Ivan Amarasinghe to Michael Roberts –a personal communique dated 15 November 2019 which I have taken the liberty to publicize …. deploying our common groundings at St. Aloysius and Ivan’s wide cosmopolitan experience
Over the last six weeks, I have been doing the rounds at all levels: 1. grass roots peasantry in Colombo and Galle, 2. Plantation Tamil sector in the Central and Southern provinces, 3. villages from Hikkaduwa, Galle, Akmeemana, Baddegama, Deniyaya, Akuressa, Weligama, Unawatuna, Habaraduwa and along the coast up to Hambantota, Beliattha communicating with local people; 4. the peripheral urban Sinhala Buddhist areas, 5. the inner Colombo Black-Whites; 6. Local MPs; 7. Governor of Southern Province (being my cousin who sided with MS in 2015!); doing the flood relief activities with him and the various Provincial and Local Council heads while staying in his official residence and being an “embedded” traveller in his official vehicles.
Ivan with the Catholic Bishop of Galle Revd Wickramasinghe, and Dr Ramesh Pathirana, and Malcolm Gunasekera
Filed under accountability, citizen journalism, cultural transmission, electoral structures, heritage, landscape wondrous, life stories, patriotism, politIcal discourse, Presidential elections, self-reflexivity, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, taking the piss, unusual people
Jayantha Somasundaram, courtesy of THE CEYLANKAN, November 2019
Sri Lanka’s maritime areas were ceded to the British in 1796 and for the next one and a half centuries there was a British military presence on the Island. As a consequence the Ceylon Army which was established seventy years ago in October 1949 was heavily influenced by this British legacy.
In the early British years under a Lieutenant General, Britain stationed four regiments of infantry, two Ceylon Rifle Regiments, a regiment of the Royal Artillery, a regiment of the Royal Engineers and a troop of cavalry on the island. But after the rebellion in the former Kandyan Kingdom was put down in 1848 and for much of the next century of British rule, there was a more limited British military presence on the island. So by the turn of the twentieth century the British Army in Ceylon, now under the command of Brig Gen R.C.B. Lawrence, consisted of a battalion of infantry, a company of the Royal Artillery, a company of Ceylon and Mauritius Royal Artillery and details of the Royal Engineers and Royal Army Medical Corps. (Wright: 857) Continue reading
Filed under British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, governance, historical interpretation, life stories, military expenditure, politIcal discourse, power politics, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, world events & processes
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.
Filed under accountability, chauvinism, communal relations, conspiracies, cultural transmission, doctoring evidence, economic processes, electoral structures, fundamentalism, historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, island economy, landscape wondrous, language policies, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, Muslims in Lanka, nationalism, NGOs, photography, politIcal discourse, power politics, racist thinking, Rajapaksa regime, religiosity, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, war reportage, welfare & philanthophy, working class conditions, world events & processes
Kieren Shafritz De Zoysa’s Essay “Sri Lanka: My Cultural Connections” … submitted for the Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition … written just before he was among those killed by a Muslim bomber at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel on Easter Sunday 21/4/2019**
The tropical sun burns bright. On my way to school, red and black buses full of office workers, tuk-tuks of all colours, Porsches, Land Rovers, and BMWs crowd the roads. There are few road rules. I pass a speeding blur of white colonial buildings, ancient banyan trees, old elegant homes behind high walls, short ladies pushing trash carts, small kadeys selling cream crackers and sodas, and road-side hawkers offering freshly plucked red rambutans, golden yellow mangoes, young orange coconuts. Steel and glass office towers stand high over small houses. Cranes rise above expensive new apartment buildings. Occasionally I see a Buddhist monk in orange robes. Lonely, stray dogs roam the streets and sidewalks scavenging for food, near tourists who turn bright lobster red taking selfies in front of thousand-year-old temples.
Filed under accountability, cultural transmission, education, ethnicity, jihad, landscape wondrous, life stories, meditations, patriotism, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, trauma, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes
ONE ISSUE: to what extent has EXTREMISM been nourished by the particular electoral structures we have had from 1947 to 1977 and then from 1978 to 2015/19?
Comment from Ivan Amarasinghe in UK, 12 November 2019
Perhaps the piece that is cutoff had too many thorns, roughness, irritability and even poisonous to the welfare of the Lank-et wearer!
The guy seems to say “better a loin cloth / amudey than a fully covered thorny Lank-et.
Shenali Waduge, in LankaWeb. 1 November 2019, where the title reads “US in Sri Lanka since 2015 – turning Sri Lanka into a Neo-Colonial Military Base”
Ever since a regime change was choreographed in 2015 January, the US has been using its lackeys in government to exert tremendous influence in 3 areas – Sri Lanka‘s economy, Sri Lanka‘s Parliament and Sri Lanka‘s armed forces. Based on media articles, press releases and whatever other information has been made available to the public, an overview of the extent to which Sri Lanka’s sovereignty has been compromised can be deduced. Sri Lanka is a sovereign nation and Sri Lanka must uphold that sovereign status. Any new government must understand the fundamentals of what it means to be sovereign and ensure national policy is drafted to ensure that and for any gain that sovereignty is not compromised.
Filed under accountability, american imperialism, centre-periphery relations, chauvinism, conspiracies, cultural transmission, economic processes, education policy, foreign policy, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, language policies, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, NGOs, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, Presidential elections, propaganda, Responsibility to Protect or R2P, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, taking the piss, Tamil civilians, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, war reportage, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes