Anonymous, in Island, 7 June 2020, with this title “The Last Mandarin”
This is the story of a professional civil servant who believes that he made a contribution to a society and an administrative service, that in the first instance made him what he is and enabled him to achieve his full potential as a person, a professional and a citizen. It is the autobiography of a vanishing coterie of bureaucrats who strived for excellence, believing that they had responded to a high calling.
Filed under accountability, communal relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, governance, historical interpretation, island economy, land policies, life stories, patriotism, performance, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, Sri Lankan scoiety, Tamil civilians, travelogue, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy
Editor: I have not had the time to study the SOFA and MCC proposals or the several conflicting reports on this set of topics; while I have reservations about my own deciphering capacity on economic issues. An academic with a broad span of experience across several countries indicated to me this month that the discussions surrounding these two issues has been marked by writings that “[ignore] facts that are unfavorable to the case that is being made or willfully distorting facts or using outright lies”.
He added: : ‘Unfortunately, this kind of unacceptable commentary is now common practice the world over and that includes some people in the highest levels of US government and academia.”
To this caution I add Sam Samarasinghe’s[i] cautionary email note to me a few months back where he indicated that the USA’s governing order is complex and its various arms do not always work with one mind.[ii]
Filed under accountability, american imperialism, governance, Indian Ocean politics, landscape wondrous, military expenditure, military strategy, politIcal discourse, power politics, security, self-reflexivity, slanted reportage, Sri Lankan scoiety, the imaginary and the real, transport and communications, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, world events & processes
As the annual witch-hunt mounted by the UNHRC in its role as an arm of the Western world’s foreign policy approaches in March 2020, it is worthwhile reflecting on the ‘triumphant’ public performances in Geneva orchestrated by the Yahapaalana government and one of its driving forces, namely, Mangala Samaraweera — as presented by one of his proteges, Dharisha Bastians….. Editor, Thuppahi.
Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera heading the Sri Lankan Government delegation to the UNHRC’s 34th Session addressing a side event at the Palais des Nations last week. The event was organised by the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva and chaired by Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha. Secretary General of the Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms Mano Tittawella, MP and Constitutional expert Dr. Jayampathy Wickremaratne and Ariyasinha are also present – Pic by Sunanda Deshapriya
BASTIANS: Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s masterful diplomacy is winning over a world eager to keep believing in Sri Lanka’s political transformation story, but the Government faces a deepening disconnect with activists and war-affected constituents at home who are losing faith in its promises to heal the wounds of a long and violent conflict.
Filed under accountability, american imperialism, asylum-seekers, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, conspiracies, democratic measures, disparagement, doctoring evidence, ethnicity, foreign policy, historical interpretation, human rights, Indian Ocean politics, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, news fabrication, NGOs, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, refugees, Responsibility to Protect or R2P, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, Sri Lankan scoiety, Tamil civilians, tamil refugees, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, UN reports, world events & processes
A Note received from Gerald Peiris, Friday 15th November 2019 … 12.56 pm
Gota, I think is going to be a definite winner, despite all the anti-Rajapaksa propaganda, Al Jazeera being just one source of such viciousness. Throughout the campaign Gota maintained a sense of dignity and balance (vis-a-vis the subject of ethnic relations) and has provided hope for the future of the country replacing the widespread despair that prevailed earlier. Sajith has been so hopelessly bad in his platform performances, sounding more like an undergrad firebrand contesting at a university student council meeting, focusing (to an incredible extent) on the theme of what a great guy he is.
Filed under accountability, citizen journalism, electoral structures, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, performance, politIcal discourse, Presidential elections, self-reflexivity, Sri Lankan scoiety, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy
L.C. Arulpragasam, in Sunday Observer, 13 October 2019, where the title is “The Veddas and the Gal Oya scheme: Ultimate resettlement at Bintenne”
In the Jungles of Bintenne: In 1950 I undertook a sociological survey along with Mr. Kuda Bibile, a University colleague, of the Veddas living in the jungles of Wellassa and Bintenne in the Badulla District of the Uva Province. The only authoritative study of the Veddas at that time had been done by Dr. C. Seligmann, a German anthropologist, in 1911. I carried his heavy tome around with me on my entire journey.
Filed under accountability, centre-periphery relations, colonisation schemes, communal relations, economic processes, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, human rights, irrigation, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, self-reflexivity, Sri Lankan scoiety, trauma, travelogue, world events & processes
Hilal Suhail in Facebook
If you have invested in Sri Lanka’s tourism and hospitality industry, then it would serve you well to keep up with the international media coverage of Sri Lanka in recent weeks. The island nation’s reputation has taken a massive beating and it’s unlikely tourism will pick up any time soon. There is no point blaming the foreign media and claiming there is some conspiracy against Sri Lanka, and puff pieces promoting tourism by the Ministry of Tourism and other social media campaigns are pointless and won’t convince many outsiders to take the risk in visiting.
The international media is highlighting the terrible actions of some in the Sinhalese majority, and the violence and discrimination unleashed by Buddhist extremists for decades. The Easter bombings aren’t being solely blamed on Muslim extremists by the international media, they are focusing on the incompetent Sri Lankan police and military who failed to prevent the attacks, despite possessing intelligence beforehand to do so, and also for having caused a situation in Sri Lanka where religious and ethnic minorities are not protected.
Filed under accountability, arab regimes, atrocities, chauvinism, communal relations, conspiracies, cultural transmission, ethnicity, fundamentalism, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Indian religions, Islamic fundamentalism, jihad, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, martyrdom, politIcal discourse, power politics, religious nationalism, riots and pogroms, self-reflexivity, slanted reportage, Sri Lankan scoiety, terrorism, tolerance, tourism, travelogue, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, world events & processes
This article is inspired by Fabian Schokman of Moratuwa whose questioning comment led to a brief exchange involving Eardley Lieversz and myself. I will place these exchanges first before proceeding to address the context and implications of the article on “Goyigama Lansiyās” written by a retired Sinhala police officer of senor rank.
This essay was obviously penned in light-hearted spirit. But, in conveying ethnographic tales of past times in genial tones, the account reveals questionable ‘seams,’ i.e. strands, within the socio-political order. Readers are advised to absorb the essay “The Goyigama Lansiyaas” as an initial measure …. before proceeding to the exchanges and the arguments below.
the 2nd Pic may well be British ladies and gents in a Whites only club
Filed under accountability, British colonialism, caste issues, centre-periphery relations, chauvinism, communal relations, cultural transmission, discrimination, disparagement, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, politIcal discourse, Portuguese in Indian Ocean, self-reflexivity, Sri Lankan scoiety, taking the piss, tolerance, unusual people, world events & processes