Category Archives: slanted reportage

Victor Ivan’s Contentions on the Present Crisis: Two Essays

 ONE: “The present crisis is likely to end up in a serious disaster,” in

Of the Executive Presidents who ruled the country prior to Maithripala Sirisena, J.R. Jayewardene and Mahinda Rajapaksa can be described as those who mostly and increasingly exhibited the majesty and the prowess of the post. Both had adequate powers to do so. In fact, J.R. Jayewardene boasted that the only thing he could not do was to make a man a woman and vice versa.

 President Maithripala Sirisena is not equipped with powers to do what  he is doing at the moment

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Tamils pay Homage to Dead Tigers on 27th November: Channel 4 You Tube on Deep Scars of the Wars

Jonathan Miller of Channel 4 reporting from Sri Lanka, 27 November 20 — with title  Tamils hold provocative remembrance services for fallen Tiger fighters”

https://www.channel4.com/news/tamils-hold-provocative-remembrance-services-for-fallen-tiger-fighters

Amid continuing political turmoil in Sri Lanka, the Tamils in the north of the country have tonight held ceremonies commemorating fallen fighters of the Tamil Tiger insurgent army which was summarily defeated nine years ago. The remembrance events are highly controversial, particularly among ethnic Sinhalese nationalists.

Despite international outrage over alleged atrocities committed by Sri Lankan armed forces, there has been little progress towards accountability. We report from the former Tamil Tiger capital, Killinochi. A warning: the report contains images that some viewers might find distressing.

 This snap is from 27 November 2015

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Fake News from the BBC

 Nupur J. Sharma, in Independent, 15 November 2018  where the title is  The BBC research on ‘fake news’ is shoddy, unethical, dishonest, and actually an example of fake news”

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has published a report [pdf] that talks about the fake news industry in India. In their report titled “Beyond Fake News”, BBC has reached certain outlandish conclusions like ‘Nationalism is driving the spread of fake news” based on dubious data, incorrect interpretations, bias sample selection and selective information. It was almost as if BBC decided the conclusion of their research and then reverse worked their data to suit their conclusion.

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Peiris Confronts Samarasinghe and Other Pundits

Gerald H Peiris

Having collaborated with Professor S. W. R. DE A. Samarasinhe (Sam) in several research projects, I have had the occasions to admire his extraordinary analytical skills and his clarity of thought. I also recollect that he was one of the earliest in the intellectual firmament of Sri Lanka who applied his expertise in ‘Banking and Public Finance’ to expose procedural irregularities in the infamous issue of ‘Central Bank Bonds’ early in the tenure of the Yahapalana regime, disregarding his own leanings vis-à-vis the party configuration of Sri Lanka. However, I have to say that his article titled ‘Implications of the Supreme Court Verdict’ (The Island of 15 November) is a rare instance of his departure from scholarly understanding and impartiality.

In the first place, what the Supreme Court (SC) issued on the 13th of November was not a ‘verdict’. As explained to me by two of Sri Lanka’s most respected lawyers about 45 years ago, an ‘Interim Injunction’ is no more than a postponement of a verdict. Despite Sam being aware of that, it is disappointing to see him in the political mob (which includes representatives and lackeys of  the global powers that contributed substantially towards the processes that installed the Yahapalana government) attempting to persuade the people that the Court issued a verdict against President Sirisena’s decision announced on 26 October to reformulate the Cabinet and, on 9 November, to dissolve the parliament which was prorogued at that time. Thus, what did happen was that, due perhaps to the legal intricacies concerning the presidential decision, the SC gave itself and the lawyers on both sides of the dispute 22 days until it could sit once again to arrive at a decision. Continue reading

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Amunugama’s Chameleon Faces and Phrases

Sarath De Alwis, in Daily FT, 13 November 2018, where the chosen title is Untruth is the crisis” …. with highlighting being the hand of The Editor, Thuppahi

Political language, said George Orwell, is designed to make lies sound truthful, murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. 

Dr. Sarath Amunugama is the subject of this essay. In addition to his current incarnation of a politician, he is an erudite scholar, a socio anthropologist of repute. His incisive mind’ has few rivals in the parliament that stands dissolved.  I last met him on 30 November 2015 when he joined Professor Gananatha Obeysekera in celebrating the life and work of Dr. Stanley Thambiah in a panel discussion at the International Centre for Ethnic Studies.  Dr. Amunugama paid a touching tribute to the author who made the penetrative survey of political Buddhism published under the rhetorical title ‘Buddhism betrayed?’
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Interpretative Argie-Bargie I: Samarasinghe vs Rajapakse

The political wrestling match in Sri Lanka beginning in late October has led to a host of articles arguing for and against the Sirisena-Rajapaksa intervention and the attempted deposition of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe (an issue that is still in limbo).  The list of essays in the public realm from legal experts as well as membe s of the intelligentsia is as tall as any coconut tree …. and both parties claim to be Mount Everest. Some of these essays have already been featured in Thuppahi and there are simply too many essaysin print and internet for anyone to read all. So, my samples are chance hits. HERE I have Sam Samarasinghe in one corner and Ruwan Rajapakse in another –not addressing each other as such, but serving as samples of the intellectual fisticuffs here-there-everywhere.

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Sri Lanka’s Political Story from 1948-2018 in a Slash-and-Burn Nutshell

Qadri Ismail, in Groundviews, 3 November 2018, where the title is “WHAT, to the minority, is democracy?” ….with emphasis insertedby the Editor, Thuppahi

Maithripala Sirisena violates the constitution, stands to destroy democracy itself. Liberals, overwhelmingly Sinhalese, are aggrieved, appalled, aghast.

As a minority, I laugh. Not the happy laughter of someone enjoying a good joke. But the bitter, mirthless cackle of someone forced to read this script many times before – like every full moon, when the temple speakers blare its bana and you can’t blot out the noise with sleep because the liquor stores are closed.

All postcolonial Sri Lankan heads of government, all of them Sinhalese, have consistently violated the constitution and/or “threatened” democracy – usually by practicing it – and/or oppressed minorities. One could deem it a job requirement.

Just a few months after independence, Don Stephen Senanayake denaturalized, then disenfranchised ‘Indian’ Tamil citizens, already alienated from this country by their naming. Constitutional? Probably not. Democratic? Absolutely – passed by a majority of Parliament. Continue reading

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