Category Archives: British colonialism

St. Thomas’ College: A Wide-ranging History of the ‘School by the Sea’

David Sansoni, whose preferred title is “STC – an unauthorised history of Lanka’s greatest Public School”

Richard Simon’s ‘history of Lanka’s greatest public school’, is an epic poem!
Epic, in its reach; poetic, in its lyricism, this towering, magnificent opus is a pearl, of both history and literature. “STC” touches the soul and core, of historophile, linguaphile and bibliophile; Christian, Lankan and, above all, Thomian.


Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under accountability, architects & architecture, British colonialism, Colombo and Its Spaces, cultural transmission, economic processes, education, ethnicity, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, language policies, life stories, literary achievements, modernity & modernization, patriotism, performance, politIcal discourse, S. Thomas College, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, teaching profession, unusual people, world affairs

From The Eyes of a 103-Year Old Sri Lankan: 75th Year of Independence!

DL Sirimanne from Kohuwela has reached his century and proceeded another three years beyond. From the vantage of age, he is quite scathing in his concluding summary …. in the Sunday Observer 22 January 2023 … where the title is A bit of Ceylon History. Pass it on to you children”

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under accountability, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, democratic measures, demography, disparagement, economic processes, electoral structures, ethnicity, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, language policies, life stories, meditations, patriotism, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, world events & processes

Bracegirdle’s Anti-Slavery Struggle as Depicted by Robert Gunawardena

Translation by Vinod Moonesinghe from Robert Gunawardena’s “Memoirs of Bracegirdle” … 1.44  to 

Robert Gunawardena 

Mark Anthony Bracegirdle

“Bracegirdle’s anti-slavery struggle”

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

Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under accountability, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, disparagement, economic processes, ethnicity, governance, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, Left politics, legal issues, life stories, martyrdom, nationalism, performance, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, power politics, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, unusual people, working class conditions, world events & processes

Female Attire in Sri Lanka and AK Coomaraswamy

Laleen Jayamanne, in The Island, 28 December 2022, reviewing Ayesha Wickramasinghe’s ‘The Dress of Women in Sri Lanka’

Dr. Ayesha Wickramasinghe, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Textile and Apparel Engineering, at the University of Moratuwa, has recently published her doctoral research on sartorial styles, The Dress of Women in Sri Lanka (2021), in a handsomely designed hardcover book. The historical information, which spans the colonial and the postcolonial periods, with glances at the ancient past, is presented as a cultural survey, in an engaging manner, with a large number of photographs embedded, in the text, as illustrations. It has been published by The National Science Foundation and has recently received a national award as well.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, art & allure bewitching, British colonialism, commoditification, cultural transmission, economic processes, education, ethnicity, gender norms, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian traditions, landscape wondrous, life stories, literary achievements, modernity & modernization, nationalism, photography, religiosity, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, unusual people, world events & processes

The Potency Borne by Pictures

Michael Roberts

This little presentation is a DEDICATION. It illustrates the potency and power of friends in producing an academic booklet in 2011. As it happens, the booklet bears the title Potency, Power & People in Groups and was financed by the good friends Godfrey & Amar Gunatilleke of the Marga Institute.

The “Acknowledgements” and the “Foreword” taken together spell out the names of those friends who assisted this project. But let me single out Anura Hettiarachchi for his aid in this project and in the endeavours leading to my book on Sinhala Consciousness in the Kandyan Period (Colombo, Vijitha Yapa Publications, 2004) because he was struck down by heart failure recently.

To Anura, then, in gratitude I place this item in my website.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, atrocities, British colonialism, citizen journalism, cultural transmission, democratic measures, demography, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, insurrections, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, modernity & modernization, patriotism, performance, photography, politIcal discourse, power politics, religiosity, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, transport and communications, unusual people, war reportage, working class conditions, world events & processes

Reginald Hermon: War Hero during World War One

Features presented in the book VOLUNTEERS fROM CEYLON (2022) … supplemented by additional tit-bits from Richard Dickie Hermon of Trinity College who is now resident in Melbourne, Australia

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, Britain's politics, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, cultural transmission, economic processes, education, Empire loyalism, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, martyrdom, patriotism, performance, plantations, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, travelogue, unusual people, war reportage, world events & processes

Fraternal Polyandry in Ceylon in Dutch Times

Jan Kok, Luc Bulten and Bente M. de Leede:

“Persecuted or permitted? Fraternal Polyandry in a Calvinist colony, Sri Lanka (Ceylon), seventeenth and eighteenth centuries,” a work published by Cambridge University Press, 2022 … presented here in Thuppahi in synopsis

Abstract: Several studies assume that Calvinist Christianity severely undermined or even persecuted the practice of polyandry in the Sri Lankan areas under Dutch control. We analyze Dutch colonial policy and Church activities toward polyandry by combining ecclesiastical and legal sources. Moreover, we use the Dutch colonial administration of the Sinhalese population to estimate the prevalence of polyandry. We conclude that polyandry was far from extinct by the end of the Dutch period and we argue that the colonial government was simply not knowledgeable, interested and effective enough to persecute the practice in the rural areas under its control.

 

Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, commoditification, cultural transmission, disparagement, economic processes, ethnicity, gender norms, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, Kandyan kingdom, landscape wondrous, life stories, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, religiosity, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes

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.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under anti-racism, British colonialism, citizen journalism, cultural transmission, demography, discrimination, economic processes, education, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, literary achievements, patriotism, plantations, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes

Standing Forth as Ceylonese in the Early 19th Century

Michael Roberts  …. presenting the first section in Chapter X of People Inbetween (1989) pp 140-47. … The chapter is entitled “Standing Forth as Ceylonese, 1850s” *++*

Introduction

We need to begin by reaching back into the Maritime Provinces of Ceylon during the first decades of British rule after their seizure of these territories in 1795-96. We shall first recapitulate some of the points made in previous chapters.

We saw that the distinction between VOC officialdom and the Burghers quickly disappeared under the British; that the Hollandsche and even the Tupass of yesteryear were defined as Europeans in some British regulations. We also saw that there was some measure of social interaction between the British and creole families of respectable status during the early decades of British rule (supra: 50ff). In both social intercourse and collective designation, however, the old distinction between the Hollandsche and the Tupass persisted in the form of the opposition between the “Burgher Inhabitants” (or its equivalent, for example, “Dutch”) and the “Portuguese” (or Tupass, Topaz, Mestizos, Mechanics) when people used the English language; and in Sinhala between “lánsi” on the one hand and “tuppáhi” or “párángi” or sinno on the other.[1]

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under British colonialism, British imperialism, cultural transmission, demography, discrimination, disparagement, economic processes, education, ethnicity, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, modernity & modernization, nationalism, patriotism, politIcal discourse, racism, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes

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.

 

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, anti-racism, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, cultural transmission, economic processes, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, plantations, politIcal discourse, racism, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, tolerance, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes