Thuppahi Accused of Partiality to China: Full Frontal Assault

Thuppahi Note

Writing from Canada (where he has been resident for a while),  Retd Brigadier Ranjan  De Silva, an Aloysian like me and a Peradeniya graduate from my time in the late 1950s, has sent me a Note with explicit criticisms of the positions adopted in some items within Thuppahi and with (as you will find out) contentious claims about the political economy associated with the programmes of the Mahinda Rajapaksa administrations in the recent past.

I place his series of charges in the public domain. I will respond in due course because I am inundated with email demands and Thuppahi tasks at the moment. But I place his readings of the past in the public realm NOW because I am confident that some of his assessments are horrendous and will attract  a host or replies which will provide pertinent information about the economic processes and political manoeuvres that are buffeting the island nation of Sri Lanka.

Moreover, I reckon that Ranjan has drunk water and whisky at some American bar and been overwhelmed by the ambience of that world….. Michael Roberts 

Ranjan De Silva’s Email Letter with Explicit Criticisms of Thuppahi, 15 July 2022

Some writers to Thuppahi are very protective of Sri Lanka from being “colonized” by the US. But they are dead silent about the colonisation that has taken place already by China. Look at Hambantota Harbour. Are they the fifth column of Russia and China? China has understood fully the power of money. And is using it to the maximum to make gains over countries that refuse to give bribes.

Look at Port City, Sooriyawewa Cricket Stadium, Magampura Conference Hall, Lotus Tower et al. All causes of Sri Lanka’s. bankruptcy.  And they are all unsolicited projects. Thuppahi and his merry writers are silent. No talk about them. Now China is baulking at helping Sri Lanka to restructure its debts. They are refusing to sit at the table with other creditors. No comment from Thuppahi and his merry writers.

Is China money at work?

Some time ago I wrote in support of SL going to the IMF. Thuppahi slammed me. Well only the IMF offered to help. Did China or Russia help? When ex-president requested Putin for help, he was told to contact Russia’s oil companies. We requested China to restructure the debts. China is silent. And Gota’s government told publicly China is our “best friend”. So far the only country that has helped Sri Lanka to tide over TODAY is India.

I like to ask Thuppahi whether it is China money talking?



Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, centre-periphery relations, debt restructuring, economic processes, governance, historical interpretation, IMF, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, modernity & modernization, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, self-reflexivity, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, taking the piss, truth as casualty of war, world events & processes

3 responses to “Thuppahi Accused of Partiality to China: Full Frontal Assault

  1. K. Silva

    The assertions about the way some people perceive American & Chinese assistance may be correct, but it must be said that the ground reality in Sri Lanka is reflected in these perceptions,
    The acceptance of the US MCC grant of 500 million dollars was strongly opposed by SL activists & it was turned down, at a time when we were approaching a financial crisis. Yet there was no such opposition to the projects referred to, undertaken with Chinese loans at the time they were planned & implemented. It was only later, at election time that these projects came under strong criticism, but yet were not taken seriously.. No one can deny that these were vanity projects. So, the blame lies not on the loan giver, but on the loan seeker for taking loans without the capacity to pay. Both the loan giver & the loan seeker may have had their own ulterior motives. Even the US may have had their own motives when they offered a grant.
    Re the IMF, many in the opposition advised policy makers to seek assistance for more than a year. Their response was that SL can manage without such assistance, but finally Gotabaya Rajapaksa acknowledged that SL should have sought assistance much earlier. In the intervening period many people justified the position taken up by the government.
    There are many instances where we took the wrong turn. The fertiliser ban was one , which was not reversed for many months in spite of islandwide protests. We have to blame the politicians who took these decisions to the detriment of SL interests .

  2. N. Goonewardena

    You always get up from the wrong side of the bed, Ranjan De Silva. Your face depicts sleeplessness, and sourness due to such sleeplessness. Next time, get someone to help you get out of bed in the morning.

  3. Edward T. Upali

    My view is that Brigadier Ranjan Silva is correct. Although you have discussed Chinese Projects at length very little space has been given to Chinese food, which everyone enjoys. May be we are getting colonized by the Chinese.

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