Category Archives: rehabilitation

The Old Lighthouse within the Fort of Galle … and More

Michael Roberts

My recent presentation of amateur photographs of the renovations that were being carried out on the Galle ramparts in July-August 2020 encouraged some comments from Bunchy Rahuman and Ashley de Vos amongst others, with the latter objecting strongly to what he terms “the gentrification” of the Galle Fort.[1] That important issue will be taken up soon in Thuppahi; but the exchange has generated a striking photograph of the “old light house” sited on the bastion.at the south-west corner of the Fort — courtesy of Bunchy.

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Renovations and Pavings for Galle Fort Ramparts Today July 2020

Amateur Snaps from Michael Roberts

Western Wall southern end

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Facing the Central Bank Bomb on 31st January 1996

 Somasiri Skandakumar in Sunday Island, 7 February 2021

As the clock moved towards 10.50 am on January 31, 2021, my mind went back 25 years to that fateful day. It was a Wednesday, and having finished our weekly meeting of the Parent Board of Directors in the Board Room on the eighth floor of Steuart House around 10.30 am, we sat around to exchange views on matters of a non-official nature as was customary, before returning to our rooms.

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Galle Fort: A Heritage Site under Threat from Gentrification?

Uditha Jinadasa   Interviewed  by Doreen van den Boogaart & Luc Bulten

In the Spring of 2020 Dr. Uditha Jinadasa defended her dissertation ‘Changes in the Cultural Landscape and their Impacts on Heritage Management: A Study of Dutch Fort at Galle, Sri Lanka’ and earned her PhD from the Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University. The fortified town of Galle is a living heritage city, but this status is threated by gentrification. Dr. Jinadasa researched what has happened to the architecture, demography, economy, and city culture since the Fort has become UNESCO World Heritage in 1988. Luc Bulten and Doreen van den Boogaart, young ambassadors of the Netherlands Sri Lanka Foundation, interviewed her about her thesis and her view on heritage management in Sri Lanka.

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Muttukrishna Sarvananthan’s Independent Paths and The Point Pedro Institute

Muttukrishna Sarvananthan completed his postgrad studies in Wales and was attached to the ICES in Colombo when I met him for the first time. When subsequently coming to grips with the contentious political issues associated with the ‘liberation war’ pursued by the fascist organisarion known as the LTTE, I found that ‘Sarvi’ sustained his indepenedence. At thatstage he had one foot in Point Pedro and another in Wellawatte (the later being my home base arena) … so I did meet him off and on. When in late 2011 I decided to question Rohan Gunaratne’s absurdly low figures on civilian Tamil deaths (at a talk at the British Council). it was to such personnel as Saravananthan, Narendran Rajasingham and Noel Nadesan that I turned to for alternative estimates in this nebulous arena…. See “The Tamil Death Toll in Early 2009: A Misleading Count by Rohan Gunaratna,”  23 November 2011, http: transcurrents.com/news-viewa/archives/6285 …. Michael Roberts

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Steve Waugh as a Mother Theresa and Cameraman

Greg Bearup, in The Weekend Australian Magazine, October 9, 2020, where the title is “Different Strokes. Life after Cricket”

The office of the Steve Waugh Foundation is up the stairs and down the back of a block of shops on the outskirts of Cronulla’s CBD in Sydney’s south. The office, like the bloke, is devoid of frou-frou. It exists to get the job done and each year it distributes more than a million dollars to help kids with rare diseases. And then in walks Steve Waugh with his famous pout and his thousand-yard stare – the man who led one of the most dominant teams in the long history of Test cricket. Remember those gratifying years when humiliation of the Poms was an annual ritual, like raking up and burning leaves each autumn? “We’re not here to win friends, mate,” he once said, summing up the attitude of the team under his reign.

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Hurdling Back Home to Adelaide

Michael Roberts

SYDNEY to ADELAIDE:  Having been informed on Thursday night that I had no Covid and would receive CLEARANCE  I proceeded to pack and on FRIDAY the 1st October confirmed my ticket booking to Adelaide that afternoon on JETSTAR [an airline which permitted extra luggage].

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A Poignant Farewell at Vishvamadu in 2018: Rathnapriya Banda’s Work of Reconciliation

Shenali Waduge. in an article presented in June 2018 and entitled  “LTTE village & a Sri Lankan Military Officer show the world what Reconciliation & Peaceful Coexistence is all about” …. ith highlighting emphasis added by The Editor, Thuppahi

It was a farewell that has shocked & left plenty of critics speechless. It has put to rest & completely nullified the lies that have been spread against Sri Lanka’s Army. The culprits include foreign governments/envoys, INGOs/NGOs, UN & even the present government in particular the Tamil leadership & the LTTE diaspora who must be startled at the pictures emerging of an entire village weeping as they bid farewell to a military officer who had played the role of their mentor, their father, their brother, their advisor & virtually their leader. Col. Rathnapriya Bandu has done what Prabakaran, Wigneswaran, Sivajilingam, Sumbanthiran, Sambanthan or even Tamil Nadu politicians could not do & do not want to do. In a world that plays divisive politics of divide & rule he has shown that it takes a hero to unite & Col. Bandu is one hero that we must all salute. No former LTTE village would ever carry a Sri Lankan Military officer on their shoulders & weep as he bid goodbye if he was no hero in their eyes.

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Outreach ECSAT: Aid for the Totally Impaired

Michael Roberts

There are children who cannot walk and are totally dependent on family and others. When such families are encased in poverty as working-class people, their lot is that much harder. ECSAT assists a few of these families in the locality of Galle Town. I joined Roshan and Kumari Kariyawasam on one of their outreach visits (with Roshan’s daughter Padani as company) one morning in August 2020.

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Introducing ECSAT and the World of Disabled People around Galle

Michael Roberts

 In late 2018 I met Roshan Samarawickrema at Flinders University via my daughter Maya who is a senior staff officer there. Roshan had arrived to further studies in Disability Teaching. Via the vagaries of the covid endemic both of us found ourselves in good old Lanka in the second quarter of the year. A visit to my home beat of Galle Fort[1] in July-August enabled me to explore and ‘experience’ the work of ECSAT at its HQ in the old “Serasinghe Walauwwa” building at Wackwella [albeit in covid circumstances whereby school attendance was drastically low]. My readings via picture and tale will follow. I begin here with Roshan’s introduction to ECSAT with due emphasis on the initial impetus provided by Catherine Liyanage (nee Mole become Macleod).[2] …. Michael Roberts

ECSAT staff in 2020

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