Category Archives: discrimination

Dujuan’s History Lesson for Non-Aboriginal Australians All

Vibeke Venema of BBC News, 6 May 2021, where the title reads “The ‘smart and cheeky’ Aboriginal boy teaching Australia a lesson”

A documentary about a 10-year-old Aboriginal boy’s experience in school, In My Blood It Runs, has reignited a debate about Australia’s failure to give indigenous children a good education and a fair start in life.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under accountability, atrocities, Australian culture, australian media, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, chauvinism, cultural transmission, discrimination, disparagement, economic processes, education, education policy, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, language policies, life stories, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, power politics, racist thinking, religiosity, self-reflexivity, social justice, taking the piss, teaching profession, trauma, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, working class conditions, world events & processes

Diluted Sinhalaness in the Crucible of Violence

Anoma Pieris** with an introductory note in response to my invitation that is pertinent & runs thus Hello Uncle Michael, Nice to hear from you. Afraid you reach me at a time when I am overwhelmed with work, in fact that has been the case throughout the pandemic. I dont know if I have the mental space to address your text but offer instead reflection on my understanding of the theme. Best, Anoma.”

 

My childhood sensibilities of being Sinhala were formed in two ways which were moral and monstrous: (1) First by being educated in a language stream with specific texts like the Guttila Kavya, Saddharma Ratnavaliya, Ummaga Jatakaya, which being religious texts, educated even a nominally Christian child in a missionary college into Sinhala Buddhist forms of cultural patrimony and morality. But because it was a Christian school the lines between Sinhala and Tamil classes were lightly drawn and we came together for sports activities, and after 1983 for many more subjects, partly due to the depletion of numbers but also a deliberate strategy initiated by our principal Sirancee Gunawardana, who was committed to empathetic coexistence. (2) The second way in which being Sinhala was made evident to me was through the 1983 pogrom when for a short time I volunteered in the camp set up in our school, seeing people like myself from my social background who had been displaced, dispossessed and fearful and witnessing and being made aware of Sinhala identification as behind monstrous acts. It also made me aware that I was part of a Christian minority and that a division was being drawn within the Sinhala community because of our greater empathy for Tamil friends.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, communal relations, discrimination, disparagement, economic processes, historical interpretation, human rights, language policies, life stories, meditations, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, power politics, riots and pogroms, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, tamil refugees, the imaginary and the real, trauma, unusual people, vengeance, violence of language, world events & processes, zealotry

A Chinese Tale: From Surviving the Titanic to Racial Hate in USA

Liu Mengqiu and Cai Xuejiao, in The Sixth Tone, 18 April 2021, where the title runs thus: The Six’ Recounts Tragic Tale of China’s Titanic Survivors,”

The story of how the survivors received a racist response in the U.S. is prompting viewers to reflect on China’s rise. During the editing of “Titanic,” the 1997 blockbuster about the ship’s fated maiden voyage in April 1912, a scene of a Chinese man laying on a door, floating in the ocean and awaiting rescue, was left on the cutting room floor.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, China and Chinese influences, discrimination, disparagement, historical interpretation, immigration, legal issues, life stories, meditations, politIcal discourse, racist thinking, self-reflexivity, the imaginary and the real, transport and communications, trauma, world events & processes

Reflections on Arjuna’s Review of the 1996 World Cup Triumph

Michael Roberts, courtesy of Colombo Telegraph …. https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/reflections-on-arjunas-review-of-the-1996-world-cup-triumph/

Arjuna Ranatunga’s timely recollections and assessments of Sri Lanka’s cricketing triumph at the Final of the 1996 World Cup at Lahore on March 1996 add up to a master class – balanced, wide-ranging, revelatory and judicious within the space limits of a news-item.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, atrocities, Australian culture, australian media, communal relations, cricket for amity, cultural transmission, discrimination, disparagement, ethnicity, fundamentalism, historical interpretation, life stories, LTTE, patriotism, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, security, self-reflexivity, Sri Lankan cricket, sri lankan society, trauma, unusual people, world events & processes

Tamara Kunanayakam in Dialogue with Faraz on the UNHRC Vote at Geneva, March 2021

VISIT http://www.independent.lk/un-geneva-how-will-it-impact-sri-lankans-tamara-kunanayakam-on-newslinesl%E2%80%8B-29th-march-2021/

UN GENEVA: HOW WILL IT IMPACT SRI LANKANS? – Tamara Kunanayakam on #NewslineSL – 29th March 2021

2,404 views
Streamed live on Mar 30, 2021

Continue reading

15 Comments

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, discrimination, disparagement, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, legal issues, life stories, patriotism, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, taking the piss, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, UN reports, war reportage, world events & processes, zealotry

The Western Bloc vs China in Clash of Giants: A Veteran Lankan Leftist Speaks

Lakshman Gunasekara**

“I am NOT interested in Western anti-Chinese conspiracies, having been familiar with them all my Left activist life since 1974. My interest is (as a good Communist) in the internal problems faced within China and grappled with by the Communist regime there – including the Han ethnocentrism, the anti-Uighur AND anti-Tibetan racism, the huge social problems faced by the intricately managed, partial transition to the capitalist market and, by the new class relations that the CCP must manage with the rise of private capital. So, I repeat my request that if you do come across such studies, please do point me to them. Not this stuff which is as old as the Cold War.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, centre-periphery relations, China and Chinese influences, communal relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, discrimination, economic processes, foreign policy, governance, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, Left politics, military expenditure, military strategy, modernity & modernization, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, press freedom, security, self-reflexivity, unusual people, world events & processes

A Critical American Reading of Lord Torrington’s Colonial Administration in 1851

Anonymous Author The English in Ceylon” … in The United States Magazine and Democratic Review, Vol. XXVIII, No. CLV,  1851 May, pp. 409-12.

From https://www.alamy.com/lord-torrington-british-colonial-administrator-and-courtier-1851-engraving-image60158321.html

BRITISH policy, or that system which the British Government has for ages systematically pursued, and by which it has acquired its vast colonial empire, is hut very imperfectly understood by the mass of the American people. Deriving our knowledge of English affairs, for the most part, from English sources, we are too apt to he dazzled by the contemplation of an empire upon which the sun never sets, and to ascribe to Divine destiny, that which, in reality, is the result of a system, more fiendish, and more detestable, because more extending and more extended in its operation, than that of Machiavelli. The conquests of old Rome were attended, at least, with glory; and, in modern times, those of our own country were laden with fruits, not alone of glory and renown to the conquerors, but better far, of freedom, of happiness, and of civilization to the conquered. England alone, of all the nations, ancient or modern, is the only one whose sword, while entwined with wreaths of cypress for the vanquished, has failed to reap one pure laurel to deck the victors brow. Survey her colonial empire; glance your eye athwart those boundless plains made fruitful by the young embraces of the god of day and point, if you can, to one rood of territory, whose acquisition was not conceived in selfishness and iniquity, and consummated in treachery, in perfidy and fraud. As the subject, however, of England’s colonial empire is one which could not properly be treated within the limits of a review article, we shall confine ourselves, for the present, to a condensed expose of certain occurrences of which the island of Ceylon has recently been the theatre and which have startled the propriety even of that most fastidious assembly, the British House of Commons.

Continue reading

8 Comments

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, British colonialism, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, discrimination, economic processes, governance, historical interpretation, insurrections, island economy, land policies, life stories, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, unusual people, world events & processes

Remembrance: Marking 21/4 Jihadist Zealotry in Sri Lanka

Pictures by Raymond Aponsu and Sulochana Gamage

Churches observed Black Sunday yesterday in protest over the terror attacks on 2019 Easter Sunday, calling on the government to deliver justice by prosecuting those responsible for the attacks. Protestors led by the two Colombo Auxiliary Bishops Rt.Rev. Anthony Jayakody and Rt.Rev.Maxwell Silva held placards pleading for justice in Negombo in front of the Katuwapitiya Church which was bombed on April 20, 2019 while others led by Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith gathered in front of the Kochchikade St. Anthony’s Church yesterday.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, atrocities, cultural transmission, discrimination, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, jihad, life stories, Middle Eastern Politics, photography, politIcal discourse, power politics, religiosity, self-reflexivity, social justice, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, trauma, violence of language, world events & processes, zealotry

Lord Naseby targets Adele Balasingham …. and Lord Tariq Ahmad

Lord Michael Naseby, in Island, 5 March 2021, where the title is “Lord Naseby asks why Adele not prosecuted in UK for child recruitment”

Lord Naseby President of the UK all party British-Sri Lanka Parliamentary group, has questioned the failure on the part of the UK to prosecute senior LTTE leader Adela Balasingham, wife of the outfit’s late theoretician Anton Balasingham. Lord Naseby said that Adele, who had been involved with the LTTE for several decades, was responsible for recruitment and deployment of child soldiers.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, atrocities, centre-periphery relations, discrimination, Eelam, historical interpretation, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, politIcal discourse, prabhakaran, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, social justice, sri lankan society, Tamil Tiger fighters, war crimes, women in ethnic conflcits

Economic Warriors welcomed by Bio-Warriors …. Today

Priya Cooray

Notwithstanding the fact that it could have been done much earlier, it is still commendable on the part of the Government of Sri Lanka to recently approve a limited number (50) of overseas workers to return in every Srilankan Airlines Cargo flight. Sri Lankan Foreign Missions and the Expatriate Associations in the Middle Eastern countries had relentlessly pursued the Government for approval. Even though it is only for those who pay to be quarantined in hotels, it significantly reduces the pressure on queued up demand to facilitate special repatriation flights.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, coronavirus, discrimination, economic processes, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, medical puzzles, meditations, politIcal discourse, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, taking the piss, trauma, travelogue, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes