Category Archives: caste issues

Jeronis Pieris Letters in Coffee Table Book: Insights into 19th Century Ceylon


F
acets of Modern Ceylon History through the Letters of Jeronis Pieris … originally published in 1976 by Hansa  [on Bandaranaike era paper] and now presented as a coffee table book with  a host of striking photographs that recapture the mid-nineteenth century era of capitalist expansion with all its pluses and minuses.

Cost is Rs 6400 via the website www.pererahussein.com using VISA or MASTERCARD. The Registered Airmail postage rate to different countries in the world is calculated automatically by the website and added to the cost of the book. Foreign currency rates will thus be equivalent to the Rupee price but will vary slightly depending on the daily Forex rate. Foreign currency rates will thus be equivalent to the Rupee price but will vary slightly depending on the daily Forex rate.

ISBN = 978-955-1723-49-1 .…………….The book is available at : Barefoot, Cargills book city, Sarasavi, Vijitha Yapa, JamFruitTree, Kalaya, Pendi and Urban Island.
 
Jeronis in mid life … & Alfred House in its Prime in mid-19th century

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The Plantation Economy in British Ceylon: The Downtrodden Indian Tamil Labour and the Dispossessed Kandyan Peasantry

Uditha Devapriya, in SAT MAG” of The Island on September 19 and September 26, 2020.

PREFACE: This essay does not present a complete history of plantation slavery, which anyway has been covered many times before by scholars of repute, including Professor Asoka Bandarage, whose Colonialism in Sri Lanka went through a second edition recently. Rather, it counters Sinhala nationalists and those opposed to Sinhala nationalists who equate the position of African-Americans with that of Tamils and Muslims, indicating a failure to distinguish between minority communities which thrived under conditions of colonialism (and neocolonialism) and those which suffered under those conditions. It also counters certain “Marxist” and rightwing academics who see the plantation system as capitalist, and who, while either sympathising with the plight of Estate Tamils or ignoring them outright, single out Kandyan Sinhalese peasants for what they allege to have been their innate laziness under British colonialism, a myth demolished by S. B. D. de Silva in his underrated and unread magnum opusThe Political Economy of Underdevelopment.

Tea Plantation labour in Ceylon – circa 1890s

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The Eastern Regions of Sri Lanka in British Times

Michael Roberts

My D. Phil dissertation at Oxford in the early 1960s centred on British agrarian policy in the mid-nineteenth century and therefore included the British efforts to revive the tank irrigation systems of the Sinhala past. Several British colonial personnel as well as visiting dignitaries were captivated by the ruins of the Anuradhapura/Polonnaruwa periods which they observed during adventure trips. A few saw it as a challenge for their imperial capacity. Some British governors, notably Ward, Gregory and Gordon, took up the prospect.

 Sir Henry Ward and SJV Chelvanyakam

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The Ahikuntika …. Roaming Gypsies of Sri Lanka

Pujitha Wijetunge, in http://www.lankalibrary.com/cul/gypsy.htm ….where the title is “Ahikuntika: Roaming Gypsy Clan”………. alas, no date given

Clad  in a sari and with a red mouth that showed signs that she was chewing beetle, Lili didn’t look any different from those fortune-tellers or palm readers who were a common sight in the streets few years back. But the next generation, Lucki, looked very much like those village boys, wearing a sarong and a gold painted wristwatch.

Lakshman with his dancing cobra.

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Caste, Ur and Tamilness among the Tamils in Metropolitan London

Jane Russell. reviewing article by Thanges Paramsothy entitled  “Caste Within the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora” in Anthropology Matters Journal, Vol.18 No 1 (2018)

I usually avoid reviewing academic articles. Many are derivative and ones that employ original research can be turgid and dull. But that is not the case with this article by Thanges Paramsothy, currently South Asia Program Scholar at Cornell. While replete with sociological and anthropological information about Sri Lankan Tamil caste groupings, both past and present, it is also full of revealing insights into a social system that has been a veiled inner sanctum to many outsiders.

a toddy tapper

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A Poignant Farewell at Vishvamadu in 2018: Rathnapriya Banda’s Work of Reconciliation

Shenali Waduge. in an article presented in June 2018 and entitled  “LTTE village & a Sri Lankan Military Officer show the world what Reconciliation & Peaceful Coexistence is all about” …. ith highlighting emphasis added by The Editor, Thuppahi

It was a farewell that has shocked & left plenty of critics speechless. It has put to rest & completely nullified the lies that have been spread against Sri Lanka’s Army. The culprits include foreign governments/envoys, INGOs/NGOs, UN & even the present government in particular the Tamil leadership & the LTTE diaspora who must be startled at the pictures emerging of an entire village weeping as they bid farewell to a military officer who had played the role of their mentor, their father, their brother, their advisor & virtually their leader. Col. Rathnapriya Bandu has done what Prabakaran, Wigneswaran, Sivajilingam, Sumbanthiran, Sambanthan or even Tamil Nadu politicians could not do & do not want to do. In a world that plays divisive politics of divide & rule he has shown that it takes a hero to unite & Col. Bandu is one hero that we must all salute. No former LTTE village would ever carry a Sri Lankan Military officer on their shoulders & weep as he bid goodbye if he was no hero in their eyes.

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A Voyage into the National Archives via Experienced Hands Speaking on You Tube

ABSORB THIS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qz6zMy9Hf1U&t=924s​

ජාතික ලේඛනාගාරයේ විකාශය හා වටිනාකම 22 June 2020

වර්ෂ 2017 දෙසැම්බර් මස ජාතික ලේඛනාගාරයේ වාචික ඉතිහාසය සුරැකීමේ වැඩසටහන යටතේ, පර්යේෂකයන් සහ ජාතික ලේඛනාරක්ෂක දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවේ විශ්‍රාමික නිලධාරීන් පිරිසකගේ අත්දැකීම්, පටිගත කරන ලදී. ඒ ඇසුරින් ජාතික ලේඛනාගාරයේ විකාශය සහ එහි වැදගත්කම, ලන්දේසි, බ්‍රිතාන්‍ය සහ නිදහසින් පසු කාල වකවානුවල රාජ්‍ය ලේඛන සහ වෙනත් ලේඛන එකතූන් එනම්, පුවත්පත් එකතූව හා ශ්‍රව්‍ය දෘශ්‍ය ලේඛන, අධිලේඛන පරිශීලනය කළ යුතු ආකාරය, අනාගතයේ දී නව තාක්ෂණය තුළින් ලේඛනාගාරය වෙනස් විය යුතු ආකාරය පිළිබඳ ඔබට ඉතා වැදගත් අදහස් ඇතුළත් සංක්ෂිප්ත වාර්තා වැඩසටහනක් ඉදිරිපත් කරන ලදී….. VIZ  = The Development and Worth of the Department of National Archives

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Professor KM de Silva’s Publications

Born in 1931 — on 31st December no less — Kingsley Muthumuni de Silva, is still batting … with a pen. This compilation has been assembled by Iranga de Silva of ICES Kandy…. and is arranged in reverse chronological sequence.

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Lovina Alphonso: A Rodi Waif who ‘converted’ a British Governor

N. Sarawanan, whose preferred title is The Story of Lovina Alphonso — A Dalit Heroine of her Time,” 9 April 2019 …. https://medium.com/@dalithistorynow/the-story-of-lovina-alphonso-a-dalit-heroine-of-her-time-7d43310dd7aa

The “Rodi” caste people are the most oppressed in the Sinhala community. Historically, this community was involved in folk religion, magic, mantras, and ritualised caste begging. Rodis were treated as untouchables and violently discriminated. Rodiya men and women were denied permission to wear any upper-body covering. It was also forbidden for them to cover themselves below the knee. In one era, both men and women were only allowed to cover their genital area and nothing else. Even if they felt ill or cold and clothed themselves to feel warm, and an “upper” caste person caught them in the act, they would have to say, “Please forgive me, Lord, I was feeling too cold!” It was up to the “upper” caste person, then, to decide whether to allow the act of covering or not.

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The Aditye Wansaya presenting the Lindamulage Clan

Johnny De Silva, presenting a typed copy of the English translation of an ola book, The Aditiya Wansaya,  carried out by Pandit Yatinuwara Indaratne Thero for my granduncle Mr Charles de Silva

THE ADITYE DYNASTY (CLAN) OR  ADITYE WANSAYA

The son of Aditiya was known as Aditye i.e. the sun. The lineage that originates from the sun is known as the Solar  dynasty, or ‘Surya Wansaya’.  The ‘Aditye Wansaya’ is the Solar Dynasty in another name; and those that belong to this clan are of Royal descent. The foremost of the Royal clans in ancient India was the Aditye Clan. The ‘Surya Wansaya’ ‘Dinakan Wansaya’ are other names used for this clan.

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