Category Archives: anti-racism

Five Sturdy Men Who Saved Murali’s Doosra Innovation

Michael Roberts

Dr Barclay Reid, “Buddy Reid” in most minds, has this week related his role in medically examining Muralitharan’s peculiar physiognomy and clarifying the  process of mystification that led some Australian umpires to no-ball him in late 1995 as part of a process  — as they thought — of cleansing the cricket field of “throwers” (see https://thuppahis.com/2022/12/21/muralitharan-the-arm-that-did-not-chuck/).

Jacqueline Alderson of UWA’s Technology team preparing Murali for a test as part of Foster’s team …

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At the Feet of Meeriyabedde Upananda Mahanayaka Thera

Padraig Michael O’Leary Colman, in The Sunday Island on November 27, 2022, where the title reads “The Monk and Me”

On October 13, 2017, we heard the sad news of the death of our very dear friend, the Most Venerable Meeriyabedde Upananda Mahanayaka Thera, the Mahanayaka of Uva Amarapura Nikaya. We knew the Most Venerable Upananda for a long time before we realized how eminent he was. We just knew that he was a special human being. As well as being the High Priest of the Pelgahattene temple, he was also responsible for 56 other temples.

 

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The Hermon Lineage in the Plantation World of Ceylon & Lanka

Richard Hermon to Errol Fernando, early December 2022, responding to “The Power of Privilege: Illegitimate Progeny in the Plantations of Ceylon and Beyond” **

Dear Errol

As a Eurasian myself on both sides, since both my grandfathers were Brits and both my grandmothers were Sinhalese: one Kandyan from Welimada, and one Low-Country from Baddegama to whom both my grandfathers were married.

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Adolf Hitler’s Logic

Courtesy of Richard Koenigsberg in New York

HITLER: “If I don’t mind sending the pick of the German people into the hell of war without regret over the spilling of precious German blood, then I naturally also have the right to eliminate millions of an inferior race that multiplies like vermin.” …..

Adolf Hitler raises a defiant, clenched fist during a speech.

circa 1933: German Dictator, Adolf Hitler addressing a rally in Germany. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Power of Privilege: Illegitimate Progeny in the Plantations of Ceylon and Beyond

An EMAIL MEMO from RICHARD HERMON to His Good Friend ERROL FERNANDO, Circa 9 December 2022*++*

Dear Errol,

As a Eurasian myself on both sides, since both my Grandfathers were Brits and both my Grandmothers were Sinhalese: one Kandyan from Welimada, and one Low-Country from Baddegama to whom both my grandfathers were married.

 

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Bracegirdle’s AntI-Slavery Struggle in British Ceylon, 1937

A Section translated  from Robert Gunawardena, Satanaka Satahan, Kosgama: 2007, Vijith Gunawardena: ….. provided here by Vinod Moonesinghe  …. with highlighting imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

In April 1937, a remarkable incident took place which strengthened the anti-imperialist struggle [in Sri Lanka} and aroused the interest of the masses. That is, the Bracegirdle Incident which is spoken about by older people to this day.

 Mark Antony Lyster Bracegirdle, an Australian, came to Lanka in December 1936 to gain appointment as the assistant superintendant of a tea estate owned by a British plantation company. It is possible that the plantation company which appointed him to this position did not know that he had been a young member of the Australian Communist Party. Having come to Lanka, Bracegirdle took up his duties in a tea estate not far from Madulkele, beyond Katugastota.

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Working on the Book PEOPLE INBETWEEN

Michael Roberts

The ‘discovery’ of the Lorenz Cabinet in the Royal Asiatic Society in the 1980s led me to combine with Percy Colin-Thome[1] and Ismeth Raheem in working up this material into a plan envisaging a  set of books (four volumes).[2] The first in this projected series was drafted by me and came out in 1989 courtesy of Sarvodaya Publishing Services (within the limitations of book production in that period).[3] This book, People Inbetween,  has been out of print for quite a while.

 

 

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The Hill-Country Tamils: Their Shitty-Situation Then … and NOW

Ahilan Kadirgamar, in Daily Mirror, 21 November 2022, where the title reads “Hill-country Tamils and Crisis Times” …. with highlighting imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

When our country collapses before our own eyes with one of the deepest crises in historical memory, from what vantage point should we analyse our predicament? Sri Lanka’s political economy over the last two centuries is anchored in the travails and strivings of Hill Country Tamils. Their sweat and blood, that began with the horrifying journey from South India two centuries ago as indentured labour to work in the coffee and later tea plantations, were central to building the country’s modern economy under British colonialism. However, their position in society, and for that matter even the writing of their history, was marginalised. And despite the great democratic and social welfare advances in Sri Lanka with universal suffrage in 1931 and a powerful legacy of free healthcare and education, the social, economic and political life of the Hill Country Tamil community is characterised by struggle amidst persistent crisis times.

‘Ceylon tea’ gave Sri Lanka the recognition in the world map, but the plantation workers are still languishing in their ages-old abode, known as line rooms and continue to be marginalised in education, community wellbeing and healthcare.

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The Suriya Mal Campaign of the 1930s and Doreen Wickremasinghe nee Young

An Item at Roar.lk, where the title reads “We must remember Suriya Mal, even in this era of Manel Mal”

Doreen Wickremasinghe was a British leftist who became a prominent Communist politician in Sri Lanka and a Member of Parliament (MP). She was one of the handful of European Radicals in Sri Lanka.

Doreen & the Rodi lass she ‘rescued’

Doreen Wickremasinghe was the daughter of two British ‘ethical Socialists’. While a student in London in the 1920s, she became involved in the India League and carried out other anti-imperialist work. Here she met Dr S.A. Wickremasinghe, then a radical Sri Lankan moving in Communist and radical circles while a post-graduate student in London.

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The Machinations of Vellala Lawyer Leaders that Deepened Tamil-Sinhala Divisions from the 1920s-to-the-1960s

Sebastian Rasalingam, reproducing an article presented in 2008 in The Sri Lanka Guardian in October 2008 with this title “An Excellent and Timely Feature on the Tamils” **

 Please permit me to make some comments on the recent article on the “Sri Lankan Identity” by R. M. B. Senanayake, continuing a discussion in a previous article by Anne Abeysekera. Both these articles, written by authors who are familiar with the English-educated Sinhalese point of view, deal very inadequately with the issues of Tamil Nationalism in Sri Lanka and in erstwhile Ceylon. In fact, the modern generation, even the Tamils, are on the whole unaware of the true nature of the present conflict and the role of Tamil nationalism. They are misled and mesmerized by simplistic histories concocted by the great political agenda set in motion by the Tamil leaders of the pre-1956 era. In fact, I will outline below how the battlelines were drawn in the Donoughmore days, by G. G. Ponnambalam (GGP) and others who followed.

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