Robert Siddharthan Perinpanayagam, in Groundviews, 22 August 2011, where the title reads “Caste And Politics” …. An article that drew 19 comments including some responses from “Sid”… reproduced here with highlighting imposed by The Editor in circumstances where my friend “Sid” from Peradeniya days is no longer around to dispute matters … as he surely would have.
Over the years, the claims of the Tamil people for justice, equalty and dignity have been rejected with a variety of specious arguments. It is not necessary to go into these exercises here again. However, the latest attempt in this direction is to raise the issue of caste in Jaffna society. Former civil servants, who spent three or four years being de facto kings of the North, have sought to comment on this issue in many recent hero-stories that they have published in the newspapers. In these hero-stories they report not only how they defeated one departmental head or another or humiliated a hapless village headman, but how they vanquished the evil designs of the Tamils as well. Indeed everything seems to become grist to the mill of Tamil-bashing. Even a casual remark made in a cricket match is used by a famous historian to claim that the Tamils of Jaffna are cravenly caste-conscious. Off-the-cuff social commentators as well as the tribalist pundits in the newspapers have also got into this act. The implication of these commentaries is that the Sinhalese do not have the problem of castism and only Tamils do. One recent commentator is so ignorant of the political history of the island as to invoke Ponnambalam Ramanathan’s castism! It was indeed the fear of Karava ascendancy by the Goigamas that elevated Ramanathan to high stature by making him the representative of the “Educated Ceylonese” in the Legislative Council.
India and China’s defence ministers sit down for talks at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) security summit in New Delhi, with Pakistan’s top diplomat and Russia’s defence ministers present. It was a very productive meeting with a strong emphasis on diplomacy to resolve disputes.
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.
Jeffrey Sachs, in Pearls and Irritations24 August 2022 where the title reads thus “The west’s false narrative about Russia and China”
The world is on the edge of nuclear catastrophe in no small part because of the failure of Western political leaders to be forthright about the causes of the escalating global conflicts. The relentless Western narrative that the West is noble while Russia and China are evil is simple-minded and extraordinarily dangerous. It is an attempt to manipulate public opinion, not to deal with very real and pressingdiplomacy.
My Thanks to Joe Paiva in Adelaide for this important reference to Sanga;s recent appeal …. one that is in step with the bold move he made in 2011 with his wife Yehali when they chose to visit st. Patrick’s College in what was a reconciliatory political gesture.
Perchance as it happens today, I was listening to the commentaries on the ODI match between England and South Africa taking place at Chester le-Street yesterday -where one of the illustrious batch of commentators was Kumar Sangakkara.
Uditha Devapriya, in The Island, 21 May 2022, where the title runs thus “DS Senanayake and the Indian Tamil Question”
In his recent work on D. S. Senanayake, K. M. de Silva explores certain controversial aspects of Ceylon’s lurch into independent statehood. Among these is the issue of the fate of the country’s Indian Tamils. Brought to the island from South India amidst conditions of famine and mass starvation in the early part of the 19th century, Indian Tamil workers replaced Sinhalese and resident Tamil labour in the island. Governed by a semifeudal set-up that shut them out from the world outside, Indian Tamil labour grew up in a world of their own. It was their tragic fate that while the colonial government feigned little interest in their welfare, their lives lay in the hands of that government.
The book, Dare to Differ,is a short account of the long struggle of the Tamils to establish a separate state. It is written from the point of view of a Tamil expatriate living in Australia. The author is well equipped to write this account as he was an active member of the pro-LTTE Tamil diaspora which was the second front opened by the Tamil separatists. The Australian branch of the Tamil diaspora was a leading contributor to the cause. As a political activist and sympathiser of his people, he had close access to leading members of the LTTE. This has enabled him to give an insider’s view of some of the events that shaped the movement. His interactions with the Tamil leaders are revealing. His narrative runs smoothly. It is a MUST read for anyone interested in understanding the role played by the Tamil diaspora in the LTTE struggle.
Razeen Sally, in an article presented in November 2020 at NIKKEI ASIA, with the title “Rediscovering Sri Lanka through a travel memoir” …. & with highlighting superimposed by The Editor, Thuppahi
The Island paradise mixes beguiling charm with an astonishing record of violence. Foreign visitors have for centuries rhapsodized about Sri Lanka, or Ceylon as it was called until 1972: its seashores and landscapes, its governing religion, Buddhism, and its majority ethnicity, the Sinhalese.
Colombo’s Mount Lavinia Hotel in the 1960s.One of Asia’s legendary colonial hotels, it was managed by the author’s father through the political upheaval of the 1970s. “It was a turbulent time, much of which my father spent in remand and jail.” …… Photo courtesy of Razeen Sally 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.