Category Archives: landscape wondrous

Cricket as the Prince of Sports in Sri Lanka

Michael Roberts, ‘reprinting’ an article that appeared in The Island on the 7th August 2008  with a note indicating that “An editorially-modified version of this article was published in HIMAL circa 2007.”

Modernity took firm root in Sri Lanka under the imperial aegis of Britain. British rule involved a considerable transformation in the political economy of the island, a revolution in the communication system, the administrative unification of the country and the emergence of new class forces of a capitalist variety. English became the administrative language and one saw the development of an indigenous socio-political elite group, referred to locally as “middle class,” whose mode of domination included a facility in English-speak and a particular life style.

  Ajantha Mendis, center, and teammates wait for 3rd umpire’s decision on a leg before the wicket against India’s captain Anil Kumble during fourth day of the second test cricket match between India and Sri Lanka in Galle (AP) Continue reading

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Machang. China as Sri Lanka’s Best Friend

Don Manu in Sunday Island, 18 February 2018

 

 

Even as the Chinese New Year of the Dog dawned this Friday, it is becoming crystal clear that China is fast turning out to be Lanka’s best friend.. And that this country, reduced as it is to the nadir of its economical and political existence and the recent loss of its moral compass, should grip the hand of friendship. China, for whatever reason, has so earnestly extended to her. If last week’s election result showed the political negative Yin of Chinese philosophy, it has become vital that the nation embrace the positive Yang on the economic front and anchor its last buck and its first faith to the growing power of the Chinese Yuan.

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Filed under american imperialism, authoritarian regimes, British imperialism, Buddhism, centre-periphery relations, charitable outreach, China and Chinese influences, commoditification, export issues, foreign policy, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, landscape wondrous, modernity & modernization, patriotism, power politics, security, self-reflexivity, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, taking the piss, the imaginary and the real, transport and communications, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

The Yahapalanaya Government in Strife: Philips, Hattotuwa and Chandraprema Analyse the Situation

I. Rajan Philips: “The government’s consummate crisis in the face of Mahinda’s unconsummatable win,” Sunday Island, 18 February 2018,

There is no pussyfooting around the political shellacking at last week’s polls, that the President’s and the Prime Minister’s teams got at the hands of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s budding party of old bloomers. Not surprisingly, the shellacking has precipitated a consummate crisis in the so called national-unity government. While the results of the local government elections have created the current crisis in the national government, the same results cannot provide any mechanism or mandate for resolving that crisis. Nor can the impressively lopsided success at the local elections directly enable Mahinda Rajapaksa to replace the government at the national level. Put another way, SLPP cannot nationally consummate its aggregate win at the local elections. It can, however, create havoc for the unity government and it is doing so in spades. The government leaders, on the other hand, are scrambling with no one showing any capacity to take control of the situation and restore even a semblance of order. Continue reading

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Encountering Prejudice in Lanka as a Person of Mixed Descent

Krystle Reid, from Groundviews, http://groundviews.org/author/krystle-reid/  where the title is “A Welcoming Nation”

The following is a list of things I’m often asked or told, revealing of Sri Lankan perceptions about the Burgher community.

  1. Are you Sri Lankan?
  2. Can you speak in Sinhalese?
  3. ‘You’re a Burgher? You sure don’t look like one’
  4. ‘Sounds like a Las Vegas stripper name’
  5. ‘They get drunk every Saturday and go to church the next day, no shame’
  6. ‘Burghers? Parents must be divorced then.’
  7. ‘Lansi no? Probably got the job because of her English and the mini skirt’
  8. ‘Burgher…. like a hamburger?’

I could continue but the real point I was trying to make is that 70 years after independence, our ethnicity is still misunderstood. Continue reading

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Individual Subjectivity in the Appraisal of 70 Years of Independence: Explorations in Groundviews

What does it mean to be Sri Lankan?

70 years after independence, our identity is defined mostly along majoritarian lines, which can be traced back to the divisions created under British rule. These divisions have contributed to violence and war, in the years since 1948.

To this day, there are communities who feel that what is commonly projected and defined as the Sri Lankan identity does not reflect their reality, or themselves. Looking at this, Groundviews produced a series of videos exploring identity and belonging in a country emerging from war, but not yet out of conflict.

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Neville Weereratne: the Artist and his Distant Homeland

Tony Donaldson

This essay on the life and art of Neville Weereratne is based on interviews recorded in Melbourne in July 2014 and from material collected during fieldwork in Australia and Sri Lanka.

 Neville Weereratne.

The artist and author Neville Weereratne died in Melbourne on 3 January 2018 at the age of 86. He was born in Colombo on 3 December 1931. A Sinhalese by descent and the youngest of five siblings, he began drawing at about the age of six. He grew up in a Roman Catholic family in Hulftsdorp, near to the Supreme and Magistrate courts, but their home was requisitioned by the civil authorities in World War 2 and so the family moved into a house in Dehiwela owned by the Peries family (Ivan and Lester).

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Colombo City in Singapore Style? Its Hinterland Trumps That Idea …. Witness: The Recent Elections

Wilfred Jayasuriya

I assume that the government is using the Singapore model of economic development, which focuses on services and not on agriculture or industry. In the 1970s when economic development or development economics became the favourite subject of politics and economics I was lucky to do a one year post graduate diploma in Oxford University for government officers. One question raised was “How valid is the Singapore model?” and the short answer given by Robert Mabro, an Egyptian academic who ran the course was: Singapore has no hinterland.

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