Category Archives: art & allure bewitching

Angie, 12-Year Old Rock-Climbing Maestro

Greg Bearup, courtesy of The Weekend Australian 29 April 2017, where the title is “Top of Her Grade”

n 1976, a 14-year-old Romanian gymnast named Nadia Comaneci stormed into the Montreal Olympics with the first-ever perfect score of 10. Gymnastics would never be the same again. Comaneci did things that had never been done and in doing so vastly increased the level of skill, and the risks, for all those who would follow. She made gymnastics more spectacular and infinitely more dangerous. Greg Mortimer reckons the sport of rock climbing is undergoing a similar “paradigm shift”. Leading this revolution, he says, is a 12-year-old climber from the Blue Mountains, NSW, called Angie Scarth-Johnson. “She is breaking all the rules,” Mortimer says. “She’s just freakishly good.”

  Angie climbig –

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Famous Performers in Unusual Light

 Louis Armstrong in desert glare, 1961

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Revisiting the Sins of Leslie Gunawardana (Part lll)


 Darshanie Ratnawalli. Q & A from  Saturday, 21 March 2015 … with emphasis by highlighting being  impositions by the Editor, Thuppahi

Professor KNO Dharmadasa, the present Editor in Chief of the Sinhala Encyclopedia goes down in history as mounting to date, the only direct, authoritative academic challenge to Professor Leslie Gunawardana, an ancient period historian of Sri Lanka who became a darling of certain social anthropological circuits through his “The People of the Lion: The Sinhala Identity and Ideology in History and Historiography”– (1979) and “Historiography In a Time of Ethnic Conflict, Construction of the Past in Contemporary Sri Lanka”– (1995). This is the third and last installment of Prof. K.N.O’s conversation with Darshanie Ratnawalli continued from 08 March, 2015.    


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Poles Apart on May 19th: Tamil and Sinhala Voices of Power

Lamentation vs Pleased Affirmation …. The Power of Polarity! That is in capsule form the  story of Sri Lanka from the 1940s to the present day. No better illustration can be provided today than the reading of the May 18/19th anniversary of the LTTE’s defeat and the death of talaivar Pirapaharan by intellectuals on both sides of the divide.

A family member of one of those who disappeared during the civil war with the LTTE, mourns in Colombo–AFP

“A Day of Grief” said Chief Minister Wigneswaran on 18th May.

“Lest we Forget”  said a Sinhala Australian in evoking the sacrifices and the victory of Sri Lanka’s armed forces in the vocabulary of Australian patriotism

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Appreciating Galle in Its Quietness and Its Pastness

Joe Simpson, in a  review of GALLE AS QUIET  AS ASLEEP penned in 2006

Never to be confused with the American best-selling romance novelist of the same name, Norah Roberts, who survived well into her nineties, was born near Colombo in 1907, one of fourteen children from several marriages of T. W. Roberts, an Anglo-Barbadian Ceylon Civil Servant, Oxford scholar and cricketer par excellence who became District Judge in Galle. After severe hearing loss in her late twenties drove her from teaching, Norah ran the Galle Fort Library (est. 1871) for four decades until she retired in 1982. I clearly remember first meeting Norah, then in her late sixties, one hot and humid morning in September 1973 when, as a newly-arrived V.S.O. English teacher at Richmond College, I paid my dues to become a member of the quaint old library on Church Street, next to the Fort Post Office. (Judge Roberts, then still alive in his nineties, had long migrated to England). It was only a couple of years before she finally “retired” in her mid-seventies that the tireless Norah (who never married) began her self-appointed Herculean task, never before attempted, of writing the “compleat” history of Galle from its earliest days. It would dominate the next ten years of her life.

 Galle in the 1890s — a rare image in the Australian National Gallery Collection, Canberra

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Engaging the Vijaya Fable Once Again

note that Michael Roberts

    Perinbanayagam  Peiris  Gunatilleke


In coming across one of my old essays on the Vijaya myth reproduced and questioned within my website Thuppahi recently, I circulated it (ITEM TWO below) once again by email – perhaps too hastily. Both responses to this email and the original commentary signal sharp reactions. Besides they involve eminent Sri Lankan scholars in the person of Professor Robert S. Perinbanayagam of Hunter College in New York and Professor Gerald H. Peiris of Peradeniya University, besides enabling me to bring in the incisive intervention of Godfrey Gunatilleka and to hark back to a ‘line’ from the economist VK Wickremasinghe (son of the noted author Martin Wickremasinghe). Continue reading

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Enmasse: Lankan Catholic Migrants Celebrate Mass at Padova in Italy

Fr. Sheron Dias, Oourtesy of  Asian Tribune, Rome 11/5/17  with title as “20th Annual National Rally Of The Sri Lankan Catholic Migrants At Padova In Italy”

For the 20th consecutive year the Sri-Lankan Catholic migrants living in Italy gathered at the hallowed Shrine of St. Anthony of Padova on the 1st of May 2017.Thousands of Srilankans took part in the Festive High Mass followed by the Solemn Procession and the Blessing with relic of St. Anthony of Padova.  This Annual National Rally of the Sri-Lankan Catholic migrants was organized under the guidance of Rev. Monsignor Neville Joe Perera, the National Coordinator to the Sri-Lankan Catholic migrants in Italy in collaboration with the Chaplain Priests. Continue reading

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