Category Archives: Left politics

Lamentations: Jeyaraj’s Black Review of Sri Lankan History

DBS Jeyaraj, in The Daily Mirror, 4 February 2023, where the title reads “75 Years of Independence and the Tamils of Sri Lanka

A SUMMARY: They invited Indian political leaders to the peninsula and held mass rallies and processions. Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, C. Rajagopalachariar, Sarojini Nayudu and Kamala Devi Chattopadhyay are some of these.

It was only in 1833 after the Colebrooke-Cameron Reforms of 1832 that predominantly Tamil territories were integrated into a unified Ceylon. Until then they were administered separately.

The rationale was that independence from the British had only resulted in being ruled by the Sinhalese. There was only a change of masters. So, Independence Day was nothing to celebrate, but only to be observed as a black day, it was argued.

****

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, constitutional amendments, democratic measures, demography, disparagement, doctoring evidence, economic processes, ethnicity, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, language policies, law of armed conflict, Left politics, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, modernity & modernization, parliamentary elections, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, taking the piss, Tamil migration, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, world events & processes, zealotry

Protecting Women from Trafficking & Abuse: Here. There. Everywhere

Stephen Keim, reviewing Elaine Pearson’s Chasing Wrongs and Rights” ….

 https://www.simonandschuster.com.au/books/Chasing-Wrongs-and-Rights/Elaine-Pearson/97

Elaine Pearson was born in Sydney but grew up in Perth and completed her law degree at Murdoch University in November 1998.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, anti-racism, asylum-seekers, authoritarian regimes, democratic measures, female empowerment, historical interpretation, human rights, Islamic fundamentalism, landscape wondrous, Left politics, legal issues, life stories, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, social justice, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, trauma, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, war crimes, war reportage, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes

Bracegirdle’s Anti-Slavery Struggle as Depicted by Robert Gunawardena

Translation by Vinod Moonesinghe from Robert Gunawardena’s “Memoirs of Bracegirdle” … 1.44  to 

Robert Gunawardena 

Mark Anthony Bracegirdle

“Bracegirdle’s anti-slavery struggle”

In April 1937, a remarkable incident took place which strengthened the anti-imperialist struggle and aroused the interest of the masses. That is, the Bracegirdle Incident which is spoken about by older people to this day.

Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under accountability, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, disparagement, economic processes, ethnicity, governance, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, Left politics, legal issues, life stories, martyrdom, nationalism, performance, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, power politics, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, unusual people, working class conditions, world events & processes

Re-visiting the Case of Mark Anthony Lyster Bracegirdle of 1937: A Landmark Judgment that upheld the Liberty of the Individual and that affirmed the Fairness of ‘ British Justice’  

Prabhath de Silva, ... an article that appeared initially in the Daily Mirror, 25/26 November 2022– with highlighting in this version imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

Mark Anthony Lyster Bracegirdle (also known as Price) was born in Chelsea, England in 1912. His parents were Ina Marjorie Lyster and James Seymour Bracegirdle. His mother was a suffragette and an active member of the Labour Party. Bracegirdle migrated to Australia with his mother, and studied art, and later trained as a farmer. In 1935, he joined the Australian Young Communist League (YCL) and became an active young Communist.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, discrimination, ethnicity, governance, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, Left politics, legal issues, life stories, patriotism, performance, plantations, politIcal discourse, racism, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, working class conditions, world events & processes

The Suriya Mal Campaign of the 1930s and Doreen Wickremasinghe nee Young

An Item at Roar.lk, where the title reads “We must remember Suriya Mal, even in this era of Manel Mal”

Doreen Wickremasinghe was a British leftist who became a prominent Communist politician in Sri Lanka and a Member of Parliament (MP). She was one of the handful of European Radicals in Sri Lanka.

Doreen & the Rodi lass she ‘rescued’

Doreen Wickremasinghe was the daughter of two British ‘ethical Socialists’. While a student in London in the 1920s, she became involved in the India League and carried out other anti-imperialist work. Here she met Dr S.A. Wickremasinghe, then a radical Sri Lankan moving in Communist and radical circles while a post-graduate student in London.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under anti-racism, British imperialism, caste issues, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, discrimination, disparagement, economic processes, education, ethnicity, female empowerment, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, Left politics, legal issues, life stories, modernity & modernization, patriotism, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, propaganda, self-reflexivity, social justice, sri lankan society, teaching profession, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes

The Political & Economic Crisis in Sri Lanka and the Aragalaya Protests

Uditha Devapriya, in The Journal of Indo-Pacific Affairs,  August 2022, a refereed article with this title  “The Crisis in Sri Lanka: Economic and Political Dimensions”

This article seeks to chart the trajectory of the Sri Lankan protests that began in early March. The first section will examine the causes of the crisis and how the government contributed to it. Economists, policy makers, and commentators cite different reasons for the economic crisis. This article classifies these reasons under two headings: orthodox and heterodox. The orthodox camp generally criticizes the government’s fiscal and monetary policies, including a series of tax cuts in 2019. The heterodox camp traces the crisis to longer-term structural causes, like Sri Lanka’s failure to industrialize and to diversify into manufacturing. The article concludes that we cannot view these two sets of causes in isolation from each other, and that whatever side one takes, we must consider the political dimensions of the crisis as well.

  Aragalaya Six Demands-! 2 July Thuppahi Protesters at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo on 9 July 2022. (Photo by Dhananjaya Samarakoon) 

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, disparagement, governance, island economy, language policies, Left politics, legal issues, life stories, patriotism, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, working class conditions, world events & processes

Channa Wickremesekera’s Books on Sri Lanka’s Past …. & Beyond

Channa Wickremesekera’s Publications

Channa Wickremesekera is the son of the late Percy Wickremesekera, an acquaintance of mine from Peradeniya Campus days and a ‘Trot’ activist who migrated to Australia. Channa lives in Melbourne. I got to know him when I was working on my book on Sinhala Consciousness in the Kandyan Period¸1590’s-1815 (which came out in 2003  …………………… https://www.amazon.com/Sinhala-Consciousness-Kandyan-Period-1590s/dp/9558095311).

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under art & allure bewitching, authoritarian regimes, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, economic processes, ethnicity, governance, hatan kavi, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Indian traditions, insurrections, island economy, Kandyan kingdom, language policies, Left politics, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, modernity & modernization, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil civilians, tamil refugees, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, trauma, truth as casualty of war, vengeance, war reportage, working class conditions, world events & processes

University Federation of Dons condemn Sri Lankan Government’s Actions

Item in The Island, 1 August 2022, where the title runs thus “Dons Condemn Suppression of Aragalaya”

“Tyrannical governments and illegitimate leaders throughout history have led their societies to destruction”

The Federation of University Teachers (FUTA) says that the Wickremasinghe-Rajapaksa government lacks any legitimacy and it should stop taking cover behind the Constitution.In a statement condemning what it termed as “repression of aragalaya activists by the current regime” the university teachers have said that “the tyrannical governments and illegitimate leaders throughout history have led their societies to destruction.”

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, centre-periphery relations, democratic measures, disparagement, education policy, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, landscape wondrous, Left politics, legal issues, life stories, patriotism, performance, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, social justice, sri lankan society, unusual people

The ARAGALAYA’s Demands in English

Courtesy of my Aloysian Friend KK De Silva …………with a PIX from his schoolboy days at St Aloysius, Galle

Transcript of the Programme spelt out in Sinhala: viz https://fb.watch/eaarPjDUCc/?fs=e&s=cl

Yesterday we took part in the aragalaya. It was good. Now there is talk about a caretaker government. This is something new to the people & us.

First I must say that we got together irrespective of ethnic differences. Sinhalese, Muslims, Tamils were together as Sri Lankans. In future no one can act differently. I am saying this to those actors. They should listen carefully. There is a set of actors, like the yellow group. There is another set called artistes (kalaakaruwo). There is a fellow wearing a sheet (?) There are others like Bhatiya & Santush. Are they not ashamed? Where were they yesterday. Then there is Iraj. Dont come wearing a cloth. Don’t come this way for shows. You all have been rejected,

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, communal relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, disparagement, economic processes, education, electoral structures, governance, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, Left politics, legal issues, life stories, patriotism, performance, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, security, slanted reportage, social justice, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, trauma, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, violence of language, working class conditions, world events & processes

The ARAGALAYA Proclaims in Sri Lanka: A Six-Point Set of Demands

With thanks to my Aloysian compatriot KK De Silva

  1. Gotabaya Rajapaksa should resign from the post of Executive President forthwith.
  2. Government including Ranil Wickremasinghe, Rajapaksa regime should resign forthwith. ( This includes all Cabinet, Non cabinet, Deputy, Project Ministers, Ministry Secretaries, Directors, Advisors, State & Corporation Chairmen, Ambassadors).
  3. With the removal of the Gota-Ranil government, an interim administration should be set up which accords with the economic, social & political objectives & aspirations of the Peoples Struggle (Aragalaya). A Peoples Council  in which there is legal binding for representatives of the Peoples Struggle to  intervene/create an impact, should be established.

Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under accountability, centre-periphery relations, conspiracies, governance, historical interpretation, insurrections, Left politics, life stories, patriotism, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, social justice, sri lankan society, unusual people, vengeance, violence of language, world events & processes, zealotry