Since I had been introduced to the British peer Lord Michael Naseby in the surrounds of the House of Lords in March 2018, I assumed that he had been born into the aristocratic upper layer of British society. Wrong. It required his book Sri Lanka for me to learn that he was from the upper middle class and had contested parliamentary seats from the late-960s on behalf of the Conservative Party in what were Labour strongholds – with his peerage being of 1990s vintage. As vitally, his early career as a marketing executive had seen him working in Pakistan and Bengal in the early 1960s before he was stationed in Sri Lanka as a marketing manager for Reckitt and Colman in the period 1963-64.
Ahilan Kadirgamar. in Daily Mirror, on 17 February 2020, where the title is “Breaking the Silence on Caste”
Caste is all present in Jaffna, but a silence prevails about caste oppression. Such silence and invisibility were not always the case, where vibrant struggles against caste oppression shook Jaffna some five decades ago.
As the annual witch-hunt mounted by the UNHRC in its role as an arm of the Western world’s foreign policy approaches in March 2020, it is worthwhile reflecting on the ‘triumphant’ public performances in Geneva orchestrated by the Yahapaalana government and one of its driving forces, namely, Mangala Samaraweera — as presented by one of his proteges, Dharisha Bastians….. Editor, Thuppahi.
Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera heading the Sri Lankan Government delegation to the UNHRC’s 34th Sessionaddressing a side event at the Palais des Nations last week. The event was organised by the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva and chaired by Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha. Secretary General of the Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms Mano Tittawella, MP and Constitutional expert Dr. Jayampathy Wickremaratne and Ariyasinha are also present –Pic by Sunanda Deshapriya
BASTIANS:Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s masterful diplomacy is winning over a world eager to keep believing in Sri Lanka’s political transformation story, but the Government faces a deepening disconnect with activists and war-affected constituents at home who are losing faith in its promises to heal the wounds of a long and violent conflict.
Shenali Waduge has a long history as a defender of Sinhala interests within and beyond the island of Sri Lanka. In quite a few minds she would be classified as a Sinhala chauvinist. One must, however, not throw the baby out with the dirty bathwater. Her essays should not be dismissed out of hand. Indeed, there were several striking claims in an essay she presented recently in two outlets for me to include it within Thuppahi under this imposed heading: “To Your Face: UN and UNHRC challenged by Shenali Waduge.”
DBS Jeyaraj, in his website column 15 December 2019, with this title“The Switzerland Connection in LTTE Fund Raising Activity”
Recent events have focused the media spotlight on the Federal Republic of Switzerland known officially as the Swiss Confederation. The landlocked European nation is respected highly on a global scale due to its policy of armed neutrality. Despite the impeccable credentials of Switzerland, the country is being viewed negatively by influential sections of the Sri Lankan people. There is suspicion that an orchestrated campaign is being pursued by certain elements to depict the country as an “enemy” of Sri Lanka. Three recent happenings concerning Switzerland–Sri Lanka relations have contributed to this unfortunate state of affairs.
In working up perceptive readings of the Sri Lankan scenarios presented by the Tamil activist Narendran Rajasinghamin Colombo Telegraph and other outlets I will proceed chronologically. This collection includes (B) his engagements with the Tamil peoples who survived the last stages of the war and ended up as internal refugees in IDP camps or elsewhere in 2009/10; (C) his discerning evaluations of the Tamil death toll; and (D) his forthright and critical reading of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Victory Day Speech of 13th May 2013 in no less an outlet than Colombo Telegraph; and (E) some biting exchanges within Colombo Telegraph when he countered Tamil protagonists via ethnographic data and incisive contentions in clarification of the war and its aftermath.
One finding is a Word File which he sent me on 23 August 2010 with assessments of the political scenario within the state of Thamilīlam in late 2004/05– an assessment gathered in the course of his short sojourn there with his brother Jayadevan Rajasingham.
Narendran Rajasingham, in TamilWeek, 30 August 2009** … where the title is “Internally displaced persons: The new front of an old war in Sri Lanka”
Since the defeat of the LTTE on 18th May’ 2009 at Nandikadal, the issue of the 300,000 ‘Internally Displaced persons (IDPs)’ has become the new front to fight an old war. People who have not been to the IDP camps in Chettikulam have been very vociferous in condemning the conditions and the very existence of these camps. Objective reports based on contextual realities by those who have visited these camps and talked to a cross section of the IDPs are dismissed as propaganda on behalf of the government. Other reports of those who visited these camps, but have highlighted problems that fit in with the agenda of those fighting in the new front, are gobbled up with glee. The reports of those who have not visited these camps and are relying on second hand information and photographs, are accepted as the gospel truth. The desire to condemn and use the situation as an opportunity to continue the old Eelam agenda under a new guise is overwhelmingly obvious.
Rajasingham et al with General Gunaratne young IDPs at school –Pic deployed in TamilWeek
This tiny cluster of Tamil personnel came from Australia, Germany, UK and Dubai and were clearly not enmeshed in the tales predominant in the LTTE networks abroad. Though Dr Narendran Rajasingham was working in Saudi Arabia at this point of time, note that he had a house in Colombo and stronger roots in the island than the others (as far as I can work out). This report, it seems, appeared first in German in ”LTTE watch” (see the Google reference — https://lttewatch.wordpress.com/2009/04/13/ltte-ist-immun-gegen-internationalen-druck/). To stress this flavour’, the last section is also repeated in Deutsch.
Most issues that have plagued Tamils thirty years ago have become irrelevant. Security, law and justice are the most important issues now. The people of the north are ready for political change. If you talk to people in Jaffna, they will tell you that they no longer want the LTTE in their vicinity.
MA Nuhman, in Colombo Telegraph, 11 September 2019, where the title is “Remembering Professor S H Hasbullah”
Remembering my dear friendHasbullah (11.09.1950–25.08.2018) is personally a very emotional, difficult and painful task for me. We were very close and intimate friends for nearly three decades. Hasbullah’s untimely sudden death was a great loss to me. Even after one year of his demise my memories of him are fresh and heavy in my mind. It may take a long time for me to recover, for he made an impact on my life. He was such a dynamic personality.
Geoff Chambers in The Australian, 10 September 2019, where the heading runs “Most back kicking out asylum-seekers who aren’t refugees”
Most Australians believe that asylum-seekers deemed not to be genuine refugees should be deported regardless of other considerations. A Newspoll survey conducted last week showed 64 per cent of voters believe asylum-seekers who are considered by the courts to not be refugees should be deported, with 24 per cent saying they should be allowed to settle in Australia.
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.