Category Archives: British imperialism

Pyrrhic Defeat: Seven Days which shattered the Great Game of Smashing Afghanistan

Jolly Somasundaram

            “Truth is like the Sun, one can shut it off for sometime, but it will not go away.” …. Elvis Presley                  

Afghanistan has done it again! A country, where her geography was her destiny, made her push towards repeated trysts with history- Alexander’s Greeks, Mongols, Mughals, the Brits, Russians, Americans. She, redoubtable to foreign invaders, specialised in making her country, micro- Kanattestans for these invading hordes. These done-in foreign forces now out-done, were not small fry but superpowers.

Troops from Britain- the Rotweiller in her time slot of Empire building- were decimated three times, bleaching this arid landscape. Undaunted, Sysyphean Britain ventured on the fourth, though now a metamorphosed American poodle: same wipe-out. Russia, in her own time slot of imperial hope, was similarly sent scurrying home. Smaller European countries- Australia, Germany, France Italy, Canada, wishing to taste Petite Gloire but lacking oomph, hitch hiked on the NATO bandwagon: the same degrading exit.

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Sherlock Holmes & Churchill: Their Lessons on Afghanistan

David Von Drehle, in Washington Post, 8 August 2021, with this title … “Sherlock holmes & Winston Churchill: Cautionary tales on Afghanistan”

   

I learned of a place called Afghanistan as many Americans used to do: by reading one of the most famous opening chapters in literary history. I was 11 years old, and my new book introduced a young English doctor. Sent to an outpost of the Empire, he was hurried ahead to the front lines of a persistent war. He united with his assigned unit in Kandahar, and nearly died in combat when his shoulder was shattered by a bullet. Recuperating back in London, seeking an affordable apartment, he met a potential roommate — a strange fellow among whose first words to him were:

“You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.”

Thus Dr. Watson met Sherlock Holmes.

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John Pilger’s Overview of the Deeper History of Western Intervention in Afghanistan

John Pilger  in Consortium News, Volume 26, Number 240, 28 August 2021, with this title “The Great Game of Smashing Nations”

More than a generation ago, Afghanistan won its freedom, which the U.S., Britain and their “allies” destroyed.

Outside the gate of the Arg, the presidential palace, in Kabul, the day after the Saur revolution on April 28, 1978. (Cleric77, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons)

As a tsunami of crocodile tears engulfs Western politicians, history is suppressed. More than a generation ago, Afghanistan won its freedom, which the United States, Britain and their “allies” [then] destroyed.

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Sinhalaness in Pre-British Ceylon: Issues and Pathways

A Review Essay by Alan Strathern** dissecting a Book by Michael Roberts published in 2004

This item was located by Thuppahi in the web-site Colombo Telegraph on 26 December 2012 (see https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-royal-we-sinhala-identity-in-the-dynastic-state/). However, it appeared initially in 2005 in the prestigious journal Modern Asian Studies,  39: 1013–1026.

AN INTRODUCTORY NOTE by Michael Roberts, 7 August 2021

This item is a review essay not a standard review. Alan Strathern is an accomplished historian who happens to be the son of a leading social anthropologist, viz., Marilyn Strathern of ANU and Cambridge University. You will find that his prose is as refined and clear-cut as demanding. After some hesitation, I decided to adhere to my normal policy of highlighting some parts of the text with blue colourfor the benefit of readers facing the difficulties posed by complex issues in historical sociology. On occasions I have also imposed a break in extra-long paragraphs. The illustrations too are my impositions intended to promote reader interest.

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Introducing Alan Strathern’s Work to Sri Lankan Aficianados

Alan Strathern’s first major work was Kingship and Conversion in Sixteenth-Century Sri Lanka: Portuguese Imperialism in a Buddhist Land. …. published in 2008 and since then he has extended his reach. Though in far too belated manner, Thuppahi here introduces his work to a Sri Lankan audience …. Begiining with a citation leading to CR De Silva’s review of his book on Sri Lanka….. and ending with his own introduction of self to the world in the Oxford University web site.

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Sir Garfield Sobers: A Cricketing Genius

Rex Clementine, in The Island, 28 July 2021, where the title is “Cricket’s greatest is 85 today”

Sir Don Bradman called him the ‘greatest cricketing being to have ever walked the earth,’ and in Sri Lanka, he is considered as someone who shaped the careers of many players. Sir Garry Sobers turns 85 today. He was hired by the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka in 1980s and his influence benefited a young cricket team, enaabling them  to rub shoulders with formidable opponents of the game.

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Vicious Victimization of Dr Danielle by the Western Cabal and THE AGE

Fair Dinkum

For telling the truth about Wuhan as she knew it, this Australian virologist Dr Danielle Anderson has been  attacked, smeared and had her life threatened because her statement did not align with American Australian narratives about the origins of covid19. She was sent a threatening email that read, “Eat a bat and die, bitch.” The threatening emails continue and the Singapore police are taking it seriously  The anti-China campaign has become hysterical, insane and extremely dangerous as it spreads around the world,  with the help of Western governments.

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Leonard Woolf in Hambantota: An Interpretation

Question-Mark Author, deploying this title “Leonard Woolf: He penned his love for Sri Lanka in ‘Village in the Jungle’,”

Leonard Woolf who served as a colonial Assistant Government Agent in Hambantota was the author of the renowned novel Village in the Jungle. During his tenure as the Assistant Government Agent of the Hambantota District from 1908 to 1911, Woolf visited villages and jungles in Hambantota on his bicycle or a pony’s back. He conducted his inspections under the shade of massive trees. He was very much attached and devoted to his job.

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UNHRC raps Sri Lanka on the Knuckles

Resolution on behalf of Canada, Germany, North Macedonia, Malawi, Montenegro and the UK, the Core Group on Sri Lanka …. from UK Mission to the WTO, UN and Other International Organisations (Geneva)…..   22 June 2021

Council resolution 46/1 called upon the Sri Lankan Government to address the harmful legacies of war and to protect human rights, including for those from religious minorities. We regret the lack of progress on these issues, with a number of further concerning developments.

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Bamboo Challenging the Willow in the Cricket-Bat World

Katrina Kramer of The Chemistry World, 11 May 2021, where the title is … Bamboo bats could beat traditional willow at affordable cricket” …. with highlights imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

Cricket bats made from bamboo might help batters hit farther and faster, researchers have discovered. While willow has been the bat wood of choice for nearly 200 years, bamboo could deliver more energy to the ball during impact, though at the price of being much heavier. But bamboo’s fast growth could help make the sport more affordable to its rapidly growing fanbase.

Source: © Tom Almeroth-Williams

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