Category Archives: discrimination

Thomas Meaney, A Review Article, courtesy of the Author and the London Review of Books,… with emphasis by highlights added by The Editor, Thuppahi … SEE www.lrb.co.uk

prabha-with-pistol-2   prabha-tiger

Rescued from the Nation: Anagarika Dharmapala and the Buddhist World by Steven Kemper, Chicago, 480 pp, £31.50, January 2015, ISBN 978 0 226 19907

Tamil: A Biography by David Shulman, Harvard, 416 pp, £25.00, September 2016, ISBN 978 0 674 05992 4

The Seasons of Trouble: Life amid the Ruins of Sri Lanka’s Civil War by Rohini Mohan, Verso, 368 pp, £16.99, October 2015, ISBN 978 1 78168 883 0

Independence was handed to Ceylon’s elite on a platter. ‘Think of Ceylon as a little bit of England,’ Oliver Ernest Goonetilleke, the first native governor-general, said. This was a point of pride. Don Stephen Senanayake, the country’s first prime minister, remarked: ‘There has been no rebellion in Ceylon, no non-cooperation movement and no fifth column. We were among the peoples who gave full collaboration while Britain was hard-pressed.’ After independence in 1948, Ceylon alone among the former colonies not only retained but promoted the monarchy: the Union Jack flew alongside the Ceylon flag; a new constitution was drafted by a former LSE professor, Ivor Jennings; Colombo debutantes were presented at Buckingham Palace; and, thanks to some genealogical ingenuity, George VI was recognised as the latest monarch in the ancient line of Kandyan kings. While the rest of the empire in Asia smouldered – in India there was Partition, in Malaya the Emergency, in Burma the civil war – Ceylon became Whitehall’s model for the transfer of colonial power. ‘There was no fight for that freedom which involved a fight for principles, policies and programmes,’ Solomon Ridgeway Bandaranaike, the anti-colonial head of state who took power in 1956, said when he reviewed the transition a decade later. ‘It just came overnight. We just woke up one day and were told: “You are a dominion now.”[1] Continue reading

Leave a comment

February 10, 2017 · 1:03 pm

A Requiem for Stanley J. Tambiah

Sachi Sri Kanthain Ilankai Tamil Sangam, 9 February 2014, … http://sangam.org/stanley-jeyaraja-tambiah-1929-2014/

tambiah-pic-11 “In 1958, while I was leading a research team composed of university undergraduates, all of whom were Sinhalese, that were engaged in a sociological study of peasant colonization in Gal Oya, ethnic riots unexpectedly broke out in our midst, and at Amparai, Sinhalese public workers went on the rampage in hijacked trucks, attacking Tamil shopkeepers and Tamil peasant colonists. My students, very solicitous for my safety, insisted that I stay behind closed doors while they stood guard. And I was later hidden in a truck, and spirited out of the valley to Batticaloa, a safe Tamil area. That experience was traumatic: it was the first time the ethnic divide was so forcibly thrust into my existence. And intuitively reading the signs, I wished to get away from the island, for I experienced a mounting alienation and a sense of being homeless in one’s own home.” …… Tambiah SJ (1997) a rejoinder to ‘Buddhism Betrayed’ book review by Sasanka Perera

Tambiah SJ (1997) on 1983 ethnic riots in Sri Lanka

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, colonisation schemes, constitutional amendments, cultural transmission, discrimination, economic processes, ethnicity, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, landscape wondrous, Left politics, life stories, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, power politics, racist thinking, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, social justice, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, unusual people, world events & processes, zealotry

Murali Dissected …. and Admired: Shehan Karunatilaka’s Conversion

Shehan Karunatilaka,  courtesy of ESPNcricinfo and http://shehanwriter.com/sport/Murali_Sceptic.html where the title is Confessions of a Murali Sceptic”

A dangerous confession: I have been a Murali-sceptic for some time. This is not something that should be admitted, in public or otherwise, if you are Sri Lankan and fear being lynched.  Make no mistake, I am no Murali-denier. Who can possibly deny the man’s genius, his artistry, and his quiet dignity? But when first I saw him in 1995, bamboozling the Kiwis in Sri Lanka’s first Test series win abroad, my reaction was that there was dodginess at work – dodginess concentrated around the elbow region. I wasn’t the only one.

At the time I hadn’t read the rules on what constituted a chuck, but it seemed to be all about elbows: whether they straightened or whether they bent. My view of chucking mirrored conventional views on pornography: hard to define, but I would know it when I saw it.

For those, however, who saw Murali, who truly saw the man’s wizardry, there is far more to him than a curious elbow. The eyes that glare like an All Black mid-haka, the wrist that flaps at improbable angles and, unseen by most, the shoulder that all but dislocates at the point of delivery.

23-darrell-hair-no-balls-murali 25a-murali-wired-up26-ranatunga-and-emerson-in-confrontation

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, Australian culture, australian media, discrimination, governance, historical interpretation, legal issues, life stories, modernity & modernization, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, racist thinking, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

Today’s Backlash against Globalism: Trump and Le Pen

Greg IP, in The Australian, 12 January 2017, and The Wall Streeet Journal, where the title is Trump, Brexit, Le Pen: West’s anti-globalism backlash”

Late on a Sunday evening a little more than a year ago, Marine Le Pen took the stage in a depressed working-class town in northern France. She had just lost an election for the region’s top office but the leader of France’s anti-immigrant, anti-euro National Front did not deliver a concession speech. Instead, Le Pen proclaimed a new ideological struggle. “Now, the dividing line is not between Left and Right but globalists and patriots,” she declared, with a gigantic French flag draped behind her. Globalists, she charged, wanted France to be subsumed in a vast, world-encircling “magma”. She and other patriots, by contrast, were determined to retain the nation-state as the “protective space” for French citizens.

aa-trump-iigreg-ip aa-le-pen

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under american imperialism, discrimination, fundamentalism, governance, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, modernity & modernization, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, security, self-reflexivity, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

Sins And Kills: The Rajapaksa Clan And Their Messy Cupboard

Greg Bearup in The Weekend Australian, 26/27 November 2016, where the title is “Phantoms of Sri Lanka’s Reign of Terror”

Mahinda Rajapaksa sits at a desk in his party office beneath a photo of himself. He’s not especially tall but solid in the chest and arms; like an old rugby prop, his head seems to rest on his shoulders without much need for a neck. He’s never seen in public without his brown scarf, supposedly signifying the sweaty rags of Sri Lanka’s hard-toiling farmers. On his fingers this man of the people wears three chunky gold rings and on his wrist a bracelet of jade balls. Everyone here still calls him Mr President.

aa-thzaju-protest Public Protest on bhalf of Thajudeen 

mahinda-r-lefterispitarakis Photo by Jefteris Pitakaris

The photo hanging over him was shot a few years ago, back when he was Mr President, and back when things were very different for the Rajapaksa clan. His rule was absolute. The Rajapaksas controlled the treasury and Sri Lanka became one of the most expensive places on the planet to “build” a road. He and his family ran the country as if they owned it. They acted with impunity. His sons, ordinary footballers by all accounts, were selected to play rugby for Sri Lanka. Foreign coaches who dropped them were deported. They were lucky; others who displeased the clan disappeared. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, australian media, discrimination, disparagement, doctoring evidence, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, Indian Ocean politics, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, vengeance, world events & processes

Gems and Nuggets within the Commentary on SINHALA MINDSET: Reflections

Michael Roberts

A chance event led me to study the comments responding to “Sinhala Mind-Set,” one of the signature ‘tunes’ introducing my web-site thuppahi.wordpress.com – the other being WHY THUPPAHI. The present collection of responses has been cast in spasmodic fashion between 2009 and 2013. They are from Sri Lankans for the most part, with Mel Glickman, Jane Russell and one “Duque” being the only personnel outside this specific ‘embrace’ of nationality. Several facets of the information and thinking inscribed in these comments are pertinent to the situation facing Sri Lanka in the 2010s. I have therefore presented them again with significant segments highlighted to assist or stir readers, while proceeding to add reflections of my own in this companion piece. The aim is to promote provoke debate.

1364002696fea9-4 ssinhala-ness

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under British colonialism, communal relations, devolution, discrimination, economic processes, electoral structures, ethnicity, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, island economy, language policies, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, modernity & modernization, Muslims in Lanka, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, racist thinking, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, rehabilitation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, tamil refugees, Tamil Tiger fighters, truth as casualty of war, world events & processes

Migrant Crisis ignited West’s Populist Revolt

David Aaronovitch, courtesy of The Times, 17  November 2016 & The Australian, 17  November 2016, with the former bearing the title The West has only itself to blame for populist revolt”

At the time of his death, Alan Kurdi seemed to be a harbinger of something else. Washed up on a Turkish beach last year, his lifeless body symbolised a suffering that could no longer be ignored. This tragic consequence of mass migration, mostly involving Syrians fleeing the civil war, was going to be the moment when a conscience-pricked world would do something to help. No more – Alan has an altogether different significance now. The insurgencies that gave us Brexit and the Trump presidency have gestated over many years. But the proximate cause of both, I believe, was not economics or wage inequalities but the events of 2015.

migrant-dead A Turkish paramilitary police officer carries the body of Alan Kurdi, 3. Picture: AP

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, australian media, discrimination, economic processes, ethnicity, fundamentalism, historical interpretation, immigration, life stories, politIcal discourse, racist thinking, self-reflexivity, terrorism, tolerance, world events & processes

%d bloggers like this: