Category Archives: working class conditions

A Sob Story? Hodge in Batticaloa batting for the Nadeshalingam Family

Amanda Hodge in The Weekend Australian, 7/8th September 2019, where the title is “Mum’s fears for asylum son tainted by time with Tamil Tigers”

On the scuffed green walls of Nadeshalingam Murugappan’s family home in eastern Sri Lanka, a maxim written in English — a language none of the occupants can read — hangs above the television in a room full of anxious ­relatives. It says: “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” Whether “Nades” and his wife Kokilapathmapriya “Priya” Nadarasa end up back in the rural Sri Lankan district of Batticaloa they fled separately years ago — this time with two Australian-born daughters in tow — could be decided before the end of the month.

Nadeshalingam ‘Nades’ Murugappan’s mother Alakamma in the family’s village home in Batticaloa district, Sri Lanka. Picture: Benislos Thushan

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UN Aid Workers in the Crucible of War, 1989-92: William Clarance’s Fascinating Account

Michael Roberts, in SOUTH ASIA¸ Sept 2008, 31: 394-96 reviewing Ethnic Warfare in Sri Lanka and the UN Crisis (London: Pluto Press, and Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publications, 2007), 296 pp.

This is an unusual book and essential reading for those interested in the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. William Clarance was head of UNHCR’s relief mission in Sri Lanka from 1989 to 1992. He kept a diary and has waited until he had left the arena of international administration before recounting his riveting experiences in the field. 

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In Praise of the Sematha Sevana Housing Programme

Luckvijaya Sagara Palansuriya, in Island, 10 August 2019

The ‘Semata Sevana’ (Shelter for All) National Housing Development Programme is a development programme that is providing housing facilities for all communities in the society of this country. This development process is a programme delivering the benefits of housing and settlement development not only to the people of the South but also to the people of the North and the Plantation Sector.

Sajith Premadasa visiting  a model village

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Naayakayo Koheydha! Rudderless Drift in Sri Lanka

Rajeewa Jayaweera, in Island, 5 August 2019, with this title “Leadership vacuum in Sri Lanka”

Imran Khan (IK), 67 years old Prime Minister of Pakistan, hails from an upper-middle-class Pashtun family in Lahore and is a graduate of Keble College, Oxford. He captained the national cricket team on the single occasion his country won the Cricket World Cup in 1992. Aged 39, IK took the winning last wicket. A philanthropist, he raised funds for two state of the art hospitals in Lahore and Peshawar. He also served as Chancellor of the University of Bradford from 2004 to 2014. Pakistan Threek-e-Insaf (PTI or Pakistan Movement for Justice) was founded by IK in April 1996. He led PTI to victory in the 2018 general election and was elected as Prime Minister on August 17, 2018.

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Challenging Hannah Beech on the Gintota Disturbances in November 2017: A Clarification

Gerald Peiris,

I was in error (albeit an inaccuracy regarding the date) when I said in my earlier message to you that there was no attack on the Muslims in Gintota on 12 November 2017. There was, in fact, a riot which began several days later.

http://srilankabrief.org/2017/11/sri-lanka-individual-clash-erupted-into-a-ethnic-violence-in-gintota-galle-situation-under-control/

Initial unrest was triggered off by a traffic accident along the Galle-Colombo highway on 12 November involving a motorcyclist (Sinhalese) and two pedestrians (a Muslim woman and her daughter) which ended with police mediation and the motorcyclist made to pay Rs. 25,000 as compensation to the victims (treated for minor injuries as ‘OPD patients’ at Galle).

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French Revolutionary Songs …. Marchons! Marchons!

 Satyajith Andradi, in Island, 12 July 2019, with this titleLa Marseillaise And L’internationale – Revolutionary Songs From France”

 “How many on our flesh eat their fill?
But if the ravens, the vultures, One morning disappeared,
The Sun would shine still.” …..
L’Internationale; trans; Michell Abidor

the Storming of the Bastille

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Cumulus Clouds shroud the Death Penalty in Sri Lanka

Gerald H Peiris, in Island, 8 July 2019, where the title is “To Hang or Not to Hang?: Our Heads in Shame”

Our press coverage of the ‘Capital Punishment’ debate that followed President Sirisena’s announcement on 26 June of his signing death warrants on four persons convicted for serious narcotic-related crimes – I refer to ‘Features’, ‘Opinions’, news reports such as those on intimidatory “orders” conveyed to the government of Sri Lanka by foreign diplomats and spokespersons of INGOs, decisions of trade unions and other civil society outfits, and the seemingly casual statements by political leaders in the course of censuring the president’s wayward performance −  provided no cause for surprise in the sense that they were the expected responses. For instance, those from the regimes of the sanctimonious agents of the ‘West’ and their INGOs were displays of both pretended “humanitarian” commitments as well as economic muscle-power directed at governments like ours that readily genuflect.  Likewise, the more prominent among our political leaders are obviously impelled by electoral considerations. The civil society stances reflect, more than all else, the widespread unpopularity of the ‘Yahapalanaya’ which the president is believed to nominally lead.

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