Category Archives: immigration

Ethnicity after Edward Said: Post-Orientalist Failures in Comprehending the Kandyan Period of Lankan history

Michael Roberts ... presenting a refereed journal article from the year 2001** as a foundation for reflection and fresh pursuits because it addresses the work of Edward Said, a renowned social theorist-cum-political scientist.

Edward Said  Leslie Gunawardena

Abstract: Disenchantment with the excesses of nationalist and ethnic claims in recent decades has directed the analysis of ethnicity presented in academic writings in recent decades.  Ethnicity is seen as pernicious, “primordialist” and “essentialist.”  Other scholars as well as nationalist spokespersons are castigated for reading the present into the past.  This line of criticism has entered the scholarship on the Indian subcontinent and been extended to surveys of the literature on the pre-British and British periods of Sri Lankan history.   Yet these critics themselves are governed by the either/or epistemology of 20th century rationalism.  They are unable to decipher the worldview and the political ideology that organised the socio-political order of the Kingdom of Sihale, better known as the Kingdom of Kandy.  Their bias is “presentist” and “modernist.”  With little patience for historical puzzles, their readings of the pre-British period are simple-mindedFor the most part they rely on the severely flawed interpretation presented in Leslie Gunawardana’s “People of the Lion.”  This dependence marks their ignorance.

** presented in Ethnic Studies Report, Vol XIX/1, 2001 … ICES and kindly supplied by Iranga Silva

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The Wikipedia Tale of the Murugappans of Biloela … Today, Mid-2021

Murugappan family asylum claims  .https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murugappan_family_asylum_claims

Kokilapathmapriya Nadesalingam (Priya) and Nadesalingam Murugappan (Nades)[1] are two Sri Lankan Tamils seeking asylum in Australia. The couple married in Australia and have two Australian-born children. Until their detention by Australian Border Force in March 2018, the family was resident in the central Queensland town of Biloela, and consequently referred to as the Biloela family by some media.[2][3] The cause of the couple and their children has been supported by some residents of Biloela as well as asylum-seeker advocates.[4]

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High Noon in Mid-Air, August 2019: For the Murugappans of Biloela

ABC Account on 30 August 2019, with this title “Who are the Tamil family from Biloela and why are they being deported?” ……  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-30/who-are-tamil-family-from-biloela-why-are-they-being-deported/11463276

Last-minute injunctions have stalled the deportation of a Tamil family who have spent years fighting to stay in Australia. The plane carrying the Sri Lankan couple and their Australian-born daughters had already left the tarmac at Melbourne Airport when a judge granted a reprieve over the phone. Here’s what we know about the family’s case:

Dozens of people rushed to Melbourne Airport in a bid to stop the family being deported on Thursday night..   … Supplied: @HometoBilo)

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Island Lanka as “Last Gasp” Saviour?

Amanda Hodge in The Australian, 28 April 2021, where the titleruns thus: “India Covid crisis: Aussie family’s last-gasp sanctuary”

With a second wave of COVID-19 ravaging India and all escape routes to Australia closed for his Hyderabad-based family of four, Melbourne-born school principal Andrew Nicholson says he feels lucky his wife’s birth country of Sri Lanka at least will take them in.

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A Chinese Tale: From Surviving the Titanic to Racial Hate in USA

Liu Mengqiu and Cai Xuejiao, in The Sixth Tone, 18 April 2021, where the title runs thus: The Six’ Recounts Tragic Tale of China’s Titanic Survivors,”

The story of how the survivors received a racist response in the U.S. is prompting viewers to reflect on China’s rise. During the editing of “Titanic,” the 1997 blockbuster about the ship’s fated maiden voyage in April 1912, a scene of a Chinese man laying on a door, floating in the ocean and awaiting rescue, was left on the cutting room floor.

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Remembering Indian Ocean Slavery through Film: Afro-Sri Lankan Memories

Shihan de Silva Jayasuriya

Whilst the transatlantic slave trade has overwhelmed the historiography of Africa, the forced easterly movement of Africans is only receiving scholarly attention in the twenty first century.  Movement of Africans from the Continent is not characterised by the slave trade alone.  Not surprisingly, free Africans moved eastwards as missionaries, soldiers, sailors and traders.  Forced migration was concurrent with free migration.

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Murugappan Asylum-Seeker Family on Verge of Legal Victory and A Return to Biloela

Nick Pearson in 9news, 16 February 2021, where the title reads Biloela family spared deportation for now, but remain on Christmas Island”
The Federal Court has stopped the deportation of a family from the Queensland town of Biloela, upholding a decision made in April 2020 which the Department of Home Affairs had sought to have overturned. But Priya and Nades Murugappan and their two young children will remain in Christmas Island Detention Centre for now. The Murugappan family’s lawyer Carina Ford are now considering an appeal to get the family back to their home in Biloela.

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The Dutch Burghers in Sri Lanka Today

Prabath De Silva, in Daily Mirror, 21 January 2021, with this title “The Dutch Burghers in Sri Lanka”

 “We are a vanishing tribe in Sri Lanka. The first paternal ancestor of my father’s family who arrived in Sri Lanka in 1774 was Pieter Scharenguivel. He was a Quarter Master in the service of the United Dutch East India Company which ruled the maritime provinces of Sri Lanka from the middle of the 17th century to 1796. The Dutch Burgher identity and consciousness within the family I grew up in was extremely significant. It played a role  in the conversations, traditions, customs, food, perceptions and social interactions. During the British colonial rule, our community produced eminent surgeons, doctors, legal luminaries, judges, engineers, sportsmen, musicians , historians and artists etc.” , said Anne-Marie Scharenguivel (65), a management accountant and a member of Sri Lanka’s tiny  Dutch Burgher community of less than 30000 people.

Mrs. Anne-Marie Scharenguivel

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The Eastern Regions of Sri Lanka in British Times

Michael Roberts

My D. Phil dissertation at Oxford in the early 1960s centred on British agrarian policy in the mid-nineteenth century and therefore included the British efforts to revive the tank irrigation systems of the Sinhala past. Several British colonial personnel as well as visiting dignitaries were captivated by the ruins of the Anuradhapura/Polonnaruwa periods which they observed during adventure trips. A few saw it as a challenge for their imperial capacity. Some British governors, notably Ward, Gregory and Gordon, took up the prospect.

 Sir Henry Ward and SJV Chelvanyakam

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Dunkirk Different! Migrants penetrate England by Small Boat

Sophia Sleigh & April Roach in Evening Standrard 10 August 2020, where the title is RAF plane patrols English Channel after nearly 700 migrants cross”

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