Category Archives: sri lankan society

The Senanayakes at STC, at Cricket and in Politics in Ceylon

Michael Roberts

In seeking details relating to DS Senanayake’s career at S. Thomas’ College after I received a copy of his school-leaving character reference from Warden Stone,[1] I received a fascinating note from Mevan Pieris[2] about young DS Senanayake’s school career and his cricketing ‘achievements’ at the big match against Royal.

“Indeed, a valuable item [referring to Warden Stone’s certificate]. At least a certified photocopy of it should be maintained at the College Library and at the National Archives, especially since he was known as Kele John who could not pass any examinations and was in what was called the Commercial Class of STC. No doubt he was physically strong and tough and would have been an ideal dormitory prefect to keep the guys quiet. ”

 ‘By the sea’ at Mutwal looking at Colombo Harbour — scenic paintng from O’Brien the 1860s

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, constitutional amendments, cricket for amity, cultural transmission, education, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, language policies, Left politics, legal issues, life stories, politIcal discourse, power politics, S. Thomas College, Sri Lankan cricket, sri lankan society, unusual people, world events & processes, World War II and Ceylon

Sinhala Nationalism

Rajesh Venugopal, … presenting here the second chapter in his book Nationalism, Development  and the Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka, Cambridge University Press, 2018,…. 78-1-108-42879 8 hdback

Sinhala nationalism is the dominant form of political consciousness in contemporary Sri Lanka. As what might easily be characterised as an illiberal ‘ethnic’ nationalism of the east rather than the western ‘civic’ ideal[1], it is also widely identified as a serious challenge to the functioning of liberal democratic institutions, and to multi-ethnic coexistence. Sinhala nationalism features as a central element in the literature on contemporary Sri Lankan politics, and in particular, on the ethnic conflict. Understanding Sinhala nationalism is thus of critical significance and this imperative has inspired an extensive and sophisticated literature.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under British colonialism, Buddhism, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, constitutional amendments, cultural transmission, democratic measures, demography, discrimination, economic processes, electoral structures, ethnicity, European history, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, landscape wondrous, language policies, Left politics, life stories, modernity & modernization, Muslims in Lanka, nationalism, parliamentary elections, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

The Transfer of Power in South Asia & DS Senanayake

Kingsley M de Silva … being chap 21 in his slim volume DS. The Life of D.S. Senanayake (1884-1952)Kandy, ICES, 2016, 129pp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSS_ToC

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, constitutional amendments, democratic measures, electoral structures, ethnicity, governance, historical interpretation, island economy, language policies, legal issues, life stories, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, unusual people, world events & processes

Romila Thapar & Sri Lanka’s Heritage in Today’s Dismal Context

Uditha Devapriya

On Thursday, the 27th of January, Professor Romila Thapar will deliver the Dr Roland Silva Memorial Lecture to the National Trust of Sri Lanka. Professor Thapar will be speaking about the museum in India, charting its evolution from private collections to public displays and placing it in the context of similar institutions from other colonial societies.

 

 

 

 

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, architects & architecture, art & allure bewitching, Buddhism, cultural transmission, education, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian traditions, landscape wondrous, life stories, meditations, paintings, pilgrimages, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, teaching profession, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes

Britishness in Ceylon and Outmigration

Michael Roberts

As a result of the prolonged processes of Western colonisation in Sri Lanka aka Ceilao, one witnessed processes of acculturation that one can designate as “Westernisation” (including, here, the adoption of Christianity in its differentiated forms). One consequence of this process was the admiration and loyalty towards Britain displayed by some Ceylonese when that imperial country became embroiled in threatening world wars.

Thus, during World War One a handful of Ceylonese rushed to UK to enlist in the British fighting units. A high proportion of this lot may have been Burghers, but there certainly were some Sinhalese among this stream of Empire loyalty.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under art & allure bewitching, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, cricket for amity, cultural transmission, education, ethnicity, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, patriotism, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, Sri Lankan cricket, sri lankan society, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes

Greater Flamingoes in Mannar and Sri Lanka

The Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) is an uncommon migrant bird species found in Sri Lanka, and is a major attraction among avitourists. Jaffna Peninsula, Mannar Island, and the southeastern coastal areas are the known strongholds of this species in Sri Lanka.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, heritage, landscape wondrous, life stories, photography, pilgrimages, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, tourism, travelogue, wild life, world events & processes

Kumari Jayawardena’s Study of the Bourgeoise in British Ceylon

Kumari Jayawardena:Nobodies to Somebodies: The Rise of the Colonial Bourgeoisie in Sri Lanka” ….. Paperback, 412 pages …………Published February 1st 2003 by Zed Books (first published February

Synopsis: The origins and growth of the bourgeoisie in Sri Lanka during British rule are important aspects of the country’s modern history. Here, Kumari Jayawardena traces the evolution of the bourgeoisie from a feudal society and mercantilist economy, to the age of plantations. She assigns primacy to class over caste, and details the rise of the new-rich Nobodies of many castes, ethnicities and religions into the ranks of the Somebodies. She discusses the links between capital accumulation, religious revivalism, ethnic identity and political movements, and highlights the obsession of the bourgeoisie with land acquisition and social status.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, commoditification, communal relations, democratic measures, devolution, economic processes, education, electoral structures, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian traditions, island economy, language policies, life stories, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, working class conditions, world events & processes

Buddhism among Tamils in the Past … and Present-Day Squabbles

PK Balachandran, in The Citizen, 8 August 2021, where the title is In Sri Lanka, the Tamil Link with Buddhism is Brushed Under the Carpet”

Unsustainable claims put forward by the Sinhalese and the Tamils on language, religion and ethnicity, have muddied Sri Lankan politics in the post-independence era. The Sinhalese loudly proclaim that Buddhism is quintessentially and exclusively, a “Sinhala” religion. The Tamils, on the other hand, claim with equal vehemence, that they have always been unalloyed Hindus, who had never ever had anything to do with Buddhism, which they identify with “Sinhala hegemony.”

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under ancient civilisations, architects & architecture, art & allure bewitching, Buddhism, cultural transmission, economic processes, evolution of languages(s), heritage, historical interpretation, Indian traditions, landscape wondrous, life stories, paintings, photography, pilgrimages, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, truth as casualty of war, world events & processes, zealotry

Richard Gabriel’s Life and Work

Nilantha Perera Palihawadana

Beginnings and Family: Payagala Baduge Richard Mausuetus Don Gabriel was born on February 19, 1924, to Payagala Baduge Don Gabriel and Cyriline de Costa. He was the youngest of a family of three boys. His eldest brother was Edmund Don Gabriel, who became an accountant and was the bursar of Aquinas College. He also served as the secretary and treasurer of the Sapumal Foundation. The brother just senior to him was Edward Don Gabriel, who later became a businessman. Richard also had four half-sisters from his father’s first marriage.

Continue reading

9 Comments

Filed under architects & architecture, art & allure bewitching, cultural transmission, education, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, life stories, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, teaching profession, unusual people, world events & processes

Romila Thapar’s ZOOM Lecture on The Museum in India

Professor ROMILA THAPAR to deliver the Dr. ROLAND SILVA MEMORIAL LECTURE for the National Trust on 27th January 2022 at 6.00 pm on Zoom….

yes  ZOOM

Prof. Romila Thapar  who is a Professor of Ancient History, Emerita, at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. The notice of the Lecture is appended (or attached) and we welcome you all to participate.

Roland Silva

 

 

 

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under ancient civilisations, architects & architecture, art & allure bewitching, cultural transmission, economic processes, education, evolution of languages(s), heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Indian religions, Indian traditions, landscape wondrous, life stories, nature's wonders, religiosity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, teaching profession, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes