Category Archives: patriotism

In Appreciation of “Our Sam” … The Samarasinghe Family Collective

It is with profound sorrow that we share with you the passing of Prof. Stanley (Sam) Samarasinghe on Monday, Nov 22, 2021. Our husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, teacher, colleague and friend fought his illness with relentless courage and undiminished fortitude for several years. His enthusiasm to live his life to the full did not abate. Except family and close friends, no one else had even the slightest inkling that he was battling an invasive enemy within.


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Tamil Demonstrations and Thommo’s Thunderbolts: Sri Lanka at Kennington Oval at the 1975 World Cup

Michael Roberts

While some of these striking photographs have been presented before in Cricketique or in Thuppahi, they have not been assembled under one roof before. They are significant both for political and cricketing reasons.  

In cricketing terms we had a talented troupe of players back home so that the final choice of fourteen left very competent players out of scene. The preparations were quite remarkable. The larger pool of players was sent to Nuwara Eliya in order to acclimatize themselves while practicing at Radalla.

Standing left-to-right: David Heyn, Roy Dias, Sarath Fernando, Neil Perera (Asst Manager), Raja Wickremasinhe (Fitness Trainer( and KMT Perera (Manager)  Squatting left-to right: Duleep Mendis, Bandula Warnapura, Ajit de Silva, Anura Ranasinghe, Lalith Kaluperuma, Dennis Chanmugam, DS de Silva, Ranjit Fernando, Tony Opatha, Anura Tennekoon, HSM Pieris ….. Missing because traveling to Nuwara Eliya by car:  Michael Tissera and Sunil Wettimuny

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Filed under art & allure bewitching, cricket for amity, ethnicity, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, life stories, martyrdom, patriotism, performance, photography, self-reflexivity, Sri Lankan cricket, unusual people, world events & processes

Fascist Strands in Australian Anti-Vac Campaigns?

Julia in Sydney… in MEMORANDUM to Michael Roberts, 

ONE: …..

Hi Michael, I have some very strong views about the  anti-vaxxer ‘freedom’ movements that are going on.” I think they are mostly comprised of people who are 1. afraid of the vaccine because they have no idea of what they don’t know (see: Dunning-Kruger effect) and/or 2. buy into too many conspiracy theories in their misguided search for making sense of the world around them and/or 3 hold very strong right-wing neo-libertarian ideology. 

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Continuation of Venom and Bias at the UNHRC

Malinda Seneviratne in his web-site MalindaWords where the title runs “Spit and venom in Geneva (same old, same old)”



 It’s Bachelet’s hour. That’s Michelle. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The second of her bi-annual Christmas-come-early party in Geneva. Time to get her kicks, probably. The grave countenance, deep tone and malice disguised as concern.  Yes, folks, it’s that time of year of regurgitating tired arguments based on tendentious claims made by unreliable sources with agendas that have little or nothing to do with human rights.

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Kokkadicholai: An Outpost in Wartime Batticaloa

This Item appeared in Dilshy Banu’s Facebook post and I have borrowed it and its photographs for circulation via Thuppahi – in part because it marks a little “outpost activity” in the course of the war and largely because I have met Dilshy and respect her courageous career choices and her lines of philanthropic endeavour….. Michael Roberts, 18 November 2021

Dilshy Banu: Kokkadicholai in Batticaloa: Traversing Tension during Eelam War IV”


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The “Fertiliser Mafia” debilitating Sri Lanka’s Agricultural Wellbeing?

Chandre Dharmawardana, writing from Canada (see below)

Sri Lanka is heading towards an agricultural disaster similar to that created by Stalin who was guided by a so-called “Dialectical Materialist” version of agricultural science announced by Lysenko, a “party scientist”. Sri Lanka’s leaders also have ideologues who have various scientific and medical backgrounds and are ready to present “justifications” for the push for 100% organic agriculture. Here we trace this pseudo-science movement back to some of its roots and discuss some of the pseudo-science that is being presented as “science”.










Dr. Jayasumana and Dr. Sanath Gunatilleke confronting a farmer in an unequal discussion.

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Amnesty International Misleads World in Its Picture of Anti-Muslim Violence in Sri Lanka



Waruni Kumarasinghe & Dinithi Dharmapala, from the Strategic Communications Unit, LKIIRSS, … whose preferred title i “Amnesty International Report on Sri Lanka: Far from the Truth”

Amnesty International’s latest report on Sri Lanka, titledFrom Burning Houses to Burning Bodies: Anti-Muslim Violence, Discrimination and Harassment in Sri Lanka” (October 2021) levels very serious accusations against this country. The overall argument of the report is that Muslims in Sri Lanka are an oppressed minority subjected to state-sponsored violence and systematic discrimination. The argument, as will be explained in a moment, is deeply flawed.

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Reconfiguring Our Categories of Being for the Sake of Lanka’s Future

Michael Roberts, here repeating a set of perspectives voiced initially on 19 June 2009 after the LTTE had been vanquished,in the News Magazine FRONTLINE that was printed every fortnight from Chennai.++

“One can win the War, but lose the Peace.” Cliché this may be, but it also a hoary truism that looms over the post-war scenario in Sri Lanka. The triumphant Sri Lankan government now has to address the human terrain rather than the fields of battle.













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Sri Lankan Army’s Alms as Arms across the Ethnic Divide

Retd Brigadier Hiran Halangode** has told me about a schoolmate from Ananda College, one Kumar Weerasuriya, who has donated over 15 houses with funds from friends and labour from the Army in Jaffna. He indicates that Weerasuriya is “a true son of Sri Lanka who gives back to all Sri Lankans with all his mite. You may be able to share his story in Australia and globally.”











Halangode has also sent the three images presented here of houses donated by 3 different individuals to the homeless in Jaffna. Their stories can be extracted from this website, which is the Jaffna Security Forces website on Civil Affairs. [ Continue reading

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A Tale of Resistance: The Story of the Arrival of the Portuguese in Sri Lanka

Michael Roberts, reproduing here an article that appeared initially in 1989 with the same title in Ethnos, 55: 1-2:69-82. … and also in Swedish in Lanka. Tidskrift om Lankesisk Kultur (Uppsala), No. 2, March 1989. I regret that the presentation here has not been able to incoroporate diacritica for indigenous words.

ABSTRACT: This essay decodes a sixteenth century folktale which records the Sinhalese reaction to the arrival of the first Portuguese. Where the historiography has interpreted this tale as benign wonderment in the face of exotica, a piecemeal deconstruction of the allegorical clues in the ‘story is utilised to reveal how the Sinhalese linked the Portuguese with demons and with Vasavarti Maraya; the arch enemy of the Buddha. In this fashion the Portuguese and the Christian sacrament of communion were represented as dangerous, disordering forces. The piecemeal reinterpretation of this short text, however, must be overlaid by a holistic perspective and the realisation that its rendering in oral form enabled its purveyors to lace the story with a satirical flavour: so that the Portuguese and Catholicism are, like demons, rendered both disordering and comic, dangerous and inferior – thus ultimately controllable. In contending in this manner that the folktale is an act of nationalist opposition, the article is designed as an attack on the positivist empiricism which pervades the island’s historiography and shuts out imaginative reconstructions which are worked out by penetrating the subjective world of the ancient texts.


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