Category Archives: working class conditions

Murderous Mayhem at a Rural Junction in North Western Lanka, 1983-1989

Liyanage Amarakeerthi, whose chosen title is “A Fatal Intersection: Three Small Shops in North  Western Sri Lanka that No Longer Exist” …. with highlighting imposed by The Editor Thuppahi

I was born and raised in a little community in Kuliyapitiya, a typical agricultural area with three small tanks (wewa), which watered paddy fields, within walking distance on three sides of my house. Of course, there were also three Buddhist temples, almost within walking distance from each other. It was a typical village in the North-Western province, a part of which is known as bath kooralee or ‘rice province’. Where there were no tanks or paddy fields there were coconut plantations, big and small. Not surprisingly, much of the ‘coconut triangle’ is also in this province.

Stephen Champion’s cover photo has been deployed here  by Thuppahi as an external intervention to highlight the scenario of the 1980s 

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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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Vanni Hope’s Educational Charity Work

VANNI HOPE – It’s Motto: “Be the reason someone smiles today”

 MESSAGE: Dear Friends, Relatives and Wellwishers

Once Again many thanks for helping us to serve indivduals and famlies in the poorest comunties in Sri Lanka. We indicate BELOW some of the enterprises in educational support for students in the face of the current covid pandemic — deploying brief You Tube Presentations.

ONE: HARSHINI – LAW DEGREE – LAPTOP – ONLINE CLASSES …. https://youtu.be/ixXniHBs96E

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Hobson’s Choice in Lanka …. The Same Again Manikey! Kota Uda!

Capt. Elmo Jayawardena, whose preferred ttile is “Hobson’s or “Homben Yana” Choice?” 

Way back in the 16th century there lived a man in Cambridge by the name of Thomas Hobson.

He rented and sold horses and was the proud owner of a stable that had 40 stallions of all colours and breeds. Anyone who wanted to rent a horse from him to ride the paddock or journey into the far horizon, paid money and got a horse. There was one condition, the renter was not allowed to select the horse. The ‘wanna be’ rider had only one choice. He had to take the horse that was in the stall nearest to the door. It was a simple matter of either ‘take it or leave it.’  When the word spread about this, it became known among possible horse renters that what they got was ‘Hobson’s Choice’.

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Leonard Woolf’s Weliwewa Terrain: Gerald Peiris’s Profound Expertise 

Michael Roberts

I have sustained a friendship and interacted with Gerald Peiris from Ramanathan Hall days at Peradeniya University beginning in July 1957. The formal discussions organised at the Ceylon Studies Seminar from 1968-1975 on the one hand and, on the other, casual, but occasionally dynamic, conversations at the Senior Common Room or the Campus Pub in those halcyon years deepened our cooperation …. and continually sharpened my brains.

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Leonard Woolf’s WELIWEWA and Its Terrain

Gerald Peiris**

After getting the article in Thuppahi on Leonard Woolf and Silindu presented by Ernest MacIntyre, I read Village in the Jungle (for the second time since long ago) and found it difficult to connect the essence of the Woolf narrative with what the producers of the play referred to as an attempt to portray village like in a remote setting in the interior of the ‘deep south’.

Leonard Woolf in his aging years & glimpses of village women gathering tank-water in 2oth century Ceylon

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Captain Cook Symbolically Demolished in Canada

A Pseudo-Filipino named “Sir” Roger O’Neil

I can well understand why some Canadians knocked Captain Cook’s statue of its perch into a harbour in British Columbia.  

The only reason the Canadian PM has given a token apology about colonial crimes against indigenous peoples in Canada is because Canada has just been caught with its hands in the cookie jar with the discovery of mass graves. The Canadian government pursued a genocidal policy against indigenous peoples for 150 years — depriving them of language, forbidding the use of their indigenous birth names, medical neglect, sexual abuse, to name a few of their crimes. The government knew of it and were responsible for it for 150 years.

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Industrialization in Lanka!! Searing Comments on Athukorale’s Article

ONE: A NOTE from Mevan Pieris in Colombo, 1 July 2021[i]

The underlining in bold Black is HSM Pieris’s work; that in red has been imposed by the Editor, Thuppahi….. and so, too, any red underlining in Vinod Moonesinghe’s intervention. Both sets of Comments were sent by Email in response to my invitation to a cluster of personnel.

Thanks Michael. Read with interest Premachandra Atukorala’s paper…. [viz. https://thuppahis.com/2021/07/01/an-appraisal-of-sri-lankas-industrialization-strategy/#more-52644%5D

The platform JR Jayawardene Government laid starting in 1977 for an industrial revolution supported by availability of adequate hydroelectric power, was dashed on the ground by the LTTE war with Indian interference, which was beyond even for JRJ to manage in his second term of office. Thereafter the assassinations of strong political successors to JRJ too diluted the leadership of our country. An industrial revolution can only be sustained by a continuity of strong leadership; but with the assassination of Lalith Athulathmudali and Gamini Dissanayake we lost all of it. Leave alone policy making, not even the Central Bank could be protected. So why waste time trying to figure out what went wrong in industrial policy.

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Lessons Derived from the Anti-Muslim Riots of 1915 …. For Today

Walter Wuthmann, in Daily News, 7 May 2018, where the title runs: “Revisiting 1915: Lessons from A Violent Past”

The recent mob attacks[ against Muslim families and property in Kandy is another sad chapter in Sri Lanka’s history of ethnic violence. Now, many are re-examining the past, looking for reasons for why this ugly strain of communalism will not subside, and for ways to fight it for the future. Because before Digana in March, and before Aluthgama in 2014, there was 1915.

  An old photo of the Mosqueat Castele Street inKandy where the initial spark for the “1915 riots”originated

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Confronting Ethnic Violence and Its Roots in Vengeance

Michael Roberts

In presenting Basil Fernando’s book to the public, I have been led back in time to critical data he presented to me in the early 1990s re the “riots of July 1983.” As an act of condemnation THEN, my essay on those events depicted the MOMENT as a “pogrom.”[1] This label was guided by my awareness that in Russian usage this label meant “destruction” and thus went beyond the English dictionary translations of that word. Though I have been rapped on the knuckles by Kingsley M. de Silva for this nomenclature,[2] I remain adamant. What occurred in late July 1983 was a horrific set of events that cannot be buried inside that relatively mundane label “riots.”

 

Jubilant {Sinhala) rioters celebrate their mayhem at Borella Junction in Colombo on the 24/25th July night 1983

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