Category Archives: plural society

The Dutch Burghers in Sri Lanka Today

Prabath De Silva, in Daily Mirror, 21 January 2021, with this title “The Dutch Burghers in Sri Lanka”

 “We are a vanishing tribe in Sri Lanka. The first paternal ancestor of my father’s family who arrived in Sri Lanka in 1774 was Pieter Scharenguivel. He was a Quarter Master in the service of the United Dutch East India Company which ruled the maritime provinces of Sri Lanka from the middle of the 17th century to 1796. The Dutch Burgher identity and consciousness within the family I grew up in was extremely significant. It played a role  in the conversations, traditions, customs, food, perceptions and social interactions. During the British colonial rule, our community produced eminent surgeons, doctors, legal luminaries, judges, engineers, sportsmen, musicians , historians and artists etc.” , said Anne-Marie Scharenguivel (65), a management accountant and a member of Sri Lanka’s tiny  Dutch Burgher community of less than 30000 people.

Mrs. Anne-Marie Scharenguivel

Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under accountability, British colonialism, communal relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, discrimination, economic processes, ethnicity, European history, heritage, historical interpretation, immigration, island economy, landscape wondrous, language policies, life stories, literary achievements, patriotism, plural society, politIcal discourse, Portuguese in Indian Ocean, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, travelogue, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

Henry Jayasena: An Appraisal in Appreciation — with Further Insights from Azdak’s Lore

Nandasiri Jasentuliyana

There was one other leading figure from the cultural world that I came to know very well, particularly through my association with Namel. It was none other than Henry Jayasena, acclaimed as an outstanding stage actor, film star, writer, producer, director, and translator, all rolled in to one. He is a legendary artiste of our times.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under art & allure bewitching, cultural transmission, female empowerment, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, literary achievements, meditations, performance, pilgrimages, plural society, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, working class conditions, world events & processes

Independence Day 1949 in Black-and-White Video

 

presented by Anusha Palpita … Aug 7, 2016

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under art & allure bewitching, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, language policies, life stories, meditations, nationalism, patriotism, performance, plural society, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, tolerance, Uncategorized, world events & processes

Eduard Hempel Flourishes in Galle and Lanka

SinhaRaja Tammita-Delgoda, in Sunday Island, 26 July where the title is A Seeker after Many Truths, The Lives of Eduard Hempel”

The canoe nudged its way through the deep brown water. It was thick and heavy, like treacle and the boat inched towards a tree trunk on the river bank. The boat sat low in the water, barely a few inches above the river. “Closer, closer,” said the voice at the stern. “I can’t really see it.”

“Well I can,” protested the voice from the bow. “Its close enough, isn’t it?”

” No, its okay. It doesn’t seem to be moving.” All of sudden the tree trunk moved. Coming suddenly to life, it slid down the river bank, crashing into the water.

“Don’t worry, they are much bigger on the Zambezi. It’s probably scared of us. That was why it was rushing into the water. Look they are all doing that.”

There was a series of splashes, each one louder than the other.

Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under accountability, architects & architecture, art & allure bewitching, communal relations, cultural transmission, economic processes, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, modernity & modernization, patriotism, performance, photography, plural society, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, tourism, travelogue, unusual people, wild life, world events & processes

Galle Fort Today: Janaka Gallangoda’s Marvellous Lens

Entering the Fort –  Original Entrance with the VOC Plaque **

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under ancient civilisations, cultural transmission, economic processes, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, meditations, Muslims in Lanka, plural society, sri lankan society, tourism, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes

Adieu! Galle Fort’s Burghers …. A Swansong in the Late 1980’s

This extended Video Clip recorded in the late 1980s takes many of us back to disappearing slices of life and its interactions within the Galle Fort, an arena that has been altered in ,but nevertheless retains its old world charm even today — while boasting astronomical land prices.

Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under accountability, British colonialism, communal relations, cultural transmission, economic processes, ethnicity, European history, female empowerment, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, literary achievements, patriotism, plural society, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, teaching profession, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

Reading Roberts on Sri Lanka’s Socio-Political Ailments: A Letter to Roberts

Drawlight, 10 June 2020

Sir: I have read through and consider this an excellent summary of the key issues,[1] particularly for those who are not very knowledgeable about history and of the sort who are busier protesting matters that have no relevance to them (the current trend among especially the youth in Sri Lanka on social media bandwagoning on BLM issues in the US simultaneously ignoring the more immediate realities of fellow Sri Lankans engaged in modern day slavery in the Middle East and other countries).

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, cultural transmission, discrimination, disparagement, economic processes, education, European history, Fascism, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, life stories, plural society, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, world events & processes

On Kandy. For Kandy.

Gerald H Peiris’s New Book: PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE OF KANDY …. a monograph

2. Cover image ….. 

Kandy 1

Kandy is considered the epitome of Sri Lanka’s civilisational heritage, both as a supremely venerated sanctum in the world of Thēravāda Buddhism as well as from perspectives of harmonious multiculturalism evident in its demographic, structural and functional characteristics…..

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, architects & architecture, Buddhism, commoditification, cultural transmission, economic processes, education, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, Kandyan kingdom, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, plural society, politIcal discourse, population, religiosity, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, tourism, transport and communications, welfare & philanthophy, working class conditions

A Medley of Races by T.W. Roberts

“A Medley of Races” … being an article in the Times of Ceylon Christmas Number 1935

A land where five empires have met and clashed and left remnants of themselves behind. Here and there a monument, a temple, a church, a road, a plant and everywhere the most vivid remnant of all, chunks of humanity. And so you often stumble on Sinhalese endowed with features that seemed to have stepped out of a picture by Velasquez. Similarly, most of the Sinhalese of one district (Negombo) talk not Sinhalese but Tamil, while the intelligentsia of all Ceylon know English better than they know their own languages.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under British colonialism, Buddhism, citizen journalism, cultural transmission, economic processes, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, meditations, plural society, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, unusual people

The Presidential Race: Samarasinghe’s Evaluative ‘Punches,’ II and III

SWR de Samarasinghe

ONE: “Premadasa’s Candidacy – Bringing Democracy to the UNP Machine,” in ISLAND, 8 October 2019

The two major political parties, in the south, have had a long tradition of being managed more like private clubs belonging to a particular family cabal than vital public institutions in a democracy. Whoever happens to be the leader has had an iron grip on the party. There is little inner-party democracy in such a set up. The significance of Sajith Premadasa’s victory over Ranil Wickremesinghe in the fight for the UNF presidential candidacy has to be evaluated against such a background

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, centre-periphery relations, chauvinism, communal relations, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, legal issues, life stories, nationalism, plural society, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes