Category Archives: art & allure bewitching

Religion within Tamil Militancy and the LTTE

  Iselin Frydenlund, presenting her article in Oxford Encyclopedia of Religion, May 2018, …. one entitledTamil Militancy in Sri Lanka and the Role of Religion” …. https://sangam.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Tamil-Militancy-in-Sri-Lanka-and-the-Role-of-Religion.pdf  … OR … https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Tamil-Militancy-in-Sri-Lanka-and-the-Role-of-Frydenlund/4cbf5235611dd3407dfa3a2962e6ea635ac50674 … with highlights and pictures being impositions by the Editor, Thuppahi

Induction of Tiger recruits into fighter ranks with receipt of the kuppi containing cyanide

Tiger soldiers relaxing in camp with cyanide kuppi around their necks Pix by Shyam Tekwani

 

Historical Background

Understanding the role of religion in the Tamil insurgency requires an understanding of Sri Lanka’s cultural mosaic and of the development of modern nationalism before and after independence from British colonial power. Sri Lanka is a geographically small yet culturally rich and complex island, with numerous ethnic, linguistic, religious, and caste subgroups. The majority of the population identify as ethnically Sinhala, and they speak Sinhala, an Indo-European language. The great majority of the Sinhalese are Theravada Buddhists who live mostly in the south and central regions of the island. A small minority of Sinhalese are Catholics, and some also belong to evangelical Christian churches. The largest minority group in Sri Lanka is the Tamils, who speak Tamil (a South Indian Dravidian language) and comprise several subgroups. The largest of these are the so-called Sri Lankan Tamils, who traditionally have lived in the north and east. The so-called Indian Tamils are labor immigrants from India who were brought in by the British to work in the plantation sector in the highlands. The majority of Tamils are Hindus of the Śaiva Siddhanta tradition, but there are also a significant number who are Catholics and a few to smaller Evangelical denominations. The Tamil Muslims identify based on religious belonging, not on a common ethnic identity, and they speak Tamil. Historically, the Muslim communities are scattered throughout the island; they form a stronghold in urban trading centers in the south but are also farmers in the Tamil-majority Eastern Province. Social stratification based on caste and regional identities was strong in precolonial Lanka, and then the colonial classifications of the island’s inhabitants produced new identities with intensified religious and racial signifiers. These were reproduced in the emerging Tamil and Sinhala nationalisms of the late 19th century.

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A Rare Photograph of the Old Lighthouse at Galle Fort

Ismeth Raheem ++

Presented here is the stone and concrete lighthouse constructed around 1851-52 at the south-western corner of Galle Fort ………. replacing the cast-iron structure that was specially fabricated in England and shipped to Ceylon. That cast-iron lighting ‘unit’ was burnt down by accident in 1849-50.

The rare image was recently made available to Thuppahi by Bunchy Rahuman — an old Aloysian mate of Michael Roberts and one time resident in the fort.

The image is one of the earliest datable calotype photographs the world has seen. Calotype photographs are partly hand-coloured. Calotype was concurrently invented not soon after the Daguerreotype.

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Gustave Eiffel’s Unique EIFFEL TOWER

Visit https://historia.nationalgeographic.com.es/a/torre-eiffel-construccion-coloso_11345 for the full version of “ARCHITECTURAL CHALLENGE. THE EIFFEL TOWER: THE CONSTRUCTION OF A COLOSSUS”  …………………… an item made available by Capt Kumar Kirinde and his RAFOP collective …. with only some segments reproduced here.

Thanks to his experience in the design of great works of iron, in 1889 Gustave Eiffel managed to erect a tower over 300 meters high for the Universal Exhibition in Paris.

Face of Gustave Eiffel at the base of the tower

Although he was an excellent engineer, Gustave Eiffel’s success rested even more on his skills as an entrepreneur. In 1887 he signed a contract by which the French State and the city of Paris would provide a subsidy of 1.5 million francs; 25 percent of the total construction cost. To obtain the remaining funds, Eiffel created a joint-stock company with a capital of five million francs, half of which was contributed by three banks and the other by Eiffel himself. Despite the fact that the expenses rose 2.5 million more, Eiffel managed to recover the entire investment in a few months thanks to the income from the sale of tickets, which he received by virtue of a 20-year operating license.

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Queen Elizabeth in Parliamentary Pageantry in Ceylon, 1954

Queen Elizabeth honoured by and honouring the House of Representatives

Prime Minister John Kotelawela greets the Queen …  and she  is ushered in pageant mode into the chambers

 

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Schoolmates in Mourning Haka for the Christchurch Muslim Dead, April 2019

Michael Roberts

My attentiveness to the poignant power of the funeral march for Queen Elizabeth on Monday September the 19th for those attuned to the cultural modalities embodied therein that was presented in an article  immediately afterwards[1] referred to the New Zealand Maori mourning ceremonies involving specific haka performance.[2] Let me illustrate this point by a summary account of one such moment – a poignant moment when New Zealanders assembled to remember the 51 Muslim personnel[3] who had been killed by a White Australian racist as they worshipped at two mosques in Christchurch in South Island on Friday 15th March 2019.[4]

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Queen Elizabeth and the Sri Lankan Cricketers, June 1975

Mevan Pieris

I thought it would be interesting for people to see a photograph taken at Buckingham Palace just before the Prudential World Cup matches began in June 1975. Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II, hosted for tea all eight teams which participated. This photograph, which is only the right section of the full photograph (selected as all the Sri Lankans are in it), was taken on the flight of steps of the rear of the palace, overlooking a garden.

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An Irish Voice of Balanced Dissent reaffirms the Republican Ideal

Fintan O’Toole, in Irish Times, 20 September 2022, with this title “Monarchy is a bad habit. Up the Republic” …. with highlights imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi … and caricatures added

In the General Post Office, during the rising of Easter 1916, Joseph Mary Plunkett explained what would happen when the British were defeated. The new Irish government would invite the youngest son of the Kaiser, prince Joachim of Prussia, to come and be crowned as king of Ireland.

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Queen Elizabeth: A Bradman Among the Royals

Greg Sheridan, in The Australian, 20 September 2022, where the title runs thus “Queen was the Bradman among the Royals

I once stood up Prince Charles, as he then was, for a social occasion. I may be the only Australian ever guilty of such a solecism. Forty-odd years ago I was working for the now defunct Bulletin magazine. A friend in the state government sent me an invitation to a morning tea with the visiting prince. I was a republican, but not remotely hostile to the prince. Nor did I have any interest in him. He seemed a bit lame and daffy – listening to his plants and all that – but really he just had no claim on my mind.

I didn’t boycott the event, I just forgot to attend.

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The Measured Funeral March: Poignant Power

Michael Roberts

At 9.00 pm this day of 18th September 2022 I ventured back from my study to our living room to have dinner.  The TV was on and my Scottish wife was watching the serried ranks of the British military and royalty accompanying the hearse bearing the body Queen Elizabeth on its last earthly journey towards Windsor Castle.

I stood and watched. The seepage of “Empire loyalism” in my upbringing [1] must have kicked in: I was saddened and a tear or two emeged. I remained standing.

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In Appreciation of Sam Popham & His “Popham Method in Forest Regeneration”

Risidra Mendis in Ceylon Today, 4 June 2022, where the title runs thus: “The Popham legacy lives on”

Rows of large and valuable trees, lush greenery in abundance, a cool atmosphere, and plenty of interesting things to see are what the iconic Francis Home Popham, (better known as Sam Popham) – the creator of the world-renowned Popham Method in Forest Regeneration, and founder of the Popham Arboretum in Dambulla – left behind when he passed away on 28 May 2022 at an Assisted-Living facility in England.

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