Category Archives: education

Adieu ACM Lafir: St. Anthony’s College & Ceylon

Afzal Laphir*&*

Antonian legend ACM Lafir passed away peacefully yesterday in Colombo. He was 86. “Verily we belong to God, and verily to Him do we return”.

The name ACM Lafir is synonymous with Antonian cricket and has remained so through many generations. His record-breaking innings of 176 against Trinity and the opening partnership of 266 with Ronnie Steven have achieved legendary status in our history. Let us now reminisce about his cricketing career at college and how he burst into the national scene as a schoolboy.

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Marriage Prejudices in Ceylon in Decades Past

A Well-travelled Sinhala Octogenarian**

Hi Michael, I am not sure whether people despised persons of mixed race. I really don’t think so by my own experience. However, when it came to marriage, it was an entirely different matter.

In my growing years I have heard the term Thuppahi, but I thought it
referred to low caste people, not to persons of mixed race. But what was apparent to me is that they, the people in the 1940’s and 50s’and even 60’s, did not permit mixed marriages. This was taboo.

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Alagu Subramaniam ….The Unfolding of a Ceylonese Author

Premila Thurairatnam,  an essay that will appear in THE CEYLANKAN of May 2022 ….. with highlghting imposed by the Editor, Thuppahi

Further to my article in the November 2020 issue of The CEYLANKAN  entitled The Extraordinary Alagu Subramaniam, I present the findings from my research into how this short story writer formulated some of his stories almost a century ago.  He was commended in the Encyclopedia of Post-Colonial Literatures in English as an exemplar of professionalism in the short story and that he wrote fiction of merit1. So, I think my effort on his work is worthwhile.

Alagu in 1947 aged 37 when he returned to Ceylon from England

 

 

 

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A Sri Lankan Arthur C. Clarke: Nigel Kerner

Michael Roberts

Arthur C. Clarke came out to Ceylon in the 1950s and went adventuring in the jungles and seas of the island with the Brit, Mike Wilson and a local Burgher named  Rodney Jonklaas. He took to the island and its peoples – aided no doubt by its easy-going lifestyle and the widespread scope for homosexual relations. He settled down in Colombo and became a member of the Otters Club where he could swim and indulge in table tennis. His commitment to the island was such that he deployed his international links to ensure that a satellite was placed in the skies to service Sri Lanka among its many capacities.

 

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Nigel Kerner: An Unique Note on Web well before he passed away

Studied at Saint Aloysius College during 1950/1960s.

Nigel Kerner is an author and freelance journalist. He was born in Sri Lanka, his mother from a British planting family and his father an officer in the British Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm.

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Introducing the Ceylon National Congress: Its Agitation & Its Context

Michael Roberts

The four-volume edition of DOCUMENTS OF THE CEYLON NATIONAL CONGRESS was presented by the Department of National Archives in 1977 and has been out of stock for some time now.

Haris De Silva — Deputy Director, DNA in the 1970s

Volume ONE contains a book within a book written by me and entitled ELITES, NATIONALISMS and the NATIONALIST MOVEMENT IN BRITISH CEYLON – in seven chapters and running to ccxxii pages.

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An Outstanding Mansion: “Regina Walauwwa” become “College House”

Yomal Senerath-Yapa, in Sunday Times, 8 May 2022, where the title runs thus: “Enduring Symbol of Colombo University” … with a sub-line reading “A new coffee-table book maps the beginnings of the country’s academia in 1921

The majestic College House down Thurstan Road –  a whimsical marriage between an English country house and a Maharajah’s haveli with its conical roofs, turrets and slender carved wooden columns, is for the historian a relic of a bygone age. Originally called ‘Regina Walawwa’, in time the house would be renamed College House and become the icon of the Colombo University.

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Reviewing the Past with KP …. Pirapaharan’s Best Man & Organisational Genius

Sri Lanka Guardian interview with KP, 4 June 2021, where the title runs thus “Selvarasa Pathmanathan alias KP speaks after years of silence”

The story of a man who transformed his life to shelter and educate hundreds of kids affected during armed conflict and due to social disparity in Sri Lanka. He is widely known as KP. Selvarasa Pathmanathan is now a social activist and founded the North-East Rehabilitation and Development Organization

When the world’s one-time most wanted man is given the chance to speak, what does he say? When he is given the chance to walk freely, where does he go? When he is given time and freedom, what does he do?

 KP in Kilinochchi ( Pic by Lakshman Dias for Lanka Courier) 

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Vihares and Verandas: Barbara Sansoni’s Magnum Opus

Most versions of this set of amateur reproductions are due to the work done by David Sansoni on amateur mobile-camera pictures taken by Michael Roberts; but the first ‘snap’ of the lion frieze is by Roberts at his Thuppahi worst.

Exif_JPEG_420 ………. “Lions from inner wall of PADENIYA TEMPLE” …. 

 

 

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Delving into the Artistic Mind via Reflections on Barbara Sansoni’s Oeuvre

ARTRA in conversation with Dominic Sansoni, 12 August 2021 …. https://www.artra.lk/visual-art/barbara-sansoni-edition-delving-into-the-artistic-mind

Barbara Sansoni’s dynamic creative pursuits across her drawings from her beautiful buildings to the rhapsody enveloped upon facial features of geometric finesse are fascinating. She presents a truly enchanting introspection to the omnipresence of beauty and vitality, which inevitably reflect the ingenious aptitude of her artistic quests. In unearthing the artist’s esoteric for the special edition of ARTRA Magazine, we conversed with Dominic Sansoni, revered artist and Barbara’s son, to understand the nature of the artist’s mind, and the scope of her multifaceted works.

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