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.”Continue reading →
Lasanda Kurukulasuriya, in Daily Mirror, 18 January 2017, where the title is”The US and AID: Sri Lanka’s dangerous liaison,”
Responding to my column of January 7, 2017 titled ‘US role in Sri Lanka’s institutional reform process – Assistance or Espionage?’ the Secretary General of Parliament wrote a Letter to the Editor regarding the agreement signed by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya in Washington DC in September. It said: “The said agreement does not relate to the SDGAP launched by USAID with DAI as its implementing partner” = Daily Mirror January 11, 2017, A12).
While the Parliament Secretary General’s letter clarifies that the House Democracy Partnership Agreement signed by Speaker Jayasuriya in Washington, and USAID’s SDGAP (Strengthening Democratic Governance and Accountability Project) are not one and the same, it also acknowledges that the SDGAP is in fact implemented by DAI.The Parliament Secretary General does not address the bone of contention here, which is that USAID’s contractor DAI (Development Alternatives Inc.) is a private US company alleged to be a CIA front. It is on record that Speaker Jayasuriya chaired the launch of the SDGAP in November.
Editorial in The ISLAND, 17 January 2017, entitled “Obama’s Swansong”… with highlighting bing the Editor Thuppahi’s work.
President Barack Obama has, towards the latter part of his second term, shown a tendency to get increasingly maudlin. Tears welled up in his eyes the other day while making his farewell speech. Last year, he refused to speak at his daughter Malia’s graduation lest he should get too emotional. In 2015, he was seen wiping away tears during a fascinating performance by Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul.
US intelligence and special forces … remain potent weapons that Trump intends to use to the maximum.One senior American officer said he had told the Trump team: “All we need is the presidential authority and the GPS co- ordinates and we can kill anyone in the world within 72 hours.” = A striking facet within this article in The Times& The Australian … http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/new-sheriff-trump-plans-to-flatten-isis-and-flatter-putin-qf9fxjm90…. and thus a pointer towards the double standards pursued by the so-called “international community” Editor, Thuppahi
Toby Harnden: “‘New sheriff’ Trump plans to flatten Isis and flatter Putin
Donald Trump is to reverse American policy towards Russia and in the Middle East by publicly embracing Vladimir Putin as a trusted ally and repairing US ties with autocratic Sunni Arab regimes alarmed by Barack Obama’s accommodation with Shi’ite Iran. Details of the incoming president’s controversial plans have been revealed to The Sunday Times by senior members of his foreign policy team, who promised a “night and day” difference with the policies of the outgoing administration. Trump would usher in a “new era of American leadership” and launch a series of “high-profile military actions” against Isis to telegraph to Islamic radicals that there was a “new sheriff in town” after what he described as eight years of weakness, vacillation and mixed signals, one adviser said.
The then 30-year-old was a captain with the SAS and, as troop commander, had called the Apache helicopters to take out two Taliban members loitering with a pair of donkeys about 1200m away. The Australians had intercepted communications from the pair organising an attack on the Black Hawk helicopters due to pick up this group of seven Aussie soldiers, who were visiting a remote police post in Taliban territory.Across the valley, two other figures with donkeys were gathering firewood, but Hastie didn’t pay them much attention. They were clearly civilians, and were hundreds of metres away from both the police post and the Taliban pair.
Thomas Wright, courtesy of The Atlantic,7 November 2016, where the title is “How Donald Trump Could Change the World”
Last week, Thomas Wright, an expert on U.S. foreign policy at the Brookings Institution, made a boldclaim on Twitter about the presidential race in the United States. “Pretty clear this is the most important election anywhere in the world since the two German elections of 1932,” he wrote, in reference to the parliamentary elections that ultimately resulted in Adolf Hitler coming to power. “No other election has had the capacity to completely overturn the international order—the global economy, geopolitics, etc.”
Thuppahi's Blog · This web site presents the interventions of MICHAEL ROBERTS in the public realm with reference to Sri Lankan political affairs. It will embrace the politics of cricket as well. ROBERTS was educated at St. Aloysius College in Galle and the universities of Peradeniya and Oxford. He taught History at Peradeniya University and Anthropology at Adelaide university. He is now retired and lives in Adelaide.