“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.
The phrase BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES took life more than 500 years ago, 1497 to be precise, in the Italian city of Florence. The unusual practice was started by the followers of Franciscan priest Girolamo Savonarola. He denounced corruption, despotic rule and the exploitation of the poor. These were un-abated traits of Florentine rule, which were evenly spread among the rich and the powerful. Friar Savonarola waged war on vanity and preached to his followers to discard anything that was vain for a simple life of a man or woman who sought lasting contentment and happiness. To this end, he encouraged people to bring all their items of vanity and burn them. The bonfires of the vanities became a rallying call of the followers of Padre Savanarola so much so the Pope excommunicated the rebel priest and imprisoned him. He was later hanged along with two of his assistants and their bodies were burned. So ended the Bonfires of the Vanities, and Florence went back to abusing power.
Laksiri Fernando, review article in Sri Lanka Guardian, 30 March 2019, entitled “The power ambitions and competitions of the elite are highly asymmetric”
Political science and political scientists, among others, could play a major role in resolving Sri Lanka’s most important problems like post-war ethnic reconciliation, construction and reconstruction of democracy, and overcoming dangers of authoritarianism through critical thinking, scientific research and lucidly written publications aimed at supplying inspiration and new thinking to policy makers and the public alike. The value of the new book by Dr S. I. Keethaponcalan titled Post-war Dilemmas of Sri Lanka: Democracy and Reconciliation can be assessed particularly in that context although its importance undoubtedly goes beyond the shores of Sri Lanka.
Jayadeva Hettiarachchi, in Sunday Times, 17 February 2018, where the title is “Genuine desire to find the truth about what ails our country.” .…. a review of Daya de Silva: Pearl to a Tear Drop”
There couldn’t have been a more opportune time for me to read and review this book written by Daya de Silva: namely, that moment when Sri Lankan parliamentarians were vying for power, pushing and shoving, throwing chairs, chili powder and even attempting to stab their opponents.
We humans have a deep association with our motherland even when we live in other parts of the world. A person born and bred in a given country can be separated from that country, but that country cannot be completely eradicated from that person’s mind as clearly seen in the sentiments expressed by the author of this book about her life in Sri Lanka. As is always the case, foreigners/expatriates do perceive things quickly and more comprehensively than those who live in a country. Of course, the interest, passion and a genuine desire to find the truth beneath what appears on the surface has prompted Daya de Silva to write this book as I see it.
Daya Gamage of USA[i]… with highlighting emphasis being the work of The Editor, Thuppahi
As you have noted in your email[ii] that Chandrika and Ven. Sobhitha[iii] were instrumental in identifying and cultivating Maithripala Sirisena to take the field against Rajapaksa at the 2015 Presidential Election, let me emphasize that Washington also had a firm covert hand in the selection.
Way back in 2013 Washington identified Sirisena as a possible candidate against Mahinda Rajapaksa. The first step was when, as Rajapaksa’s Health Minister, Sirisena received the Harvard Health Leadership Award 2013 from Harvard University Dean Dr. Julio Frenk and Harvard Professor (International Affairs) William Clark for minimizing the consumption of alcohol and smoking and adopting a National Drug Policy in Sri Lanka.
Health Minister Maitripala Sirisena receiving Harvard Leadership Award 2013 From Harvard University Dean Dr. Julio Frenk and Harvard Professor International Affairs William Clark
ONE. Lakshman Gunasekara: “Politics vs Constitutionalism,” in Horizons, 9 December 2018 …
When the Bandaranaike International Memorial Conference Hall (BMICH, what a mouthful) began hosting conferences in those old-fashioned 1970s, we, the ordinary citizens hadn’t a hope of freely strolling into its premises (let alone its halls). One needed a conference invitation to enter the gates and some ‘delegate’ or ‘media’ tag to enter the main hall or ‘committee rooms’ (as they were quaintly termed then). Today, in our lower-middle-income country comfort zone, people are constantly streaming in and out of the BMICH, for weddings, exhibitions, conferences, convocations, concerts and seminars, all at the same time (and I am sure there is romance in those verdant gardens). Continue reading →
I = NA deS Amaratunga:“Can Mahinda Rajapaksa reform himself?” in Island, 10 January 2019
Mahinda Rajapaksa is currently the most popular politician. He earned his popularity by saving the country from certain destruction and then launching a gigantic development drive throughout the country including war ravaged North and East. Yet many were the mistakes and misdeeds which resulted in his unexpected defeat at the presidential election in 2015.
Thuppahi's Blog · This web site presents the interventions of MICHAEL ROBERTS in the public realm with reference to Sri Lankan political affairs. It will embrace the politics of cricket as well. ROBERTS was educated at St. Aloysius College in Galle and the universities of Peradeniya and Oxford. He taught History at Peradeniya University and Anthropology at Adelaide university. He is now retired and lives in Adelaide.