Category Archives: plural society

The Presidential Race: Samarasinghe’s Evaluative ‘Punches,’ II and III

SWR de Samarasinghe

ONE: “Premadasa’s Candidacy – Bringing Democracy to the UNP Machine,” in ISLAND, 8 October 2019

The two major political parties, in the south, have had a long tradition of being managed more like private clubs belonging to a particular family cabal than vital public institutions in a democracy. Whoever happens to be the leader has had an iron grip on the party. There is little inner-party democracy in such a set up. The significance of Sajith Premadasa’s victory over Ranil Wickremesinghe in the fight for the UNF presidential candidacy has to be evaluated against such a background

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Hard Times and Bleak Prospects for Malayaha Plantation Work Force

Meera Srinivasan, in The Hindu, 5 October 2019, with this title A bitter brew: For Sri Lanka’s tea estate workers, fair wage is still elusive”

Often described as the backbone of the economy, close to 1.5 lakh tea estate workers have been agitating for fair wages for the last three years. Ahead of Sri Lanka’s presidential election in November, which the labourers see as another season of empty promises, Meera Srinivasan reports on how they view their struggle

“Half the blood in our bodies is sucked by these leeches. Can’t someone find some medicine to keep them away?” At first it is hard to locate the voice that is emerging from the bushes. A few feet off the road margin, at a slightly higher elevation is a worker, with her head alone visible over the lush green leaves. “They get all over us even if we smear a packet of salt,” the worker says, as she continues to pick leaves at an estate near Hatton in Nuwara Eliya district of the Central Province in Sri Lanka.

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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 Building Boom that transformed Colombo over 100 Years Ago

Hugh Karunanayake,  courtesy of THE CEYLANKAN from Sydney, Journal 86, Vol XXII, May 2019

Ceylon, as Sri Lanka was then called, had hardly any commercial or mercantilism during the nineteenth century when it was gradually emerging from a peasant society into a plantation economy. There were two major factors which contributed towards the commercialization of Colombo as a city. The first was the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 which made a tremendous impact on trade relations between the occident and the orient.

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The Saddened and Peaceful Muslims of Kattankudy express Sorrow in Peace

Item in Colombo Telegraph, 28 April 2019, entitled

At a time when our motherland, Sri Lanka, is grieving at the tragic deaths of our Christian brothers and sisters, and also other innocents from this country and abroad, who have fallen victims to the atrocities of terrorists in certain parts of this country, we release this communiqué with a heavy heart, while expressing our deepest and heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased and those suffering at hospitals.

Zahran Hashim

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February 4th 1948: “We Are Independent and One”

Sajitha Prematunge, in Island. 4 February 2019, with Pics by Jude Denzil Pathiraja and title reading “Swarnamali recounts reading solidarity message at first Independence commemoration”

The day was February 4, 1949, the first commemoration of Independence at the Torrington Square. With synchronised grace, four athletes – Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, Burgher – handed over scrolls of solidarity from the four corners of Ceylon to four charming and self-conscious young ladies. Swarnamali Amarasuriya, Sirimani Ramachandran, Ayesha Zally and Phyllis de Kretser read those messages in their respective languages and handed them over to Prime Minister D. S. Senanayake to be enshrined with the foundation stone.

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