This lively presentation was sent to me as a venture of “Batticaloa Burghers singing in three languages”. But digital commentary indicates that the words are (mostly?) Konkani … and raises questions as to where exactly this lively collective was located when they sang. SEE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=munAPKRQ0nk So, that means we are definitely in Thuppahi territory! Ole! Ole! Hai Hoyi! ………. Thuppahi.
Robert Siddharthan Perinpanayagam, in Groundviews, 22 August 2011, where the title reads “Caste And Politics” …. An article that drew 19 comments including some responses from “Sid”… reproduced here with highlighting imposed by The Editor in circumstances where my friend “Sid” from Peradeniya days is no longer around to dispute matters … as he surely would have.
Over the years, the claims of the Tamil people for justice, equalty and dignity have been rejected with a variety of specious arguments. It is not necessary to go into these exercises here again. However, the latest attempt in this direction is to raise the issue of caste in Jaffna society. Former civil servants, who spent three or four years being de facto kings of the North, have sought to comment on this issue in many recent hero-stories that they have published in the newspapers. In these hero-stories they report not only how they defeated one departmental head or another or humiliated a hapless village headman, but how they vanquished the evil designs of the Tamils as well. Indeed everything seems to become grist to the mill of Tamil-bashing. Even a casual remark made in a cricket match is used by a famous historian to claim that the Tamils of Jaffna are cravenly caste-conscious. Off-the-cuff social commentators as well as the tribalist pundits in the newspapers have also got into this act. The implication of these commentaries is that the Sinhalese do not have the problem of castism and only Tamils do. One recent commentator is so ignorant of the political history of the island as to invoke Ponnambalam Ramanathan’s castism! It was indeed the fear of Karava ascendancy by the Goigamas that elevated Ramanathan to high stature by making him the representative of the “Educated Ceylonese” in the Legislative Council.
The presentation of an essay in the Sinhala language on “Caste in Sinhala Society” in April 2017 within Thuppahi came to the attention of Thomas Fernando in UK recently. Tommy promptly took up the challenge and is now proceeding to address the article and topic. This is his NOTE to me: “however laborious it is to plough through the Sinhala text, I hope to have a good look at this article on caste in SL as I have not read a good description on this important topic which has a very significant impact on life even today in SL.”
HILLEL ITALIE in Associated Press, 25 April 2023, ….“Harry Belafonte, activist and entertainer, dies at 96” … with highlights imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi
Harry Belafonte, the civil rights and entertainment giant who began as a ground-breaking actor and singer and became an activist, humanitarian and conscience of the world, has died. He was 96. Belafonte died Tuesday of congestive heart failure at his New York home, his wife Pamela by his side, said publicist Ken Sunshine.
responding to an Invitation from The Editor, Thuppahi after the latter had seen an extract of this detailed and invaluable autobiography in Facebook in 2023 **
1/10/2014: Written for the reading pleasure of my grandchildren.
As a child and in school:
I am very fortunate to have been brought up as a small child in a rural village in the Kalutara District of Sri Lanka, in a setting under relatively comfortable and caring conditions. I was the number two of three brothers and two younger sisters. Two more brothers were added to the family later on. We were the masters of our time and life was totally carefree. Our parents had an abundance of time for us. In addition, most of the time during the early childhood we had my mother’s sisters, who adored us, staying with the family. We also had the loving but respectful attention of the senior schoolgirls.
Shamara Wettimuny in Financial Times, 12 April 2023 … with highlighting added by The Editor, Thuppahi
On a muggy Friday afternoon, the auditorium of the National Library of Sri Lanka slowly filled with an eager audience from Colombo, the Hill Country and beyond. It was the launch of a book by Associate Professor of Anthropology, Dr. Mythri Jegathesan, of Santa Clara University.
Her book, a work on and of solidarity with the Hill Country Tamils of Sri Lanka, ‘Tea and Solidarity: Tamil Women and Work in Post-war Sri Lanka’ was originally published by the University of Washington Press in 2019 to widespread acclaim. It was awarded the 2020 Diane Forsyth Prize for the best book featuring feminist anthropology research and in 2021, it won the Michelle Z. Rosaldo Book Prize for its significant contribution to feminist anthropology.
Janaka Perera, in The Daily News,5 April 2023, entitled “Oh What A Lovely War for the Colonels of Ceylon – Remembering the April 1971 insurgency – a reporter’s experience,” …. With this qualifying Note: “This however is not meant to be a reflection on JVP’s present-day politics but only a brief recording of history.”
April 5th marks the 52nd anniversary of JVP’s April insurgency of 1971. It saw the first armed insurrection in post-independence Sri Lanka (then Ceylon). All legally recognized political parties at the time cooperated with the then Government in suppressing the insurgency since they did not consider it a people’s uprising.
Uditha Devapriya, in The Island on 24 March 2023,with this title “Sri Lanka under British rule: Neither Gemeinschaft nor Gesellschaft”
Since at least Marx and Malinowski, anthropologists have been fascinated by, and focused on, the links between “primitive-tribal” and “modern-secular” societies. I use these terms with a pinch of salt – hence the asterisks – for the simple reason that no society can be said to fit one case or the other. In its initial phase the social sciences did, admittedly, distinguish between the two, and took the teleological position that the one would lead to another: hence Ferdinand Tönnies’s idea of a progression from Gemeinschaft to Gesellschaft. Such progressions were depicted as long, eventual, but inevitable, and were accepted widely at a time when Europe, the harbinger of industrialisation and colonialism, had consolidated its position as the main, if not sole, locomotive of world history.
Author Unknown … sent to Thuppahi by Kodi Kodituwakku of Chandos St, Fort, Galle
The Ceylon Burgher Community is the finest exponent of this European onoma-tology in Sri Lanka, as the members of the community carry some of the world’s rarest surnames which at present verge on extinction. The ancestors of the Dutch Burghers were not necessaril.y Dutch by ethnic origin as the Dutch East India Company [recruited] hundreds of mercenaries from all parts of Europe who later reached the shores of Lanka to strengthen the Dutch garrisons on the Island. These Europeans later espoused local women and paved the way for the Lankan Eurasian Community, which later came to be known as ‘Dutch Burghers’ meaning ‘Town Dwellers’.
Capt. Elmo Jayawardena, in The Island, early February 2023, where the title runs thus: “75 Years – What have they done? It is a paradise misplaced”
Our island was called Lanka in pre-King Vijaya times. Valmiki’s immortal Ramayanaya had King Ravana ruling the land from the city of Lankapura. That was almost four thousand years ago. The Arab traders termed it Jaziratul-Yaqut, island of rubies. Some called it Serendib, some Ceilan, from which the Portuguese picked Ceilao and the European mapmakers coined Ceylon. Many were the names from the many that came. Bar none, everyone agreed and noted in their chronicles that this Island was indeed the complete Paradise.
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.