Category Archives: communal relations

Fascist Strands in Australian Anti-Vac Campaigns?

Julia in Sydney… in MEMORANDUM to Michael Roberts, 

ONE: …..

Hi Michael, I have some very strong views about the  anti-vaxxer ‘freedom’ movements that are going on.” I think they are mostly comprised of people who are 1. afraid of the vaccine because they have no idea of what they don’t know (see: Dunning-Kruger effect) and/or 2. buy into too many conspiracy theories in their misguided search for making sense of the world around them and/or 3 hold very strong right-wing neo-libertarian ideology. 

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Dutch Burghers and Portuguese Mechanics: Eurasian Ethnicity in Sri Lanka

Dennis B. McGilvray, reproducing an essay presented in April 1982 within Comparative Studies in Society and History 24 (2): 235-263 –– an article that is wide-ranging and draws on ethnographic work as well as historical manuscripts. Note that the highlighting and pictorial insertions are the work of The Editor, Thuppahi.

 

 

 

 

 

I: PROLOGUE

Historians and anthropologists in Sri Lanka have tended to migrate in opposite directions, but away from the multiethnic confusion of the port cities. Typically, the heterogeneous, semi-Westernized, postcolonial urban society of Colombo and the larger towns has been only a transit point on intellectual journeys outbound to European archives or inbound to “traditional culture.” This was certainly my viewpoint as I arrived “inbound” in Sri Lanka for my first anthropological fieldwork. I took only passing notice of the clerks of mixed European and Sri Lankan descent who sold me stationery supplies at Cargill’s and mosquito nets at Carvalho’s. These people are given the official designation of Burghers in the government census: they are the racially mixed descendants of the Portuguese, Dutch, and British personnel who occupied the island during four and a half centuries of colonial rule.

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Continuation of Venom and Bias at the UNHRC

Malinda Seneviratne in his web-site MalindaWords where the title runs “Spit and venom in Geneva (same old, same old)”

 

 

 It’s Bachelet’s hour. That’s Michelle. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The second of her bi-annual Christmas-come-early party in Geneva. Time to get her kicks, probably. The grave countenance, deep tone and malice disguised as concern.  Yes, folks, it’s that time of year of regurgitating tired arguments based on tendentious claims made by unreliable sources with agendas that have little or nothing to do with human rights.

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“Anglo-Ceylonese”: A Missing Dimension in British Ceylon

Michael Roberts

The conquest of the island of Ceilao by the British between 1796 and 1818 was an outcome of their imperial conquests in India and underpinned by their sea power. The presence of their troops and other personnel in British India was so extensive that in time a new ethnic category-cum-group emerged in the localities (usually towns) with British personnel: namely, the Anglo-Indians.[i] By the late 19th century these people of mixed descent spawned by British personnel in India stood as a distinct community of Christians speaking Indian English as their mother-tongue and oriented to both India and the United Kingdom.

 

An Anglo-Indian being washed and coiffured

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Imaginative Explorations of Sri Lanka’s History on the Cards

ISLAND newspaper News Item, 18 November 2021

In a brand new initiative, under the working title ‘Project 72’, Roar Media and author Sarah Kabir are set to take a deep dive into Sri Lanka’s past since gaining Independence in 1948, entertainingly and educationally covering some of the most defining years in the nation’s history.

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Kokkadicholai: An Outpost in Wartime Batticaloa

This Item appeared in Dilshy Banu’s Facebook post and I have borrowed it and its photographs for circulation via Thuppahi – in part because it marks a little “outpost activity” in the course of the war and largely because I have met Dilshy and respect her courageous career choices and her lines of philanthropic endeavour….. Michael Roberts, 18 November 2021

Dilshy Banu: Kokkadicholai in Batticaloa: Traversing Tension during Eelam War IV”

 

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Chinese Canadian War Veterans Step Out from the Shadows

Rod Mickleburgh, in The Globe and Mail, 10 November 2021, where the title is  “Chinese Canadian Veterans celebrated at Vancouver Museum”

When the Second World War ended, Ronald Lee did what so many other returning veterans did. He shed his uniform, took up civilian life, married, had kids and never talked about what he did during the war. Mr. Lee maintained his silence for 70 years. Beyond a few medals found in his underwear drawer long ago, his six kids knew almost nothing about his wartime experience. Finally, in his mid-90s, he agreed to be interviewed by Catherine Clement, curator of the Chinese Canadian Military Museum in Vancouver.

 

 

 

 

 

Ronald Lee’s wallet contained tattered photos of himself in uniform and with his commando comrades…. RONALD LEE FAMILY/CHINESE CANADIAN MILITARY MUSEUM Continue reading

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Amnesty International Misleads World in Its Picture of Anti-Muslim Violence in Sri Lanka

 

 

Waruni Kumarasinghe & Dinithi Dharmapala, from the Strategic Communications Unit, LKIIRSS, … whose preferred title i “Amnesty International Report on Sri Lanka: Far from the Truth”

Amnesty International’s latest report on Sri Lanka, titledFrom Burning Houses to Burning Bodies: Anti-Muslim Violence, Discrimination and Harassment in Sri Lanka” (October 2021) levels very serious accusations against this country. The overall argument of the report is that Muslims in Sri Lanka are an oppressed minority subjected to state-sponsored violence and systematic discrimination. The argument, as will be explained in a moment, is deeply flawed.

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Reconfiguring Our Categories of Being for the Sake of Lanka’s Future

Michael Roberts, here repeating a set of perspectives voiced initially on 19 June 2009 after the LTTE had been vanquished,in the News Magazine FRONTLINE that was printed every fortnight from Chennai.++

“One can win the War, but lose the Peace.” Cliché this may be, but it also a hoary truism that looms over the post-war scenario in Sri Lanka. The triumphant Sri Lankan government now has to address the human terrain rather than the fields of battle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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JR Jayewardene Eviscerated by Rajiva

Rajiva Wijesinha’s New Book entitled “JR Jayewardene’s Racism, Cold War Posturing and the Indian Debacle “

This account of JR Jayewardene’s political life is a unique departure in Sri Lanka, for we have no tradition of analytical biography. This book tries to fill the void, by analysis of the first Executive President of Sri Lanka who ignored all principles in creating a constitution designed to perpetuate his power. The corrosive effect of ad hoc amendments, including to the electoral system, has not been thoroughly examined, but should be in view of the increasingly hopeless situation in which this country finds itself.

 

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