Category Archives: Sinhala-Tamil Relations

Becoming and Being Sri Lankan: The National Anthem in Our Mother Tongues

Eranda Ginige, on in Lanka News Web, 6 January 2020, where the title is “The Language of the National Anthem”

The Dominion of Ceylon was formed on 4 February 1948 with the singing of Britain’s national anthem “God Save the King” and it continued to be the anthem for another four years

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Sri Lanka as a Potential Argentinian Case?

Arvind Subramanian, in Project Syndicate  on 19 November 2019 [check?] at https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/sri-lanka-economic-instability-argentina-by-arvind-subramanian-2019-11where the title is Is Sri Lanka the Next Argentina?”

As Sri Lanka makes another crucial political transition, it faces a major risk of macroeconomic instability. Minimizing that risk will depend, above all, on whether the country’s newly elected president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, can defy his reputation and embrace inclusive politics.

Lady Justice reading a book

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Naseby and Sheikh bat for Sri Lanka in the House of Lords

House of Lords, 7th January 2020

Lord Naseby spoke about Sri Lanka in the Queen’s Speech debate in the House of Lords: “We’ve now got two new leaders, one here in the UK with the drive, determination and commitment and you have an almost identical philosophy in the newly elected Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a man of proven leadership an ability with an agenda to keep the peace to keep an inclusive policy for minorities etc. I see huge opportunities for trade – my noble friend Lord Sheikh raised some of them, I concur with those. There is a huge opportunity but only… … ONLY if the UNHRC project is wound up. I say to the house and my noble friend on the front bench – this year is the year for UK to have faith in Sri Lanka and its newly elected executive president.”

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Switzerland Surrenders …. While the Machinations of a Cabal appear in the Deep Seas

Political Editor of the Sunday Times, 5 January 2019, where the title runs  “UNP leadership: Parliamentary group to decide next week”

Switzerland has publicly expressed regrets for challenging Sri Lankan “authorities’ commitment to due process” and for calling that “into question” over the saga involving an embattled staffer at the embassy in Colombo. Their about turn, embarrassingly coming down a few notches, was spelt out in an official Third Person Note (TPN) Bern sent on December 30, 2019 to the Ministry of Foreign Relations. This was after diplomatic consultations got under way with a special envoy to ease tensions between the two countries. The note was released both in Colombo and Bern simultaneously.

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Garnier aka Xavier enveloped in Swiss Arms & Alms

Garnier Banister Francis, nee Xavier, has her Face blown …. and is juxtaposed here beside her saviour, The Swiss Embassy.
Apey Ath yatathay …

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The Insights etched within Walter Fernando’s Autobiography of an Administrative Career

Gerald H Peiris, in The Island, 1 January 2020, where the title runs thus“Career Challenges of a Public Servant”

Among the treasures in my collection of books there are several biographical works received as gifts ―those of Ediriweera Sarachchandra, Gunadasa Amarasekara, Kingsley de Silva, Usvatte Aratchchi, Jolly Somasundram, Sudath Gunasekara and Walter Fernando. All of us belonged to the Peradeniya segment of the University of Ceylon in the 1950s which, over a brief and exhilarating spell, seemed to fulfill the expectations of its founders in epitomising the long awaited national resurgence, offering an acceptable blend of ‘intellectual’ and ‘utilitarian’ perspectives of higher learning. Since then we have travelled along different paths that merged and diverged at various times. Now in our old age we have shared memories of both joy and sorrow.

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A Critical Interpretation of Gotabaya’s Political Programme

ACL Ameer Ali, in Daily FT, 20 December 2019, where the title is “GR’s political exclusion and economic inclusion”

“There should be a huge program to make them (bhikkus) aware of what a modern state is. This has to be a secular state and politicians – not monks – should make the decisions. We have not fully developed the idea or understanding of the modern state. Religion should not be a factor… Buddhism is myself, and how I treat you…” – Ven. Galkande Dhammananda Thera, 18 July 2006.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa (PGR) appears to have found a magic solution to the national question of ethnic division and religious turbulence in Sri Lanka, a solution that somehow seems to have escaped the minds of previous political leaders and social scientists. He consistently maintained that the majority is against devolution of power to north and east.

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