Category Archives: sri lankan society

The SBS: Marine Commandos of the Sri Lankan Navy

Michael Roberts

A recent article by Dishan Joseph (see below) has marked the role of a commando outfit known as the SBS, or Special Boat Service, that was developed within the Sri Lankan Navy (SLN) during the Eelam Wars.  The story is complex and demands an elaborate ‘companion piece’ that is attentive to time, combat locations, initiatives and the lessons derived from a remarkable and formidable enemy, namely, the Sea Tigers. In war one becomes like one’s opponent in order to survive. The innovativeness of the LTTE was monumental and its sea-faring capacities were one reason why it outdid-and-outbid the other Tamil militant organisations in the fight to lead the claim for independence for Thamililam during the 1980s/1990s.

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Prince Philip’s Indelible ‘Marks’ in Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy of my old student pal Piyasiri Wickramasekara ….more details below

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Filed under accountability, architects & architecture, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, charitable outreach, chauvinism, cultural transmission, education, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, meditations, modernity & modernization, patriotism, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

Don Bradman and Prince Philip

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Filed under cricket for amity, cultural transmission, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, performance, photography, self-reflexivity, Sri Lankan cricket, sri lankan society, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes

Kunanayakam’s Incisive Review of the West’s Machinations at Geneva and Lanka’s Failures

Gus Mathews

This is a very incisive interview with Tamara Kunanayakam, a former ambassador to the UNHRC in Geneva. In a no-nonsense manner she unravels why the pursuit of Sri Lanka by the Western nations is taking place.

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KD Paranavitana’s Felicitation Volume: A Treasure Trove

 

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Filed under accountability, ancient civilisations, architects & architecture, art & allure bewitching, authoritarian regimes, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, economic processes, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, military strategy, paintings, power politics, sri lankan society, transport and communications, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes

Historical Revaluations: The Boundary Books of the Matale District

Gananath Obeyesekere: Historical Revaluations: the Boundary Books of the Matale district[1], being  Chapter 19 in Professor KD Paranavitana Felicitation Volume, edited by Vinie Vitharana & Prasad Fonseka, Colombo, Godage & Bros (pvt ltd) …. ISBN 978-955-30-9035-5

Professor K. D. Paranavitana has not only written important work on t, edit by Vinnie Vitharane Dutch Period in Sri Lanka that has influenced my own writing but he also has been also associated with the National Archives. These archives as well as those in Europe, such as the British Library are replete with popular Sinhala texts that constitute an enormous resource for understanding the pasts of our nation. The term vitti pot or “books of events” is a useful term to broadly characterize this genre of literature.  Among these vitti pot are various boundary books (kaḍaim pot), some dealing with the boundaries of the nation, some with specific regions and some on family genealogies (banḍāravaliya).

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Filed under Buddhism, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, heritage, historical interpretation, life stories, politIcal discourse, religiosity, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, transport and communications, world events & processes

A Restrained but Reconciliatory Feast at St. Anthony’s in Kachchativu in 2021

 

The Jaffna Divisional Secretary informed the public, well in advance, that St. Anthony’s Feast in the Kachchativu island had been cancelled this year due to the Covid- 19 pandemic. The decision was well understood by devotees of both Sri Lanka and India.

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Sustaining Memory as a Central Facet of Transitional Justice

Gehan Gunatilleke: “The Right to Memory: The Forgotten Facet of Transitional Justice* with highlighting emphasis imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting — Milan  Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (1979)

Introduction

Memory does not explicitly feature among the four pillars of transitional justice: truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence. Hence the precise role memory plays within a transitional justice process is often left to those negotiating the contours of the process. Memory is a vital ingredient in ascertaining the truth and in securing evidence to ensure justice for victims and survivors. Moreover, memorialisation of loss has a place in the symbolic initiatives owed to victims and survivors under the reparations pillar. Meanwhile, public memorials commemorating man-made tragedies contribute towards a society’s collective commitment to non-recurrence. Thus memory often becomes the lifeblood that preserves and binds the traditional pillars of transitional justice.

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Reflections on Arjuna’s Review of the 1996 World Cup Triumph

Michael Roberts, courtesy of Colombo Telegraph …. https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/reflections-on-arjunas-review-of-the-1996-world-cup-triumph/

Arjuna Ranatunga’s timely recollections and assessments of Sri Lanka’s cricketing triumph at the Final of the 1996 World Cup at Lahore on March 1996 add up to a master class – balanced, wide-ranging, revelatory and judicious within the space limits of a news-item.

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GoMicro at the Cutting Edge via Sivam & Jarrad

Sivam Krish and Jarrad Law in cooperation with Flinders University

“By combining our skills in engineering, product design and software development we have realized some exciting possibilities across many disciplines.   It has taken us into new areas where we have found collaborators whom we enjoy working with, opening new doors and new possibilities that we now believe can transform with AI and Phone Microscopy” — is the opening gambit in thier web site.

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