Jayadeva Hettiarachchi, in Sunday Times, 17 February 2018, where the title is “Genuine desire to find the truth about what ails our country.” .…. a review of Daya de Silva: Pearl to a Tear Drop”
There couldn’t have been a more opportune time for me to read and review this book written by Daya de Silva: namely, that moment when Sri Lankan parliamentarians were vying for power, pushing and shoving, throwing chairs, chili powder and even attempting to stab their opponents.
We humans have a deep association with our motherland even when we live in other parts of the world. A person born and bred in a given country can be separated from that country, but that country cannot be completely eradicated from that person’s mind as clearly seen in the sentiments expressed by the author of this book about her life in Sri Lanka. As is always the case, foreigners/expatriates do perceive things quickly and more comprehensively than those who live in a country. Of course, the interest, passion and a genuine desire to find the truth beneath what appears on the surface has prompted Daya de Silva to write this book as I see it.
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Frank Rees George, was a government geologist around the turn of last century and took part in a number of explorations in the west and north of the state. In the summer of 1906 Frank was in an exploring party in the Peterman Ranges area when they were attacked by aborigines and the leader of the group was speared through the eye. Frank George took over leadership of the team and managed to get them all safely back to Alice Springs but after a day or so Frank collapsed and died – he was in his early 30s. – it is assumed from peritonitis. He was buried in the cemetery at Alice Springs and a road is named after him. It’s a sad story but there is a particularly poignant element to it. After his death the team’s camel driver, George Edginton, wrote a long letter to Frank’s mother in which he detailed the events leading up to Frank’s illness and then describes Frank’s final hours. It’s a beautifully written letter, sensitive, heartfelt and moving – an extraordinary achievement especially given that the writer was a camel driver.
Photo taken on expedition by Frank Rees George. I assume the person in the photo is George Edginton who wrote the letter to Frank’s mother on his death.
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Daya Gamage in Asian Tribune, 12 February 2019, where the title is
The Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement (ACSA) signed between the Governments of Sri Lanka and the United States in March 2007 which allowed both countries to transfer and exchange logistics supplies, support, and re-fueling services clearly benefitted the United States in its military operation in the Asia-Pacific region – specifically US Pacific Command (USPACOM) which is now US Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) – but left Sri Lanka with absolutely no benefit from the U.S. at a time Sri Lanka was in an intense military battle with the separatist Tamil Tigers.
Sri Lanka’s Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa (2005-2015) and U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka (2006-2009) Robert Blake in a conversation in Colombo during the time the 2007 military agreement was signed Continue reading
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Lasanda Kurukulasuriya, in Dateline, 4 February 2019, where the title is “Duplicity and doublespeak on US military logistics hub in Sri Lanka.”
While Sri Lankans were distracted by a power struggle between the president and prime minister in December, the world’s superpower pulled off a heist in terms of extending its military footprint in Sri Lanka and, by extension, in the Indian Ocean.
USS John C Stennis off Sri Lanka in December 2018
Between 24– 29 January, the US Navy’s 7th Fleet for a second time carried out what it called a ‘temporary cargo transfer initiative’ in Sri Lanka using the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), to move supplies on to the US aircraft carrier USS John C Stennis, located off Sri Lankan waters. During the previous December operation involving the same aircraft carrier, the US had set up what it called a ‘logistics hub’ in Sri Lanka “to receive support, supplies and services” for US Navy ships operating in the Indian Ocean. The BIA was used for US military planes to bring in supplies, and for aircraft aboard the John C Stennis to fly in, load, and ferry them back. Continue reading
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Gideon Haigh is an incisive and formidable researcher. He is a whiz-kid on the financial underpinnings of the business of cricket in India and even more adept in analysing the processes surrounding cricket matches in Australia, India and beyond. But in his recent excursion into Sri Lankan politics, he has dived into a morass he is not familiar with.
He has seized on the standard interpretations in the western media world and, willy-nilly, become an agent of US-UK-EU imperialist designs. Take note of this summary survey on his part.”In noting that 2018 was a bad year for Sri Lankan cricket, we should note also that it was a very bad year for Sri Lankan democracy, rocked by President Maithripala Sirisena’s attempts to install his notoriously authoritarian predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa as prime minister over the head of incumbent Ranil Wickremesinghe……. by the estimate of The Economist Intelligence Unit, in no country did the cause of democracy retreat so far as Sri Lanka last year.”
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