Category Archives: Tamil civilians

Gota’s Assets placed in the Present Political Context

H. L. D. Mahindapala, in Colombo Telegraph, January 2020, where the title is

Any critical assessment of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa must take into consideration the salient characteristics that make him stand out from the run-of-the-mill politicians who had occupied the peaks of power.

The first notable characteristic is that he is the first head of state to come from the Sri Lankan diaspora. Initially it was a disadvantage tangled in legalities of citizenship. Later it smoothened out and has been an invaluable asset to him. His existential experiences as an expat in America had widened his horizons and opened up new vistas in his thinking and strategizing. He has acted so far as a leader who had seen the future and is bent on taking the nation in that direction. It has all the signs of being influenced by the American efficiency in delivering goods and services. The new breed of intellectuals he had recruited to run his state indicates clearly that he is in a hurry to modernise the sluggish nation and usher it into the 21st century. His first-hand knowledge of an advanced nation would hasten him to mix tradition with modernity without deracinating the nation – a critical issue in modernising Afro-Asian countries.

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In Appreciative Memory of Karen Roberts, 1965-2018

Michael Roberts

It has been something of a shock for me to discover that the Sri Lankan authoress Karen Roberts[1] had passed away in USA in 2018 while only in her middle-aged fifties (about the same age as my daughters). What a tragedy!

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Chandraprema to beard the UNHRC Den in Geneva

Item in NewsInAsia, 19 January 2020, where the title is “Veteran columnist C.A.Chandraprema appointed as Lankan envoy at the UN in Geneva”

 Veteran Sunday Island columnist, C.A.Chandraprema, has been appointed as Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations in Geneva, within which is located the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

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Barefaced Lies in the OHCHR REPORT from Geneva: Weerasekera’s Challenge in 2016

Dharshan Weerasekera, in Lankaweb, 15 January 2016, with this title “A rebuttal of the OHCHR Report, 1: Outright Lies”

To my knowledge, the Government has to date not commissioned an official assessment of the OHCHR report (also called the OISL report) or at any rate if it has, such report is not available to the public.[1]  And yet, one reads in the newspapers that the Government is about to start ‘the consultation process to design’ mechanisms to probe the ‘past,’ in order to satisfy recommendations made in UNHRC resolution A/HRC/30/L.29.[2]

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Mangala’s Show at Geneva in 2017 lauded by Dharisha Bastians

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.

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Addressing Shenali Waduge and the One-Eyed UNHRC Hunters, One

Michael Roberts

Shenali Waduge has a long history as a defender of Sinhala interests within and beyond the island of Sri Lanka. In quite a few minds she would be classified as a Sinhala chauvinist. One must, however, not throw the baby out with the dirty bathwater.[1] Her essays should not be dismissed out of hand. Indeed, there were several striking claims in an essay she presented recently in two outlets[2] for me to include it within Thuppahi under this imposed heading: “To Your Face: UN and UNHRC challenged by Shenali Waduge.”

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An Essential Coupling: For A Bilingual National Anthem on 4th February

It appears that there are pressures in motion[1] to return to the old Rajapaksa programme of rendering the National Anthem on Independence Day in Sinhala Only. As Eranda Ginige has contended, this would be a retrograde step. Towards our comprehension of the issues, I present a preliminary and incomplete bibliography of pertinent items — including the work of Kushil Gunasekera and his Foundation of Goodness in fostering the Murali Cup; the endeavours of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene; and Sasanka Perera’s slashing criticism of the parochial responses to Kishani Jaysinghe’s operatic rendering of “Danno Budunge.”

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