Induction of Tiger recruits into fighter ranks with receipt of the kuppi containing cyanide
Tiger soldiers relaxing in camp with cyanide kuppi around their necks — Pix by Shyam Tekwani
Understanding the role of religion in the Tamil insurgency requires an understanding of Sri Lanka’s cultural mosaic and of the development of modern nationalism before and after independence from British colonial power. Sri Lanka is a geographically small yet culturally rich and complex island, with numerous ethnic, linguistic, religious, and caste subgroups. The majority of the population identify as ethnically Sinhala, and they speak Sinhala, an Indo-European language. The great majority of the Sinhalese are Theravada Buddhists who live mostly in the south and central regions of the island. A small minority of Sinhalese are Catholics, and some also belong to evangelical Christian churches. The largest minority group in Sri Lanka is the Tamils, who speak Tamil (a South Indian Dravidian language) and comprise several subgroups. The largest of these are the so-called Sri Lankan Tamils, who traditionally have lived in the north and east. The so-called Indian Tamils are labor immigrants from India who were brought in by the British to work in the plantation sector in the highlands. The majority of Tamils are Hindus of the Śaiva Siddhanta tradition, but there are also a significant number who are Catholics and a few to smaller Evangelical denominations. The Tamil Muslims identify based on religious belonging, not on a common ethnic identity, and they speak Tamil. Historically, the Muslim communities are scattered throughout the island; they form a stronghold in urban trading centers in the south but are also farmers in the Tamil-majority Eastern Province. Social stratification based on caste and regional identities was strong in precolonial Lanka, and then the colonial classifications of the island’s inhabitants produced new identities with intensified religious and racial signifiers. These were reproduced in the emerging Tamil and Sinhala nationalisms of the late 19th century.
The tale of the lifeworld of Charles Braine (1877-1944) in British Ceylon presented by one of his descendants https://thuppahis.com/2022/09/21/charles-s-braine-a-rajah-of-a-planter-in-british-ceylon/ generated a side-issue: sex and/or marriage between the British personnel managing the tea, rubber and coconut plantations in British Ceylon and the labour force they commanded. The inequalities in power placed unequal sexual advantages for the planter periya dorais …. and illicit children were one outcome in some instances – a process that probably continued into the second third of the 20th century when Sri Lankans of upper-crust status with an educational background in the best local schools began to gain entry to planter-jobs.
Unlike some of his compatriots, the Englishman Charles Braine kept house with his common-law Sinhalese wife, Engracia Nona: together they fostered and educated a lively family of nine children.
Interest in this tale and comments from Joe Paiva and Errol Fernando led me to two topics of some consequence: (A) the presence in the island of an ethnic category identified as “Eurasians” as distinct from the Burghers;** and (B) the endearing and enduring work of an orphanage known as the Evelyn Nursery that had been launched by a British lady with a large heart that was matched by her architectural and organisational skill: Ms Lena Chapman ( ….).
I met Riaz Hassan for the first time as one of the keynote speakers at a conference organised by Neelan Tiruchelvam in Sri Lanka circa 1974 (details forgotten) when I was teaching in the History Department at Peradeniya University and Riaz was at an university in Singapore. It was the best of serendipity (a word deriving perhaps from Serendib aka Sri Lanka) that I found him attached to Flinders University when I moved to the Anthropology Department at University in 1977.
Lynn Ockersz, in The Island, 19 August 2022, where the title reads “An incisive exploration of Sri Lanka’s religiosity” … with highlighting imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi
This timely publication could be described as a revelation of the fascinating nature of Sri Lanka’s religiosity. It is almost customary to refer to Sri Lanka as a ‘religious country,’ but it is not often that one comes across scholarly discussions on the subject locally. ‘Multi-Religiosity in Contemporary Sri Lanka..’, a collection of research papers put together in book form, fills this void most adequately.
Noah Yim, in The Australian, 18 August 2022, where the title reads “Aussie mums for richest pickings of camel crop” …. while the highlighting is the hand of The Editor, Thuppahi
These mums could give birth to the Arabian Peninsula’s next top models. Wild Australian camels are highly sought after as surrogate mothers to the most prized beauty pageant and racing camels in the Middle East, courting millions of dollars from kings and sheiks in order to continue the progeny free of diseases.
Rex Clementine in Seenigama, Island, 16 August 2022, where the title is “Olympic gold in 2028, Kushil’s dream”
You’ll be amazed at the number of international sportsmen and women the Foundation of Goodness has produced. Test cricketer Ramesh Mendis is the most high profile product to come through the institute while there are others like Kavisha Dilhari, a rising star in the Sri Lankan women’s cricket team and Amasha de Silva, the South Asian Junior Champion in 100 and 200 meters.
It might just be official, Australia are invincible.
Even when they seemed cursed, the all-conquering Australian Women’s cricket team added the first Commonwealth Games gold medal for their sport to the T20I and ODI World Cups already in their collection with a pulsating nine-run win against India at Edgbaston on Sunday.
DBS Jeyaraj, in his website 28 January 2021, where the title reads thus “US Vice President–Elect Kamala Harris’s Key Sri Lankan Tamil Aide Rohini Lakshmi”
An overwhelming feeling of relief has descended upon the world – not merely the US- after the Presidential elections of the United States of America ended. Joseph Robinette Biden jnr known as Joe Biden is the new US President-elect. Biden’s creditable, credible electoral triumph has ensured that decency, dignity and decorum will once again return to the Oval office of the White House. A double delight in the 46th US President to be’s victory is that of the shattering of glass ceilings by his running mate Kamala Harris. The new US Vice President- elect would not only be the first US woman vice-president but will also be the first person of Afro-Caribbean origin and South Asian descent to be elected to that post.
Sri Lanka 141 for 3 (Athapaththu 80*, de Silva 30) beat India 138 for 5 (Harmanpreet 39*, Rodrigues 33, Ranasinghe 1-13) by seven wickets
Sri Lanka had lost their last 12 T20Is against India, and had never beaten them in a home game. But all that was put to rest as their captain Chamari Athapaththu led them to a seven-wicket win in the final match of the three-match T20I series in Dambulla. The hosts managed to salvage pride after conceding the series with back-to-back defeats.
Lalitha Karalliadde Witanachchi, in the Sunday Observer, 8 May 2016, with this title “Epitome of Generosity, Kindness and Loyalty” **
The death occurred on April 15  of well-known journalist Sumana Saparamadu at the age of 92. She was born in Havelock Road, Wellawatte in the home of her parents Mr and Mrs. D.C. Saparamadu. Her father was a well-known apothecary who worked for several years in Kadugannawa, where Sumana spent her childhood “in the beautiful hill country with mist-laden hills and the train winding its way upcountry”, as she was wont to tell me when recalling her happy childhood.
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.