Naaman Zhou, in The Guardian, 14 June 2018, where the title runs “Nazi flag on Australian army vehicle ‘utterly unacceptable’, Turnbull says”
Malcolm Turnbull and the Department of Defence have condemned Australian soldiers who flew a Nazi flag above an Australian army vehicle in Afghanistan. Leaked photos taken in August 2007, obtained by the ABC, show the vehicle flying a flag emblazoned with a swastika during operations. Defence confirmed that the photos were genuine, and said they “rejected everything the flag represents”.
Filed under accountability, Afghanistan, art & allure bewitching, disparagement, foreign policy, landscape wondrous, life stories, politIcal discourse, pulling the leg, self-reflexivity, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, war reportage
The burning political question of the day appears to be who and how many Parliamentarians received money from Perpetual Treasuries Ltd (PTL) for their respective election campaigns. In a political season marked by scandalous memory-loss some have claimed that they didn’t always know who was depositing money in their accounts. Meanwhile the full list of beneficiaries is proving to be elusive; first it was said that PTL had funded the campaigns of 116 politicians, later the number was upped to 166 and now it stands at 186.
Filed under accountability, american imperialism, conspiracies, disparagement, economic processes, electoral structures, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, parliamentary elections, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, world events & processes
Rajan Philips, in The Island, 26 May 2018, where the title is “The Shangri La tamasha: Neither presidential nor parliamentary, it’s Port City politics now
After a week in Cuba, I am late in gate-crashing the Shangri La party, the onset of the newest political tamasha in town. Calling it a tamasha is not to belittle the political potency of the event, but to highlight its ideational bankruptcy. No one took Donald Trump seriously when he slid down his gilded Trump Tower escalator, in January 2016, and announced his candidacy to become President of the United States of America. Look where he landed before the year was over and where he is dragging by its nose the world’s so called sole superpower. The Sri Lankan contrast is glaring.
GR making Viyath Maga speech at Shangri La
Tisaranee Gunasekara in The Sri Lanka Guardian where the title runs thus: “Blood-and-Faith Populism and Sri Lanka’s Future””
“As the great reformers of the 19th century well knew, the Social Question, if left unaddressed, does not just wither away. It goes instead in search of more radical answers.””……Tony Judt (Reappraisals)
This month, the populist wave suffered two critical defeats. In France outsider-candidate Emmanuel Macron beat Marine Le Pen. In Iran, reformist president Hassan Rouhani trounced Ebrahim Raisi, a religious hardliner backed by Supreme Leader Khameni and the Revolutionary Guard. These defeats come in the wake of other electoral setbacks for populists, especially in Austria and The Netherlands. Despite these welcome-defeats, the current wave of populism is far from spent – and would continue wreak havoc, until the forces of moderation manage to create a new synthesis between pluralist democracy and progressive economics.
Populism is hardly a new phenomenon. It flourishes best where there is economic loss and pain. Populist leaders succeed in their power-grabs by harnessing that economic pain to their political projects. Continue reading
Filed under accountability, communal relations, cultural transmission, disparagement, doctoring evidence, economic processes, electoral structures, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Islamic fundamentalism, Left politics, legal issues, life stories, modernity & modernization, patriotism, performance, politIcal discourse, power sharing, Rajapaksa regime, religious nationalism, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, world events & processes
Charles Sarvan aka Ponnadurai, in Colombo Telegraph, reviewing K. M de Silva’s The Island Story: A Short History of Sri Lanka, International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Kandy, Sri Lanka, 2017
EPIGRAPH: “Sri Lanka in the first few centuries after the early settlement was a multi-racial, multi-ethnic society: a conception which emphasises harmony and a spirit of live and let live” (K. M. de Silva, op. cit., page 13)
It’s said that fools rush in where the wise fear even to walk. I tiptoe hesitantly, conscious that I am no historian (my discipline was Literature) while the author is perhaps the most eminent of Sri Lankan historians writing in English. The hope is that what I write will be taken as a layman’s perspective and contribution to discussion. Continue reading
Filed under accountability, British colonialism, British imperialism, communal relations, cultural transmission, disparagement, Eelam, ethnicity, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian traditions, island economy, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, modernity & modernization, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, riots and pogroms, security, self-reflexivity, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil Tiger fighters, transport and communications, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, war reportage, world events & processes