Category Archives: ethnicity

Entering Australia from Ceylon: Burghers and Amahs first to penetrate White Australia

Earl Forbes

The diplomatic relationship between Ceylon and Australia commenced even before the formal declaration of Ceylon’s Independence. Australia established a Representative Office in Colombo, on the 29th April 1947. On Independence Day, (4th February 1948) this representation was upgraded to High Commission status.  As further indication of the importance placed on the relationship between the two countries, the Australian High Commission Office was moved from its temporary location at the Galle Face Hotel, to more permanent premises at Gafoor Building, in Fort, Colombo. Following diplomatic representation established in London, New Delhi and Washington, Ceylon established its fourth diplomatic office in Canberra. In January 1949,  Mr J A Martensz was appointed as Ceylon’s  first High Commissioner to Australia, (see Image 1).  Mr Martensz was a member of the Ceylonese Burgher community. Although probably underestimated in importance in the planning stages of the Australia High Commission in Ceylon, immigration to Australia soon became a matter of growing contention in the workings of this office. Developments in both countries contributed to a great deal of expectation, as well as misunderstanding, in the early immigration process.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Australian culture, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, economic processes, ethnicity, European history, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, plural society, politIcal discourse, racist thinking, self-reflexivity, Sri Lankan scoiety, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes

Tamil Demonstrations and Thommo’s Thunderbolts: Sri Lanka at Kennington Oval at the 1975 World Cup

Michael Roberts

While some of these striking photographs have been presented before in Cricketique or in Thuppahi, they have not been assembled under one roof before. They are significant both for political and cricketing reasons.  

In cricketing terms we had a talented troupe of players back home so that the final choice of fourteen left very competent players out of scene. The preparations were quite remarkable. The larger pool of players was sent to Nuwara Eliya in order to acclimatize themselves while practicing at Radalla.

Standing left-to-right: David Heyn, Roy Dias, Sarath Fernando, Neil Perera (Asst Manager), Raja Wickremasinhe (Fitness Trainer( and KMT Perera (Manager)  Squatting left-to right: Duleep Mendis, Bandula Warnapura, Ajit de Silva, Anura Ranasinghe, Lalith Kaluperuma, Dennis Chanmugam, DS de Silva, Ranjit Fernando, Tony Opatha, Anura Tennekoon, HSM Pieris ….. Missing because traveling to Nuwara Eliya by car:  Michael Tissera and Sunil Wettimuny

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under art & allure bewitching, cricket for amity, ethnicity, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, life stories, martyrdom, patriotism, performance, photography, self-reflexivity, Sri Lankan cricket, unusual people, world events & processes

Exploring Sri Lanka’s Experiences with Democracy

Sarah Kabir and ROAR on “A Journey of a Demcracy: The Sri Lankan Story”

ROAR is embarking on the generation of a documentary thatseeks to create awareness and understanding of Sri Lanka’s post-independence history…… SEE INITIAL NOTICE: https://thuppahis.com/2021/11/19/imaginative-explorations-of-sri-lankas-history-on-the-cards/#more-56776

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project Intervention

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

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, architects & architecture, British colonialism, Buddhism, centre-periphery relations, chauvinism, constitutional amendments, cultural transmission, democratic measures, demography, devolution, discrimination, economic processes, education policy, electoral structures, ethnicity, fundamentalism, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, insurrections, Islamic fundamentalism, island economy, land policies, landscape wondrous, language policies, law of armed conflict, Left politics, legal issues, life stories, modernity & modernization, Muslims in Lanka, nationalism, parliamentary elections, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, Presidential elections, press freedom & censorship, propaganda, racist thinking, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, refugees, religiosity, riots and pogroms, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, social justice, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, transport and communications, trauma, truth as casualty of war, UN reports, unusual people, vengeance, war crimes, war reportage, welfare & philanthophy, women in ethnic conflcits, working class conditions, world events & processes

Orations. Where Mia prospers and Gotha …

Omar Rajarathnam, in Factum, 22 November 2021, where the title reads Factum Perspective – Speech lessons for Lankan leaders from Barbados PM”

Sri Lankan leaders in recent times have often struggled to effectively advocate for the country’s interest at international forums. The likes of Sirimavo Bandaranaike, J.R. Jayewardene and Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga during the pre-2000 era were exceptions. In the last 15 years, Sri Lankan leaders have failed to deliver show stopping speeches in international engagements. Why is this challenging, and how do leaders like Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley speak with impact at the world stage despite a population 90 times less than Sri Lanka?

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, disparagement, education, ethnicity, foreign policy, heritage, life stories, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, taking the piss, unusual people, world events & processes

Dutch Burghers and Portuguese Mechanics: Eurasian Ethnicity in Sri Lanka

Dennis B. McGilvray, reproducing an essay presented in April 1982 within Comparative Studies in Society and History 24 (2): 235-263 –– an article that is wide-ranging and draws on ethnographic work as well as historical manuscripts. Note that the highlighting and pictorial insertions are the work of The Editor, Thuppahi.

 

 

 

 

 

I: PROLOGUE

Historians and anthropologists in Sri Lanka have tended to migrate in opposite directions, but away from the multiethnic confusion of the port cities. Typically, the heterogeneous, semi-Westernized, postcolonial urban society of Colombo and the larger towns has been only a transit point on intellectual journeys outbound to European archives or inbound to “traditional culture.” This was certainly my viewpoint as I arrived “inbound” in Sri Lanka for my first anthropological fieldwork. I took only passing notice of the clerks of mixed European and Sri Lankan descent who sold me stationery supplies at Cargill’s and mosquito nets at Carvalho’s. These people are given the official designation of Burghers in the government census: they are the racially mixed descendants of the Portuguese, Dutch, and British personnel who occupied the island during four and a half centuries of colonial rule.

Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under ancient civilisations, art & allure bewitching, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, demography, discrimination, economic processes, ethnicity, European history, female empowerment, heritage, historical interpretation, immigration, Indian traditions, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, literary achievements, modernity & modernization, Muslims in Lanka, performance, politIcal discourse, Portuguese in Indian Ocean, religiosity, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, transport and communications, travelogue, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

Continuation of Venom and Bias at the UNHRC

Malinda Seneviratne in his web-site MalindaWords where the title runs “Spit and venom in Geneva (same old, same old)”

 

 

 It’s Bachelet’s hour. That’s Michelle. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The second of her bi-annual Christmas-come-early party in Geneva. Time to get her kicks, probably. The grave countenance, deep tone and malice disguised as concern.  Yes, folks, it’s that time of year of regurgitating tired arguments based on tendentious claims made by unreliable sources with agendas that have little or nothing to do with human rights.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, atrocities, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, conspiracies, discrimination, disparagement, doctoring evidence, ethnicity, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, landscape wondrous, language policies, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, truth as casualty of war, UN reports, unusual people, vengeance, war crimes, war reportage, world events & processes, zealotry

“Anglo-Ceylonese”: A Missing Dimension in British Ceylon

Michael Roberts

The conquest of the island of Ceilao by the British between 1796 and 1818 was an outcome of their imperial conquests in India and underpinned by their sea power. The presence of their troops and other personnel in British India was so extensive that in time a new ethnic category-cum-group emerged in the localities (usually towns) with British personnel: namely, the Anglo-Indians.[i] By the late 19th century these people of mixed descent spawned by British personnel in India stood as a distinct community of Christians speaking Indian English as their mother-tongue and oriented to both India and the United Kingdom.

 

An Anglo-Indian being washed and coiffured

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, British colonialism, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, cultural transmission, demography, economic processes, education, ethnicity, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, population, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, travelogue, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

Imaginative Explorations of Sri Lanka’s History on the Cards

ISLAND newspaper News Item, 18 November 2021

In a brand new initiative, under the working title ‘Project 72’, Roar Media and author Sarah Kabir are set to take a deep dive into Sri Lanka’s past since gaining Independence in 1948, entertainingly and educationally covering some of the most defining years in the nation’s history.

Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under art & allure bewitching, centre-periphery relations, citizen journalism, communal relations, democratic measures, education, ethnicity, female empowerment, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, literary achievements, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, social justice, sri lankan society, unusual people, world events & processes

Kokkadicholai: An Outpost in Wartime Batticaloa

This Item appeared in Dilshy Banu’s Facebook post and I have borrowed it and its photographs for circulation via Thuppahi – in part because it marks a little “outpost activity” in the course of the war and largely because I have met Dilshy and respect her courageous career choices and her lines of philanthropic endeavour….. Michael Roberts, 18 November 2021

Dilshy Banu: Kokkadicholai in Batticaloa: Traversing Tension during Eelam War IV”

 

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, centre-periphery relations, charitable outreach, communal relations, cultural transmission, economic processes, ethnicity, female empowerment, heritage, historical interpretation, IDP camps, insurrections, jihad, landscape wondrous, life stories, NGOs, patriotism, politIcal discourse, reconciliation, rehabilitation, religiosity, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, transport and communications, travelogue, unusual people, war reportage, welfare & philanthophy, women in ethnic conflcits

The World Delineated as Achchaaru….. Our Cross-Fertilised Foundations

Achchaaru! Cross-Fertilisation is the Arterial Foundation of Our World

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, education, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, politIcal discourse, sri lankan society, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes