Category Archives: modernity & modernization

Koggala in the Western Imperial Design in the 20th Century, 1931 onward

Michael Roberts

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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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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Wigneswaran’s Political Manifesto dissected in Devastating Fashion

Chandre Dharmawardana, in Island, 29 October 2019, where the title is “The ITAK’s 13-Point Letter””

According to news reports in The Island of 18 Oct. 2019), the TNA has sent a 13-point to the presidential candidates, even though the prospective President has been shackled by the 19A crafted by the Jayampathy-Sumanthiran cabal. It should not be forgotten that parties constituting the TNA backed the LTTE in its heyday and were the political facades of Prabhakaran’s terror campaign, even though their very own colleagues like Amirthalingam and Yogeswaran had been murdered in cold blood by Prabhakaran. Those acts have never been condemned by the TNA.

see https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Atlas_of_Tamil_Eelam

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The Durability of Solar-Power Lighting Units and An Exemplary Outcome at Thalakolawewa

Chandra Fernando

We have been donating these lights since May 2014 to the same school [viz., the Thalakolawewa Primary School], amongst other places all over Sri Lanka. Last Saturday we received news that 42 children who studied under our lights were able to pass their Govt Scholarship Exam. 

This result is mainly due to the Principal’s dedication and commitment in encouraging the staff to have night classes and in making a special request for extra lights for the school.  He came to Sudath’s place and collected the lights personally. We have since arranged to give the school 4 lighting packages each containing 6 lights for the new batch of students.

… SEE https://www.google.com/maps/place/Thalakolawewa,+Sri+Lanka/@6.7456262,81.2402763,14z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x3ae4472a85270bf5:0xe552c72f0f2997ae!8m2!3d6.7197836!4d81.2539611

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Sustaining a Malay Lankan Identity: A Magnum Opus on Their Heritage

Sust
A young medical student Tuan Careem hopes that his book ‘Persaudaraan’ (brotherhood) will help rekindle an interest in Malay culture among the youth of his community.  When he was young, he spent many days in bed recovering from bouts of asthma. While many would cite similar experiences as a reason why they did not succeed in later life, young Tuan Careem does just the opposite. “I used to get sick a lot when I was small so I would have to spend a lot of time at home. My parents took me to the library and let me borrow books to keep me occupied, but unfortunately for them I read the books at an inconveniently fast rate,” grins 24-year-old Tuan.

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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 Presidential Stakes: The Two Paths behind the Two Faces

S W R de A Samarasinghe, in Island, 1 October 2019,  where the title reads ” Democracy at the Crossroads”

There is little to choose between the two principal presidential candidates Sajith Premadasa (UNF) and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa (SLPP) when it comes to election rhetoric. Both talk a lot about national unity, security, national sovereignty, economic prosperity, and social equity. These are very reasonable and highly desirable goals that nobody will challenge.

But there is one key issue on which the two sides appear to differ. Rajapaksa and his supporters stress the importance of a ‘strong’ government. They do not clearly define the term. However, the 2006-2014 record of the Rajapaksa administration where the rule of law was disregarded with impunity and white vans were used to intimidate opponents, suggests that the term ‘strong’ was not exactly benign in that era.

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