Somachandra Skandakumar’s Address at the Launch of Mevan Pieris’s THE COMMUNITY,21 March 2023 … with highlighting imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi
Chief Guest Professor G.L Pieris, Guest of Honour, the Reverend Warden Marc Billimoria, distinguished Guests, Ayubowan ,Vanakkam, Assalam Aleykum, Good evening,
It was three years ago that an equally eminent Thomian Anura Tennekoon invited me to speak at the launch of his book. Today I am privileged again by one of similar standing and must thank Mevan for the opportunity. Such moments merely reinforce the values of our two great Institutions, where the fierceness of competition on the playing fields have led to the strongest of bonds off it .
Michael Roberts … Content of His Talk on this topic at the National Trust in Colombo in June 2018
The National Trust’s brief was for me to present motifs from the book People Inbetween. The Burghers and the Middle Class in the Transformations within Sri Lanka, 1790-1960s,(Ratmalana, Sarvodaya Book Publishing Services, 1989) and more specifically its first chapter viz. “Pejorative Phrases: the Anti-colonial Response and Sinhala Perceptions of the Self through Images of the Burghers”
Many think People Inbetween is a history of the Burghers. Not so. It is multi-faceted. It describes (a) the rise of the middle class in British times, an influential force within which the Burghers were a critical element and a vanguard in the questioning of British rule; (b) the initial strands in the development of Ceylonese nationalism and (c) the development of Colombo into a metropolitan hub that became the island’s hegemonic centre.
Uditha Devapriya, in The Island, 10 March 2023, where the title reads “A visit to Marga” …. and where the highlighting embodies editorial intervention by Thuppahi
Sri Lanka’s oldest development think-tank, Marga Institute was formed in 1972, at a time of deep social unrest.
“The ideological direction of the journal will be radical in that it will unremittingly question the values and systems that hinder development. It stands for an equitable and humane social order which will eradicate social and economic privilege and which will leave no room for the concentration and arbitrary exercise of power in any form.” ………. “About Marga”, Marga Journal, Volume I, 1971
photo by Uthpala
A random jaunt in Borella took me and my research assistant to Marga Institute, in my old hometown at Kotte. Sri Lanka’s oldest development think-tank — and Sri Lanka’s oldest such institution — Marga was formed in 1972 to promote and facilitate research into the island’s socioeconomic problems. That its founding coincided with the first JVP insurrection is not fortuitous: as Gamini Samaranayake would point out, the insurrection proved for the first time that an armed group could threaten the State. Among other commentators, Gamini Keerawella, Gananath Obeyesekere, Fred Halliday, and Hector Abhayavardhana grappled with the JVP’s origins, what it was doing, and where it intended to go. It was in the midst of these often-fiery debates and discussions that Marga came to be. This essay is an attempt at framing and understanding these debates, and how Marga emerged from them.
Mevan Pieris serves up a Synopsis of his Book prior to Its Launching
Synopsis of the book on The Community, to be launched at The Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, Independence Square, on 21st March, at 6 pm, with Professor GL Peiris as Chief Guest, and S. Skandakumar and Warden Marc Billimoria as Guests of Honour.
‘The Community” is a historical account of the Mudaliyar Class Goyigama Family Combine, the existence of which has been already reported by several eminent writers, and about which Michael Dias, the celebrated Law Don of Cambridge, has written to say, “the precise relationship from amongst the complex family affinities that made the extended Community………. defies simple definition”. This work has not only attempted to shed much light on the evolution of the Community, but has also portrayed its Master Spirits to provide a greater appreciation of the stupendous contributions made by them to society in various fields and ways.
A = Temma Berg’s Initial Query via Email, early December 2022
I write in response to your blog about Leonard Woolf. I am working on Leonard and Virginia and exploring how much they might owe to one another. I have read her novels, diaries, letters, and short stories and his autobiographies and novels and many articles (including yours) and have become fascinated with how much husband and wife influenced one another.
I write to you to ask if you have ever wondered where Virginia’s emphasis on 500 pounds a year came from? I have been trying to find out how much Leonard might have earned while in Ceylon and have been unable to come up with any figures. Do you have any idea how much he might have earned per year?
eLanka Newsletter 8 February 2023 …. presented here by Thuppahi because eLanka is a patriotic cause located in Australia working for the island and all its peoples in their considerable variety. eLanka also offers to deliver gift packs to residents or insitituions and charities in the island….. visit Elanka … firstname.lastname@example.org>
David Sansoni, whose preferred title is “STC – an unauthorised history of Lanka’s greatest Public School”
Richard Simon’s ‘history of Lanka’s greatest public school’, is an epic poem!
Epic, in its reach; poetic, in its lyricism, this towering, magnificent opus is a pearl, of both history and literature. “STC” touches the soul and core, of historophile, linguaphile and bibliophile; Christian, Lankan and, above all, Thomian.
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.