Category Archives: working class conditions

Presenting the Portuguese Burghers of Sri Lanka: Today and Yesterday

Earl Barthelot, in Ceylon Digest, 22 February 2020, where the title reads The Portuguese Burghers of Ceylon”

Sri Lanka is well known for its diversity with over 22 numerically small communities and majority communities such as Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims. Burgher community is one of the numerically small communities. Large proportions of the Burghers do live in the Batticaloa District and a small proportion live both in Trincomalee and Ampara District. At the same time there are Portuguese Burghers living in all parts of the country in small numbers.

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Child Soldiers in the LTTE, 2009 …. Eelam War IV

Matt Wade, in The Sydney Morning Herald, 5 May 2009, …. where the title runs thus Kill or be killed: 11-year-olds forced to fight for Tamil Tigers”

IT IS hard to imagine Christine* in combat. But the diminutive 14-year-old with a cheeky smile and dancing eyes knows how to handle a Kalashnikov and detonate grenades. A Tamil speaker from northern Sri Lanka, Christine says she was abducted by Tamil Tiger cadres in March and forced to undergo military training. She performed drills using dummy weapons in preparation for battle and, as with many female recruits, her hair was cut short.

  No place for a child … (left) Young fighters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka, and (right) a 14-year old conscript at the Kegalle district centre.CREDIT:AP/GEMUNU AMARASINGHE/MATT WADE

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An Orphaned Lad emerges as Cricketing Prospect for Sri Lanka

Rex Clementine, in The Island, 3 October 2021, where the title is different

At the age of 28, Pulina Tharanga is on the verge of representing Sri Lanka. A leg-spinner, who is handy with the bat and excellent on the field, will soon make the headlines all over the world. His Steve Waugh like guts, the never say die attitude, is what that has impressed the coaches most. Like most southerners, he has inherited it by birth. Or perhaps he has developed the toughness more than the other southerners. Life threw challenges one after the other at him. Here’s his story.

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The JVP Movement Revisited

Mick Moore, reproducing an article he has sent — one placed in POLITY on the 20th September 2021…. http://ssalanka.org/insurrectionary-jvp-sri-lankan-state-mick-moore/. His prefered title is “The Insurrectionary JVP and the Sri Lankan State” …. The highlighting in the essay below are the impositions of the Editor, Thuppahi

Much has been written about the insurrectionary Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP—Peoples Liberation Front). The main focus has been on the character of the organisation itself, why it emerged, and how it was defeated in 1971, and again in 1989. This paper deals with a different set of issues: the ways in which the Sri Lankan state and the insurrectionary JVP interacted and shaped one another. This reflects a broader interest in the question of why the quality of national governance in Sri Lanka has deteriorated so much in the 50 years since the first JVP insurrection of 1971. I suggest that JVP-state interactions can help explain that deterioration. But only so far. There is much more to that story – which is far too big and complex to explore further here.

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Hambantota Port inks in New Prospects

NEWS ITEM ….http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/asiapacific/2021-08/10/c_1310119624.htm

Sri Lanka’s Hambantota International Port (HIP) signed a 58-million-U.S. dollar deal with Maldivian company Sea Horse Yachts on Monday to assemble and export yachts from HIP’s industrial park.

Mr Jayampathy, Secy, Ministry of Ports i signing the document, with Parakrama Dissanayake seated on his right

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Sri Lanka’s Tea Country Trail from Yesteryear with Julia Margaret Cameron

Juliet Coombe

Sri Lanka’s Tea Country Trail. 582 likes · 9 talking about this. The Tea Country Trail is a proposed 310 km long-distance hiking trail through the Sri Lankan Tea Country. The trail winds its way…

https://www.facebook.com/teacountrytrail/

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In Appreciation of Professor Lakshman Jayathilake, Committed Engineering Professor & Patriot

Lionel Bopage, in The Sri Lankan Guardian,  Septmber 2021, where the title reads “My Indelible Memories of Professor CLV Jayathilake” …. with highlighting emphasis added by The Editor, Thuppahi

I am extremely saddened by the news I heard this morning, that Emeritus Professor CLV (Lakshman) Jayathilake, a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers, Sri Lanka, has succumbed to Covid and passed away. He has impacted my life in many ways on several occasions.

 When I was studying at the Faculty of Engineering, University of Peradeniya, he was a lecturer in the Mechanical Engineering Department. I was studying for a Mechanical and Electrical combined degree in engineering, a rare combination at the time.

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From Empiricist Conflation to Distortion: Caste in South Asia

Michael Roberts, responding in 1985 to a Review Essay by Susan Bayly of Cambridge University  on his book on Caste Conflcist and Elite Formation, CUP 1982

Susan Bayly** has done me the honour of reviewing the book on Caste Conflict and Elite Formation: The Rise of a Karava Elite in Sri Lanka, 1500-1931 at considerable length.’ Her essay is appropriately entitled ‘The History of Caste in South Asia’. This title provides a clue to the interpretative pathways which have led her systematically to misunderstand the arguments within the book. No less problematical is her implicit belief in the possibility of constructing a composite picture of the caste system qua system on the basis of empirical data drawn from different regions, regions as widely different as Sri Lanka, southern India and western India. Let me elaborate this charge, and in doing so reiterate the arguments which I presented.

Susan Bayly

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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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