Category Archives: land policies

Early Academic Endeavours: Michael Roberts & His D. Phil. Dissertation

Michael Roberts

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.

Mario   

 Milos

 

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The Northways of Ceylon & Lanka: Tempestuous Pioneering Paths

Hugh Karunanayake, whose title is “The Northways – Pioneering Planters” …. IN …. https://www.historyofceylontea.com/ceylon-publications/feature-articles/the-story-of-the-northways-pioneering-planters.html

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

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Julia Margaret Cameron: Her Journeys, Camerawork & Gravestone at Bogawantalawa

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.

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CJR Le Mesurier: A British Civil Servant who challenged the Imperial Order

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.

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The Mahaweli Project: The Mother of All Development Schemes in Sri Lanka

Ajit Kanagasundaram

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.

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Tales of the Northways, Pioneering Planters in Ceylon

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

 

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Vaddas, Rodiyo and Ahikuntakayo: Some Bibliographcal Items

LC Arulpragasam 2019 “The Veddas in the east of Ceylon in the 1950s,” 13 Oct 2019,https://thuppahis.com/2019/10/13/the-veddas-in-the-east-of-ceylon-in-the-1950s/

Michael Roberts 2017 The First Settlers and Their Claim to Ownership of Terrain. A Comparative excursion,” 18 January 2017, https://thuppahis.com/2017/01/18/the-first-settlers-and-their-claim-to-ownership-of-terrainstate-a-comparative-excursion/

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The Lonely Cadet and the Maiden: Leonard Woolf in Jaffna …..

Philip Sansoni
   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.

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Introducing the Ceylon National Congress: Its Agitation & Its Context

Michael Roberts

The four-volume edition of DOCUMENTS OF THE CEYLON NATIONAL CONGRESS was presented by the Department of National Archives in 1977 and has been out of stock for some time now.

Haris De Silva — Deputy Director, DNA in the 1970s

Volume ONE contains a book within a book written by me and entitled ELITES, NATIONALISMS and the NATIONALIST MOVEMENT IN BRITISH CEYLON – in seven chapters and running to ccxxii pages.

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Nationalisms in Ceylon: Origins, Stimulants and Ingredients

Michael Roberts, … reproducing Chapter III in Volume I of Documents of the Ceylon National Congress and Nationalist Politics in Ceylon, 1929-1950, Vol I, 1977, Department of National Archives, 1977 , pp. lxviii–lxxviii **

While the political activists of the first half of the twentieth century were drawn from both the national and the local elites, the political leadership (at significant island-wide levels) was largely composed of individuals who could be ranked among the national elite. As indicated earlier, the national elite was a small segment of the Ceylonese population. Its levels of wealth, power and status, its lifestyle, and its value-system marked it off from the rest of the population.

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