Category Archives: democratic measures

Ambedkar’s Criticism of Caste Divisions now available in Sinhala

Basil Fernando

 

A Sinhala Translation of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar’s book Annihilation of Caste is now available. It is entitled Kulaya Mulin Uputa Demeema” The book has been translated into an easy, readable language by Osadhi Nayantara Gunasekera and published by the Asian Human Rights Commission. The book is now available in bookshops in Sri Lanka. Annihilation of Caste is one of the finest political works produced in Indian political literature. This book was originally written as the text for a keynote address. It was for a gathering of a society called Enlightened Hindus and published as a book in 1936. Ever since, this book has been translated into almost all Indian languages and into many other international languages such as English, French and others.

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Vijaya Vidyasagara, An Ecumenical Christian Socialist in Bygone Times

Devnesan Nesiah,  reviewing Memoirs of a Christian and a Socialist 

 This fascinating autobiography of Vijaya Vidyasagara edited by Skantha Kumar and Marshal Fernando and published by the Ecumenical Institute for Study and Dialogue is excellent reading. Priced at Rs. 500/- and covering 300 pages this book is a very good buy for any reader interested in Sri Lankan society and politics. Having known Vijaya and associated with him and the Christian Workers Fellowship (CWF) for over half a century, I found the book difficult to put down. I read it from cover to cover within a few days. Vijaya was also the founder editor of the Christian Worker, an excellent quarterly, now defunct.

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Tissa Jayatillka opens the Rotary Conference on Reconciliation

Tissa  Jayatilleka: “Peace and Reconciliation in Sri Lanka,”  28 March 2017

 Opening comments by TISSA JAYATILAKA at a panel discussion held during the 26th Rotary District Conference, Rotary District 3320- Sri Lanka and The Maldives, on 18 March, 2017 held at the BMICH, Colombo. The following served as panelists: Mr. R.Sampanthan, The Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Rauf Hakeem, Minister of Urban Development, Water Supply and Drainage, Mr. Mano  Tittawela, Secretary General, Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms, Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, Executive Director, The Centre for Policy Alternatives, Prof. Savitri Goonesekere, Former Vice Chancellor and Professor of Law, University of Colombo.

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Mighty USA and the Israel Lobby in This Our World

I  sent Kamal Wickremasinghe’s article to several individuals who have a better grounding than myself in the complex jungle of international politics and Christopher Black has responded immediately to indicate that Wickramasinghe has muddled his emphasis by arguing that the Israeli tail wags the dog. In his view — presented here at the end — it is the other way about: USA calls the shots. Michael Roberts as Editor, Thuppahi.

Kamal Wickremasinghe: “Cabals behind the UNHRC inquisition,”  Island, Midweek Review, 28 March 2017

The 34th sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) have just ended, and another resolution on Sri Lanka adopted Resolution A/HRC/34/L.1 requests the Commissioner and his special procedure mandate holders to strengthen their technical assistance to Sri Lanka on the promotion and protection of human rights, truth, justice, reconciliation and accountability. More importantly perhaps, the resolution calls for a written update on the implementation of resolution 30/1 (of 2015) at the 37th session of the UNHRC, and a comprehensive report at its 40th session. These requirements are clearly designed to keep Sri Lanka ‘on the leash’ for the foreseeable future. Needless to say it was the hand of the global enforcer, the US that was behind these impositions on Sri Lanka. The foreign minister, in co-sponsoring the junk resolution with the self-appointed imperium may have thought, cynically, that it will soon be someone else’s problem anyway!

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Constitutional Reforms in the Melting Pot: Bulathsinghala and Perera

I. Frances Bulathsinghala: “A glimpse into the saga of Sri Lanka’s constitutional reforms,” South Asian Monitor, 24 February 2017,

The attempts by Sri Lanka’s National Unity government to draft a new constitution in order to seek a permanent solution to the long drawn Tamil ethnic question is afloat in the grey skies of ambiguity.

Although six subcommittees on various subjects had submitted their reports based on wide scale public consultations and the Steering Committee had drafted its own report based on the recommendations by the sub committees, plans of presenting the report to the Constitutional Assembly which comprises the current members of parliament, has been stalled.

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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 

karuna-and-gota

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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 http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/greg-sheridan/if-australia-day-is-illegitimate-so-are-we/news-story/eded818b24fa646b643829177fb1c6fa …..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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