Posts Categorized: History

Sri Lanka, MSF Amidst All-Out War

by Fabrice Weissman, Academia.edu, accessed June 2019 In Claire Magone et al. (ed.), Humanitarian Negotiations Revealed. The MSF Experience, London, Hurst & Co, 2011. Sri_Lanka_MSF_Amid_All-Out_War 2011 On 18 May 2009, the Sri Lankan government’s crushing victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) put an end to twenty-six years of civil war. Described by… Read more »

Sri Lanka: The Untold Story, Chapter 20

Tamil leadership lacks perspicuity By K T Rajasingham, ‘Asian Times,’ Singapore Chapter 1 Chapter 19 This is a story of another agreement. This time between S J V Chelvanayakam, the leader of the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi and Dudley Senanayake, the leader of the United National Party. In short, another agreement entered into between two… Read more »

Sri Lanka: The Untold Story, Chapter 19

Anguish and pain  By K T Rajasingham, ‘Asian Times,’ Singapore Chapter 1 Chapter 18 The government led by Srimavo Bandaranaike, issued a Treasury circular No 560 of December 1961, which stated that government servants appointed since 1956, should obtain minimum proficiency in the official language – Sinhala, to retain their posts, as well as to… Read more »

Sri Lanka: The Untold Story, Chapter 18

Srimavo – Weeping arrogance  By K T Rajasingham, ‘Asian Times,’ Singapore Chapter 1 Chapter 17 The defeat in the parliamentary elections of March 1960, clearly indicated that the Sri Lanka Freedom Party needed a popular leader, who could put the party back in the saddle. Accordingly, the SLFP stalwarts, on May 24, 1960, elected Sirimavo… Read more »

Sri Lanka: The Untold Story, Chapter 17

Assassination of Bandaranaike  by K T Rajasingham, ‘Asian Times,’ Singapore Chapter 1 Chapter 16 Bandaranaike, Solomon West Ridgeway Dias (1899-1959), the prime minister of Ceylon (1956-59), whose election marked a significant change socially and ethnically in the political history of modern Ceylon, was born on January 8. His father was the only son of Gate… Read more »

Sri Lanka: The Untold Story, Chapter 16

‘Honorable wounds of war’ by K T Rajasingham, ‘Asian Tribune,’ Singapore Chapter 1 Chapter 15 “If Sinhalese lips will not speak the Sinhalese language, who else is there to speak? How is a nation to be lifted out of error, reformed and advance into plains of higher knowledge, except by its own language?” These were… Read more »

Sri Lanka: The Untold Story, Chapter 15

Turbulence in any language  By K T Rajasingham, ‘Asian Times,’ Singapore Chapter 1 Chapter 14 When the Western colonial powers, the Portuguese, Dutch and British, captured the littoral regions of Ceylon, they administered the North and East, the traditional habitat of the Tamils, as a single, whole and distinct unit, keeping intact the homogeneity and… Read more »

Sri Lanka: The Untold Story, Chapter 14

Post-colonial realignment of political forces  By K T Rajasingham, ‘Asian Times,’ Singapore Chapter 1 Chapter 13 The Minister of Trade and Commerce, C. Suntheralingham, the independent Member of Parliament representing Vavuniya and the long time associate of D.S. Senanayake, walked out of the Parliament chamber when a division was called on the second reading of… Read more »

Sri Lanka: The Untold Story, Chapter 13

A nightmarish British legacy  By K T Rajasingham, ‘Asian Times,’ Singapore Chapter 1 Chapter 12 In Britain, according to Brooke Bond Tea survey, people drink nearly 187 million cups of tea per day. It is understood that they normally drink the best – Ceylon Tea. A recent survey disclosed that, drinking at least one cup… Read more »

Sri Lanka: The Untold Story, Chapter 12

Tryst with independence  by K T Rajasingham, ‘Asian Times,’ Singapore Chapter 1 Chapter 11 The first-ever parliamentary general election in Ceylon was held in 1947, under the territorial representative system, but electioneering was conducted, out and out, on a communal basis. However, at the election propaganda meetings, D S Senanayake declared that he wishes to… Read more »

Sri Lanka: The Untold Story, Chapter 11

On the threshold of freedom  By K T Rajasingham, ‘Asian Times,’ Singapore Chapter 1 Chapter 10 The Soulbury commissioners, after completion of their mission in Ceylon, left for London on a Royal Air Force flight on April 7, 1945. Subsequently, the Secretary of State for Colonies announced the rejection of the Free Lanka Bill, which… Read more »

Land Grab & Colonization

by M.K. Eelaventhan, date & source unknown ‘The first prime minister of Sri Lanka, D.S. Senanayake, when inaugurating the Padaviya scheme of colonization openly and with no qualms stated the objective of his government as follows: “Today you are brought here and given a plot of land.  You are men and women who will carry… Read more »

There is a Thread Running Through Sri Lanka’s Cycles of Violence

Sri Lanka’s minorities – including its Christians and Muslims – have paid a high price for the state’s failure to protect them by Farah Mihlar, The Guardian, UK, April 23, 2019, modified April 24, 2019 As mass burials for some of the Christian worshippers killed in the Easter Sunday bombings take place today, claims that the… Read more »

Sri Lanka: The Untold Story, Chapter 10

Lord Soulbury and his soulless report  by K T Rajasingham, ‘Asian Times,’ Singapore Chapter 1 Chapter 9 On August 6, 1945, the American B-29 bomber named Enola Gay, piloted by Paul W Tibbets, dropped the “Little Boy” – a uranium atom bomb, on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, where more than 140,000 civilians died. Three… Read more »

Sri Lanka: The Untold Story, Chapter 9

British Concordance and concoctions  By K.T.Rajasingham, ‘Asian Times,’ Singapore Chapter 1 Chapter 8 It became apparent that the British government had adopted a different agenda and new designs regarding the future of Ceylon to that which some people in the country desired. State Council member D S Senanayake was one of these, and accordingly he… Read more »

Sri Lanka: The Untold Story, Chapter 8

Pan Sinhalese board of ministers – A Sinhalese ploy  By K T Rajasingham, ‘Asian Times,’ Singapore Chapter 1 Chapter 7 The first State Council, which came into existence on July 7, 1931, was scheduled to be dissolved on June 23, 1935, but its life was extended until December 7 of that year. This was done… Read more »

Sri Lanka: The Untold Story, Chapter 7

State Councils – elections and boycotts  by K T Rajasingham, ‘Asian Times,’ Singapore Chapter 1 Chapter 6 In 1930, a delimitation commission was appointed to demarcate the boundaries of the 50 electorates for the proposed State Council. The Tamils agitated for seven seats to be allocated in the Northern province. The Commission, as usual, rejected… Read more »

Sri Lanka: The Untold Story, Chapter 6

Donoughmore – Tamils no more  By K T Rajasingham, ‘Asian Times,’ Singapore Chapter 1 Chapter 5 In 1927, the British government sent a Special Commission to Ceylon, consisting of the Earl of Donoughmore, Sir Mathew Nathan, Sir Geoffrey Butler and Sir Drummond Shiels, with the following terms of reference: “To visit Ceylon and report on… Read more »

Sri Lanka: The Untold Story, Chapter 5

Political polarization on communal lines  by K.T.Rajasingham, ‘Asian Times,’ Singapore Chapter 1 Chapter 4 The Legislative Council was dissolved in August 1924 and elections for a new reformed council were held. According to the Order-in-Council, a candidate had to be over 25 years of age, be a British subject, able to read and write English… Read more »

Sri Lanka: The Untold Story, Chapter 4

The Ceylon National Congress and its intrigues  This history series by K T Rajasingham is no longer available on the Asia Times website, so the links provided at https://www.sangam.org/ANALYSIS/AsiaTimes.htm are no longer active.  As time permits, we will be re-posting this series, along with that by T. Sabaratnam, which has some chapters missing.  Sachi Sri Kantha’s biographical series… Read more »