Category Archives: European history

Ethnicity after Edward Said: Post-Orientalist Failures in Comprehending the Kandyan Period of Lankan history

Michael Roberts ... presenting a refereed journal article from the year 2001** as a foundation for reflection and fresh pursuits because it addresses the work of Edward Said, a renowned social theorist-cum-political scientist.

Edward Said  Leslie Gunawardena

Abstract: Disenchantment with the excesses of nationalist and ethnic claims in recent decades has directed the analysis of ethnicity presented in academic writings in recent decades.  Ethnicity is seen as pernicious, “primordialist” and “essentialist.”  Other scholars as well as nationalist spokespersons are castigated for reading the present into the past.  This line of criticism has entered the scholarship on the Indian subcontinent and been extended to surveys of the literature on the pre-British and British periods of Sri Lankan history.   Yet these critics themselves are governed by the either/or epistemology of 20th century rationalism.  They are unable to decipher the worldview and the political ideology that organised the socio-political order of the Kingdom of Sihale, better known as the Kingdom of Kandy.  Their bias is “presentist” and “modernist.”  With little patience for historical puzzles, their readings of the pre-British period are simple-mindedFor the most part they rely on the severely flawed interpretation presented in Leslie Gunawardana’s “People of the Lion.”  This dependence marks their ignorance.

** presented in Ethnic Studies Report, Vol XIX/1, 2001 … ICES and kindly supplied by Iranga Silva

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People Inbetween and Professor K. M. de Silva’s Diehard History

Michael Roberts, in Daily News, 27 March 1991 … reproduced here with highlighting emphasis added

Professor K. M. de Silva’s review of the book People Inbetween Volume I in the Daily News on the 19 and 20 September, 1990 has come to my notice. My response here to seeks to raise issues regarding the way in which history can be written.

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Vignettes in Assessment of Angela Merkel, A Scientist become World Leader Par Excellence

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Australia’s Case for War against China is driven by Irrational Thinking

Fair Dinkum, an original essay –with highlighting being an imposition by The Editor, Thuppahi

In a recent article in The Australian, the Department of Home Affairs Secretary Michael Pezzullo put forward an argument advocating a war against China as necessary to defend “democracy” and “liberty, insinuating that China is a moral equivalent to Nazi Germany. The Australian government have sent a clear signal to the world that Australia – acting as a proxy for the United States – is now preparing for a major war against China – and it is very likely to be a Nuclear war.

ZHAO YANNIAN | Protest |1956 | Wood engraving on paper | 38 x 48cm ….. This work depicts a Chinese delegation visiting the Nazi-German consulate in Shanghai in 1933 to protest the killing of innocent people in Europe.

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Sustaining Memory as a Central Facet of Transitional Justice

Gehan Gunatilleke: “The Right to Memory: The Forgotten Facet of Transitional Justice* with highlighting emphasis imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting — Milan  Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (1979)

Introduction

Memory does not explicitly feature among the four pillars of transitional justice: truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence. Hence the precise role memory plays within a transitional justice process is often left to those negotiating the contours of the process. Memory is a vital ingredient in ascertaining the truth and in securing evidence to ensure justice for victims and survivors. Moreover, memorialisation of loss has a place in the symbolic initiatives owed to victims and survivors under the reparations pillar. Meanwhile, public memorials commemorating man-made tragedies contribute towards a society’s collective commitment to non-recurrence. Thus memory often becomes the lifeblood that preserves and binds the traditional pillars of transitional justice.

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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

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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

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Galle Fort and Cricket Grounds: Overviews and ‘Ancient’ Views

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Today’s Strongmen cast in the Shadow of Yesterday’s Fascists

Olivia B Waxman, in TIME, interviewing Ruth Ben-Giat …. https://time.com/5908244/strongman-fascism-history/

Critics of President Donald Trump have been calling him a fascist ever since he was running for President in 2016, and those characterizations continued in the aftermath of Election Day, as Trump repeated false claims of widespread voter fraud and baselessly accused President-elect Biden of trying to steal the election. “Donald Trump is a fascist,” Late Show host Stephen Colbert argued in an emotional monologue on Nov. 5.

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From Trump to Hitler …. and Populist Mahinda Rajapakse

Richard A. Koenigsberg

Abstract: All the nonsense about “diagnosing” Donald Trump: calling him a “malignant narcissist,” for example: The delusion that giving identifying or naming Trump’s pathology–somehow constitutes an “explanation.”

I understand 70 million people voted for Trump in the recent election. The question is WHAT WAS TRUMP SAYING AND/OR DOING THAT APPEALED TO SO MANY PEOPLE?

I’ve analyzed Hitler for years. There are things one might say about Hitler’s “personality.” However, the central question is: What was Hitler saying–that the German people found so appealing?

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