Category Archives: slanted reportage

Alleged ‘Land Grabbing’ by the Security Forces in Sri Lanka

Gerald Peiris, … an essay that is part of  Chapter 11 in a forthcoming monograph titled Sri Lanka: Land Policy for Sustainable Development, by G. H. Peiris, currently in the press (as a Visidunu Publication, 471 Lake Road, Boralesgamuwa, Sri Lanka) [1]

In view of the significance accorded in recent public debate and discussion on the subject of ‘land grabbing’ in several conflict-ridden countries of the Third World it is necessary to devote attention to a series of facts that are of crucial relevance to a balanced understanding of the related  situation in Sri Lanka.

Gerald Peiris Bhavani Fonseka  Mirak Raheem

Land Grabbing: Concept and Empirical Application  

The phenomenon referred to as ‘land grabbing’ lacks definitional clarity. In many writings of recent times (Keely, 2009; Borras,, 2011; Deininger & Byerlee 2011; Rulli, et. al., 2013; Brimayer & Moon, 2014; to name only a few), especially those sponsored by civil society organisations, this phrase has been used exclusively in the specific connotation of large-scale acquisition of land in the poorer countries by foreign governments and private firms that are based in the politically and economically powerful countries. Estimates of the extent of grabbed land worldwide vary. The prestigious journal, The Economist (21 May 2009) placed it at 15-20 million ha. According to the World Bank, it is as high as 45 million ha, with an overwhelmingly large proportion of it in the less densely populated areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, South and Central America and Southeast Asia. In a major World Bank sponsored study (Deininger & Byerlee, op. cit.) ‘land grabbing’ has been portrayed as a phenomenon of both positive as well as negative impacts which nevertheless requires effective regulation. But more generally, this process is perceived as an exemplification of neo-colonial economic exploitation that has adverse consequences on the local people in the form of violation of fundamental rights, incitement of inter-group conflict, mass impoverishment and environmental degradation. What should be noted here is that in none of the research writings on the subject of ‘land grabbing’ as a global phenomenon do we come across a specific reference to Sri Lanka as a country that has been seriously affected by this phenomenon.[2] Continue reading

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Rilavu! Rilavu! Outstanding Monkeys in Sri Lanka

Malinga’s Monkey Bouncer draws Ministerial Castration = see

Lasith Malinga’s pithy and folksy comment“What does a monkey know about a parrot’s nesting hollow? This is like a monkey getting into a parrot’s nest and talking about it.”


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Chandraprema on Gnanasara Thera in 2014

C. A. Chandraprema, in …5 July 2014,  with the title “Gnanasara Thera & the UNP” — a repetition of this article from 2014 in the light of Dayan Jayatilleka’s recent intervention and the clutch of news items and articles on hate-speech and Sinhala Buddhist –Muslim tensions

Last week, the cat jumped out of the bag when the US Embassy in Colombo cancelled Galagodaatte Gnanasara thera’s US visa. When this writer asked the US embassy in Colombo in a previous column how this monk had gone to the USA after he had begun this campaign of hatred and incitement of violence, we assumed that he had entered the USA on the kind of single entry visitor’s visa that ordinary mortals like us get after answering a whole string of questions and producing copious documentation. Now it turns out that he had a five- year multiple entry visa which had been granted to him in 2011 and had not yet expired. The US authorities appear to have panicked that if this monk made another visit to the USA on this visa in the middle of all this controversy, their role in all this mayhem would be badly exposed.

 Gnanasara Thero Continue reading

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Effrontery …. or Bust !!!

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Stunning One-Day Chase gives Sri Lanka Victory: A Minority outpaces A Majority

Sri Lanka upset the odds to defeat India in one of the finest one-day chases The Oval has seen”

To give you an idea of the magnitude of Sri Lanka’s achievement here, at the halfway stage, you could have got longer odds on them winning than on Jeremy Corbyn becoming the next prime minister. Yet on an overcast election day in south London, it was Sri Lanka who carved out the narrowest of majorities, even if in a packed crowd of over 22,000, their fans were very much the minority.It was one of the finest one-day chases The Oval has seen, and given this ground’s rich history of limited-overs batsmanship, that is not a statement you make lightly. Against one of the shrewdest attacks in the world game, Sri Lanka hunted down India’s total of 321 with guts and precision. Afterwards captain Angelo Mathews, who helmed the chase with a fine 52 not out, dedicated the win to a country ravaged by floods that have killed more than 200 people and left more than 600,000 homeless.

In less pressing matters, a damp fuse of a tournament has quite startlingly caught light. And after Pakistan’s surprise win against Sri Lanka on Wednesday, here was another reminder that at the game’s sharp end, the margins are deceptively narrow.


Sri Lanka fans
Sri Lanka fans celebrate their team’s victory Credit: AFP

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Ethnic Conflict in Buddhist Societies in South and Southeast Asia

 Ethnic Conflict in Buddhist Societies in South and Southeast Asia. The Politics behind Religious Rivalries, edited by K.M. de Silva, 2015 (pp. 270 +xvi) 

The book aims to examine the role of Buddhism as a factor of conflict in the three main Theravada Buddhist societies of South and Southeast Asia—Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar.  The dispute in this island had engaged the attention of Sri Lanka’s political class for the two previous decades, while political analysts from Sri Lanka and others from various parts of the world examined the impact of Buddhism on the Sri Lanka polity and the prolonged ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. The situation in Thailand and Myanmar provided a convenient comparative basis in the reviews and in the literature in these three Buddhist societies. Continue reading

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World Order in Map Imagery: Unusual Distributions

with thanks to Nao Fernando

  This map shows countries (in white) that England has never invaded.  There are only 22.  (In the WORLD!)

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