Category Archives: press freedom & censorship

Goodness Gracious Me! Double Standards in UK and Here. There, Everywhere!

Shamindra Ferdinando,  in The Island, 9 May 2018, where the title is How UK manipulated RTI law to deny Lanka chance to counter war crimes allegations” …. with emphasis here being inserted by The Editor, Thuppahi

Having adopted the Freedom of Information Act, way back in 1970, Norway is now ranked 67 in the Global Right to Information Rating, maintained by the Center for Law and Democracy. Sri Lanka enacted the Right to Information Act, No. 12 of 2016, a year after the change of the war-winning Rajapaksa administration. The UNP, and a section of the civil society and media, campaigned for the right to information (RTI) law though they couldn’t convince the previous government to introduce the Right to Information Act. However, since the adoption of the right to information law, the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration has quickly reached third position in international rankings. The government and all those who had campaigned for RTI law consider it a key good governance administration’s achievement.

Ferdinando Lord Michael Naseby

Norwegian Ambassador Thorbjørn Gaustadsæther and Chairman, Sri Lanka Press Institute Kumar Nadesan at the inauguration of ‘Empowering Citizens with RTI’ on Tueaday (May 8) at the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS). Norway funded the two-day conference. (pictures by Sujatha Jayaratne)

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The Gash Files I: About Lt. Col. Anton Gash

Michael Roberts

Lt Colonel Anton Gash was the “Defence Adviser” attached to the British High Commission from February 2007 to June 2009 and therefore observed and commented on the ongoing war to the UK Foreign Office. In this capacity he was a key figure in organising the training given to the SL armed services on International Humanitarian Law etc, between the 3rd and 8tth March 2008 under the supervision of Commander Alan Cole. Both Cole and Gash were specifically thanked by the SL Foreign Minister, Rohitha Bogollagama, on this occasion.

Of upper class background, Anton Gash was educated at Eton (1978-83), read Classics & Literature & Linguistics at Oxford (1984-88) and completed his Defence Studies at Cranfield University and Kings College over the years 1996-98.

  Lt. Col Gash meets the SL Navy Continue reading

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London is Brewing: Tamil Tigers, Brigadier Fernando and British Double Standards

Tamils in support of Pirapaharan, the LTTE and Tamil cause TODAY

 Brigadier Priyanka Fernando’s Injudicious Challenge

Two Essayists Lambast the British Government for their Positions on Terror, the Pro-LTTE Tamils and the Brigadier Fernando Incident

ONE = Sara Dissanayake: Anti-Terror Laws & British Hypocrisy,” in Colombo Telegraph,” February 2018,

The recent incident involving the throat-slit gesture made by Defense Attaché Brigadier Priyanka Fernando in response to the Eelamist protesters in London has, rightly so, stirred much controversy. Developments following the incident also sparked ample debate, prompting the public to take sides under the prevailing circumstances. Continue reading

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Bracegirdle as a David taking on the British Plantation Goliath in 1937

Bernard Vancuylenberg, 

During the colonial period of the late 1930s, a tea plantation in the Madulkelle district Relugas Estate, was the place where what appeared to be a simple act of insubordination by an assistant superintendent, was to have far reaching consequences and wider ramifications not only for the company concerned, but for the colonial government of the time and a left leaning socialist political party called the “Lanka Sama Samaja Party” (The Lanka Socialist Party), popularly known as the LSSP.  The “David” in this case was a young assistant superintendent named  Mark Bracegirdle and the “Goliath” was the government of the day –  at first glance an uneven match.

 Bracegirdle with LSSP leaders at Horana– Colvin r de Silva seated and Philip gunawardena, Wilmot Perera and Leslie Goonewardena among those standing behind

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Exquisite Camera Timing in the Sports Arena

Pow! Wham! How! … COURTESY OF http://www.thebrofessional.net/perfectly-timed-sports-photos/

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The War Dead in Sri Lanka: Deceit and Ignorance Rule the Air Waves

      Both these images are from TamilNet and were part of the extensive stock sent to me in 2009/10 by “Citizen Silva” aka IDAG. The first is dated 6 April 2009 and the second 28 April 2009

ONE = Michael Roberts: “Introduction”

When I presented an essay on  “Missing Persons” in Groundviews in March 2013 the reactions were, as usual, mixed and included a derisive dismissal from one “Velu Balendran”.[1] However, one individual named Nathan inserted a dose of common sense and also introduced readers – as well as myself – to a pertinent article by two Indians, Ajay Sahni & S. Binodkumar Singh in the Indian magazine Outlook.

I do not know Nathan and where he resides, but am deeply grateful to him. As I am now returning to this topic, I believe that readers should be introduced to his brief thoughts and be led to the article he recommended. I will thereafter insert key bibliographic references on the topic from my original essay and its companion piece; while also embellishing this ‘compendium’ with images that provide a glimpse of the context and assorted outcomes in indelible ways beyond words.

TWO = Nathan, 1 April 2013, extract from http://groundviews.org/2013/03/28/a-missing-person-in-sri-lanka-heartfelt-issues-ground-realities/

It’s a shame that people have failed to read and grasp the thrust of Dr Michael Robert’s article . Continue reading

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The JVP and Rajapaksa in Vidyodaya Politics, 1970s: Recollections

Chandre Dharmawardana …. [1] … [2]

Some of what I remember from the period that Mahinda Rajapaksa was at Vidyodaya University as a library assistant is as follows.  S. B. Dissanayake[3] was the leader of the Communist Party in the Campus at Vidyodaya University, now known as Jayawardenapura University. He asserted his power as soon as he became the student leader by launching a strike at the Hostel on a food issue. It was just a show of power because in fact the food was quite up to par.  Mahinda Wijesekera,[4] his brother and a Buddhist Monk were JVP leaders who were trying to flex their muscles. Mahinda Wijesekera was in the science faculty while S. B. Dissanayake was a student in the Business Administration Department.

Mahinda in his Vidyodaya days with friend Anura Dias B  at a pirit ceremony Continue reading

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