Category Archives: human rights

The Threads of Intolerance within Contemporary Liberal/Radical Fervour

A Letter on Justice and Open Debate …. Harpers’ Magazine, July 7, 2020 ……………..
……… The letter below  will be appearing in the Letters section of the magazine’s October issue. We welcome responses at letters@harpers.org

Our cultural institutions are facing a moment of trial. Powerful protests for racial and social justice are leading to overdue demands for police reform, along with wider calls for greater equality and inclusion across our society, not least in higher education, journalism, philanthropy, and the arts. But this needed reckoning has also intensified a new set of moral attitudes and political commitments that tend to weaken our norms of open debate and toleration of differences in favor of ideological conformity. As we applaud the first development, we also raise our voices against the second. The forces of illiberalism are gaining strength throughout the world and have a powerful ally in Donald Trump, who represents a real threat to democracy. But resistance must not be allowed to harden into its own brand of dogma or coercion—which right-wing demagogues are already exploiting. The democratic inclusion we want can be achieved only if we speak out against the intolerant climate that has set in on all sides.

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Authoritarian Populism is the Danger Ahead

Ahilan Kadirgamar, in Daily Mirror, 6 July 2020, where the title runs “Regimes in Times of Crisis: Authoritarian Populism, Bonapartism and Fascism”

The crisis we face now is like a tectonic shift in the economy. Global production, the labour used for it, and the demand to realise it, are all in free fall. What will be the political consequences, and what kind of regimes will emerge out of such a deep crisis?
In Sri Lanka, as we approach a significant parliamentary election, my question is not about the character of the parties and the personalities of the candidates that may win or lose. The victory of the SLPP and its consolidation is a bygone fact; that battle was lost with the presidential election last November.

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An Epitaph for Martin Luther King and Memphis Today –when Black Lives Matter

Jane Russell, reviewing Stuart Cosgrove Memphis 68:  The Tragedy of Southern Soul,” Polygon Press Oct. 2017

This book is the middle section of a critically acclaimed sixties ‘soul’ trilogy by Australian-Scot Stuart Cosgrove, award winning broadcaster for Channel 4 and long-time writer for UK music media, Echoes and New Musical Express.  It follows on from Detroit 67: The Year that Changed Soul and anticipates the forthcoming Harlem 69: The Future of Soul (October 2018).

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Gotabaya’s Governance in Groundviews Gunsights

Borella Junction 24.25 July 1983  —Pix by Chandragupta Amarasinghe –here juxtaposed with the Pix deployed by GV which, in my reading, may not be from the July pogrom but from other moments of violence

COLOMBOPEACE AND CONFLICTPOLITICS AND GOVERNANCE

Sri Lanka And The US: A Pogrom And A Black Death At The Hands Of A White Policeman: Salutary Lessons

The Scene The morning of July the 25th 1983 is etched in my brain. I saw a group of people running or walking very fast away from the environs of Colombo. On…

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Battling the West. For Sri Lanka. Naseby at his Best

Professor Rajiva Wijesinha, in Island, 16 June 2020 where the title is “Lord Naseby’s Paradise”

It is a great joy to come across someone who loves this country passionately. In the case of Lord Naseby the joy is enhanced by the practical aspects of his devotion, his unceasing efforts to promote Sri Lanka’s interests and to combat what he sees as unremitting and vicious hostility to Sri Lanka on the part of successive governments.

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The Neck Smothering WE Males Desire

…. and the Lambada on the Sands that paves the way

 

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USA as World’s Policeman 1945-2020

An Incidental Point from Dr Cornel West’s Indictment of the US Administrations’ Internal Policing Programs

KEY Detail within Transcript: USA has 800 military bases worldwide; and has has carried out 211 interventions since 1945.

SEE video and transcript of yesterday’s interview with Dr Cornel West on the 7.30 Report on ABC in Australia = https://www.abc.net.au/7.30/dr-cornel-west-looks-at-the-unrest-in-the-united/12318386

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Imagining Minneapolis Elsewhere

Karen Attiah in  Washington Post, 30 May 2020, where the title runs “How Western media would cover Minneapolis if it happened in another country”

If we talked about what is happening in Minneapolis the same way we talk about events in a foreign country, here’s how the Western media would cover it. The quotes and those “quoted” in the piece below are fictional.

In recent years, the international community has sounded the alarm on the deteriorating political and human rights situation in the United States under the regime of Donald Trump. Now, as the country marks 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic, the former British colony finds itself in a downward spiral of ethnic violence. The fatigue and paralysis of the international community are evident in its silence, America experts say.

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Karuna’s Defection: An Early Analysis in Speculative Mode

Gerald H. Peiris: being Chapter 6 in Peiris, Twilight of the Tigers

The contents of this chapter, except its ‘Introductory Notes’ and the ‘Postscript’, are based almost entirely on an article titled ‘An Assessment of the Current Crisis among the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam’ written by me in March 2004 while the events that constituted the early stages of the revolt led by ‘Colonel Karuna’ against the Vanni-based Tiger leadership were unfolding in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka.  It was published by the Jane’s Information Group, UK. Written as it was in the context of acute paucity of documented information on the rapidly changing and bewilderingly complex scenario in the ‘north-east’ of Sri Lanka at that time, the article contained a fair amount of reasoned speculation. Here, in this chapter, I have retained the original article largely unchanged mainly for the reason that some of my speculations and predictions proved subsequently to be correct. The changes of the original article made in the formulation of this chapter have involved only some alterations of tense, and the addition of footnotes for clarification and substantiation, and a ‘postscript’, intended to update the impact of the events examined in the article from the viewpoint of the thematic concerns of this volume.

 LTTE commanders circa 2005(?)

 the talaivar Pirapāharan LTTEleader 

some Tigress fighters

Sea Tigresses –a formidable element in the LTTE armoury

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Friendly Fire: Gotabaya’s Ranaviru Address under Amiable Criticism

ONE: Tamara Kunanayakam, 20 May 2020, responding to the statement made by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday https://www.newsfirst.lk/2020/05/19/wont-hesitate-to-withdraw-sri-lanka-from-bodies-which-target-soldiers-president-rajapaksa/

The President is most likely referring here to the UN Human Rights Council and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The statement indicates he is either wrongly advised about the UN or [is pursuing] plain politics, which could go against Sri Lanka at a time it desperately needs international support precisely to protect its war heroes. The statement has been widely picked up by Western media agencies, which have a global influence.

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