Gamini Seneviratne, courtesy of The Island, 18 June 2018
SB who passed away last week at the age of 93 was undoubtedly the foremost analyst we have had of what his principal work defined as “The Political Economy of Underdevelopment”. In that work, first published in 1982, as the blurb puts it, Dr. de Silva dealt with the theory of underdevelopment as he attempted a synthesis between the internal and external aspects of underdevelopment. In the Marxist tradition he focused on the impact of the external on the internal as the dominant reality.
First published in 1982, this reissue deals with the theory of underdevelopment, as Dr. de Silva attempts a synthesis between the internal and external aspects of underdevelopment and, in the Marxist tradition, focuses on the impact of the external on the internal as the dominant reality.Viewing underdevelopment as a problem in the non-transformation to capitalism, this analysis is in terms of the character of the dominant capital and of the dominant classes. Underdevelopment thus encompasses the ‘traditional’ peasant economy and also the export sector where the ‘modernizing’ influence of colonialism was felt. The book finally considers how the contemporary internationalization of capital affected the economies of the Third World.
Filed under British colonialism, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, economic processes, export issues, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, modernity & modernization, population, power politics, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, transport and communications, unusual people, working class conditions, world events & processes
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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In the academic circuit most books are sent to reviewers by journals in the field of study encompassed by the book. My work on Caste Conflict and Elite Formation: The Rise of a Karāva Elite in Sri Lanka, 1500-1931 published by the Cambridge University Press in 1982 was sent to Frank Conlon, a historian at the University of Washington by the Journal of Asian Studies. His review appeared in 1985. It was, and remains, a serious reading that is not informed by any personal animus, while being obviously guided by his own work on caste interaction in India.
Filed under British colonialism, caste issues, commoditification, cultural transmission, discrimination, economic processes, education, governance, historical interpretation, island economy, land policies, landscape wondrous, life stories, modernity & modernization, sri lankan society, transport and communications, unusual people, working class conditions, world events & processes
Charles Sarvan aka Ponnadurai, in Colombo Telegraph, reviewing K. M de Silva’s The Island Story: A Short History of Sri Lanka, International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Kandy, Sri Lanka, 2017
EPIGRAPH: “Sri Lanka in the first few centuries after the early settlement was a multi-racial, multi-ethnic society: a conception which emphasises harmony and a spirit of live and let live” (K. M. de Silva, op. cit., page 13)
It’s said that fools rush in where the wise fear even to walk. I tiptoe hesitantly, conscious that I am no historian (my discipline was Literature) while the author is perhaps the most eminent of Sri Lankan historians writing in English. The hope is that what I write will be taken as a layman’s perspective and contribution to discussion. Continue reading
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Hugh Karunanayake, courtesy of The CEYLANKAN
My previous piece on the “Early Years of Motoring in Ceylon” ( The Ceylankan # 60 Nov 2012) evoked a level of interest which has since prodded me on to reflect on motoring in more recent times. The decade of the 1950s – mid twentieth century Ceylon, could verily be described as the “golden age” of motoring. The early 1950s especially were years when the country enjoyed the “Korean boom”; export commodities mainly rubber were fetching record prices, income tax relatively low, all leading to consumption going on at a gallop. There were no national investment projects of note to capture the surplus that was generated, and most of the money that flowed in, went towards conspicuous consumption largely in the purchase of luxury goods such as automobiles.
Filed under commoditification, cultural transmission, economic processes, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, modernity & modernization, sri lankan society, transport and communications, Uncategorized, unusual people