Category Archives: the imaginary and the real

The Many Strands of the Chinese Dragon in Asia and the Pacific: Debt Trap, etc etc

Tara Francis Chan, in Business Insider, 21 June 2018, with this title “How China tried to shut down Australian media coverage of its debt-trap diplomacy in the Pacific”

The wind blows a red flag onto the face of an honour guard before a welcome ceremony for Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard outside the Great Hall of the People on April 9, 2013 in Beijing, China.
  • A Chinese Embassy official yelled and made demands of an Australian producer to try and censor an episode of “60 Minutes” that would be critical of China.
  • The Chinese Communist Party regularly tries to interfere with foreign Chinese-language media, a former consular diplomat who defected to Australia told Business Insider, but targeting English-language media is rare.
  • The “60 Minutes” report covered China’s debt-trap diplomacy in the Pacific, including a loan to Vanuatu for a wharf which experts are concerned could be used by the Chinese military.
  • Vanuatu’s foreign minister also said China, and Australia, expects support at the UN in return for financing.

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Filed under accountability, Australian culture, australian media, authoritarian regimes, China and Chinese influences, foreign policy, governance, historical interpretation, politIcal discourse, power politics, propaganda, security, the imaginary and the real, world events & processes

The Calistorites Association of Moratuwa and the Sellaperumage Fernando Lineage

I P C Mendis, in Daily News, Archives from 2004, where the title is “Calistorites Association – over the waves to the 70s”

The Moratuwa-based Calistorites Association completes the biblical three score years and ten this year and will celebrate the occasion with a dinner-dance on 27th March 2004 at the stadium in Moratuwa. The Association comprises the descendants of Mr. and Mrs. S. Calistoru Fernando of Moratuwa fame, those who have joined the family through wedlock and the progeny.

on the way to the hills in the 19th century

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Filed under charitable outreach, cultural transmission, economic processes, heritage, historical interpretation, life stories, modernity & modernization, performance, religiosity, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy

Life and Death for SL Army Infantrymen on the Vanni Battlefront

Sinha-Raja Tammita Delgoda[1]

As a layman who blundered into a war of his own volition and someone who has lived in and worked in the Weli Oya border region for 6 months,[2] I think you are absolutely right in your stress on the difficulties encountered by infantry soldiers and the critical relevance of specific landscapes. Let me quote relevant segments from one of the Manekshaw papers published by India’s Centre For Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS).

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Filed under accountability, cultural transmission, education, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, military strategy, politIcal discourse, power politics, refugees, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil civilians, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, war reportage, world events & processes

Infantry Warfare and the Final Phase of Eelam War IV: Where Laymen Blunder into Infantile Assessments

Michael Roberts

 In his typically feisty style Mark Salter has taken issue with the characterization of a statement in his To End a Civil War as “infantile”  (within an article based on the Lt Col Gash files[1]). [This protest is now reproduced at the end of this essay as well]. Salter’s assertion is from an UTHR report which in turn is based on appraisals provided by Tamil civilians who survived the last stages of the war. Here I address both Salter and Rajan Hoole, a friend of mine and the central figure behind the exhaustive 2009 UTHR reports.

Sri Lankan Tamil civilians arrive to a government-controlled area after fleeing territory controlled by the LTTE separatist rebels in Puthukkudiyirippu…Sri Lankan Tamil civilians arrive to a government-controlled area after fleeing territory controlled by the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE) separatist rebels in Puthukkudiyirippu, northeast Sri Lanka, March 26, 2009. Pictures taken March 26, 2009. REUTERS/Stringer (SRI LANKA POLITICS CONFLICT IMAGE OF THE DAY TOP PICTURE)

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Filed under accountability, american imperialism, authoritarian regimes, conspiracies, discrimination, doctoring evidence, Eelam, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, Indian Ocean politics, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, news fabrication, photography, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, Rajapaksa regime, refugees, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, trauma, truth as casualty of war, UN reports, unusual people, vengeance, war crimes, war reportage, world events & processes

Aussie Troops in Afghanistan deploy Nazi Emblem and generate Furore

Naaman Zhou, in The Guardian, 14 June 2018, where the title runs Nazi flag on Australian army vehicle ‘utterly unacceptable’, Turnbull says”

Malcolm Turnbull and the Department of Defence have condemned Australian soldiers who flew a Nazi flag above an Australian army vehicle in Afghanistan. Leaked photos taken in August 2007, obtained by the ABC, show the vehicle flying a flag emblazoned with a swastika during operations. Defence confirmed that the photos were genuine, and said they “rejected everything the flag represents”.

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Filed under accountability, Afghanistan, art & allure bewitching, disparagement, foreign policy, landscape wondrous, life stories, politIcal discourse, pulling the leg, self-reflexivity, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, war reportage

Protecting Sri Lankan Rights: The Modern Saga of Shipwreck “Avondster”

Somasiri Devendra, in Island, 13 June 2018, where the title is “Under the Waters of Galle:  A Prelude to the “Avondster’ Project”

The curtain rises: One morning in 2002 I received a call from the Additional Director General, Central Cultural Fund (CCF), Mr. H. D. S. Hettipathirana, to discuss a glitch in the Avondster project which was due to get off the ground. I was, then, wearing several hats: Consultant (to the CCF) and Special Advisor (to the Director-General, Archaeology) on Maritime Archaeology; and member of the Advisory Committee to the Ministry. I was also a member of ICUCH (the ICOMOS International Committee on the Underwater Cultural Heritage) and had been involved in the formulation of both the ICOMOS Charter and the UNESCO International Convention on the Underwater Cultural Heritage. Neither I – nor anyone else in the country – had had any maritime archaeological training: I was the proverbial one-eyed man in the kingdom of the blind! But, in all these honorary positions I strove to balance national and international interests.

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Revd Small of Richmond: Educationist Extraordinary

Simon Meeds with Joe Simpson**

In September 1973 Joe Simpson had my first encounter with the man who, 120 years after his birth, is still referred to as “Small of Richmond”.  Joe remembers the moment clearly. It was a typical morning for the south coast of Sri Lanka at that time of year, already hot and rather humid. Joe was a newly-arrived Cambridge University graduate, a teacher from Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO). He had heard about Rev. Small from his VSO predecessor, another Northern Irishman who had served at Richmond a few years before. He remembers feeling wonderment on learning that not only had the Rev. Small been Principal as long ago as 1906, but also that at the age of 90 he still resided at the School.

 Walter Joseph Tombleson Small

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