Category Archives: female empowerment

An Indian Scholar’s Griefstricken VALE for Malathi De Alwis

Nivedita Menon, in Colombo Telegraph, 22 January 2021, where the title is  “Malathi De Alwis (1963-2021) – Beloved Friend, Feminist Comrade”

This is my Mala.

Every person touched by her friendship felt this sense of unique connection to Mala. To receive the gift of her attention was to forever feel the tug of a thread that attached you to a part of her heart. She would remember you at some point or the other even if you were not constantly in touch, with that fine-tuned sensitivity that brought to you the exact poem or thought or photograph or  experience that linked the two of you.

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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.

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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.

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The Unspoken Injustice in Sports: Are Some Coaches the Unmasked Wolves in Sheep Clothing?

Nicholle Collom, University of Kelaniya

Expressing opinions on the unspoken side of the coin, taking any circumstance of life in to consideration, is always a risk that a writer may encounter. The truth be spoken, the opinion and perspective that you and I may share can be contrastingly distinct depending on the circumstance and experiences that one may have encountered. There may be some of us who have courageously fought for ourselves conquering against the injustice. Yet, amidst the presence of these brave warriors, how many voices may have been overpowered, unable to voice out the injustice that they may have encountered in sport? How many of you may have silently suffered and engaged in silent battles for the fear of being penalized, degraded or being considered an outcast?  Therefore, my motive here is to be the voice for the ones that fear to speak out loud. I wish to pen this thought down so that you may be educated and that courage may find itself, for you to be your own voice and fight for yourself and for your children someday against injustice of prejudiced coaches in the field of sports.

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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”

 

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Amnesty International Misleads World in Its Picture of Anti-Muslim Violence in Sri Lanka

 

 

Waruni Kumarasinghe & Dinithi Dharmapala, from the Strategic Communications Unit, LKIIRSS, … whose preferred title i “Amnesty International Report on Sri Lanka: Far from the Truth”

Amnesty International’s latest report on Sri Lanka, titledFrom Burning Houses to Burning Bodies: Anti-Muslim Violence, Discrimination and Harassment in Sri Lanka” (October 2021) levels very serious accusations against this country. The overall argument of the report is that Muslims in Sri Lanka are an oppressed minority subjected to state-sponsored violence and systematic discrimination. The argument, as will be explained in a moment, is deeply flawed.

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Hassina Leelarathna: In Action, In Words And In Commemoration

LT Times,  November 2021

Hassina Leelarathna, a co-founder of the only Sri Lankan newspaper in the U.S. and an activist who spurred fellow immigrants to help when disasters struck their homeland, has died at age 73. Leelarathna died in Sherman Oaks on Oct. 17 after battling lung cancer for the last five years, said her son, Sahan Gamage.

 

Hassina Leelarathna co-hosted a bilingual radio show called “Tharanga,” focusing on news, music and culture. The program began in San Francisco at KFJC-FM, pictured here, before migrating to Los Angeles when the family relocated south in 1985 (Sahan Gamage)

 

 

 

 

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Chandrika Kumaratunge as President: An Unique Amalgam of Graciousness and Toughness

Chandra Wickremasinghe, in The Island, 17 October 2021, where the title runs thus CBK had an impulsive streak but was gracious in admitting mistakes”

With President Chandrika Kumaratunge assuming office, there was once again a flurry of activity in the Presidential Secretariat and in the Ministries, as she was anxious to expeditiously push through various development programmes she had in mind. Although she did not believe in an overly centralized system of Presidential rule, she kept a close tab particularly on the major development projects and programmes of Ministries by having regular review meetings with them.

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Presenting the Portuguese Burghers of Sri Lanka: Today and Yesterday

Earl Barthelot, in Ceylon Digest, 22 February 2020, where the title reads The Portuguese Burghers of Ceylon”

Sri Lanka is well known for its diversity with over 22 numerically small communities and majority communities such as Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims. Burgher community is one of the numerically small communities. Large proportions of the Burghers do live in the Batticaloa District and a small proportion live both in Trincomalee and Ampara District. At the same time there are Portuguese Burghers living in all parts of the country in small numbers.

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The Nomenclature and Lineaments of White-Brown Cohabitation in British Ceylon: A Puzzle

MEMO from Michael Roberts, October 16 October 2021

Moving from BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI to the Greet and Paynter lineages in British Ceylon-and-thereafter has raised a query in my mind: how is it that the category “ANGLO-Ceylonese” did not take root in Ceylon and Lanka in contrast with British India where the label “Anglo-Indian” became well-entrenched[1] and therefore was carried over to the era after India secured Independence in 1947? As we know,[2] Revd Arthur Paynter was an Anglo-Indian missionary who established the Paynter Homes in the Himalayan region of India and then set up the Paynter Home in Nuwara Eliya. He had also married a fellow-missionary in the Salvation Army who was pursuing her commitment in India, one Miss Weerasooria from Dodanduwa … and together sired a talented lineage.

Photograph on display at the Paynter Home of the Paynter family. David Paynter stands at the centre, behind his mother Agnes

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