DG Sugathapala, in Daily Mirror, 9 June 2023 “Value of a perch in Galle Fort increased to Rs. 22mn”
More than one hundred buildings, located within the Galle Fort, have been purchased by foreigners, increasing the value of one perch to Rs 22 million, the Galle Heritage Foundation said. With this development, the population within the fort, which used to be around three thousand, has decreased to around 1000.
This lively presentation was sent to me as a venture of “Batticaloa Burghers singing in three languages”. But digital commentary indicates that the words are (mostly?) Konkani … and raises questions as to where exactly this lively collective was located when they sang. SEE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=munAPKRQ0nk So, that means we are definitely in Thuppahi territory! Ole! Ole! Hai Hoyi! ………. Thuppahi.
Robert Siddharthan Perinpanayagam, in Groundviews, 22 August 2011, where the title reads “Caste And Politics” …. An article that drew 19 comments including some responses from “Sid”… reproduced here with highlighting imposed by The Editor in circumstances where my friend “Sid” from Peradeniya days is no longer around to dispute matters … as he surely would have.
Over the years, the claims of the Tamil people for justice, equalty and dignity have been rejected with a variety of specious arguments. It is not necessary to go into these exercises here again. However, the latest attempt in this direction is to raise the issue of caste in Jaffna society. Former civil servants, who spent three or four years being de facto kings of the North, have sought to comment on this issue in many recent hero-stories that they have published in the newspapers. In these hero-stories they report not only how they defeated one departmental head or another or humiliated a hapless village headman, but how they vanquished the evil designs of the Tamils as well. Indeed everything seems to become grist to the mill of Tamil-bashing. Even a casual remark made in a cricket match is used by a famous historian to claim that the Tamils of Jaffna are cravenly caste-conscious. Off-the-cuff social commentators as well as the tribalist pundits in the newspapers have also got into this act. The implication of these commentaries is that the Sinhalese do not have the problem of castism and only Tamils do. One recent commentator is so ignorant of the political history of the island as to invoke Ponnambalam Ramanathan’s castism! It was indeed the fear of Karava ascendancy by the Goigamas that elevated Ramanathan to high stature by making him the representative of the “Educated Ceylonese” in the Legislative Council.
The presentation of an essay in the Sinhala language on “Caste in Sinhala Society” in April 2017 within Thuppahi came to the attention of Thomas Fernando in UK recently. Tommy promptly took up the challenge and is now proceeding to address the article and topic. This is his NOTE to me: “however laborious it is to plough through the Sinhala text, I hope to have a good look at this article on caste in SL as I have not read a good description on this important topic which has a very significant impact on life even today in SL.”
ONE: Jude Goonewardane – “Appreciating Sri Lankan Musicians,” 28 April 2023
Rest in peace Des! It is with a heavy heart I announce the passing of my dear friend Des Kelly in Dandenong, Melbourne Australia.
Desmond Kelly is a Ceylonese musician who has entertained in Sri Lanka and in Australia. He was born in Colombo in 1936. Kelly was one of a group of musicians who was discovered by Radio Ceylon, now the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation. Radio Ceylon gave him a platform for his songs and announcers Vernon Corea and Christopher Greet played his compositions on their music programs.
Tiger fighters relax in camp, late 1980s—Pic by Shyam Tekwani who was embedded with LTTE for a while.
With the benefit of a Teen Murti Fellowship I was collecting data on communal violence in India in 1995 when my readings of news archives indicated that the death of Mrs Indira Gandhi by assassination in Delhi induced a handful of individuals in southern India to commit sympatheticsuicide. Since news reports did not indicate similar reactions in other parts of India, I began to reflect on the cultural foundations that promoted such expressions – acting, of course, in contexts that also could provide political and economic inspirations.This eventually led to my first essay on this topic:“Filial Devotion and the Tiger Cult of Suicide,” Contributions to Indian Sociology, 1996, 30: 245-72.
Uditha Devapriya, whose chosen title was “Martin Wickramasinghe and A. G. Fraser.”
On 7 February 1971, Trinity College, Kandy held its 99th annual Prize Giving. Presided by the then Anglican Bishop of Kurunegala, Lakshman Wickremesinghe, the ceremony featured Martin Wickramasinghe as its Chief Guest. By this point Wickramasinghe had established himself as Sri Lanka’s leading literary figure. A grand old man of 80, he was now writing on a whole range of topics outside culture and literature. His essays addressed some of the more compelling socio-political issues of the day, including youth unrest. His speech at the Prize Giving dwelt on these issues and reflected his concerns.
Meera Srinivasan, in The Hindu, 23 April 2023, whee the title reads thus: “Tamils flag escalating attacks on temples in northern Sri Lanka” … with highlighting added by The Editor, Thuppahi
Several Tamil parties have called for a protest on April 25 against the recent Temple attacks. Tamils in Sri Lanka have witnessed an escalation in the attack on Hindu temples in recent weeks, a trend that they note is part of the State’s “ongoing Sinhalisation project” in the island’s north.
Shamara Wettimuny in Financial Times, 12 April 2023 … with highlighting added by The Editor, Thuppahi
On a muggy Friday afternoon, the auditorium of the National Library of Sri Lanka slowly filled with an eager audience from Colombo, the Hill Country and beyond. It was the launch of a book by Associate Professor of Anthropology, Dr. Mythri Jegathesan, of Santa Clara University.
Her book, a work on and of solidarity with the Hill Country Tamils of Sri Lanka, ‘Tea and Solidarity: Tamil Women and Work in Post-war Sri Lanka’ was originally published by the University of Washington Press in 2019 to widespread acclaim. It was awarded the 2020 Diane Forsyth Prize for the best book featuring feminist anthropology research and in 2021, it won the Michelle Z. Rosaldo Book Prize for its significant contribution to feminist anthropology.
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.