Category Archives: life stories

‘Artificial Engineered’ Music in Memory of Professor Fred Bartholomeusz of Peradeniya University

Geethasiri Karunatillake, … from Adelaide, Australia


I have always been passionate about music, but I never had the opportunity to study music or the ability to sing. That’s why when I learned about the capabilities of Chat-GPT, I knew I had to give it a try.

Undoubtedly, Batho was the most popular professor at the Engineering Faculty at Peradeniya University in the 1950s to 60s. I vividly recall how he could captivate us with his lectures, simplifying even the most intricate concepts and recapitulating in the end.

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A Mind For One and All: Jayantha Dhanapala

Tissa Jayatilaka, in The Island, 4 June 2023,  … with highlights imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

The splendid career and the many glittering prizes won by Jayantha Dhanapala is common knowledge and does not require reiteration here. Rather I wish to focus on the man himself in this tribute to an exceptional person whom I had the privilege of getting to know personally at the tail end of the 1980s – I had of course heard of Jayantha and his many accomplishments long before our first meeting. Having read a newspaper review of North-South Perspectives, an international affairs journal that I edited, which focused on the promotion of greater understanding between the ‘developed’ and the ‘developing’ world, Jayantha telephoned me to ask if we could meet. I readily agreed and thus began a friendship that lasted until his death a few days ago.

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How the Kandyan Sinhalese Forces Kept the European Powers at Bay for Two Centuries

PK Balachandran, whose original article in the Daily Mirror of 26 November 2021, is entitled “Kandyan armies which kept Europeans at bay for two centuries”

The Kandyan army also had local Malays and Kaffirs (Africans) and also Indians like Malabars, Tamils, Telugus, and Canarese (Karnatakas).  There was also an assortment of European deserters and prisoners. These mercenaries also served in the armies of European powers.

Kandyan peasant warriors. Codice Casanatense Sinhalese warriors. Wikiwand

The Kandyan Kingdom’s dogged resistance to European invaders from the 17th century to the second decade of the 19th century has not received the attention it deserves from military historians, laments historian Dr. Channa Wickremesekera, the author of “Kandy at War: Indigenous Military Resistance to European Expansion in Sri Lanka 1594-1818.

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Deciphering Buddhism: The Correct Pathway

Ananda Abeysekara’s Academic Article: “On Rewriting Buddhism: Or, How Not to Write a History,” Religion and Society, vol. 13. 1(2022): 39-80. 

ABSTRACT: Through a detailed reading of a recent study of medieval Buddhism and politics in Sri Lanka in conjunction with a number of other works, this article explores the troubling legacy of translating the historical questions of subjectivity into the modern language of ‘agency’, ‘autonomy’, ‘innovation’, and ‘creativity’. This legacy cannot easily be separated from the politics of white privilege in post-colonial studies of Buddhism and South Asian religion. The problem with trying to expose creativity, so pervasive in the studies of South Asian religion, is not merely a matter of anachronistic conceptualization of divergent historical forms of religious practice and subjectivity. It is that the very possibility of translating subjectivity into easily digestible aestheticized modes of being (e.g., creativity) is predicated on an uninterrogated assumption about the self-evidence of such concepts independent of temporal forms of power encountered in forms of life. Continue reading

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Hot-Hot Cricket News: Monies & Lanka’s Team Selections

Victor Melder as Compiler

Sri Lanka will earn as much as Rs. 8.6 billion per year over a four-year period (Rs. 34.2 billion in total income) as the island’s allocation from the International Cricket Council’s annual payouts.  In US dollars Sri Lanka’s share is 27.12 million compared to India’s lion’s share of USD 230 million but the amount in still massive by Sri Lanka’s standards. The International Cricket Council has made the allocations taking into account factors like performance in both the men’s and women’s teams on the international stage over the past 16 years and contribution to the ICC’s commercial value. The earnings of the ICC of over $3.2 billion come from the sale of its media rights alone, which recently, for the first time, were sold across five separate regions globally including the Indian market. The vast bulk of that money has come from the sale of rights in the Indian market, where Disney Star paid just over $3 billion for four years according to ESPNcricinfo (Sunday Observer, 14.5.2023).

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Amnesty International’s Machinations reach Hong Kong?

A Sri Lankan Diplomat

The tale of AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL’s operations vis a vis Hong Kong today runs parallel to the scenario that unfolded in Sri Lanka. There the campaign commenced some years back and reached its peak in whitewashing the LTTE and later spun along just before the aragalaya took off. The AI sleuths were in place when those protests were engineered in Sri Lanka.

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The Richmond vs Mahinda Teams of 1955 in A Classic Gathering

Courtesy of Nandasiri Jasentuliyane,** who was known to us then as N. De Silva 

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Two Sinhala Bowlers win Tamil Indian Hearts via Chennai Super Kings

Venkat B Krishna in The Indian Express, 24 May 2023…. where the title reads “How CSK’s Tamil fans fell in love with two Sinhalese players Pathirana and Theekshana””

Things have changed after years of strained relationship when CSK were forced not to play Sri Lankan players at home, and a famous actor had to pull out of a Muralitharan biopic.

There is something special brewing in Chennai this season apart from their obsession with MS Dhoni. Two Sri Lankan cricketers – Matheesha Pathirana and Maheesh Theekshana – have become the fans favourite at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, where not so long ago players from the Island nation couldn’t take the field because political tensions in the aftermath of the Eelam war that ended in 2009.

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Estelle Fernando nee Roberts: Vale in Sadness & Fellowship

Michael Roberts

Estelle Barbara Roberts was born as the second child from the second bed of Thomas Webb Roberts (1881-1978) on the 2nd May 1929. She was brought up within the Fort of Galle and received her education at Southlands, Sacred Heart Convent and Richmond Colleges; but was then swept off her feet by an earnest young government servant, Charles Hubert Fernando, who played tennis at the Galle Gymkhana Club (where TW was a kind of institution and a regular).


Estelle standing on left at Sacred Heart Convent

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SLINGERS: Malinga on Pathirana

Item in CRICINFO in The ISLAND, 28 May 2023

Lasith Malinga, now a bowling consultant with Rajasthan Royals, has been watching Chennai Super Kings’ games with particular interest. Matheesha Pathirana, CSK’s death-overs specialist, not only bowls with the same, unusual round-arm action with which Malinga dominated the IPL for many years, but is also in a sense a protege. Over the last three years, Malinga has worked sporadically with Pathirana in Sri Lanka’s high performance centre, and has advised him on what he needs to do to build a career.

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