Elmo was born on the 29th Of November 1935 in Galle to my loving parents FELIX DE ALWIS and ENID BERYL DE ALWIS. He was the seventh in our family of eleven He was my closest brother and friend throughout my schooling career until he left Sri Lanka with his family to Germany. But he never distanced himself from me and my family though he did not come very often to Sri Lanka having ensured that he was in Sri Lanka at least once a year especially in February. He was the most intelligent out of our family except for Fidelia our eldest sister, who had passed the senior matriculation in the early forties and my other eldest brother Chandra, who excelled as an entrepreneur being the managing Director of Lankem and Lanka wall tiles and becoming Founder Chairman of Royal Ceramics.
Grace Bains in Scoopwhoop where the title is “A Demon For Us But A Hero For Sri Lankans, The Fascinating Story Of Ravana, According To Lanka” and Chandre Dharmawardena, in Island, 11 September 2020
As we celebrate Dussehra, we recount Ramayana and the lessons that come with it. For us, the Ramayana isn’t just a story of Lord Rama winning over Ravana and rescuing Sita. It is about good winning over evil despite the many obstacles. It is the story that gives Indians hope and motivation to keep fighting for what they know is right.
Shamara Wettimuny, in History Workshop, 7 September 2020, where the title runs “The Colonial History of Islamophobic Slurs in Sri Lanka”**
Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic, multi-faith island. Yet despite centuries of physical coexistence, ethnic, religious and linguistic differences continue to bring communities into conflict. Muslims in Sri Lanka (comprising around 9.7% of the population) are often vilified by both the Sinhalese majority (who are either Buddhist or Christian) and Tamil minority (either Hindu or Christian) for their religious beliefs, practices, and dress. Following the Easter Sunday suicide attacks in April 2019 – carried out by a group of extremists linked to the Islamist group, the National Thowheed Jamaat – the wider Muslim community faced a discriminatory and sometimes violent backlash. In 2020, as COVID-19 spread in Sri Lanka, Muslims were blamed for ‘spreading the disease’, and for wanting to bury their dead in line with traditional Islamic burial practices (as opposed to cremation as stipulated by the Sri Lankan government).
Rienzie Wijetilleke and Kusum Wijetilleke, in Island, 4 September 2020,with this title “False perspectives of Wigneswaran”
Archbishop Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith’s recent comments regarding racial and religious politics were most timely. In a climate where religious leaders seek to become political leaders, to hear the Archbishop state so unequivocally that religion and language should not be the basis for a political party is at least mildly reassuring. It seems that the Archbishop was irked by recent comments made in Parliament by MP C. V. Wigneswaran regarding the primary language of Sri Lanka’s indigenous peoples. Cardinal Malcom is certainly not alone, although when he states that this division began in the 1950s, he is only half right. Certainly, the introduction of the singular language policy of 1956 created a significant fissure in the country, yet the beginnings of the debate around language and ethnicity and its political divisions had taken root long before this.
Javid Yusuf, in Island, August 2020, and also PRESSREADER where the title is “Resolving the Ethnic Conflict- making a difficult task that much more difficult”
One of the most complex problems faced by the country after independence has been the “ethnic conflict” that resulted in a civil war that consumed the country for over three decades. Although the conflict was not between two ethnicities (the Sinhalese and Tamils) but in reality between the State and the Tamil community, the label “ethnic conflict” has become the common parlance used to describe the events around this long drawn out conflict. Basically it has been an attempt by the Tamil politicians to persuade successive Governments to restructure the State so as to address Tamil concerns.
Asanga Welikala edited an important book entitled The Republic at Forty in 2012 in which I participated (CPA, 2012). Both Welikala and Roshan de Silva-Wijeyeratne have formidable curriculum-vitae behind them. Their recent intervention in criticism of the Rajapaksa state today also happens to rely heavily on SJ Tambiah’s work on the mandala state, a topic which also informed my concept of the “Asokan Persona,” which is developed within four chapters in my book Exploring Confrontation (1994).
Recent mail exchanges with a British gentlemen seeking information on British plantations led me to Tom Barron and his stay at Peradeniya University and to the Ceylon Studies Seminar of the late 1960s and early 1970s. While my essay on the latter has been aired before, the emphasis then was directed towards highlighting the inspirations behind this intellectual activity and identifying the many hands invloved in the ‘works’.However, it has dawned on me — today — that there is a subsidary stream within my review that demands emphasis …… in fact a gasp of amazement and exasperation. When leading intellectuals with substantial input within the governing circles of the day could be so blind, is it a wonder that the ethnic split between Tamils and Sinhalese developed astronomically!
Sam CR Gerry … every one of them alive to the developing undercurrents of ethnic hate
When the media reported that the Sri Lankan Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation has issued a newspaper advertisement in Sinhala urging people to share documents, books, and research material on Ravana, the legendary king of Lanka, it was not a surprise for students of Sri Lankan nationalism. Far from being a villain (as portrayed in Valmiki’s Ramayana), Ravana has been celebrated by the majority Sinhalese in Sri Lanka as a cultured and creative icon and a defender of the island against a foreign invader.
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.