Category Archives: governance

FOR Sri Lanka: Engaging Lord Naseby and His Journeys in Sri Lanka

Michael Roberts

Since I had been introduced to the British peer Lord Michael Naseby in the surrounds of the House of Lords in March 2018,[1] 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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Presidential Pardons for Criminals, Terrorists, and Who Else?

Chandre Dharmawardana, whose thoughts should be ruminated on in the light of the preceding item = https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2020/03/30/justice-decimated-with-gotas-ominous-step-military-murderer-rathnayake-pardoned/

When the family of the Czar Nicholas, children and women included,  were brutally killed by the Bolshevik revolutionaries, that was justified by a throng of intellectuals who were ready to defend anything done in the name of Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin. Clever dialectical arguments were presented as to why even the children had to be killed. More sensitive souls presented excuses rather than justifications. A  favorite one was that “it is inevitable” that some bourgeois  sentiments will be upset when a little extra blood is let – but all that is justified in the quest to reach the coveted end.

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Word Pictures in Deciphering Sri Lankan History, Politics, War

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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Imbecile Leaders: Morrison and Trump

Fair Dinkum in Email Memo

Scott Morrison’s handling of the crisis is causing terrible confusion in Australia.   He is telling Australians to stay at home, but people are free to go out, but stay at home.  Many of his statements are in that spirit…. The man of democracy making the health crisis a matter of personal choice rather that what is best for the country. This shows alarming signs of an inability to act decisively and so the virus can continue to spread easily causing many more infections.

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Profound Insights into Sri Lanka’s Tempestuous History

Royston Ellis, in Sunday Times UK in March 2020 where the title of his review reads  “For anyone interested in Sri Lanka, its politics and human nature”  

Lord Naseby (right) with Royston Ellis outside the House of Lords

This book by Lord Naseby, who lived in Sri Lanka from 1963 to 1964 when he was Michael Morris and an eager South Asian Marketing Manager for Reckitt & Colman, has a cover with an eye-catching red spine proclaiming “Sri Lanka in large type. It is clearly designed to attract bookshop browsers and to ensure that it becomes a prominent addition to an enthusiast’s collection of contemporary literature about Sri Lanka. Continue reading

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Australian Bombshell ….!! Airlines ‘Quarantined’

Elizabeth Knight and Rob Harris, in The Age, 21 March 2020, with this title Constant shock syndrome’: How the crisis plays out in Qantas and Virgin’s situation rooms’

Sunday March 15, 2020, 2.15pm will be marked in the diaries of Australian airline executives as a pivotal moment. It was the moment when the Australian government dropped the bombshell that all international travellers landing on our shores would be subject to a 14-day quarantine. It was the moment the music stopped and brought our travel industry to its knees.

The music has stopped for Australia's big airlines - and for the rest of the international aviation industry. The music has stopped for Australia’s big airlines – and for the rest of the international aviation industry…Pix by Wolter Peeters

The major airlines’ chief executives, Qantas’ Alan Joyce and Virgin Australia’s Paul Scurrah, had been tipped off by Transport Minister Michael McCormack that something big was coming. On Saturday night, their respective management teams worked furiously to formulate plans to get customers and their own crews back from international destinations.

From a very large glass room in Qantas’ Mascot headquarters, the carrier’s crisis management team, composed of representatives from each of the airline’s critical divisions, was in overdrive.

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The Trump-and-Modi Fandango: Imperial Arms in the Indo-Pacificic

This article, entitled “Two State Hypocrites—The Indo-Pacific Humbugs” – written by one “Pettibandige” in Asian Tribune annoyed me greatly when I glanced at it first: in part because it is a slashing hack job steeped in bile and excess; and in part because of its glossing over of the Japanese imperial expansionist programme in the first half of the 20th century via its assertion “Possibly Pearl Harbour was a result.”

However, the stream of stridency adopted in the essay seems to be a literary device that is (A) in step with its play on the Sinhala ge name “Patabändige” – modified here to “Petti” as in box; and (B) in line with its continuous mockery of the two leading actors, namely Trump and Modi. I have therefore inserted my own imprint by marking those points I question in black and those jibes that have some foundation in red …..  Michael Roberts

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