Category Archives: human rights

The AUSTRALIAN ‘Umpire’ bats for Sajith and depicts Gota as Anti-Democratic Ogre

 Amanda Hodge in The Weekend Australian, 16 November 2019, where the title runs Sri Lanka election dilemma: democracy or the dread of dynasty”

Ahead of Sri Lanka’s polarising presidential elections on Saturday, an editorial tinged with desperation in the Sunday Observer newspaper urged voters “to keep the lights on in Asia’s oldest democracy. Vote to keep the journalists in this newsroom and newsrooms across the country, who are trying to be truth-tellers, safe from harm,” it said. “There are 35 candidates on the November 16 ballot paper, but a presidential election is ultim­ately a choice between two candidates. One of them terrifies us.”

Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa with the Sinhalese-Buddhist nationalist party on Wednesday during the last political rally before heading to the polls on Saturday. Picture: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images.

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Koggala in the Western Imperial Design in the 20th Century, 1931 onward

Michael Roberts

The recent political debate on SOFA, MCC etc (see Roberts 2019)  highlights the place of KOGGALA in the Western imperial map of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The British airfields at Katunayake Trinco and Koggala were part of the imperial defence system – a geo-political ensemble that became even more significant after the fall of Singapore to the Japanese in WW Two marked vulnerabilities not envisaged till then.

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Political Currents Past and Present bearing on the Sri Lankan Dilemmas Now

 DCP Amarasekere[i], in Island, 28 October 2019, with this titleBeyond the story of doom: the social base of ‘new authoritarianism’ in Sri Lanka”

With only a few weeks left for the 2019 Presidential Election, two questions seem to dominate our social conversations and news coverage: “who will win?” and “what will be Sri Lanka’s political destiny?” In the absence of country-wide scientific polling, the first question is typically answered by using anecdotes, quasi-scientific, social media or social network specific speculations or gossip.  The second question, which categorically stems from the liberal quarters of society, is a long-winded lament about the “cruel dilemma” of having to choose between a “neo-conservative” coalition and weak political formations putting up a brave fight to hold on to the last straw of the country’s democracy.

NM Perera at hartal 1953 and SWRD for Sinhala Only in 1956

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The Veddas in the East of Ceylon in the 1950s

L.C. Arulpragasam, in Sunday Observer, 13 October 2019, where the title is  The Veddas and the Gal Oya scheme: Ultimate resettlement at Bintenne”

In the Jungles of Bintenne: In 1950 I undertook a sociological survey along with Mr. Kuda Bibile, a University colleague, of the Veddas living in the jungles of Wellassa and Bintenne in the Badulla District of the Uva Province. The only authoritative study of the Veddas at that time had been done by Dr. C. Seligmann, a German anthropologist, in 1911. I carried his heavy tome around with me on my entire journey.

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The Presidential Race: Samarasinghe’s Evaluative ‘Punches,’ II and III

SWR de Samarasinghe

ONE: “Premadasa’s Candidacy – Bringing Democracy to the UNP Machine,” in ISLAND, 8 October 2019

The two major political parties, in the south, have had a long tradition of being managed more like private clubs belonging to a particular family cabal than vital public institutions in a democracy. Whoever happens to be the leader has had an iron grip on the party. There is little inner-party democracy in such a set up. The significance of Sajith Premadasa’s victory over Ranil Wickremesinghe in the fight for the UNF presidential candidacy has to be evaluated against such a background

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Riddled with Deceit and Fallacy: The Western World’s Appraisal of Eelam War IV

“Deceit Magnified: The Western World’s Appraisal of Eelam War IV” by Michael Roberts in FAULTLINES The K.P.S. Gill Journal of Conflict & Resolution Volume 24 September 2019 ……………… https://www.satp.org/Docs/Faultline/24.pdf– with some minor tweaking and the use of highlights to emphasize points of particular value

The last stage of Eelam War IV in Sri Lanka in 2008/09 has generated a large volume of literature. In addressing the issues arising from this work, it is possible to proceed by assertions founded upon previous articles with their supporting evidence.[1] The focus here is on the pursuits of the US State Department through its point man in Colombo, US Ambassador Blake, as well as its ‘auxiliaries’ in the UN and European Union.[2] The arguments here are deliberately provocative. They commence with eleven  assertions that highlight a worldwide ignorance of alarming proportions in 2009, a shortcoming that persists today.

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The Gash Files and Beyond

Michael Roberts

Shamindra Ferdinando’s rambling presentation of an Interview with Lord the Michael Naseby has produced some vital information about the creaking inner workings of the British government as well as the circumstances surrounding Lord Naseby’s interventions on behalf of Sri Lanka. Naseby’s assiduous effort to extract the reports sent by the British Defence Attache in Colombo in the year 2009, one Lt. Col. Gash, did not commence till November 2013 when David Cameron, the British PM, was about to head to Sri Lanka for the CHOGM conference – a visit where Cameron played the hero for the British public, the world HR lobbies and the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora.

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