Category Archives: island economy

Scots in Planting and in Ceylon

Tom J Barron: Scots and the Coffee Industry in Nineteenth Century Ceylon” in Tom Devine and Angela McCarthy (eds)

The Scottish Experience in Asia, c.1700 to the Present ……………………..pp 163-185

Part of the Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series book series (CIPCSS)

Chapter First Online: 23 November 2016

Abstract   This chapter examines the role of Scots in the coffee enterprise in Ceylon in the nineteenth century. It finds origins for the Scottish contribution in fields where Scots were established: West Indian planting, engineering, the colonial civil service, the army, business and mercantile activity and banking as well as agriculture. Family ties and chain migration are seen as elements in the recruitment of Scots for employment in Ceylon along with targeted campaigns and press appeals. How and why the social basis of migration changed in the late nineteenth century is outlined along with the difficulties which arise in estimating how large was the Scots presence. The chapter ends by indicating that their experiences in Ceylon offered Scots the means to seek further employment opportunities elsewhere. Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, economic processes, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, land policies, landscape wondrous, life stories, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, power politics, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, unusual people

Fashioning Sri Lanka’s Development: A Retrospective Overview

Godfrey Gunatilleke, being the final chapter entitled  “Hindsight and Retrospect – A Brief Commentary” in a new book Towards a Sri Lankan Model of Development, 2017 Marga Institute, ISBN 978-955-582-134-6 ….publications@margasrilanka.org

 

Introduction

“History has many cunning passages, contrived corridors”  This line from Eliot’s Gerontion is a good  starting  point to begin reflecting on Sri Lanka’s development after independence .  Retracing the development path that Sri Lanka took and pausing at every twist and turn to ask “What if we took another turn?” is always a fascinating  exercise . How useful it is in guiding us in our future actions is another matter. There are always lessons to be drawn from the successes and failures of the past. But when this is done we need to recognize the inherent limitations of an effort to learn from the past and project past trends to the future.  Eliot as a poet and Schumpeter as an economist found knowledge derived from past experience to be of limited worth in predicting how the future would unfold and enabling us to take control of it.  Eliot pointed out  that the past imposes a pattern and can falsify one’s vision of the emerging future as  “the pattern is new in every moment and every moment is a shocking valuation of all that we have been”   Schumpeter perceived how innovations and discoveries which were not  foreseen led to historic and fundamental changes  and  based his model of growth on the “creative destruction”of the past . Their insights about the “unpredictability” of the future has important implications and challenges for development policy and planning. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, commoditification, economic processes, governance, growth pole, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, transport and communications, welfare & philanthophy, working class conditions, world events & processes

Narrating Tamil Nationalism: Subjectivities and Issues

 Michael Roberts,  being a reprint of a review article in South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, s., Vol. XXVII, no.1, April 2004 …… with a review of this essay by Bandu de Silva having appeared earlier Thuppahi. The version here has highlighted emphasis to aid the reader –clearly a ‘work ‘in 2017.

     ONE

Alfred Jeyaratnam Wilson, now regrettably with his maker, remains Sri Lanka’s leading political scientist, with numerous books associated with his name. He had secured eminence as early as the 1970s, when attached to Peradeniya University, and this reputation enabled him to move to a Professorship at the University of New Brunswick around 1972. It was his considerable scholarly reputation that encouraged the president of Sri Lanka and leader of the right-wing United National Party, J. R. Jayewardene, to utilise his consultative services in the political negotiations and constitutional engineering that occurred in the period 1978–83. His participation was facilitated by K. M. de Silva, a confidante of the president as well as Wilson’s long-time friend.

 Wilson     KM dde Silva Continue reading

Leave a comment

July 19, 2017 · 3:39 pm

Fire-Storm Images, III: LTTE Leaders

 

Velupillai Pirapaharan in his presentation of self in Che Guevara mode

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, historical interpretation, island economy, language policies, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, war crimes, war reportage, world events & processes, zealotry

Ceylon Tea and Its Surrounds: Richard Simon’s Tour de Force

Michael Roberts, courtesy of Sunday Times, 16 July 2017, … http://www.sundaytimes.lk/170716/plus/an-invigorating-draught-250066.html

  

Sri Lanka. Aerial view of tea estate hillside.

Ceylon Tea is a must-read, must-absorb work of art. Its review of the history of tea in Sri Lanka is set in deep context – context historical, context political and context social. As such, it is a tour de force.   Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under British colonialism, commoditification, cultural transmission, economic processes, education, female empowerment, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, land policies, landscape wondrous, Left politics, life stories, LTTE, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, Rajapaksa regime, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, transport and communications, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, working class conditions, world events & processes

Introducing FIRE AND STORM by Michael Roberts

Anonymous Reviewer in Sunday Times, 21 July 2013,  where the title runs “Important contribution towards a dialogue on Lankan polity. Book facts”

When Michael Roberts left Peradeniya in the late seventies, he was part of an exodus of intellectuals from the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya, arguably one of the best universities at that time. The exodus of academics at that time was compelled by the economic difficulties faced by university dons. It was the second wave of such emigration that diminished the intellectual life of the university and country.

  Pirapāharan and leading Tiger Commanders at the Indian sponsored training camp at Sirimalai in 1984

The Arts Faculty of the University of Peradeniya never regained its prestigious academic status after that. Today the University of Peradeniya cannot take pride in intellectuals of the eminence of E. F. C. Ludowyck, E. R Sarachchandra, H. A. de S. Gunasekera, Fr. Ignatius Pinto, Ian Van den Driesen and many others. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, communal relations, devolution, discrimination, education policy, Eelam, electoral structures, female empowerment, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, IDP camps, indian armed forces, island economy, landscape wondrous, language policies, law of armed conflict, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, power sharing, prabhakaran, Rajapaksa regime, Rajiv Gandhi, riots and pogroms, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, tamil refugees, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, vengeance, war reportage, welfare & philanthophy, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes

Dissecting Roberts’ Review of NARRATING TAMIL NATIONALISM

Bandu de Silva, in The Island, on 30 October 2006, reviewing Narrating Tamil Nationalism—Subjectivities and Issues by Michael Roberts

Michael Roberts’ slim book (52 pages) with pictures, published by Vijitha Yapa publications has already Attracted some public attention but I think it deserves a wider comment despite the shortness of the treatment because it is in itself a commentary on a more controversial work by A. J. Wilson on Sri Lankan Tamil Nationalism, its Orgin and Development in the 19th and 20 Centuries with a Chapter by Rev. A. J. V. Chandrakanthan. (London Hurst & Co., now published as a Penguin Book. A Jeyaratnam Wilson

     A Jeyaratnam Wilson Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, British colonialism, colonisation schemes, democratic measures, devolution, discrimination, economic processes, education policy, governance, historical interpretation, island economy, land policies, language policies, legal issues, life stories, nationalism, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, world affairs