Category Archives: discrimination

Nadesalingam Family in Heated Asylum-Seeker Controversy

Tracey Ferrier, in AAP News Item,  3 September 2019, entitled “Peter Dutton lashes out at Tamil parents for “dragging” kids through court appeals”

A Tamil couple has unfairly “dragged” their two young children through drawn-out court appeals in an ill-fated bid to stay in Australia, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton says. Mr Dutton has rounded on the couple, saying the reason they’ve been in Australia for so long is because they have refused to accept rulings that they are not genuine refugees. He said “excessive” appeals had kept them here and now they were complaining about having to leave the life they established in the Queensland town of Biloela.

Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton says the Tamil couple has unfairly dragged their two young children through drawn-out court appeals. Picture: AAP Image/Mark JesserMinister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton says the Tamil couple has unfairly dragged their two young children through drawn-out court appeals. Picture: AAP Image/Mark JesserSource:AAP

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UN Aid Workers in the Crucible of War, 1989-92: William Clarance’s Fascinating Account

Michael Roberts, in SOUTH ASIA¸ Sept 2008, 31: 394-96 reviewing Ethnic Warfare in Sri Lanka and the UN Crisis (London: Pluto Press, and Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publications, 2007), 296 pp.

This is an unusual book and essential reading for those interested in the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. William Clarance was head of UNHCR’s relief mission in Sri Lanka from 1989 to 1992. He kept a diary and has waited until he had left the arena of international administration before recounting his riveting experiences in the field. 

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“Goyi-Lansi”: Badinage founded on Class Differentiation laced with Ethnicity and Prejudice

Michael Roberts

This article is inspired by Fabian Schokman of Moratuwa whose questioning comment led to a brief exchange involving Eardley Lieversz and myself. I will place these exchanges first before proceeding to address the context and implications of the article on “Goyigama Lansiyās” written by a retired Sinhala police officer of senor rank.

This essay was obviously penned in light-hearted spirit. But, in conveying ethnographic tales of past times in genial tones, the account reveals questionable ‘seams,’ i.e. strands, within the socio-political order. Readers are advised to absorb the essay “The Goyigama Lansiyaas”[1] as an initial measure …. before proceeding to the exchanges and the arguments below.

the 2nd Pic may well be British ladies and gents in a Whites only club

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Anti-Muslim Violence Present and Past

Shamara Wettimuny, in Sunday Observer, 14 July 2019, where the title is “A brief history of anti-Muslim violence in Sri Lanka”

The recent Easter attacks targeting a number of churches and hotels devastated Sri Lanka. Over 250 people were killed, and many more injured. Within days of the attack, it emerged that the perpetrators of the attack were affiliated to radical Islamist groups in Sri Lanka. However, the identification of the perpetrators as ostensibly adherents of the Islamic faith opened the floodgates of discrimination and violence against the broader Muslim community in Sri Lanka.

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The Goyigama Lansiyaas

A Wandering Laankikaya

Following is an interesting piece by former Sri Lankan (Sinhala) DIG of Police now domiciled in Canada. This appeared some time ago.

Recently I njoyed reading a lively discussion in a newspaper about the ‘Govigama Burghers’. The first time I heard the term ‘Govigama Lansia’ being used in lighter vein was by my cousin the late Neville Algama. He referred to his friend and classmate at Royal College V.T. Dickman as ‘Govigama Lansia’.

Siva Rajaratnam that affable Attorney- at- law who hailed from Trincomalee became a dear friend of mine after he cross-examined me for several days before the Sansoni Commission. He too had been a classmate of Dickman’s. In 1980 when I was the DIG–Metropolitan, Siva invited me to his Royal College batch mates’ annual get-together at his Wellawatta Rohini Road residence as the guest of honour, although I was not from that Reid Avenue school.

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Political Shades in the Indian Stardom at the 2019 World Cup in England

Gerald Peiris, in The Island, 5 July 2019, with this titleIndia-England cricket Encounters – An Opinion by G. H. Peiris”**

I am no cricket commentator. Cricket, however, has been one of my ardent interests since childhood. And what I write now is no more than a fan ‘Opinion’. May I add that, in the very early stages of my cricket career my uncle who was awaiting demobilization from the British forces at the Ratmalana airbase, brought to our home in Angulana (less than a mile to the south) discarded sports goods like tennis balls hardly ever available to children like us during WWII; and I was allowed by the ayyas of the neighbourhood with whom we played to bat with a tennis racquet.  Then, the Indians were our favourites, with those like Nawab of Pataudi, Vijaya Merchant and Vinoo Mankad et. al. figuring prominently in my treasured cricket-picture collections. It remained that way until recent times when I liked India to win against all others except our team.

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Tip-Toeing around the Artistic Work of Donald Friend

Ashleigh Wilson, in The Australian, 18 June 2019, where the title is “Gallery confronts uncomfortable truths about old friend”

Queensland’s flagship art gallery has quietly moved to reframe the debate around problematic artists by acknowledging Donald Friend’s paedophile past in a “contemporary retelling of history”.

Donald Friend’s portraits of Margaret Olley in 1948 and 1972, left, alongside other works in which the renowned artist is the subject at the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane. Picture: Glenn Hunt Donald Friend’s portraits of Margaret Olley in 1948 and 1972, left, alongside other works in which the renowned artist is the subject at the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane. Picture: Glenn Hunt

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