Category Archives: Colombo and Its Spaces

Working on the Book PEOPLE INBETWEEN

Michael Roberts

The ‘discovery’ of the Lorenz Cabinet in the Royal Asiatic Society in the 1980s led me to combine with Percy Colin-Thome[1] and Ismeth Raheem in working up this material into a plan envisaging a  set of books (four volumes).[2] The first in this projected series was drafted by me and came out in 1989 courtesy of Sarvodaya Publishing Services (within the limitations of book production in that period).[3] This book, People Inbetween,  has been out of print for quite a while.

 

 

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Leslie de Saram and Aubrey Martensz: Straddling Ceylon & the British Empir

Hugh Karunanayake, in The Ceylankan, Journal of the Ceylon Society of Australia, No 100, vol 25/4, November 2022, where the title reads “Two Acclaimed Lawyers who migrated from Ceylon During the Days of the ‘White Australia’ Immigration Policies” … with the highlighting here being an imposition by The Editor, Thuppahi

The names Leslie de Saram and Aubrey Martensz are not likely to evoke sentiment of any kind from contemporary Sri Lankans. They were two outstanding lawyers who not only dominated legal practice and legal education, but also were very influential members of the profession and of Colombo’s social scene. Both de Saram and Martensz were at various times partners of the well-known legal firm FJ and G De Saram, founded by Leslie de Saram’s grandfather, FJ de Saram Senior, in 1841.

FJ De Saram (Snr) was the grandson of Maha Mudaliyar Christtofel de Saram the son of Johan Henriques de Saram who was only 14 years old when taken to England by Governor Maitland, handpicked from among the leading “native” families as suitable for higher studies. That headstart created a dynasty of lawyers.

Leslie De Saram 

JA Martensz

 

 

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Eureka! The Film Clip of the 1949 Independence Day Festivities Secured

The heroes of this enterprise in retrieving the film clip produced by the Government Film Unit (aka GFU) are James Blake Jnr of Germany and Anusha Palpita & Arun Dias Bandaranaike of Lanka. The relevant details are indicated in a Memo from James emailed to me recently…..  Michael Roberts in Australia, 20 November 2022

A NOTE from James Blake sent from Colombo in late October 2022:

Hi Michael: Please see below for the two links to the FILM CLIP produced by the Government Film Unit.

Note: the Source-1 clip was from an OLD post on your Thuppahis blog: dated 30 July 2020.

Note: the Source-2 clip surfaced when I did an additional YouTube ‘search’.

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Galle Face Green in Colombo Over the Decades

Ismeth Raheem and Angeline Ondaatjie, in Elanka, 10 October 2022, where the title runs as “The Changing Face of Galle Face Green”

Galle Face is Colombo’s most-prized open-aired public space, extending over a mile along the Fort oceanfront in Colombo. Over the course of Sri Lanka’s history, it has been the de facto stage for landmark public gatherings. Most recently over the months of April to July 2022, the Galle Face Green was the centerstage of the People’s Aragalaya, a protest movement that arose from economic hardship in Sri Lanka.  During those weeks the protestors renamed it GotaGoGama (GGG) and even had a Google marker to prove it.  On July 9th 2022, unprecedented crowds from all parts of Sri Lanka gathered in the Galle Face Area breaking attendance records of Prime Minister D.S. Senanayake funeral in 1952, the 1953 hartal, and Pope Francis’s holy mass in 2015.

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