A Note received from Gerald Peiris, Friday 15th November 2019 … 12.56 pm
Gota, I think is going to be a definite winner, despite all the anti-Rajapaksa propaganda, Al Jazeera being just one source of such viciousness. Throughout the campaign Gota maintained a sense of dignity and balance (vis-a-vis the subject of ethnic relations) and has provided hope for the future of the country replacing the widespread despair that prevailed earlier. Sajith has been so hopelessly bad in his platform performances, sounding more like an undergrad firebrand contesting at a university student council meeting, focusing (to an incredible extent) on the theme of what a great guy he is.
Filed under accountability, citizen journalism, electoral structures, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, performance, politIcal discourse, Presidential elections, self-reflexivity, Sri Lankan scoiety, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy
Ivan Amarasinghe to Michael Roberts –a personal communique dated 15 November 2019 which I have taken the liberty to publicize …. deploying our common groundings at St. Aloysius and Ivan’s wide cosmopolitan experience
Over the last six weeks, I have been doing the rounds at all levels: 1. grass roots peasantry in Colombo and Galle, 2. Plantation Tamil sector in the Central and Southern provinces, 3. villages from Hikkaduwa, Galle, Akmeemana, Baddegama, Deniyaya, Akuressa, Weligama, Unawatuna, Habaraduwa and along the coast up to Hambantota, Beliattha communicating with local people; 4. the peripheral urban Sinhala Buddhist areas, 5. the inner Colombo Black-Whites; 6. Local MPs; 7. Governor of Southern Province (being my cousin who sided with MS in 2015!); doing the flood relief activities with him and the various Provincial and Local Council heads while staying in his official residence and being an “embedded” traveller in his official vehicles.
Ivan with the Catholic Bishop of Galle Revd Wickramasinghe, and Dr Ramesh Pathirana, and Malcolm Gunasekera
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Jayantha Somasundaram, courtesy of THE CEYLANKAN, November 2019
Sri Lanka’s maritime areas were ceded to the British in 1796 and for the next one and a half centuries there was a British military presence on the Island. As a consequence the Ceylon Army which was established seventy years ago in October 1949 was heavily influenced by this British legacy.
In the early British years under a Lieutenant General, Britain stationed four regiments of infantry, two Ceylon Rifle Regiments, a regiment of the Royal Artillery, a regiment of the Royal Engineers and a troop of cavalry on the island. But after the rebellion in the former Kandyan Kingdom was put down in 1848 and for much of the next century of British rule, there was a more limited British military presence on the island. So by the turn of the twentieth century the British Army in Ceylon, now under the command of Brig Gen R.C.B. Lawrence, consisted of a battalion of infantry, a company of the Royal Artillery, a company of Ceylon and Mauritius Royal Artillery and details of the Royal Engineers and Royal Army Medical Corps. (Wright: 857) Continue reading
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The recent political debate on SOFA, MCC etc (see Roberts 2019) highlights the place of KOGGALA in the Western imperial map of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The British airfields at Katunayake Trinco and Koggala were part of the imperial defence system – a geo-political ensemble that became even more significant after the fall of Singapore to the Japanese in WW Two marked vulnerabilities not envisaged till then.
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I recently circulated a whole set of articles by some Muslim scholars (located in the Eastern Province and abroad) as well as a few others in Western universities — mostly written in the 2011-19 period. I am beginning to go through them slowly when I can carve out time for this set of tasks. A few have focused on the incidence of crime and communal violence in the post 2009 period.
What strikes me on reading these ventures is the limited degree of reading of past works that has been pursued and the appalling gaps in their background – lapses which also impinge on their comments on the death toll in the last stages of Eelam War IV.
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