Category Archives: language policies

FOR Sri Lanka: Engaging Lord Naseby and His Journeys in Sri Lanka

Michael Roberts

Since I had been introduced to the British peer Lord Michael Naseby in the surrounds of the House of Lords in March 2018,[1] I assumed that he had been born into the aristocratic upper layer of British society. Wrong. It required his book Sri Lanka for me to learn that he was from the upper middle class and had contested parliamentary seats from the late-960s on behalf of the Conservative Party in what were Labour strongholds – with his peerage being of 1990s vintage. As vitally, his early career as a marketing executive had seen him working in Pakistan and Bengal in the early 1960s before he was stationed in Sri Lanka as a marketing manager for Reckitt and Colman in the period 1963-64.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, atrocities, communal relations, cricket for amity, economic processes, Eelam, energy resources, ethnicity, foreign policy, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, IDP camps, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, landscape wondrous, language policies, law of armed conflict, Left politics, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, mass conscription, nationalism, photography, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, power sharing, prabhakaran, Rajiv Gandhi, refugees, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, Sri Lankan cricket, suicide bombing, Tamil migration, tamil refugees, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, transport and communications, travelogue, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, war crimes, war reportage, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

Profound Insights into Sri Lanka’s Tempestuous History

Royston Ellis, in Sunday Times UK in March 2020 where the title of his review reads  “For anyone interested in Sri Lanka, its politics and human nature”  

Lord Naseby (right) with Royston Ellis outside the House of Lords

This book by Lord Naseby, who lived in Sri Lanka from 1963 to 1964 when he was Michael Morris and an eager South Asian Marketing Manager for Reckitt & Colman, has a cover with an eye-catching red spine proclaiming “Sri Lanka in large type. It is clearly designed to attract bookshop browsers and to ensure that it becomes a prominent addition to an enthusiast’s collection of contemporary literature about Sri Lanka. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, charitable outreach, communal relations, economic processes, ethnicity, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, island economy, landscape wondrous, language policies, law of armed conflict, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, tamil refugees, Tamil Tiger fighters, travelogue, truth as casualty of war, UN reports, unusual people, vengeance, war reportage, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

Lessons from Lee Kuan Yew’s Reflections of Sri Lankan Political History

Dayan Jayatilleka, in Financial Times, February 2020where the title runs “Learning Lee Kuan Yew’s lessons for Lanka”

Unarguably, Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) is the most universally respected Asian statesman of our time. He is esteemed from Washington to Havana, from Moscow to Beijing; from East to West and North to South, both for the quality of his mind and his conspicuous practical success as a transformational leader.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, democratic measures, electoral structures, governance, historical interpretation, language policies, life stories, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, social justice, sri lankan society, tolerance, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

Our Constitutional Language Mediums: Bombastic Lies from Gammanpila and Others

FactCheck at http://factcheck.lk/claim/udaya-gammanpila-10

Statement

[According to Article 7 of the constitution] Sri Lanka’s national anthem is “Sri Lanka Maatha“… if anything other than the words of “Sri Lanka Maatha” contained in the third schedule is considered to be the national anthem, it would be a violation of the constitution.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, architects & architecture, authoritarian regimes, centre-periphery relations, chauvinism, communal relations, cultural transmission, education, elephant tales, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, language policies, life stories, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power sharing, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, tolerance, truth as casualty of war

Our Anthem FOR Hearts and Minds

Michael Roberts

The full-frontal challenges from Janaka Perera and Daya Hewapathrane[1] to my advocacy of the National Anthem being sung in Sinhala and Tamil are on different scales, the one moderate and the latter extremist/chauvinist. But they are not totally apart. Both indulge in cherry-picking examples from the world beyond Sri Lanka to bolster their prejudices. More significantly, the moderate claims of JP work insidiously to bolster the extremists like DH and, worse still, to alienate moderate Tamils (the extremist Tamils, in my assessment, are beyond conversion to amity or sanity).

 

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, art & allure bewitching, authoritarian regimes, centre-periphery relations, charitable outreach, chauvinism, communal relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, education, ethnicity, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, language policies, life stories, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, tolerance, truth as casualty of war, world events & processes

For the Singing of the National Anthem in Sinhala Only: Two Adamant Voices

On the 21st January 2020 two personnel who are part of an “Email Collective” in which I am a member (mostly as a recipient) raised challenges by a comment within the Thuppahi route (Perera) and by an Email Note to the Collective (Hewapathirane) — arguing for the singing of the national anthem in Sinhala Only. Expecting the issue to arise on February 4th and overwhelmed with work on my two websites and other pursuits, I did not respond immediately. Janaka Perera is nothing if not persistent and has tapped me on the shoulder again.

Let me place their theses in the public domain first so that other voices can chip in. My answer will appear in a day or so as a separate entity.

flag-map-of-sri-lanka-3d-rendering-sri-lanka-map-and-flag-on-asia-map-the-national-symbol-of-sri-lanka-colombo-flag-on-asia-background-national-sr-RX83GT

Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under accountability, centre-periphery relations, chauvinism, communal relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, discrimination, disparagement, education, ethnicity, fundamentalism, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, language policies, life stories, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, racist thinking, Rajapaksa regime, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, violence of language, world events & processes, zealotry

Ecumenical Sri Lankans sing Anthem in Both Indigenous Languages

News Item in Colombo Gazette, 4 February 2020

Concerns were raised today over the failure by the Government to sing the National Anthem in Tamil at the main Independence Day event at Independence Square. The National Anthem was sung only in Sinhalese, which was a shift from the policy of the former Government which decided to sing the anthem in Sinhalese and Tamil in order to promote reconciliation among the communities.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under accountability, centre-periphery relations, charitable outreach, cricket for amity, cultural transmission, education, historical interpretation, Indian traditions, landscape wondrous, language policies, life stories, patriotism, performance, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, Sri Lankan cricket, tolerance, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes