Neloufer De Mel, in History Today, Vol 72/8, September 2022, where the title reads “Sri Lanka’s Deep Wounds” **
On 31 March 2022 a public protest occurred in the vicinity of the home of the Sri Lankan president Gotabhaya Rajapakse. The protest marked frustration at the shortages of essential commodities (gas, medicines, fuel) and the gruelling ten-to-13-hour power cuts imposed by a cash-strapped government with insufficient dollars to pay for imported fuel. The protestors also sought answers as to why certain neighbourhoods (such as Mirihana, where the president lived) continued to enjoy uninterrupted power.
Item in Colombo Telegraph, 19 August 2022, where the title is as follows … “Saying no to Authoritarian Governance”
We the undersigned individuals from academia, the professions, the corporate sector, the clergy, and civil society organisations, join all those citizens and groups in condemning the abduction, arrest, detention without due process, and other acts of abusive Presidential and State authority committed against persons who participated in the Aragalaya Peoples’ Movement. We condemn the acts of violence that occurred during this time.However, we reject the narrative that the Aragalaya was responsible for the violence and that it has been transformed into a “fascist,” “anarchist,” “terrorist,” group, that has destroyed State and private property, and is determined to destabilise our country.
Fair Dinkum, with the highlighting being her/his emphasis not The Editor’s
Captain Zhang Hogwang of China’s research and survey vessel, the Yuan Wang 5, waves after disembarking from the ship upon arrival at Hambantota port on August 16, 2022. Photo: VCG
The docking of the Chinese research vessel Yuan Wang 5 at Hambantota port was a momentous occasion in the history of Sri Lanka, having gained global attention like it was the first moon landing. All of this attention is due to the unnecessary meddling into Sri Lanka’s internal affairs by India and the United States.
Uditha Devapriya, inThe Journal of Indo-Pacific Affairs, August 2022, a refereed article with this title “The Crisis in Sri Lanka: Economic and Political Dimensions”
This article seeks to chart the trajectory of the Sri Lankan protests that began in early March. The first section will examine the causes of the crisis and how the government contributed to it. Economists, policy makers, and commentators cite different reasons for the economic crisis. This article classifies these reasons under two headings: orthodox and heterodox. The orthodox camp generally criticizes the government’s fiscal and monetary policies, including a series of tax cuts in 2019. The heterodox camp traces the crisis to longer-term structural causes, like Sri Lanka’s failure to industrialize and to diversify into manufacturing. The article concludes that we cannot view these two sets of causes in isolation from each other, and that whatever side one takes, we must consider the political dimensions of the crisis as well.
Most people that I know, came to Galle Face on a weekend, waved the National Flag and shouted a few catchy slogans to cleanse their souls, took selfies and went home for a warm shower, had dinner and went to sleep, thinking that they had taken part in some heroic and historic act of Aragalaya.
Item in The Island, 1 August 2022, where the title runs thus “Dons Condemn Suppression of Aragalaya”
“Tyrannical governments and illegitimate leaders throughout history have led their societies to destruction”
The Federation of University Teachers (FUTA) says that the Wickremasinghe-Rajapaksa government lacks any legitimacy and it should stop taking cover behind the Constitution.In a statement condemning what it termed as “repression of aragalaya activists by the current regime” the university teachers have said that “the tyrannical governments and illegitimate leaders throughout history have led their societies to destruction.”
Laleen Jayamanne, in The Island, 20 & 27 July 2022 where the title runs thus: “Teargas cinema and Rukmani Devi”
“I have never found anything to excite the people in quite the way this language issue does”–– Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike to a journalist.
If true, this observation attributed to Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike, is quite chilling in its cynicism. ‘Excitement’ is a political emotion here and SWRD appears to take a distance from it, observing somewhat clinically, how ‘this language issue’ stirs up ‘the people’. Politicians are especially crafty, cunning, when they know how to excite people with ideas that they themselves may or may not truly believe in.
A protester covering the eyes of the Bandaranaike statue at Galle Face
Ranil Wickremesinghe is no longer president in an acting capacity. He is the president, period. Did someone say ‘I don’t know whether to laugh or cry?’ I am pretty sure someone did. Did someone say, ’who wudda thunk?’ Well, if two or three years ago, if anyone suggested that in July 2023 Ranil Wickremesinghe would be the president of this country, there would have been laughter and tears, if at all, would have been of mirth.
My Thanks to Joe Paiva in Adelaide for this important reference to Sanga;s recent appeal …. one that is in step with the bold move he made in 2011 with his wife Yehali when they chose to visit st. Patrick’s College in what was a reconciliatory political gesture.
Perchance as it happens today, I was listening to the commentaries on the ODI match between England and South Africa taking place at Chester le-Street yesterday -where one of the illustrious batch of commentators was Kumar Sangakkara.
Yesterday we took part in the aragalaya. It was good. Now there is talk about a caretaker government. This is something new to the people & us.
First I must say that we got together irrespective of ethnic differences. Sinhalese, Muslims, Tamils were together as Sri Lankans. In future no one can act differently. I am saying this to those actors. They should listen carefully. There is a set of actors, like the yellow group. There is another set called artistes (kalaakaruwo). There is a fellow wearing a sheet (?) There are others like Bhatiya & Santush. Are they not ashamed? Where were they yesterday. Then there is Iraj. Dont come wearing a cloth. Don’t come this way for shows. You all have been rejected,
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.