This collection documents the activity of a generation of Sri Lankan radical activists who, in their different ways, attempted to escape the claims of rival ethno-nationalisms and build alternative political and development projects, drawing on Marxism, Christian socialism, and feminism, among other inspirations.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sir: I have read through and consider this an excellent summary of the key issues,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).
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…..
“A Medley of Races” … being an articlein theTimes 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.
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.