Category Archives: architects & architecture

Chettinad’s Palaces in View

T. S. Subramanium,in Frontline, 7 December 2018, with photos by Velankanni Raj …. where the title runs “The Palaces of Chettinad”

The palatial decorated homes of Chettiars in the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu are symbols of a colonial-era architectural heritage marked by opulence. The stately mansions of Nattukottai Chettiars of the Chettinad region in Tamil Nadu are a statement of the affluence the mercantile community enjoyed at the height of its prosperity during the British Raj. The palatial houses, with the built-up area measuring anywhere between 20,000 square feet (1,858 sq. metres) and 70,000 sq. ft (6,503 sq. m), were mostly built in the period between the early 1800s and the 1940s. The Chettiars had set up flourishing trading and business enterprises in Burma (now Myanmar), Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia (including Java and Sumatra), Vietnam, Mauritius and the Philippines.

       At the Chettinad palace, a large patio with “thinnais”

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under architects & architecture, art & allure bewitching, cultural transmission, heritage, Hinduism, Indian religions, Indian traditions, landscape wondrous, self-reflexivity, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, unusual people, world affairs

Galle Fort and Its Literary and Pictorial Fare: A Partial Bibliography

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under architects & architecture, art & allure bewitching, citizen journalism, cultural transmission, democratic measures, education, female empowerment, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, literary achievements, meditations, politIcal discourse, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, teaching profession, the imaginary and the real, tolerance, travelogue, unusual people, world affairs

Fortresses in Lanka in Past Time

Shannine Daniel, in Roar Media, where the title is “Forts and Fortresses of Ancient and Colonial Sri Lanka,”

Another lesser known ancient fortress is the Mapagala fortress—the ruins of this fortress can be found close to the Sigiriya rock and the Sigiriya tank. Image courtesy triposo.com

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under architects & architecture, authoritarian regimes, cultural transmission, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, military strategy, politIcal discourse, Portuguese in Indian Ocean, power politics, security, sri lankan society, transport and communications, travelogue, world events & processes

A City within Colombo City in the Hands of Cecil Balmond

Alvin Sallay, in Sunday Times, 30 December 2018, … where the title is Infinity and beyond with Balmond and Cinnamon Life”

Cecil Balmond has borrowed my pen. I’m watching the master at work, bent over my reporter’s notebook, as he sketches the initial drawing which was the blueprint for the ‘iconic’ Cinnamon Life landmark which is set to transform Colombo by 2020. In a previous story I had written on this project for this newspaper, more than a year ago, I learned that the world-renowned architect had sketched his vision on a paper napkin after visiting the site for the first time back in 2011. “I can’t remember, but it must be true, for I tend to do very small drawings at the beginning when I imagine something,” smiles Balmond when I ask him if the story of the genesis of Cinnamon Life is true.

Cecil Balmond. Pic by M.D. Nissanka

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under architects & architecture, art & allure bewitching, heritage, landscape wondrous, life stories, modernity & modernization, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes

The Original Sins within Sri Lanka’s Present Constitution: Details on the Drafting Process … and WHAT we should do now as Essential Reform

Rajiva Wijesinha, in Island, 21 December 2018, where the title is “Confused and Confusing 19a”

I have written much about the manner in which the 19th amendment was introduced, but this has been in different places. A coherent narrative looking only at just the amendment may be useful so that if ever there is another attempt at constitutional reform, those responsible will work more effectively.

Chandrika Kumaratunga – Photo by Jeff Overs/BBC News & Current Affairs via Getty Images)

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, architects & architecture, authoritarian regimes, constitutional amendments, democratic measures, education, governance, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, unusual people

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 

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under architects & architecture, citizen journalism, cultural transmission, ethnicity, female empowerment, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian traditions, landscape wondrous, life stories, literary achievements, meditations, modernity & modernization, plural society, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, unusual people

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.

AFESPN Ltd

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, architects & architecture, centre-periphery relations, cricket for amity, cultural transmission, economic processes, electoral structures, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, life stories, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, Sri Lankan cricket, sri lankan society, travelogue, unusual people

%d bloggers like this: