Category Archives: Sri Lankan scoiety

A Medico stirs the Graduand Law Students of Colombo University

Dr. Sarath Gamani De Silva’s  Motivational speech to the law graduates of the University of Colombo **

The Venerable Chancellor, Madam Vice Chancellor, the Dean, Faculty of Law and  the Deans of other Faculties, Professors, Lecturers and other tutorial staff, University officials, the new graduates and their parents.

Good morning, Ladies and gentlemen, Let me first thank the Madam Vice Chancellor for inviting me to make this presentation.

I whole heartedly congratulate the new graduates for completing your tertiary education and entering the society as productive citizens of the motherland. Notwithstanding your superior academic capabilities, it is indeed an achievement to have completed your tertiary education at troubled times like these, when education in general had come to a virtual standstill for the majority of the younger generation. I have no doubt that your graduation is long overdue for no fault of yours. The very problems and delays in our system of education make you waste much of your childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. The frustration of such delays, compounded by the COVID pandemic, must weigh heavily on your attitude to life. Most of you I understand will become practising lawyers in courts of law while others may continue in allied fields. Some of you may proceed to engage in politics, a field where many past luminaries in your profession have left an indelible footprint.

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Entering Australia from Ceylon: Burghers and Amahs first to penetrate White Australia

Earl Forbes

The diplomatic relationship between Ceylon and Australia commenced even before the formal declaration of Ceylon’s Independence. Australia established a Representative Office in Colombo, on the 29th April 1947. On Independence Day, (4th February 1948) this representation was upgraded to High Commission status.  As further indication of the importance placed on the relationship between the two countries, the Australian High Commission Office was moved from its temporary location at the Galle Face Hotel, to more permanent premises at Gafoor Building, in Fort, Colombo. Following diplomatic representation established in London, New Delhi and Washington, Ceylon established its fourth diplomatic office in Canberra. In January 1949,  Mr J A Martensz was appointed as Ceylon’s  first High Commissioner to Australia, (see Image 1).  Mr Martensz was a member of the Ceylonese Burgher community. Although probably underestimated in importance in the planning stages of the Australia High Commission in Ceylon, immigration to Australia soon became a matter of growing contention in the workings of this office. Developments in both countries contributed to a great deal of expectation, as well as misunderstanding, in the early immigration process.

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Pablo Neruda’s Excursions in Colombo and Wellawatte … As a Film

Randima Attygalle, in The Island, 24 Octtober 2021, where the title runs thus “The poem Neruda never wrote”

In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Island, film maker Asoka Handagama shares the story behind his latest film- Alborada (The Dawning of the Day) inspired by the celebrated poet Pablo Neruda’s stay here as the Chilean Consul. The film is to be internationally premiered at the 34th edition of the Tokyo International Film Festival opening on October 30.

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Andrew Fernando’s Clinical Assessment of Sri Lanka’s Prospects in T20 World Cup

Andrew Fidel Fernando, in ESPNcricinfo, October 2021, where the chosen title is “Not a lot is expected of Sri Lanka, and that may free them up to punch big”

If you look at a certain set of statistics, you’d think Sri Lanka were T20 World Cup kings. In the history of this tournament, they have won more T20 World Cup games (25) than any other side, their win/loss percentage of 2.083 unmatched. They have reached the final in half of the six World Cups played. And they have produced some of the World Cup’s most iconic performances. But such has been their rate of decline since 2014 (when they won), that they were forced to qualify for the main draw this time. They arrive in the Super 12s ranked tenth in the world, having won only two of their last 12 bilateral T20I series. Since the last T20 World Cup, they have had at least five captains in the format. Although their ODI and Test cricket has also suffered substantially over the past few years, T20Is have been Sri Lanka’s worst format.

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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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Qadri Ismail’s Challenging Essay: An Iconoclastic Hurrah!

Qadri Ismail, in Groundviews in 2015 with this title “The Import Of Sri Lankan Muslim Names”

My name is Mohamed Qadri Ismail. Mohamed Qadri Ismail is not my name.

The statements may prompt a wtf. (The acronym, btw, of the World Taekwondo Federation.) Surely one cannot affirm a position and its contradiction. Yet I do.  The second sentence doesn’t necessarily negate the first.

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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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Two Horrendous Assassinations

THUPPAHI darkens our entry into The YEAR 2021 and its Cumulus Cloud of COVID with two pictorial memories of two horrendous acts of political assassination by Pirapaharan and the Tamil Tigers ….. that of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 and Neelan Tiruchelvam in 1999 …. with the roadside memorial painting at the junction of Rosmead Place and Kynsey Terrace where the LTTE’s female suicide killer ended Neelan’s life on earth (as he headed for his office) marking the moment …. albeit in temporary modality …. WHILE conveying an everlasting message.

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Kamikaze, Mujahid, Tamil Tiger: Sacrificial Devotion in Comparative Lens

Michael Roberts, reprinting an essay drafted in 2007 and since presented in Fire & Storm in 2010 (chapter 19: 131-38)

  • Gandhi tried for years to reduce himself to zero” (Dennis Hudson 2002: 132).
  • Hitler: “You are nothing, your nation is everything” (quoted in Koenigsberg 2009: 13).
  • LTTE: “the martyr sacrifices himself for the whole by destroying the I…” (Dagmar Hellmann-Rajanayagam’s interpretation of a Tamil Tiger supporter’s poem; 2005: 134).
  • Spokesman for Al Qaida after the Madrid bombing: “You love life and we love death”
  • Col. Karuna, ex-LTTE: “Death means nothing to me….”
  • The Hagakure is “a living philosophy that holds that life and death [are] the two sides of the same shield” (Yoshio Mishima in his The Way of the Samurai, quoted in Moeren 1986: 109-10).
  • Bushido means to die” (Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney 2002: 117).
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVpbl0azdFM …. Kamikaze strike

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Ravana Fables penetrate Sri Lanka’s Historical Terrain

PK Balachandran

When the media reported that the Sri Lankan Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation has issued a newspaper advertisement in Sinhala urging people to share documents, books, and research material on Ravana, the legendary king of Lanka, it was not a surprise for students of Sri Lankan nationalism. Far from being a villain (as portrayed in Valmiki’s Ramayana), Ravana has been celebrated by the majority Sinhalese in Sri Lanka as a cultured and creative icon and a defender of the island against a foreign invader.

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