Rather out of the blue, Avishka Mario Seneviratne approached me seeking access to my first academic work , viz., the D. Phil. dissertation in History that I had secured in Oxford in mid-1965.I have a copy and it is possible there is one at Peradeniya University Library, but it is not widely available.
Dennis B. McGilvray, in India Review 5(2-3) November 2006, special issue on public anthropology, …. where the title reads “Tsunami and Civil War in Sri Lanka: An Anthropologist Confronts the Real World” …. with highlighting in different colours imposed by the Editor, Thuppahi
Recent calls for a new “public anthropology” to promote greater visibility for ethnographic research in the eyes of the press and the general public, and to bolster the courage of anthropologists to address urgent issues of the day, are laudable although probably too hopeful as well. Yet, while public anthropology could certainly be more salient in American life, it already exists in parts of the world such as Sri Lanka where social change, ethnic conflict, and natural catastrophe have unavoidably altered the local context of ethnographic fieldwork. Much of the anthropology of Sri Lanka in the last three decades would have to count as “public” scholarship, because it has been forced to address the contemporary realities of labor migration, religious politics, the global economy, and the rise of violent ethno-nationalist movements. As a long-term observer of the Tamil-speaking Hindu and Muslim communities in Sri Lanka’s eastern coastal region, I have always been attracted to the classic anthropological issues of caste, popular religion, and matrilineal kinship. However, in the wake of the civil wars for Tamil Eelam and the 2004 tsunami disaster, I have been forced to confront (somewhat uneasily) a fundamentally altered fieldwork situation.This gives my current work a stronger flavor of public anthropology, while providing an opportunity for me to trace older matrilocal family patterns and Hindu-Muslim religious traditions under radically changed conditions.
An Item at Roar.lk, where the title reads “We must remember Suriya Mal, even in this era of Manel Mal”
Doreen Wickremasinghe was a British leftist who became a prominent Communist politician in Sri Lanka and a Member of Parliament (MP). She was one of the handful of European Radicals in Sri Lanka.
Doreen & the Rodi lass she ‘rescued’
Doreen Wickremasinghe was the daughter of two British ‘ethical Socialists’. While a student in London in the 1920s, she became involved in the India League and carried out other anti-imperialist work. Here she met Dr S.A. Wickremasinghe, then a radical Sri Lankan moving in Communist and radical circles while a post-graduate student in London.
The Jaffna College Alumni Association wishes to announce to the alumni across the world that the Board of Directors of Jaffna College have appointed Mrs. Rushira Kulasingham as the Principal of Jaffna College with effect from the 1st of January 2023.
The tale of the lifeworld of Charles Braine (1877-1944) in British Ceylon presented by one of his descendants https://thuppahis.com/2022/09/21/charles-s-braine-a-rajah-of-a-planter-in-british-ceylon/ generated a side-issue: sex and/or marriage between the British personnel managing the tea, rubber and coconut plantations in British Ceylon and the labour force they commanded. The inequalities in power placed unequal sexual advantages for the planter periya dorais …. and illicit children were one outcome in some instances – a process that probably continued into the second third of the 20th century when Sri Lankans of upper-crust status with an educational background in the best local schools began to gain entry to planter-jobs.
Unlike some of his compatriots, the Englishman Charles Braine kept house with his common-law Sinhalese wife, Engracia Nona: together they fostered and educated a lively family of nine children.
Interest in this tale and comments from Joe Paiva and Errol Fernando led me to two topics of some consequence: (A) the presence in the island of an ethnic category identified as “Eurasians” as distinct from the Burghers;** and (B) the endearing and enduring work of an orphanage known as the Evelyn Nursery that had been launched by a British lady with a large heart that was matched by her architectural and organisational skill: Ms Lena Chapman ( ….).
From 1992-2006 I worked at Flinders University in various positions, finally leaving in 2006 as the faculty general manager of one of the four faculties. In around 1993-4 when I was still in my early 30s and quite new at the university, I came to know Riaz Hassan as one of the professors. He probably didn’t know my name, but he was always kind and smiled and said hello if we passed on campus.
Jenny Wilson [00:00:24] Emeritus Professor Trevor Gordon Wilson, AM. Known as Trevor to Mum and his colleagues, as Gordon to his daughters and granddaughters, as ‘Trevors’ to his grandson Ben, was born on Christmas Eve in 1928 in Auckland, New Zealand. Sara and my existence depended on a crowded train from Oxford to Manchester and a custard tart. A story that will be told shortly. But Dad’s existence depended on the war that became his great area of research, writing and teaching. The First World War. Trevor’s dad, Andrew Gordon Kingsley Wilson, was fighting as an ANZAC in the trenches in France.
Uditha Devapriya, in The Island, 2 July 2022, with input from Uthpala Wijesooriya, Pasindu Nimsara, and Keshan Themira & archival images courtesy of the J. R. Jayewardene Centre
Somewhere in July, the Hostel of Royal College, Colombo will unveil its annual Day. Organised after seven long years, the Hostel Day will incorporate a number of aesthetic, cultural, and sports events. Many of them have been held over the last two months and a few are yet to be finalised. In the face of an unprecedented economic crisis, it has been a challenge to have held them at all. For the residents of the Hostel, it has also been a baptism of fire, no less than a continuation of what was once a long tradition.
the young co-authors Royal Colleg Hostet – Group Photo
Thirty seven years ago, on 13 April 1985, the British Prime Minister of the day Mrs Margaret Thatcher during her visit to Sri Lanka to open the Victoria Dam, said in an address to the Parliament of Sri Lanka “The remains of an ancient civilization are visible in many parts of your island. Two thousand years ago, your irrigation system far exceeded in scale and sophistication anything existing in Europe. That great chronicle the Mahavamsa, has passed down to us the story of your island’s development.”
The Mahavansa and the history it contained would probably have been lost in the mists of antiquity if not for the indefatigable efforts of a Civil Servant by the name George Turnour.
Thuppahi's Blog · This web site presents the interventions of MICHAEL ROBERTS in the public realm with reference to Sri Lankan political affairs. It will embrace the politics of cricket as well. ROBERTS was educated at St. Aloysius College in Galle and the universities of Peradeniya and Oxford. He taught History at Peradeniya University and Anthropology at Adelaide university. He is now retired and lives in Adelaide.