Category Archives: democratic measures

Karuna’s Split with Pirapāharan in 2004 in his Own Words

In Q and A with Jeremy Liyanage 

Jeremy Liyanage is a Sri Lankan of mixed Sinhala-Burgher ancestry whose family moved to Australia when he was 9 years old. He  has been deeply involved in a social service project called BRIDGING LANKA in Mannar Island since the years 2009/10. As a spin-off from this work, he and several colleagues were in Sri Lanka in July 2010 in a venture supported by International Alert when they received an invitation to join Karuna Amman, in his capacity as Minister for Resettlement, on a work visit to the fields of IDP settlement in the Kilinochchi-Mullaitivu areas.  The local International Alert officials were aghast and warned them against venturing on this trip on the grounds that IA could not guarantee their safety. They decided against going, but went to the initial meeting that had been set up as a matter of courtesy. At that gathering Karuna’s Media Officer Justin assuaged their fears and persuaded them to participate in the trip. This turned out to be a  helter-sketer journey involving their vehicle as one element in a convoy bearing  Karuna and his personnel and several vehicles with  STF (police commando) personnel. 

karuna-and-vp  Karuna, Adele & Anton Bālasingham, Pirapāharan, Thamil Chelvam, Rudrakumāran, & Jay Maheswaran in the LTTE’s halcyon daysPic from Lanka Guardian karuna-aklila Commanders All -Karuna with two senior female commanders 


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Against Extremism: In Defence of 26th January Australia Day

Greg Sheridan, in The Australian, Thursday, 2 February 2017, where the title is “If Australia day is Illegitimate, so are We”and visit …..where there already are 155 comments

a-oz-day-22 a-oz-day-33Australia should celebrate Australia Day on January 26 because it is right to do so. It is the day modern institutions, in our case British institutions, entered Australian life. They have brought with them the entire institutional and indeed ethical framework of modern Australia. They brought the rule of law, individual human rights, independent courts, free media, multiple centres of power in government.

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Filed under accountability, Australian culture, australian media, British colonialism, cultural transmission, democratic measures, heritage, historical interpretation, Left politics, life stories, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, psychological urges, self-reflexivity, the imaginary and the real, world events & processes, zealotry

The LLRC Sittings in Pictures

The recent presentation in Thuppahi of a specific proposal from the LLRC on national anthems as well as the issues raised by Thuppahi on the topic of DISAPPEARANCES prompt me to present a number of images from the sittings conducted by this peripatic body of personnel together with a brief officla report. the images have been helpfully provided by Kithsiri De Silva an old Aloysian class-mate who was an officer servicing the work of this august body.  I am also tacking on an official report on the LLRC plus one dissenting note about its lopsided composition from Harshadeva Amarathunga. Michael Roberts


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A Rejection of Reconciliation via Namo/Namo: Weeraratna’s Hardline Sinhala Majoritarian Statement*

Senaka Weeraratna … See Note ** at end

senaka-weeraratnaThe primordial national identity of this country is Sinhale and religious identity is Buddhist. These two historical identities should not be allowed to be dispensed with in order to embrace an artificial secular identity (Sri Lankan) that has neither roots to the soil of the country nor been shaped either by history, common values, heritage or destiny. Continue reading


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India & Lanka and the Devolution of Land Powers: Critical Comments

Gerald H. Peiris, courtesy of The Island , where the title is “Devolution of Land Powers – A Comment” … Note that emphasis via highlighting is the work of The Editor, Thuppahi

Among the writings published in the wake of release of the Report submitted to Parliament by the Constitutional Reform Sub-Committee on ‘Centre-Periphery Relations’ are those that appeared in recent issues of The Island – C. A. Chandraprema’s ‘Analysis’ of the report, and a more general piece titled ‘Constitutional reform and devolution of power’ by Harim Peiris. The former, needless to say, is an incisive critique written at a level of expertise which the ‘Panel of Experts’ that served the sub-committee appears to have lacked. The latter, I respectfully submit, is a feeble attempt that contains misrepresentations, intended no doubt to reinforce the recommendations made by the sub-committee on ‘devolution’.


aagp-devolution Figure 2

This paper is being written with the twin objective of supplementing Chandraprema’s criticisms with a few sets of information relevant to a study of ‘Centre-Periphery Relations’ in a multi-ethnic polity such as ours, and to highlight with special reference to Harim Peiris’ article, the superficiality typical of the on-going campaign intended to emaciate the unitary character of the nation-state of Sri Lanka. This campaign is also represented by recent publications such as the reports produced by the ‘Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reform’ (chaired by Lal Wijenayake) and the ‘Constitutional Reform Sub-Committee’ referred to above, alongside the sustained literary efforts by self-professed “Sri Lanka experts” in India ̶for example those associated with the ‘Centre for South and Southeast Asian Studies’ of the University of Madras̶ whose barely concealed objective all along has been that of promoting the hegemonic interests of India in the South Asia Region.


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Filed under accountability, democratic measures, devolution, economic processes, electoral structures, ethnicity, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, LTTE, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, power politics, power sharing, security, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, world affairs

The Full Monty: Commentary and Debate around Thuppahi’s Sinhala Mind-Set

I reproduce here the series of sporadic comments on my opening ‘signature’ entitled SINHALA MIND-SET. These occurred for the most part between 2010 and 2013 and I have taken the liberty of highlighting segments of the commentary as guidance and as a stirring of the brew. I invite readers to use these thoughts as an inspiration to serious reflection on the situation in Sri Lanka today in its recent ‘evolution’ after the end of Eelam War IV. I will be presenting an article with my own thoughts so you will have scope for two bites at this mango. This second post will include a bibliography, but an even more extensive bibliography on “Disappearances” is in the planning stage.

 aa-jane-r Jane Russel aa-xcharlieCharles Ponnadurai aka Sarvan michael-2015Roberts

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Filed under accountability, citizen journalism, communal relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, disparagement, ethnicity, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, landscape wondrous, language policies, life stories, modernity & modernization, plural society, politIcal discourse, power politics, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, social justice, sri lankan society, Tamil migration, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, tolerance, truth as casualty of war, vengeance, world events & processes

What the US Results tell Us about Different Electoral Systems: Ladduwahetty

Neville Ladduwahetty, in The Island, 15  November 2016,  “Democracy: Direct vs Representative”

The outcome of the recently held Presidential Election in the US and the Referendum in UK demonstrate the gulf that exists between Direct Democracy that operates on the direct vote of the People, and Representative Democracy that operates on the vote of elected representatives. The outcomes in the US and UK were based on Direct Democracy because issues were determined directly by the People, even though in the case of the US Direct Democracy was expressed through the Electoral College.

In the US and UK the predictions of the pollsters, analysts and media were so completely off-base that the world was stunned by final outcomes. In the case of the US, the Republican Party was searching for alternative candidates because they were embarrassed by the positions taken and expressed by Donald Trump on several issues. Notwithstanding this divide, the fact the Trump was elected demonstrated the stark disconnect between Party hierarchy and the People who voted for him.


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