Category Archives: politIcal discourse

Momentous Changes in Ceylon instituted by the Donoughmore Commisison

Leelananda de Silva, in Sunday Times, 5 July 2020

The Donoughmore Commission which came to Sri Lanka in the late 1920s made far reaching and far seeing recommendations, which changed the political, economic and social landscape of Ceylon. The present generation is largely unaware of its role and it is time that they refresh their understanding of the tremendous changes brought in by Donoughmore.

The Earl of Donoughmore

It was a commission consisting of three Britons — the Earl of Donoughmore, Drummond Shields and Burrows. They were political personalities well known in Britain at the time and were not colonial civil servants. They had the political and social vision to overcome the objections of both the colonial masters in Sri Lanka and the local dominant political personalities who were also not in favour of radical reforms.

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Zoom-Boom: US Cyber Warfare vs China via Allegations re Zoom

VISIT this You Tube video on ZOOM entitled “Is China Spying? on Us?. Shocking Details in This Video.” …. c602c1a3-8f92-4b61-b4ea-f63b8c01315a

Because the speaker’s voice is that of an (Asian) Indian albeit one with traces of an American background, my suspicions were immediately aroused: was this not cunning US media warfare? So I sent it on toe an Aussie who speaks Chinese and Malaysian for critical readings (below). This does not mean that China does not indulge in subterranean political games, but that US agencies are masters at war games and covert games; while the US Pacific Fleet has ringed east Asia with an array of armed bases ever since 1945; and that in the present world order India is on its side because of recent spats with China.

Note map and details in …… Jenny Awford: US readies for war with China with 400 bases of ships and nukes to create ‘perfect noose’ around superpower rival,” 5 Dec 2016, https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2331190/us-readies-for-war-with-china-with-400-bases-of-ships-and-nukes-to-create-perfect-noose-around-superpower-rival/

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Free Education for Ceylon: Tales Missing

Prabhath de Silva, in Island, 11 July 2020, where the title is “Unsung And Forgotten Heroes of Free Education and Sri Lanka’s Missed Opportunities”

Much has been said and written about Dr. C.W.W. Kannangara for his role in the introduction of the Free Education Bill in the State Council (Sri Lanka’s legislature under the Donoughmore Constitution from 1931 to 1947) and implementation of the free education policy here. The nation owes a debt of gratitude to him but there are other unsung and forgotten heroes behind this story.

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Hang Aluthgamage to Dry for his Dirty Politics

Lucien Rajakarunanayake, in Island, 11 July 2020, where the title is “Playing Cricket against rogues in politics”

“I am Tamil, Sinhalese, Muslim and Burgher. I am a Buddhist, a Hindu, a follower of Islam and Christianity. I am today, and always, proudly Sri Lankan” – Kumar Sangakkara

The Elections Commissioner has said the Vote is your right, your voice, your power and your future. How can the voters show their real power through the ballot? The answer today comes from the game of Cricket.

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Kusal Mendis: His Car Killing and Aftermath reviewed on Facebook

Sugath Kulatunga on Facebook

As a person who has experienced dozing off on the wheel on long drives during my youth, I am sorry to see the virulent criticism of Kusal Mendis on the fatal accident caused by him. Falling asleep on the wheel can happen to any driver who has been driving for long hours or who is tired. This is not an attempt to exculpate Kusal from any guilt but to give a different aspect of the issue. Specific statistics on this category of accidents are not readily available in Sri Lanka. But it can be assumed to be fairly high.

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Achtung! Whiffs of Tiger Militarism and Tamil Federalism in Recent Talk and Action

ONE: Camelia Nathaniel, in Daily News, 9 July 2020, which carries this title Resurrection of LTTE’s Agenda of Violence”

The LTTE network overseas has been planning a series of attacks in Sri Lanka since the war ended in May 2009. The latest attempt to disrupt peace and stability in Sri Lanka was on July 4, 2020. A former member of the Tamil Tigers Thangarajah Thevathashan was preparing to conduct a bombing to mark the Black Tigers Day. The foreign handlers knew Thangarajah Thevathashan by his LTTE name Gangai Athman alias Kavinjan. He was serving in the LTTE Intelligence wing, notorious for the assassinations of several leaders including the former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

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The Threads of Intolerance within Contemporary Liberal/Radical Fervour

A Letter on Justice and Open Debate …. Harpers’ Magazine, July 7, 2020 ……………..
……… The letter below  will be appearing in the Letters section of the magazine’s October issue. We welcome responses at letters@harpers.org

Our cultural institutions are facing a moment of trial. Powerful protests for racial and social justice are leading to overdue demands for police reform, along with wider calls for greater equality and inclusion across our society, not least in higher education, journalism, philanthropy, and the arts. But this needed reckoning has also intensified a new set of moral attitudes and political commitments that tend to weaken our norms of open debate and toleration of differences in favor of ideological conformity. As we applaud the first development, we also raise our voices against the second. The forces of illiberalism are gaining strength throughout the world and have a powerful ally in Donald Trump, who represents a real threat to democracy. But resistance must not be allowed to harden into its own brand of dogma or coercion—which right-wing demagogues are already exploiting. The democratic inclusion we want can be achieved only if we speak out against the intolerant climate that has set in on all sides.

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Fresh Insights on the 4/21 Salafi Bombings in Sri Lanka

Samanth Subramanium, in New York Times, 2 July 2020, where the title reads “Two Wealthy Muslim Brothers became suicide Bombers, but Why?”

There’s a video of the exact moment Inshaf Ibrahim decided to abandon his life as a rich young man and turn into a mass murderer. In one sense, he had made up his mind weeks earlier, which was why he was loitering in the Cinnamon Grand hotel’s breakfast buffet on Easter Sunday last year in Colombo, strapped into a knapsack of explosives. Once he arrived, though, he appeared to dither. Later, investigators picked him out of CCTV footage, standing near a vacant table, wearing a baseball cap and a T-shirt, his back to the camera. In the footage, he moves like a perplexed penguin. Two steps forward, half a step back, a turn, another turn: a choreography of hesitation. Perhaps he is reconsidering? But no, the investigators concluded; he is waiting for more people to come in. Finally, a microsecond of stillness, arms heavy by his side; then his hands reach toward the front of his waist, and the film goes dark.

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Passing the Covid with the Cricket Ball?

Simon Kolstoe, in The Conversation, 6 July 2020, where the title reads Do cricket balls really spread coronavirus

Cricket is now back on in England, despite Boris Johnson declaring cricket balls a “natural vector of disease”. His statement has frustrated cricket fans and players, but has also raised the wider question of which activities spread COVID-19. After all, unlike other activities that the UK government is actively encouraging, such as visiting pubs or restaurants, cricket is an outdoor sport where players are very unlikely to come into contact with each other.

Cricket balls showing various amounts of deterioration after play. Acabashi/Wikimedia CommonsCC BY-SA

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Authoritarian Populism is the Danger Ahead

Ahilan Kadirgamar, in Daily Mirror, 6 July 2020, where the title runs “Regimes in Times of Crisis: Authoritarian Populism, Bonapartism and Fascism”

The crisis we face now is like a tectonic shift in the economy. Global production, the labour used for it, and the demand to realise it, are all in free fall. What will be the political consequences, and what kind of regimes will emerge out of such a deep crisis?
In Sri Lanka, as we approach a significant parliamentary election, my question is not about the character of the parties and the personalities of the candidates that may win or lose. The victory of the SLPP and its consolidation is a bygone fact; that battle was lost with the presidential election last November.

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