Category Archives: working class conditions

Encountering Prejudice in Lanka as a Person of Mixed Descent

Krystle Reid, from Groundviews, http://groundviews.org/author/krystle-reid/  where the title is “A Welcoming Nation”

The following is a list of things I’m often asked or told, revealing of Sri Lankan perceptions about the Burgher community.

  1. Are you Sri Lankan?
  2. Can you speak in Sinhalese?
  3. ‘You’re a Burgher? You sure don’t look like one’
  4. ‘Sounds like a Las Vegas stripper name’
  5. ‘They get drunk every Saturday and go to church the next day, no shame’
  6. ‘Burghers? Parents must be divorced then.’
  7. ‘Lansi no? Probably got the job because of her English and the mini skirt’
  8. ‘Burgher…. like a hamburger?’

I could continue but the real point I was trying to make is that 70 years after independence, our ethnicity is still misunderstood. Continue reading

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Neville Weereratne: the Artist and his Distant Homeland

Tony Donaldson

This essay on the life and art of Neville Weereratne is based on interviews recorded in Melbourne in July 2014 and from material collected during fieldwork in Australia and Sri Lanka.

 Neville Weereratne.

The artist and author Neville Weereratne died in Melbourne on 3 January 2018 at the age of 86. He was born in Colombo on 3 December 1931. A Sinhalese by descent and the youngest of five siblings, he began drawing at about the age of six. He grew up in a Roman Catholic family in Hulftsdorp, near to the Supreme and Magistrate courts, but their home was requisitioned by the civil authorities in World War 2 and so the family moved into a house in Dehiwela owned by the Peries family (Ivan and Lester).

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Colombo City in Singapore Style? Its Hinterland Trumps That Idea …. Witness: The Recent Elections

Wilfred Jayasuriya

I assume that the government is using the Singapore model of economic development, which focuses on services and not on agriculture or industry. In the 1970s when economic development or development economics became the favourite subject of politics and economics I was lucky to do a one year post graduate diploma in Oxford University for government officers. One question raised was “How valid is the Singapore model?” and the short answer given by Robert Mabro, an Egyptian academic who ran the course was: Singapore has no hinterland.

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Delhi Today and Yesterday: Entangled Urbanism

Sanjay Srivastava’s Entangled Urbanism

Cover for Entangled Urbanism

Entangled Urbanism: Slum, Gated Community and Shopping Mall in Delhi and Gurgaon

  • A timely study of the urbanization process of Delhi
  • Analyzes a wide range of issues
  • Discusses all aspects of the process of urbanization – from gated communities, to malls, to consumerism

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Darshanie Ratnawalli, in Daily Mirror, 11 January 2017 the title runs  “The poor little handicrafts of Laksala”

Alias, an Assistant Merchandising Director, tells me that Laksala is changing. Not for the better. If we are to talk in analogies for the benefit of tourists, he is claiming a slide down the scale from a Tiffany’s to a K-Mart. “I went to the Thummulla outlet today. They are going to shift the exclusive Batik collection to a less prominent place and put some t-shirts in the vacant place,” Alias told me in November.

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January 14, 2018 · 5:40 pm

Balancing Human Rights with Poverty Alleviation

Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka, in The Island, 29 December 2017

Professor Richard Falk’s inspiring and reflective article on Human Rights, Democracy and International Liberalism in ‘The Island’ of Dec 28th (originally titled ‘Democracy, Development, and Reputation: Vietnam, Turkey, and International Liberalism’) re-thinks human rights in a way that potentially introduces a whole new paradigm which  will resonate with many developing countries including Sri Lanka. That it was written by an internationally eminent Professor of Law who has been involved with issues of Human Rights for decades including as Special Rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Council, makes it all the more important.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_A._Falk

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Geo-Political Power in the Human Rights ‘Órder’

Richard Falk, in Island, 28 December 2017, where the title is “Human rights, democracy & international liberalism””

The liberal exclusion of collective rights should be reviewed, and the tendency to gloss over the existence of poverty and gross inequality endemic in capitalist societies should be subjected to critical scrutiny. As well, the tendency of socialist or state-dominated societies to undervalue civil and political rights of individuals should be equally scrutinized.

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