Category Archives: religiosity

Muslims in the East of Sri Lanka: Ashfaque Mohamed’s Insightful Film

Laleen Jayamanne, whose title is Notes towards a Politics and Aesthetics of Film” in a review essay presented in The Island, 1 & 2 February 2023: the focus being Ashfaque Mohamed’s ‘Face Cover’ **

 

 ‘Face Cover’ by Ashfaque Mohamed

Asfaque  Mohamed

“Black cat, at the tip of my fingers pulsates poetry,

Desiring hands, yours, nudgingly pluck those roses of mine

In the soft light of the moon

The dreams we picked from the foaming edges of waves of the sea.”

                                                                          Jusla/Salani (in Face Cover)

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Sri Lankan Tamils & Their English Names: How This Feature Came About

Vinod Moonesinghe, in RoarMedia, 13 January 2023, where the title runs thus: How Sri Lankan Tamils Came To Have ‘English’ Names”

Many Sri Lankan Tamils have English or otherwise European names, and are often confused with Burghers or Eurasians. How this came to be constitutes a vital part of the evolution of modern Sri Lanka.

 

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Female Attire in Sri Lanka and AK Coomaraswamy

Laleen Jayamanne, in The Island, 28 December 2022, reviewing Ayesha Wickramasinghe’s ‘The Dress of Women in Sri Lanka’

Dr. Ayesha Wickramasinghe, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Textile and Apparel Engineering, at the University of Moratuwa, has recently published her doctoral research on sartorial styles, The Dress of Women in Sri Lanka (2021), in a handsomely designed hardcover book. The historical information, which spans the colonial and the postcolonial periods, with glances at the ancient past, is presented as a cultural survey, in an engaging manner, with a large number of photographs embedded, in the text, as illustrations. It has been published by The National Science Foundation and has recently received a national award as well.

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A Hymn for Sri Lanka …. On the ‘Lines’ of Danno Budunge

Hymn for Sri Lanka – Produced & Sung by Aglow Generations Choir. – Aglow International Sri Lanka. … Aug 10, 2021

This Song was done during the most hard times in our nations, so we declare a blessing upon our Beautiful Nation of Sri Lanka, may there be peace in the borders, as the Lord reigns over our land we have hope, healing and restoration. This recording was done for the Annual Conference “Anchored to the Rock” August 2021

…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjrzbKPRrnk

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The Potency Borne by Pictures

Michael Roberts

This little presentation is a DEDICATION. It illustrates the potency and power of friends in producing an academic booklet in 2011. As it happens, the booklet bears the title Potency, Power & People in Groups and was financed by the good friends Godfrey & Amar Gunatilleke of the Marga Institute.

The “Acknowledgements” and the “Foreword” taken together spell out the names of those friends who assisted this project. But let me single out Anura Hettiarachchi for his aid in this project and in the endeavours leading to my book on Sinhala Consciousness in the Kandyan Period (Colombo, Vijitha Yapa Publications, 2004) because he was struck down by heart failure recently.

To Anura, then, in gratitude I place this item in my website.

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The War Heroes’ Monument of St. Aloysius’ College, Galle

The ceremonial opening of war heroes’ monument on 24 November 2022 was by the Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army Major General Jagath Kodithuwakku, … RWP RSP ndu – Chief of Staff (යුධ හමුදා මාණ්ඩලික ප්‍රධානී), …  Colonel of the Regiment Sri Lanka Light Infantry, … President – Army Sports Committee … Chairman – Sri Lanka National/Army Angampora Committee…. President Old Aloysian Military Association.

 

In a colourful ceremony conducted with the pomp, precision and pageantry that is synonymous with the armed services, the well-designed War Monument dedicated to Aloysians who gave their lives for the country during the senseless ‘war’ was declared open. Congratulations to the organisers and to those who worked tirelessly to establish this monument…. NOTE from the Aloysian Chroniclers

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Fraternal Polyandry in Ceylon in Dutch Times

Jan Kok, Luc Bulten and Bente M. de Leede:

“Persecuted or permitted? Fraternal Polyandry in a Calvinist colony, Sri Lanka (Ceylon), seventeenth and eighteenth centuries,” a work published by Cambridge University Press, 2022 … presented here in Thuppahi in synopsis

Abstract: Several studies assume that Calvinist Christianity severely undermined or even persecuted the practice of polyandry in the Sri Lankan areas under Dutch control. We analyze Dutch colonial policy and Church activities toward polyandry by combining ecclesiastical and legal sources. Moreover, we use the Dutch colonial administration of the Sinhalese population to estimate the prevalence of polyandry. We conclude that polyandry was far from extinct by the end of the Dutch period and we argue that the colonial government was simply not knowledgeable, interested and effective enough to persecute the practice in the rural areas under its control.

 

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The Paravas in Sri Lanka and South India in the Sixteenth Century

Chandra R. de Silva

It is likely that the paravas (also known as Bharathas in Sri Lanka to indicate their Indian origin) were working as fishermen and mercenaries in South India and the north western coast of Sri Lanka well before the sixteenth century. Tradition links them to the evolution of the catamaran (a small craft with two hulls) and with a major role in pearl fishing in the Gulf of Mannar. They were also proficient in chank (turbinella pyrum) fishing: chanks being seashells that were used to make ornaments and drinking vessels. The coming of the Portuguese to the region in the sixteenth century provides us many Portuguese records that illuminate the history and seafaring skills of this community.. Historian Jorge Manuel Flores, for example, quotes a mid-sixteenth century Portuguese document which records thanks to a parava convert named Duarte de Miranda for assistance in navigating the seas off South India.

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At the Feet of Meeriyabedde Upananda Mahanayaka Thera

Padraig Michael O’Leary Colman, in The Sunday Island on November 27, 2022, where the title reads “The Monk and Me”

On October 13, 2017, we heard the sad news of the death of our very dear friend, the Most Venerable Meeriyabedde Upananda Mahanayaka Thera, the Mahanayaka of Uva Amarapura Nikaya. We knew the Most Venerable Upananda for a long time before we realized how eminent he was. We just knew that he was a special human being. As well as being the High Priest of the Pelgahattene temple, he was also responsible for 56 other temples.

 

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Caste in Jaffna

Prashanth Kuganathan** whose title runs thus: “Social Stratification in Jaffna: A Survey of Recent Research on Caste”

A SYNOPSIS: Since 1983, war has dominated the perception of Sri Lanka. This has affected scholarship on the country, such that the subjects of an overwhelming number of research proposals and publications have been on the war and the prospects and prescriptions for peace. This survey paper is an attempt to locate the system of caste in transition in the Jaffna Peninsula by reviewing recent literature written after the commencement of the war. While detailed ethnographies of caste in Jaffna may have temporarily come to a halt, caste practices have not and remain a salient part of everyday life among the Tamils in Sri Lanka. As the war ended in 2009, it is therefore important that social scientists on Sri Lanka revisit the topic of caste, that is an integral part of not just Tamil culture or society, but being Tamil itself. As the study of caste is dominated by research in India, a microanalysis of Jaffna and Sri Lanka, particularly the nuances of this system in transition due to war and militancy, could contribute to the macro-study of caste at a sub-continental perspective.

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