Category Archives: island economy

Sri Lanka’s Constitutional-Political Dilemma TODAY: Three Types of Sri Lankan Separatists

Dayan Jayatilleka, in the Island, 19 September 2017,where the title is  “Constitutional choices and Tamil politics.  Three Types of Sri Lankan Separatists”

At the heart of the Constitutional Question is the crux of the continuing Sri Lankan crisis. And that is what may be variously called the Tamil Question, the Tamil issue, the Tamil problem, the Tamil national question, the Tamil nationalities question, the Tamil ethnic issue etc. I tend to see it as Sri Lanka’s North-South Question.

What is the Tamil Question? It is the problem of accommodating the identity and aspirations for irreducible political space of a community with a justifiable sense of pride and achievement, and doing so while not impinging upon the identity and aspirations for a secure space, of the unique community that forms the majority on this small island placed on a strategic sea-lane and in close proximity to a massive landmass with a huge population.

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Filed under centre-periphery relations, constitutional amendments, devolution, economic processes, electoral structures, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, language policies, legal issues, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, the imaginary and the real, TNA, world events & processes

Mattala Airport in China’s Game-Plan

Brook Larmer,  courtesy of New York Times Magazine , 13 September 2017, where the title reads What the World’s Emptiest International Airport Says About China’s Influence”

   

The four-lane highway leading out of the Sri Lankan town of Hambantota gets so little traffic that it sometimes attracts more wild elephants than automobiles. The pachyderms are intelligent — they seem to use the road as a jungle shortcut — but not intelligent enough, alas, to appreciate the pun their course embodies: It links together a series of white elephants, i.e. boondoggles, built and financed by the Chinese. Beyond the lonely highway itself, there is a 35,000-seat cricket stadium, an almost vacant $1.5 billion deepwater port and, 16 miles inland, a $209 million jewel known as “the world’s emptiest international airport.”

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ELIYA launched as Challenge to the Present Lankan-US Dispensation

Shamindra Ferdinando, in The Island, 12 September 2017, with title “A challenging task for Gotabhaya”

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The high profile launch of Eliya (light) by wartime Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa underscored Sri Lanka’s PATHETIC failure to counter unsubstantiated war crimes allegations, directed by a section of the international community, since the conclusion of the war, in May 2009. Sri Lanka paid a very heavy price for its failure and the previous government can never absolve itself of the responsibility for the situation. Continue reading

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Shaping the Constitution: Several Voices, Discordant Scenarios

ONE = Editor, NewsIin Asia: “Political posturing unlikely to hamper Lanka’s constitution making process,” 12 Sept 2017

Forces which are eager to give the country a new constitution as per the pre-election promise solemnly made by Sirisena and Wickremesinghe, are confident that the competing parties would sink their differences and agree to the Steering Committee’s Interim Report which is to be submitted to the Constitutional Assembly (CA) on September 21. writes P.K.Balachandran in South Asian Monitor.

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Turbulence & Grandiose Visions in the SL Government’s Situation

Sunday Times Editorial 9 September 2017  

The President and Prime Minister coming in one car for the launch of V2025 (Vision 2025), the blueprint for the future of a “rich Sri Lanka” was clearly to deliver a message. ‘We are in this together – till 2025.’

This was against all the evidence to the contrary that the two coalition partners of the National Unity Government, viz., the SLFP and the UNP were drifting further and further apart and only on a ‘holding operation’ till the end of this year. The more than symbolic ‘coming together’ as it were at the BMICH on Monday, was also in the immediate afterglow of the SLFP’s 66th year convention the previous day where President Maithripala Sirisena told his followers that there is now a Government that talks in one voice. In Hakmana the same day, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa told that faction of the SLFP opposed to Mr. Sirisena’s leadership that the party had sold its soul to the UNP under the incumbent President. Continue reading

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Farmer Field Schools Initiative on Sri Lankan Tea Plantations

Dushy Perera, at  where the title is Taking Farmer Field Schools to Sri Lankan Tea Plantations”

A few days ago at the hundred plus year old DMCC Planter’s Club in Dickoya (central Sri Lanka), ETP initiated a momentous programme that will train a group of trainers who will be responsible for establishing and running a farmer field school (FFS) programme on Sri Lankan tea plantations.ToT attendees  ToT attendees

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The New Constitution is a Neo-Colonial US Project

Tamara Kunanayakam, being the full text of a talk entitled The new Constitution – a neo-colonial project!” at a Forum in Sri Lanka on 6th September 2017 .. with highlighting emphasis added by The Editor, Thuppahi

As we meet here this evening, a radical overhaul is underway – of our political, economic, financial, social and cultural system. A new Constitution is being discussed, at the same time a plethora of radical reforms are being rushed through. The fact that many of these reforms are being challenged as unconstitutional indicates that the new Constitution is aimed at making what is un-Constitutional today, Constitutional tomorrow, making legal what is illegal by a simple trick of changing the Law!

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