Category Archives: social justice

The Murugappans of Lanka and Biloela …. And Gross Australian Generalizations about Sri Lankan Situations

Nick Gibbs, in 7 News, 24 May 2022, where the title runs thus “Biloela ready to Welcome Home the Murugappans”

Supporters of the Tamil family held in immigration detention believe their plight changed votes in Qld as the town of Biloela prepares to welcome them home.

 

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The Political Travails of the Indian Tamils in the State Council Era 1931-48

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.

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Sri Lanka as Paradox: A Schizoid Republic?

Lakshman Gunasekara, in Daily FT, 14 May 2022, where the title reads:  “Paradoxes of a schizoid Republic”     

Attackers’ roared obscenities, screams of victims, the thunk of metal poles on defenceless humans and, the crack of smashed protester shelters, all combined to almost drown out the Bhikkus’ serene chanting of Pirith emanating from loudspeakers within ‘Temple Trees’, the official residence of the Prime Minister of our Democratic Socialist Republic.

To those being beaten up on the street right outside the official residence, the public watching from the road and later, to the millions watching TV news telecasts and webcasts around the world, this triple clash of brutality, spirituality and official propriety must have seemed absolutely bizarre, even schizoid if not psycho-pathic.

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NY TIMES Jeers & Cheers at the Rajapaksa Downfall

 Mujib Mashal and Skandha Gunasekara, in NY Times article, 14 May 2022, where the title reads  “A Ruling Family on the Run as Sri Lanka plunges into Economic Ruin,
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From left, Mahinda Rajapaksa, Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Basil Rajapaksa in 2018. The family has dominated Sri Lanka for the better part of two decades. Credit: Eranga Jayawardena/Associated Press

Once empowered by triumphant ethnic nationalism after a brutal civil war, the Rajpaksa dynasty has been wht its own allies call incompetence and denial. As the guests sat down for a banquet dinner last summer at the grand colonial-era home of Sri Lanka’s president, the small talk soon turned gravely serious.

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The Rajapaksa Family face Populist Power

Banyan ... with what seems to be a title ” Unhappy Families”

As the sun goes down the numbers swell on Galle Face Green, a promenade facing the Indian Ocean in downtown Colombo where families and lovers typically come to stroll and fly kites. These days it hosts a more purposeful crowd. Families are there, but so are farmers, students and their professors, Buddhist monks, Catholic nuns, Muslims and members of Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority. A makeshift settlement has sprung up. There are teach-ins at the “People’s University” and slapstick plays for children. The capital’s classiest choir has even led a rousing rendition of “Do you hear the people sing?”. This is Gota Go Gama: “Gota Go Village”. “Gota” is short for Gotabaya. The whole carnival takes aim at the president, the 72-year-old Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and his family: Go, Gota, just go.

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Female Leaders at the Grassroots in a COVID-19 World

Samanthi Gunawardana & Nedha De Silva, at https://lens.monash.edu/@celebrating-influential-women/2021/03/08/1382925/listening-to-women-in-grassroots-leadership-in-a-covid-19-world  …………. “It is a virus, we can get it anywhere, [but] we have a responsibility, and if we let go of workers now when they need us the most, what is the point?” – Chandra Devanarayana, Revolutionary Existence for Human Development, Sri Lanka

Long before COVID-19 hit Sri Lanka’s shores, grassroots women’s organisations fought poverty pay, long hours, and unsafe working conditions in the country’s garment manufacturing districts.

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Indrajit Summarizes the Reasons for Sri Lanka’s Economic Crisis

Shamindra Ferdinando in The Island, 26 March 2022, where the tiltle reads ”Successive governments’ budgetary operations caused financial instability”

Former Governor of the Central Bank Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy says the failure on the part of successive governments to manage expenditure since the country gained Independence has caused the current economic instability.

Throughout Sri Lanka had been plagued by a toxic combination of populist politics and an entrenched entitlement culture among the people, Dr. Coomaraswamy told The Island. “Time and again, the electoral calendar has undermined fiscal discipline,” Dr. Coomaraswamy, who had served as the Governor (July 2016 to Dec. 2019) said.

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Class Differentiation in the Pores of English Cricket

Abbie Rhodes reviewing Different Class: The Untold Story of British Cricket by Duncan Stone (Repeater, 2022)

Discussing class in the context of cricket has long been taboo. But the maintenance of the class order in England serves as the driving force behind the sport’s development….. https://jacobinmag.com/2022/01/cricket-england-duncan-stone-different-class-book-review

English cricket has reached crisis point once again — a place, so Duncan Stone’s Different Class explains, it has never drifted far from. Should popular cricketing books or magazines be believed, the sport has died in England upward of a dozen times before. Each time, the occasion is marked with heated debate, columns penned of the catastrophe as though this, finally, is it. Fans, journalists, and commentators alike all gather to lament the cause: incompetent management, too many or too few first-class counties, the Indian Premier League, and so on.

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A Celebration of Qadri Ismail’s Career by Academia

From the Department of English, University of Minnesota, 5 November 2021

  It’s been amazing reading the tributes to Qadri, reading about his impact and his generosity. Our family was able to keep up with his exploits during his early career in Sri Lanka, when he was a reporter, but his scholarly career was a bit harder to keep up with. I read some of his early writings, but most of them were above my head. But reading the articles about his impact and reach has been very helpful and valuable to us.

A Searing Wide-Ranging Critique from Qadri Ismail after 21/4 in 2019 ……. Now a Requiem

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Searching Investigations from Verite Research in 2021

A VERITE RESEARCH BULLETIN

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

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.

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