Category Archives: social justice

Momentous Changes in Ceylon instituted by the Donoughmore Commisison

Leelananda de Silva, in Sunday Times, 5 July 2020

The Donoughmore Commission which came to Sri Lanka in the late 1920s made far reaching and far seeing recommendations, which changed the political, economic and social landscape of Ceylon. The present generation is largely unaware of its role and it is time that they refresh their understanding of the tremendous changes brought in by Donoughmore.

The Earl of Donoughmore

It was a commission consisting of three Britons — the Earl of Donoughmore, Drummond Shields and Burrows. They were political personalities well known in Britain at the time and were not colonial civil servants. They had the political and social vision to overcome the objections of both the colonial masters in Sri Lanka and the local dominant political personalities who were also not in favour of radical reforms.

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Free Education for Ceylon: Tales Missing

Prabhath de Silva, in Island, 11 July 2020, where the title is “Unsung And Forgotten Heroes of Free Education and Sri Lanka’s Missed Opportunities”

Much has been said and written about Dr. C.W.W. Kannangara for his role in the introduction of the Free Education Bill in the State Council (Sri Lanka’s legislature under the Donoughmore Constitution from 1931 to 1947) and implementation of the free education policy here. The nation owes a debt of gratitude to him but there are other unsung and forgotten heroes behind this story.

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Police Grillings in Lanka: Contrasts on Front and Back Pages of The Island, 3rd July 2020

The Back Page displays a masked Kumar Sangakkara emerging vigorously after a nine-hour session based on the patently spurious claims of one Aluthgamage

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An Epitaph for Martin Luther King and Memphis Today –when Black Lives Matter

Jane Russell, reviewing Stuart Cosgrove Memphis 68:  The Tragedy of Southern Soul,” Polygon Press Oct. 2017

This book is the middle section of a critically acclaimed sixties ‘soul’ trilogy by Australian-Scot Stuart Cosgrove, award winning broadcaster for Channel 4 and long-time writer for UK music media, Echoes and New Musical Express.  It follows on from Detroit 67: The Year that Changed Soul and anticipates the forthcoming Harlem 69: The Future of Soul (October 2018).

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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.

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Gotabaya’s Governance in Groundviews Gunsights

Borella Junction 24.25 July 1983  —Pix by Chandragupta Amarasinghe –here juxtaposed with the Pix deployed by GV which, in my reading, may not be from the July pogrom but from other moments of violence

COLOMBOPEACE AND CONFLICTPOLITICS AND GOVERNANCE

Sri Lanka And The US: A Pogrom And A Black Death At The Hands Of A White Policeman: Salutary Lessons

The Scene The morning of July the 25th 1983 is etched in my brain. I saw a group of people running or walking very fast away from the environs of Colombo. On…

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Irangani Serasinghe: A Beacon for Her Times …. Versatility Unconfined

Madapatha Uditha, in The Island, 17/18 June 2020, with this title “Searching for Irangani” …. while highlighting is an imposition from The Editor, Thuppahi

Irangani Serasinghe turned 93 on Tuesday, June 9

If the reputations of actors can be compared to shares in a company, there’s no doubt that Irangani Serasinghe’s has always been oversubscribed: public interest in her career in not just the cinema and television, but also the theatre, has never been matched by an adequate level of quality in coverage by the media. There’s never been a shortage of articles, of course, and Kumar de Silva’s sketchy yet comprehensive portrait of her does establish the links between several aspects of her life and family and the career she eventually chose.

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Browns for Black Americans

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June 6, 2020 · 1:36 am

USA as World’s Policeman 1945-2020

An Incidental Point from Dr Cornel West’s Indictment of the US Administrations’ Internal Policing Programs

KEY Detail within Transcript: USA has 800 military bases worldwide; and has has carried out 211 interventions since 1945.

SEE video and transcript of yesterday’s interview with Dr Cornel West on the 7.30 Report on ABC in Australia = https://www.abc.net.au/7.30/dr-cornel-west-looks-at-the-unrest-in-the-united/12318386

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Imagining Minneapolis Elsewhere

Karen Attiah in  Washington Post, 30 May 2020, where the title runs “How Western media would cover Minneapolis if it happened in another country”

If we talked about what is happening in Minneapolis the same way we talk about events in a foreign country, here’s how the Western media would cover it. The quotes and those “quoted” in the piece below are fictional.

In recent years, the international community has sounded the alarm on the deteriorating political and human rights situation in the United States under the regime of Donald Trump. Now, as the country marks 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic, the former British colony finds itself in a downward spiral of ethnic violence. The fatigue and paralysis of the international community are evident in its silence, America experts say.

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