Category Archives: language policies

Debating Human Rights in Warring Contexts

Chandre Dharmawardana, 30 March 2021, in Email Memo entitledAlleged Human Rights Abuses of the Sri Lankan Army” ………..  a memo commenting on responses to his previous Essay[i] … with highlighting imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

Ramesh Somasundaram, (commenting on the Thuppahi website) is absolutely right in saying “that the Sri Lankan governments and the Sri Lankan military personal have been correctly accused of human rights abuses. “Sri Lankan Soldiers have been accused of grave crimes, and they should be investigated and brought to trial. Many of the soldiers were simply carrying out orders, and so the high command must bear the final responsibility except in cases where the soldiers exceeded their acts as soldiers and acted even more inhumanely than needed.

Situation Map 2 February 2009an excellent work by, I think?, the Daily Mirror

Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, atrocities, authoritarian regimes, centre-periphery relations, chauvinism, communal relations, conspiracies, economic processes, education, ethnicity, Fascism, fundamentalism, governance, historical interpretation, Hitler, human rights, Indian Ocean politics, landscape wondrous, language policies, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, Rajapaksa regime, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, Tamil Tiger fighters, truth as casualty of war, UN reports, unusual people, vengeance, war crimes, war reportage, world events & processes

Randolph Ranjith Alwis of Sri Lanka & Adelaide: Epitaphs in Depth

ONE: from Victor Rebikoff OAM, and Former FECCA Chair 1992-96

I am deeply honored to have been asked by the Alwis family to provide this personal eulogy on my close friend Randolph Alwis AM whom I have known for over 35 years since we became the Presidents of our respective State and Territory Multicultural Communities Councils in the early 1980’s and as a consequence Deputy Chairs of Australia’s peak community body FECCA – viz, -the Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia. At that time both of us were the ‘young guns’ at the forefront of Australia’s multicultural movement and became closely involved in working with Commonwealth, State and Territory governments in the initial introduction of culturally and linguistically appropriate services for migrants and refugees Australia wide.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, architects & architecture, charitable outreach, communal relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, education, ethnicity, governance, heritage, language policies, life stories, performance, politIcal discourse, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, social justice, sri lankan society, tolerance, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, world events & processes

Ameer Ali’s Academic Works and Career

Recent Essays of Some Significance 

LIST OF PUBLICATIONS as set out in Wikipedia, …. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ameer_Ali_(academic)  …. clearly not updated

Ali, A. (2016) From Islamophobia to Westophobia: The long road to radical Islamism. Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs, 3 (1). pp. 1-19.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, australian media, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, democratic measures, devolution, economic processes, education, Eelam, electoral structures, fundamentalism, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Indian traditions, Islamic fundamentalism, island economy, jihad, landscape wondrous, language policies, life stories, LTTE, modernity & modernization, Muslims in Lanka, nationalism, patriotism, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, religiosity, religious nationalism, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, truth as casualty of war, world events & processes

Addressing Diversity. Six Sri Lankan Scholars in ICES Webinair Lecture Series

A WEBINAR SERIES,  18 November to 9 December 2020
These six webinars explored the challenges that we face in learning about and engagingwith the past in multi-religious, multi-ethnic contexts. This webinar series was presented in collaboration with the Rosa Luxembourg Stiftung…….
…. Herstory-History-Ourstory  ….. Click here to watch all the webinars, or on each topic to watch the individual webinars.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under ancient civilisations, centre-periphery relations, charitable outreach, communal relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, economic processes, education, ethnicity, fundamentalism, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, language policies, Left politics, legal issues, life stories, religiosity, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, social justice, sri lankan society, teaching profession, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, world events & processes

A Lament: The Geneva ‘Games’ and Lanka’s Failures

Sarath Gamani De Silva, in The Sunday Island, 26 February 2021, where the title runs  “Problems in Geneva: Facts that brought us here””

The annual patriotic taunts and the laments of the majority are heard as the day of reckoning approaches in Geneva. We are shouting ourselves hoarse, complaining that the whole world is ganging up against the brave Sri Lankans, to punish them for eliminating the most brutal terrorist outfit the world has ever seen. It is true that what was achieved in 2009 is something that no other country could do in eliminating terrorism. But does that guarantee peace when the basic grievances that led to civil unrest over the years have not been addressed?

This article is not an attempt to justify violence, untruth or deplorable and unprincipled activities of other countries. Nor is it to devalue the achievements up to 2009. The intention is to open the eyes of my own countrymen to the reality of the hopeless situation facing the nation.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, conspiracies, foreign policy, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, Indian Ocean politics, language policies, legal issues, life stories, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, power sharing, Rajapaksa regime, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, UN reports, war crimes, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

Tamara’s Biography from Her Pen in Answer to Wikileak Twists

Tamara Kunanayakam, with black highlights being her para headlines and the others my imposition as Editor, Thuppahi

Dear All,

This is in response to Hiran Cooray and extracts he posted about me from Wiki[eaks]. I would like to make the following corrections and clarifications.

On my family: I was born in Nuwara Eliya (not Colombo), where my father, as a government servant, had been posted. As an active member of the GCSU, he spent his working life as a government servant being transferred from one ‘punishment station’ to another for his trade union activities. In 1947, as Colombo leader of the GCSU (with TB Illangaratne as its President then), he led the Colombo walk-out that led to Sri Lanka’s first General Strike, (Sri Lanka was(then “Ceylon” and still under British colonial rule). Because of his eternal transfers (Polonnaruwa, Matale, Anuradhapura, Badulla, Nuwara Eliya …), until he took early retirement and began working full time training trade unionists, we all lived literally out of our suitcases with my brother and I in boarding school in Colombo. Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, cultural transmission, disparagement, doctoring evidence, economic processes, ethnicity, female empowerment, foreign policy, governance, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, language policies, Left politics, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, news fabrication, politIcal discourse, Tamil civilians, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, world events & processes

In Appreciation of Malathi de Alwis: Such An Untimely Death

   ONE — A Letter in Sadness from Professor Veena Das to Pradeep Jeganathan, January 2021

First of all, I want to convey my sadness and my gratefulness and to some extent my rage that this has happened and that I will never see that radiant smile and that integrity and brilliance anymore. Any such death at my stage of life makes me angry and sorrowful as to why the young are being taken. The war undid so many of us in so many ways and why would it not do that? So what kind of miracle is it that Malathi let herself be deeply affected by the war but not be undone by it? You must know that I loved her work and her personality just as I love your work and know what struggles you have been through.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under cultural transmission, education, female empowerment, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, language policies, Left politics, life stories, literary achievements, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, tolerance, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes

Lessons from Shukra Munawwar

Sarath Gamani De Silva

Our whole nation has been enchanted by the mesmerizing performance of a young girl from Galle hitting the jackpot at the Sirasa Lakshapathi quiz programme. No doubt Shukra is a very gifted and intelligent girl with a superb photographic memory, who has made the best use of the very limited resources available to her. Her all-encompassing knowledge of Sri Lankan history, literature and Buddhism as well as in international affairs, world history and matters of science was really amazing. She has been reading books of every kind and could remember many facts in those books. What impressed me most was her determination, keeping her cool at times of much stress while answering difficult questions, characteristics rarely seen in a 17-year old schoolgirl.

…. shades of Malal Yousafsai

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, communal relations, cultural transmission, education, ethnicity, female empowerment, heritage, historical interpretation, human rights, landscape wondrous, language policies, life stories, literary achievements, modernity & modernization, Muslims in Lanka, patriotism, performance, religiosity, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, tolerance, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

A Blaring of the 1956 Sinhala Chauvinist Trumpet ….. AGAIN!

“Way Forward” in Lanka Future and #FAKENEWS, 22 February 2018 where the title reads “The racist anti-Sinhala journalists — past and present”

Officially, Sri Lanka got its Independence in 1948.

However, it was not until 1956 that the masses were truly freed. In the years from 1948-1956, the “British Raj” style of government continued in Sri Lanka. The ruling politicians were all of the kalu-suddha variety. Minorities ruled the country because they were the ones with the education and training, and contacts, required to obtain all the plum positions.

Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under accountability, ancient civilisations, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, disparagement, ethnicity, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, language policies, legal issues, life stories, patriotism, politIcal discourse, Portuguese in Indian Ocean, power politics, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes, zealotry

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

Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under accountability, British colonialism, communal relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, discrimination, economic processes, ethnicity, European history, heritage, historical interpretation, immigration, island economy, landscape wondrous, language policies, life stories, literary achievements, patriotism, plural society, politIcal discourse, Portuguese in Indian Ocean, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, travelogue, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes