Frances Mao, BBC News, Sydney 20 May 2022, where the title runs as “Australia election: Why is Australia’s parliament so white?”
Some of Australia’s MPs, pictured here, fail to reflect the country’s diversity, critics say
Australia is one of the most multicultural nations in the world, but it’s a different story in the country’s politics, where 96% of federal lawmakers are white. With this year’s election, political parties did have a window to slightly improve this. But they chose not to in most cases, critics say.
Michael Roberts, … reproducing Chapter III in Volume I of Documents of the Ceylon National Congress and Nationalist Politics in Ceylon, 1929-1950, Vol I, 1977, Department of National Archives, 1977 , pp. lxviii–lxxviii **
While the political activists of the first half of the twentieth century were drawn from both the national and the local elites, the political leadership (at significant island-wide levels) was largely composed of individuals who could be ranked among the national elite. As indicated earlier, the national elite was a small segment of the Ceylonese population. Its levels of wealth, power and status, its lifestyle, and its value-system marked it off from the rest of the population.
Dr Nirmala Chandrahasan, in The Island, 11 February 2022 , with this title “13th Amendment and Tamil polity: A pragmatic approach” …… with highlighting imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi
There is much speculation in the Tamil political circles as to the usefulness or otherwise of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution and whether the Provincial Council system set up under its aegis gives a measure of power sharing or devolution of powers to the Tamil speaking provinces, or whether it is an ineffective institution which blocks out any greater devolution under the exercise of internal self- determination. This debate has been sparked by the decision of Tamil speaking parties including the TNA, to send a letter to the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, requesting him to use his good offices to induce the Government of Sri Lanka to implement the 13th Amendment fully, in the context that the 13th Amendment arose out of the provisions of the Indo -Sri Lanka Peace Accord of July 1987, to which treaty India and Sir Lanka are signatories.
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.
Very sorry to hear of Sam’s demise. haven’t seen him much in the past several years, but Sam and Vidya were very key to my education about Sri Lanka and, in addition to inputs from C.R. and Kingsley, to the early success of the ISLE Program. We managed to bring Sam and Vidya to Swarthmore College for a year circa 1990 or so, and from then and there they creatively parlayed their experience to move permanently to the US, though Sam stayed with ICES periodically for many years and encouraged our cooperative presence with that venerable institution.
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 →
Nihal De Alwisof Kalahe, Richmond & Nugegoda …. whose preferred title was “The World’s Poorest Prime Minister”
Most Srilankans would by now have forgotten the poorest Prime Minister the World had, the late Dr W. Dahanayake! “W” was a poor man’s politician. When he lost as Prime Minister after the 1960 elections, he gathered his suitcase and asked his Secretary Mr. Bradman Weerakoon to drop him at the Fort Station to take a train to Galle. Bradman then told him that it was his responsibility to see that he goes home safely and provided him with a pool vehicle in which the former PM proceeded to Galle where he lived with his twin brother K. Dahanayake. He had no vehicle of his own, nor did he have a house, and it was his twin brother “K” who provided him free accommodation with his office room in front.
Nihal Seneviratne in Riveting Q and A with Sharlton Benedict, 16 July 2021
A Clerk Reminisces: Nihal Seneviratne (former Sec. Gen. of Parliament) on #NewslineSL – 16 July 2021
PS: Nihal has always been known as “Galba” in my circle … and never posed as a Lord or Walauwwa Hamu. He was raised initially in my home town of Galle and it was pleasing to see his honesty of purpose in this set of exchanges….. The Editor Thuppahi
Chandani Kirinde, in Financial Times, 30 June 2021, where the title is “The Gladstone Affair: ‘A Sri Lankan Tempest’,”
Just 18 hours after landing in the country in June 1987, David Gladstone had an audience with President J.R. Jayewardene. All too soon, the President had taken him into his confidence.
Retired diplomats spending their days penning down their memoirs recounting their heyday of holding fort among the rich and powerful in foreign lands is not unusual. But then how many among them have had the dubious honour of being declared ‘persona non grata’ by a host nation and given marching orders after being accused of crossing the line into territory that is out of bounds for diplomats?
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)]
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.