Category Archives: modernity & modernization

Fresh EU Assessment of Glyphosate

Conveyed by Chandre Dharmawardena, 25 June 2021: “NEW EU REPORT:  Assessment Group on Glyphosate, 15 June 2021”

Main findings
The dRAR [draft Renewal Assessment Report] consists of 11,000 pages, which is substantially larger than an average dRAR. In comparison, a typical assessment report for an active substance in the EU is less than 5.000 pages.

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China: Lessons for Australia from George Yeo

George Yeo in Global Times, 16 June 2021, where the title is “China is a democracy by Lincoln’s definition: former Singaporean FM”

Editor’s Note: As tensions between China and the West continue to heat up, the Communist Party of China (CPC) has become the target of myriad attacks of the US-led Western countries. George Yeo, former Singaporean minister of foreign affairs, thinks this is because many in the West perceive China as a threat to American dominance in the world. Yet Yeo believes the nature of China’s rise is very different from that of the US – and hopefully Americans will eventually realize this. What does Yeo think of the development the CPC over the past 100 years? What are its challenges in the future? Why is China constantly being labeled as conducting “wolf warrior diplomacy?” Yeo shared his insights with Global Times (GT) reporters Li Aixin and Bai Yunyi.

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Bernard Ziegler’s Innovative Impact on Air Travel: Manifold

Times Obituary, 9 June 2021 ….  https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/bernard-ziegler-obituary-lhzx5txbc

Ziegler oversaw the advance of technology on aircraft such as the Airbus A320. In 1993 Bernard Ziegler flew what was then the longest recorded flight by a civil aircraft when he piloted an Airbus 340-200 around the world in 48 hours, stopping once in Auckland.  Yet the veteran French fighter pilot and director of the multinational aircraft manufacturer Airbus was self-deprecating about his abilities in the cockpit, attributing most of the skill involved to the automated systems he had developed. “After all, airline pilots are no more than taxi drivers,” he said.

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People In Between: The Splendid Contortions of DBU Diehards

Rajiva Wijesinha, reviewing the book People Inbetween in the Sunday Observer of 24 March 1991 **

“In this review of the book by three Sri Lankans – Michael Roberts, Percy Colin-Thome and Ismeth Raheem, Rajiva Wijesinha discusses some interesting aspects that go to make People In Between a ‘fascinating social history’.” — The Observer’s Introduction

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Bamboo Challenging the Willow in the Cricket-Bat World

Katrina Kramer of The Chemistry World, 11 May 2021, where the title is … Bamboo bats could beat traditional willow at affordable cricket” …. with highlights imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

Cricket bats made from bamboo might help batters hit farther and faster, researchers have discovered. While willow has been the bat wood of choice for nearly 200 years, bamboo could deliver more energy to the ball during impact, though at the price of being much heavier. But bamboo’s fast growth could help make the sport more affordable to its rapidly growing fanbase.

Source: © Tom Almeroth-Williams

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Sri Lanka’s Course, 1948-2020: Missed Opportunities, ONE

Sugath Kulatunga

At independence we had a stable democracy, a sound economy, and an effective public service and external assets equal to 100 percent of annual import value. We were second to Japan on almost all social indicators and above South Korea as late as in the mid-sixties. Singapore’s per capita income was just a little bit higher than Sri Lanka at that time. It is now over USD 64,000 whereas ours is USD 3852. The immediate looming question is why Sri Lanka with better physical resources failed to advance like Singapore.

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Laki Senanayake As I Knew Him

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.

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Meaningful Appreciations of Qadri Ismail from the University of Minnesota

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.

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Fostering the Peasant Sector of the Economy: Misconceptions

Gerald H Peiris

This whole pretence at applying serious scholarship to a study of land policy in SL since the late 1920s is becoming almost intolerable.[1] The author of this article[2] might well have impressed you with whatever he had done earlier. But this piece does not deserve the attention which you have sought to give,[3] even by way of a kick-off for a scholarly discussion on the subject. That is why I decided to confine my previous comment on just one item in your list of references. This morning I have enough time to send you a longer note – now that an almost total curfew has been imposed throughout SL and all of us are pleasantly home bound.

DS Senanayake, OEG, Dudley et al receiving official inputs

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Addressing A Criticism of DS Senanayake’s Dry Zone Colonization Schemes

Chandre Dharmawardana, 28 May 2021, with this title “Criticism of D.S. Senanayake’s Dry Zone colonization schemes”

Would Sri Lanka have been better off if not for the fetishization of rural peasant life and its connexion to the Sinhalese Buddhist nation-myth?

Why do people talk of “colonization schemes” when a government  facing bulging population growth, for one reason or another, opens up land for its people to settle?

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