Paddy Hintz in The Weekend Australian, 25 October 2023, bearing this title “Jungles, curries and wild elephants: why Sri Lanka is a ride”
We’re just in time to climb into Kandalama’s beautiful infinity pool and be” mesmerised by fireflies as monkeys sift through the trees beside us.
The morning tour is spectacular. Sigiriya Rock Fortress features cascading water gardens, a vertigo-inducing climb to find the remnants of a paranoid and murderous king’s domain (complete with ancient swimming pool) and a cliff-face cave full of frescoes of scantily clad concubines.
Sigiriya rock fortress, Sri Lanka. Photo: Dylan Shaw
Piero Perondi, whose chosen title was “THE SPLENDID TAPROBANE ALIAS SRI LANKA””
The main ancient source on Taprobane is the Roman historian Plinio the Old, in his manuscript “Natural History”, which does not fail to briefly retrace the testimonies of previous authors. He states that only in the time of Alexander the Great was it made clear that Taprobane was an island; before it was considered almost another world, the “land of the Antichthone ” (i.e. the inhabitants of the southern hemisphere).
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Editorial in Daily FT, 8 June 2023, which is entitled “Archaeology Department must act impartially in N & E” … with highlighting imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi
The past few months have seen several protests held in the North and East over the acquisition of land to construct new Buddhist shrines. It has been alleged that Buddhist monks aided by army personnel have been engaged in these questionable activities with the tacit approval of the Archaeology Department which have led to tensions among the local population and the military.
At a recent meeting with Archaeology Department officials, President Ranil Wickremesinghe weighed in on the issue and chided Department officials for taking money from Buddhist monks to carry out their work and reminded them that they do not work for a private firm but a Government institution that has to act according to the law.
Filed under accountability, ancient civilisations, anti-racism, architects & architecture, Buddhism, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, cultural transmission, ethnicity, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, legal issues, life stories, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, religiosity, religious nationalism, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, tolerance, travelogue
Dr. Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake, presenting a proposal with this fuller title “Concept Note for an Indian Ocean World Museum, Researc and Resource Center”
Sri Lanka is ideally located for an Indian Ocean World Museum in what has been termed the “Asian 21st Century.” People of diverse cultures, religions, histories, and linguistic communities have mixed and mingled for centuries along the ancient spice and silk trade routes of the Indian Ocean where Lanka is centrally placed.
Map from Arundathie abeysinghe’s article referred to below
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Bruce Kapferer, … being the Huxley Lecture: British Museum, 16 December 2011, subsequently published in the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (N.S.) 9, 8–86 ..in 2013 … [with the numerals in the publication date references subject to distortion in this version–distortions that will be corrected eventually]
Anthropology has often been criticized for its exoticism and orientalism. They are the paradoxes of a discipline focused on the comparative study of difference and diversity and are at the centre of the discussion here in the larger context of the importance of anthropology in the humanities and social sciences. The emphasis is on the role of the exotic as vital to anthropology’s study of difference and to its overall coherence and signiﬁcance for the understanding of humanity as a whole.
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A New Investigative Website …. https://atita.org/
About Atita: Atita is dedicated to the investigation of historical events in Sri Lanka. Taking its name from the Pali word for “past” (atīta), Atita serves to fill in gaps in English-language literature of Sri Lankan history.
All are welcome to read our work, but those already familiar with Sri Lankan history since 1948 will find it the most enriching. Our primary focus is on events from 1948 to 1972, when Sri Lanka was still called “Ceylon.”
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Piero Perondi, whose native tongue is not Englsih and whose preferred title is “The Crown and Throne of the King of Kandy Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe, 1798-1815” …
The Crown and Throne of the King of Kandy, subtracted to the King Sri Vikrama Rajasinha in 1815, and brought to England as a war trophy and placed in the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle. In fact you can see the lithographic reproduction in this book of the Crown with a brief history , entitled: “The Trophies & Personal Relics of British Heroes” (full part of the book images are attached).
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An APPRECIATION from Senaka Weeraratna
ISRIYALLAYA HARAHAA ARABIYEA BUDUDAHAMA
Professor A.D.T.E. Perera, renowned Buddhist Scholar, with a Ph. D. from the Australian National University, passed away on September 17, 2023 at the age of 87 years of age. He was formerly an Associate Editor, Encyclopaedia of Buddhism, Government of Sri Lanka, publication, Research Associate and Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of New Mexico, USA, Guest Research Fellow, Department of Disarmament and Development, UNO, New York.
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Avishka Mario Senewiratne, whose chosen title is “Jonathan Forbes and the Discovery of Sigiriya,” where it was presented in The Ceylankan, vol 26/3, August 2023
“Sigiri is the only example in Ceylon of those solitary activities, which form so remarkable a feature in the table-land of the dakka…” – Sir James Emerson Tennent
Surrounded by the glorious forestry, guarded by majestic ramparts, nourished by enchanting tanks and ponds, and illuminated by those picturesque frescoes, the Lion Rock: Sigiriya is certainly a grand delight in this palm-fringed isle. Its histories and mysteries are vast. For nearly 700 years this one-time Capital of ancient Ceylon, which housed the fortress of the infamous King Kasyapa I, was lost and forgotten by those in this country. What lingered of Sigiriya were tales from the ancient chronicle Cūḷavaṃsa (sequel of the Mahāvaṃsa) and other contemporary documents. It is most likely that Kings from Nissankamalla to Sri Wickrema Rājasinghe never saw or knew little of this important part of heritage. The older occupants of Ceylon’s maritime region: the Portuguese and Dutch also had no idea of Sigiriya. However, things began to change with the British occupation of the whole of Ceylon in 1815. One such was the translation of the ancient chronicles of Ceylon by George Turnour of the Ceylon Civil Service. The famous story surrounding Kasyapa the patricide, losing the favour of his people in Anuradhapura and locating a new fortress in Sigiriya has been well recorded in the annals of this country. However, when it was first recorded in English, the very mention of Sigiriya aroused the curiosity of the new rulers of this ancient country. Many pursued the idea of finding the long-lost Sigiriya.
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