All those addressing the fervour that promoted the killing work of the Zahran Hashim jihadist network in Sri Lanka in April 2019 must come to grips with the modern currents of Wahhabi political thinking that go back to the outpourings of the Egyptian intellectuals Sayyid Qutb and Al-Zawahiri in the latter half of the 20th century. This step will then take investigators to the Al-Qaida movement and thence to the more recent brand of Wahhabism embodied within ISIS.
Rajan Philips, in Colombo Telegraph,14 February 2021, where his chosen ttitle is “Geneva Odyssey: More Confrontation Or New Approach?”
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa who made the surprising call for the government cancelling the ECT deal with India and Japan, has made another surprising and really a gallant announcement giving the green light for allowing burials for Muslim and Christian victims of Covid-19. If the Ministry of Health has been caught unawares by the PM’s statement in parliament, well, they had better get used to it. But no sooner had the government appeared to have cremated the burial issue than Cardinal Malcom Ranjith raised a new headache for the government – threatening to take his case for justice for the victims of the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks to international courts, if there is no assurance of justice through domestic investigations. That is a shocker even though it is no more than a threat for now.
KLF Wijedasa, in The Island, 3 February 2021, with this title “A Historic Day for Ceylon”
Duncan White, Lakshman Kadirgamar, Sharm Mustafa and Oscar Wijesinghe are seen in this picture which appeared in The Ceylon Daily News decades ago. Duncan White, Lakshman Kadirgamar, Oscar Wijesinghe and M.A.M. Sherrif represented the four communities when they brought four scrolls to the Independence Square to be handed over to the Prime Minister D.S. Senanayake to be read for the public to hear.
Prabhath de Silva in The Daily Mirror, 20 November 2020 with this title“Christians in Sri Lanka Living in harmony amidst challenges after the Easter Terrorist Attacks of 2019 and their contribution to society”
Sri Lanka has attracted the attention of ancient and modern colonial empires, foreign countries, merchants, travellers and missionaries and emissaries over the centuries owing to its strategic and prominent location at a crossroads of maritime routes traversing the Indian Ocean.
Gerald Peiris in Kandy, in Email Note dated 25th January 2021:**
“Yes, Michael, ……………… I agree. There is a lot of overlap between what I have been trying to convey [in public and/or govt forums] and what young Shukra is supposed to have said (though I didn’t see her perform).
You are probably aware that downtown Kandy has a fairly large Muslim presence. I got to know some of them in the course of my fieldwork for ‘Planning for the Future of Kandy’ (2019). They were very cordial and cooperative, and fluent in Sinhala. A few of them are grandchildren (now in middle age) of my contemporaries at Kingswood in the ‘50s. Their clientele consists almost entirely of Sinhalese.
Our whole nation has been enchanted by the mesmerizing performance of a young girl from Galle hitting the jackpot at the Sirasa Lakshapathi quiz programme. No doubt Shukra is a very gifted and intelligent girl with a superb photographic memory, who has made the best use of the very limited resources available to her. Her all-encompassing knowledge of Sri Lankan history, literature and Buddhism as well as in international affairs, world history and matters of science was really amazing. She has been reading books of every kind and could remember many facts in those books. What impressed me most was her determination, keeping her cool at times of much stress while answering difficult questions, characteristics rarely seen in a 17-year old schoolgirl.
As a small child, Shreen Abdul Saroor remembers getting up before dawn with her father to spy on the masses of migratory birds that would visit her island. The birds were on their way down the Central Asian flyway — a migration path that crosses 30 countries from Siberia to the Indian Ocean. “We would hide somewhere and … we don’t make any noise,” Ms Saroor recalls. “[Then we’d watch] them coming and landing in the causeway areas and then catching fish and taking off as a huge group covering the entire sky.”
Ruhunu Putra, in THE ISLAND, 2o November 2020, where the title is “Historical Glance at Galle”
Galle is the capital of the Southern Province. The popular derivation of its name is from the Sinhala word Gaala – a cattle pen. The mighty king Ravana’s cattle pen had extended from the present day Mahapola premises to the Town Hall, according to legend. Galle is also considered to be the Tarshish in the Bible. It is reputed for cottage-crafts, lace making, tortoise shell work, gem polishing, ivory carving, jewellery and ornamental ebony elephants.
My D. Phil dissertation at Oxford in the early 1960s centred on British agrarian policy in the mid-nineteenth century and therefore included the British efforts to revive the tank irrigation systems of the Sinhala past. Several British colonial personnel as well as visiting dignitaries were captivated by the ruins of the Anuradhapura/Polonnaruwa periods which they observed during adventure trips. A few saw it as a challenge for their imperial capacity. Some British governors, notably Ward, Gregory and Gordon, took up the prospect.
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.