Category Archives: authoritarian regimes

Searching Investigations from Verite Research in 2021

A VERITE RESEARCH BULLETIN

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As we approach the end of the year, there is much to look back on and reflect upon. I am glad to share with you some of the highlights of the recent month in this Verité Bulletin.

We have long felt that democracy is not meaningful when citizens are not critically cognizant of the information in relation to public finance. This is why Verité Research strategically expanded its work on Public Finance. The platform that we built, PublicFinance.lk, is probably the pre-eminent locus for information and analysis on the state of Sri Lanka’s public finance.

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Kingship in the Midst of European Imperialism in South Asia

Ananda Abeysekera’s essay entitled “The Loss of Kingship and Colonial and Other Uses of the “People” in South Asia,” will appear soon in Academia Letters

Synopsis: In this essay, I briefly take up the question of loss by way of the question of the loss of kingship in the aftermath of colonialism in two instances of South Asia. Given the word limit, I do so with a brief reading of Gananath Obeyesekere’s The Doomed King (2017) followed by some comments on Anastasia Piliavsky’s Nobody’s People (2020). Even though these two texts are by anthropologists, given the subject matter, they are very much interested in the question of history and power. In reading these two texts, I attempt to note briefly how the modern category of the “people” begins to raise its head in colonialism, if you will, in the wake of the destruction and loss of kingship. My remarks are hardly exhaustive on the concept of the people, but its specter—in terms of the continuing reproductions of the colonial and postcolonial relation between people’s “agency” and “responsibility”—is pervasive in both the humanities and a multitude of political discourses about law, foreign policy conduct, etc.

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USA’s Hegemonic Designs Sustain A Dangerous Wonderland

 Jean-Pierre Page, whose preferred title is “The Longer Telegram and “sleepy Joe”in Wonderland!

The Biden Administration appears to be implementing most of the recommendations in the Atlantic Council’s Longer Telegram: Toward a new American China strategy, an important strategic document about US policy towards China published in January 2021.  This document is one of a troika produced by the Atlantic Council; the other two are Global Strategy 2021: An Allied Strategy for China, published in December 2020 with a preface by Joseph Nye, and The China plan: A transatlantic blueprint for strategic competition, published in March 2021.

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The Horrendous Record of Western Manipulations in Recent World History

Fair Dinkum, responding to the Global Times item in Thuppahi entitled “China on the World Stage: A Judicious Assessment,”….. https://thuppahis.com/2021/12/30/china-on-the-world-stage-a-judicuous-assessment/

We need to move to a new narrative about China, but also a new structure for the world, and not allow Western defence or military establishments to play language games over China, just because the rise of China doesn’t suit them. To take one example, in an article published in the US “Defense & Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy” journal this year titled “Cold war Redux: The West Loses Africa’s Horn” – just thinking about the title says much about colonialism. From the 18th to the 20th centuries, African nations were colonialised and carved up by the Britain, France, Portugal, Germany and Belgium for their own selfish gains. They did the same in Asia, the Middle East and South America. They were all Western powers.

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China on the World Stage: A Judicious Assessment

Global Times, 10 December 2021, with this title “French media pushes anti-China narrative in a monolithic block, but at least one man is fighting for objective views” — “Bursting alliance” ….with highlighting imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

Maxime Vivas (Vivas), French writer and journalist, has been insulted and attacked for his objective views on China. Vivas started in early November on the world’s largest petition platform, change.org, a petition to call on all sectors of society to have an objective view of China. But then the link for the petition quickly became unavailable, as the US-based website deleted the petition. “Respect China like we respect ourselves!” Vivas openly criticized the Western media outlets and social media that demonize China, but was frequently attacked by the French media. The Global Times reporters Chen Qingqing and Liu Xin recently had an online forum with Vivas and Zheng Ruolin (Zheng), a senior Chinese media professional and European studies expert who has lived in France for several years, to look into where the Western media bias came from on China-related coverage and how to deal with their smearing of China.

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Tutu: A Moral Pillar in Our Troubled Times

Basil Fernando, in Groundviews, 29 December 2021, where the title reads “Desmond Tutu: The Man who revived the Moral Universe”

Archbishop Desmond Tutu who passed away this week will be counted among the great human beings who contributed to the political transformation of his own country and a person who revolutionised the idea of achieving equality under the most difficult of circumstances.

Cape Town, South Africa – October 6, 2011: The Arch Bishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu at his official book launch , St George’s Cathedral 2011                

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Along a Winding Russian Road

Tony Donaldson, …. with highlighting imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

In 1926, the Russian poet, singer, composer, and cabaret artist Alexander Vertinsky recorded the song Dorogoi dlinnoyu (Дорогой длинною) which may be rendered as “Along a winding road” or “By the long road.” Vertinsky was born in the Ukraine in 1889 and died in St. Petersburg in 1957.

Alexander Vertinsky

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Ganging Up against China in France and Elsewhere

Global Times Item, 10 December 2021, where the title runs thus “French media pushes anti-China narrative in a monolithic block, but at least one man is fighting for objective views”… with highlighting imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

“Bursting alliance”

Photo: Zheng Ruolin, a senior Chinese media professional and European studies expert talked with Maxime Vivas,French writer and journalistPhoto: Zheng Ruolin, a senior Chinese media professional and European studies expert, talks with Maxime Vivas, French writer and journalist
Editor’s Note:  “Maxime Vivas (Vivas), French writer and journalist, has been insulted and attacked for his objective views on China. Vivas started in early November on the world’s largest petition platform, change.org, a petition to call on all sectors of society to have an objective view of China. But then the link for the petition quickly became unavailable, as the US-based website deleted the petition. “Respect China like we respect ourselves!” Vivas openly criticized the Western media outlets and social media that demonize China, but was frequently attacked by the French media. The Global Times reporters Chen Qingqing and Liu Xin recently had an online forum with Vivas and Zheng Ruolin (Zheng), a senior Chinese media professional and European studies expert who has lived in France for several years, to look into where the Western media bias came from on China-related coverage and how to deal with their smearing of China.”

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Tamara Kunanayakam: Some Career Highlights

Michael Roberts

I got to know Tamara Kunanayakam and her partner, Jean-Pierre Page, and their dog Umberto[1] when staying overnight with them at their rented house in Battaramulla around 2016[2] during the course of my inquiries into Sri Lankan political affairs on the diplomatic circuit and the UNHRC in particular. Since Tamara was our Ambassador at the UNHRC in Geneva in the years 2011-12, this was a logical step.

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Struggles in Geneva … with Yakku within the Rajapaksa Officialdom

Uditha Devapriya, in The  Island, 11 December 2021,reviewing Rajiva Wijesinha’s Representing Sri Lanka  (S. Godage & Brothers, 2021, 189 pp. Rs. 750) …. where the title is “Downhill All The Way”

I met Rajiva Wijesinha for the first time four years ago, at the Organisation of Professional Associations in Colombo. At a seminar on English language learning and teaching there, he handed me a book he had published a few days earlier. Titled Endgames and Excursions, it was an account of his official travels, friendships, and associations. I remember promising to review it, reading it, and then laying it aside. It was an unforgivable lapse, but one I now feel was justified: I was simply not qualified for the task.

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