Category Archives: discrimination

Chandre and Gus on Western Power High Jinks in Geneva and Worldwide

ONE: A Memo from Chandre Dharmawardana in Canada,  c. 24 February 2021,[i]

    Michael, I am afraid there are no niceties in war. War is brutal as is the detritus of war. Unlike in a conventional war where the behaviours of troops are defined by the ‘Geneva Convention,’ it is not applicable in a civil insurrection especially one that attacks a legitimately elected democratic government. No country is bound to tolerate a secessionist group especially one that utilises terror to achieve its ends. History is replete with examples of civil wars that were prompted by secession. The most glaring example is the United States civil war. We also have an example from Vietnam and currently ongoing is the Korean debacle.

Tiger dead collected by the SL Army  …. and Tamil civlians incl Tigers in civies leaving the final battle arena east  of Nandhikadal Lagoon see Roberts, Tamil Person & State. Pictorial, Colombo, 2014 for details and more Pix

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, asylum-seekers, atrocities, authoritarian regimes, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, discrimination, disparagement, doctoring evidence, economic processes, ethnicity, foreign policy, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, Indian Ocean politics, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, patriotism, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, propaganda, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, tamil refugees, terrorism, trauma, truth as casualty of war, UN reports, vengeance, war reportage, world events & processes

About the Kāberi in Colonial Ceilao and the Fort of Galle

Michael Roberts

Writing in the Daily News in March 2019 and deploying the affirmation of a South African diplomat, Jeevan Thiagarajah has lamented the alleged fact that the VOC Black African used slave labour to build the imposing Fort of Galle – even asserting that “an estimated 15,000 Africans brought from Portuguese and Dutch colonies” worked on this project.[1] Thiagarajah is a political scientist and not a historian. His essay is clearly riding on the back of the movement “Black Lives Matter.” But in this populist move to earn kudos (as I speculate), he displays abysmal historical background and has failed to consult the many personnel next door to him in Colombo who would have served up solid data on the topic – notably Ashley De Vos (who has subsequently, albeit briefly, questioned Jeevan’s claim).

The Fort of Galle in the late 19th century

Storming of Galle fort in 1640

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under ancient civilisations, authoritarian regimes, British imperialism, caste issues, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, discrimination, disparagement, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, Kandyan kingdom, landscape wondrous, life stories, military strategy, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, working class conditions, world events & processes

Vaccination against Covid: Ridiculous Priorities, Confusions … Et Cetera. Lankavey Neydha!

Sanjeewa Jayaweera, whose preferred title is “How Did MPs jump the Vaccine Queue?” …. Note that highlighting is the work of the naughty Thuppahi Editor

 mey Raja Kavudha?

It was so typical! None were too surprised when it was announced in the media that the 225 Members of Parliament (MP’s) were to be vaccinated against Covid19 ahead of many others whose exposure to the virus was significantly higher. A photograph of a government minister vaccinated at the Army Hospital was published in the media before this announcement. A few erstwhile cabinet colleagues justified this by saying the Minister had twice served quarantine time due to some of his close contacts being infected with Covid19. The presumption is that the Minister was unable to carry out his duties whilst being in quarantine?

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, centre-periphery relations, coronavirus, discrimination, disparagement, governance, life stories, performance, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, social justice, sri lankan society, trauma, unusual people, world events & processes

Ethnic Categories in Sri Lanka: Issues

Chandre Dharmawardana — in a response directed at Michael Roberts’s Comment**

When we make a blood test, we don’t specify all the items found in blood. Depending on the objective, we may list sugar, triglycerides, Heavy cholesterol and light cholesterol. If our objectives were different, we may list ALT, ALP, AST, bilirubin, albumin and total protein. So, what one lists is based on the purpose.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, cultural transmission, discrimination, disparagement, education, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, life stories, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, taking the piss, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, world events & processes

Split in Black Lives Matter Protest Movement?

VISIT https://leftoutmag.com/2021/02/04/breaking/

Today Black Lives Matter Inland Empire announced its departure from the Black Lives Matter Global Network, highlighting several grievances, and perhaps, calling attention to the need for movement leaders and members of movement organizations to have broader conversations of transparency, Collective organizing and accountability. The following is a statement from Black Lives Matter Inland Empire.

Ethiopia Berta, an activist and educator who has been fighting for a change for many years, marches in Washington, D.C., on June 6. Last year she worked to keep Democracy Prep Public Charter School in southeast Washington, D.C., from closing…. Pix by Dee Dwyer

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, communal relations, cultural transmission, discrimination, disparagement, ethnicity, European history, heritage, historical interpretation, human rights, landscape wondrous, life stories, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, violence of language, world events & processes

Joe Hoad’s Paintings in Celebration of Sri Lanka’s World Cup Triumph 1996

Michael Roberts

One day in 1996 our doorbell rang at Woodlark Grove in the suburb of Glenalta in Adelaide . …. And there was Joe Hoad with two paintings he had composed in celebration of Sri Lanka’s triumph at the World Cup earlier in the year. These products had not been commissioned. They were self-inspired and emanated from his profound joy at the manner in which a little island nation – one that was not unlike his own birthplace of Barbados – had tamed a powerful cricketing force that was a bullyboy in the cricketing politics of the 1990s.

This photograph taken there and then in our back garden marks the moment of the gifting ….. appropriately within an Australian backdrop of the bushfire danger kind. But, unlike that landscape, the paintings are unique. To my mind they are heirlooms. In conjunction with Verite Research and Shamara Wettimuny, I have approached the National Library Services Board in Colombo with the suggestion that they should be placed within its portals in public display with a suitable plaque.[1]

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under australian media, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, cricket for amity, cultural transmission, discrimination, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, paintings, patriotism, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, Sri Lankan cricket, sri lankan society, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes

Suri Ratnapala enters Debate on the Control of FB and Other Such ‘Engines’

Suri Ratnapala, in The Australian, 2 February 2021, where the title reads thus “Proof of life on social media to screen out evils” …. with highlighting emphahsis imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

The suspension of Donald Trump’s accounts by Twitter and Facebook and the shutdown of Parler by Amazon following the events of January 6 heighten concerns about the power of the Big Tech firms to censor political information and debate.

First, a full disclosure. I am a critic of Trump of a classical liberal disposition. I am a social network recluse with only an email account. I believe the silencing of Trump by Facebook and Twitter may have served the immediate public interest but has troubling consequences for liberal democratic government.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, atrocities, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, discrimination, disparagement, economic processes, education policy, governance, human rights, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, press freedom, self-reflexivity, tolerance, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, world events & processes

Muslim-Sinhala Relations in Kandy: An Ethnographic Note

Gerald Peiris in Kandy, in Email Note dated 25th January 2021:**

“Yes, Michael, ……………… I agree. There is a lot of overlap between what I have been trying to convey [in public and/or govt forums] and what young Shukra is supposed to have said (though I didn’t see her perform).

You are probably aware that downtown Kandy has a fairly large Muslim presence. I got to know some of them in the course of my fieldwork for ‘Planning for the Future of Kandy’ (2019). They were very cordial and cooperative, and fluent in Sinhala. A few of them are grandchildren (now in middle age) of my contemporaries at Kingswood in the ‘50s. Their clientele consists almost entirely of Sinhalese.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, atrocities, centre-periphery relations, citizen journalism, communal relations, discrimination, economic processes, ethnicity, fundamentalism, historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, island economy, life stories, Muslims in Lanka, politIcal discourse, power politics, racist thinking, religiosity, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, working class conditions, world events & processes

The Dutch Burghers in Sri Lanka Today

Prabath De Silva, in Daily Mirror, 21 January 2021, with this title “The Dutch Burghers in Sri Lanka”

 “We are a vanishing tribe in Sri Lanka. The first paternal ancestor of my father’s family who arrived in Sri Lanka in 1774 was Pieter Scharenguivel. He was a Quarter Master in the service of the United Dutch East India Company which ruled the maritime provinces of Sri Lanka from the middle of the 17th century to 1796. The Dutch Burgher identity and consciousness within the family I grew up in was extremely significant. It played a role  in the conversations, traditions, customs, food, perceptions and social interactions. During the British colonial rule, our community produced eminent surgeons, doctors, legal luminaries, judges, engineers, sportsmen, musicians , historians and artists etc.” , said Anne-Marie Scharenguivel (65), a management accountant and a member of Sri Lanka’s tiny  Dutch Burgher community of less than 30000 people.

Mrs. Anne-Marie Scharenguivel

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, British colonialism, communal relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, discrimination, economic processes, ethnicity, European history, heritage, historical interpretation, immigration, island economy, landscape wondrous, language policies, life stories, literary achievements, patriotism, plural society, politIcal discourse, Portuguese in Indian Ocean, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, travelogue, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

A Joust between a Tamil Nationalist and a Thuppahi Mongrel

Michael Roberts, in Sri Lanka Guardian, 12 September 2011
 Early in September [2011] I circulated an item describing efforts mounted by private enterprise in cooperation with the Sri Lankan state (military as well as government agents) to alleviate the life world of Tamil people being re-settled in the northern Vanni – a continuation of efforts in the IDP camps at Menik Farm in 2009 – through the establishment of psycho-social units working on the mental health of children in particular. Clearly, this note and its documents were part of the empirical terrain relevant to the propaganda war raging since early 2009.
My focus was on the ideologies permeating the thinking of Sinhala-speaking people over the centuries. It is my speculation that similar deep structures permeate the thinking of Tamil-speaking people in Sri Lanka and India; and for that matter, mutatis mutandis, most of the people in India. It will call for a brave Tamil scholar to investigate and disclose this phenomenon today.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, chauvinism, communal relations, cultural transmission, discrimination, disparagement, economic processes, education, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, language policies, life stories, LTTE, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil migration, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, violence of language, world events & processes