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 →
Chandre Dharmawardana,writing from Canada (see below)
Sri Lanka is heading towards an agricultural disaster similar to that created by Stalin who was guided by a so-called “Dialectical Materialist” version of agricultural science announced by Lysenko, a “party scientist”. Sri Lanka’s leaders also have ideologues who have various scientific and medical backgrounds and are ready to present “justifications” for the push for 100% organic agriculture. Here we trace this pseudo-science movement back to some of its roots and discuss some of the pseudo-science that is being presented as “science”.
Dr. Jayasumana and Dr. Sanath Gunatilleke confronting a farmer in an unequal discussion.
Dr. Sarath Rajapatirana, in The Island, 28 August 2021, with this title “Appreciation Professor Anton Joseph Weeramunda”
I write this appreciation as one who has been Joe’s classmate at St. Joseph’s, roommate at Marcus Fernando Hall at the University of Peradeniya, and a life-long friend. Joe was an exceptional human being who was quiet, modest, smart, and kind to all and sundry to a fault. His family and friends will miss him terribly. All the friends that I contacted to let them know about Joe’s passing away have written back expressing their profound sorrow to learn about his passing. He was a genuine person that all of us came to admire, like, and be devoted to.
When I set up the THUPPAHI WEBSITE in late 2009 I imprinted two project statements: one entitled “WHY THUPPAHI”; the other bearing the heading ‘SINHALA MINDSET.” Readers can access these two items via the sub-headings within the website – so I will not reiterate the latter here.
This set of project statements was crafted after the LTTE-led drive to create an independent SL Tamil nation state had been defeated over the course of Eelam War IV. I had been in Colombo from April-mid-June 2009, so I had vivid experiences of the last stages of this ‘encounter’ and the triumphant sentiments expressed in the Colombo area when the war was won. More vitally, I had been commissioned by Muralidhar Reddy, the correspondent from the Hindu newspaper chain based in Colombo to present analytic essays for their magazine FRONTLINE.
Abstract: This paper details the concept of economic development to jump start the rural economy and alleviate poverty beyond COVID 19.The strategy is to combine the presently available infrastructure and administrative facilities and bring a new dimension of human motivation factors, as well as, to adding new resources to strength the weak areas and those that are non-existent presently.
Michael Roberts, responding in 1985 to a Review Essay by Susan Bayly of Cambridge University on his book on Caste Conflcist and Elite Formation, CUP 1982
Susan Bayly** has done me the honour of reviewing the book on Caste Conflict and Elite Formation: The Rise of a Karava Elite in Sri Lanka, 1500-1931at considerable length.’ Her essay is appropriately entitled ‘The History of Caste in South Asia’. This title provides a clue to the interpretative pathways which have led her systematically to misunderstand the arguments within the book. No less problematical is her implicit belief in the possibility of constructing a composite picture of the caste system qua system on the basis of empirical data drawn from different regions, regions as widely different as Sri Lanka, southern India and western India. Let me elaborate this charge, and in doing so reiterate the arguments which I presented.
Chēna is an anglicized rendition of the Sinhala term hēna. Chēna cultivation is widely regarded as being equivalent to ‘shifting cultivation’ which is described as a form of agriculture engaged in by people living in sparsely populated areas with easy access to scrubland or forest that could be used as venues for rainfed farming which may, depending on circumstances, constitute their only, main, or supplementary source of livelihood. In conventional perceptions, moreover, ‘shifting cultivation’ is a subsistence-oriented economic activity of poverty-stricken peasant communities. It should, however, be noted that in most parts of Sri Lanka, the term hēna connotes a plot of land devoted to rainfed cropping, regardless of whether the farming practices pursued on the plot involves “slash-and-burn” and/or “land rotation”.
Question-Mark Author, deploying this title“Leonard Woolf: He penned his love for Sri Lanka in ‘Village in the Jungle’,”
Leonard Woolf who served as a colonial Assistant Government Agent in Hambantota was the author of the renowned novel Village in the Jungle. During his tenure as the Assistant Government Agent of the Hambantota District from 1908 to 1911, Woolf visited villages and jungles in Hambantota on his bicycle or a pony’s back. He conducted his inspections under the shade of massive trees. He was very much attached and devoted to his job.
This rare document, a printed booklet of 32 pages arising in conjunction with the proceedings of the “Land Commission” set up by the Legislative Council of Ceylon,** has been scanned in a manner which does not permit conversion into a Word-File document. Hence it is tacked on here as a pdf-style attachment.
At independence we had a stable democracy, a sound economy, and an effective public service and external assets equal to 100 percent of annual import value. We were second to Japan on almost all social indicators and above South Korea as late as in the mid-sixties. Singapore’s per capita income was just a little bit higher than Sri Lanka at that time. It is now over USD 64,000 whereas ours is USD 3852. The immediate looming question is why Sri Lanka with better physical resources failed to advance like Singapore.
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.