Nick Rankin, in BBCnews, 23 May 2014, where the title runs thus: “Leonard Woolf’s forgotten Sri Lankan novel” …… The Bloomsbury Group and Sri Lanka are rarely spoken of in the same breath, but that is partly because Leonard Woolf’s groundbreaking first novel, The Village in the Jungle, is unjustly ignored, argues writer and broadcaster Nick Rankin.
She was born Virginia Stephen, daughter of the Victorian bookman Sir Leslie Stephen, but when she married in 1912, her name changed to Virginia Woolf, and she went on to become the best-known woman writer of the 20th Century.
Her lesser-known husband, Leonard Woolf, however, wrote and published a novel first. That almost forgotten book, first published in 1913, is called The Village in the Jungle and it is a remarkable work because it is the first novel in English literature to be written from the indigenous point of view rather than the coloniser’s.
Dr Hugo Cardoso, a linguist from the University of Lisbon and his team who have been researching this historical language spoken in the East of Sri Lanka have now taken to social media to preserve this fast fading heritage.
Frances Mao, BBC News, Sydney 20 May 2022, where the title runs as “Australia election: Why is Australia’s parliament so white?”
Some of Australia’s MPs, pictured here, fail to reflect the country’s diversity, critics say
Australia is one of the most multicultural nations in the world, but it’s a different story in the country’s politics, where 96% of federal lawmakers are white. With this year’s election, political parties did have a window to slightly improve this. But they chose not to in most cases, critics say.
Jayantha Somasundaram, in The Island, 8 April 2022, where the title runs thus: “The Turn of the Tide”
Eighty years ago on Easter Sunday 5th April 1942, Ceylon came under attack by a Japanese armada. The Battle for Ceylon was going to be a duel of skill, nerves and grit between the pilots of the approaching Japanese Carrier Fleet and the RAF fighter pilots defending Ceylon.
On 26th March 1942 Vice-Admiral Chūichi Nagumo Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Imperial Navy’s main aircraft carrier force, sailed out of Kendari in the Celebes (now Sulawesi in Indonesia). It consisted of the First Air Fleet with the carriers the Akagi, the Hiryu, the Soryu, the Shokaku and the Zuikaka, along with the Third Battle Squadron made up of the battleships the Haruna, the Hiei, the Kirisbima and the Kongo, accompanied by two heavy cruisers and ten destroyers heading for Ceylon. “In striking power”says naval historian H. P Willmott of the US Naval Institute in Empires in the Balance, “virtually the same as the force used against Pearl Harbour.”Continue reading →
Uditha Devapriya, reviewing Gananath Obeyesekere’s new book The Many Faces of the Kandyan Kingdom(1591-1765) Colombo, Perera-Hussein, 2020, 200 pp., Rs. 1,200 ... with ‘arbitrary’ highlighting imposed by the Editor, Thuppahi
In 1602, the year of the Dutch East India Company’s founding, Joris van Spilbergen reached the shores of Sri Lanka after setting sail from the seaport of Veere in Holland a year earlier. Tasked with opening up trade negotiations with the King of Kandy, Vimaladharmasuriya, Spilbergen bore with him a letter from the Prince of Orange, acknowledging their willingness to counter the Portuguese. Not for one moment underestimating the Portuguese presence in the island, though, they disembarked at Batticaloa, which fell under the jurisdiction of the Kandyan Court. They anchored off the coast on May 31.
Thiru Arumugam, in The Ceylankan, vol 25/1, February 2022 , where the title reads thus“A three-hundred-and-forty-year-old book about Ceylon – Part 1″
There exists a three hundred-and-forty-year old book about Ceylon which was published in 1681. Although there are other books about Ceylon in other European languages written in the 17th century, this is the oldest book about Ceylon in English. Other books of this genre include the manuscript of Fernao de Queyroz’s book in Portuguese titled “The Temporal and Spiritual Conquest of Ceylon” which was completed in 1687 but the author died a few months later in Goa and the book was never published until Father SG Perera translated it into English and published it in 1930. Another book is by Phillippus Baldeus titled “A true and exact Description of the Great Island of Ceylon” which was published in 1672, but this was in the Dutch language.
Tamara Fernando: “Seeing Like the Sea: A Multispecies History of the Ceylon Pearl Fishery 1800–1925″*Past & Present, Volume 254, Issue 1, February 2022, Pages 127–60, ……………………………………………. https://doi.org/10.1093/pastj/gtab002
ABSTRACT of the Article: The pearl fishery of Ceylon was a lucrative source of pearls as well as a theatre of colonial power. But instead of narrating a story of abstracted governmentality, this paper dives below the waves, braiding Tamil poetry with scientific material relating to the oyster and state sources concerning fishery administration. Taken together, these unearth a multi-species history of the human relationship to the seas. In the same way that pearl divers’ labour was a mode of knowing nature, so too, natural processes and marine creatures shaped, in turn, the economic, social and cultural worlds at the fishery. This nacreous, layered approach combines natural history, maritime labour and historical ecology to explore the fragile and interlocking balance below the waves which extended beyond humans to the molluscs, sharks, boring sponges and parasitic tapeworms of the Gulf of Mannar. The archive around the pearl fishery advances the animal and ecological histories of the Indian Ocean and also points towards ways of suturing the gulf between Indian and Sri Lankan scholarship.
The conquest of the island of Ceilao by the British between 1796 and 1818 was an outcome of their imperial conquests in India and underpinned by their sea power. The presence of their troops and other personnel in British India was so extensive that in time a new ethnic category-cum-group emerged in the localities (usually towns) with British personnel: namely, the Anglo-Indians.[i]By the late 19th century these people of mixed descent spawned by British personnel in India stood as a distinct community of Christians speaking Indian English as their mother-tongue and oriented to both India and the United Kingdom.
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.