Prashanth Kuganathan** whose title runs thus: “Social Stratification in Jaffna: A Survey of Recent Research on Caste”
A SYNOPSIS: Since 1983, war has dominated the perception of Sri Lanka. This has affected scholarship on the country, such that the subjects of an overwhelming number of research proposals and publications have been on the war and the prospects and prescriptions for peace. This survey paper is an attempt to locate the system of caste in transition in the Jaffna Peninsula by reviewing recent literature written after the commencement of the war. While detailed ethnographies of caste in Jaffna may have temporarily come to a halt, caste practices have not and remain a salient part of everyday life among the Tamils in Sri Lanka. As the war ended in 2009, it is therefore important that social scientists on Sri Lanka revisit the topic of caste, that is an integral part of not just Tamil culture or society, but being Tamil itself. As the study of caste is dominated by research in India, a microanalysis of Jaffna and Sri Lanka, particularly the nuances of this system in transition due to war and militancy, could contribute to the macro-study of caste at a sub-continental perspective.
Filed under caste issues, centre-periphery relations, commoditification, communal relations, cultural transmission, demography, discrimination, economic processes, education, Eelam, ethnicity, governance, heritage, Hinduism, historical interpretation, Indian traditions, island economy, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, politIcal discourse, power politics, religiosity, Saivism, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, tamil refugees, truth as casualty of war, unusual people
Sebastian Rasalingam, reproducing an article presented in 2008 in The Sri Lanka Guardian in October 2008 with this title “An Excellent and Timely Feature on the Tamils” **
Please permit me to make some comments on the recent article on the “Sri Lankan Identity” by R. M. B. Senanayake, continuing a discussion in a previous article by Anne Abeysekera. Both these articles, written by authors who are familiar with the English-educated Sinhalese point of view, deal very inadequately with the issues of Tamil Nationalism in Sri Lanka and in erstwhile Ceylon. In fact, the modern generation, even the Tamils, are on the whole unaware of the true nature of the present conflict and the role of Tamil nationalism. They are misled and mesmerized by simplistic histories concocted by the great political agenda set in motion by the Tamil leaders of the pre-1956 era. In fact, I will outline below how the battlelines were drawn in the Donoughmore days, by G. G. Ponnambalam (GGP) and others who followed.
Filed under accountability, anti-racism, caste issues, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, constitutional amendments, cultural transmission, demography, disparagement, economic processes, electoral structures, ethnicity, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, language policies, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, power politics, power sharing, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, Sri Lankan scoiety, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, tamil refugees, unusual people, world events & processes
Elmo Jayawardena, in The Island, 4 March 2021, where the title reads “A Clear Blue Sky” … bearing this ’emphasis’…. I publish this article just so that we can remember how sad the times were during the war for both sides. Let us hope and pray such will never happen again)
The one unforgettable memory that Selva always carried within himself was the colour of the vast Jaffna sky, spotless and shimmering in brilliant blue. It appeared as if the Gods had decided to spread a sheet and tucked it taut to the corners of the horizon as if to show off how perfectly they could do things. Off and on there would be fluffy white clouds, being sheep-dogged by winds aloft, harmless cartoons scattered in the sky, men and dogs, trees and castles or whatever a child wanted to imagine them to be. The clouds were seldom grey and laden with rain. That’s how the dry climate came about to roast the soil where Selva’s family toiled under the merciless sun, for generations, to grow chilli on. The kochika as they called it, were the thin and long kind, blood red, extremely hot and mouth-burning. Selva’s people sold the chilli harvest at the week-end market in the closest town. That was Vaddukodai, located an hour’s distance away, by bullock cart, from their nameless village of nowhere and no one; just blood red kochika and blue skies.
Filed under accountability, atrocities, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, cultural transmission, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, human rights, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, mass conscription, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, tamil refugees, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, trauma, truth as casualty of war, working class conditions
I thought it would be interesting for people to see a photograph taken at Buckingham Palace just before the Prudential World Cup matches began in June 1975. Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II, hosted for tea all eight teams which participated. This photograph, which is only the right section of the full photograph (selected as all the Sri Lankans are in it), was taken on the flight of steps of the rear of the palace, overlooking a garden.
Filed under accountability, art & allure bewitching, centre-periphery relations, cricket for amity, cricket selections, cultural transmission, Empire loyalism, ethnicity, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, nationalism, performance, photography, pilgrimages, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, tamil refugees, unusual people, world events & processes
A Notice re a NEW BOOK on the negotiation of language and identity in a Tamil Saivite Temple in Australia by NILRUKSHI PERERA
Diversity is a buzzword of our times and yet the extent of religious diversity in Western societies is generally misconceived. This ground-breaking research draws attention to the journey of one migrant religious institution in an era of religious superdiversity.
Filed under accountability, art & allure bewitching, cultural transmission, economic processes, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian religions, landscape wondrous, life stories, meditations, modernity & modernization, performance, refugees, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, tamil refugees, tolerance, travelogue, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy