Sent by Vernon Davidson via Keith Bennett
St. Lucy of Sicily whose feast falls on December 13 is venerated the world over as the protectress against eye trouble. Legend has it that she had the most beautiful pair of eyes and that she pulled them out to present them to an unwelcome suitor who was enamoured by their beauty. However, her eyes were miraculously restored to her more beautiful than before. Named after this virgin and martyr saint is St. Lucia’s Cathedral of Kotahena, the oldest and largest parish cathedral in Sri Lanka and the seat of the Archbishop of [Colombo].
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Dash De Soysa, …. with a modification by the author of the original Thuppahi entry set out in blue lettered text; and two ‘pictures’ of the Prince of Wales’ visit to Ceylon added on 28th Novembe 2023
The walauwa was a residence of an aristocrat in the past and, according to the Sinhala Dictionary, it is derived from the Tamil or Telugu word ‘walawu’. Some also refer to it as a place of jurisdiction. The earliest sources that refer to elite residencies and residents of Lanka can be found in many ancient Brahmi inscriptions dating from about the 2nd century BCE. The ‘prabhu‘ (elite) of various sectors – administration, military, tax collection, navigation, ports, agriculture, infrastructure and so on were referred to as ‘parmuka‘, and the king as ‘Mapurumukā‘. Similarly, ‘pramukha’ and ‘pramukhän’ in Sanskrit and ‘perumakan’ in Tamil also mean foremost, chief, principal or a distinguished person. The term ‘grahapati’ (from the same era) meaning householder is perhaps the earliest recorded version of the subsequent gruha(pati), geya and gedara, terms which are in use even today. The term derives from the Sanskrit ‘gṛha’, meaning house. Whilst subsequent literary sources also mention wasala, niwasa and medura, there is no mention of walawwa until one comes across sources from the more recent centuries.
Badulla Pillar Insciption
Mannar Kacceri Pillar Inscription
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Udumbara Udugama, in The Sunday Times …. and retrieved here by Moira Djukanovic for the ASLA Web Magazine in Adelaide
The full title in the Times runs as ; “200 years ago a green haven began to grow: the Royal Botanical Gardens Peradeniya
The Royal Botanic Gardens Peradeniya, beloved to Lankans and known simply as the Peradeniya Gardens celebrated it’s bicentenary in 2022. Founded by the British as a premier research institution for agriculture and plantation crops in the country, it was brought under the purview of the Department of Agriculture in 2006, The Department of National Botanic Gardens was formed to administer this and other botanic gardens around the island. Dr. Shelomi Krishnarajah, the seventh Sri Lankan Director General of the Gardens became the first woman to hold this post. Dr Krishnarajah who was appointed in 2018 has a solid background in floriculture and tissue culture.
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Bernard Vancuylenburg & Sisira Weragoda
Prologue: As an introduction to the subject of this article I had to choose a title which nails it all in just one line. It is the story of an academic miracle which emanated from a simple school in its infancy, St. Anthony’s College Katugastota, by a group of students who raised the bar of achievement and excellence in the prestigious London Matriculation Examination in 1934, with a 100% pass rate THUS OBTAINING THE BEST RESULTS IN THE BRITISH EMPIRE. It was a path breaking year for the College and a validation of the school’s excellence. Twelve students sat the examination that year of whom six obtained first division passes, and six obtained second division passes. Their names which should be emblazoned in letters of gold in the field of education will be mentioned in this article. Paraphrasing the title of the book by Rubeih Murray James, we should “Carve their names with pride”.
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Veins of Influence: Colonial Sri Lanka (Ceylon) in Early Photographs and Collections, by Shalini Amerasinghe Ganendra
[This book is a pioneering monograph that brings a rich array of early and previously unpublished images of Sri Lanka (Ceylon) into the global discourse of photography, pairing a striking lens of visual appreciation with distinctly humanizing perspectives.
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Ron Slee of Flinders University & Adelaide, …… with highlighting imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi and some End Notes added
My interest in visiting Sri Lanka has been building for decades, generated by my friendship with two Sri Lankan nationals with whom I play tennis, Michael Roberts and Justin La Brooy. Justin had written me a very helpful short history of the country and added his recommendations of where to see wildlife and scenic beauty and Michael had sent hundreds of photos and personal stories that helped me plan my visit.
Unexpectedly this year, I was able to spend 11 memorable days in their country of origin, including two days visiting Galle Fort where Michael had grown up in the 1940s and 50s.
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Avishka Mario Senewiratne
The Karlsruhe Bungalow was the final abode of Sri Lanka’s greatest Burgher, C. A. Lorenz. The origins of Karlsruhe are not clear. Lorenz purchased it from Drs. Vam Beck and Dickman in 1870, but lived there only for a few months till his untimely death in 1871. Lorenz bestowed this valuable property opposite the Welikada prison to his loyal housekeeper. Later, in the early 1900s the Methodist Church brought this property to site Wesley College.
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Suren Ratwatte, whose chosen title is “A Fitting Memorial” ... in tracing the history of Colombo’s War Cenotaph built a hundred years ago ... presented on 28th May 2023 … while the highlighting is the work of The Editor, Thuppahi
In 1923 Ceylon was a different place to the Sri Lanka of today. The land was ruled by the Empire’s masters, ensconced in their ‘Britishers Only’ Colombo Club near Galle Face Green. The Ceylonese had, however, formed their own rival Orient Club located near the racecourse.
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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
Lam Seneviratne, whose preferred title is “100 Years of Royal College at Reid Avenue”
A centenary in the life of an Institution is a very long period and calls for much celebration. However, for Royal College, now 188 years old, a grand celebration to mark 100 years at Reid Avenue may not be appropriate.
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