Sri Lanka’s civil war was one of the longest running in modern history. The conflict between the Sinhalese and the island’s Tamils was brutal and terrifying, yet its origins were surprisingly recent. This video examines the forces of populism and population that grew into the horrifying experience that still scars Sri Lanka today.
Sources: -A History of Sri Lanka, K. M. Silva de -Elephant Complex; Travels in Sri Lanka, John Gimlette -The Cage: The Fight for Sri Lanka and the Last Days of the Tamil Tigers, Gordon Weiss -The Ocean of Churn: How the Indian Ocean Shaped Human History, Sanjeev Sanyal -This Divided Island: Stories from the Sri Lankan War, Samanth Subramanian + Various news sources, especially The Economist 00:00 Intro 01:17 Buddhism under the British 01:40 Henry Steel Olcott and Spiritualism 03:10 Dharmapala 04:00 Hindu-Buddhist history 05:02 Other contributing factors 07:18 Cricket in Galle 13:24 Sunday evening in Galle 15:19 Sri Lanka since independence 17:49 1956 Official Language Act 19:22 Was it inevitable? 20:27 Going east 22:19
Chandani Kirinde, in Sunday Times, March 2023. where the title runs thus: “Pride and tears of Uva Wellassa”
200 years after what is considered one of the bloodiest chapters in the history of colonial rule here, Chandani Kirinde visits the area that saw an uprising by its people that was brutally crushed by the British
A British cannon recovered from Wellassa. Pix by Indika Handuwala
The awe-inspiring cloud covered mountains, lush forests, formidable waterfalls and clear streams of Uva Wellassa bear little testimony today to the darkest and bloodiest chapter in the country’s history under British rule. There is little sign of the burnt hamlets, scorched paddy fields, broken tank bunds, felled trees and the skeletons of the thousands of men, women and children killed or starved to death when the military might of the coloniser was turned on the population of the Kandyan provinces to put down a rebellion against British rule.
“Persecuted or permitted? Fraternal Polyandry in a Calvinist colony, Sri Lanka (Ceylon), seventeenth and eighteenth centuries,”a work published by Cambridge University Press, 2022 … presented here in Thuppahi in synopsis
Abstract: Several studies assume that Calvinist Christianity severely undermined or even persecuted the practice of polyandry in the Sri Lankan areas under Dutch control. We analyze Dutch colonial policy and Church activities toward polyandry by combining ecclesiastical and legal sources. Moreover, we use the Dutch colonial administration of the Sinhalese population to estimate the prevalence of polyandry. We conclude that polyandry was far from extinct by the end of the Dutch period and we argue that the colonial government was simply not knowledgeable, interested and effective enough to persecute the practice in the rural areas under its control.
Michael Powell: article published in 2007 and entitled “Fragile Identities: The Colonial Consequences of CJR Le Mesurier in Ceylon”
ABSTRACT of Article: In the many layered life of CJR Le Mesurier in Ceylon are themes that repeat and recur throughout the British colonial world, touching on marriage and morals, religion and race, archival retention and colonial employment.
Cecil Le Mesurier in Western Australia c 1920s …. Courtesy of Rod Cantley
In particular, his strenuous litigious attack on assumptions of Crown title challenged the philosophic and legal framework of colonial land policy, revealing its ideological foundation, and illuminating the pattern and impulse of land policy throughout Empire.
The increasing effrontery of his actions induces an equally escalating reaction from colonial authority that pares away the preferred patina of civilizing mission to reveal a far more base intent – a colonial impulse more discernible and the actions of authority more disclosing – contributing to a much richer comparative understanding of the dynamics of colonial land dealings.
Dr Srilal Fernando in Melbourne, reproducing the firs t part of an article that arpperas in THE CEYLANKAN, The journal of the ceylon Society of Australia, Vol25/3, August 2022. Its full title therein is as follows: “The Story of a Painting. Governor Falck’s Audience to the Kandyan Ambassadors in 1772drawn and painted from life by C F Reimer, Surgeon.”
A group photograph is part of a visual record of a modern day conference. What did they do in 1772, long before the advent of photography? A skilled artist was commissioned to paint the scene as it happened. The occasion was the visit of 3 Kandyan ambassadors to attend a meeting with the then Dutch Governor , Iman Willem Falck in Colombo.
Channa Wickremesekera is the son of the late Percy Wickremesekera, an acquaintance of mine from Peradeniya Campus days and a ‘Trot’ activist who migrated to Australia. Channa lives in Melbourne. I got to know him when I was working on my book on Sinhala Consciousness in the Kandyan Period¸1590’s-1815 (which came out in 2003 …………………… https://www.amazon.com/Sinhala-Consciousness-Kandyan-Period-1590s/dp/9558095311).
Uditha Devapriya, reviewing Gananath Obeyesekere’s new book The Many Faces of the Kandyan Kingdom(1591-1765) Colombo, Perera-Hussein, 2020, 200 pp., Rs. 1,200 ... with ‘arbitrary’ highlighting imposed by the Editor, Thuppahi
In 1602, the year of the Dutch East India Company’s founding, Joris van Spilbergen reached the shores of Sri Lanka after setting sail from the seaport of Veere in Holland a year earlier. Tasked with opening up trade negotiations with the King of Kandy, Vimaladharmasuriya, Spilbergen bore with him a letter from the Prince of Orange, acknowledging their willingness to counter the Portuguese. Not for one moment underestimating the Portuguese presence in the island, though, they disembarked at Batticaloa, which fell under the jurisdiction of the Kandyan Court. They anchored off the coast on May 31.
Thiru Arumugam, in The Ceylankan, Vol 25/1, Feb. 2022, where the title reads “A Three Hundred and Forty-Year Book-about-Ceylon”
Captain Robert Knox (1642-1720) of the East India Company *oil on canvas *126 x 102.8 cm *1711 *inscribed b.l.: AEtat: 66 *inscribed b.l.: P: Trampon : Pinx (on the chair) *inscribed c.r.: R: Knox: (on the quadrant) *inscribed c.r.: Memoires of my owne Life: 1708 (on the notebook)
Thiru Arumugam, in The Ceylankan, vol 25/1, February 2022 , where the title reads thus“A three-hundred-and-forty-year-old book about Ceylon – Part 1″
There exists a three hundred-and-forty-year old book about Ceylon which was published in 1681. Although there are other books about Ceylon in other European languages written in the 17th century, this is the oldest book about Ceylon in English. Other books of this genre include the manuscript of Fernao de Queyroz’s book in Portuguese titled “The Temporal and Spiritual Conquest of Ceylon” which was completed in 1687 but the author died a few months later in Goa and the book was never published until Father SG Perera translated it into English and published it in 1930. Another book is by Phillippus Baldeus titled “A true and exact Description of the Great Island of Ceylon” which was published in 1672, but this was in the Dutch language.
Padma Edirisinghe, in Sunday Observer, 2016, where the title runs “That wanderer among the Kandyan hills”.… see note below **
Thirteen miles off Gampola, past sprawling tea estates nestling in the lap of luxuriantly foliaged mountains, lies Legundeniya. Here, the carpet of Lanka’s histRory rolls back and reveals a page of the history of Kande Uda Pas Rata, as it was 300 years ago.
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.