Category Archives: the imaginary and the real

Hocus-Pocus: Scrutinizing China’s Alleged Debt-Trap Diplomacy

, in South China Morning Post, 21 February 2021, with this title Debt-trap diplomacy’ a myth: no evidence China pushes poor nations to seize their assets, says academic

There is no evidence China aims to deliberately push poor countries into debt as a way of seizing their assets or gaining a greater say in their internal affairs, researchers and analysts said – countering Washington’s narrative that China was engaging in “debt-trap diplomacy”. Deborah Brautigam, a professor of international political economy at Johns Hopkins University and founding director of the China Africa Research Initiative (Cari), considers the “debt-trap” narrative a myth.

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A German Scholar’s Incisive Review of the Western Powers’ Treatment of Sri Lanka, 2009-21

Mathias Keitle, a German scholar from Statalendorf ++

Sri Lanka eliminated a dreaded terrorist group, with intricate global links, but receives little credit for it! Unlike elsewhere in the world, Sri Lanka has succeeded in resettling 300,000 IDPs (Internal Displaced Persons). There are no starving children for the NGOs to feed but this gets ignored!

Sri Lanka has avoided mass misery, epidemics and starvation, but the West takes no notice of this. Sri Lanka has attained enviable socio-economic standards for a developing country while eliminating terrorism but gets no
acknowledgement.

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About the Kāberi in Colonial Ceilao and the Fort of Galle

Michael Roberts

Writing in the Daily News in March 2019 and deploying the affirmation of a South African diplomat, Jeevan Thiagarajah has lamented the alleged fact that the VOC Black African used slave labour to build the imposing Fort of Galle – even asserting that “an estimated 15,000 Africans brought from Portuguese and Dutch colonies” worked on this project.[1] Thiagarajah is a political scientist and not a historian. His essay is clearly riding on the back of the movement “Black Lives Matter.” But in this populist move to earn kudos (as I speculate), he displays abysmal historical background and has failed to consult the many personnel next door to him in Colombo who would have served up solid data on the topic – notably Ashley De Vos (who has subsequently, albeit briefly, questioned Jeevan’s claim).

The Fort of Galle in the late 19th century

Storming of Galle fort in 1640

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Indian Scaremongering misrepresents China’s Danger

Fair Dinkum in Email Message:  “Michael,  Have you seen this? Do you think it is a fair assessment? Or is this about making India look good and China bad?  In other words,  propaganda.”

India’s main propaganda obsession is to persuade the people of Sri Lanka that China will not be the friends they claim to be.  The wave of xenophobia sweeping the western world today (which India and Japan draw on) is being fanned into an angry flame by Western propagandists. The “Neighbourhood First” concept is stolen from Pompeo’s America First mantra, and adapted to suit India’s national interests. 

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Tamara’s Biography from Her Pen in Answer to Wikileak Twists

Tamara Kunanayakam, with black highlights being her para headlines and the others my imposition as Editor, Thuppahi

Dear All,

This is in response to Hiran Cooray and extracts he posted about me from Wiki[eaks]. I would like to make the following corrections and clarifications.

On my family: I was born in Nuwara Eliya (not Colombo), where my father, as a government servant, had been posted. As an active member of the GCSU, he spent his working life as a government servant being transferred from one ‘punishment station’ to another for his trade union activities. In 1947, as Colombo leader of the GCSU (with TB Illangaratne as its President then), he led the Colombo walk-out that led to Sri Lanka’s first General Strike, (Sri Lanka was(then “Ceylon” and still under British colonial rule). Because of his eternal transfers (Polonnaruwa, Matale, Anuradhapura, Badulla, Nuwara Eliya …), until he took early retirement and began working full time training trade unionists, we all lived literally out of our suitcases with my brother and I in boarding school in Colombo. Continue reading

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Ethnic Categories in Sri Lanka: Issues

Chandre Dharmawardana — in a response directed at Michael Roberts’s Comment**

When we make a blood test, we don’t specify all the items found in blood. Depending on the objective, we may list sugar, triglycerides, Heavy cholesterol and light cholesterol. If our objectives were different, we may list ALT, ALP, AST, bilirubin, albumin and total protein. So, what one lists is based on the purpose.

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Looming Struggles in Sri Lanka and Geneva Today

Rajan Philips, in Colombo Telegraph, 14 February 2021, where his chosen ttitle is “Geneva Odyssey: More Confrontation Or New Approach?”

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa who made the surprising call for the government cancelling the ECT deal with India and Japan, has made another surprising and really a gallant announcement giving the green light for allowing burials for Muslim and Christian victims of Covid-19. If the Ministry of Health has been caught unawares by the PM’s statement in parliament, well, they had better get used to it. But no sooner had the government appeared to have cremated the burial issue than Cardinal Malcom Ranjith raised a new headache for the government – threatening to take his case for justice for the victims of the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks to international courts, if there is no assurance of justice through domestic investigations. That is a shocker even though it is no more than a threat for now.

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Split in Black Lives Matter Protest Movement?

VISIT https://leftoutmag.com/2021/02/04/breaking/

Today Black Lives Matter Inland Empire announced its departure from the Black Lives Matter Global Network, highlighting several grievances, and perhaps, calling attention to the need for movement leaders and members of movement organizations to have broader conversations of transparency, Collective organizing and accountability. The following is a statement from Black Lives Matter Inland Empire.

Ethiopia Berta, an activist and educator who has been fighting for a change for many years, marches in Washington, D.C., on June 6. Last year she worked to keep Democracy Prep Public Charter School in southeast Washington, D.C., from closing…. Pix by Dee Dwyer

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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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Facing the Central Bank Bomb on 31st January 1996

 Somasiri Skandakumar in Sunday Island, 7 February 2021

As the clock moved towards 10.50 am on January 31, 2021, my mind went back 25 years to that fateful day. It was a Wednesday, and having finished our weekly meeting of the Parent Board of Directors in the Board Room on the eighth floor of Steuart House around 10.30 am, we sat around to exchange views on matters of a non-official nature as was customary, before returning to our rooms.

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