Category Archives: discrimination

The Conquista: A Book on Sri Lanka’s Portuguese Period

Avishka Mario Senewiratne

Fr SG Perera who translated the work of Queiros

In an island nation which has more than two thousand five hundred years of written history, no book has provided a more detailed account of any period of Sri Lanka’s history than the Temporal and Spiritual Conquest of Ceylon[1] authored by the Jesuit Father Fernaó de Queyroz.[2] This work covered the 150 years of Portuguese involvement in Ceylon. Ironically, this 17th century Jesuit Priest, had never visited the island of which he was researching and writing in the final two decades of life. This brief essay gives an overview of Queyroz the Historian, his cause and objective, the long and eventful delay of his work in reaching its readers, the controversy around it in the early 20th Century and its splendid translation by Fr. Simon Gregory Perera of the same Society.

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Lionel Rose: Aboriginal Boxer who united Australia

Will Swanton, in The Weekend Australian, 3-4 July 2021, where the title runs “Lionel Rose: battler who united Australia” 

Lionel Rose unified the nation more powerfully than Bradman, if more briefly — Bradman never had 250,000 cheering him through the streets.

Lionel Rose turns to embrace Fighting Harada … after he is pronounced the winner 

Lionel Rose met Paul Keating. Snipped him for a hundred. The Prime Minister reckoned he never carried any cash. Rose persisted. Did him slowly. Come on, mate. Can’t you spare a lousy hundred for a battler? Larrikinism abounded in Australia’s sporting stars of the 1960s and 1970s. Rose, Dawn Fraser, John Newcombe, larger than-life characters. It was the 1990s by the time Rose hit Keating where it hurt. The hip-pocket. Mischievousness was alive and kicking in Rose, and part of the reason for the request, but he needed the dough, too.

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False Claims of Aboriginality in Australia …. NOW a Problem

 Catherine Overington, in The Australian, 2 July 2021, where the title runs thus: “Harmful: warning to ‘race shifters’,” …. with underlining imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

In the US they are known as “race-shifters”; in Canada they are “Pretendians”; and in Australia, they are more commonly known as “box-tickers” – people who discover, or else simply claim an Indigenous or First ­Nations heritage for themselves.

Some do so because they want to adopt a more exotic profile; others because being “just white” doesn’t have quite the cache it once did, especially in academia. But the sheer number of ­people now laying claim to an ­Indigenous identity has begun to distort national statistics, at least according to Indigenous Australian academics and a group of international writers who took part in a lively roundtable on the topic of “race-shifting” at an anthropology conference in May.

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The Sri Lankan Tamil Hands within USA’s Programme for Sri Lanka

Daya Gamage

 US Official Robert Blake with Reps of Tamil Diaspora

EMAIL NOTE from Gamage, 1 July 2021:  Cooperation between some U.S. State Department officials and members of the Tamil Diaspora has been truly extraordinary. The U.S. Embassy in Colombo was very open in its reporting to Washington that the Tamil Diaspora in the U.S. had long “been a source of funding and hard-line support for the LTTE.”[1] At the same time, two months before the defeat of the LTTE, U.S. Ambassador to Colombo Robert Blake was recommending that the USG strengthen its official dialogue with several U.S.-based Diaspora organizations with which the embassy had established a rapport through “almost daily” email communications. In a cable on March 19, 2009, the embassy argued that:

“Recognizing the difficulty of engagement, Post recommends a redoubled effort to reach out to Tamil groups in the U.S. A number of organizations, including Tamils for Justice, Tamils for Obama, and PEARL, remain active politically, and opportunities to interact with them should be sought. . .” Ambassador would welcome opportunities, either in combination with senior State Department officials or just with Colombo diplomatic Mission staff, to meet and converse with the U.S.-based Diaspora through DVD.  Such meetings would allow U.S. Embassy to brief the groups on USG efforts to alleviate the humanitarian suffering of the civilian population in the safe zone and U.S. actions urging the government to offer credible political proposals for lasting peace.

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Lessons Derived from the Anti-Muslim Riots of 1915 …. For Today

Walter Wuthmann, in Daily News, 7 May 2018, where the title runs: “Revisiting 1915: Lessons from A Violent Past”

The recent mob attacks[ against Muslim families and property in Kandy is another sad chapter in Sri Lanka’s history of ethnic violence. Now, many are re-examining the past, looking for reasons for why this ugly strain of communalism will not subside, and for ways to fight it for the future. Because before Digana in March, and before Aluthgama in 2014, there was 1915.

  An old photo of the Mosqueat Castele Street inKandy where the initial spark for the “1915 riots”originated

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Ernest Macintyre’s SILINDU of BADDEGAMA

A play in five acts derived and adapted from LEONARD WOOLF’S novel THE VILLAGE IN THE JUNGLE.

 SILUNDU OF BADDEGAMA, by Ernest Macintyre, was first performed at the Erindale Theatre Canberra on 16 April 1994

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Basil Fernando’s Searing Protest against Violence in All Its Forms

Basil Fernando: A Short Abstract re the book Body, Mind, Soul, Society: An Autobiographical Account

 This book (176 pages) is an attempt to contribute towards an understanding of the impact of violence on human persons and the society. It is based on the direct experience of living and working in Sri Lanka and Cambodia. However, references are also made to several more developing countries in Asia with which I have been engaged in working after the experiences in Sri Lanka and Cambodia. The book is written from the perspective of a victim who is also an observer.

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The Wikipedia Tale of the Murugappans of Biloela … Today, Mid-2021

Murugappan family asylum claims  .https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murugappan_family_asylum_claims

Kokilapathmapriya Nadesalingam (Priya) and Nadesalingam Murugappan (Nades)[1] are two Sri Lankan Tamils seeking asylum in Australia. The couple married in Australia and have two Australian-born children. Until their detention by Australian Border Force in March 2018, the family was resident in the central Queensland town of Biloela, and consequently referred to as the Biloela family by some media.[2][3] The cause of the couple and their children has been supported by some residents of Biloela as well as asylum-seeker advocates.[4]

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High Noon in Mid-Air, August 2019: For the Murugappans of Biloela

ABC Account on 30 August 2019, with this title “Who are the Tamil family from Biloela and why are they being deported?” ……  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-30/who-are-tamil-family-from-biloela-why-are-they-being-deported/11463276

Last-minute injunctions have stalled the deportation of a Tamil family who have spent years fighting to stay in Australia. The plane carrying the Sri Lankan couple and their Australian-born daughters had already left the tarmac at Melbourne Airport when a judge granted a reprieve over the phone. Here’s what we know about the family’s case:

Dozens of people rushed to Melbourne Airport in a bid to stop the family being deported on Thursday night..   … Supplied: @HometoBilo)

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Meaningful Appreciations of Qadri Ismail from the University of Minnesota

From the Department of English, with this heading  “In Memoriam: Professor Qadri Ismail: Brilliant thinker, inspiring teacher, loyal friend”

With deep sorrow, we note the death of our esteemed colleague Professor Qadri Ismail, who died in May at home of natural causes. He was 59. A noted scholar of cultural studies, postcolonial literature, literary theory, and gender and sexuality, Ismail joined English at Minnesota as Assistant Professor in 1997 and served the department in numerous capacities, including Chair of the department’s first Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee and Director of Graduate Studies.

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