Foreword: “When I’m in the Strand or 42nd Street, or at NASA Headquarters or the Beverley Hills Hotel, my surroundings are liable to give a sudden tremor and I see through the insubstantial fabric to the reality beneath…” These words by Arthur C. Clarke, the sci-fi writer, are quoted at the end of Roloff Beny’s photographic chronicle “Island Ceylon”. But where does Clark’s reality reside? He writes, “No other place is so convincing as Sri Lanka,” and as he spent almost fifty years there, we are tempted to believe him.Continue reading →
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 →
Jon Gemmell reviewing in 2019 a booklet from Michael Roberts pubd in 2006
Sri Lankan academic Michael Roberts has issued a booklet charting the key events in the island’s cricketing history. Forces and Strands in Sri Lanka’s Cricket History starts by telling us that cricket is the one game in Sri Lanka that has penetrated the world stage in a consistent fashion. As the national pastime for a large section of the population its purpose is beyond the mere aesthetics of leather on willow.
The Islamic terrorist attack of March 2009 near Gaddafi Stadium at Lahore was a traumatic event which endangered the Sri Lankan cricket team as well as a mini-bus bearing cricketing officials. The team were extremely fortunate to survive withonly aa few minor injuries. Photogaphs can only provide a smidgeon of the impact.
The 1936 Summer Olympics were unlike any other. In Berlin, Germany, under the shadow of Chancellor Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime, an African-American track and field athlete rose to stardom: Jesse Owens.1
Owens’s record-breaking athleticism carried him from the cotton fields of the South to the White House and made him one of the most famous athletes in American history.
Earl Forbes, whose preferred title is “Burghers and Amahs. First to enter White Australia from Independent Ceylon, ,”.… Note that the highlights are impositions by The Editor, Thuppahi
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 the Fort, Colombo.
A Concerned Australian in Email Note to Thuppahi …who has added the highlighting
This afternoon …. Saturday 4th November ….. these right wing Nazis attempted to enter the ABC in Southbank Melbourne with a view to shutting it down. The Vic Police prevented them achieving their goals. They are part of a growing extreme movement which the Federal government support tacitly, which wants the ABC shut down. Murdoch is calling for this and also shutting down the BBC. These Nazis only want the Murdoch media, Fox and Sky to be heard. The Federal Government approves because the ABC is the only thing in Australia holding the government to account, and they dislike any criticism. I have to say Morrison is going off the rails and slowly turning Australia into a fascist state. The distance between Nazi ideology and right wing Liberal politics in Australia is very thin. Continue reading →
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.
It has been over a decade since the end of Sri Lanka’s protracted conflict, but what we have today is ‘negative peace’ – which is the absence of overt violence. Limited understanding of Sri Lanka’s history, politics, democracy, ambition, intent, and the refusal to acknowledge acts of intolerance and discrimination that destroyed lives and led to bloodshed makes it increasingly difficult to avoid the recurrence of violence and we risk repeating the same mistakes. Today, we are confronted with choices that could lead to positive peace or a resumption of cycles of violence. Even now, the difficulties of dealing with COVID-19 and the resulting economic fallout could lead to social unrest that may morph into inter-communal violence if manipulated. Continue reading →
Julia in Sydney… in MEMORANDUM to Michael Roberts,
Hi Michael, I have some very strong views about the anti-vaxxer ‘freedom’ movements that are going on.” I think they are mostly comprised of people who are 1. afraid of the vaccine because they have no idea of what they don’t know (see: Dunning-Kruger effect) and/or 2. buy into too many conspiracy theories in their misguided search for making sense of the world around them and/or 3 hold very strong right-wing neo-libertarian ideology.
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.