Category Archives: art & allure bewitching

Presenting the Portuguese Burghers of Sri Lanka: Today and Yesterday

Earl Barthelot, in Ceylon Digest, 22 February 2020, where the title reads The Portuguese Burghers of Ceylon”

Sri Lanka is well known for its diversity with over 22 numerically small communities and majority communities such as Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims. Burgher community is one of the numerically small communities. Large proportions of the Burghers do live in the Batticaloa District and a small proportion live both in Trincomalee and Ampara District. At the same time there are Portuguese Burghers living in all parts of the country in small numbers.

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The Nomenclature and Lineaments of White-Brown Cohabitation in British Ceylon: A Puzzle

MEMO from Michael Roberts, October 16 October 2021

Moving from BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI to the Greet and Paynter lineages in British Ceylon-and-thereafter has raised a query in my mind: how is it that the category “ANGLO-Ceylonese” did not take root in Ceylon and Lanka in contrast with British India where the label “Anglo-Indian” became well-entrenched[1] and therefore was carried over to the era after India secured Independence in 1947? As we know,[2] Revd Arthur Paynter was an Anglo-Indian missionary who established the Paynter Homes in the Himalayan region of India and then set up the Paynter Home in Nuwara Eliya. He had also married a fellow-missionary in the Salvation Army who was pursuing her commitment in India, one Miss Weerasooria from Dodanduwa … and together sired a talented lineage.

Photograph on display at the Paynter Home of the Paynter family. David Paynter stands at the centre, behind his mother Agnes

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David Paynter: Consummate Painter, A Ceylonese and A Trinitian

“The Transfiguration” Image credit: shehansilva.wordpress.comThe Transfiguration. Image credit: shehansilva.wordpress.com

The chapel at S. Thomas’ College Mount Lavinia is, without exaggeration, the finest feature of the school premises. Displaying Byzantine (Later Roman) architecture, the limestone structure is both stately and imposing. But anyone with even a little exposure to S. Thomas’ College will know that it is the contents of the Chapel, and not simply its structural elegance, that gives it its value. Dedicated in 1927 to the Transfiguration of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Chapel, with its high and wide nave, its great roof-beams and solid pillars, is known as the ‘Chapel of the Transfiguration.’ The word “transfiguration” means to be spiritually transformed or metamorphosed. It is a phenomenon which is hard (if not impossible) to describe in words, much harder still, to depict in art. But when you walk through the great arched doorway of the Chapel of the Transfiguration and into the sanctuary, you will be faced with a vast and powerful image, spanning across its east wall, behind the altar, which captures, by its astonishing simplicity, the essence of the transfiguration.

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In Appreciation of Susil Sirivardhana’s Journey with the Underprivileged

Merril Gunaratne, in The Island, 10 October 2021, where the title is as follows “Susil Sirivardana: A Journey with the Have-nots”

Many articles extolling the virtues, integrity, erudition, intellectual brilliance and simplicity of Susil have flooded the print media upon his demise. We have to laud those who wrote in such a vein, and yet express sorrow that this country and many political establishments had abjectly failed to fully tap the unique talents of such a man for the benefit of Sri Lanka.

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Revd Ernest Poruthota in Q and A on His Life’s Work

Avishka Mario Senewiratne in Q and A with Fr Poruthota (1931-2020) ………… Interview in  May 2018 and originally published in the Messenger, May, 27, 2018. 

Today the Messenger carries a very special and exclusive interview with one of the most senior and popular priests in the Archdiocese of Colombo, Rev. Fr. Ernest Poruthota. Since his ordination in 1957, Fr. Poruthota has served in ten parishes in different parts of the Archdiocese.  As Asst. Parish Priest in Kotahena (1957-59), Moratuwa (1959-60), Pamunugama (1960), Dehiwala (1960-62) and Parish Priest in Dehiyagatha (1962-66), Kelaniya (1967-74), Kalamulla (1974-82), Kotte (1982-87), Wattala (1991-1997), Dehiwala (1997-2004), Kirimatiyagara (2004-2011). Apart from Parishes he has served as the Chaplain of lay Apostolate (1966-67), Director PMS (1971-74), Chaplain YCW, CWM (1983-87), Dean of Colombo (1987-91).

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When Tamilnadu’s LTTE Stalwarts attacked Thiru Nadesan at Rameswaram Temple in 2012 –DBS Jeyaraj

 D.B.S.Jeyaraj, in his website on 9th October 2021 with the following title “Revisiting the Attack on Thirukumar Nadesan in India”

Though Thirukumar Nadesan is a well-known businessman, it was the Rajapaksa connection of his spouse Nirupama that captured headlines in national and international media

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Waltzing Matilda in Kriol … in the Northern Territory, Australia

Waltzing Matilda sung in Kriol, a mixture of local aboriginal dialect, pidgin English and a smidgen of Chinese…..  http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=WgLtzD6JxcA&vq=medium

BACKGROUND:  note the spatial distribution of the related indigenous Kriol languages … https://www.2m.com.au/blog/australian-kriol-languages/… 

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Anne Frank: A Dutch Girl whom the Nazis Exterminated …. But Her Diary Lives

Bart Von Es, in The Guardian, 25 May 2019, where the title runs Anne Frank: the real story of the girl behind the diary”

Albert Gomes de Mesquita is one of the last people alive to have known Anne Frank in person. He appears briefly in her diary as a fellow student at the Jewish Lyceum in Amsterdam, where she writes of him: “Albert de Mesquita came from the Montessori School and jumped a year. He’s really clever.” There is nothing else. In all likelihood, Albert more or less vanished from her memory, but for him the situation is, inevitably, very different.

As the years have gone by his memories of Anne have become ever more important. Aged 89, he still travels internationally to conferences on her work and life. Anne has become a strange kind of celebrity and Albert, as someone who was actually there at the birthday party at which she was given her still-empty diary, is a point of contact for that fame.

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Pablo Neruda in British Ceylon: Literary and Sexual Flowerings in Wellawatte and Beyond

  Jamie James, initially presented in Literary Hub, 3 June 2019, with this title “Pablo Neruda’s Life as a Struggling Poet in Sri Lanka: A Young Poet’s Adventures in the Foreign Service”

At 22, Pablo Neruda was an international literary celebrity—and desperately poor. His second book, Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, had been a sensational success and would eventually become one of the bestselling books of poetry in the 20th century (more than 20 million copies to date), but he was paid almost nothing for it. He was a student at the Universidad de Santiago in Chile, and hunger was an issue; he wore a billowing cape to conceal his emaciated physique and a wide-brimmed hat that hoped for an air of mystery.

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Yohani De Silva sails into the World Stage as Singer

ISLAND Feature Article, 28 October 2021, with this title “Mega Scene for Lanka’s Singing Sensation Yohani “

UPDATE: Yohani, we are told, has been signed by an Indian company, Wingman Talent Management, and will be managed by Sonu Lakhwani, who has also had Jacqueline Fernandez under his wings.

Undoubtedly, Yohani de Silva is Sri Lanka’s singing sensation, global ambassadress and whatever more tags that she may add to her singing career, in the near future. I can’t think of a single present day local artiste who has achieved the kind of glory, and fame, that has come Yohani’s way, through her music or, let’s say, singing.

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