Category Archives: land policies

Millennium Challenge Compact — A Distilled Picture from Welikala

Aswin Welikala*

I am shocked and saddened by how gullible my own people are to the manipulations of politicians and their lies. I am also shocked by the complete inability of people to read a public document instead of deciding to trust fake YouTube videos designed to spread lies. Since I took the effort to read the #MCC Agreement, I thought of summarising it for those who haven’t been bothered to do so but have an opinion on it.

*What is the MCC?*

The MCC is a US grant giving organisation set up in 2004. It’s purpose was to change the way aid was given by making the countries receiving aid to have more control over their grant and to design projects around what those countries actually need.

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Planting Muringa: Grounded Charity in the Vanni

VANNI HOPE and its Work …. Video and Cross links sent by Ranjan Sivagnanasundaram with ….

* VIDEO LINK …. and

* MEMO:   This is joint project by Kaveri Kala Maram, Empower Australia, Rotary Club Colombo South. ………27 acres of Muringa harvesting has been started in the Vanni Region of Srilanka…….. A big thank you to Rev. Joshua and the team at Kaveri Kala Manram to implementing this project……. Warmest Regards,  Ranjan Sivagnanasundaram <

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DS Senanayake’s Life and Times by KM de Silva … hits the island roads

Press Release from the ICES at Kandy

The ceremonial launch of two publications of the International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES, Kandy) titled, respectively, as The Life of D. S. Senanayake (1884-1952): Sri Lanka’s First Prime Minister, by Prof. K. M. de Silva, and its Sinhala version,  D.S: Sri Lankaway Prathama Agraamaathya, by Professor K. N. O. Dharmadasa, was held in Kandy on 3 October 2019 in the presence of a large gathering invited by Prof. Upul Dissanayake, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Peradeniya, who sponsored the event in collaboration with the staff of the ICES.

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The Force of the Moors. Reflections Historical and Ethnographic

Wilfrid Jayasuriya

“The Portugese, the Saviours of our Culture?” = This is the title of a scholarly article written in the Ceylon Historical Journal in the 1950s by B. J. Perera BA (History) University of Ceylon who was our teacher in the University Entrance class. It was of course “dead against” the version given by nationalist historians after independence. However his interpretation simply put was that the Mughals had conquered Hindu India and ruled it for a couple of centuries and converted a large part of the Hindu population to the Muslim religion as had happened in countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia and the Maldives, which had been either Hindu or Buddhist. The evidence in Bali and Java of the existence of Buddhist and Hindu relics supports this view.

Mattayaas in the Gal Oya and Eastern Province interior

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Remembering SBD de Silva: A Scholar in Every Fibre

Krisantha Sri Bhaggiyadatta, in Sunday Island, 16 June 2019, where the title reads “One Thing Leads to Another – Memories of a Great Guru”

SBD de Silva, at 92, acted like he would live forever. To the very end, he kept drafting in almost imperceptible scribble – with pen or pencil, whatever being handy, glasses falling off his nose, peering over some text or daily/weekly newspaper – filling an A4 until no blank space was left, and then, so as not to break his concentration or the sentence, without looking, reach for another blank…

Like Scheherazade of the 1001 Nights who had to keep narrating to save her life until each dawn, so did SB, by day and by night, keep writing as if fresh insights, expressed in perfect words, would make him immortal. Yet, ambushed he was by impermanence. But such dedication to his craft and to the country was sheer dream to witness, let alone to hope to emulate, yet must be upheld as a beacon of scholarship for future generations.

 SBD de Silva (1926-2018) at a diplomatic reception in the 1950s. His classic, The Political Economy of Underdevelopment, tracks our own economic history midst that of the world.

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The Epitome of Scholarship in British Migration History and Much More: Eric Richards’ Publications Galore

PUBLICATIONS  OF  ERIC  RICHARDS:  A LISTING up to November 2018 provided by Robert Fitzsimons of Flinders University

Publication forthcoming:

 * “Migration at Extremes”. Keynote address at the conference Colonial and Wartime Migration, 1815-1918, Amiens, France, 12-14 September, 2018.

*  “Migrants in Crisis in Nineteenth-Century Britain.” In The Oxford Handbook of Migration Crises, edited by Cecilia Manjvar, Marie Ruiz and Immanuel Ness. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019.

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Sri Lanka’s Political Story from 1948-2018 in a Slash-and-Burn Nutshell

Qadri Ismail, in Groundviews, 3 November 2018, where the title is “WHAT, to the minority, is democracy?” ….with emphasis insertedby the Editor, Thuppahi

Maithripala Sirisena violates the constitution, stands to destroy democracy itself. Liberals, overwhelmingly Sinhalese, are aggrieved, appalled, aghast.

As a minority, I laugh. Not the happy laughter of someone enjoying a good joke. But the bitter, mirthless cackle of someone forced to read this script many times before – like every full moon, when the temple speakers blare its bana and you can’t blot out the noise with sleep because the liquor stores are closed.

All postcolonial Sri Lankan heads of government, all of them Sinhalese, have consistently violated the constitution and/or “threatened” democracy – usually by practicing it – and/or oppressed minorities. One could deem it a job requirement.

Just a few months after independence, Don Stephen Senanayake denaturalized, then disenfranchised ‘Indian’ Tamil citizens, already alienated from this country by their naming. Constitutional? Probably not. Democratic? Absolutely – passed by a majority of Parliament. Continue reading

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