ONE: Jude Goonewardane – “Appreciating Sri Lankan Musicians,” 28 April 2023
Rest in peace Des! It is with a heavy heart I announce the passing of my dear friend Des Kelly in Dandenong, Melbourne Australia.
Desmond Kelly is a Ceylonese musician who has entertained in Sri Lanka and in Australia. He was born in Colombo in 1936. Kelly was one of a group of musicians who was discovered by Radio Ceylon, now the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation. Radio Ceylon gave him a platform for his songs and announcers Vernon Corea and Christopher Greet played his compositions on their music programs.
Sri Lanka’s civil war was one of the longest running in modern history. The conflict between the Sinhalese and the island’s Tamils was brutal and terrifying, yet its origins were surprisingly recent. This video examines the forces of populism and population that grew into the horrifying experience that still scars Sri Lanka today.
Sources: -A History of Sri Lanka, K. M. Silva de -Elephant Complex; Travels in Sri Lanka, John Gimlette -The Cage: The Fight for Sri Lanka and the Last Days of the Tamil Tigers, Gordon Weiss -The Ocean of Churn: How the Indian Ocean Shaped Human History, Sanjeev Sanyal -This Divided Island: Stories from the Sri Lankan War, Samanth Subramanian + Various news sources, especially The Economist 00:00 Intro 01:17 Buddhism under the British 01:40 Henry Steel Olcott and Spiritualism 03:10 Dharmapala 04:00 Hindu-Buddhist history 05:02 Other contributing factors 07:18 Cricket in Galle 13:24 Sunday evening in Galle 15:19 Sri Lanka since independence 17:49 1956 Official Language Act 19:22 Was it inevitable? 20:27 Going east 22:19
Most interesting, Michael. I’ve had the privilege of periodic correspondence with the estimable Ismeth Raheem in the past, and thanks to the kindness of Vancouver, BC-resident Ranil Bibile who agreed to be courier, once sent Ismeth a Giclée reproduction of a previously-unknown 1840s painting by Andrew Nicholl from his outbound voyage to Colombo, the original of which has been purchased by a British Columbia collector with whom I’d been in touch.
In regards to your attached bibliography, specifically the scholarly article on the 1915 communal riots that particularly affected the Galle-Tangalle area, while I was on VSO teaching at Richmond College (1973-74) some RCG colleagues and I were in Matara on our way to visit a rural jungle primary school in the Moneragala area, when we fell into conversation with an elderly local, who had been a fisherman all his working life [photo taken then].
Induction of Tiger recruits into fighter ranks with receipt of the kuppi containing cyanide
Tiger soldiers relaxing in camp with cyanide kuppi around their necks — Pix by Shyam Tekwani
Understanding the role of religion in the Tamil insurgency requires an understanding of Sri Lanka’s cultural mosaic and of the development of modern nationalism before and after independence from British colonial power. Sri Lanka is a geographically small yet culturally rich and complex island, with numerous ethnic, linguistic, religious, and caste subgroups. The majority of the population identify as ethnically Sinhala, and they speak Sinhala, an Indo-European language. The great majority of the Sinhalese are Theravada Buddhists who live mostly in the south and central regions of the island. A small minority of Sinhalese are Catholics, and some also belong to evangelical Christian churches. The largest minority group in Sri Lanka is the Tamils, who speak Tamil (a South Indian Dravidian language) and comprise several subgroups. The largest of these are the so-called Sri Lankan Tamils, who traditionally have lived in the north and east. The so-called Indian Tamils are labor immigrants from India who were brought in by the British to work in the plantation sector in the highlands. The majority of Tamils are Hindus of the Śaiva Siddhanta tradition, but there are also a significant number who are Catholics and a few to smaller Evangelical denominations. The Tamil Muslims identify based on religious belonging, not on a common ethnic identity, and they speak Tamil. Historically, the Muslim communities are scattered throughout the island; they form a stronghold in urban trading centers in the south but are also farmers in the Tamil-majority Eastern Province. Social stratification based on caste and regional identities was strong in precolonial Lanka, and then the colonial classifications of the island’s inhabitants produced new identities with intensified religious and racial signifiers. These were reproduced in the emerging Tamil and Sinhala nationalisms of the late 19th century.
Good morning. Today, we explain what led to Sri Lanka’s recent protests.
Storming the Palace
Sri Lanka’s recent upheaval offers an extreme example of the world’s recent problems. Covid disrupted the country’s major industries, particularly tourism, and then leaders failed to adapt — setting off a chain of economic calamities, including food and fuel shortages. The crisis prompted protests, culminating in the president’s resignation and the installation of a new president on Wednesday.
Protesters overtaking the prime minister’s office in Colombo, Sri Lanka….. Atul Loke for The New York Times
Editorial in THE ISLAND, 22 July 2022 …… before the Storming of the ARAGALAYA camp on Galle Face Green by security forses on that day viz TODAY 22 July 2022
TITLE = “An honourable defeat”
Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as the President yesterday. Amidst a host of paeans to him, we believe that a word about the unsuccessful candidates in Wednesday’s contest in Parliament is in order. Dissident SLPP MP Dullas Alahapperuma, who was expected to be a dark horse, lost Wednesday’s vote in the House, but he certainly won the hearts of all Sri Lankans who desire an early end to the corrupt Rajapaksa rule, which has become a curse to all citizens save those who are benefiting therefrom. His was an honourable defeat. A beleaguered regime fighting for survival strikes back ferociously and is guided by Rafferty’s rules. Alahapperuma’s courageous attempt to put the brakes on the Rajapaksa juggernaut is to be commended.
Crowds at Galle Face
This photo was presented on NEWS RADIO with article by Hazari Mohamed on Day 17 of the Protest
Ranil Wickremesinghe is no longer president in an acting capacity. He is the president, period. Did someone say ‘I don’t know whether to laugh or cry?’ I am pretty sure someone did. Did someone say, ’who wudda thunk?’ Well, if two or three years ago, if anyone suggested that in July 2023 Ranil Wickremesinghe would be the president of this country, there would have been laughter and tears, if at all, would have been of mirth.
I write (it is 12.09 pm, on Wednesday) at a time when there’s a remarkable and unprecedented lack of political clarity in the country. As I write, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has left the country. As per the Constitution, if indeed Rajapaksa did resign, or, as reported, Rajapaksa citing Article 37.1 of the constitution , Ranil Wickremesinghe has assumed the presidency in an acting capacity. There’s ‘fighting’ within parliament with parties and politicians unable to decide on Rajapaksa’s successor and of course who the next premier should be. There’s fighting among ‘aragalists’ over representational legitimacy, ideological and political thrust, and preferred endgames.
ONE: A Valedictory Vale from Don Beer of the University of New England, Armidale, NSW, in 1998
Emeritus Professor S. Arasaratnam died suddenly in Sydney on 4 October, aged 68.
Sinnappah Arasaratnam was born in Navaly, Ceylon, on 20 March 1930. After taking his BA with First Class Honours at the University of Ceylon in 1951, he began the first of two stints lecturing in history at that university, before undertaking doctoral research at the University of London in 1954. Arasa, as he asked to be called, graduated PhD in 1956, returned to the University of Ceylon as a lecturer, and in 1961 took up a lectureship in Indian Studies at the University of Malaya. By 1968 he had risen to the rank of Professor of History there.
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.