Michael Roberts,reprinting here an article that appeared in FRONTLINE vol. 26/12, 19 June 2009 … with this title “Some Pillars for Lanka’s Future”
“One can win the War, but lose the Peace” — A cliche this may be, but it is also a hoary truism that looms over the post-war scenario in Sri Lanka. The triumphant Sri Lankan government now [must] address the human terrain rather than the fields of battle.
We all know Trishelleas the female vocalist of Sohan & The X-Periments, so, obviously it came to me as a surprise when it was mentioned that she is a highly qualified Bharatanatyam dancer, as well. What’s more, she has been learning the skills of Bharatanatyam, since her kid days!
The diplomatic relationship between Ceylon and Australia commenced even before the formal declaration of Ceylon’s Independence. Australia established a Representative Office in Colombo, on the 29th April 1947. On Independence Day, (4th February 1948) this representation was upgraded to High Commission status. As further indication of the importance placed on the relationship between the two countries, the Australian High Commission Office was moved from its temporary location at the Galle Face Hotel, to more permanent premises at Gafoor Building, in Fort, Colombo. Following diplomatic representation established in London, New Delhi and Washington, Ceylon established its fourth diplomatic office in Canberra. In January 1949, Mr J A Martensz was appointed as Ceylon’s first High Commissioner to Australia, (see Image 1). Mr Martensz was a member of the Ceylonese Burgher community. Although probably underestimated in importance in the planning stages of the Australia High Commission in Ceylon, immigration to Australia soon became a matter of growing contention in the workings of this office. Developments in both countries contributed to a great deal of expectation, as well as misunderstanding, in the early immigration process.
Ismeth Raheem: An Appreciation of Laki Senanayake (1937–2021)
Given Laki Senanayake’s stature and personality, I am confident that there will be a fair share of obituaries and appreciations that will attempt to capture something of the man and his work. This is a more personal account of my encounters with Laki, which span over half a century. By no means is this an overview of his life or work. For the most part this account is anecdotal, but it does strive to convey aspects of his personality, his passions and the work he created and inspired.
Aparna Halpé, in The Island, 23 May 2021, where the title reads “Learning from My Father, Five Years After his Passing”
I was mingling with the audience at a poetry reading in Toronto, where I had been reading some of my new poems, when I was approached by an audience member. He asked me a question that I’ve encountered before in some form or another throughout my entire artistic and professional career… “Excuse me, are you by any chance related to Professor Ashley Halpé?” When I answered that I was his youngest daughter, the gentleman proceeded to tell me this story.
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.
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.