Category Archives: press freedom

Remembering Manouri Muttetuwegama nee De Silva

ONE REQUEIM from Gamini Seneviratne , in The Island, 25 July 2021  v

In the early nineteen sixties when we met, politics here was in a kind of crisis. The Left parties were defining themselves and each other in terms that emasculated such terms as ‘socialist’ of the meanings assigned to them not just in the literature but in the practice of revolution. We had sama samaja ‘new’ or without qualification, united socialist, revolutionary socialist, Bolshevik Leninist, Stalinist aka Communist, Trotskyite, Maoist and, lurking not far behind them every nuance of Democracy and Socialism. In hindsight all that seems innocent given the skulduggery that came to be sort of enshrined in a “Constitution” that enjoyed the distinction of being totally unconstitutional / illegal. So much more has been done since that J R J, the breaker of laws and trasher of justice would be chortling in whatever shades he now resides.

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A Sturdy Voice That We Miss: Rajeewa Jayaweera on India’s Looming Politics

Dr, D. Chandraratna in The Island, 11 June 2021, where the title reads An Appreciation: Rajeewa Jayaweera: A Void Hard to fill” …. with highlighting imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

On 11 June, 2020, when we heard the distressing news of Rajeewa Jayaweera’s untimely death, I wrote an appreciation from afar that he was a public intellectual who had contributed immensely to public debate, mostly on our relations with India and to a lesser extent with the Western countries. Coming from a fortunate background, and immersed in the diplomatic life of his father he took a scholarly interest in foreign affairs. Few in Sri Lanka has contributed so much to the subject recently as much as Rajeewa, to bring into public discussion our relations with the world community. His accounts were a  ‘learned and incisive appraisal of events’ particularly during the turbulent times of the threat posed by separatism. In this article on the first death anniversary I wish to justify my assertion about Rajeewa by way of an appreciation with a difference.

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Bandula Jayasekera: A Dedication from Newsline in March 2021

A tribute to the late Bandula Jayasekara – #NewslineSL – 05th March 2021 ….

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Sri Lankan Tamil Rally in London: Protest in Commemoration

Tamil Guardian News Item, 18 May 2021

British Tamils rallied in London today to commemorate the tens of thousands of lives lost in Mullivaikkal in 2009. Protesters demonstrated at Parliament Square, demanding justice for the atrocities perpetrated by the Sri Lankan state in Mullivaikkal 12 years ago.

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UK sets up a “China Research Group”

Tom Tugendhat and Neil O’Brien: About the China Research Group”

The China Research Group [has been] set up by a group of Conservative MPs in the UK to promote debate and fresh thinking about how Britain should respond to the rise of China. The group’s work looks beyond the immediate Coronavirus crisis or issues relating to Huawei, with the aim of considering the longer term challenges and opportunities associated with the rise of China and its industrial and diplomatic policies.

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The Western Bloc vs China in Clash of Giants: A Veteran Lankan Leftist Speaks

Lakshman Gunasekara**

“I am NOT interested in Western anti-Chinese conspiracies, having been familiar with them all my Left activist life since 1974. My interest is (as a good Communist) in the internal problems faced within China and grappled with by the Communist regime there – including the Han ethnocentrism, the anti-Uighur AND anti-Tibetan racism, the huge social problems faced by the intricately managed, partial transition to the capitalist market and, by the new class relations that the CCP must manage with the rise of private capital. So, I repeat my request that if you do come across such studies, please do point me to them. Not this stuff which is as old as the Cold War.

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Murugappan Asylum-Seeker Family on Verge of Legal Victory and A Return to Biloela

Nick Pearson in 9news, 16 February 2021, where the title reads Biloela family spared deportation for now, but remain on Christmas Island”
The Federal Court has stopped the deportation of a family from the Queensland town of Biloela, upholding a decision made in April 2020 which the Department of Home Affairs had sought to have overturned. But Priya and Nades Murugappan and their two young children will remain in Christmas Island Detention Centre for now. The Murugappan family’s lawyer Carina Ford are now considering an appeal to get the family back to their home in Biloela.

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The LANKA COURIER takes off …

https://www.lankacourier.com/

Sri Lanka’s Neutral Foreign Policy

LANKA COURIER   FEB 08, 2021

 The following article has been adapted from the address by the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the general debate of the 75th Session of the United…

Features  ….. Foreign Relations of Sri Lanka

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Suri Ratnapala enters Debate on the Control of FB and Other Such ‘Engines’

Suri Ratnapala, in The Australian, 2 February 2021, where the title reads thus “Proof of life on social media to screen out evils” …. with highlighting emphahsis imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

The suspension of Donald Trump’s accounts by Twitter and Facebook and the shutdown of Parler by Amazon following the events of January 6 heighten concerns about the power of the Big Tech firms to censor political information and debate.

First, a full disclosure. I am a critic of Trump of a classical liberal disposition. I am a social network recluse with only an email account. I believe the silencing of Trump by Facebook and Twitter may have served the immediate public interest but has troubling consequences for liberal democratic government.

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Aubrey Collette’s Satirical Work — An Appreciation

Neville Weeraratne, being Chapter IX in his opus, entitled Collette’s Cullings. The satirist’s fine line”

COLLETTE: Cartoon comment in the Observer following a ‘43 Group exhibition.

Everybody enjoyed Aubrey Collette’s work though he would not have satisfied every political aspiration. You turned to him for your reading of the day, originally in the Times of Ceylon, later in the Observer, and then as ‘Spur’ in a series he did for the Daily News as well. He gave a sharp edge to his drawing which, indeed, was capable of cutting deeply but never maliciously. Collette had the rare and splendid gift of observation: to remember a foible, to swiftly size up a characteristic, and enjoy having summed up the hapless one who had fortuitously wandered into his sights. To have been noticed by Collette was itself honour enough, and those who had been so distinguished by a portrait, as in Collette’s 1954 FACES – a collection of seventy-three pastel studies – soon bought them up, more for the immortality it conferred on them than for the fear of what their enemies might make of the caricatures. Collette very simply had the gift of showing some how others saw them, bestowing upon them the poet’s wish. You might have rejected these insights as subjective had you not yourself been drawn inevitably into the process of assessing the subject.

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