Category Archives: social justice

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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In Appreciation of Professor Lakshman Jayathilake, Committed Engineering Professor & Patriot

Lionel Bopage, in The Sri Lankan Guardian,  Septmber 2021, where the title reads “My Indelible Memories of Professor CLV Jayathilake” …. with highlighting emphasis added by The Editor, Thuppahi

I am extremely saddened by the news I heard this morning, that Emeritus Professor CLV (Lakshman) Jayathilake, a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers, Sri Lanka, has succumbed to Covid and passed away. He has impacted my life in many ways on several occasions.

 When I was studying at the Faculty of Engineering, University of Peradeniya, he was a lecturer in the Mechanical Engineering Department. I was studying for a Mechanical and Electrical combined degree in engineering, a rare combination at the time.

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Autobiography of a Sri Lankan Priest: Fr. Reid Shelton Fernando

Fr. Reid Shelton Fernando

I was born in November 1943 and baptized by Fr. F.M. Goonetilleke who was responsible for the Holy Hour Prayer book. It was in Nuwara Eliya Church as my father was then working in the Stafford Estate Ragala.  My hometown is Moratuwa and I was a parishioner of the Parish of Willorawatte.

I was ordained as a Catholic Priest of the Archdiocese of Colombo in January 1970. I had my priestly studies in the National Seminary Ampitiya in Kandy from 1962 till 1969. While I had my secular studies at St. Sebastian’s College, Moratuwa till 1957 and joined St. Aloysius Minor Seminary in Borella in 1958.

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Columbathurai School for Disadvantaged Tamil Children

A THANK YOU NOTE addressed to MOHAN SAMARASINHE, 27 July 2021

Dear Respected Sir

I would like to extend my sincere thanks for coming forward to establish a Pre-school in our place and begin for the poor and needy. I highly appreciate your great service towards our people especially it is how important to see that a Sinhala  person has come forward to help Tamil  who have suffered so much since 1983. Even though we tried to get help from many people they didnt give us proper reply. Then only I requested Mr.Mohan Samarasingha. You accepted our request without any hesitation to support us to begin the school succesfully. You have already given nearly four hundred thousand rupees to renovate the building. Now the building has come up  yet we have to do little work to finish. So we hope to receive  your support in future too. Once again I extend my sincere thanks to your love and grate service towards us.

Thank you
Amitha
Colombuthurai
Jaffna.

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Remembering Manouri Muttetuwegama nee De Silva

ONE REQUEIM from Gamini Seneviratne , in The Island, 25 July 2021  v

In the early nineteen sixties when we met, politics here was in a kind of crisis. The Left parties were defining themselves and each other in terms that emasculated such terms as ‘socialist’ of the meanings assigned to them not just in the literature but in the practice of revolution. We had sama samaja ‘new’ or without qualification, united socialist, revolutionary socialist, Bolshevik Leninist, Stalinist aka Communist, Trotskyite, Maoist and, lurking not far behind them every nuance of Democracy and Socialism. In hindsight all that seems innocent given the skulduggery that came to be sort of enshrined in a “Constitution” that enjoyed the distinction of being totally unconstitutional / illegal. So much more has been done since that J R J, the breaker of laws and trasher of justice would be chortling in whatever shades he now resides.

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Leonard Woolf’s WELIWEWA and Its Terrain

Gerald Peiris**

After getting the article in Thuppahi on Leonard Woolf and Silindu presented by Ernest MacIntyre, I read Village in the Jungle (for the second time since long ago) and found it difficult to connect the essence of the Woolf narrative with what the producers of the play referred to as an attempt to portray village like in a remote setting in the interior of the ‘deep south’.

Leonard Woolf in his aging years & glimpses of village women gathering tank-water in 2oth century Ceylon

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Captain Cook Symbolically Demolished in Canada

A Pseudo-Filipino named “Sir” Roger O’Neil

I can well understand why some Canadians knocked Captain Cook’s statue of its perch into a harbour in British Columbia.  

The only reason the Canadian PM has given a token apology about colonial crimes against indigenous peoples in Canada is because Canada has just been caught with its hands in the cookie jar with the discovery of mass graves. The Canadian government pursued a genocidal policy against indigenous peoples for 150 years — depriving them of language, forbidding the use of their indigenous birth names, medical neglect, sexual abuse, to name a few of their crimes. The government knew of it and were responsible for it for 150 years.

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Lionel Rose: Aboriginal Boxer who united Australia

Will Swanton, in The Weekend Australian, 3-4 July 2021, where the title runs “Lionel Rose: battler who united Australia” 

Lionel Rose unified the nation more powerfully than Bradman, if more briefly — Bradman never had 250,000 cheering him through the streets.

Lionel Rose turns to embrace Fighting Harada … after he is pronounced the winner 

Lionel Rose met Paul Keating. Snipped him for a hundred. The Prime Minister reckoned he never carried any cash. Rose persisted. Did him slowly. Come on, mate. Can’t you spare a lousy hundred for a battler? Larrikinism abounded in Australia’s sporting stars of the 1960s and 1970s. Rose, Dawn Fraser, John Newcombe, larger than-life characters. It was the 1990s by the time Rose hit Keating where it hurt. The hip-pocket. Mischievousness was alive and kicking in Rose, and part of the reason for the request, but he needed the dough, too.

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Industrialization in Lanka!! Searing Comments on Athukorale’s Article

ONE: A NOTE from Mevan Pieris in Colombo, 1 July 2021[i]

The underlining in bold Black is HSM Pieris’s work; that in red has been imposed by the Editor, Thuppahi….. and so, too, any red underlining in Vinod Moonesinghe’s intervention. Both sets of Comments were sent by Email in response to my invitation to a cluster of personnel.

Thanks Michael. Read with interest Premachandra Atukorala’s paper…. [viz. https://thuppahis.com/2021/07/01/an-appraisal-of-sri-lankas-industrialization-strategy/#more-52644%5D

The platform JR Jayawardene Government laid starting in 1977 for an industrial revolution supported by availability of adequate hydroelectric power, was dashed on the ground by the LTTE war with Indian interference, which was beyond even for JRJ to manage in his second term of office. Thereafter the assassinations of strong political successors to JRJ too diluted the leadership of our country. An industrial revolution can only be sustained by a continuity of strong leadership; but with the assassination of Lalith Athulathmudali and Gamini Dissanayake we lost all of it. Leave alone policy making, not even the Central Bank could be protected. So why waste time trying to figure out what went wrong in industrial policy.

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