From the Department of English, University of Minnesota, 5 November 2021
It’s been amazing reading the tributes to Qadri, reading about his impact and his generosity. Our family was able to keep up with his exploits during his early career in Sri Lanka, when he was a reporter, but his scholarly career was a bit harder to keep up with. I read some of his early writings, but most of them were above my head. But reading the articles about his impact and reach has been very helpful and valuable to us.
In seeking details relating to DS Senanayake’s career at S. Thomas’ College after I received a copy of his school-leaving character reference from Warden Stone, I received a fascinating note from Mevan Pieris about young DS Senanayake’s school career and his cricketing ‘achievements’ at the big match against Royal.
“Indeed, a valuable item [referring to Warden Stone’s certificate]. At least a certified photocopy of it should be maintained at the College Library and at the National Archives, especially since he was known as Kele John who could not pass any examinations and was in what was called the Commercial Class of STC. No doubt he was physically strong and tough and would have been an ideal dormitory prefect to keep the guys quiet. ”
‘By the sea’ at Mutwal looking at Colombo Harbour — scenic paintng from O’Brien the 1860s
Rajesh Venugopal, … presenting here the second chapter in his bookNationalism, Development and the Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka, Cambridge University Press, 2018,…. 78-1-108-42879 8 hdback
Sinhala nationalism is the dominant form of political consciousness in contemporary Sri Lanka. As what might easily be characterised as an illiberal ‘ethnic’ nationalism of the east rather than the western ‘civic’ ideal, it is also widely identified as a serious challenge to the functioning of liberal democratic institutions, and to multi-ethnic coexistence. Sinhala nationalism features as a central element in the literature on contemporary Sri Lankan politics, and in particular, on the ethnic conflict. Understanding Sinhala nationalism is thus of critical significance and this imperative has inspired an extensive and sophisticated literature.
As we approach the end of the year, there is much to look back on and reflect upon. I am glad to share with you some of the highlights of the recent month in this Verité Bulletin.
We have long felt that democracy is not meaningful when citizens are not critically cognizant of the information in relation to public finance. This is why Verité Research strategically expanded its work on Public Finance. The platform that we built, PublicFinance.lk, is probably the pre-eminent locus for information and analysis on the state of Sri Lanka’s public finance.
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 →
Chandra Wickremasinghe, in The Island, 17 October 2021, where the title runs thus “CBK had an impulsive streak but was gracious in admitting mistakes”
With President Chandrika Kumaratunge assuming office, there was once again a flurry of activity in the Presidential Secretariat and in the Ministries, as she was anxious to expeditiously push through various development programmes she had in mind. Although she did not believe in an overly centralized system of Presidential rule, she kept a close tab particularly on the major development projects and programmes of Ministries by having regular review meetings with them.
Jane Russell presenting “a reply to unjustified criticism ” …. * …. [see endnote]
Foreword: I first met Sunila Abeysekera at a joint exhibition of sculpture and poetry which my Sri Lankan partner, sculptor Malathie de Silva, and I held at the Lionel Wendt Gallery in 1976. Sunila was twenty-four; I was two years older. She brought her father along and he purchased one of my poems which I‘d produced as wall-posters.:
Lakshman Gunasekara … with highlights being the intrusion of The Editor, Thuppahi
I recall reading both these articles, or at least parts of these articles just a few weeks ago sent by you.
1) China:- I am an admirer of China (just as much as I am an even bigger admirer of India, simply because of cultural and geographical affinity) and I am specifically an admirer of China’s role in the world today as a relatively civilised and certainly civilisational (in terms of Difference) counter to the old, beginning-to-fade Western imperialism. This is not to say that I do not have problems with China’s internal, unnecessarily repressive, political system. While I am a long-time Communist and I continue to watch with interest the successes and failure of the single-party system (the Communist Party is not at all the typical western-liberal-style ‘political party’), I am surprised at the lack of more dedicated practice of electoral politics within that one-party system, especially at the higher levels of national structures. Theoretically, I prefer the Communist one-party state than the bourgeois-liberal multiparty competitive electoral system as the best way toward greater democracy and consolidating social democracy.
Lionel Bopage, in The Sri Lankan Guardian, Septmber 2021, where the title reads “My Indelible Memories of Professor CLV Jayathilake” …. with highlighting emphasis added by The Editor, Thuppahi
I am extremely saddened by the news I heard this morning, that Emeritus Professor CLV (Lakshman) Jayathilake, a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers, Sri Lanka, has succumbed to Covid and passed away. He has impacted my life in many ways on several occasions.
When I was studying at the Faculty of Engineering, University of Peradeniya, he was a lecturer in the Mechanical Engineering Department. I was studying for a Mechanical and Electrical combined degree in engineering, a rare combination at the time.
Kamal Nissanka, in The Island, 11 July 2021, where the title runs as “Hundred Years of the Communist Party of China” …. with highlighting added by The Editor Thuppahi
The Chinese Communist Party was formed on July 1, 1921at the top floor of a private school for girls in Pubalu Street, Shanghai, the industrial city of China. The building was deserted except for a watchman who was on the ground floor. Students and teachers of the school were on summer holidays. Originally nine men gathered at this place. They were from various Marxist study groups in China who wanted to form a Communist Party. A little later three other Chinese and two foreigners joined the nine.
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.