Since I had been introduced to the British peer Lord Michael Naseby in the surrounds of the House of Lords in March 2018, I assumed that he had been born into the aristocratic upper layer of British society. Wrong. It required his book Sri Lanka for me to learn that he was from the upper middle class and had contested parliamentary seats from the late-960s on behalf of the Conservative Party in what were Labour strongholds – with his peerage being of 1990s vintage. As vitally, his early career as a marketing executive had seen him working in Pakistan and Bengal in the early 1960s before he was stationed in Sri Lanka as a marketing manager for Reckitt and Colman in the period 1963-64.
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Jonathon Riley, reviewing Michael Naseby: Sri Lanka. Paradise Lost. Paradise Regained, 2020, London, Unicorn
Sri Lanka, Ceylon – geographically so close to the Indian sub-continent and yet with a culture and history that has been for many centuries distinct. What a difference a few miles of water make – as we in England know well. I recall visiting Sri Lanka in 1993 and, on the anniversary of independence in 1948, and reading a leader in the newspaper that suggested maybe it would have been a good idea to have stayed with Britain a few years longer. A brave sentiment indeed and one which, after more than twenty years, makes much more sense having read Michael Naseby’s book.
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Shenali Waduge, in Lankaweb, 9 February 2020, where the title is “Balkanizing India: National Security dimensions for India & Sri Lanka”
Indo-Sri Lanka relations have never been what either country would have liked it to be. What both countries should realize is that small as Sri Lanka may be, India cannot afford to bully it or destabilize it as India would have liked. The terrain is now far different than when India could call the shots in 1980s. There are bigger and far more powerful players that even India needs to weather with caution. There are many faux pas that India will not like to admit to, but what India must realize is that if it is in Sri Lanka’s best interest to ensure India remains unbalkanized, it is to India’s best interest that Sri Lanka remains without elements that covertly propose to do what was done to the Soviet Union & the former Yugoslavia.
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