Category Archives: tolerance

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.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, architects & architecture, centre-periphery relations, charitable outreach, communal relations, cultural transmission, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, performance, pilgrimages, Rajapaksa regime, religiosity, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, the imaginary and the real, tolerance, transport and communications, travelogue, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

Randolph Ranjith Alwis of Sri Lanka & Adelaide: Epitaphs in Depth

ONE: from Victor Rebikoff OAM, and Former FECCA Chair 1992-96

I am deeply honored to have been asked by the Alwis family to provide this personal eulogy on my close friend Randolph Alwis AM whom I have known for over 35 years since we became the Presidents of our respective State and Territory Multicultural Communities Councils in the early 1980’s and as a consequence Deputy Chairs of Australia’s peak community body FECCA – viz, -the Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia. At that time both of us were the ‘young guns’ at the forefront of Australia’s multicultural movement and became closely involved in working with Commonwealth, State and Territory governments in the initial introduction of culturally and linguistically appropriate services for migrants and refugees Australia wide.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, architects & architecture, charitable outreach, communal relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, education, ethnicity, governance, heritage, language policies, life stories, performance, politIcal discourse, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, social justice, sri lankan society, tolerance, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, world events & processes

A Humanitarian Military Act in an Era of Horrendous Powerplays

Capt Elmo Jayawardena, in The Island, 24 March 2021,where the title is “The Pilot”

The UNHRC is in full swing. The ‘merchants of Geneva’ are getting ready to shoot their arrows of justice against the offenders of this planet. Of course, it is done democratically, by honourable people in Saville Row suits who sit around polished mahogany tables and determine by a count of votes who is guilty and who is not. That is the showpiece; but the truth could be so very different. Powerful people call the tune, and the theme is “You lend me your mule and I will remember you when it is your turn to take the stand. Then I’ll lend you my donkey.”

 SL Air Force’s “Marchetti”

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, atrocities, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, charitable outreach, communal relations, ethnicity, foreign policy, governance, human rights, Indian Ocean politics, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, meditations, news fabrication, patriotism, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, refugees, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, tolerance, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes

The Sri Lankan Kaffrinha as Embodiment of African-Asian Hybridity

Shihan de Silva Jayasuriya, providing an Abstract of her article  Africa in South Asia: Hybridity in Sri Lankan Kaffrinha”

As public spaces become arenas to display cultural memories, Afro-descendants in South Asia become more visible. Emerging local histories further complement the trajectories of Africans and facilitate recognition of Afro-descendants.  In my paper “Africa in South Asia: hybridity in Sri Lankan Kaffrinha” published in South Asian History and Culture (2020).  I explore connections between Africa and Asia through a genre of music and dance called kaffrinha which enriched the colonial Sri Lankan culturescape and, continues in the postcolonial. In the absence of historical records of kaffrinha for centuries, I have explored alternative narratives – song texts, music scores, dance movements, paintings and frescoes in order to map the dynamics of kaffrinha.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Afro-Asians, arab regimes, communal relations, cultural transmission, economic processes, female empowerment, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Indian traditions, landscape wondrous, life stories, performance, politIcal discourse, religiosity, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, tolerance, transport and communications, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes

Looming Struggles in Sri Lanka and Geneva Today

Rajan Philips, in Colombo Telegraph, 14 February 2021, where his chosen ttitle is “Geneva Odyssey: More Confrontation Or New Approach?”

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa who made the surprising call for the government cancelling the ECT deal with India and Japan, has made another surprising and really a gallant announcement giving the green light for allowing burials for Muslim and Christian victims of Covid-19. If the Ministry of Health has been caught unawares by the PM’s statement in parliament, well, they had better get used to it. But no sooner had the government appeared to have cremated the burial issue than Cardinal Malcom Ranjith raised a new headache for the government – threatening to take his case for justice for the victims of the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks to international courts, if there is no assurance of justice through domestic investigations. That is a shocker even though it is no more than a threat for now.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, communal relations, democratic measures, doctoring evidence, economic processes, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, legal issues, life stories, Muslims in Lanka, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, social justice, sri lankan society, taking the piss, Tamil civilians, the imaginary and the real, tolerance, unusual people, vengeance, world events & processes

Amity transcending Faiths and Nationalities: At Haputale and Canberra

Somasiri Skandakumar in Haputale

Rev Rahula, who once headed the Khemba Buddhist Vihara in Canberra during my tenure as High Commissioner, honoured me with a visit to  Haputale accompanied by his superior who  heads thirteen temples in various parts of the Island !

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, Buddhism, charitable outreach, heritage, landscape wondrous, life stories, meditations, patriotism, pilgrimages, politIcal discourse, religiosity, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, tolerance, travelogue, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

In Appreciation of Malathi de Alwis: Such An Untimely Death

   ONE — A Letter in Sadness from Professor Veena Das to Pradeep Jeganathan, January 2021

First of all, I want to convey my sadness and my gratefulness and to some extent my rage that this has happened and that I will never see that radiant smile and that integrity and brilliance anymore. Any such death at my stage of life makes me angry and sorrowful as to why the young are being taken. The war undid so many of us in so many ways and why would it not do that? So what kind of miracle is it that Malathi let herself be deeply affected by the war but not be undone by it? You must know that I loved her work and her personality just as I love your work and know what struggles you have been through.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under cultural transmission, education, female empowerment, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, language policies, Left politics, life stories, literary achievements, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, tolerance, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes

A Symbolic Moment of Ethnic Oneness at Independence Day, 4 February 1948

KLF Wijedasa, in The Island, 3 February 2021, with this title A Historic Day for Ceylon”

Duncan White, Lakshman Kadirgamar, Sharm Mustafa and Oscar Wijesinghe are seen in this picture which appeared in The Ceylon Daily News decades ago. Duncan White, Lakshman Kadirgamar, Oscar Wijesinghe and M.A.M. Sherrif  represented the four communities when they brought four scrolls to the Independence Square to be handed over to the Prime Minister  D.S. Senanayake to be read for the public to hear.

Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under accountability, British colonialism, communal relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, economic processes, education, ethnicity, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, Muslims in Lanka, patriotism, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, power sharing, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, tolerance, unusual people, world events & processes

Being Aloysian: Reflections from a Galle ‘Boy’ in the Year 1997

Michael Roberts, a reprint

Intrigued by my speech inflections and my appearance, a friend of mine, a teacher in English Literature,[1] made inquiries after my familial background and my ethnic identity within the melange of ethnic groups in Sri Lanka. She learnt that my Barbadian father had related very few stories in his life and times in Barbados and that my sense of West Indianness was muted. This puzzled her. Forced thus into retrospective reflection I now conclude that I lived my youthful life immersed in my everyday activities without much concern for a distinct self-identity of an ethnic sort.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, architects & architecture, art & allure bewitching, cricket for amity, cultural transmission, education, heritage, historical interpretation, life stories, patriotism, performance, self-reflexivity, Sri Lankan cricket, sri lankan society, tolerance, unusual people, world events & processes

Suri Ratnapala enters Debate on the Control of FB and Other Such ‘Engines’

Suri Ratnapala, in The Australian, 2 February 2021, where the title reads thus “Proof of life on social media to screen out evils” …. with highlighting emphahsis imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

The suspension of Donald Trump’s accounts by Twitter and Facebook and the shutdown of Parler by Amazon following the events of January 6 heighten concerns about the power of the Big Tech firms to censor political information and debate.

First, a full disclosure. I am a critic of Trump of a classical liberal disposition. I am a social network recluse with only an email account. I believe the silencing of Trump by Facebook and Twitter may have served the immediate public interest but has troubling consequences for liberal democratic government.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, atrocities, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, discrimination, disparagement, economic processes, education policy, governance, human rights, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, press freedom, self-reflexivity, tolerance, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, world events & processes