Category Archives: Indian Ocean politics

Debating Modern Ceylon History with Daggers Drawn: Roberts vs De Silva, 1986-91

Two Peradeniya colleagues from yesteryear, Professor Kingsley de Silva and Michael Roberts, took sharply different positions on facets of the island history in British colonial and post-1948 times in hardhitting essays in local journals and newspapers in the period 1986 to 1991. The series began with Michael Roberts’s article-length review of KM De Silva:  Managing Ethnic Tensions in Multi-Ethnic Societies: Sri Lanka, 1880-1985  (Lanham, University Press of America) ….. and continued with KM De Silva’s hard-hitting review of the book, People Inbetween (Colombo, Sarvodaya, 1989) where Roberts was the principal author in a triumvirate that included Percy-Colin-Thome and Ismeth Raheem.

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A Sturdy Voice That We Miss: Rajeewa Jayaweera on India’s Looming Politics

Dr, D. Chandraratna in The Island, 11 June 2021, where the title reads An Appreciation: Rajeewa Jayaweera: A Void Hard to fill” …. with highlighting imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

On 11 June, 2020, when we heard the distressing news of Rajeewa Jayaweera’s untimely death, I wrote an appreciation from afar that he was a public intellectual who had contributed immensely to public debate, mostly on our relations with India and to a lesser extent with the Western countries. Coming from a fortunate background, and immersed in the diplomatic life of his father he took a scholarly interest in foreign affairs. Few in Sri Lanka has contributed so much to the subject recently as much as Rajeewa, to bring into public discussion our relations with the world community. His accounts were a  ‘learned and incisive appraisal of events’ particularly during the turbulent times of the threat posed by separatism. In this article on the first death anniversary I wish to justify my assertion about Rajeewa by way of an appreciation with a difference.

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Political Crisis and Ethnic Conflicts in Sri Lanka: A Rejoinder to Michael Roberts

K. M. de Silva, being an article published in the Ethnic Studies  Report, Vol. 6/1, January 1988 …. a riposte to a Review of his book Managing Ethnic Tensions in Multi-Ethnic Societies: Sri Lanka, 1880-1985, (1985)

                                          I 

I have long believed that the author of a book under review should not bother to write replies to reviewers however perverse he believes the latter to be. After all he has had his say at greater length than the reviewer. My present departure from this practice, and the response I write to Michael Roberts’s review of my book Managing Ethnic Tensions in Multi-Ethnic Societies: Sri Lanka 1880-1985 stems from two considerations. Invited to write a short review (1,500 words or so) in the style of the present journal Michael Roberts writes a review essay of 20,000 words. It has been reduced to about 2/3rds its length for our journal but it is still the longest review we have published. Secondly, he proceeds to write two reviews of the same book, one for this journal, and one for another [see p. 61 above, Michael Roberts 1987 (a)]

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An US Combat Cameraman’s Film Journal of Ceylon in 1944-45

Ettoro Porecca: “A Soldier’s Film Journal of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) 1944-1945″ (HD) ……..Jun 17, 2016

  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6t9WPtqFciM .... Film and Narration by Ettore Porreca (1920-2013) 6,721 views

Ettore Porreca was a United States Army combat cameraman in World War II. In 1944 he was attached to the British army, and he was sent to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) for a few months in the winter of 1944-1945. ….

Ettore aged 92 …. https://buffalonews.com/news/local/ettore-c-porreca-92-noted-wedding-photographer/article_37a79fbd-cc2e-56b0-87ad-deb7948867f3.html

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Ceylonese in the Indian Independence League in Malaysia during World War II

Kumar Kirinde, drawing largely on work by PK Balachandran, in ana rticle he has titled as “fighting for Freedom from the British in the 1940s: …,”

Introduction: When the Japanese occupied Malaya and Singapore in 1942, a large number of Indians joined the Indian Independence League (IIL) and the Indian National Army (INA) headed by Subhas Chandra Bose*, the Indian freedom fighter who was striving to free India from the British, in collaboration with the Japanese armed forces.

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The Hegemony of Colombo from Way Back

Michael Roberts

After discovering the Lorenz letters in the library of the Royal Asiatic Society in the 1980s I worked on the history of the island in the ninetenth cenury-and-thereafter with aid from Percy Colin-Thome and Ismeth Raheem in a book which apeared as People Inbetween under the imprint of Sarvodaya Book Publishing Services in 1989. One of its central themes is embodied in a chapter entitled “Colonial Transitions: The Development of Colombo’s Hegemonic Power.”

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  Subhas Chandra Bose: Indian Nationalist with Fascist Links

Wikipedia Account distilled & re-shaped by Capt. Kumar Kirinde, with this title: “Subhas Chandra Bose: Leader of the Indian Independence League (IIL) and Indian National Army (INA)” …..         https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subhas_Chandra_Bos

      Subhas Chandra Bose (January 1897–18 August 1945) was an Indian nationalist whose defiant patriotism made him a hero in India, but whose attempts during World War II to rid India of British rule with the help of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan left a troubled legacy.

Bose meets Adolf Hitler

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Biden and USA stray into Untenable Territory

Jean-Pierre Page, in New Cold War, 27 April 2021, where the ttile runs thus: “The Longer War and Sleepy Joe in Wonderland,”

The Biden Administration appears to be implementing most of the recommendations in the Atlantic Council’s  Longer Telegram: Toward a new American China strategyan important strategic document about US policy towards China published in January 2021.

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The Hindu’s Reading of the Gota-Wei Talks

Meera Srinivasan, in The Hindu, 29 April 2021, where the title reads thus: “Sri Lanka follows an independent foreign policy, will never bend to outside pressures, Chinese media quoted Mr. Rajapaksa”

Sri Lanka has prioritised developing relations with China and “firmly supports” China’s positions on issues concerning its core interests, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa told Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defence Wei Fenghe, according to Chinese state media.

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Sri Lanka between the Dragon and the Eagle

 

Fair Dikum answers CENTRAL ISSUES facing Sri Lanka++

Will SL become a battle – turf for Rising Power China and Ruling Power America? 
There is no reason why this should occur.  The US is causing problems by meddling as it tries to sabotage China’s relations with all countries for its own economic advantage. If the SL government are wise, they can keep out of it, remain neutral, and prosper in the way Singapore manages it. Singapore is a good case study for how to manage US-China rivalry.  They are strong enough to repel  US pressure.

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