Category Archives: democratic measures

September 11: Back to Square One 20 Years After

David Kilcullen, in The Weekend Australian, 11-12 September 2021

Twenty years after 9/11 the terrorism threat is larger and more widespread, the Western alliance is weaker, and the US is in sharp ­decline relative to its rivals. Democratic societies are less free, stunted by “safetyism”, less resilient and more divided.

The abandonment of Afghans amid the return of an unreformed triumphant Taliban just in time for the 20th anniversary of 9/11, underlines the failure of the global war on terror and the need for a radical rethink. This is particularly true for Australia, which faces the most threatening geopolitical environment in a century.

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9/11 Chaos: How Lewis Porte and Gander in Canada met the Overflow from 9/11

It is almost 20 years since 9/11 and here is a wonderful story about that terrible day. …..Jerry Brown Delta Flight 15… (true story)

Here is an amazing story from a flight attendant on Delta Flight 15, written following 9-11:

On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, we were about 5 hours out of Frankfurt, flying over the North Atlantic.  All of a sudden, the curtains parted and I was told to go to the cockpit, immediately, to see the captain.

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Addressing Jehan Perera’s Recent Piece on Reconciliation in Sri Lanka

Lakshman Gunasekara …. with highlighting and a cartoon imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

What ‘re-conciliation’ ??

Jehan Perera, a very good friend and long-time colleague, at least uses the term “re-conciliation” which was intelligently adopted by the Mahinda regime at the end of the military phase of the ethnic conflict (with a resounding defeat for the LTTE). That regime conveniently picked up that word from among local liberal activists who had begun using it — taking it from South African post-Apartheid peace-building parlance.

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Jehan Perera on the Requisites for Political Reconciliation

Jehan Perera, in The Island, 3 August 2021, with this title “Restoring reconciliation process cannot be piecemeal”

 

The government is making a resolute effort to turn Sri Lanka around and put it in the direction of rapid economic development. The systematic manner in which it has been conducting the Covid vaccinations has earned recognition by WHO as well as the international community. The value of the military in getting things done on a large scale with minimum of delay has been manifested in the partnership that they have struck with the health authorities. The memory is fading of how some of the government leaders dabbled in alchemy and the spirit world to find an antidote to the COVID virus, despite being vested with the responsibility to strengthen the health of the country’s people. There is also increased space being given to civil society to engage in protests, such as the protracted teachers’ strike and the agitation against the expanding mandate of the Kotelawala Defence University.

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Pragmatic Christian Compassion: The Basilica in Tewatte converted into A Covid-Patient Ward

Courtesy of communications from Avril Thurgood, Helen Fernando & Moninna Guanwardena ….. stressing the Revd Malcolm Ranjith’s Pragmatic Benevolence in These Hours of Covid-Threat

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Remembering Manouri Muttetuwegama nee De Silva

ONE REQUEIM from Gamini Seneviratne , in The Island, 25 July 2021  v

In the early nineteen sixties when we met, politics here was in a kind of crisis. The Left parties were defining themselves and each other in terms that emasculated such terms as ‘socialist’ of the meanings assigned to them not just in the literature but in the practice of revolution. We had sama samaja ‘new’ or without qualification, united socialist, revolutionary socialist, Bolshevik Leninist, Stalinist aka Communist, Trotskyite, Maoist and, lurking not far behind them every nuance of Democracy and Socialism. In hindsight all that seems innocent given the skulduggery that came to be sort of enshrined in a “Constitution” that enjoyed the distinction of being totally unconstitutional / illegal. So much more has been done since that J R J, the breaker of laws and trasher of justice would be chortling in whatever shades he now resides.

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Dr Susiri Weerasekera: A Sturdy Servant of Humankind

Michael Roberts

In dealing today with the outrageous prejudices displayed by the American political analyst Robert Kaplan in mid-2009, I realised that I should reaffirm the essays devoted to the services to mankind provided by a doctor indomitable and discerning.[1] That medico was Dr. Susiri Weerasekera, who, alas, had deteriorated to a state non compos mentis when I made inquiries at his home in Nugegoda a few years back.

Susiri [with tie] is standing on the extreme left from the viewer’s eyes — this Pix being the Board of Management of the Friend-in-Need Society

Susiri Weerasekera was a person you would want to have alongside you in adversity: a person pragmatic, observant, down-to-earth and relatively unprejudiced. I got to know him when I dropped in on the Friend-in-Need Society in Colombo in 2010 to look into their work in support of the disabled and their speciality in assisting personnel who had lost a limb to obtain and then utilize a prosthetic leg.[2] When I embarked on journeys to the northern reaches Susiri provided me with names and introductions to key personnel in Vavuniya and Jaffna as well as an introduction to Dr Hemantha Herath who was in charge of medical relief for the IDP camps. These recommendations were invaluable.

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Nihal Seneviratne on Lanka’s MPs Through the Decades

Nihal Seneviratne in Riveting Q and A with Sharlton Benedict, 16 July 2021

A Clerk Reminisces: Nihal Seneviratne (former Sec. Gen. of Parliament) on #NewslineSL – 16 July 2021

PS: Nihal has always been known as “Galba” in my circle … and never posed as a Lord or Walauwwa Hamu. He was raised initially in my home town of Galle and it was pleasing to see his honesty of purpose in this set of exchanges….. The Editor Thuppahi

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Universal Franchise for Ceylon in 1931: The Complexities of Governance and Policy

Jane Russell

I am greatly honoured to be asked by the Awarelogue Initiative to speak at their Lecture Forum in this year of 2021, celebrating the 90th anniversary of the advent of universal franchise in Sri Lanka. In my lecture, I shall touch on some of the complex problems of governance and policy faced by a small multi-ethnic island, flanked as it is and always has been, by economic and political superpowers.

Dr. Thomas Drummond-Shiels: Donoughmore Commissioner 1927/28: Labour MP for Edinburgh 1924 -31; Under Secretary of State for the Colonies 1929-31

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For Lanka: Lessons from the Past and Lee Kwan Yew

Somasundaram Skandakumar’s Address to the Rotary Club in Colombo, July 2021 … as presented in The Sunday Island, 11 July 2021... with highlighting imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi …. with this title “Where we went wrong and the possible course correction”

Mr President, let me congratulate you and all members on the inauguration of Rotary Club of Colombo Port City and wish you every success in your noble endeavours ! I was born barely two weeks before Independance and like some of you listening in, lived through it all in my land of birth. What has transpired over those 73 years is common knowledge so let me share why I love my country as I do.

At a very young age in a geography class I looked at the world map to see where our country was positioned. I marvelled at the sheer beauty of its outline and location, unmatched by any other country or continent on that map. I reflected on its priceless resources as tea,rubber,coconut, and cinnamon, graphite and gems, and our climate, scenery, and arable fertile land with ready access to water, spread over a mere 65,000 kms and said to myself that it had to be a gift from above.

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