Category Archives: self-reflexivity

Presenting the Portuguese Burghers of Sri Lanka: Today and Yesterday

Earl Barthelot, in Ceylon Digest, 22 February 2020, where the title reads The Portuguese Burghers of Ceylon”

Sri Lanka is well known for its diversity with over 22 numerically small communities and majority communities such as Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims. Burgher community is one of the numerically small communities. Large proportions of the Burghers do live in the Batticaloa District and a small proportion live both in Trincomalee and Ampara District. At the same time there are Portuguese Burghers living in all parts of the country in small numbers.

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The Nomenclature and Lineaments of White-Brown Cohabitation in British Ceylon: A Puzzle

MEMO from Michael Roberts, October 16 October 2021

Moving from BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI to the Greet and Paynter lineages in British Ceylon-and-thereafter has raised a query in my mind: how is it that the category “ANGLO-Ceylonese” did not take root in Ceylon and Lanka in contrast with British India where the label “Anglo-Indian” became well-entrenched[1] and therefore was carried over to the era after India secured Independence in 1947? As we know,[2] Revd Arthur Paynter was an Anglo-Indian missionary who established the Paynter Homes in the Himalayan region of India and then set up the Paynter Home in Nuwara Eliya. He had also married a fellow-missionary in the Salvation Army who was pursuing her commitment in India, one Miss Weerasooria from Dodanduwa … and together sired a talented lineage.

Photograph on display at the Paynter Home of the Paynter family. David Paynter stands at the centre, behind his mother Agnes

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Malaysia Challenges Australia’s AUKUS Smokescreen

Yiswaree Palnasamy in Malay Mail, 12 October 2021,   where the title reads thusHishammuddin: Aukus can potentially disrupt South-east Asian peace; Malaysia won’t stand by”

Malaysia has made it clear to Australia that it won’t stand for any external threat to the peace and stability in South-east Asia, Parliament was told today.Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the federal government’s position has been very clear and consistent regarding the three-way security pact Australia has with the United States and the United Kingdom in the Indoe-Pacific region, better known as Aukus. “The latest stance of the Malaysian government on Aukus remains consistent with the stance affirmed by the prime minister, that the formation of Aukus raises concerns as it has the potential to disrupt peace and stability in Southeast Asia. 

KUALA LUMPUR, 5 Okt — Menteri Kanan Pertahanan yang juga Ahli Parlimen Sembrong Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein ketika Mesyuarat Khas Penggal Ketiga Parlimen Ke-14 di Parlimen hari ini.?–fotoBERNAMA (2021) HAK CIPTA TERPELIHARA

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The Smuggling Networks & Wherewithal of VVT: A Key Factor in the Rise to Power of the LTTE

Jane Russell and Michael Roberts in Interaction

ONE

“Once, while waiting for a CTB bus at Kurumbacciddy Junction in 1974, I saw a blackboard advertising a lecture by the then proto-LTTE which showed speedboats pulling the Jaffna peninsula across the Palk Straits and joining it to Tamil Nadu.”[1]

DEAR JANE, WHEN precisely in 1974?

Yours is an intriguing piece of ethnography … The Tamil New Tigers were a tiny group then[2]…. and the ISSUE IS: who had the vision/imagination to formulate this prospect and/or this propaganda line? KP? Pirapaharan? …………………….. michael

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Upali Wijewardene and the Birth Pangs of THE ISLAND

Vijitha Yapa – who was the Founder Editor of THE ISLAND

The person at the other end of the phone calling from Nallur was very angry. “Mr Editor, you have killed me in your paper today”. I did not ask him where he was speaking from, as he may treat it as an insult. I did not know what he was speaking about and asked what story he was referring to and after listening to him, told  him to call me back in half an hour. There were no ubiquitous  mobile phones at that time nor easy access to telephones in the eighties.

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Child Soldiers in the LTTE, 2009 …. Eelam War IV

Matt Wade, in The Sydney Morning Herald, 5 May 2009, …. where the title runs thus Kill or be killed: 11-year-olds forced to fight for Tamil Tigers”

IT IS hard to imagine Christine* in combat. But the diminutive 14-year-old with a cheeky smile and dancing eyes knows how to handle a Kalashnikov and detonate grenades. A Tamil speaker from northern Sri Lanka, Christine says she was abducted by Tamil Tiger cadres in March and forced to undergo military training. She performed drills using dummy weapons in preparation for battle and, as with many female recruits, her hair was cut short.

  No place for a child … (left) Young fighters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka, and (right) a 14-year old conscript at the Kegalle district centre.CREDIT:AP/GEMUNU AMARASINGHE/MATT WADE

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In Appreciation of Susil Sirivardhana’s Journey with the Underprivileged

Merril Gunaratne, in The Island, 10 October 2021, where the title is as follows “Susil Sirivardana: A Journey with the Have-nots”

Many articles extolling the virtues, integrity, erudition, intellectual brilliance and simplicity of Susil have flooded the print media upon his demise. We have to laud those who wrote in such a vein, and yet express sorrow that this country and many political establishments had abjectly failed to fully tap the unique talents of such a man for the benefit of Sri Lanka.

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Revd Ernest Poruthota in Q and A on His Life’s Work

Avishka Mario Senewiratne in Q and A with Fr Poruthota (1931-2020) ………… Interview in  May 2018 and originally published in the Messenger, May, 27, 2018. 

Today the Messenger carries a very special and exclusive interview with one of the most senior and popular priests in the Archdiocese of Colombo, Rev. Fr. Ernest Poruthota. Since his ordination in 1957, Fr. Poruthota has served in ten parishes in different parts of the Archdiocese.  As Asst. Parish Priest in Kotahena (1957-59), Moratuwa (1959-60), Pamunugama (1960), Dehiwala (1960-62) and Parish Priest in Dehiyagatha (1962-66), Kelaniya (1967-74), Kalamulla (1974-82), Kotte (1982-87), Wattala (1991-1997), Dehiwala (1997-2004), Kirimatiyagara (2004-2011). Apart from Parishes he has served as the Chaplain of lay Apostolate (1966-67), Director PMS (1971-74), Chaplain YCW, CWM (1983-87), Dean of Colombo (1987-91).

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Scilla Alecci’s Scurrilous Failure

Gerald Peiris

What causes more surprise than all else in the recently published ‘Pandora exposures’, supposedly produced through intensive investigations conducted worldwide by a Washington-based outfit named the ‘International Consortium of Investigative Journalism/ICIJ)’ on shady transactions by those at political and business elite levels is that, among many thousands of such exposures, there is only one from Sri Lanka, attributed to a relatively minor political leader having kinship ties with the two Rajapakshas – Mahinda and his brother Gotabhaya, presently at the apex of the government of Sri Lanka – and her husband, a person who, despite being wealthy, has somehow maintained relatively low profile in Sri Lankan affairs.

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When Tamilnadu’s LTTE Stalwarts attacked Thiru Nadesan at Rameswaram Temple in 2012 –DBS Jeyaraj

 D.B.S.Jeyaraj, in his website on 9th October 2021 with the following title “Revisiting the Attack on Thirukumar Nadesan in India”

Though Thirukumar Nadesan is a well-known businessman, it was the Rajapaksa connection of his spouse Nirupama that captured headlines in national and international media

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