Category Archives: governance

Nishan De Mel on Rupee Depreciation Implications

Hiran H.Senewiratne, in Island, 23 February 2017, where the title is “It is the speed of rupee depreciation or appreciation against the dollar that matters’

aansihanThe US dollar depreciation/appreciation against the rupee is nether a barometer to determine the strength of the economy nor the strength of the currency/rupee. The most important matter is to look at how and at what speed the rupee depreciated or appreciated against the dollar, a top economist said. “Currently, the US dollar has touched Rs 153.44 but this is not a parameter to determine the strength of the economy or the currency. When one looks at a developed economy like South Korea, as an example, they pay more “Won” for dollars, compared to the Sri Lankan rupee, which is an indication that appreciation of the dollar is not a parameter to determine the strength of the economy, Executive Director, Verite Research Dr Nishan de Mel told The Island Financial Review.  aa-bank-notes

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Filed under accountability, commoditification, economic processes, governance, island economy, performance, sri lankan society, world events & processes

Decolonization in the Rubber Trade, 1946-54

Rohan de Soysa

Tony Donaldson’s essay in valedictory recognition of Tony Peries generated a short memorandum[1] from one of my friends in Colombo, namely Rohan de Soysa, son of Terence de Soysa.[2] This note adds significant information on early steps in the process of decolonization and the breaking away from Britain’s stranglehold over the commodity trade. It is therefore presented as an essay in its own right –a move welcomed by Tony Donaldson. I have taken the liberty of imposing highlights by way of emphasis. Michael Roberts as Editor Thuppahi.

sl-china-stamps Picture shows the Commemorative Stamp issued to mark the 50 years of signing the Rubber Rice Pact.
The Terence de Soysa referred to [in Tony Donaldson’s article] as a ‘very clever rubber trader’ by Tony Peiris, was my father. He had organised a consortium and bought CWM {CW Mackie & Co] in 1946 or so, before Independence, the first major British company to be Ceylonised. Continue reading

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Filed under British colonialism, commoditification, economic processes, foreign policy, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, life stories, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, sri lankan society, unusual people, world events & processes

Here, There and Almost Everywhere! Jaraa in Sri Lanka

frances-fFrances Ferdinands, in Sunday Island, 19 February 2017, where the authors’s chosen title is “Becuase I Care”

As a Sri-Lankan born Canadian Artist, I have had the privilege of spending time here in Sri Lanka within the last two years. From January – March 2015 I was here on a Canadian Government sponsored project geared towards exploring my artistic heritage and incorporating this experience into my own art practice. I was mentored in the traditional arts and crafts of Temple painting, and Beeralu Lacemaking. I recently returned in early January of this year to study the traditional craft of mask making. Continue reading

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Filed under accountability, cultural transmission, economic processes, governance, life stories, meditations, patriotism, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, transport and communications, travelogue, unusual people

The Failure of the Coup in Turkey: Erdogan and Russia

Nikolai Starikov,** translated by Julia Rakhmetova, –original title = “Why Russia Revealed Coup Plans to Erdogan”  ….. sent to me by a seasoned analyst with the comment: “A strongly Russocentric point of view … that has to be taken into account since it seems to be a fact that Russia did help Erdogan”

Traditionally, they have been conducted by the military, which modern Turkey’s founder Kemal Ataturk designated as the guardians of secularism, stability and integrity. Since WWII, there were military coups in 1960, 1971, 1980 and 1997, and the US was behind EVERY one. During the first coup in 1960, they tried to prevent a rapprochement with the USSR, turning off credit, and Turkish Prime Minister Adnan Menderes planned to visit Moscow to set up an alternative source of crediting and economic assistance. The military took over, and the politicians who wanted to repair relations with Russia were removed.

11erdogan-and-coup-cnnErdogan speaking–CN

ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH - People react as bodies draped in Turkish flags are seen on the ground during an attempted coup in Ankara, Turkey July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. TURKEY OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN TURKEY. TEMPLATE OUT

People react as bodies draped in Turkish flags are seen on the ground during an attempted coup in Ankara, Turkey July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer 

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Filed under accountability, american imperialism, governance, historical interpretation, legal issues, life stories, politIcal discourse, power politics, world affairs, world events & processes

Constitutional Issues in the Limelight … Liayanage and CBK

ONE:  Constitutional Reforms: Would it be a solution to the national question?” by Sumanasiri Liyanage, in The Island, 16 February 2016

A German friend of mine whom I met after 7 years in the middle of our conversation asked me about the state reforms project of the Yahapalana government. He said that many people he met had been sanguine about them in spite of some minor difficulties. Lankans have been talking about the state reforms since the second republican constitution was promulgated in 1978. Three main questions have been posed, namely, (1) The executive presidential system and the  over-centralized architecture of the constitution; (2) the constitutional relevance in ethnically divided society; and (3) the representational deficiency in the system of election. After a heated debate in the 1980s and 1990, the heat of the constitutional debate has now subsided as many seem to believe that the present system has reached some stability. This may be partly due to the rigid character of the constitutional design. However, it is not totally true as we have had Parliaments with the necessary 2/3 majority [to effect change if requisite].

1364002696fea9-4ethnic-unity

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Filed under accountability, centre-periphery relations, constitutional amendments, governance, Left politics, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, world affairs

Muddles in the Present Kingdom of Lanka

Rajan Philips, in Sunday Island, 12 February 2017, where the title is Constitutional Tensions and Mixed Messages”
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When it seemed that there was nothing left and it was all over insofar as the government’s commitment to constitutional changes was concerned, there were new developments last week that are pleasantly surprising and politically reassuring. The first sign of hope emanated from a meeting President Sirisena had last Wednesday (February 8) with representatives of about 50 civil society organizations at the Presidential Secretariat. The second sign of optimism came from the appearance of External Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera at the Foreign Correspondents Association gathering on Tuesday night. A third pat on the back for the constitutional initiative came from former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, but she characteristically made it controversial by compounding it with her opinion on war crimes investigation. Continue reading

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Filed under accountability, communal relations, constitutional amendments, devolution, governance, human rights, life stories, politIcal discourse, power politics, power sharing, propaganda, reconciliation, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, social justice, sri lankan society

Thomas Meaney, A Review Article, courtesy of the Author and the London Review of Books,… with emphasis by highlights added by The Editor, Thuppahi … SEE www.lrb.co.uk

prabha-with-pistol-2   prabha-tiger

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.”[1] Continue reading

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February 10, 2017 · 1:03 pm