Category Archives: female empowerment

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.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, cultural transmission, democratic measures, female empowerment, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, Left politics, life stories, modernity & modernization, patriotism, performance, power politics, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, social justice, sri lankan society, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes

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.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Aboriginality, Afro-Asians, ancient civilisations, art & allure bewitching, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, cultural transmission, discrimination, disparagement, economic processes, education, ethnicity, female empowerment, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian traditions, island economy, landscape wondrous, language policies, life stories, meditations, modernity & modernization, performance, politIcal discourse, Portuguese in Indian Ocean, power politics, religiosity, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, working class conditions, world events & processes

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

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, architects & architecture, art & allure bewitching, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, discrimination, disparagement, economic processes, education, ethnicity, female empowerment, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Indian traditions, landscape wondrous, life stories, literary achievements, paintings, patriotism, politIcal discourse, religiosity, S. Thomas College, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, teaching profession, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

The Smuggling Networks & Wherewithal of VVT: A Key Factor in the Rise to Power of the LTTE

Jane Russell and Michael Roberts in Interaction

ONE

“Once, while waiting for a CTB bus at Kurumbacciddy Junction in 1974, I saw a blackboard advertising a lecture by the then proto-LTTE which showed speedboats pulling the Jaffna peninsula across the Palk Straits and joining it to Tamil Nadu.”[1]

DEAR JANE, WHEN precisely in 1974?

Yours is an intriguing piece of ethnography … The Tamil New Tigers were a tiny group then[2]…. and the ISSUE IS: who had the vision/imagination to formulate this prospect and/or this propaganda line? KP? Pirapaharan? …………………….. michael

Continue reading

12 Comments

Filed under accountability, anton balasingham, authoritarian regimes, communal relations, cultural transmission, economic processes, female empowerment, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, insurrections, island economy, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, performance, photography, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil Tiger fighters, transport and communications, war reportage, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes

The Lineage “Hoolsema” – Nazi Europe to Sydney

 Michael Roberts

 My story here begins in Colombo in mid-2020 where I stubbed by big toe badly as I walked into the National Archives. The injury turned septic; and I was treated … I would say rescued …. by a Richmondite, Dr Sarath Gamani De Silva.[1] He ensured that I was fit to fly to Australia in mid-September 2020. This entailed extra airfare and quarantine for two weeks at another cost of 3000$. The toe became a godsend because it meant that my enforced stay was at a hotel run by the Health Department and not that run by the Police.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, atrocities, authoritarian regimes, coronavirus, discrimination, European history, Fascism, female empowerment, historical interpretation, Hitler, life stories, martyrdom, politIcal discourse, security, self-reflexivity, the imaginary and the real, trauma, unusual people, war reportage, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes, World War II

Reflections on the Commentary on “Sinhala Mindset”

Michael Roberts

When I set up the THUPPAHI WEBSITE in late 2009 I imprinted two project statements: one entitled “WHY THUPPAHI”;[1] the other bearing the heading ‘SINHALA MINDSET.” Readers can access these two items via the sub-headings within the website – so I will not reiterate the latter here.

This set of project statements was crafted after the LTTE-led drive to create an independent SL Tamil nation state had been defeated over the course of Eelam War IV. I had been in Colombo from April-mid-June 2009, so I had vivid experiences of the last stages of this ‘encounter’ and the triumphant sentiments expressed in the Colombo area when the war was won. More vitally, I had been commissioned by Muralidhar Reddy,[2] the correspondent from the Hindu newspaper chain based in Colombo to present analytic essays for their magazine FRONTLINE.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, atrocities, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, conspiracies, devolution, economic processes, education, Eelam, ethnicity, female empowerment, governance, historical interpretation, land policies, language policies, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, nationalism, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, power sharing, prabhakaran, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil Tiger fighters, transport and communications, trauma, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, world events & processes, zealotry

Yohani De Silva sails into the World Stage as Singer

ISLAND Feature Article, 28 October 2021, with this title “Mega Scene for Lanka’s Singing Sensation Yohani “

UPDATE: Yohani, we are told, has been signed by an Indian company, Wingman Talent Management, and will be managed by Sonu Lakhwani, who has also had Jacqueline Fernandez under his wings.

Undoubtedly, Yohani de Silva is Sri Lanka’s singing sensation, global ambassadress and whatever more tags that she may add to her singing career, in the near future. I can’t think of a single present day local artiste who has achieved the kind of glory, and fame, that has come Yohani’s way, through her music or, let’s say, singing.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under art & allure bewitching, cultural transmission, economic processes, ethnicity, female empowerment, heritage, landscape wondrous, life stories, performance, sri lankan society, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes

A Layman’s History of Afghanistan

Compiled by Gp Capt Kumar Kirinde, SLAF (Retd)  = “AFGHANISTAN:  THE SOUTH ASIAN NATION IN TURMOIL Part 1″ …. compiled with use of Wikipedia

Introduction:  Afghanistan is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central and South Asia. It is bordered by Pakistan to the east and south, Iran to the west, TurkmenistanUzbekistan, and Tajikistan to the north, and China to the northeast. Occupying 652,864 square kilometers (252,072 sq mi), the country is predominately mountainous with plains in the north and southwest. It is inhabited by 31.4 million people as of 2020, with 4.6 million living in the capital and largest city, Kabul.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, Afghanistan, art & allure bewitching, authoritarian regimes, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, economic processes, female empowerment, fundamentalism, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, politIcal discourse, Taliban, transport and communications, travelogue, unusual people, war reportage, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes, zealotry

In Defence of a Voice from the Grave, That of Sunila Abeysekera

Jane Russell presenting “a reply to unjustified criticism ” …. * …. [see endnote]

Foreword: I first met Sunila Abeysekera at a joint exhibition of sculpture and poetry which my Sri Lankan partner, sculptor Malathie de Silva, and I held at the Lionel Wendt Gallery in 1976. Sunila was twenty-four; I was two years older. She brought her father along and he purchased one of my poems which I‘d produced as wall-posters.:

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under chauvinism, cultural transmission, disparagement, education, female empowerment, gender norms, heritage, Left politics, life stories, literary achievements, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, unusual people, vengeance, violence of language, women in ethnic conflcits

Sri Lanka’s Tea Country Trail from Yesteryear with Julia Margaret Cameron

Juliet Coombe

Sri Lanka’s Tea Country Trail. 582 likes · 9 talking about this. The Tea Country Trail is a proposed 310 km long-distance hiking trail through the Sri Lankan Tea Country. The trail winds its way…

https://www.facebook.com/teacountrytrail/

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under art & allure bewitching, British colonialism, cultural transmission, economic processes, education, ethnicity, female empowerment, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, literary achievements, meditations, photography, pilgrimages, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, unusual people, working class conditions, world events & processes