Category Archives: discrimination

Sovereignty, Space and Civil War in Sri Lanka: Porous Nation

Anoma Pieris has produced yet another book, this time with the prestigious Taylor & Francis imprint. In hardback it runs to 236 pages and has line drawings, tables and 35 illustrations — so it is expensive: Aus $ 216.88

 

Analyses of the Sri Lankan civil war (1983-2009) overwhelmingly represent it as an ethnonationalist contest, prolonging postcolonial arguments on the creation and dissolution of the incipient nation-state since independence in 1948. While colonial divide-and-rule policies, the rise of ethnonationalist lobbies, structural discrimination and majoritarian democracy have been established as grounds for inter-ethnic hostility, there are other significant transformative forces that remain largely unacknowledged in postcolonial analyses.

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The Suntharalingam Family’s Journey: Sri Lanka to Australia

Matthew Westwood, in The Weekend Australian Review5-6 January 2019, where the title is  “Counting and Cracking: a family’s journey” … with some snaps and a partial bibliography added by The Editor, Thuppahi

In the complicated and at times bitterly divided history of Sri Lanka in the 20th century, one man’s story may be emblematic of the nation’s changing fortunes. C. Suntharalingam was born in 1895 into a Tamil family, the son of a poor farmer. The boy was a whiz at maths. Sent to a boarding school in Jaffna, he went on to study at the universities of London and Oxford.

Chellappah Suntharalingam

Belvoir’s Eamon Flack  and playwright S. Shakthidaran –Pic Hollie adams

Like other educated Tamils he sought “trousered employment” in the colonial public service. He was called to the bar to practise law and later entered politics, serving a term as minister for trade and commerce in what was then the colonial Ceylonese government. He built a beautiful house in the heart of Colombo on a street with views down to the ocean, and held court on the porch where he discussed politics and affairs of the day. Continue reading

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Jayadeva UJyangoda’s Lament from the Heart in November 2018

Editor, Thuppahi: This passionate public statement in early November is a cry from the heart which conveys important historical details. Readers familiar with all the circumstances will be able to pinpoint what is missing and what has been unsaid about the major events that my friend “Uyan” traverses.  I am not conversant with man y of the intricate details and strands in the politics of Sri Lanka; so this is an invitation for critical comment and additional information — data which can also  take in the information and false news identified in the article arising from Bill Deutrom’s Incisive NOTE. viz, = https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2018/12/16/hatreds-chasms-bill-deutroms-insights-on-the-political-impasse-in-sri-lanka/#more-33101


]ayadeva Uyangoda: “The Political is Personal: An Essay in Despair from Sri Lanka,” 5 November 2018, https://thewire.in/south-asia/the-political-is-personal-an-essay-in-despair-from-sri-lanka

In his explanation of why he removed Ranil Wickremasinghe from the office of prime minister, President Maithripala Sirisena cited policy and personal differences between the two. An analysis of his speech shows that personal reasons are stronger than policy reasons and the personal is very much political. The text of President Sirisena’s address to the nation reminds Sri Lanka’s citizens of the explanation he offered in the latter part of 2014 as to why he left his former political boss, Mahinda Rajapaksa. There too, the personal was political. Continue reading

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Evaluation: Forces and Strands in Sri Lanka’s Cricket History

Binod K. Mishra, reviewing Forces and Strands in Sri Lanka’s Cricket History” by Michael Roberts, Colombo, Social Scientists’ Association, 2006, 64 pp., 21 photographs, bibliography, Rs. 300 (paperback), ISBN 9559102826 …. location of original review and date of publication is yet unclear

“Arise Sir Davenel”

Cricket brought to Sri Lanka the reputation of, and a genuine recognition as, a nation. The rationale for such an observation is the infamous reputation Sri Lanka has earned due to decade-old ethnic rivalry and insurgency that has threatened the concept of nationhood in the country. The World Cup triumph in 1996 and the heroic performances before and after that event have put Sri Lanka prominently not onlyon the sports map but also on the political map of the world in a positive sense. But the story of the riseof Sri Lankan cricket is not a normal rags-to-riches story but is filled with events that in some sense correspond to its political history. Michael Roberts’ work presents this interesting story of Sri Lankan cricket. Written in the year 2004, the booklet recapitulates, albeit briefly, the entire history of the game on this country. It is a vivid description of the evolution of cricket in the former colony of Britain. Throughout the evolutionary history of cricket, the author finds a clear reflection of the socio-political situation of Sri Lanka. Continue reading

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Rivetting Data on the Jaffna Peninsula and Tamil Politics, 1929-1970s

Handy Perinbanayagam 

This is a reproduction of COMMENTS  in a previous Thuppahi Item from 2012 — which presented an article by Rajan Philips in the Sunday Island of 26 February 2012. This unusual step is taken because the information therein: (1) about caste oppression in the Jaffna Peninsula even in the 1970s; (2) data on the politics of the Jaffna Youth congress and its boycott campaign against the Donoughmore Reforms and the 1931 elections in  the north; (#) a reading of GG Ponnambalam (4) the contributions to the discussion from R, Sid Perinbanayagam and Nalliah Thayabharan — with Thayabharan’s slashing criticisms of the LTTE and Tamil diasporic supporters evincing a remarkable courage.  

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Regulating Sabda Pujā: Did British Regulation of “Noise Worship” Trigger the 1915 Riots in Ceylon?’

Shamara Wettimuny, a reprint of an article in the LSE International History Blog, in May 2018, where the title is Regulating Religious Rites: Did British Regulation of “Noise Worship” Trigger the 1915 Riots in Ceylon?’

Violence targeting the Muslim community has recently increased in Sri Lanka. Yet the scale of the violence is relatively small compared to events that took place a hundred years ago. In 1915, a dispute over a Buddhist procession near a mosque led to island-wide communal riots in Ceylon (present day Sri Lanka). This article revisits this historical event. It explores how the rise of ethno-religious nationalist ideologies in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries converged with British regulation of ‘noise worship’ to trigger the most destructive episode of violence between Sinhala-Buddhists and Muslims to date.

Kandy in early 20th century

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Politics without Principle in Sri Lanka, 1948-1992

John Richardson. reproducing a chapter in Arun Gandhi, Ed., W orld Without Violence (1993) which is entitled “The Seventh Blunder: Politics without Principle. Lessons from Sri Lanka” ++

 FR Jayasuriya fasting unto death in support of SINHALA ONLY … 24 May 1956

The world began to experience a wave of political change in 1989.  Entrenched authoritarian regimes in many nations have crumbled in the face of popular dissatisfaction with repressive policies that failed to deliver on promises of economic opportunity.  Many nations are now experimenting with the forms of democracy: popular elections to choose leaders, accountability of leaders to elected parliaments, freedom of expression and freedom to compete for power within organized political parties.[i]

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