It is with much sadness that I record the demise of Dr Nalini Kappagoda, lately of Bundanoon and Killara. Dr Nalini Kappagoda, a long-time resident, of West Pymble, Killara, and Bundanoon, in New South Wales, passed away at the age of 85 on 23 July. She was one of the most brilliant products of the Ceylon Medical College, from where she passed out as a doctor with First Class Honours in 1960. She was most likely the only student in the history of the Medical College to collect a bag of 4 gold medals during a studentship. In 1958 she was awarded the Hazarai Gold Medal for the best student at the Third MBBS examination. In 1958 she was also awarded the Loos Gold medal for pathology. In the same year she was also awarded the Mathew Gold Medal for Forensic Medicine. In her final year in 1960 she was awarded the Dadabhoy Gold Medal for Medicine. She subsequently obtained her PhD in Pathology from the University of London and was a Fellow of the Royal Australian Society of Pathologists.
I am greatly honoured to be asked by the Awarelogue Initiative to speak at their Lecture Forum in this year of 2021, celebrating the 90th anniversary of the advent of universal franchise in Sri Lanka. In my lecture, I shall touch on some of the complex problems of governance and policy faced by a small multi-ethnic island, flanked as it is and always has been, by economic and political superpowers.
Dr. Thomas Drummond-Shiels: Donoughmore Commissioner 1927/28: Labour MP for Edinburgh 1924 -31; Under Secretary of State for the Colonies 1929-31
Once Again many thanks for helping us to serve indivduals and famlies in the poorest comunties in Sri Lanka. We indicate BELOW some of the enterprises in educational support for students in the face of the current covid pandemic — deploying brief You Tube Presentations.
Dear Friends of HistoricalDialogue.lk, …. We’re happy to announce the launch of our new podcast series, ‘Witnesses to History’. Hosted by Smriti Daniel, the tri-part series is now live on our website and takes you on a journey through Sri Lanka’s history as living memories. Listen to the first episode ‘Holders of History’ which gives an insight into our shared understanding of identity and our shared past – Episode 01 ( 28 mins). Follow the link to also view some exciting bonus material that is archived on the page.
I first encountered Brendon Gooneratne as a formidable fast bowler playing for the Colombo branch of the University of Ceylon against against my Peradeniya branch around 1959/60, mainly as a pace bowler. Thereafter, I encountered him briefly as he courted Yasmine Dias Bandaranaike, a colleague in the Arts Faculty at Peradeniya …. and then for a month or so when the married couple were neighbours of my household at Augusta Hill in Peradeniya University in late 1971. We have met subsequently on and off in Colombo and Sydney because of our strong interest in Ceyloniana.
A reproduction of a framed photo of Brendon at Mount Kosciusko taken by his wife Yasmine
Meeting and listening to Yasmine at the Galle Literary Festival in 2008 was a great pleasure. Her ‘imprint’ has been captured for one and all in an essay I presented then as “January 2008 – When all roads led to Galle” [web-location lost].
Their continued ‘investments’ in the island were deepened by the residences which this couple invested in within the city of Colombo and as “Pemberton” (a conversion of a planting bungalow named ‘Pemberton’) in the upcountry terrain of Uva. So, Brendon’s ‘departure’ from our life-world is a loss of some magnitude. I mark it here in Thuppahi with (A) the mundane account in Wikipedia and (B) a moving testimony from his daughter Devika Gooneratne, …. a farewell that is as remarkable as it is worthy as epitaph — not least for its grounded assessment of the medical staff in Badulla area upcountry in ways that speak volumes for the personnel and system.
So, this Note is a “Hurrah” for Brendon and “Three Cheers” for Devika and her mother.
A recent article by Dishan Joseph (see below) has marked the role of a commando outfit known as the SBS, or Special Boat Service, that was developed within the Sri Lankan Navy (SLN) during the Eelam Wars. The story is complex and demands an elaborate ‘companion piece’ that is attentive to time, combat locations, initiatives and the lessons derived from a remarkable and formidable enemy, namely, the Sea Tigers. In war one becomes like one’s opponent in order to survive. The innovativeness of the LTTE was monumental and its sea-faring capacities were one reason why it outdid-and-outbid the other Tamil militant organisations in the fight to lead the claim for independence for Thamililam during the 1980s/1990s.
Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington to speak on THE ETHICS of HISTORY and thus promote a Live Discussion, 14 April 2021, courtesy of Merton College, Oxford
Since the pandemic began, we have adapted our events programme to move online, and we are pleased to announce that our next 40 Years Series online lecture, a part of our Merton Women: 40 Years celebrations, will be airing live at a time more suitable for our alumni in Asia, Australasia and the Pacific.
Shihan de Silva Jayasuriya, providing an Abstract of her article “Africa in South Asia: Hybridity in Sri Lankan Kaffrinha”
As public spaces become arenas to display cultural memories, Afro-descendants in South Asia become more visible. Emerging local histories further complement the trajectories of Africans and facilitate recognition of Afro-descendants. In my paper “Africa in South Asia: hybridity in Sri Lankan Kaffrinha” published in South Asian History and Culture (2020). I explore connections between Africa and Asia through a genre of music and dance called kaffrinha which enriched the colonial Sri Lankan culturescape and, continues in the postcolonial. In the absence of historical records of kaffrinha for centuries, I have explored alternative narratives – song texts, music scores, dance movements, paintings and frescoes in order to map the dynamics of kaffrinha.
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.