Category Archives: transport and communications

Assessing Modern China Today

Charles Edel, writing on “Four Theories of Modern China” on 21 November 2019  at https://www.the-american-interest.com/2019/11/21/four-theories-of-modern-china/?utm-access=rcw ….. with this striking opening pitch:What really drives China today—is it Xi Jinping himself, the Belt & Road Initiative, old habits of statecraft, or the regime’s authoritarian nature? Four recent books help us sort through the morass.”

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Facing Overt and Covert Pressure from USA

Asoka Bandarage in the  CovertAction Magazine, 19 November 2019, where the title reads “U.S. military presence and popular resistance in Sri Lanka”

The Indian Ocean is one of the most contested regions in the world today. China, the United States, India, and also Japan, Saudi Arabia and other rich and powerful states are struggling for influence over Sri Lanka, located in the geographical heart of the Indian Ocean. The sea lanes of the Indian Ocean are considered to be the busiest in the world with more than 80% of global seaborne oil trade estimated to be passing through them.

  Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka and the joint UK/U.S. Diego Garcia Naval and Military Base

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Vale Rajpal De Silva: Doctor, Historian, Art Collector and A Treasure House for Ceyloniana

Srilal Fernando … in The Ceylankan, November 2019

I write this as a personal appreciation of a dear friend Dr R.K. (Rajpal) de Silva. I shall leave it to others more qualified than me to write about his contribution  to recording the history of paintings in Sri Lanka mainly during the Colonial period.  His life at the Royal College, Colombo and his lifelong association with his schoolmates are aspects that I only know of in passing.  He has written about his life as a medical student and as a doctor which makes interesting reading.

Pix by  Athula Devapriya

When Mano rang to say that Rajpal passed away that day, I was full of grief. I had had a telephone conversation with him a few days before.   Though infirm, he was at that time full of good cheer.  It confirms the adage that “death comes like a thief in the night”.

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The ‘Devonshire’ reaches Queensland with 500 ‘Cingalese’ Coolies in 1882

Thiru Arumugam. courtesy of THE CEYLANKAN, vol XXI: 4, November 2019, where the title is How 500 Ceylonese arrived in Queensland in 1882 in the s.s. Devonshire to work in the cane fields”

In 1882 about 500 Ceylonese were recruited in Ceylon and transported in a chartered steamship, s.s. Devonshire, to work on contract terms in sugarcane fields in Queensland, which was then a colony of Britain. This article describes how they were recruited, transported, received in Queensland and their subsequent life in Australia. The entire episode was a private arrangement by the sugarcane Planters of Queensland who were desperately short of labour. The Governments of Ceylon and Queensland were not involved in any way. Since the Ceylonese were British Subjects, there was no problem in their coming to work in the colony of Queensland on contract terms. This was by far the largest single block of Ceylonese migrants to arrive in Australia.

a picture added by The eDitor Thuppahi to evoke the character of shipping in the late 19th century

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Koggala in the Western Imperial Design in the 20th Century, 1931 onward

Michael Roberts

The recent political debate on SOFA, MCC etc (see Roberts 2019)  highlights the place of KOGGALA in the Western imperial map of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The British airfields at Katunayake Trinco and Koggala were part of the imperial defence system – a geo-political ensemble that became even more significant after the fall of Singapore to the Japanese in WW Two marked vulnerabilities not envisaged till then.

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Millennium Challenge Compact — A Distilled Picture from Welikala

Aswin Welikala*

I am shocked and saddened by how gullible my own people are to the manipulations of politicians and their lies. I am also shocked by the complete inability of people to read a public document instead of deciding to trust fake YouTube videos designed to spread lies. Since I took the effort to read the #MCC Agreement, I thought of summarising it for those who haven’t been bothered to do so but have an opinion on it.

*What is the MCC?*

The MCC is a US grant giving organisation set up in 2004. It’s purpose was to change the way aid was given by making the countries receiving aid to have more control over their grant and to design projects around what those countries actually need.

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Wigneswaran’s Political Manifesto dissected in Devastating Fashion

Chandre Dharmawardana, in Island, 29 October 2019, where the title is “The ITAK’s 13-Point Letter””

According to news reports in The Island of 18 Oct. 2019), the TNA has sent a 13-point to the presidential candidates, even though the prospective President has been shackled by the 19A crafted by the Jayampathy-Sumanthiran cabal. It should not be forgotten that parties constituting the TNA backed the LTTE in its heyday and were the political facades of Prabhakaran’s terror campaign, even though their very own colleagues like Amirthalingam and Yogeswaran had been murdered in cold blood by Prabhakaran. Those acts have never been condemned by the TNA.

see https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Atlas_of_Tamil_Eelam

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