Officially, Sri Lanka got its Independence in 1948.
However, it was not until 1956 that the masses were truly freed. In the years from 1948-1956, the “British Raj” style of government continued in Sri Lanka. The ruling politicians were all of the kalu-suddha variety. Minorities ruled the country because they were the ones with the education and training, and contacts, required to obtain all the plum positions.
Jeevan Thiagarajah in Daily News, 25 March 2019, with this title“Slaves built Galle Fort” … …. with highlighting emphasis imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi
The topic of the piece today was triggered by a conversation with the current High Commissioner in Colombo from South Africa, Ruby Marks, who has also posted on her Facebook page this passage, “Calvin Gilfillan, Head of Die Kasteel, affirmed what we suspected-the Dutch conceptualized and supervised, but it was the labour of an estimated 15,000 Africans brought from Portuguese and Dutch colonies, that did the back breaking work of actually building the Fort and the other ones scattered across Sri Lanka.I was shocked by how little was known in Sri Lanka about this. I visited the cramped quarters where the slaves were kept, the dungeons where they were imprisoned, and the cemetery-now a car park where they were buried. And my heart wept.
Bronwyn Hickmott took a beautiful garden paver from her late parents’ home and installed it at her own home in Devon, England. In an interview with BBC, Bronwyn said she had been fascinated with the beautiful detailing and the curious shapes of the stone ever since she was a child, which is exactly why she decided to keep it. Little did she know, the curious stone was one of the only seven existing Sri Lankan Sandakada Pahana, which are temple moonstones that date all the way back to the late Anuradhapura Period (10-11th century).
The Moon-stone found at the entrance of Uda Viharaya of Ridhi Vihara Sri Lanka Image Source: Reddit
Nandasiri Jasentuliyana, reviewing Bhadrajee S. Hewage’s book “A NAME FOR EVERY CHAPTER: Anagarika Dharmapala and Ceylonese Buddhist Revivalism”
‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’ – Socrates.
Rarely has so much been written both in the West and in the East about the work of a ‘revivalist,’ that one would conclude there is nothing left to be revealed of the man or his work. That is until you read Bhadrajee Hewage’s “Anagarika Dharmapala and Ceylonese Buddhist Revivalism.”
Elmo Jayawardena … [an article presented originally in the Daily News, circa 1992, I gather …. and now appearing again from the clouds — Editor, Thuppahi]
The SIA jumbo turned for the final approach on Plaisance International Airport. The night was cloudy and listless, the sky was demanding with a stratocumulus overcast. There was moderate rain over the airfield. My copilot who was flying the aeroplane was an experienced operator and he landed the big Boeing 747 with professional skill that received applause from the passengers. We taxied and parked in front of the terminal. It was almost midnight; I’ve arrived in the island of Mauritius, not merely as a pilot but to start another one of my wild goose chases.
This one was a peach. I was going to look for Ehelepola’s grave. The first Prime Minister of the last King of Kandy, who I read somewhere, was buried in the island of Mauritius.
Sinhala people and Adigar Pilima Talauwwe —illustrations adopted from Roberts: Sinhala Consciousness — in order to provide a suitable historical ambience for this essay
Island, 7 December 2020, where the title reads “Lord Naseby: UK policy statement on Lanka riddled with factual inaccuracies”
Lord Naseby, the Honorary President of The All Party Parliamentary British Sri Lanka Group has, on the basis of assurances received from the heads of ICRC, Colombo, on three occasions; denied torture was taking place in post-war Sri Lanka.In a letter addressed to Lord (Tariq) Ahmad, Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth, [Naseby] reminded the Minister how some Tamils caused self-harm to gain entry into the UK.
A chance finding during my sojourn with Moninna and Ranjit Goonewardena in Galle Fort in July/August 2015 introduced me to the visit of Tony Blair’s family to Sri Lanka in August 2015 ….. See https://thuppahis.com/2020/11/22/tony-blair-and-family-in-galle-mid-august-2015/ As we all know, in 2015 the Yahapālana govt indulged in an about/turn (with US backing) and joined the HR lobbies by saying ‘mea culpa’ at the UNHRC Sessions in Geneva in March/April that year. This programme overturned the presentations pursued earlier by Dayan Jayatilleke and Tamara Kunanayakam under the Mahinda Rajapakse dispensation. Kunanayakam’s competent representations in 2011 earned the undiluted ire of Eileen Donahue (the American ambassador at the UNHCR) who even threatened Kunanayakam verbally on the phone: “we will get you!”. Internal machinations within the Rajapaksa camp, apparently involving Sajjin Vaas Gunawardena and a Ministry staffer Kshenuka Seneviratne, led to Kunanayakam’s displacement a little later.
Reproduced here is a sub-section from Wertheim’s review article in the 4th quarter editionof the Journal of Genocide Research in 2010 (without re-deploying his footnotes). This section focuses on the Pullitzer Prize winning book by Samantha Power (2002) and argues that its programme resembles shades of the “civilizing mission” associated with European and Evangelical agencies during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Here, with and within Samantha Power, the mission of “humanitarian intervention” was vested solely in US arms and feet ……..…. thus, not in the UN or any other agencies.
Tony Donaldson. with highlighting imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi
In 1943, the US tried to establish a military base in Sri Lanka when OSS chief William Donovan invoked a ruse to railroad it into existence. The details of the ruse and how it was played out is a subject for another occasion. The point to be made here is Donovan’s ruse was quickly exposed by Colin Mackenzie, the Head of Force 136 – the name given to the Special Operations Executive organisation in Asia during World War II. As a result, the British rejected Donovan’s proposal for an OSS military base. Had the US established a military base in Sri Lanka in 1943, it would very likely still be there today, asserting US influence over Sri Lanka, its culture, and inflicting great social damage on local communities.
Banda welcomes Zhou Enlai soon after he steps off the Air India flight at Ratmalana on 31 January 1957.
Few voices of the early 19th Century bourgeois Ceylonese have survived straight from the horse’s mouth to-date. Who were this new elite? What were those first English-educated generations like? How did Macaulay’s “class of people who can act as intermediaries between us and the millions we govern — English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and intellect” fit in?
Thuppahi's Blog · This web site presents the interventions of MICHAEL ROBERTS in the public realm with reference to Sri Lankan political affairs. It will embrace the politics of cricket as well. ROBERTS was educated at St. Aloysius College in Galle and the universities of Peradeniya and Oxford. He taught History at Peradeniya University and Anthropology at Adelaide university. He is now retired and lives in Adelaide.