Ismeth Raheem: An Appreciation of Laki Senanayake (1937–2021)
Given Laki Senanayake’s stature and personality, I am confident that there will be a fair share of obituaries and appreciations that will attempt to capture something of the man and his work. This is a more personal account of my encounters with Laki, which span over half a century. By no means is this an overview of his life or work. For the most part this account is anecdotal, but it does strive to convey aspects of his personality, his passions and the work he created and inspired.
From the Department of English, with this heading “In Memoriam: Professor Qadri Ismail: Brilliant thinker, inspiring teacher, loyal friend”
With deep sorrow, we note the death of our esteemed colleague Professor Qadri Ismail, who died in May at home of natural causes. He was 59. A noted scholar of cultural studies, postcolonial literature, literary theory, and gender and sexuality, Ismail joined English at Minnesota as Assistant Professor in 1997 and served the department in numerous capacities, including Chair of the department’s first Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee and Director of Graduate Studies.
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 inMulti-Ethnic Societies: Sri Lanka, 1880-1985, (1985)
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)]
Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington to speak on THE ETHICS of HISTORY and thus promote a Live Discussion, 14 April 2021, courtesy of Merton College, Oxford
Since the pandemic began, we have adapted our events programme to move online, and we are pleased to announce that our next 40 Years Series online lecture, a part of our Merton Women: 40 Years celebrations, will be airing live at a time more suitable for our alumni in Asia, Australasia and the Pacific.
“I am NOT interested in Western anti-Chinese conspiracies, having been familiar with them all my Left activist life since 1974. My interest is (as a good Communist) in the internal problems faced within China and grappled with by the Communist regime there – including the Han ethnocentrism, the anti-Uighur AND anti-Tibetan racism, the huge social problems faced by the intricately managed, partial transition to the capitalist market and, by the new class relations that the CCP must manage with the rise of private capital. So, I repeat my request that if you do come across such studies, please do point me to them. Not this stuff which is as old as the Cold War.
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.
Thomas Meaney, in London Review of Books, Vol. 43 No. 3 · 4 February 2021:reviewing book by Simon Hall entitled Ten Days in Harlem: Fidel Castro and the Making of the 1960s, September 2020, Faber, 276 pp., £17.99, 978 0 571 35306 4
It would hardly be possible, Eric Hobsbawm once said, to imagine rebels better designed to appeal to the New Left than Castro and his comrades. Despite occasional sneers from Third World elders (Nasser dismissed them as ‘a bunch of Errol Flynns’), Western liberals were just as infatuated as radicals. The New York Times published an admiring three-part profile of Castro from his hideout in the Sierra Maestra in 1957, when he was still a revolutionary newt. Two years later, after his forces swept through the lowland cities, triggering a series of popularly assisted uprisings that shattered the sclerotic regime of Fulgencio Batista, adulation came from all quarters: letters of congratulation from US congressmen, rights requests from Hollywood, invitations to ‘Dr Castro’ to address Ivy League undergraduates. ‘My staff and I were all Fidelistas,’ the Cuba desk officer of the CIA recalled.
Sanjeewa Karunaratne, whose favoured title is “Stories from Sri Lanka’s Civil War – Lional Silva“
During 1984-89, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (“JVP”) or People’s Liberation Front launched a clandestine attack against the Government of Sri Lanka.Since its fighters were mingling among the public, the military and its militia groups were struggling to cope with this invisible enemy. As a result, spies were everywhere—one wrong word, move or contact may bestow a gruesome death on top of a burning tire. It may be an “in-kind” response to the JVP, whose piece of paper was enough to close down an entire city; and who did not hesitate to execute a school principal, government servant, singer, politician, or an ordinary person who disobeyed their orders, in front of their loved ones. It was a crisis of epic proportions and a very uncertain time in the country.
Tamara Kunanayakam, with black highlights being her para headlines and the others my imposition as Editor, Thuppahi
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 →
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.