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Naomi Osaka – latest in moving goal posts

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It should be clear by now to the dimmest sportsman and sportswoman that what we have here, far from being the myth of ‘white superiority’, is a serial confession of a ‘white’ inferiority complex.

People would remember how Hitler’s attempt to showcase ‘Aryan’ superiority at the Olympic Games in 1936 was turned upside down by Jesse Owens. What that was about was made apparent by his refusal to shake hands with (actually to come anywhere near) Jesse Owens, and by the admiration with which the German (‘Aryan’) athletes greeted Jesse’s performances.

Around the same time a native (aboriginal) cricketer bowled Don Bradman for a duck. Bradman said that he was the fastest bowler he had faced – Larwood et al not exempted. But the cricket administrators let him win numerous Sheffield Shield matches for Queensland – and kept him out of the Aussie team.

Althea Gibson won Wimbledon twice – but she was not allowed in to use the toilet facilities there.

When Evonne Goolagong won the Wimbledon the first time, the British establishment including especially the BBC and its other media, chose to drop her distinctly native name and referred to her by her ‘anglo’ husband’s name.

Since then we have had the openly racist attacks on Serena and Venus Williams by an establishment that includes match officials, ‘chair umpires’ and others. The ‘white’ administrators and their media have never failed to tell the world that Serena is on a quest to ‘catch up with’ the “record” of Margaret Court – “24 grand slam titles in the Open Era” though in fact Court had won only 11 – the rest were in tournaments for amateurs.

In recent times we have had reports on Ashleigh Barty, also a native of Oz, the current No.1, Sloane Stevens, and just last week on Coco Graf that are as negative as ‘they” could make them. And now their assault on Naomi Osaka is clearly and, in the case of the French organisation, undoubtedly, racist.

It is not widely known that as the French record in Algeria amply proved, the French were – and continue to be as ridiculously and as lethally racist as the ‘Confederates’ in the USA. It should come as no surprise however to secondary school children everywhere that France continues to believe that ‘white’ Europeans have bigger haha brains than say Africans. France won a football World Cup not long ago but failed to mention that its team was composed entirely of ‘non-whites’ mostly from Africa.

In the UK there is a ‘black’ footballer who has punctured racism in that sport and made administrators and fans alike run for cover. Nevertheless, racism in the Metropolitan police and among ‘white’ fans continues to run strong.

We have also had the managers of motor sports fighting to keep the World Champion, Lewis Hamilton, from flagging white racism within that sport: they are not done yet. Jackie Stewart was brought in to try to tell the world that Hamilton’s eight championships counted for less than his own (three).

And what venom is being spewed by the head of the French tennis tournament on Naomi Osaka for declining to be quizzed by the press: the penalty for that, $15,000 was already extracted, when the man and his wo/men came up with threats of further penalties, that bore no relation to Naomi passing up an interview.

It stands to reason (if such notions as fair-play have a place at all in tournaments run not by sportsmen but by businessmen who are besides racist) that the French body of organisers should be outlawed and no internationally recognised events should be held there until that is done.

 

GAMINI SENEVIRATNE



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Opinion

Mrs Paripooranam Rajasundaram- A Gracious Lady

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I first came to know Mrs Pariapooranam Rajasundaram, who was born in Singapore on October 25, 1935 while serving a short stint in Jaffna with police intelligence. Her late husband who called her “Pari” was my very close friend, Mr. Vaithilingam Rajasunderam, the former principal of Victoria College, Chullipuram who was introduced to me by my friend and police batch mate, late Tissa Satharasinghe, who was the Personal Security Officer, to the late Mr T.B. Ilangaratne in 1971.

Mrs Rajasundaram was blessed with three sons and a daughter and several grandchildren and can be truly described as a very faithful spouse and dedicated mother, mother-in-law, grandmother and a great grandmother to the family of which she was matriarch.

My short spell in Jaffna in 1973 brought me closer to the Rajasunderams who celebration their 25th wedding anniversary in 1974. Theirs was an open house and my wife and sisters too came to know them well.

Mrs Rajasundram and her husband were good hosts and his assassination was a shock to all of us. It was then she became part of our family as she lived with us briefly till she obtained a UK visa to join her daughter and son-in-law there.

Many years later when she was living in England, I had joined KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and my family used to spend vacations with them in Cockfosters in North London. Mrs Rajasundaram treated us to sumptuous meals lavishing attention on us. She was very fond of my wife and two children and had a heart of gold. A devout Hindu she never failed in her religious obligations, lived within her means and was never greedy for what she could not afford. She firmly believed in being patient and willingly gave to those in need.

She was a lady who was selfless, full of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, very virtuous, and full of love and character. I can say of her: “People may forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel!”

My prayer as a Christian is that God grants you eternal rest.

NIHAL DE ALWIS

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Independence celebrations for whose benefit?

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Celebrating what? Bankruptcy, corruption and nepotism to name a few. Surely isn’t there one MP among 225 who feel we have nothing to celebrate. We say we cannot pay govt. servants’ salaries in time, the pensioners’ their entitlements. A thousand more failures confront us.

In our whole post-independence history such a situation has never arisen. We should be mourning our lost prestige, our lost prosperity our depleting manpower. Our youth in vast numbers are leaving the country for greener pastures. We should be conserving every cent to live, not to celebrate a non-existent independence. We should be mourning, walking the streets in sack cloth and ashes in protest at this wanton waste of money by an irresponsible government.

I can’t understand this mentality. The forces are also our young men who feel for their fellow men and women. Maybe their lot is a little better than the rest of us. But how can you order them to go parade? They cannot refuse. It is an unwritten or written code that they have to obey orders without question. I feel sorry for them. All that spit and polish – for whose benefit? Definitely not ours. We will be mourning in silence in our homes.

Padmini Nanayakkara.

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Aftermath Of Mr. Ranjan Wijeratne’s Assassination

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It was on Saturday March 2, 1991 when that fateful LTTE bomb blast shattered the life out of Mr. Ranjan Wijeratne, Minister of Plantations and Deputy Minister of Defence, in front of the Havelock Road University Women’s Hostel opposite Keppetipola Mawatha.

Mr. Wijeratne used to take the same route from home to office every day. The LTTE had monitored his movements and found that it would be easy to target him on his way to office from a strategic point after receiving the information of his departure from home.

The LTTE targeted his vehicle right in front of the University of Colombo Women’s Hostel opposite Keppetipola Mawatha. The suicide bomber crashed into the Deputy Minister’s vehicle and killed the Minister instantaneously.

I had dropped our elder son at Royal College for scouting and then went to the public library to return some books and borrow new ones. After having done that, I was returning home when I saw a large cloud of black smoke going up from somewhere on Havelock Road. As I neared Thummulla junction, a university vehicle (I was Registrar of the Colombo University) was going in the opposite direction.

I stopped it and asked the driver what had happened. He said the Shanthi Vihar restaurant at the Thummulla had been set on fire. The police did not allow vehicles into Havelock Road from Thummulla. I parked the car on Reid Avenue between Thummulla and Lauries Road and walked down the Havleock Road to see what exactly had happened.

As I got onto Havelock Road, a policeman accosted me and told me that I cannot be allowed to proceed. Fortunately, at that moment the OIC of the Bamabalapitiya Police station, Mr. Angunawela, came to that spot and recognizing me told the police constable to allow me to proceed.

As I walked down I saw the damage caused. But there were no signs of any vehicle or any dead bodies as the police had got everything removed. There was a large gaping hole on the road where the blast had occurred. But immediately this was filled up and that section of the road carpeted.

I do not know who had ordered it and why it was done in such a hurry. There were pieces of human flesh hanging from the overhead telephone wires. The blast had also affected the house in front where there was a P& S outlet and a lady who had come to buy something had got her eyes blinded by the shrapnel thrown by the blast.

The parapet wall and the Temple flower (araliya) trees that had been grown just behind the wall were all gone. As I went into the hostel, I saw that the front wall of the hostel building badly damaged. When I went in the girls in the hostel were looking terrified and shivering with fright.

Two of the undergraduates who had gone out of the hostel as they had to sit an examination in the university had got very badly injured and they been rushed to the national hospital. Later one girl who was from Kobeigane, a remote village in the Kurunegala area, succumbed to her injuries. The university paid for her funeral. The security guard who had been close to the gate was thrown up and landed back on the ground. Fortunately, he had no injuries other than feeling groggy.

The next job was to evacuate the hostelers from the building. I telephoned the university office and found the Senior Assistant Registrar in charge of examinations was in office. I told her what had happened and to come to the hostel in a van. Thereafter both she and I packed all the hostelers in the van and sent them to the Bullers Lane Women’s hostel. This was done in three trips.

On inspecting the damage done to the hostel I thought the building would have to be demolished and a new building constructed to replace it. However, I contacted an Engineer, Mr. Upasena, at the Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau (CECB,) who came, inspected the damage to the building and stated that he will get it repaired to be stronger than what it was.

He stated that it might cost around Rs, 20,000/- to get the repair done. I contacted NORAD and they agreed to give the funds required for the repair and renovation. Mr. Manickam from NORAD came and inspected the building and agreed to get much more done than what we wanted repaired and renovated. The repair and renovation were done very quickly and the hostelers were able to move in again.

The reopening ceremony was attended by the then Ambassador to Norway, Mr. Manickam and the Vice-Chancellor. The Vice- Chancellor thanked the Ambassador, Mr. Manickam and the CECB for getting the hostel repaired and renovated to be used again. He never mentioned what I had done to get this hostel repaired and habitable again. That is gratitude!

HM NISSANKA WARAKAULLE

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