Category Archives: working class conditions

SBD de Silva: Marxist Scholar Extraordinary … Sharp Mind, Simple Life-Style

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.

Front Cover
RoutledgeMay 23, 2012 – Business & Economics – 646 pages

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.

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Caste Relations over Time: Challenging Frank Conlon’s Reading of My Work on the Karava

CONTEXT

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.

 

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Dinesh and Mother Charity: Boundless Kindness

Elmo Jayawardena,in Daily News, 1 June 2018, where the title is “Kindness t Its best”

Recently I stopped at a traffic light. A father and son walked on the pedestrian crossing. The father was holding the autistic boy’s hand, guiding him to the opposite pavement.

Probably, that is what he is doing from the time the child was born to the day the father dies. Such is the perpetual responsibility of a parent who raises an autistic child.

Dinesh Fernando is 31 years old and does not even have a bicycle to call his own. Continue reading

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June 11, 2018 · 5:32 pm

KG Amaradasa: Tamil Literary Scholar and Man of Vision

 L. Murugapoopathy, in Colombo Telegraph, 12 May 2018, where the title runs “Memories Of Late K.G Amaradasa – An Ardent Tamil Literary Lover & Advocate For National Unity”

Some might say that if a Sinhala man marries a Tamil woman or a Tamil man marries a Sinhala woman, then national unity will be born. I don’t think so. If people of different ethnic origin get married, only the children would be born as a natural consequencequipped Ven. M Ratnavansa Thero – a Buddhist monk much loved and respected by Tamil writers and community members alike. The late K.G. Amaradasa is someone of similar calibre who also held the strong belief that national unity is not a one-way street. He is a remarkable man who learned and excelled in the Tamil literature and who pioneered the way in introducing the great Tamil national poet Mahakavi Barathiyar to the Sinhala people.

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Piercing the LTTE’s Last Redoubt: THE HINDU Reportage, 21-30 April 2009

Michael Roberts

When the LTTE persuaded and/or forced their civilian population in Thamilīlam to retreat ahead of their defensive retreat in 2008, the grand strategy was to build up picture of “a humanitarian catastrophe” that would draw the Western nations and the HR lobbies in West and the island into the fray as active participant voices who would save the LTTE from total defeat – as I have argued from way back [i]

A Scene from Pokkanai in the Last redoubt , 9th March 2009 — Pic from TamilNet  SL Army Special Forces

  Schematic Map– from ICG

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Achtung: New Waves of Anti-Semitism in Germany

Soeren Kern, courtesy of The Gatestone Institute , 21 April 2018, where the title reads thus:  “New waves of Anti-Semitism in Germany: A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Germany: March 2018,”

  A far-right rally in Berlin commemorates the 30th anniversary of the death of leading Nazi figure Rudolf Hess, on Aug. 19, 2017. (Photo: Frank Jordans, AP)

  • Anti-Semitism is running rampant at German primary schools, according to Heinz-Peter Meidinger, president of the President of the German Teachers’ Association (Deutschen Lehrerverbandes, DL). He also said that videos of beheadings are commonplace at German schools, and that female pupils are being threatened with murder. “In chat forums like WhatsApp, movies such as ISIS beheading videos are spreading like wildfire.”
  • “It is unacceptable that non-Muslim and above all Jewish children have to be afraid of going to school in this country because they are being labeled as ‘unbelievers’ and even threatened with death…. Since autumn… Kuwait Airways is allowed to discriminate against Jews at Frankfurt Airport, and the Federal Government does not object.  Let us not fool ourselves: it is the Federal Government, which, for inexplicable reasons, allows Jews in Germany to be treated like this.” — Julian Reichelt, Editor-in-Chief of Bild.

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The History of Civil Society Organisations in Sri Lanka

Vinod Moonesinghe

Although the role and importance of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other civil society organisations (CSOs) have diminished since January 2015, they continue to play a significant role. While the level of their co-operation with the state is fairly high, this has not always been so. The eruption on in July 2014 of a controversy regarding the political and media activities of civil society highlighted its long-standing friction with the state. Relations between state and civil society have been characterised by periods (of varying duration) of familiarity and of remoteness, of alliance and of antagonism.

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