Category Archives: centre-periphery relations

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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Frank Rees George: Intrepid Cameleer & Pioneer in Outback Australia

Rob George to Anne Scherer, 25 September 2022

Hi Anne, Michael has passed on your request to me and I am delighted to respond!  George was the camel driver on a geological expedition in 1905/6 led by my great uncle Frank Rees George that led ultimately to Frank’s death in Alice Springs in early 1906.  George wrote a letter to Frank’s mother, Ediva, (known as Nora) and my great grandmother, explaining to her the details of Frank’s incredible journey and his final hours.  It’s a wonderful letter made even more poignant by the fact that it was penned by a man who cannot have had a lot of education.  Please find a copy of the letter attached together with a photo that I think is George with the camels on the expedition.  The letter was originally in a box of family memorabilia that we carted around rural South Australia (my father was a bank manager so we moved frequently) and which he donated to the State Archives in the mid 60’s.  The letter is available at the archives.

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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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Deeply Wounded. Also Divided? Sri Lanka Today

Neloufer De Mel, in History Today, Vol 72/8, September 2022, where the title reads “Sri Lanka’s Deep Wounds” **

On 31 March 2022 a public protest occurred in the vicinity of the home of the Sri Lankan president Gotabhaya Rajapakse. The protest marked frustration at the shortages of essential commodities (gas, medicines, fuel) and the gruelling ten-to-13-hour power cuts imposed by a cash-strapped government with insufficient dollars to pay for imported fuel. The protestors also sought answers as to why certain neighbourhoods (such as Mirihana, where the president lived) continued to enjoy uninterrupted power.

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Refinement of Cricket Playing Conditions effected by ICC

An ISLAND News Item, 22 September 2022, News Item with this heading “ICC makes changes to Playing Conditions”

A host of changes have been announced by the ICC to the Playing Conditions, which will come into effect on October 1 2022. The Men’s Cricket Committee led by former India captain Sourav Ganguly recommended changes to the Playing Conditions in MCC’s updated 3rd Edition of the 2017 Code of the Laws of Cricket.

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Thoughts on Planter Lifeways in Ceylon evoked by the Braine Biography

Joe Paiva[1]

Camellia sinensis is a species of evergreen shrubs or small trees in the flowering plant family Theaceae. Its leaves and leaf buds are used to produce tea. Common names include tea plant, tea shrub, and tea tree. Wikipedia. If allowed to grow freely can reach up to 6 ft or more. For commercial agronomic purposes they are maintained as a compact shrub at approximately 4 ft, to increase productivity. And to suit the stature of female tea pickers.

Tea plants grow at the tea plantation in Trabzon, Turkey on June 27, 2022. (Photo by Resul Kaboglu/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Ratnapura, Sri Lanka – April 23: R. Chitrakumari (left) and K. A. Punchimeneke pick tea leaves in a tea garden on April 23, 2022 in Eheliyagoda, Sri Lanka. 2022

BOP = Broken Orange Pekoe, the very best grade of marketed tea. Flavour. Aroma, Colour. A very refreshing brew.

 

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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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Charles S. Braine: A Rajah of a Planter in British Ceylon

One of the Braine Progeny presenting an Item in the History of Ceylon Tea website, entitled “Charles Stanley Braine (1874-1944) – The Rajah of Mawatte”…. https://www.historyofceylontea.com/ceylon-publications/feature-

Charles Stanley was born in Ceylon on 25 December 1874. He was the eldest son of Charles Frederick Braine and Adeline Mary Becher, who had married in London earlier that year.

   

  Charles Stanley Braine: rajah-of-mawatte.html

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Escalation! On the Cusp of World War III?

Fair Dinkum

Putin announces partial mobilisation to boost the forces in Ukraine, as the two Donbass republics and two regions of Ukraine go to a referendum to join the Russian Federation.  If the referendums support joining Russia, then the four areas must formally apply to join Russia. It then goes to the Duma for approval, and if they do, it goes to Putin to sign into law. Perhaps the mobilisation is timed to coincide with these 4 areas joining Russia which would mean Ukraine is at war with Russia, no longer against the two republics in the Donbass. 

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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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