Category Archives: democratic measures

A Poignant Farewell at Vishvamadu in 2018: Rathnapriya Banda’s Work of Reconciliation

Shenali Waduge. in an article presented in June 2018 and entitled  “LTTE village & a Sri Lankan Military Officer show the world what Reconciliation & Peaceful Coexistence is all about” …. ith highlighting emphasis added by The Editor, Thuppahi

It was a farewell that has shocked & left plenty of critics speechless. It has put to rest & completely nullified the lies that have been spread against Sri Lanka’s Army. The culprits include foreign governments/envoys, INGOs/NGOs, UN & even the present government in particular the Tamil leadership & the LTTE diaspora who must be startled at the pictures emerging of an entire village weeping as they bid farewell to a military officer who had played the role of their mentor, their father, their brother, their advisor & virtually their leader. Col. Rathnapriya Bandu has done what Prabakaran, Wigneswaran, Sivajilingam, Sumbanthiran, Sambanthan or even Tamil Nadu politicians could not do & do not want to do. In a world that plays divisive politics of divide & rule he has shown that it takes a hero to unite & Col. Bandu is one hero that we must all salute. No former LTTE village would ever carry a Sri Lankan Military officer on their shoulders & weep as he bid goodbye if he was no hero in their eyes.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, art & allure bewitching, caste issues, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, economic processes, education, ethnicity, gender norms, heritage, historical interpretation, human rights, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, meditations, modernity & modernization, patriotism, performance, photography, politIcal discourse, reconciliation, rehabilitation, religiosity, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, social justice, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, the imaginary and the real, tolerance, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, working class conditions

The Democratization Process in Ceylon, 1832-1948

Michael Roberts: “The Democratization Process in Sri Lanka,”  being the text of an Illustrated Lecture on Video presented to The May 18 Memorial Foundation in Korea in early September 2020 …. as part of a series encompassing several countries — organised by Professor Inrae You. The Lecture was, as I understood it, for highschool students.

The democratisation process began in the period of British rule in the 20th century. It would however be unwise to start with the early 20th century. One should look at the prehistory of the island of Ceylon before that. Ceylon, Ceilão, Sihalē had forms of autocratic kingship well before the European colonial powers came to Asia and set up their colonies.

Rajasinghe II of Sihale ruling from Mahanuvara and receiving homage (dakuma) from the Dutch

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, British colonialism, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, constitutional amendments, democratic measures, devolution, economic processes, electoral structures, female empowerment, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, Left politics, legal issues, life stories, modernity & modernization, nationalism, parliamentary elections, politIcal discourse, power politics, power sharing, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

Introducing ECSAT and the World of Disabled People around Galle

Michael Roberts

 In late 2018 I met Roshan Samarawickrema at Flinders University via my daughter Maya who is a senior staff officer there. Roshan had arrived to further studies in Disability Teaching. Via the vagaries of the covid endemic both of us found ourselves in good old Lanka in the second quarter of the year. A visit to my home beat of Galle Fort[1] in July-August enabled me to explore and ‘experience’ the work of ECSAT at its HQ in the old “Serasinghe Walauwwa” building at Wackwella [albeit in covid circumstances whereby school attendance was drastically low]. My readings via picture and tale will follow. I begin here with Roshan’s introduction to ECSAT with due emphasis on the initial impetus provided by Catherine Liyanage (nee Mole become Macleod).[2] …. Michael Roberts

ECSAT staff in 2020

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, charitable outreach, cultural transmission, democratic measures, education, female empowerment, historical interpretation, human rights, landscape wondrous, life stories, meditations, NGOs, rehabilitation, self-reflexivity, social justice, sri lankan society, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

Michael Sandel’s Pursuit of Civic Virtues in USA and the World

Julian Coman, in The Observer, 6 September 2020, …. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/sep/06/michael-sandel-the-populist-backlash-has-been-a-revolt-against-the-tyranny-of-merit?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

The philosopher believes the liberal left’s pursuit of meritocracy has betrayed the working classes. His new book argues for a politics centred on dignity.

Michael Sandel photographed last month in the grounds of Harvard, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Photograph: Webb Chappell

Michael Sandel was 18 years old when he received his first significant lesson in the art of politics. The future philosopher was president of the student body at Palisades high school, California, at a time when Ronald Reagan, then governor of the state, lived in the same town. Never short of confidence, in 1971 Sandel challenged him to a debate in front of 2,400 left-leaning teenagers. It was the height of the Vietnam war, which had radicalised a generation, and student campuses of any description were hostile territory for a conservative. Somewhat to Sandel’s surprise, Reagan took up the gauntlet that had been thrown down, arriving at the school in style in a black limousine. The subsequent encounter confounded the expectations of his youthful interlocutor.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, cultural transmission, democratic measures, education, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, literary achievements, meditations, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, teaching profession, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

Ethnic Knots Today: The How

Javid Yusuf, in Island, August 2020, and also PRESSREADER where the title is “Resolving the Ethnic Conflict-  making a difficult task that much more difficult”

One of the most complex problems faced by the country after independence has been the “ethnic conflict” that resulted in a civil war that consumed the country for over three decades.  Although the conflict was not between two ethnicities (the Sinhalese and Tamils) but in reality between the State and the Tamil community, the label “ethnic conflict” has become the common parlance used to describe the events around this long drawn out conflict. Basically it has been an attempt by the Tamil politicians to persuade successive Governments to restructure the State so as to address Tamil concerns.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, centre-periphery relations, chauvinism, communal relations, constitutional amendments, democratic measures, ethnicity, governance, historical interpretation, insurrections, language policies, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, parliamentary elections, politIcal discourse, power politics, power sharing, prabhakaran, Rajapaksa regime, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, vengeance, world events & processes

Confronting Welikala and De Silva-Wijeyeratne: One

I sent the Article by Asanga Welikala and de Silva-Wijeyeratne to 24 personnel** in various parts of the world on the 29/30th August inviting Comments ….. and these THREE comments from Hugh Karunanayake, Gerald Peiris and CR de Silva are the first ‘burst’ ….. Michael Roberts 

Continue reading

12 Comments

Filed under accountability, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, constitutional amendments, democratic measures, disparagement, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, language policies, Left politics, legal issues, life stories, parliamentary elections, politIcal discourse, power politics, power sharing, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

The Rajapaksa Reshaping of the Sri Lankan Polity

Asanga Welikala and Roshan de Silva-Wijeyeratne, in Groundviews, 25 August 2020, with this title “The Past and the Present in the (Re)Constitution of the State”  … 

The election of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in November 2019 marked the beginning of a new era of a Sinhala-Buddhist nationalist ascendancy in Sri Lanka. The Covid-19 pandemic provided an early opportunity for the government to establish an authoritarian governing style, helped by Parliament standing dissolved, and the Supreme Court’s refusal to subject the government to the constitution. In the delayed parliamentary election earlier in August, the government and its allies sought and obtained a two-thirds majority mandate.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under accountability, architects & architecture, authoritarian regimes, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, constitutional amendments, cultural transmission, democratic measures, devolution, discrimination, disparagement, economic processes, education, electoral structures, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, modernity & modernization, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, power sharing, Rajapaksa regime, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, unusual people, vengeance, welfare & philanthophy, working class conditions, world events & processes

Jehan Perera seeks Inclusive Nationalism amidst Pluralism from the Present Regime

Jehan Perera, whose favoured title runs thus: “Complement Inclusive Nationalism with Equality-Based Pluralism for Citizens”

During the election campaign the ruling party and its allies legitimized their call for a 2/3 majority in parliament on the basis that a change of constitution was needed to empower the future government.  But there was limited information about what needed to be changed.  The focus was on the 19th Amendment that shared power more equitably between the president and parliament, protected state institutions from political interference and banned dual citizens from contesting elections.  There were also references to the need to do away with the 13th Amendment that devolved power to the provinces, or at least abolish the devolved powers over police and land.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, centre-periphery relations, charitable outreach, communal relations, constitutional amendments, democratic measures, ethnicity, governance, historical interpretation, language policies, legal issues, life stories, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, tolerance, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

Rajapaksa Populism: Reflections from Udith Devapriya

Udith Devapriya iDaily Mirror, 15 August 2020, where the title reads Four lessons from my father”

My father was the first in his family and my mother’s, to foretell Mahinda Rajapaksa’s rise to power in the 1990s. At the time the man was in charge of Labour and Vocational Training, a threadbare though challenging ministry if ever there was one. Challenging, not because one could not do much in it, but because by then the SLFP’s approach to labour had begun to depart from its traditional vantage point.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, centre-periphery relations, citizen journalism, democratic measures, economic processes, electoral structures, governance, historical interpretation, Left politics, life stories, parliamentary elections, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, sri lankan society, unusual people

Reconciliation in Sri Lanka: Prospects Today

Jehan Perera, in The New Age, 20 August 2020, with this title “Opening door to Lanka reconciliation”

Sri Lanka’s president Gotabaya Rajapakse, second from right, and prime minister Mahinda Rajapakse, second from left, along with new cabinet ministers stand for the national anthem during the cabinet swearing-in ceremony at the Buddhist Temple of the Tooth in the ancient hill capital of Kandy on August 12.— Agence France-Presse/Lakruwan Wanniarachchi

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, centre-periphery relations, charitable outreach, communal relations, constitutional amendments, democratic measures, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, language policies, legal issues, life stories, nationalism, parliamentary elections, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, power sharing, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, working class conditions, world events & processes