Uditha Devapriya, in The Island on 24 March 2023,with this title “Sri Lanka under British rule: Neither Gemeinschaft nor Gesellschaft”
Since at least Marx and Malinowski, anthropologists have been fascinated by, and focused on, the links between “primitive-tribal” and “modern-secular” societies. I use these terms with a pinch of salt – hence the asterisks – for the simple reason that no society can be said to fit one case or the other. In its initial phase the social sciences did, admittedly, distinguish between the two, and took the teleological position that the one would lead to another: hence Ferdinand Tönnies’s idea of a progression from Gemeinschaft to Gesellschaft. Such progressions were depicted as long, eventual, but inevitable, and were accepted widely at a time when Europe, the harbinger of industrialisation and colonialism, had consolidated its position as the main, if not sole, locomotive of world history.
Rather out of the blue, Avishka Mario Seneviratne approached me seeking access to my first academic work , viz., the D. Phil. dissertation in History that I had secured in Oxford in mid-1965.I have a copy and it is possible there is one at Peradeniya University Library, but it is not widely available.
The four generational links that the Northways had with the plantation enterprise in Ceylon ended with the death of the last of the Northways in Sri Lanka, that of Michael Northway in 1995. The progenitor of the family in Ceylon was Samuel Northway who together with the Winters, Bowmans, Hawkes, and Gotteliers, and others were induced to come over to Ceylon to establish the sugar industry in which these families were successfully associated with, in the Mauritius where they lived previously.All, or most of these families were of French extraction including the Northways.
The Samuel Northway bungalow now used as a guesthouse ……..
….. & Charles Northway and his wife on Deviturai Estate on their motorbikes. She with a Douglas and he on a Bat (circa 1910) Continue reading →
George Braine, in The Island, 10 October 2022, where the title reads thus: “Irrepressible Julia Margaret Cameron at peace in Bogawantalawa” … with highlighting imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi
Some years ago, my sister, BIL, and I drove to the Dimbula area, visiting Anglican churches and graveyards looking for evidence of our ancestors. At the quaint St. Mary’s Church, Bogawantalawa, we found the grave of my grand uncle, Frank Wyndham Becher Braine, who died on March 9, 1879, at only 11 months. We may have been the first family members to visit his grave in more than a 100 years.
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.
40 years have now elapsed since the launch of the accelerated Mahaweli project, so it is an opportune time to review what was done and the benefits and shortfalls of the project to the nation. This project was the culmination of a 50 yearlong process that started with the rehabilitate ancient irrigation works and settlement of the dry zone lands that was initiated by our first Prime Minister, DS Senanayake, when he was the Agriculture Minister in the State Council during the British Raj. After independence, this moved on to more ambitious projects building large multi-purpose schemes like Gal Oya and Uda Walawe culminating in the accelerated Mahaweli project.
Hugh Karunanayake The four generational link that the Northways had with the plantation enterprise in Ceylon ended with the death of the last of the Northways in Sri Lanka, that of Michael Northway in 1995. The progenitor of the family in Ceylon was Samuel Northway who together with the Winters, Bowmans, Hawkes, and Gotteliers, and others were induced to come over to Ceylon to establish the sugar industry in which these families were successfully associated with, in the Mauritius where they lived previously. All, or most of these families, including the Northways, were of French extraction.
Charles Northway & his wife on Deviturai Estate on their motorbikes; she witha douglas and He on a Bat, … circa 1910
In “Growing”, the second volume of his autobiography, Leonard Woolf tells us how he lost his virginity. According to him, he was riding down the main street of Jaffna, one evening in 1905, an apprentice representative of the British Empire, when he happened to look into a verandah and saw a burgher girl sitting there. It was a fleeting glance over some blinds but she smiled at him and he smiled at her. A short time later, with a “minute” boy who had chased after him acting as intermediary, she had arranged to sleep with him that night and she did. She is subsequently revealed to have been the mistress of a Jaffna lawyer and is convicted of using indecent and abusive language outside the lawyer’s house. As Woolf tells the story, Dutton, the police magistrate, naively took the young woman’s side and paid the fine, much to the amusement of the people of Jaffna.
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.