Category Archives: reconciliation

Imbalanced Task Forces in Sri Lanka?

Jehan Perera, in Island, 30 June 2020, with this title “The Need For Better Representation In Divided Societies”

There has been a trend of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa making senior appointments in which those who are outside the established administrative systems are being brought in to provide leadership and ensure effective and non-corrupt practices.  As a large number of these appointments have been from the security forces this has given rise to a perception that the country is heading towards eventual military rule. There is a concern that the forthcoming general elections will be followed by constitutional changes that will entrench the military in governance as in some other countries such as Myanmar. This is unlikely to be the case in Sri Lanka as democratic traditions upholding civilian control of government are deeply ingrained in the fabric of political society.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, ancient civilisations, Buddhism, chauvinism, communal relations, democratic measures, discrimination, economic processes, ethnicity, fundamentalism, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, language policies, legal issues, life stories, Muslims in Lanka, politIcal discourse, population, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, social justice, tolerance, welfare & philanthophy, working class conditions

Challenging Michael Roberts … with Straight Left and Right Hook

Gerald Peiris ... in the spirit of vigorous debate which we used to pursue in the Arts Faculty and the Ceylon Studies Seminar at Peradeniya University in the late 1960s and the 1970s, Gerry Peiris has responded with two sharply critical notes of some significance to my critical review of Sri Lankan society and politics, an essay that is directed by an optimistic eye …. Ha! Ha! … towards a major overhaul.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, ancient civilisations, centre-periphery relations, chauvinism, communal relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, devolution, discrimination, doctoring evidence, economic processes, Eelam, electoral structures, ethnicity, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, language policies, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, Muslims in Lanka, parliamentary elections, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, reconciliation, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil migration, transport and communications, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, working class conditions, world events & processes

Honeycombed with Societal and Political Fissures: Sri Lanka Now & Ever Before

Michael Roberts, reiterating the original draft sent to a few on 10 June 2020

Recent forum discussions on the topic of “Reconciliation” and correspondence with concerned friends have prompted me to essay an analysis of Sri Lanka’s societal problems over the last 150 years. This is a tendentious quest.

This Map showing districts served by Regional Malaria Officers happens to suit the metaphor “Riddled” and/or “Honeycombed” in my title

Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under accountability, ancient civilisations, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, chauvinism, communal relations, discrimination, economic processes, Eelam, electoral structures, ethnicity, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Islamic fundamentalism, land policies, landscape wondrous, language policies, legal issues, life stories, modernity & modernization, Muslims in Lanka, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, reconciliation, riots and pogroms, Royal College, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, TNA, transport and communications, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, world events & processes

We Lankans Today Because of the Sacrifices of Lankans Yesterday

Rajeewa Jayaweera, in Sunday Island, 24 May 2020, with this title,  “Lest we forget those who gave their tomorrow for others to have a tomorrow”

The high-profile commemorative event, held at the National War Heroes’ Monument, in Battaramulla, came as a breath of fresh air after the absence of an event on such a scale for five years. It was also the 11th anniversary of this nation’s victory over terrorism. Justification for the use of the word ‘victory,’ decried by some, is provided later.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, Eelam, governance, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, nationalism, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, reconciliation, rehabilitation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, tamil refugees, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, war crimes, war reportage, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

Profound Insights into Sri Lanka’s Tempestuous History

Royston Ellis, in Sunday Times UK in March 2020 where the title of his review reads  “For anyone interested in Sri Lanka, its politics and human nature”  

Lord Naseby (right) with Royston Ellis outside the House of Lords

This book by Lord Naseby, who lived in Sri Lanka from 1963 to 1964 when he was Michael Morris and an eager South Asian Marketing Manager for Reckitt & Colman, has a cover with an eye-catching red spine proclaiming “Sri Lanka in large type. It is clearly designed to attract bookshop browsers and to ensure that it becomes a prominent addition to an enthusiast’s collection of contemporary literature about Sri Lanka. Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, charitable outreach, communal relations, economic processes, ethnicity, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, island economy, landscape wondrous, language policies, law of armed conflict, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, tamil refugees, Tamil Tiger fighters, travelogue, truth as casualty of war, UN reports, unusual people, vengeance, war reportage, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

Extremist Fervour as Roadblock for Reconciliation: A High Profile Example from the Galle-Lit-Fest

RK Radhakrishnan, in The Hindu, 2011 (?)https://www.thehindu.com/books/books-reviews/reconciliation-elusive-on-the-ground/article6164031.ece

The packed hall at the Galle Literary Festival was stunned into silence by a series of abuses hurled on a Sri Lankan human rights activist by a member in the audience. The hurler of abuses, a well-known journalist, questioned the activist’s patriotism, labelled her pro-Tiger, and described her as a ‘stooge’ of the Western nations. Oh yes, that was just the printable part.

The activist at the receiving end was Sunila Abeysekera. She was one of the panelists on ‘Aftershock: The lingering legacy of civil war,’ presented by the BBC World Service. Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and event moderator Bridget Kendall (BBC’s diplomatic correspondent) were on stage. The exchange presented a clear idea of the differing perceptions on the concept of reconciliation.

Rajpal Abeynaike

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, chauvinism, communal relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, disparagement, ethnicity, growth pole, historical interpretation, human rights, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, politIcal discourse, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, taking the piss, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, truth as casualty of war, violence of language, war reportage, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes, zealotry

Our Constitutional Language Mediums: Bombastic Lies from Gammanpila and Others

FactCheck at http://factcheck.lk/claim/udaya-gammanpila-10

Statement

[According to Article 7 of the constitution] Sri Lanka’s national anthem is “Sri Lanka Maatha“… if anything other than the words of “Sri Lanka Maatha” contained in the third schedule is considered to be the national anthem, it would be a violation of the constitution.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, architects & architecture, authoritarian regimes, centre-periphery relations, chauvinism, communal relations, cultural transmission, education, elephant tales, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, language policies, life stories, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power sharing, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, tolerance, truth as casualty of war

Vijayapalan Award bestowed on Sangakkara at Tamil Kamban Vizha

Pranavesh Sivakumar in Daily News, 6 February 2020, where the title runs “Sangakkara bestowed with top Tamil recognition”

Former Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara became the first-ever sportsman to be honoured and felicitated at Kamban Vizha (a prestigious Tamil cultural festival) for his exceptional and exemplary service and for doing his country proud.

Star southpaw Sangakkara, awarded the K. Vijayapalan memorial award, joined an elite and exclusive list of award winners and honourees, including Indian musical maestro S.P. Balasubramaniam, who shared the same stage.

Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under accountability, art & allure bewitching, communal relations, cultural transmission, education, ethnicity, heritage, landscape wondrous, life stories, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, Sri Lankan cricket, sri lankan society, tolerance, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

Our Anthem FOR Hearts and Minds

Michael Roberts

The full-frontal challenges from Janaka Perera and Daya Hewapathrane[1] to my advocacy of the National Anthem being sung in Sinhala and Tamil are on different scales, the one moderate and the latter extremist/chauvinist. But they are not totally apart. Both indulge in cherry-picking examples from the world beyond Sri Lanka to bolster their prejudices. More significantly, the moderate claims of JP work insidiously to bolster the extremists like DH and, worse still, to alienate moderate Tamils (the extremist Tamils, in my assessment, are beyond conversion to amity or sanity).

 

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, art & allure bewitching, authoritarian regimes, centre-periphery relations, charitable outreach, chauvinism, communal relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, education, ethnicity, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, language policies, life stories, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, tolerance, truth as casualty of war, world events & processes

Ecumenical Sri Lankans sing Anthem in Both Indigenous Languages

News Item in Colombo Gazette, 4 February 2020

Concerns were raised today over the failure by the Government to sing the National Anthem in Tamil at the main Independence Day event at Independence Square. The National Anthem was sung only in Sinhalese, which was a shift from the policy of the former Government which decided to sing the anthem in Sinhalese and Tamil in order to promote reconciliation among the communities.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under accountability, centre-periphery relations, charitable outreach, cricket for amity, cultural transmission, education, historical interpretation, Indian traditions, landscape wondrous, language policies, life stories, patriotism, performance, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, Sri Lankan cricket, tolerance, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes