Category Archives: heritage

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.

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Rendering Kandy into a Cosmic Force — Sri Viktrama Rajasinha

  PK Balachandran, in Daily Mirror 9 September 2021, with this title  “Recreating King Rajasinha’s cosmic city”

Sri Lanka’s last king, Sri Vikrama Rajasinha of Kandy, was vilified as a cruel despot and was overthrown by the British in 1815, acting in cahoots with disgruntled local chieftains. But King Rajasinha was a creative builder, town-planner and an executor of irrigation projects for the benefit of the common man. In the latter part of his politically troubled reign (1798-1815), King Rajasinha had turned all his energies towards making his capital city, Kandy, a “cosmic city” fit for God Sakra, the Sinhala version of the Hindu God Indra.

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Vale: Remembering Ananda Wickremeratne, A Versatile Scholar

Gerald Peiris, in The Island, 23 September 2021, where the title reads “Ananda Wickremaratne:  Homage to Scholarly Excellence”

Professor Ananda Wickremeratne ranked among our most brilliant scholars whose careers commenced in the Faculty of Arts of the University of Ceylon in the 1950s and the early ‘60s. From about the late 1960s, as our political turbulences and economic hardships intensified, many among them were induced to emigrate to countries where their qualifications and skills could be put into more rewarding use. When Ananda joined that exodus in 1979, belatedly and somewhat reluctantly, the prospects in the ‘West’ (especially the United States) for our graduates in Arts and Humanities were far more restricted than in earlier times.

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A Versatile Beauty, Yvonne Gulamhusein nee Toussaint

Information sent by Harry De Sayrah, September 2021 …. supplemented by Notes from David Sansoni and Others

El Patio Yveony, Bambalapitiya: The beautiful home and mansion, “El Patio Yveony”, owned and lived in by Onally Gulamhussein and his celebrity wife Yvonne Toussaint starts off the next block of land adjoining Station Road. Onally, nicknamed “Jutehessian” and his wife the socialite Yvonne Gulamhussian, nee Toussaint, was refereed to as Mrs. Ooh La Jute Hessian.

Yvonne weds Onally: Extracted from HI Magazine Online – http://www.hi.lk

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The Internal Tussles, Vagaries and Scheming that Hindered the Development of the Hambantota Port Project

An Insider

Jonathan E. Hillman, 26 August 2021, whose title runs thus: “The Secret History of Hambantota” …. Starts his write up If Chinese loans were cigarettes, Sri Lanka’s Hambantota Port would be the cancerous lung on the warning label. Some observers have pointed to the underperforming port and alleged that China is using “debt trap diplomacy,” This statement reflects Hillman’s intention of using Hambantota port to discredit China. Taking a similar line Fair Dinkum in his “American Schemes of Global Bifurcation behind Hillman’s story on Hambantota Port” is critical of the messenger rather than being responsive to the message.+++

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Izzy Bee: Busy Aiding Koalas on Magnetic Island, Queensland

Robert Moran, in Sydney Morning Herald, 16  September 2020, where the title runs thus: “Meet the 13-year-old ‘Koala Whisperer’, Australia’s new conservation superstar”

Ali Bee, a veterinarian on Queensland’s Magnetic Island, and her partner Tim didn’t think they’d ever have children. “That’s basically why we bought the animal clinic, we didn’t think Izzy was going to eventuate,” Bee recalls. “Five months later, I was pregnant with Izzy. “It was a very happy surprise. She has been at the vet clinic her whole life. I had to go back to work just five weeks after she was born, so she has literally been brought up at the clinic.”

Izzy Bee, 13, is the star of Netflix's Izzy's Koala World.
Izzy Bee, 13, is the star of Netflix’s Izzy’s Koala World.CREDIT:NETFLIX

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Yvonne Between Richard Nixon and Sir John

This striking photo was proably snapped before Sir John Kotelawela led the UNP to Debacle in the 1956 General Elections. [on 23 November 1953 — as kindly pointed out by Sachi Sri Kantha…. see below]

Lord Soulbury is seated on the extreme left –so this snap has been taken before he left Ceylon. It would be useful if other “personalities’ could be identified. The lady looking pensive in her pensive middle postion betwen Kohn Kotelawela and Richard Nixon is Yvonne Gulam Hussein nee Tousaint — a prominent socialite in Colombo.

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Radio Ceylon: King of the Airwaves in the Mid-Twentieth Century

Gaston de Rosayro, in Daily News, 13 February 2017 where the title reads When Radio Ceylon was King of the airwaves!”

World Radio Day was first celebrated in 2012, following its declaration by the UNESCO General Conference. It was subsequently adopted as an International Day by the organisation. The theme for the 2017 edition of the event is ‘Radio is You!’, a call for greater participation of audiences and communities in the policy and planning of radio broadcasting.

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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.:

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A Battle Map of the Dutch Invasion of Kandy in 1765

Presented by Brig Hiran Halangode, retd] GW SLA

Chamikara Pilapitiya, author of book titled Maha Nuwara Yugaye Apprakata Viththi* has gifted a copy of a rare Battle Map of the Dutch invasion of Kandy in 1765 to Trinity College Kandy. An image of the gifted copy of the map is given below. It shows a detailed description of the trench lines and the gun batteries in and around the town of Kandy, which was used by the Kandyan army to attack the invading Dutch army in 1765.

 Mr. Chamikara Pilapitiya presenting a copy of his book to then Principal of Trinity College in 2019.

The original map is available in Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

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