Category Archives: meditations

Sri Lanka’s Tea Country Trail from Yesteryear with Julia Margaret Cameron

Juliet Coombe

Sri Lanka’s Tea Country Trail. 582 likes · 9 talking about this. The Tea Country Trail is a proposed 310 km long-distance hiking trail through the Sri Lankan Tea Country. The trail winds its way…

https://www.facebook.com/teacountrytrail/

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Thiruketheeswaram: the Site of a Temple from Pre-Historic Times

Thiru Arumugam, being an article presented recently in The CEYLANKAN, Journal of the Ceylon Society of Australia. No. 3, August 2021

Thiruketheeswaram is located about eight km north of Mannar Town. It is on the coastal mainland of Ceylon, near the seashore on the direct coast road from Mannar to Jaffna. It has been the site of a Temple dedicated to Siva from pre-historic times. The place name of Thiru-Kethu-Iswaram has been devised as follows.  ‘Thiru’ means sacred or holy and “Iswaran” is another name for Siva. As regards ‘Kethu’, Charles Pridham in his 1849 book A Historical, Political and Statistical account of Ceylon and its Dependencies describes how the gods asked Vishnu to prepare an elixir which would make them immortal. The elixir was prepared by churning the oceans but a demon who was a bystander also managed to drink the elixir. When Vishnu realised this, he cut off the demon’s head, but he was too late as the elixir had already made him immortal. The two parts became Rahu and Kethu, which are significant planets in the Hindu astrological system. In order to propitiate his sin, Kethu (Fig. 1) wandered from place to place and ultimately reached the shores of Lanka. He performed severe penances and he   was ultimately blessed with the Lord’s vision and the place where this occurred was named Thiru-Kethu-Iswaram or Thiruketheeswaram.

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Taliban’s Rise as Major Setback for India: A Lament exposing Power-Plays in Asia

  Sunil Sharan in New Delhi, 22 August 2021 where his chosen title is “The Lonesomeness of Defeat” **

Afghanistan has been a debacle for the Americans, but no less so for the Indians. The great generals of the modern era, the Guderians, the Rommels, the MacArthurs, and Without doubt the greatest of them all, Napoleon, always saw things clearly. They recognized Victory to be victory and defeat to be defeat and did not confuse between the two. A superb German army opened two fronts in World War II, which led to its downfall. The Americans did the same in Iraq and Afghanistan, meeting humiliation in both places.

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Anecdotal Tit Bits: Making “The Bridge on the River Kwai”

Michael Roberts

ONE: The Theme Tune and George Siegertsz

The mainline tale about the production process in Ceylon in the composition of the outstanding film The Bridge on the River Kwai – a film based on an actual wartime commando operation involving the destruction of a bridge being built with POW labour by the Japanese war machine in Thailand – can be read at https://thuppahis.com/2021/08/02/kitulgala-and-the-classic-movie-bridge-on-the-river-kwai/

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Autobiography of a Sri Lankan Priest: Fr. Reid Shelton Fernando

Fr. Reid Shelton Fernando

I was born in November 1943 and baptized by Fr. F.M. Goonetilleke who was responsible for the Holy Hour Prayer book. It was in Nuwara Eliya Church as my father was then working in the Stafford Estate Ragala.  My hometown is Moratuwa and I was a parishioner of the Parish of Willorawatte.

I was ordained as a Catholic Priest of the Archdiocese of Colombo in January 1970. I had my priestly studies in the National Seminary Ampitiya in Kandy from 1962 till 1969. While I had my secular studies at St. Sebastian’s College, Moratuwa till 1957 and joined St. Aloysius Minor Seminary in Borella in 1958.

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Adam’s Bridge? Evaluating the Legend

Patrick Ranasinghe, at elanka 2 August 2021, where the title runs thus: “Could This Be The Legendary “Magic Bridge” Connecting India And Sri Lanka? “

eLanka _ Could This Be The Legendary _Magic Bridge_ Connecting India And Sri Lanka_ – by Patrick Ranasinghe – eLanka

Location   The bridge starts as a chain of shoals from the Dhanushkodi tip of India’s Pamban Island. It ends at Sri Lanka’s Mannar Island. Pamban Island is accessed from the Indian mainland by the 2-km-long Pamban Bridge. Mannar Island is connected to mainland Sri Lanka by a causeway.

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Old England Cricketing Mates farewell Mike Hendricks

Courtesy of Dr Sarath Gamani De Silva, a Richmondite

Mike Hendrick, former England and Derbyshire bowler, died at the age of 72. Hendricks was suffering from bowl cancer and was in his last stages. What a farewell.  This get together was taken just ten days ago ………………@ Derby CCC.

John Lever, Ian Botham, Mike Hendrick, Bob Taylor, Geoff Miller. Derek Randall. John Emburey and Geoff Boycott, all gathered to say farewells to Hendrick..

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Encountering Extremism: Biographical Tracks and Twists

Michael Roberts reproducing an article that originally appeared on the 19th March 2010 in https://sacrificialdevotionnetwork.wordpress.com/

One’s academic trajectories and journeys are invariably subject to vagaries and contingencies. The events and researches leading to my interest in “communal violence” and “zealotry” in the 1990s, and thereafter to what I have called ‘sacrificial devotion” (embracing the topics of “terrorism,” suicide bombers and Tamil Tigers),[i] were shaped by such contingencies. Since my web site will present some short essays on both these topics in the course of this month, let me detail some moments during my research work that resulted in the journeys that produced such outcomes.

In 1986-87 I spent about 14 months in Sri Lanka on research work during my sabbatical year. I was completing my research and writing on the history of Colombo in British times and the associated rise of a Westernized middle class-cum-bourgeoisie – work that resulted in the book People Inbetween (Sarvodaya, 1989).[ii] The island was still under the clouds cast by the attacks on Tamils in the southern parts of the island in July 1983. Following the British colonial lexicon this momentous and tragic set of events was generally described as the “1983 riots.” But such politically-aware scholars as Newton Gunasinghe and Shelton Kodikara were among those who depicted the event as a “pogrom.” This was a sensitizing revision that I accepted.

 Riots May 1958 – A Tamil passenger was taken out of the vehicle and beaten up

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Murderous Mayhem at a Rural Junction in North Western Lanka, 1983-1989

Liyanage Amarakeerthi, whose chosen title is “A Fatal Intersection: Three Small Shops in North  Western Sri Lanka that No Longer Exist” …. with highlighting imposed by The Editor Thuppahi

I was born and raised in a little community in Kuliyapitiya, a typical agricultural area with three small tanks (wewa), which watered paddy fields, within walking distance on three sides of my house. Of course, there were also three Buddhist temples, almost within walking distance from each other. It was a typical village in the North-Western province, a part of which is known as bath kooralee or ‘rice province’. Where there were no tanks or paddy fields there were coconut plantations, big and small. Not surprisingly, much of the ‘coconut triangle’ is also in this province.

Stephen Champion’s cover photo has been deployed here  by Thuppahi as an external intervention to highlight the scenario of the 1980s 

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Vale: Dr Nalini Kumari Kappagoda, 21 January 1936-23 July 2021

Hugh Karunanayake

It is with much sadness that I record the demise of Dr Nalini Kappagoda, lately of Bundanoon and Killara. Dr Nalini Kappagoda, a long-time resident, of West Pymble, Killara, and Bundanoon, in New South Wales, passed away at the age of 85 on 23 July. She was one of the most brilliant products of the Ceylon Medical College, from where she passed out as a doctor with First Class Honours in 1960. She was most likely the only student in the history of the Medical College to collect a bag of 4 gold medals during a studentship. In 1958 she was awarded the Hazarai Gold Medal for the best student at the Third MBBS examination. In 1958 she was also awarded the Loos Gold medal for pathology. In the same year she was also awarded the Mathew Gold Medal for Forensic Medicine. In her final year in 1960 she was awarded the Dadabhoy Gold Medal for Medicine. She subsequently obtained her PhD in Pathology from the University of London and was a Fellow of the Royal Australian Society of Pathologists.

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