As we approach the end of the year, there is much to look back on and reflect upon. I am glad to share with you some of the highlights of the recent month in this Verité Bulletin.
We have long felt that democracy is not meaningful when citizens are not critically cognizant of the information in relation to public finance. This is why Verité Research strategically expanded its work on Public Finance. The platform that we built, PublicFinance.lk, is probably the pre-eminent locus for information and analysis on the state of Sri Lanka’s public finance.
Global Times Item,10 December 2021, where the title runs thus “French media pushes anti-China narrative in a monolithic block, but at least one man is fighting for objective views”… with highlighting imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi
Photo: Zheng Ruolin, a senior Chinese media professional and European studies expert, talks with Maxime Vivas, French writer and journalist
Editor’s Note: “Maxime Vivas (Vivas), French writer and journalist, has been insulted and attacked for his objective views on China. Vivas started in early November on the world’s largest petition platform, change.org, a petition to call on all sectors of society to have an objective view of China. But then the link for the petition quickly became unavailable, as the US-based website deleted the petition. “Respect China like we respect ourselves!” Vivas openly criticized the Western media outlets and social media that demonize China, but was frequently attacked by the French media. The Global Times reporters Chen Qingqing and Liu Xin recently had an online forum with Vivas and Zheng Ruolin (Zheng),a senior Chinese media professional and European studies expert who has lived in France for several years, to look into where the Western media bias came from on China-related coverage and how to deal with their smearing of China.”
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 →
Rajan Philips, in Sunday Island, 31 October 2021, where the title reads “One Country, One Law. What is it? Why now?”
The gazette announcement that Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera will be heading a new Presidential Task Force to study “the implementation of the concept, One country; One law, and prepare a draft Act for the said purpose,” was more befuddling than it was shocking or infuriating. “It defies comprehension,” said The Island editorial on Thursday. Many also found the announcement somewhat hilarious while mindful of its ominous implications. The hilarity stems from this government’s seemingly unlimited capacity to be ridiculously irrational in political tactics, even as it is utterly incompetent on matters of policy. Comprehending the government’s actions is not the problem. Fathoming how far the consequences of those actions will go and how damaging they will be to the public good is the challenge.
I present several comments from Sri Lankans in New Zealand and Sri Lanka
A NOTE from SM in Colombo, 7 Sept 2021
It is high time for countries to cut hard on organisations promoting and practicing extremist ideologies whether they be religious, ethnic, separatist, or nationalist. The UK extended its ban on the LTTE a few days back which is a welcome development. Canada should practice what they preach. With an election round the corner, the Liberal Trudeau govt soft peddles the LTTE issue in order to garner Canadian Tamil votes. The Canadian government’s sponsorship of TGWA is a case in point.
Countries that ignore, or aid and abet violent extremism will reap what they sow.
Telling It Like It Is …. is a compilation of a few of the journalistic writings of Anne Abayasekara.
She was born Annette Aurelia Ameresekere in April 1925. In the field of journalism, she was a Sri Lankan pioneer, entering what was a male dominated profession in the early 1940s.At Lake House, before reaching 22 years of age, she was appointed Editress of the Women’s Pages in the Ceylon Daily News and Sunday Observer, being the only female in the Editorial Department.
This collection documents the activity of a generation of Sri Lankan radical activists who, in their different ways, attempted to escape the claims of rival ethno-nationalisms and build alternative political and development projects, drawing on Marxism, Christian socialism, and feminism, among other inspirations.
Tony Kevin, in ConsortiumNews, 8 December 2020, where the title reads “Australia Sabotaged Its Own Interests in China Relations”
The destruction over the past five years of Australia’s mutually beneficial diplomatic and trade relationship with China was probably a successful “Five Eyes” information warfare operation, writes Tony Kevin.
Hong Kong protester throws egg at President Xi Jinping’s portrait on China’s National Day, Oct. 1, 2019. (Studio Incendo, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)
The address to Federal Parliament by Chinese President Xi Jinping on Nov. 17, 2014, marked a highwater mark in bilateral relations. Xi was in Australia for the G-20 summit in Brisbane hosted by Prime Minister Tony Abbott. His theme was that China was committed to peace but ready to protect its interests.
Lasanda Kurukulasuriya, in Island, 11 June 2020, with this title “Covid19 in Sri Lanka: From lockdown to ‘new normal’.”
Sri Lanka’s handling of the Covid19 outbreak has, comparatively speaking, produced commendable results. Tracing the trajectory of the response, it may be seen that early moves to prepare for what lay ahead served well to mitigate the outcome. A Task Force drawing on expertise of all relevant sectors was appointed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on January 27th, the day the first Covid19 case was reported – that of a Chinese woman tourist.
The hardest thing about saying goodbye to a departed one is not being able to say goodbye, as with flowers and incense, a last long look, prayers for the journey ahead, or a final touch.
Yet, that’s how family and friends will bid farewell to Walter Jayawardena, journalist, lawyer, and well-known activist in the Sri Lankan community in the U.S., who passed away on Sunday May 3, 2020.
The funeral service will be conducted online via Zoom by the Sarathchandra Buddhist meditation center in North Hollywood on Saturday starting 5:00 p.m.The subdued farewell will be a contrast to the high energy and gusto that were hallmarks of Walter’s life.
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.