Rajesh Venugopal, … presenting here the second chapter in his bookNationalism, Development and the Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka, Cambridge University Press, 2018,…. 78-1-108-42879 8 hdback
Sinhala nationalism is the dominant form of political consciousness in contemporary Sri Lanka. As what might easily be characterised as an illiberal ‘ethnic’ nationalism of the east rather than the western ‘civic’ ideal, it is also widely identified as a serious challenge to the functioning of liberal democratic institutions, and to multi-ethnic coexistence. Sinhala nationalism features as a central element in the literature on contemporary Sri Lankan politics, and in particular, on the ethnic conflict. Understanding Sinhala nationalism is thus of critical significance and this imperative has inspired an extensive and sophisticated literature.
Kumari Jayawardena:“Nobodies to Somebodies: The Rise of the Colonial Bourgeoisie in Sri Lanka” ….. Paperback, 412 pages …………Published February 1st 2003 by Zed Books (first published February
Synopsis: The origins and growth of the bourgeoisie in Sri Lanka during British rule are important aspects of the country’s modern history. Here, Kumari Jayawardena traces the evolution of the bourgeoisie from a feudal society and mercantilist economy, to the age of plantations. She assigns primacy to class over caste, and details the rise of the new-rich Nobodies of many castes, ethnicities and religions into the ranks of the Somebodies. She discusses the links between capital accumulation, religious revivalism, ethnic identity and political movements, and highlights the obsession of the bourgeoisie with land acquisition and social status.
As we approach the end of the year, there is much to look back on and reflect upon. I am glad to share with you some of the highlights of the recent month in this Verité Bulletin.
We have long felt that democracy is not meaningful when citizens are not critically cognizant of the information in relation to public finance. This is why Verité Research strategically expanded its work on Public Finance. The platform that we built, PublicFinance.lk, is probably the pre-eminent locus for information and analysis on the state of Sri Lanka’s public finance.
Very sorry to hear of Sam’s demise. haven’t seen him much in the past several years, but Sam and Vidya were very key to my education about Sri Lanka and, in addition to inputs from C.R. and Kingsley, to the early success of the ISLE Program. We managed to bring Sam and Vidya to Swarthmore College for a year circa 1990 or so, and from then and there they creatively parlayed their experience to move permanently to the US, though Sam stayed with ICES periodically for many years and encouraged our cooperative presence with that venerable institution.
It has been over a decade since the end of Sri Lanka’s protracted conflict, but what we have today is ‘negative peace’ – which is the absence of overt violence. Limited understanding of Sri Lanka’s history, politics, democracy, ambition, intent, and the refusal to acknowledge acts of intolerance and discrimination that destroyed lives and led to bloodshed makes it increasingly difficult to avoid the recurrence of violence and we risk repeating the same mistakes. Today, we are confronted with choices that could lead to positive peace or a resumption of cycles of violence. Even now, the difficulties of dealing with COVID-19 and the resulting economic fallout could lead to social unrest that may morph into inter-communal violence if manipulated. Continue reading →
Waruni Kumarasinghe & Dinithi Dharmapala, from the Strategic Communications Unit, LKIIRSS, … whose preferred title i “Amnesty International Report on Sri Lanka: Far from the Truth”
Amnesty International’s latest report on Sri Lanka, titled “From Burning Houses to Burning Bodies: Anti-Muslim Violence, Discrimination and Harassment in Sri Lanka” (October 2021) levels very serious accusations against this country. The overall argument of the report is that Muslims in Sri Lanka are an oppressed minority subjected to state-sponsored violence and systematic discrimination. The argument, as will be explained in a moment, is deeply flawed.
Rajiva Wijesinha’s New Bookentitled“JR Jayewardene’s Racism, Cold War Posturing and the Indian Debacle “
This account of JR Jayewardene’s political life is a unique departure in Sri Lanka, for we have no tradition of analytical biography. This book tries to fill the void, by analysis of the first Executive President of Sri Lanka who ignored all principles in creating a constitution designed to perpetuate his power. The corrosive effect of ad hoc amendments, including to the electoral system, has not been thoroughly examined, but should be in view of the increasingly hopeless situation in which this country finds itself.
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.
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
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.