator and coloniser Christopher Columbus was ‘spray-painted, set on fire and thrown into a lake’. In England, the Statue of Edward Colston suffered a similar fate, resulting in ‘the boarding up of the Cenotaph in Whitehall and Winston Churchill’s statue in Parliament Square’. In many parts of the world, the predicament will befall many such monuments.

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Extremisms. Feeling Good. John Cleese hit nail on the head

John Cleese got it right thirty years back: Virtue is built on the targeted “Other”

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Reading Roberts on Sri Lanka’s Socio-Political Ailments: A Letter to Roberts

Drawlight, 10 June 2020

Sir: I have read through and consider this an excellent summary of the key issues,[1] particularly for those who are not very knowledgeable about history and of the sort who are busier protesting matters that have no relevance to them (the current trend among especially the youth in Sri Lanka on social media bandwagoning on BLM issues in the US simultaneously ignoring the more immediate realities of fellow Sri Lankans engaged in modern day slavery in the Middle East and other countries).

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Challenging Michael Roberts … with Straight Left and Right Hook

Gerald Peiris ... in the spirit of vigorous debate which we used to pursue in the Arts Faculty and the Ceylon Studies Seminar at Peradeniya University in the late 1960s and the 1970s, Gerry Peiris has responded with two sharply critical notes of some significance to my critical review of Sri Lankan society and politics, an essay that is directed by an optimistic eye …. Ha! Ha! … towards a major overhaul.

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Honeycombed with Societal and Political Fissures: Sri Lanka Now & Ever Before

Michael Roberts, reiterating the original draft sent to a few on 10 June 2020

Recent forum discussions on the topic of “Reconciliation” and correspondence with concerned friends have prompted me to essay an analysis of Sri Lanka’s societal problems over the last 150 years. This is a tendentious quest.

This Map showing districts served by Regional Malaria Officers happens to suit the metaphor “Riddled” and/or “Honeycombed” in my title

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Besetting Problems in the “Battle for Harmony” in Sri Lanka

“Battle for Harmony” in Sri Lanka was a Zoom Discussion organized by the Youth Rotary of Colombo East on the evening of 28th May 2020 … https://www.facebook.com/RotaractColomboEast

Opening Statement by Michael Roberts

  Let me begin with the closing statement voiced by Kumar Sangakkara in his Cowdrey Lecture at the MCC in 2011: “My loyalty will be to the ordinary Sri Lankan fan, their twenty million hearts beating collectively. They are my foundation. They are my family. I will play cricket for them….. With me are all my people. I am Tamil, Sinhalese, Muslim,[1] Burgher. I am a Buddhist, a Hindu, a follower of Islam and Christianity. I am, today, and always, proudly Sri Lankan.Continue reading

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Ceylon’s First General Election in 1947: Reflections … with An Eye on Today’s Situation

Gerald. H. Peiris, presenting here a more complete article than that featured in The Island of 16th June 2020 under the title A National Election in a ‘Time of Troubles’. ”

The phrase ‘Time of Troubles’ is borrowed from the title of a classic sociological study of 19th century ‘Ceylon’ by Professor Ralph Pieris (1952). Here it is intended to highlight the fact that, although the imperial sunset over our island has often been described as a “peaceful transfer of power”, it occurred at an extraordinarily stormy time – politically, economically and environmentally. The calamities that had plagued the country in the ‘Donoughmore era’ ̶  the pauperising impact of the ‘Great Depression’, Malaria Epidemic of the mid-1930s with about a million people (one-fifth of the population in 1931) infected and 60,000 deaths from November 1934 to April 1935 (Briercliffe & Dalrymple-Champneys, 1937), the acute food-scarcity during the Second World War  ̶  seemed to climax in the months leading up to the elections of 1947.

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Rama Somasunderam’s Administrative Career

Anonymous, in Island, 7 June 2020, with this title “The Last Mandarin”

This is the story of a professional civil servant who believes that he made a contribution to a society and an administrative service, that in the first instance made him what he is and enabled him to achieve his full potential as a person, a professional and a citizen. It is the autobiography of a vanishing coterie of bureaucrats who strived for excellence, believing that they had responded to a high calling.

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Professor KM de Silva’s Publications

Born in 1931 — on 31st December no less — Kingsley Muthumuni de Silva, is still batting … with a pen. This compilation has been assembled by Iranga de Silva of ICES Kandy…. and is arranged in reverse chronological sequence.

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Browns for Black Americans

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June 6, 2020 · 1:36 am