Category Archives: photography

Greater Flamingoes in Mannar and Sri Lanka

The Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) is an uncommon migrant bird species found in Sri Lanka, and is a major attraction among avitourists. Jaffna Peninsula, Mannar Island, and the southeastern coastal areas are the known strongholds of this species in Sri Lanka.

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Buddhism among Tamils in the Past … and Present-Day Squabbles

PK Balachandran, in The Citizen, 8 August 2021, where the title is In Sri Lanka, the Tamil Link with Buddhism is Brushed Under the Carpet”

Unsustainable claims put forward by the Sinhalese and the Tamils on language, religion and ethnicity, have muddied Sri Lankan politics in the post-independence era. The Sinhalese loudly proclaim that Buddhism is quintessentially and exclusively, a “Sinhala” religion. The Tamils, on the other hand, claim with equal vehemence, that they have always been unalloyed Hindus, who had never ever had anything to do with Buddhism, which they identify with “Sinhala hegemony.”

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Cricketing Stars who stimulated Ceylon Cricket


A. C. de S., in Sunday Observer, 30 May 2004, where the tiltle is “Ceylon privileged to be coached by cricketing knights”

Sri Lanka has had the good fortune of witnessing six great cricketing knights play in the country and indulge in coaching for the Sri Lanka benefit of the younger generation. The six cricketers all knighted for their splendid deeds for their country of birth, had a liking to Sri Lanka (Ceylon as we were then known) and besides playing in matches, have also indulged in coaching in Colombo and in the outstation towns as well.

The cricketing knights – Sir Donald Bradman, Sir Learie Constantine, Sir Jack Hobbs, Sir Frank Worrell, Sir Len Hutton and Sir Garfield Sobers were a big draw for the young cricketers then and the enthusiasm to forge ahead in cricket seemed to be uppermost in the minds of the local cricketers and the administrators as well.

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Djokovic and the “Secretary-Bird”

Michael Roberts

When my wife and I went on a Safari tour in Zimbabwe in the 1990s I was fascinated by sightings of a “Secretary Bird” through my binoculars. The official identity of this strange figure  was Sagittarius serpentarius.”   But, in my reading and juxtaposition, its upright walking stance simply indicated a prim and proper secretary persona.           

When I first saw Novak Djokovic on the tennis court, I immediately associated the two figures.  Maybe a strange leap; but it is a fixed asociation im my mind –one which did not, and does not, degrade my admiration for Djokovic’s tennis. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Australia vs Ceylon at the Colombo Oval in March 1953 … and Constantine

Michael Roberts

In focusing on Learie Constantine’s spell as a coach in the island in 1953 I was prompted initially by his report on the one-day encounter between the Australian cricket team led by Lindsay Hassett and a Ceylon team, a “whistle-stop game” as it was known then because the Aussies played such matches on their way to England by ship on several occasions dating from the early decades of the 20th century.

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Geoffrey Bawa’s Lunuganga in Colour with Chandra Dasswatte

A Christmas special! We are so happy to be able to share with you this special vlog that we’ve been wanting to create for oh so long! This is one of Sri Lankas best kept secrets and its something we want to share with travelers who have a keen interest in local architecture and history. it was an absolute honour to have Channa Dasswatte share some amazing insight into the life & work of Geoffrey Bawa & his Lunuganga Estate. Hope you guys enjoy this vlog as much as we did making. Wishing you all a very happy Holidays!

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Eerie Splendour: Wild Animals in The Depths of Darkness

Introducing “Phantoms of the Night” by  De Silva, Gallangoda Happuaracchi & Jayaratne

 

“Phantoms of the Night” – Wild Cats of Sri Lanka, a book offering an incredible window into four species of felines making a living in their shadowy realm. Stunning photographs and their story will lure you into a world shrouded in mystery. Penned by amateur naturalists: Thilak Jayaratne, Janaka  Gallangoda, Nadika Happuarachchi and Madura De Silva. The book is the result of their two decades of wandering about in various parts of the country and their fascination with nature.

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Cricket Teams on the Road: Ship. Rail. Air. Road

Deepti Unni, in The Cricket Monthly, 1 November 2021, where the title is “Long way round. Will travel for cricket”

Bio bubbles, pandemics, extended quarantines, months away from family – cricketers have spent more time away from home this last year and a half than at any time in the recent past. It’s almost a throwback to the early years of the game, when Test tours would run six months and longer, including the time spent getting there and back by ship.

Well-wishers wave goodbye to Douglas Jardine and the other members of the MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club) as they set sail from Tilbury to Australia on the Orient liner Orontes….Photo by Davis/Getty Images

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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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Self-Immolation in Protest: Reflections

Michael Roberts, reproducing here an expanded version of article printed in Lanka Monthly Digest, September 1999, Vol 6:2, pp. 56-57…. with citations added.

 

 

 

 

 

A Kurd in Germany immolates self in protest vs Ocalan’s fate

 ONE : In February 1999 a Kurdish nationalist leader, Ocalan, was caught by the Turkish authorities. Kurdish refugees in the Western world erupted in protest. In London a young girl Neila Kanteper set herself alight. In Sydney a young lad was caught on camera with petrol can and cigarette lighter as he threatened similar action. As I walked into the local news-agency in Adelaide that week the proprietor[1] waved the picture of Kanteper in flames in front of me and in considerable alarm inquired how anyone could take such an extreme measure. He could not ever take such a step, he said. His remarks gain in significance from the fact that they were unsolicited and had not been preceded by prior conversation. I was in a hurry and did not explore matters further, but I conjecture that his bewilderment stemmed not only from the method of death by fire, but also from such terminal commitment to a collective cause. The question, therefore, is whether in similar circumstances an act of martyrdom involving death by hand-gun would produce the same level of astonishment. Relatively speaking, death by gun seems to be so much more acceptable to the Western world than death by flame.

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