Category Archives: political demonstrations

Bracegirdle’s Anti-Slavery Struggle as Depicted by Robert Gunawardena

Translation by Vinod Moonesinghe from Robert Gunawardena’s “Memoirs of Bracegirdle” … 1.44  to 

Robert Gunawardena 

Mark Anthony Bracegirdle

“Bracegirdle’s anti-slavery struggle”

In April 1937, a remarkable incident took place which strengthened the anti-imperialist struggle and aroused the interest of the masses. That is, the Bracegirdle Incident which is spoken about by older people to this day.

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Crunchtime: Resolving Sri Lanka’s Political Dilemma

Chandre Dharmawardana, in The Island, 02 January 2023 where the preferred title runs thus: Using SORTITION to prevent electing of same crooks to parliament”

The terrorism of the LTTE ended in May 2009, and most Sri Lankans looked forward to a dawn of peace, reconciliation and progress.  Even Poongkothai Chandrahasan, the granddaughter of SJV Chelvanayagam could state that ‘what touched me the most that day was that these were poor people with no agenda ~ wearing their feelings on their sleeves~. Every single person I spoke to said to me, “The war is over, we are so happy”. They were not celebrating the defeat of the Tamils. They were celebrating the fact that now there would be peace in Sri Lanka’ (The Island, 23rd August 2009, http://archive.island.lk/2009/08/23/news15.html).

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Adolf Hitler’s Logic

Courtesy of Richard Koenigsberg in New York

HITLER: “If I don’t mind sending the pick of the German people into the hell of war without regret over the spilling of precious German blood, then I naturally also have the right to eliminate millions of an inferior race that multiplies like vermin.” …..

Adolf Hitler raises a defiant, clenched fist during a speech.

circa 1933: German Dictator, Adolf Hitler addressing a rally in Germany. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bracegirdle’s AntI-Slavery Struggle in British Ceylon, 1937

A Section translated  from Robert Gunawardena, Satanaka Satahan, Kosgama: 2007, Vijith Gunawardena: ….. provided here by Vinod Moonesinghe  …. with highlighting imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

In April 1937, a remarkable incident took place which strengthened the anti-imperialist struggle [in Sri Lanka} and aroused the interest of the masses. That is, the Bracegirdle Incident which is spoken about by older people to this day.

 Mark Antony Lyster Bracegirdle, an Australian, came to Lanka in December 1936 to gain appointment as the assistant superintendant of a tea estate owned by a British plantation company. It is possible that the plantation company which appointed him to this position did not know that he had been a young member of the Australian Communist Party. Having come to Lanka, Bracegirdle took up his duties in a tea estate not far from Madulkele, beyond Katugastota.

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Eureka! The Film Clip of the 1949 Independence Day Festivities Secured

The heroes of this enterprise in retrieving the film clip produced by the Government Film Unit (aka GFU) are James Blake Jnr of Germany and Anusha Palpita & Arun Dias Bandaranaike of Lanka. The relevant details are indicated in a Memo from James emailed to me recently…..  Michael Roberts in Australia, 20 November 2022

A NOTE from James Blake sent from Colombo in late October 2022:

Hi Michael: Please see below for the two links to the FILM CLIP produced by the Government Film Unit.

Note: the Source-1 clip was from an OLD post on your Thuppahis blog: dated 30 July 2020.

Note: the Source-2 clip surfaced when I did an additional YouTube ‘search’.

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The Suriya Mal Campaign of the 1930s and Doreen Wickremasinghe nee Young

An Item at Roar.lk, where the title reads “We must remember Suriya Mal, even in this era of Manel Mal”

Doreen Wickremasinghe was a British leftist who became a prominent Communist politician in Sri Lanka and a Member of Parliament (MP). She was one of the handful of European Radicals in Sri Lanka.

Doreen & the Rodi lass she ‘rescued’

Doreen Wickremasinghe was the daughter of two British ‘ethical Socialists’. While a student in London in the 1920s, she became involved in the India League and carried out other anti-imperialist work. Here she met Dr S.A. Wickremasinghe, then a radical Sri Lankan moving in Communist and radical circles while a post-graduate student in London.

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The Machinations of Vellala Lawyer Leaders that Deepened Tamil-Sinhala Divisions from the 1920s-to-the-1960s

Sebastian Rasalingam, reproducing an article presented in 2008 in The Sri Lanka Guardian in October 2008 with this title “An Excellent and Timely Feature on the Tamils” **

 Please permit me to make some comments on the recent article on the “Sri Lankan Identity” by R. M. B. Senanayake, continuing a discussion in a previous article by Anne Abeysekera. Both these articles, written by authors who are familiar with the English-educated Sinhalese point of view, deal very inadequately with the issues of Tamil Nationalism in Sri Lanka and in erstwhile Ceylon. In fact, the modern generation, even the Tamils, are on the whole unaware of the true nature of the present conflict and the role of Tamil nationalism. They are misled and mesmerized by simplistic histories concocted by the great political agenda set in motion by the Tamil leaders of the pre-1956 era. In fact, I will outline below how the battlelines were drawn in the Donoughmore days, by G. G. Ponnambalam (GGP) and others who followed.

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Galle Face Green in Colombo Over the Decades

Ismeth Raheem and Angeline Ondaatjie, in Elanka, 10 October 2022, where the title runs as “The Changing Face of Galle Face Green”

Galle Face is Colombo’s most-prized open-aired public space, extending over a mile along the Fort oceanfront in Colombo. Over the course of Sri Lanka’s history, it has been the de facto stage for landmark public gatherings. Most recently over the months of April to July 2022, the Galle Face Green was the centerstage of the People’s Aragalaya, a protest movement that arose from economic hardship in Sri Lanka.  During those weeks the protestors renamed it GotaGoGama (GGG) and even had a Google marker to prove it.  On July 9th 2022, unprecedented crowds from all parts of Sri Lanka gathered in the Galle Face Area breaking attendance records of Prime Minister D.S. Senanayake funeral in 1952, the 1953 hartal, and Pope Francis’s holy mass in 2015.

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Deeply Wounded. Also Divided? Sri Lanka Today

Neloufer De Mel, in History Today, Vol 72/8, September 2022, where the title reads “Sri Lanka’s Deep Wounds” **

On 31 March 2022 a public protest occurred in the vicinity of the home of the Sri Lankan president Gotabhaya Rajapakse. The protest marked frustration at the shortages of essential commodities (gas, medicines, fuel) and the gruelling ten-to-13-hour power cuts imposed by a cash-strapped government with insufficient dollars to pay for imported fuel. The protestors also sought answers as to why certain neighbourhoods (such as Mirihana, where the president lived) continued to enjoy uninterrupted power.

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Multi-faceted Campaign against the SL Government Crackdown on the Aragalaya

HRW …. 31 August 2022 …………. https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/08/31/sri-lanka-end-use-terrorism-law-against-protesters 

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