Category Archives: transport and communications

Sujit Suvisundaram = Director of The Centre of South Asian Studies, Cambridge University

Sujit Sivasundaram is the Director of the Centre of South Asian Studies, Reader in the Faculty of History and a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College. He works on the Indo-Pacific world, with a deep commitment to South and Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean. His last book was ‘Islanded’, on the makings of Sri Lanka. He is co-editor of ‘The Historical Journal’ and a Councillor of the Royal Historical Society.

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Diego Garcia and the Fate of Its Its Indigenized Chagossian People


ONE = A Summary Report

Diego Garcia is part of the Chagos Atoll, a “group of seven atolls comprising more than 60 individual tropical islands in the Indian Ocean” (Jayaweera 2018). Though discovered in 1512 by the Portuguese explorer Pedro Mascarenhas, it was uninhabited till the French moved in and took over in 1783. The atoll passed to the British after the Napoleonic wars in 1814/15. Thereafter the atoll was administered from Mauritius and was considered part of its domain. Over the years the overseers and workers imported to work the plantations and settlements on the islands became indigenized as “Chagossians” and by the 1960s are said to have been around 1500 in number (note the imprecision).

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Filed under accountability, american imperialism, atrocities, British colonialism, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, colonisation schemes, discrimination, economic processes, foreign policy, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, legal issues, life stories, Middle Eastern Politics, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, Responsibility to Protect or R2P, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, transport and communications, trauma, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, working class conditions, world events & processes, World War II

Jayasekera’s Study of British Colonialism in Ceylon reviewed

Chandra R De Silva, in Sri Lanka Journal of Social Sciences 41(1) 2018, pp 65-68, with highlighting emphasis being the Work of The Editor, Thuppahi

reviewing Confrontations with Colonialism: Resistance, Revivalism and Reform under British Rule in Sri Lanka 1796- 1920, Vol. I, by P. V. J. Jayasekera (Colombo: Vijitha Yapa, 2017), Rs. 1500.

In one of the most challenging and thought-provoking history books published in Sri Lanka in the last decade, P. V. J. Jayasekera has used a wide variety of sources to challenge a number of existing interpretations relating to Sri Lanka under British colonial rule in the nineteenth century. While the book is based partly on his own doctoral dissertation completed in 1970, in Jayasekera’s own words “The scope and the foci of the original study have been substantially changed (p. ix)” in view of new theoretical approaches in the study of colonial history and the debates on history arising out of the recent ethnic conflict. Jayasekera has also carefully taken into account historical research on Sri Lanka published in the long period since he completed his dissertation. Readers should note that despite the title, Jayasekera has consciously avoided any attempt “to cover the confrontations of the Sri Lankan Tamil society with colonialism (p. xxvii)” and that, with the exception of brief references in the concluding section, information on Muslim-Buddhist relations will come to us only in the forthcoming second volume.

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No Way Out of Lanka: Refugees stymied … Contrasting Tales

ONE = “Deported Lankan asylum seekers arrested,”  Item in Daily News, 12 September 2018

The CID had arrested nine Sri Lankan men yesterday when they arrived in the country having been deported from Australia. They were produced before the Negombo Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

The Police Media Spokesman’s office told the Daily News that the nine men who had gone to Australia at various stages and had claimed refugee status had been deported by the Australian Government on a special charted flight yesterday. Upon their arrival, the CID had taken the men into custody. They are in the age group of 27, 29, 36 and 48 years and are residents of Munalama, Kochchikade, Udappuwa, Chillaw, Vavuniya, Batticaloa and Trincomalee, the police said.

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Filed under asylum-seekers, Australian culture, centre-periphery relations, economic processes, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, transport and communications, trauma, unusual people, world events & processes

Tourism in East to receive A Boost

Item in Daily  News. 3 September 2018

Batticaloa and the adjoining areas which were devastated by war and the tsunami will gain a major economic transformation when internal air flights are started soon linking Colombo Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Sigiriya and Palali. “This will be a major boost to the tourist industry in particular, which will provide ample job opportunities and income avenues to the people,” Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

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Repression of Uighurs in China: Why Islamic States are Silent

Alexandra Ma, in UK Business Insider, 17 August 2018, where  the title runs Why the Muslim world isn’t saying anything about China’s repression and ‘cultural cleansing’ of its downtrodden Muslim minority”

China’s crackdown on its Uighur citizens, a mostly-Muslim ethnic minority group, has faced heavy international scrutiny in recent months. In August the United Nations said it was “deeply concerned” by reports that China had forced as many as 1 million Uighurs into internment camps in Xinjiang, western China. In April, the US State Department said it had heard of Uighurs who had “disappeared” or were unexpectedly detained.

Meanwhile, Muslim countries have been deafeningly silent.

 Map showing the projects subsumed under the Belt and Road Initiative as of December 2015. Reuters

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Digs for Ancient Chinese Artefacts in Jaffna and South

Zhang Kun, in China Daily … taken up by News-in-Asia, 16 August 2018, where the title is “Sino-Lankan archaeologists look for Chinese artifacts buried in Jaffna”

Archaeologists from the Shanghai Museum embarked on a 40-day excavation mission to Sri Lanka on Monday. The group will be working in ancient ruins in Jaffna alongside representatives from the Central Cultural Fund and a local university in Sri Lanka.

the archeologists’ team from the Shanghai Museum

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