Western Neo-Colonialism Today: An Incisive Note from Tony Donaldson

Context: When the Editor of Thuppahi circulates articles, he sometimes includes attachments or adds bibliographical references. Tony Donaldson read some of the references listed with the article on the last phase of Eelam War IV presented recently by Lalith Weeratunga. He then responded spontaneously and privately to two of my efforts from August 2015 and July 2016 in an email note sent today 12th June 2018. His thoughts are as incisive as thought-provoking. They are a boost to thought and debate. I place them in the inter-net world and challenge readers to respond. The two references are listed after his capsule-statement


Tony Donaldson’s Capsule Comment

Michael, …. Two great articles in “Ambassador Blake in Never-Never Land…” and the imperious interventions of David Miliband….  I am not surprised by any of this.  US diplomats should study anthropology for a few years. It might teach them to recognize neo-colonialism in their own value system.  

It reminds us that the US., its diplomats and think tanks which operate in the guise of academic institutions, do not present global or universal values as they pretend or claim, but a deeply entrenched relativist one that is tied to US interests (but in this instance, the sheer lack of understanding about what occurs in SL is mind-boggling).

At the end of the day, we still live with relativism, be it cultural or moral, governed by political, economic and cultural beliefs.  We don’t hear much about globalization today. At one time, it was worshiped in universities like a manifestation of God.  The western brand of it has failed, leaving China to take it over in its own form. We are back in the land of relativism – in fact we never left it. Neo-colonialism is still there.

The Provocation: REFERENCES

Michael Roberts “David Miliband’s Imperious Intervention in Lanka left in Tatters,”   5 July 2016, https://thuppahis.com/2016/07/05/david-milibands-imperious-intervention-in-lanka-left-in-tatters/

Michael Roberts  “Ambassador Blake in Never-Never-Land: Misreading LTTE Capacity in Early 2009,” 26 August 2015, https://thuppahis.com/2015/08/26/ambassador-blake-in-never-never-land-misreading-ltte-capacity-in-early-2009/


In this handout picture released by The Sri Lankan Presidential Office, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner (L) looks on as his British counterpart David Miliband (C) shakes hands with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa (R) as they arrive for a meeting at Ambilipitiyasits on April 29, 2009. British foreign minister David Miliband and his French counterpart Bernard Kouchner who are in Sri Lanka for a one-day visit have failed to secure an agreement from Sri Lanka to end an offensive against Tamil rebels and allow humanitarian access to civilians trapped by the fighting…HO/AFP/Getty Images)

FURTHER BACKGROUND re Donaldson as Critic

Tony Donaldson: “Neville Weereratne the Artist and His Distant Homeland,” 17 February 2018,  https://thuppahis.com/2018/02/17/neville-weereratne-the-artist-and-his-distant-homeland/

Tony Donaldson: “In Search of Sunil Santha,” 28 October 2017, https://thuppahis.com/2017/10/28/in-search-of-sunil-santha/

Tony Donaldson: Force 136 and the Riverdale Bungalow. [An article prepared for Riverdale], Kandy, 2 December 2016.

Tony at ease

Tony Donaldson: Sunil Santha: The Man who Invented Sinhala Music for a Modern Age. In English and Sinhala. Translated into Sinhala by Dr. Ruvan Ekanayake. Guru Devi Sunil Santha Memorial Lecture. Colombo: Sunil Santha Samajaya, 14 December 2016.

Tony Donaldson to introduce Sunil Santha and His Sinhala Music to Contemporary Lankans,” 26 October 2016, https://thuppahis.com/2016/10/26/tony-donaldson-to-introduce-sunil-santha-and-his-sinhala-music-to-contemporary-lankans/

Tony Donaldson: The Kavikāra Maduva: Ritual singers in the Daladā Māligāva (Temple of the Tooth), Kandy, PhD thesis, Monash University, 2001.



Filed under accountability, american imperialism, australian media, authoritarian regimes, British imperialism, discrimination, economic processes, foreign policy, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, Tamil migration, Tamil Tiger fighters, truth as casualty of war, war reportage, world events & processes

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