Category Archives: art & allure bewitching

An Appreciation of Revd WS Senior of England and Ceylon

Sukumar Shan … in Visual Storyteller

W. S. Senior Reverend Walter Stanley Senior (10 May 1876–23 February 1938) was an English scholar, poet and member of the Church Missionary Society. Popularly known as the “Bard of Lanka”, his works are still widely read in the island nation. He was also Vice Principal of Trinity College, Kandy, Sri Lanka .Walter Stanley Senior was the son of Walter Senior, a clergyman. His uncle was Edward Senior, headmaster of Sheffield Royal Grammar School[6] which he attended from 1888 to 1891. He continued his early education at Marlborough, a school to which he was deeply attached and about which he wrote both in prose and verse. From Marlborough he won a scholarship at Balliol College, Oxford. He took a First Class in Classical Honour Moderations (Intermediate examination) and a Second Class in Greats (classics or philosophy). He was the author of a work titled Pisgah or The Choice, which won the triennial prize poem on a sacred subject in the University of Oxford, 1914.

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Sihalē’s Goddess Tara in British Hands

Senei Wanniarchchi, in Adahas, 2 February 2019, where the title is “Finders Keepers: On Sex, Tara the Buddhist Deity at the British Museum and Brownness in the Colonies”

I am at the entrance to the British Museum and the path separates into two. I take the path which appears to be less crowded and a guard interrupts me saying this entrance is for ‘members only’. I apologize, take the other and stand in a queue for several minutes. I pass through barricades that separate the members from ‘the other’ which leads me to a checkpoint. It’s my turn to have my bag checked and suddenly I’m conscious of my brownness. Soon, I find myself facing the British Museum. The building’s personality is intimidating and reeks of power. As I walk in, I am reminded that the history of this building and this city is intrinsically entrenched to my own and that of my ancestors and I am reminded of my place in the world and its hierarchies. As I walk in, I see a sign that reads ‘The British Museum —  collecting the world’.

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The Split within the JVP in 1983 and the Programme of State Repression in the 1980s

Lionel Bopage, in Sri Lanka Guardian, 29 March 2019,where the title is The Frozen Fire’ — Art and Political Reality

There are diverse views about the politics of the JVP and the inherent limitations contained in their political discourse. In particular, many of the views that exist regarding the politics of comrade Rohana Wijeweera and his assassination have contrasting narratives. In such an environment, even coming forward to produce a cinema work like ‘The Frozen Fire’ is a matter that needs commendation and appreciation.

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Sovereignty, Space and Civil War in Sri Lanka: Porous Nation

Anoma Pieris has produced yet another book, this time with the prestigious Taylor & Francis imprint. In hardback it runs to 236 pages and has line drawings, tables and 35 illustrations — so it is expensive: Aus $ 216.88

 

Analyses of the Sri Lankan civil war (1983-2009) overwhelmingly represent it as an ethnonationalist contest, prolonging postcolonial arguments on the creation and dissolution of the incipient nation-state since independence in 1948. While colonial divide-and-rule policies, the rise of ethnonationalist lobbies, structural discrimination and majoritarian democracy have been established as grounds for inter-ethnic hostility, there are other significant transformative forces that remain largely unacknowledged in postcolonial analyses.

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Requiem at Trinity College Chapel with Errol Fernando

I  was introduced to a mild mannered visitor to the Chapel by a school officer when I came in for choir practices today. I was told his surname and that he is an old boy. The visitor started by saying If I were offered a ticket to go to a place that I loved, it would not be any other place in the world but the Trinity College Chapel. 

He soon go on talking about the choir and went on to describe the carol service in his days. Then he asked “Do the boys know ‘Where River Lake and Mountain Meet’, and would they sing it if I played it for them?” In reply I asked another question: “May I know your first name sir”?

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Cracking Impact! The Suntharalingam Saga’s Theatrical Tour de Force

Cassie Tongue in Time-Out, 16 January 2019, where the title is “Counting and Cracking review” ….. with Brett Boardman’s PICs …. and highlighting added

It’s only January, but we have an early contender for the best play of the year in Counting and Cracking. And we certainly won’t see another play like it any time soon. Set in a recursion of town halls – a Sri Lankan-style one built inside Sydney’s landmark Town Hall – Counting and Cracking takes place in both Colombo and Sydney, in the 1970s and 2004, and always keeps one foot in each world; as we are about to see, the past and present are not so easily separated.

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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”

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