Category Archives: modernity & modernization

Is China’s Eclectic Mix of Communism with Capitalism a Threat?

Tomasz Kamusella, in The Conversation, 26 October 2021, where the title runs thus “How China combined authoritarianism with capitalism to create a new communism”

After the 1989 fall of communism in the Soviet bloc, five self-declared communist states remain today: China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea and VietnamBelarus and Venezuela can also be added to the mix as they fulfil the criteria of a communist state – even though they do not officially invoke the ideology. So, at present, the number stands at seven. The question is, now that capitalism is the engine of China’s economy, what is communism today? And if the number of communist states is poised to grow in the near future, as some predict, what does this prospect mean for democracy?

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Galba’s Tales of Parliamentary Affairs from the Inside: “Wow”!

Hugh Karunanayake, … with the title and the highlighting being impositions by The Editor, Thuppahi

Nihal Seneviratne, the former Secretary General of Sri Lanka’s Parliament which he served with distinction and diligence for 33 years, has published his autobiographical memoir entitled “Memories of 33 years in Parliament”.  Written in a very readable, chatty style of prose, it is indeed a compendium of the highlights of the nation’s legislative workings over the past three decades

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May Day Worldwide? The Energy Crisis in Australia Today

Editorial in THE AGE, 17 June 2022, …. https://www.theage.com.au/national/energy-crisis-should-hasten-push-into-renewables-20220617-p5auk5.html

If anything good has come out of this week’s energy crisis it is the realisation that our electricity market is no longer fit for purpose – that after years of inaction we have finally been found out. The question is: what, exactly, can be done?

Australia heavily relies on gas and coal but is shifting towards renewables.Australia heavily relies on gas and coal but is shifting towards renewables.CREDIT:GETTY

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China’s Maverick Status in Sri Lanka’s Economic Crisis

Bharatha Mallawarachi, Krutika Pathi and Joe McDonald, in The Diplomat, 20 May 2022, where the title reads  China Becomes Wild Card in Sri Lanka’s Debt Crisis”

Beijing has promised to “play a positive role” in talks with the IMF and offered Colombo more loans but is reluctant to cut its debt.

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Big Power Manoeuvres in and around Sri Lanka: The Bandarage Essay

Mr C .… an orignal piece for Thuppahi** … with highlighting being the work of The Editor, Thuppahi

I found Asoka Bandarage’s essay was okay, but it suffers from a few argumentative flaws I will discuss in this article.  The writer has made many claims. Some of these I agree with. Her main argument comes towards the end of the article which may be summarized as follows: Sri Lanka must avoid being exploited by foreign powers or caught up in geopolitical adventures played out between India, China and the US – a goal which it can achieve by creating food and energy security for itself by exploiting natural resources, and she mentions an area of Sri Lanka containing oil and gas resources. We know Sri Lanka is a fertile land and can easily sustain rice and food crops, if managed properly.

 

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US and Western Imperial Intrusions with New Weaponry?

Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake, in Colombo Telegraph, 16 May 2022, where the title readsMasks of Democracy & Energy Geopolitics: Is Full Spectrum Dominance the Endgame?”

South Asia’s Arab Spring has arrived amid energy wars and slow tectonic shifts in power and wealth eastward to Asia and the Indian Ocean Region. This has been hastened by the new Cold War proxy-war in Ukraine, US-led sanctions on energy-rich Russia and a refugee crisis in Europe.

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Neo-Colonial Modalities Overwhelming Sri Lanka

Asoka Bandarage, in The Island, 16 May 2022, with this title “Sri Lanka: Debt crisis, neocolonialism and geopolitical rivalry” …. with highlighting in blue being impositions from The Editor, Thuppahi

Sri Lanka is in the throes of an unprecedented economic crisis. Faced with a shortage of foreign exchange and defaulting on its foreign debt repayment, the country is unable to pay for its food, fuel, medicine, and other basic necessities. Notwithstanding the austerities that would be entailed, a bailout by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been accepted as the only way out of the dire economic situation.Opposition political parties, and citizens across the country, blame the Rajapaksa government’s widespread corruption and mismanagement for the crisis, and demand that the President and the Parliament resign. The Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa did so on 09 May 2022. However, the protesters at Galle Face Green, and elsewhere, have not been able to put forward an alternative leadership or a viable road map for the future. The country remains mired in confusion, chaos and a highly volatile political impasse.

 

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Hambantota: Multi-Purpose Port of the Year for 2021

The Hambantota International Port was named “Multi-Purpose Port /Terminal of The Year 2021 & Port Infrastructure Development of the Year 2021,” at the recently concluded Global Port Forum (GPF) awards earlier this week.The Awards ceremony, held at the Shangri-La, Dubai, brought together organisations and professionals from across the world’s Ports & Terminals industry, to a gala event, where the highest contributors of 2021 were recognised.

HIP won two of the most coveted awards, ‘Multi-Purpose Port / Terminal of The Year 2021’ and ‘Port Infrastructure Development of the Year 2021,’ after a stringent process conducted by the forum to select the most deserving in each of the categories. Global Ports Customers and Senior Port Experts from the Global Ports Council made up the prestigious panel of judges who were involved in the shortlisting and selection process.

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An Outstanding Mansion: “Regina Walauwwa” become “College House”

Yomal Senerath-Yapa, in Sunday Times, 8 May 2022, where the title runs thus: “Enduring Symbol of Colombo University” … with a sub-line reading “A new coffee-table book maps the beginnings of the country’s academia in 1921

The majestic College House down Thurstan Road –  a whimsical marriage between an English country house and a Maharajah’s haveli with its conical roofs, turrets and slender carved wooden columns, is for the historian a relic of a bygone age. Originally called ‘Regina Walawwa’, in time the house would be renamed College House and become the icon of the Colombo University.

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A History of the Colombo Railway Station via Familial Lore

Vinodh Wickremeratne 

The Colombo railway station opened for operations officially on 2nd October 1865 when a Revenue Train was despatched to Henerath-godde. The Colombo Railway Station had been planned and constructed with passenger friendly facilities (Ladies’ waiting rooms etc).

The Colombo Railway Terminus, 1867, Skeen & Co (see Ismeth Raheem & Percy Colin-Thome, Images of British Ceylon, p. 93) Continue reading

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