Category Archives: governance

Alleged ‘Land Grabbing’ by the Security Forces in Sri Lanka

Gerald Peiris, … an essay that is part of  Chapter 11 in a forthcoming monograph titled Sri Lanka: Land Policy for Sustainable Development, by G. H. Peiris, currently in the press (as a Visidunu Publication, 471 Lake Road, Boralesgamuwa, Sri Lanka) [1]

In view of the significance accorded in recent public debate and discussion on the subject of ‘land grabbing’ in several conflict-ridden countries of the Third World it is necessary to devote attention to a series of facts that are of crucial relevance to a balanced understanding of the related  situation in Sri Lanka.

Gerald Peiris Bhavani Fonseka  Mirak Raheem

Land Grabbing: Concept and Empirical Application  

The phenomenon referred to as ‘land grabbing’ lacks definitional clarity. In many writings of recent times (Keely, 2009; Borras, et.al., 2011; Deininger & Byerlee 2011; Rulli, et. al., 2013; Brimayer & Moon, 2014; to name only a few), especially those sponsored by civil society organisations, this phrase has been used exclusively in the specific connotation of large-scale acquisition of land in the poorer countries by foreign governments and private firms that are based in the politically and economically powerful countries. Estimates of the extent of grabbed land worldwide vary. The prestigious journal, The Economist (21 May 2009) placed it at 15-20 million ha. According to the World Bank, it is as high as 45 million ha, with an overwhelmingly large proportion of it in the less densely populated areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, South and Central America and Southeast Asia. In a major World Bank sponsored study (Deininger & Byerlee, op. cit.) ‘land grabbing’ has been portrayed as a phenomenon of both positive as well as negative impacts which nevertheless requires effective regulation. But more generally, this process is perceived as an exemplification of neo-colonial economic exploitation that has adverse consequences on the local people in the form of violation of fundamental rights, incitement of inter-group conflict, mass impoverishment and environmental degradation. What should be noted here is that in none of the research writings on the subject of ‘land grabbing’ as a global phenomenon do we come across a specific reference to Sri Lanka as a country that has been seriously affected by this phenomenon.[2] Continue reading

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Chandraprema on Gnanasara Thera in 2014

C. A. Chandraprema, in …5 July 2014,  with the title “Gnanasara Thera & the UNP” — a repetition of this article from 2014 in the light of Dayan Jayatilleka’s recent intervention and the clutch of news items and articles on hate-speech and Sinhala Buddhist –Muslim tensions

Last week, the cat jumped out of the bag when the US Embassy in Colombo cancelled Galagodaatte Gnanasara thera’s US visa. When this writer asked the US embassy in Colombo in a previous column how this monk had gone to the USA after he had begun this campaign of hatred and incitement of violence, we assumed that he had entered the USA on the kind of single entry visitor’s visa that ordinary mortals like us get after answering a whole string of questions and producing copious documentation. Now it turns out that he had a five- year multiple entry visa which had been granted to him in 2011 and had not yet expired. The US authorities appear to have panicked that if this monk made another visit to the USA on this visa in the middle of all this controversy, their role in all this mayhem would be badly exposed.

 Gnanasara Thero Continue reading

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Target Incitement to Violence – Deploy Gota’s Capacities

Dayan Jayatilleka, courtesy of The Island, 21 June 2017, where the title is  The issue is incitement: The BBS, Champika & the Gota factor” … with highlighting being the work of The editor, Thuppahi

The entire discussion or debate about the BBS, Gnanasara Thero and extremism is missing something. The discussion confuses ultra-nationalism, chauvinism, Islamophobia and extremism with the real issue: incitement to violence. Whether an ideology is extremist or not is one issue, but it is an issue that is difficult to resolve. What is far easier to resolve, legally and morally, is the issue of whether or not an action or statement constitutes an ‘incitement to violence’ against an individual or a collective.

 Gnanasara Thero Ranawake

It is morally slippery to avoid the central issue that is present before our very eyes, namely incitement, and instead to shift attention by merely equating all forms of chauvinism and denouncing them all equally. Continue reading

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In Appreciation of Ivan Samarawickrama as Administrator

Rama Somasundarem

I first came to know Ivan Samarawickrama when he was Government Agent of Polonnarawa in the mid-1960s. I was then attached to the Land Development Department. I van had already earned a name as a good administrator when he was appointed Assistant Government Agent of the Jaffna District at a time when there were civil disturbances and an army officer (for the first time I believe), was appointed to function as the Government Agent. The government of the day understood the importance of having an officer acquainted with District Administration in order to control and administer a district. Ivan Samarawickrama performed his duties with great acceptance to the people of Jaffna and greatly contributed to the district’s peace and development.

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Royal College ……. Ehema Thammai !!

ALSO SEE hHugh Karunanayake: How Royal helped spawn S. Thomas College,”  18 Aoril 2016, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2016/04/18/how-royal-helped-spawn-s-thomas-college/

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June 20, 2017 · 11:33 am

For Sri Lanka: Rajendra Theagarajah’s Exhortations to Canadian Tamils

Item in Lankareporter.com… https://lankareporter.com/blog/need-access-markets-not-handouts-expatriates-rajendra-theagarajahs-canada-speech/

Partner with us in Sri Lanka, not to build a social welfare state, but to build an entrepreneurially focused new Sri Lanka, was the message of Rajendra Theagarajah, Vice Chairman of Cargills Bank who was the guest of honour at the Canadian Tamils’ Chamber of Commerce gala and awards ceremony in Toronto. “No handouts, why not engage?” he said. He urged innovative Sri Lankan Tamil entrepreneurs in Canada to utilize hundreds of graduates each year produced by the University of Jaffna’s IT computing program and the new engineering institute of the North in Ariviyal Nagar, Killinochi.

Rajendra Theagarajah, Vice Chairman of Cargills Bank who was the guest of honour at the Canadian Tamils’ Chamber of Commerce gala and awards ceremony. (Picture by Gnane Gananedran)

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UNP and Unity Government denounce Hate Speech

ONE: Island News Item with focus on Malik Samarawickrema’s Statement

The United National Party notes with deep concern the recent attempts by subversive elements to sabotage the reconciliation efforts of the national unity government led by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, UNP Chairman Malik Samarawickrema said in a statement. Since its founding, the UNP has remained a secular political party fostering unity while building a truly Sri Lankan identity.

The UNP welcomes the statement of the Cabinet of ministers, the Prime Minister and the President to use the full force of the law against those causing religious tensions, racial hatred and undermining the efforts at reconciliation since the new government came to power. Continue reading

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