Very sorry to hear of Sam’s demise. haven’t seen him much in the past several years, but Sam and Vidya were very key to my education about Sri Lanka and, in addition to inputs from C.R. and Kingsley, to the early success of the ISLE Program. We managed to bring Sam and Vidya to Swarthmore College for a year circa 1990 or so, and from then and there they creatively parlayed their experience to move permanently to the US, though Sam stayed with ICES periodically for many years and encouraged our cooperative presence with that venerable institution.
It has been over a decade since the end of Sri Lanka’s protracted conflict, but what we have today is ‘negative peace’ – which is the absence of overt violence. Limited understanding of Sri Lanka’s history, politics, democracy, ambition, intent, and the refusal to acknowledge acts of intolerance and discrimination that destroyed lives and led to bloodshed makes it increasingly difficult to avoid the recurrence of violence and we risk repeating the same mistakes. Today, we are confronted with choices that could lead to positive peace or a resumption of cycles of violence. Even now, the difficulties of dealing with COVID-19 and the resulting economic fallout could lead to social unrest that may morph into inter-communal violence if manipulated. Continue reading →
Avishka Mario Senewiratne in Q and A with Fr Poruthota (1931-2020) ………… Interview in May 2018 and originally published in the Messenger, May, 27, 2018.
Today the Messenger carries a very special and exclusive interview with one of the most senior and popular priests in the Archdiocese of Colombo, Rev. Fr. Ernest Poruthota. Since his ordination in 1957, Fr. Poruthota has served in ten parishes in different parts of the Archdiocese. As Asst. Parish Priest in Kotahena (1957-59), Moratuwa (1959-60), Pamunugama (1960), Dehiwala (1960-62) and Parish Priest in Dehiyagatha (1962-66), Kelaniya (1967-74), Kalamulla (1974-82), Kotte (1982-87), Wattala (1991-1997), Dehiwala (1997-2004), Kirimatiyagara (2004-2011). Apart from Parishes he has served as the Chaplain of lay Apostolate (1966-67), Director PMS (1971-74), Chaplain YCW, CWM (1983-87), Dean of Colombo (1987-91).
A NOTE: The engine ACADEMIA sends me copies of articles relating to my Sri Lankan interests. The item presented below is a new phenomenon seeking to stimulate discussion directed towards cross-ethnic harmony. Whether such objectives can be served in the midst of the cut-and-thrust and slashing of throats by dedicated advocates of THIS or THAT cause is a question one must address when reading the commentary that follows. The HIGHLIGHTED EMPHASIS is my imposition.
A translation of an essay written by Professor Sirimal Abeyratne(Colombo) appeared in the Lankadeepa of 18 August, 2021. As I have difficulties obtaining typescripts in Sinhala, I will write in English. Abeyratne dwelt on two questions. First, who benefits from ‘free education’? Second, how do you engineer a knowledge centre?
Vibeke Venema of BBC News, 6 May 2021,where the title reads“The ‘smart and cheeky’ Aboriginal boy teaching Australia a lesson”
A documentary about a 10-year-old Aboriginal boy’s experience in school,In My Blood It Runs,has reignited a debate about Australia’s failure to give indigenous children a good education and a fair start in life.
Thuppahi’s recent presentation of a striking photograph unearthed by Gerald Peiris which depicts world-famous dignitaries on their way to formally declare the University of Peradeniya open for the business of study and play has attracted pleasure as well as information on the hands that may have been at work on this design. The debate on the choice of site for a new University branch is a separate and complicated issue. The focus here is on the architectural and landscaping designs. As I indicated, Shirley De Alwis [also spelt D’Alwis?] was the principal architect (and we require bio-data on this man). But, what else can we gather? Here are some preliminary responses. The Editor, Thuppahi
Suri Ratnapala, in The Australian, 2 February 2021, where the title reads thus “Proof of life on social media to screen out evils” …. with highlighting emphahsis imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi
The suspension of Donald Trump’s accounts by Twitter and Facebook and the shutdown of Parler by Amazon following the events of January 6 heighten concerns about the power of the Big Tech firms to censor political information and debate.
First, a full disclosure. I am a critic of Trump of a classical liberal disposition. I am a social network recluse with only an email account. I believe the silencing of Trump by Facebook and Twitter may have served the immediate public interest but has troubling consequences for liberal democratic government.
Nandi Jasentuliyana, former Deputy Director-General, the United Nations. reviewing Bhadrajee Hewage’s new book, viz., A Name for Every Chapter: Anagarika Dharmapala and Ceylonese Buddhist Revivalism, in the Sunday Times, 20 December 2020 where the title is different.
The unexamined life is not worth living.’ – Socrates.
Rarely has so much been written both in the West and in the East about the work of a ‘revivalist,’ that one would conclude there is nothing left to be revealed of the man or his work. That is until you read Bhadrajee Hewage’s “Anagarika Dharmapala and Ceylonese Buddhist Revivalism.”
The presence of Lahiru Madushanka in Sri Lanka’s Squad for South Africa has also highlighted his origins in the deep southeast of Sri Lanka after Chaminda Vaas spotted his prospects.In seeking more information about his roots within Facebook I chanced upon another vein of ‘gold’ on the manner in which personnel from indigent circumstances in distant rural areas within Sri Lanka – whether north, south, east or central highland – have circumvented the tyranny of distance and poverty to improve their circumstances.
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.