Category Archives: governance

Sujit Suvisundaram = Director of The Centre of South Asian Studies, Cambridge University

Sujit Sivasundaram is the Director of the Centre of South Asian Studies, Reader in the Faculty of History and a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College. He works on the Indo-Pacific world, with a deep commitment to South and Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean. His last book was ‘Islanded’, on the makings of Sri Lanka. He is co-editor of ‘The Historical Journal’ and a Councillor of the Royal Historical Society.

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Ehaaa. Mehaa. Presidential Manouevres in Sri Lanka

Rajan Philips, in The Island, 13 October 2018 where the title reads “Checkmate Politics II: Diminishing Options for MS, MR and RW

There is no presidential checkmate after all as many of us were alerted to last week. President Sirisena is in no position to checkmate anyone. No surprise there. He has burnt his boats with the UNP, and even Mahinda Rajapaksa cannot rally everyone in the JO to support a new political arrangement with the old defector. It is now reported that Maithripala Sirisena first approached the UNP to canvass for a second term as President with UNP support, and only after being rebuffed by the UNP that he sought an alliance with the Rajapaksas. It is also known that there were quite a few meetings between Maithripala Sirisena and Mahinda Rajapaksa, which would only confirm that the former President has been quite serious about pursuing a deal with the current incumbent. And obviously because a second term Sirisena presidency is the only way to secure a path for the now underage Namal Rajapaksa to become president in 2024. That the former President could not get others on board for this scheme shows how tenuous and tentative are the loyalties within the Joint Opposition. Be that as it may.

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The Lines of Fire within Mark Field’s Paternalist Message

Michael Roberts, courtesy of The Daily Mirror and Colombo Telegraph

Mark Field’s visit to Sri Lanka is very, very significant. His pronouncements are threaded by the paternalistic air of an Etonian schoolmaster pontificating to students. That should not be allowed to mask the Sword of Damocles that is above the Sri Lankan body via the UNHCR as the instrument of the Western international community.

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Diego Garcia and the Fate of Its Its Indigenized Chagossian People

 

ONE = A Summary Report

Diego Garcia is part of the Chagos Atoll, a “group of seven atolls comprising more than 60 individual tropical islands in the Indian Ocean” (Jayaweera 2018). Though discovered in 1512 by the Portuguese explorer Pedro Mascarenhas, it was uninhabited till the French moved in and took over in 1783. The atoll passed to the British after the Napoleonic wars in 1814/15. Thereafter the atoll was administered from Mauritius and was considered part of its domain. Over the years the overseers and workers imported to work the plantations and settlements on the islands became indigenized as “Chagossians” and by the 1960s are said to have been around 1500 in number (note the imprecision).

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Identity. Belonging, Dignity. Lessons from Francis Fukuyama for Sri Lanka Today

Sanjana Hattotuwa, in The Island, 29 September 2018, where the title is Ïdentity and Belonging”

Sixteen years ago, I met a child soldier. He had a T-56 and was cocky. The A9 had opened up a few months ago, and taking it to Jaffna with a group of journalists, we encountered a checkpoint manned by the LTTE, past Omanthai. The children at the checkpoint, with guns strung around their torso loosely, were in the LTTE’s signature fatigue. Hostile and demanding, they curtly instructed our driver to provide the documentation to enter the area, which at the time the LTTE provided. One clambered into the driver’s seat as I sat in the passenger seat, knowing that if they wanted to be difficult, we would be stuck here for a while. I smiled. He didn’t. He looked around slowly, T-56 placed on the dashboard.

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Beware the Global Human Rights Mafia and Their Sri Lankan Parrots

C. A. Chandraprema, in Island, September 2018, with this title “Cardinal’s words and Mangala’s response”.… the highlighting is the work of the Editor, Thuppahi

The comments made by Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith last Sunday at the Ekala St Matthew’s Church have made waves with Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Saliya Peiris criticising the Cardinal’s words and the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and several Catholic MPs in the Joint Opposition condemning Samaraweera and Peiris for taking on the Cardinal. What the Cardinal said last Sunday during a sermon delivered in Sinhala was roughly as follows.

“The latest religion in the West is the religion called human rights. Human rights were discovered only recently. It is being regarded as a wonderful new discovery which is being held aloft and we are being relentlessly lectured about it. However our people began adhering to religions centuries ago. Some people in our country talk of a secular society. Human life is not just food and drink and the pursuit of comfort. Many people in the West now regard religion as an outer garment. They use religion when it suits them but if they are required to make sacrifices, they put religion aside. Our lives are short and if we limit it to the pursuit of pleasure we will come to an unfortunate end. If we adhere to a religion we don’t need human rights. Those who are dependent on human rights are those who have no religion. We must not be misled by these chimeras. We must look at this intelligently.”

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President Sirisena addresses United Nations in New York

News Item, AT http://www.president.gov.lk/president-urges-the-international-community-to-look-at-sri-lanka-with-a-fresh-perspective/ … with this title President urges the international community to look at Sri Lanka with a fresh perspective”

President Maithripala Sirisena called upon the international community to look at Sri Lanka with a fresh perspective and consider the tremendous progress made by the government towards reconciliation, restoration of democratic freedoms, human rights and the rule of law and [therefore to] extend the fullest support to build a progressive, democratic, free and equal society.

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