Category Archives: Left politics

Political Currents Past and Present bearing on the Sri Lankan Dilemmas Now

 DCP Amarasekere[i], in Island, 28 October 2019, with this titleBeyond the story of doom: the social base of ‘new authoritarianism’ in Sri Lanka”

With only a few weeks left for the 2019 Presidential Election, two questions seem to dominate our social conversations and news coverage: “who will win?” and “what will be Sri Lanka’s political destiny?” In the absence of country-wide scientific polling, the first question is typically answered by using anecdotes, quasi-scientific, social media or social network specific speculations or gossip.  The second question, which categorically stems from the liberal quarters of society, is a long-winded lament about the “cruel dilemma” of having to choose between a “neo-conservative” coalition and weak political formations putting up a brave fight to hold on to the last straw of the country’s democracy.

NM Perera at hartal 1953 and SWRD for Sinhala Only in 1956

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Sri Lanka’s Rivers of Grief from 1956-to-Present within Documentary Film

Anurudha Kodagoda in Sunday Observer, 6 October 2019, reviewing Dharmasiri Bandaranayake’s TEARS IN PARADISE

Dharmasiri Bandaranayake’s latest documentary film, ‘Tears in Paradise’ (Paradisayaka Kadulu), consists of the political history of Sri Lanka from the assassination of S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike to the 1983 Black July, emphasizing the dark history of violence released by the Sinhala-Buddhist ethnicity of the country with the patronage of the Sri Lankan Government which was in power at that time.

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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 Crushing Sway of the English Language in 20th Century Ceylon

Vinod  Moonesinghe, ….. responding to a passing ethnographic note by Chandra Fernando which ran thusUnfortunately, Mr Bandaranaike, who had Oxford Education, was not intelligent enough to know the value of English to Ceylonese. When we received telegrams, the postman could not read them, so we had to go to Mabole 3 miles walk either way where Wattala Post Office was to get it read from Postmaster.”

In reply to Chandra Fernando’s statements about English, it is not SWRD Banadaranaike he should blame, but the British imperial power. The British created a tiny circle of elite schools, to create a stratum of English-speaking civil servants and compradores, to serve their needs. The vast bulk of the population were left uneducated. Vernacular schools did not teach above the 8th grade, and you needed to go to an English-language school to get your SSC. By 1956, only 5% of the population could speak English.

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Composing THE BROKEN PALMYRAH: Rajani Thiranagama’s Rigorous Oversight … and Her Insights

Rajan Hoole, whose chosen title is “Thirty Years After: Rajini Rajasingham Thiranagama’s Lasting Impact”

Text of Speech delivered by DR. Rajan Hoole at Trimmer Hall, Jaffna, on 21st September 2019 to mark the 30th anniversary of Dr.Rajini Thiranagama’s assassination [by the LTTE] …. presented first at http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/65690

Ever since Rajani was killed, on 21st September 1989, many around the world have seen her as a heroic figure that stood for human values, not in a legalistic sense, but in the full-blooded sense that evokes an emotional and intellectual response; that moves those around her to commitment and action that is contagious. Accepting that we are living in a world that is not pacifist, her activism was towards solutions that avoided violence. The other view of Rajani was simply that she is a traitor. For those who felt helpless when the Tigers carried all before them, she inspired them as a symbol of resistance to the emerging fascist order, where to dissent was to court death.

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Vale: Carlo Fonseka’s Manifold Gifts Inscribed in Memory

ONE: Ishara Jayawardena: Carlo Fonseka: Unparalleled,” Daily News, 4 September 2019

 Professor Carlo Fonseka ushered in an episode rare in its own right. He always stood for what he thought was just. Not merely a physician cum academic, Fonseka established his turf far beyond the general boundaries as a political activist, rationalist, creative artiste and many more roles. His academic prowess was a remarkable factor, yet his wit fused with wisdom generously applied in writing as well as orations was significant.

The Daily News got in touch with three renowned academics to ascertain the intellectual estate he has bequeathed.

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The Political Paths We Sri Lankans Face

“Friday Forum” in Resurrected Form  Savitri Goonesekere, Chandra Jayaratne et al in Island, 3 September 2019, Presidential Elections And The Peoples’ Options”

In a few months’ time this country will once again make decisions on the political leadership that will guide the destinies of the nation. This is a pivotal point in regard to the direction and manner in which our country will develop in the near future.

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