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★ Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: see India & Ocean & Empire UK & Foreign Relations UK

John Pilger - The Song of Ceylon 1935 - Unexplained Files TV - V Prabhakaran - John Richardson - Christopher Hitchens - Manawadu Samitha - Natural World TV - China: A New World Order TV - 

 

 

89,573.  For me, the most tenacious distant voices have been the Tamils of Sri Lanka, to whom we ought to have listened a very long time ago.

It is only now, as they take to the streets of western cities, and the persecution of their compatriots reaches a crescendo, that we listen, though not intently enough to understand and act.  The Sri Lankan government has learned an old lesson from, I suspect, a modern master: Israel.  In order to conduct a slaughter, you ensure the pornography is unseen, illicit at best.  You ban foreigners and their cameras from Tamil towns like Mulliavaikal, which was bombarded recently by the Sri Lankan army, and you lie that the 75 people killed in the hospital were blown up quite wilfully by a Tamil suicide bomber. You then give reporters a ride into the jungle, providing what in the news business is called a dateline, which suggests an eyewitness account, and you encourage the gullible to disseminate only your version and its lies.  Gaza is the model.


From the same masterclass you learn to manipulate the definition of terrorism as a universal menace, thus ingratiating yourself with the ‘international community’ (Washington) as a noble sovereign state blighted by an ‘insurgency’ of mindless fanaticism.  The truth and lessons of the past are irrelevant.  And having succeeded in persuading the United States and Britain to proscribe your insurgents as terrorists, you affirm you are on the right side of history, regardless of the fact that your government has one of the world’s worst human rights records and practises terrorism by another name.  Such is Sri Lanka ...

 

Sri Lanka as British-ruled Ceylon was subjected to a classic divide-and-rule.  The British brought Tamils from India as virtual slave labour while building an educated Tamil middle class to run the colony.  At independence in 1948, the new political elite, in its rush for power, cultivated ethnic support in a society whose real imperative should have been the eradication of poverty.  Language became the spark. The election of a government pledging to replace English, the lingua franca, with Sinhalese was a declaration of war on the Tamils.  The new law meant that Tamils almost disappeared from the civil service by 1970; and as ‘nationalism’ seduced parties of both the left and right, discrimination and anti-Tamil riots followed ...

 

The great moral citadels in London and Washington offer merely silent approval of the violence and tragedy.  No appeals are heard in the United Nations from them.  David Miliband has called for a ‘ceasefire’, as he tends to do in places where British ‘interests’ are served, such as the 14 impoverished countries racked by armed conflict where the British government licenses arms shipments.  In 2005, British arms exports to Sri Lanka rose by 60%.  The distant voices from there should be heard, urgently.  John Pilger, article New Statesman ‘Distant Voices, Desperate Lives’

 

 

89,574.  In ancient times all the low parts of this land were covered with dark and monstrous forests through which no man might pass without peril.  In those days the primitives did prostrate themselves by night to the honour and service of the devil.  The Song of Ceylon 1935, opening comments

 

89,575.  New clearings, new roads, new buildings, new communications, new developments of natural resources.  ibid.

 

 

89,576.  There’s something very different about this rain – its colour ... Rain the colour of blood.  (Sri Lanka & Rain & Cells)  Unexplained Files, Discovery 2013

 

89,577.  Could the red rain plague in Colombia, India and Sri Lanka actually contain blood?  And if so, where would it come from?  (Sri Lanka & Rain & Cells)  ibid.

 

89,578.  These cells are replicating even though they have no DNA.  (Sri Lanka & Rain & Cells)  ibid.

 

 

89,579.  It is the Sri Lanka government that has failed to learn the lessons from the emergence of the struggles for self-determination in several parts of the globe and the innovative structural changes that have taken place.  V Prabhakaran 

 

 

89,580.  The history of post-independence Sri Lanka, from a Sri Lankan Tamil perspective, is a history of lost privileges, intensifying discrimination, failure of democratic institutions to protect their rights and finally, coercion by an overwhelmingly Sinhalese security establishment.  John Richardson   

 

 

89,581.  While the Sinhalese are a majority on their island, they are, as historian Kingsley M de Silva has noted, a majority with a minority complex.  John Richardson 

 

 

89,582.  What struck me, in reading the reports from Sri Lanka, was the mild disgrace of belonging to our imperfectly evolved species in the first place.  People who had just seen their neighbours swept away would tell the reporters that they knew a judgment had been coming, because the Christians had used alcohol and meat at Christmas or because ... well, yet again you can fill in the blanks for yourself.  It was interesting, though, to notice that the Buddhists were often the worst.  Contentedly patting an image of the chubby lord on her fencepost, a woman told the New York Times that those who were not similarly protected had been erased, while her house was still standing.  There were enough such comments, almost identically phrased, to make it seem certain that the Buddhist authorities had been promulgating this consoling and insane and nasty view.  That would not surprise me.  Christopher Hitchens 

 

 

89,583.  Indigenous Sri Lankan culture received multifaceted influences from foreign cultures, mainly due to international cultural routes passing in the vicinity of the island.  Their influences spread into hinterland through water and land routes, and were adsorbed by societies, transforming Sri Lankan Culture into a multifaceted heterogeneous culture with rich tangible and intangible elements.  Manawadu Samitha, Cultural Routes    

 

 

107,445.  Beyond the southern tip of India lies a jewel in the ocean – Sri Lanka.  It’s a land of extraordinary beauty, of jungles, mountains and vast fertile plains.  A rich variety of animals live here; many of them are found nowhere else.  But for me one animal stands out – it’s totally iconic and instantly recognized right around the globe.  Sri Lanka is home to its own unique sub-species of the Asian elephant.  They look very different from their African cousins: their ears are smaller, their foreheads domed and their backs more arched.  (Animal & Elephant & Sri Lanka)  Natural World s32e4: Sri Lanka: Elephant Island

 

107,446.  The elephants here swipe clumps of grass against their feet before eating it; something I’ve not seen before.  It seems to be their way of knocking off the sand and dust that sticks to the roots when they pull it from the ground.  (Animal & Elephant & Sri Lanka)  ibid.

 

107,447.  Sri Lankan elephants have a matriarchal society.  (Animal & Elephant & Sri Lanka)  ibid.

 

 

130,525.  Sri Lanka: The loans from China proved controversial ... The new government struggled to keep up the repayments, so China took control of the port on a 99-year lease.  (China & Sri Lanka)  China: A New World Order II, BBC 2019