From The ALOYSIAN, April 2021, edit. by Johnny De Silva
Ashen Bandara the promising cricketer is the latest addition to the Sri Lanka team as a brilliant fielder at any position and a useful middle order batsman who also bowls right arm leg spinners. The 22-year old player from St. Aloysius’ College in Galle has already proved his ability during the current West Indies tour and made 44 in the second T20 match that Sri Lanka won and then become the fifth batsman from the island to make a half century on debut in an ODI when he achieved the feat in the first match against the same opposition last Wednesday. Bandara was at home playing the sweep shot like a seasoned pro and scored most of his runs on the leg side in reaching his half century in 60 balls as Sri Lanka were all out for 232.
Chandre Dharmawardana, whose preferred title is “Political Rhetoric, or Sounding the Death Knell of Sri Lanka’s Agriculture?”
A quote attributed to the Greek play write Euripides says that “ Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad”. Reading the news from Sri Lanka, one can only wonder if a prescient Euripides had Lanka’s successive rulers since 1970 in mind.
Michael Roberts, reproducing here an old draft that is entitled “Becoming Sinhala” ***
The scene is somewhere early in 1984 and the location is the building housing the Social Scientists’ Association on the road to Nawala off Narahenpitiya in Colombo. The late Charlie Abeysekera and the late Newton Gunasinghe are reflecting gloomily on the pogrom of July 1983 that had victimised Tamils living in the capital and elsewhere in the south. Charlie is one of the founder members of MERGE and both are among the few personnel in Colombo who had taken an active stand in public forums against the atrocities that had occurred.* Now, in the gathering dusk, Charlie looks at Newton and asks: “what makes you think that you are a Sinhalese?” Newton immediately grasps the serious import and analytical purpose behind this question. He considers the issue gravely before venturing upon an answer.
Dr B. J. C. Perera, in Island, 29 April 2021, with this title “Covid-19: Perhaps final warning for Sri Lankans”
Be warned, our dear countrymen and women. The die is cast…, well and truly. In addition to all our woes in this resplendent isle, as far as COVID-19 goes, things are getting totally out of control. We will have to pay for our sins. Whom do we blame now? Here are some facts and some well-considered thoughts.
Tom Tugendhat and Neil O’Brien: “About the China Research Group”
The China Research Group [has been] set up by a group of Conservative MPs in the UK to promote debate and fresh thinking about how Britain should respond to the rise of China. The group’s work looks beyond the immediate Coronavirus crisis or issues relating to Huawei, with the aim of considering the longer term challenges and opportunities associated with the rise of China and its industrial and diplomatic policies.
Steve Waterton, inThe AUSTRALIAN, Special Magazine Edition, 31 March 2021
Stella Bowen, one of the few Australian women to be appointed an official war artist, began her preliminary pencil sketches for the painting on this magazine’s cover on April 27, 1944. Her subjects were the crew of a Lancaster bomber of 460 Squadron, six Australians and their English flight engineer. That night their raid took them over Friedrichshafen, an important German industrial centre; the next morning they were reported missing, presumed dead.
Tony Donaldson, with underlining emphasis inserted bt The Editor, Thuppahi
On 1 October 1949, the People’s Republic of China was proclaimed by Mao Zedong. Two months later, on 6 January 1950 the Ceylon government recognised Red China– one of the first countries to do so. Seven years later, in early 1957, the Premier of China, Zhou Enlai, made an historic five-day visit to the island, which paved the way for the establishing of diplomatic relations between Ceylon and China. Before exploring Zhou’s visit to Ceylon, it is worth diverting for a moment to briefly sketch the key events that led to his historic visit.
Zhou Enlai in China relaxing at the Huairou Reservoir, Beijing, in August 1960 … Photo by Du Xiu XianContinue reading →
An ABSTRACT of an article that appeared in printin Ethnos, 1989, vol 54: 1 & 2, pp. 69-82…. available online for payment to Taylor & Francis.
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 Mārayā, the arch enemy of the Buddha. In this fashion the Portuguese and the Christian sacrament of communion were represented as dangerous, disordering forces.
Chandra R. de Silva,*whose original title runs thus: “Portugal and Sri Lanka: Recent Trends in Historiography” … an article that was originally published in Re-exploring the Links: History and Constructed Histories between Portugal and Sri Lanka, ed. Jorge Flores, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2007, pp. 3-26
In a recent article entitled ‘Theoretical Approaches to Sri Lankan History and the Early Portuguese period,’ Alan Strathern points out that although historical writing in Sri Lanka has become ‘the site of vibrant controversy’ due partly to the ethnic conflict, by and large, it has contributed little to wider debates on post-colonialism and the nature of historical thinking.’ I would agree with this broad proposition. What I intend to do in this paper is to extend my gaze beyond the sixteenth century to which Alan consciously limits himself and look critically at the extent to which historical writing in the past half century has enhanced our understanding of the complex connections between Portugal and Sri Lanka in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, … I will concentrate largely on the area of social interaction and leave the other areas — political, economic and cultural – for detailed consideration at a later time.
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.