Category Archives: centre-periphery relations

Investment in Sri Lanka Today: Questionable Steps and Looming Influences

Dr. Sarala Fernando, in The Island, 10 January 2021, with this title Selling the Family Silver” and India-Sri Lanka bilateral relations

A remark attributed to the US Congress that “Sri Lanka is a valuable piece of real estate” had made the news here hinting at the strategic value of our island location. while some had connected the remark to the MCC, an economic project integral to the US pivot to the Indo Pacific. This sudden interest in Sri Lanka’s land assets made the headlines after Harvard economists in 2016 advised on the incorporation of a land project under the MCC to address constraints to national growth by a re-survey, re-valuation and deed grants on lands around the country. Local experts argued that such a programme would lead to pressure on smallholders to sell land to more powerful entities for commercial exploitation increasing rural poverty, environmental and wild life destruction and water scarcity.

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Galle Fort built on the Backs of African Slave Labour

Jeevan Thiagarajah in Daily News, 25 March 2019with this title“Slaves built Galle Fort” … …. with highlighting emphasis imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

The topic of the piece today was triggered by a conversation with the current High Commissioner in Colombo from South Africa, Ruby Marks, who has also posted on her Facebook page this passage, “Calvin Gilfillan, Head of Die Kasteel, affirmed what we suspected-the Dutch conceptualized and supervised, but it was the labour of an estimated 15,000 Africans brought from Portuguese and Dutch colonies, that did the back breaking work of actually building the Fort and the other ones scattered across Sri Lanka. I was shocked by how little was known in Sri Lanka about this. I visited the cramped quarters where the slaves were kept, the dungeons where they were imprisoned, and the cemetery-now a car park where they were buried. And my heart wept.

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Mannar and Its Surrounds: Stunning Wild Life and Landscapes 

Nadika HapuarachchiTamara FernandoThilak JayaratneJanaka Gallangoda in MANNAR UNBOUND 2018

Mannar Unbound is a photographic documentation of wildlife and archaeological ruins of Mannar. The book is the result of over five years of fieldwork stretching across various seasons during which places were visited and then revisited in order to get the perfect shot……………………. .Dec 16, 2018

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Locals and Environmentalists Challenge An Aussie Sand-Mining Project in Mannar

ABC Science  environment reporter Nick Kilvert and Jane Lee for Science Friction

As a small child, Shreen Abdul Saroor remembers getting up before dawn with her father to spy on the masses of migratory birds that would visit her island. The birds were on their way down the Central Asian flyway — a migration path that crosses 30 countries from Siberia to the Indian Ocean. “We would hide somewhere and … we don’t make any noise,” Ms Saroor recalls. “[Then we’d watch] them coming and landing in the causeway areas and then catching fish and taking off as a huge group covering the entire sky.”

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QAnon Right-Wing Extremists and Scott Morrison: Ominous Togetherness

 and in an essay in 2019 which gains relevance in the light of the recent events in Capital Hill in Washington …. This essay was entitled Revealed: the QAnon conspiracy theorist who is friends with Australian PM Scott Morrison”

A significant Australian proponent of the QAnon conspiracy theory is a family friend of Scott Morrison, and his wife is on the prime minister’s staff. The sprawling, disjointed and incoherent QAnon conspiracy variously claims that Donald Trump is leading a behind-the-scenes fight against a shadowy deep state, that powerful forces are hiding and protecting satanic paedophile rings, and that a secretive individual named Q leaves clues for his followers to decipher on internet forums.

 

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Ceylonese Enlisting in RAF during World War II: More Data

Group Captain Kumar Kirinde, SLAF (Retd)

 

Clarence Shelton Anthony Perera  was a member of the 1st batch of Ceylonese to join the RAF. As per the only ATA record available he has first served in the RAF from September 1941 to January 1943. He has left the service as a LAC. He then in April 1943 joined as a Pilot Cadet in the Air Transport Auxillary (ATA), a civilian organisation ferrying aircraft for the RAF and Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy ” — Charles Amarasekere Continue reading

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Satha and De Saram: Outstanding Batsmen as well Prominent Jailbirds

Nicholas Brookes in The Cricket Monthly at ESPNcricinfo, 6 May 2019, where the title runs “The story of De Saram and Satha: batting geniuses who went to jail” …. Two of Sri Lanka’s greatest batsmen had memorable lives, but they have been nearly forgotten today

The 1947 Ceylon squad that played South India: De Saram and Sathasivam are seated third and sixth from left (holding bats) …. details at bottom of this item

Ask any sports fan what it takes for a player to reach the pinnacle of their game and you’ll get the same tired answers. Talent. Temperament. Determination. But sporting greatness also relies on factors more arcane. Like luck. Or opportunity. Being in the right place at the right time. Just imagine if Pelé had been born in Bombay or if Gavaskar had grown up in Brazil. Where would they be now?

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Aime Jonklaas Williams: RAF Pilot in Wartime …. and a Remarkable Life

R.T. conveying a Vale from “City Dweller”

In July this year [2000?), Aime Jonklaas Williams, a woman of Ceylonese birth, died in Spain, just short of her 81st birthday. Her ashes were interred in an English village on July 20. Early in August, in another Sri Lankan newspaper, a close friend using the pseudonym “City Dweller” wrote a moving tribute in celebration of the life of this remarkable woman.

 

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January 6, 2021 · 3:05 pm

Ceylonese Elephants and Labour in Wartime Airfield Construction, 1941-45

Group Captain Kumar Kirinde (SLAF, Retd)

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Charting Anagarika Dharmapala’s Many Pursuits

Nandasiri Jasentuliyana, reviewing  Bhadrajee S. Hewage’s book A NAME FOR EVERY CHAPTER: Anagarika Dharmapala and Ceylonese Buddhist Revivalism”

‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’ – Socrates.

Rarely has so much been written both in the West and in the East about the work of a ‘revivalist,’ that one would conclude there is nothing left to be revealed of the man or his work. That is until you read Bhadrajee Hewage’s “Anagarika Dharmapala and Ceylonese Buddhist Revivalism.”

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