Category Archives: meditations

Shakespeare’s “Cooking up a Past” AND Sri Lanka

Tom Shakespeare: “Çooking up a Past” in “Collection. No Small Inheritance” …. …. no date indicated …. but it was clearly written after the tsunami and, in my reckoning penned in late 2005. I have imposed haphazard highlighting …. and devoted much time to this essay because it is a marvellous and introspective ethnographi tale — one that (A) grapples with profound issues and changes in attitudes to illegimate births in UK in the period 1950s to the present, while also (B) serving up fascinating vignettes about the lifeways of the Westernized Ceylonese middle class in the 1950s … and again in 2005.

The airport was full of English fans, heading to Colombo for the first of three test matches against Sri Lanka. On the Emirates flight to Dubai, they seemed to be drinking the plane dry, first of beer and then whisky. On the second leg, I tried to sleep, blocking them out with ear plugs. At dawn, I declined the offer of breakfast. But when I smelled the meal I quickly changed my mind. It was fish curry with kiribath and seeni sambol my first taste of the real Sri Lankan food that I would be eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the rest of the month.

After twenty years away, I was travelling back to Sri Lanka, to understand part of my cultural inheritance and investigate my mother’s roots. I had been eating this food for forty years, and cooking it for more than twenty, but I had only previously made one visit to my ancestral home. ng Having  discovered more about my father’s past, it was time to hear about the other side of the family tree. Since my teenage years, my mother and I have spent more time squabbling than bonding, and I was excited as well as anxious about the prospect of more than two weeks alone together.






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A Supposed Wonder Drug gets Rubbished

A Recent Email Drum-beat touted a supposed wonder drug in the treament of cancer! ….. But the Essay meets Its Match in Two Caustic Comments from Two Sri Lankan Doctor Friends

ONE:  Dr Colin Fernando in Adelaide,  4 November 2012

This is certainly not a brilliant new discovery. The use of cyanide from Apricot  Kernel and from Manioc as a treatment for cancer has been touted since the 1950’s at least. It was patented as “Laetrile” and has been carefully studied and rejected by respected researchers.

 Kiributh with lunumiris — as tasty as non-curative! Continue reading


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Israel buoyant from the Efficacy of Booster Vaccines

Tom Joyner and Fouad AbuGhosh,  at ABC net, 29 October 2021, …. where the title runs this  COVID-19 is here to stay, but Israel shows that boosters, masks and vaccine passports can tame the virus”

It was the first country to vaccinate, the first to reopen, then the first to widely implement a booster shot.  Now Israel is returning to life close to normal only six weeks after the peak of its worst COVID-19 wave yet. In mid-September, new infections of the Delta variant had surpassed 10,000 per day and hospitals were groaning under the pressure. But today, its restaurants are bustling, cinemas and theatres are packed, university lecture halls are full and the major airport is heaving.

Deaths and new infections have plummeted to the single and triple digits, and the country will be welcoming overseas tourists from November 1.

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Prejudice & Patriotism: Cricket in This Space

Roshan Kishore, in Hindustan Times, 29 October 2021, with this title “Cricket and patriotism: What links them in India”

Pakistan’s victory over India in the ongoing T20 cricket World Cup match on October 24 has kicked up a political storm in India. First there was uproar over online trolling which targeted India’s pace bowler Mohammad Shami along religious lines. Many Opposition leaders came out in Shami’s support, and several cricketers and the Board of Control for Cricket in India also spoke up for him. Meanwhile, reports of Muslims celebrating Pakistan’s victory started doing the rounds. Those who did so will be booked under sedition charges, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath said in a tweet on October 28.

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Quinton De Kock Takes Fresh Guard, but … Unease Remains?

Firdose Moonda

t may be tempting to think that Quinton de Kock‘s refusal to take a knee ahead of the match against West Indies earlier this week is out and out racism, but ignorance of racial inequalities that have resulted from slavery, colonialism and apartheid might be what caused him to not comply with Cricket South Africa’s directive, and to consequently withdraw himself from the match.
That’s not the soft view, nor one that seeks to justify de Kock’s continued inaction over antiracist gestures, but rather one that aims to add nuance to the ever-complex conversation around race and sport, and especially race and sport in South Africa.




The array of gestures before the game against Australia that probably drove CSA to mandate the whole team taking the knee  ICC via Getty Continue reading

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Unknown Bowlers dominate T20 World Cup Stats!

Will Swanton, in The Australian, 19 October 2021, with this title “Cricket: The World No. 1 T20 bowler you’ve probably never heard of”

Australia faces the World No. 1 T20 bowler in its crucial opening match of the World Cup. His name is Tabraiz Shamsi. Doesn’t ring a bell? Sounds more like a fancy bottle of red? A nice little shiraz to have with dinner? No wonder. He’s played only one white-ball game in Australia, three years ago, bowling two overs of left-arm lollipops on the Gold Coast.

Tabraiz Shamsi bowls with his left hand and distracts the batsman with his right

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Presenting the Portuguese Burghers of Sri Lanka: Today and Yesterday

Earl Barthelot, in Ceylon Digest, 22 February 2020, where the title reads The Portuguese Burghers of Ceylon”

Sri Lanka is well known for its diversity with over 22 numerically small communities and majority communities such as Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims. Burgher community is one of the numerically small communities. Large proportions of the Burghers do live in the Batticaloa District and a small proportion live both in Trincomalee and Ampara District. At the same time there are Portuguese Burghers living in all parts of the country in small numbers.

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Revd Ernest Poruthota in Q and A on His Life’s Work

Avishka Mario Senewiratne in Q and A with Fr Poruthota (1931-2020) ………… Interview in  May 2018 and originally published in the Messenger, May, 27, 2018. 

Today the Messenger carries a very special and exclusive interview with one of the most senior and popular priests in the Archdiocese of Colombo, Rev. Fr. Ernest Poruthota. Since his ordination in 1957, Fr. Poruthota has served in ten parishes in different parts of the Archdiocese.  As Asst. Parish Priest in Kotahena (1957-59), Moratuwa (1959-60), Pamunugama (1960), Dehiwala (1960-62) and Parish Priest in Dehiyagatha (1962-66), Kelaniya (1967-74), Kalamulla (1974-82), Kotte (1982-87), Wattala (1991-1997), Dehiwala (1997-2004), Kirimatiyagara (2004-2011). Apart from Parishes he has served as the Chaplain of lay Apostolate (1966-67), Director PMS (1971-74), Chaplain YCW, CWM (1983-87), Dean of Colombo (1987-91).

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Waltzing Matilda in Kriol … in the Northern Territory, Australia

Waltzing Matilda sung in Kriol, a mixture of local aboriginal dialect, pidgin English and a smidgen of Chinese…..

BACKGROUND:  note the spatial distribution of the related indigenous Kriol languages …… 

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Melathi Saldin’s Essay ….. and a Sharp Denunciation ….

A  NOTE: The engine ACADEMIA sends me copies of articles relating to my Sri Lankan interests. The item presented below is a new phenomenon seeking to stimulate discussion directed towards cross-ethnic harmony. Whether such objectives can be served in the midst of the cut-and-thrust and slashing of throats by dedicated advocates of THIS or THAT cause is a question one must address when reading the commentary that follows. The HIGHLIGHTED EMPHASIS is my imposition. 

Dear Michael,

Reminder: You’ve been invited to join the Discussion of Melathi Saldin‘s paper “Pushing Boundaries Heritage resilience of minority communities in post war Sri Lanka”.You have been invited either because you are following Melathi Saldin or because Academia thinks you’d be interested based on the overlap between this paper and what you read and write on Academia. Since the Discussion started 4 days ago, there have been 12 comments and 22 participants.


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