Category Archives: plantations

Thoughts on Planter Lifeways in Ceylon evoked by the Braine Biography

Joe Paiva[1]

Camellia sinensis is a species of evergreen shrubs or small trees in the flowering plant family Theaceae. Its leaves and leaf buds are used to produce tea. Common names include tea plant, tea shrub, and tea tree. Wikipedia. If allowed to grow freely can reach up to 6 ft or more. For commercial agronomic purposes they are maintained as a compact shrub at approximately 4 ft, to increase productivity. And to suit the stature of female tea pickers.

Tea plants grow at the tea plantation in Trabzon, Turkey on June 27, 2022. (Photo by Resul Kaboglu/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Ratnapura, Sri Lanka – April 23: R. Chitrakumari (left) and K. A. Punchimeneke pick tea leaves in a tea garden on April 23, 2022 in Eheliyagoda, Sri Lanka. 2022

BOP = Broken Orange Pekoe, the very best grade of marketed tea. Flavour. Aroma, Colour. A very refreshing brew.

 

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Charles S. Braine: A Rajah of a Planter in British Ceylon

One of the Braine Progeny presenting an Item in the History of Ceylon Tea website, entitled “Charles Stanley Braine (1874-1944) – The Rajah of Mawatte”…. https://www.historyofceylontea.com/ceylon-publications/feature-

Charles Stanley was born in Ceylon on 25 December 1874. He was the eldest son of Charles Frederick Braine and Adeline Mary Becher, who had married in London earlier that year.

   

  Charles Stanley Braine: rajah-of-mawatte.html

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Tales of the Northways, Pioneering Planters in Ceylon

Hugh Karunanayake                                                                                                                                                                                                               The four generational link that the Northways had with the plantation enterprise in Ceylon ended with the death of the last of the Northways in Sri Lanka, that of Michael Northway in 1995. The progenitor of the family in Ceylon was Samuel Northway who together with the Winters, Bowmans, Hawkes, and Gotteliers, and others were induced to come over to Ceylon to establish the sugar industry in which these families were successfully associated with, in the Mauritius   where they lived previously. All, or most of these families, including the Northways, were of French extraction.

 Charles Northway & his wife on Deviturai Estate on their motorbikes; she witha douglas and He on a Bat, … circa 1910

 

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Ashton Agar’s Sri Lankan Lineages

Michael Roberts

Ashton Agar may play cricket now for Western Australia, but he is the eldest of three boys schooled at the De La Salle College in Melbourne. Our investigations indicate that his father John Agar is from a cricketing family associated with the Prahran Cricket Club in Melbourne – a happy coincidence because Prahran had several Burgher migrants active within its portals—notably Owen Mottau and Dav Whatmore.[1] As vitally, his mother Sonia is a Sinhalese Sri Lankan, being the daughter of Nala Hewawisa[2] from a marriage with Sheila Plunkett,[3] who is described in one source as a “Burgher of British descent.”

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The Political Travails of the Indian Tamils in the State Council Era 1931-48

Uditha Devapriya, in  The Island, 21 May 2022,  where the title runs thus “DS Senanayake and the Indian Tamil Question”

In his recent work on D. S. Senanayake, K. M. de Silva explores certain controversial aspects of Ceylon’s lurch into independent statehood. Among these is the issue of the fate of the country’s Indian Tamils. Brought to the island from South India amidst conditions of famine and mass starvation in the early part of the 19th century, Indian Tamil workers replaced Sinhalese and resident Tamil labour in the island. Governed by a semifeudal set-up that shut them out from the world outside, Indian Tamil labour grew up in a world of their own. It was their tragic fate that while the colonial government feigned little interest in their welfare, their lives lay in the hands of that government.

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Introducing the Ceylon National Congress: Its Agitation & Its Context

Michael Roberts

The four-volume edition of DOCUMENTS OF THE CEYLON NATIONAL CONGRESS was presented by the Department of National Archives in 1977 and has been out of stock for some time now.

Haris De Silva — Deputy Director, DNA in the 1970s

Volume ONE contains a book within a book written by me and entitled ELITES, NATIONALISMS and the NATIONALIST MOVEMENT IN BRITISH CEYLON – in seven chapters and running to ccxxii pages.

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Nationalisms in Ceylon: Origins, Stimulants and Ingredients

Michael Roberts, … reproducing Chapter III in Volume I of Documents of the Ceylon National Congress and Nationalist Politics in Ceylon, 1929-1950, Vol I, 1977, Department of National Archives, 1977 , pp. lxviii–lxxviii **

While the political activists of the first half of the twentieth century were drawn from both the national and the local elites, the political leadership (at significant island-wide levels) was largely composed of individuals who could be ranked among the national elite. As indicated earlier, the national elite was a small segment of the Ceylonese population. Its levels of wealth, power and status, its lifestyle, and its value-system marked it off from the rest of the population.

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Dissecting Sri Lankan History & Politics through Book Reviews


Sophie Roel in conversation with Razeen Sally on “The best books on Sri Lanka recommended by Razeen Sally”

Many visitors to Sri Lanka have been beguiled by its charms, from its hill towns to its beaches, its ancient temples to its friendly people. And yet, for a quarter of a century until 2009, it was torn apart by a brutal civil war. Here, Sri Lanka-born political economist Razeen Sally, author of Return to Sri Lanka: Travels in a Paradoxical Land, recommends the best books to get a better understanding of Sri Lanka and the complexities that make the country so fascinating to visit and read about.

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Sri Lanka as A Paradise blighted by Extraordinary Political Violence

Razeen Sally, in an article presented in November 2020 at NIKKEI ASIA, with the title “Rediscovering Sri Lanka through a travel memoir”  …. & with highlighting superimposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

The Island paradise mixes beguiling charm with an astonishing record of violence.  Foreign visitors have for centuries rhapsodized about Sri Lanka, or Ceylon as it was called until 1972: its seashores and landscapes, its governing religion, Buddhism, and its majority ethnicity, the Sinhalese.

Colombo’s Mount Lavinia Hotel in the 1960s. One of Asia’s legendary colonial hotels, it was managed by the author’s father through the political upheaval of the 1970s. “It was a turbulent time, much of which my father spent in remand and jail.” ……  Photo courtesy of Razeen Sally Continue reading

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The Pioneering Planters of Maskeliya

Hugh Karunanayake, with highlighting and spacing imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

The economy of Sri Lanka or Ceylon as it was then known, was basically a peasant economy which through the nineteenth century transformed into a plantation economy. The change commenced with the introduction of the first commercial crop, coffee. Commercial cultivation of coffee as a crop was introduced and encouraged during Governor Sir Edward Barnes’ tenure in the 1830s and by the 1860s had covered most of the upcountry areas. Maskeliya District  opened up in the late 1860s, the first estate to be cleared and planted upon in the district being Bunyan Estate.

View of Adam’s Peak (Sri Pada, Sri Paadaya) from Maskeliya, Central Province, Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Date: circa 1910

 

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