Category Archives: modernity & modernization

Mantovan and Ambos: Two Young European Scholars researching Sri Lankan Issues

 Mantovan  Ambos

The Newsletter of the International Institute of Asian Studies at Leiden reveals the interests of two recent Fellows at IIAS who have been delving into Sri Lankan issues in recent times. Herewith some summaries

Giacomo Mantovan is of Italian lineage:

“My research in social anthropology, which focuses on individuals and their relations with their social milieu, and in particular with state authorities, aims to grasp how certain critical times, such as civil war, exile, and illness, become moments of construction of subjectivity and memory.” Continue reading

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Pioneering Cricketing Women in Ceylon, 1948

The Ceylon and England Women’s teams pictured together at the Colombo Oval on 1 November 1948 — image from Roberts, Essaying Cricket, 2006, … with refinements by Lukie Pereira [who, as it happens, was present and saw his cousin Beverley take a brilliant one handed catch on the boundary ropes]

The Cylon Team as as follows: Miss O’ Tuner (captain), Ms Enid Gilly Fernando (vc), Mrs C.hutton, Ms S.Gaddum. Phyllis de Silva, Shirley Thomas, Marienne Adihetty, Beverley Roberts, Binthan Noordeen, Pat Weinman and, Leela Abeykoon... Reseves being Mrs DH Swan, Mrs EG Joseph, … with the three marked in purple being schoolgirls from St. John’s Pandaura where the cricket coach was Gilbert C. Roberts, a cricketer of considerable competence with first-class experiience in both Barbados and Ceylon.

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The Devolution Debate: Indelible Facts

Gerald H. Peiris … an original article with emphasis in black being that of the author and that in blue being an imposition by The Editor, Thuppahi

 

Several articles by Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke published in The Island during the past few days indicate that he is very definitely the most articulate and, arguably, the most “intermestic” exponent of the notion of the ’13th Amendment’ (implemented more comprehensively than at present with all powers and functions referred to in its Ninth Schedule vested on Provincial Councils – PCs) being the constitutional via media that would ensure stability, good governance and interethnic harmony. Dr DJ is no doubt aware that, following the misguided curtailment of Presidential powers through the 19th Amendment of the Constitution in 2015, alongside the practice of foreign agents including diplomatic personnel bypassing the Colombo government in their transactions with the ‘Northern PC’ emerging an unofficial ‘convention’ in Sri Lanka’s external relations, his prescription would actually entail the creation of a more autonomous network of PCs than envisioned at the promulgation of the 13th Amendment thirty years ago. Continue reading

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Hambantota Port set for Boom under Chinese Auspices

Peter Fuhrman,  courtesy of Beyonf Brics  where the title is “China-owned port in Sri Lanka could alter trade routes”

Much has been said — but far less is understood — about the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative, the centrepiece of Xi Jin ping’s expansive foreign policy. That Mr. Xi has ambitions to extend across Eurasia China’s commercial, political and military power is not in doubt.But, the precise details on OBOR remain just about as unclear now as they did four years ago the policy was unveiled — which countries are included, how much cash China will invest or lend, where are the first-order priority projects, will any of the trillions of dollars of proposed  China-owned port in Sri Lanka could alter trade routes, will spending achieve commercial rates of return? Questions multiply. Answers are few.

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Mattala Airport in China’s Game-Plan

Brook Larmer,  courtesy of New York Times Magazine , 13 September 2017, where the title reads What the World’s Emptiest International Airport Says About China’s Influence”

   

The four-lane highway leading out of the Sri Lankan town of Hambantota gets so little traffic that it sometimes attracts more wild elephants than automobiles. The pachyderms are intelligent — they seem to use the road as a jungle shortcut — but not intelligent enough, alas, to appreciate the pun their course embodies: It links together a series of white elephants, i.e. boondoggles, built and financed by the Chinese. Beyond the lonely highway itself, there is a 35,000-seat cricket stadium, an almost vacant $1.5 billion deepwater port and, 16 miles inland, a $209 million jewel known as “the world’s emptiest international airport.”

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Ferment in Lanka’s Political Firmament: Three Tamil Voices — Philips, Moonesinghe and Somasundram

Rajan Philips:  “One more symbolic step: Wigneswaran’s audience with the Mahanayake Thera,” September 16, 2017

We need a break from the tedium, rather the opprobrium, of national corruption. To paraphrase Dr. Harsha de Silva’s public lamentation, the whole country is awash in corruption. The continuing non-promotion of people like Harsha de Silva and Eran Wickremaratne to full cabinet rank shows the depth of cabinet entrenchment by the corrupt and the crooked and the extent of exclusion of the bright and the honest. The government leadership has a lot to answer for its cabinet choices even as it has a lot of explaining to do about its highway contract choices.

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One Pillar vs Ethnic Chauvinism: Global Cross-Cultural Families

Swaminathan S. Ankleswaria Aiyar, courtesy of The Times of India, 2 April 2005, “My family and other globalisers”

In 1992, I wrote a book titled Towards Globalisation. I did not realise at the time that this was going to be the history of my family.  Last week, we celebrated the wedding of my daughter, Pallavi. A brilliant student, she had won scholarships to Oxford  University and the London School of Economics. In London, she met Julio, a young man from Spain. The two decided to take up jobs in Beijing, China. Last week, they came over from Beijing to Delhi to get married. The wedding guests included 70 friends from North America, Europe and China.

 see https://alchetron.com/Swaminathan-Aiyar-123884-W Continue reading

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