Category Archives: architects & architecture

Vibrant Lifeways in Sri Lanka via Its Literary Figures and Places

Uma Mahadevan Dasgupta  in The Hindu, 8 December 2018,  where the title is “In Sri Lanka, Life imitates Art”

As we travel through Sri Lanka, its strong literary voices come crashing in like waves, and life seems to imitate art

I sit in the huge living room of the old governor’s home in Jaffna. The walls, painted… a warm rose-red, stretch awesome distances away to my left, to my right and up towards a white ceiling. When the Dutch first built this house egg white was used to paint the walls. The doors are twenty feet high, as if awaiting the day when a family of acrobats will walk from room to room, sideways, without dismantling themselves from each other’s shoulders. —Running in the Family, Michael Ondaatje

 Hectic colours: Second Cross Street Pettah 

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The Political Tussles behind the Cricketing Grounds in Colombo, 1945-2018

Nicholas Brookes and Benjamin Golby in The Cricket Monthly, 19 November 2018, where the title is “In Colombo, three is not a crowd” …..
courtesy of the two authors, my new pals…. with some liberty on my part with reference to the title, the pictorial illustrations and the deployment of highlighting to aid understanding … and a few additional pictorial touches.

Learn more about the SSC, P Sara and the Premadasa and you will understand Sri Lanka a bit better as a country.  Colombo has 3 active international cricket grounds. Indulgent? A triumvirate of venues when Kolkata, Karachi, Cape Town and Melbourne settle for a single ground; even London houses merely two.


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Romila Thapar lauds Iravatham Mahadevan in his Moment of Passing

Romila Thapar, in The Hindu, 27 November 2019, where the title is “Remembering Iravatham Mahadevan”

“He knew more about Indian epigraphy and the linguistic aspects of Dravidian and Indo-Aryan than some specialists”

I heard the news on Monday morning of the passing of Iravatham Mahadevan and was deeply saddened. Mahadevan, or Jani as his friends called him, was a special person of extraordinary talent and a much-respected scholar despite his having worked in administration for most of his professional life. Continue reading

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Rich Veins of Legal Insight in Social Media Readings of the Sri Lankan Constitution?

An Editorial Comment

While many of us are aware of the widespread interaction on social media, the degree of political insight embedded within the multitude of exchanges is both unknown and questionable..The political mess in Sri Lanka and the intriguing debate on the existing constitutional provisions has thrown up conflicting interpretations from legal experts and political scientists from every which way. From my sceptical stance on this set of issues, I have spotted some intelligent comments within my web site; but not collected them.  Ratnawalli, whose essay on the topic seems to have been exorcized and blocked  by a number of Editors of the  main-line press in Lanka as well as  the web-engines  Colombo Telegraph, has collected a number of pertinent comments -arising from the the interpretation ‘voiced’ by Suri Ratnapala — a Professor of Law whose credentials ensured publication — in Colombo Telegraph. I have over-ridden the title she suggested, viz: “Sri Lankans take to social media to interpret their Constitution as ‘experts’ trip over 19A” …….. Thuppahi-Man…. adding his own emphasis by colour as well as a different title … and cartoon!

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Utter Constitutional darkness in Sri Lanka. A Sunday Times editorial falls prey

Darshanie Ratnawalli

+++ This article is in the line of interpretation within difficult terrain presented by Gerald Peiris in Thuppahi yesterday as well as Peiris’s earlier intervention on this front elsewhere. Early signs suggest that both Peiris and Ratnawalli may be censored by the Editors of the principal newspapers, but hopefully Colombo Telegraph will be more open to her submission. For the readers to get some sense of the  conflicting interpretations, I append a short list on both sides of the fence. A long list will demand a journey into the year 2019. Text highlighting is by the web editor.

The editorial of Sunday Times, arguably the most prestigious Sunday newspaper in Sri Lanka, stated on 11/11/2018 that “Article 33 (2) (c) which gives blanket powers to the President to dissolve Parliament at his wish” is a provision that “comes from the original 1978 Executive Presidency Constitution.” This is an error when you consider that in our present Constitution, every other provision under 33(2) – 33(2)(A), 33(2)(B), 33(2)(D), 33(2)(E), 33 (2)(F), 33(2)(G), and 33(2)(H) comes from the JR Constitution, while 33(2)(C) is the only provision that DOES NOT.

Such an error in such a reputed source shows in what darkness the public is fighting the battle to find the true Constitution of Sri Lanka. To give the proper context, the relevant paragraphs in the ST editorial must be quoted in full.

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Brits and Romanians in Ardent Heritage Work in Romania: The Mihai Eminescu Trust


The past and the future
Are two sides of one page;
He who learns them will discover
A beginning’s found at the end of an age
Mihai Eminescu (1850-1889)

The Mihai Eminescu Trust was formed during Ceaușescu’s dictatorship, to help persecuted dissident academics by smuggling in books and journals so that they could keep abreast with the civilisation they had once shared. Our clandestine contacts took us to strange places. In 1987 I visited the lonely mountain hut of Constantin Noica, a much-revered sage who told me the ancient villages around him were facing the imminent threat of “systematisation”—obliteration by bulldozing—to make room for factories and concrete apartment blocks.

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Preserving Heritage in Romania: The Hand of Prince Charles

During a recent holiday with a touring group by bus in Romania Shona and I came across several  interesting facets of Romanian history. Among these were (A) the imprint of medieval German Saxon settlements in particular localities dating back to the 12th century and thereafter; (B) the imprint of French architectural and town planning patterns in the capital city of Bucharest -dating back to the mid 19th century and the friendship between the respective rulers of the two countries: and (C) the deep interest shown by Prince Charles in preserving the architectural heritage and life-style of specific Romanian villages and localities, notably Viscri and Valea Zalnului.(information conveyed by our guide Adrian Buracu). SO: here we go with illustrated items on

A = The Prince of Wales’s Foundation Romania …. &

B = The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation (PWCF) 


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