Over the course of this last week, what Sri Lanka has witnessed is a teledrama, not too different from the teledramas that your grandmother, mother and maids watch. An elaborate script designed to draw the gullible into a daily melodrama to take their attention away from the base of the struggle unfolding all around them.
Banyan ... with what seems to be a title ” Unhappy Families”
As the sun goes down the numbers swell on Galle Face Green, a promenade facing the Indian Ocean in downtown Colombo where families and lovers typically come to stroll and fly kites. These days it hosts a more purposeful crowd. Families are there, but so are farmers, students and their professors, Buddhist monks, Catholic nuns, Muslims and members of Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority. A makeshift settlement has sprung up. There are teach-ins at the “People’s University” and slapstick plays for children. The capital’s classiest choir has even led a rousing rendition of “Do you hear the people sing?”. This is Gota Go Gama: “Gota Go Village”. “Gota” is short for Gotabaya. The whole carnival takes aim at the president, the 72-year-old Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and his family: Go, Gota, just go.
Asanga Welikala, in ConstitutionNet, 2 May 2022, where the title reads “Economic Crisis and Constitutional Reform in Sri Lanka”
L-R: Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Former Minister of Finance Basil Rajapaksa (photo credit: The Hindu)
In Sri Lanka, mass protests against the unaffordable cost of living have coalesced on a central demand: the resignation of the President, Prime Minister, and Finance Minister, who are brothers. Against this background, three proposals for constitutional reform have surfaced – from the Opposition, a breakaway group of MPs, and the government respectively. The Opposition’s Bill would, among other important features, abolish presidentialism and return Sri Lanka to a parliamentary form of government, while reinforcing constitutional democracy through the separation of powers and strong checks and balances. From a design and democratisation point of view, it is the only credible constitutional reform proposal on the table, but its passage is far from guaranteed – writes Dr. Asanga Welikala
P. Saravanamuttu, in Financial Times, 30 April 2022, where the title is “Governance in Sri Lanka: We must not miss this opportunity”
The situation in the country is one of dynamism as well as stalemate. Dynamism on account of the determination, creativity and resilience of the Gotagogama demonstrators, the extension of their efforts to the Mainagogama demonstration outside Temple Trees to the sheer celebration of Sri Lanka’s diversity and the unity of its peoples, to the presentation of the 21st Amendment in Parliament by the SJB Opposition and their mammoth march from Kandy, culminating in Colombo on May Day as well as the Hartal; stalemate because the Rajapaksas show no sense of shame and indeed self-respect to heed the call of the people and GO.
Michael Roberts, … reproducing Chapter III in Volume I of Documents of the Ceylon National Congress and Nationalist Politics in Ceylon, 1929-1950, Vol I, 1977, Department of National Archives, 1977 , pp. lxviii–lxxviii **
While the political activists of the first half of the twentieth century were drawn from both the national and the local elites, the political leadership (at significant island-wide levels) was largely composed of individuals who could be ranked among the national elite. As indicated earlier, the national elite was a small segment of the Ceylonese population. Its levels of wealth, power and status, its lifestyle, and its value-system marked it off from the rest of the population.
Member of House of Lords, Michael Naseby, has assured [us] that he will try very hard to convince the UK to make public the sections of the Colombo British High Commission dispatches censored by London, pertaining to the last phase of the Vanni offensive. Lord Naseby gave this assurance at the launch of his memoirs, ‘Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained’ at the BMICH on Tuesday (29).
Thuppahi's Blog · This web site presents the interventions of MICHAEL ROBERTS in the public realm with reference to Sri Lankan political affairs. It will embrace the politics of cricket as well. ROBERTS was educated at St. Aloysius College in Galle and the universities of Peradeniya and Oxford. He taught History at Peradeniya University and Anthropology at Adelaide university. He is now retired and lives in Adelaide.