Category Archives: British colonialism

Sujit Suvisundaram = Director of The Centre of South Asian Studies, Cambridge University

Sujit Sivasundaram is the Director of the Centre of South Asian Studies, Reader in the Faculty of History and a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College. He works on the Indo-Pacific world, with a deep commitment to South and Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean. His last book was ‘Islanded’, on the makings of Sri Lanka. He is co-editor of ‘The Historical Journal’ and a Councillor of the Royal Historical Society.

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Diego Garcia and the Fate of Its Its Indigenized Chagossian People

 

ONE = A Summary Report

Diego Garcia is part of the Chagos Atoll, a “group of seven atolls comprising more than 60 individual tropical islands in the Indian Ocean” (Jayaweera 2018). Though discovered in 1512 by the Portuguese explorer Pedro Mascarenhas, it was uninhabited till the French moved in and took over in 1783. The atoll passed to the British after the Napoleonic wars in 1814/15. Thereafter the atoll was administered from Mauritius and was considered part of its domain. Over the years the overseers and workers imported to work the plantations and settlements on the islands became indigenized as “Chagossians” and by the 1960s are said to have been around 1500 in number (note the imprecision).

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Filed under accountability, american imperialism, atrocities, British colonialism, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, colonisation schemes, discrimination, economic processes, foreign policy, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, legal issues, life stories, Middle Eastern Politics, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, Responsibility to Protect or R2P, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, transport and communications, trauma, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, working class conditions, world events & processes, World War II

The Kandy Äsala Perahära by Lorna Dewaraja

Tissa Devendra, in The Island, 3 October 2018, with this title “Mirror of Civilisation” being a book review of  The Kandy Asala Maha Perahera – by Dr.Lorna Dewaraja (Vijitha Yapa Publications 2018)

 

In publishing this fine book, Vijitha Yapa has faithfully fulfilled the last wish that Dr. Dewaraja expressed to her family – to hand over to Vijitha Yapa the manuscript of her book on the Kandy Perahera. I now have the privilege of reviewing this publication.

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Filed under art & allure bewitching, British colonialism, cultural transmission, education, elephant tales, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, religiosity, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, unusual people, working class conditions, World War II

Jayasekera’s Study of British Colonialism in Ceylon reviewed

Chandra R De Silva, in Sri Lanka Journal of Social Sciences 41(1) 2018, pp 65-68, with highlighting emphasis being the Work of The Editor, Thuppahi

reviewing Confrontations with Colonialism: Resistance, Revivalism and Reform under British Rule in Sri Lanka 1796- 1920, Vol. I, by P. V. J. Jayasekera (Colombo: Vijitha Yapa, 2017), Rs. 1500.

In one of the most challenging and thought-provoking history books published in Sri Lanka in the last decade, P. V. J. Jayasekera has used a wide variety of sources to challenge a number of existing interpretations relating to Sri Lanka under British colonial rule in the nineteenth century. While the book is based partly on his own doctoral dissertation completed in 1970, in Jayasekera’s own words “The scope and the foci of the original study have been substantially changed (p. ix)” in view of new theoretical approaches in the study of colonial history and the debates on history arising out of the recent ethnic conflict. Jayasekera has also carefully taken into account historical research on Sri Lanka published in the long period since he completed his dissertation. Readers should note that despite the title, Jayasekera has consciously avoided any attempt “to cover the confrontations of the Sri Lankan Tamil society with colonialism (p. xxvii)” and that, with the exception of brief references in the concluding section, information on Muslim-Buddhist relations will come to us only in the forthcoming second volume.

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The Lion Symbol in British World War Two Propaganda in Ceylon

This item was discovered in REDDIT by a friend of mine with roots in Uva, England and Germany –who sent me this note: “Another interesting WW2 poster I found on Reddit. Amazing to see the Brits using the Lion symbol! 

Note, too, the deployment of the term LANKA.

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Filed under British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, education, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, landscape wondrous, military strategy, politIcal discourse, propaganda, sri lankan society, world events & processes

Anagārika Dharmapala’s Anti-Colonial Mission

Kamal Wickremasinghe, in Island, 19 September 2018, with this title “Anagarika Dharmapala needs no rescuing” … reproduced here with highlights by The Editor, Thuppahi

Social scientific study, for better or for worse, is the only available method of gaining insights into social structures including aspects of social organisation, governance and rituals, as an aid to solving problems in social relations. Social science, however, often yields erroneous results originating from prejudices associated with the frame of embedded cultural assumptions within which evaluations take place.

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Filed under accountability, British colonialism, British imperialism, Buddhism, cultural transmission, disparagement, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian traditions, life stories, nationalism, patriotism, pilgrimages, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, unusual people, world events & processes

With A Few Choice Words: Appreciating FC de Saram’s Cricket Career


Eardley Lieversz, a reprint from the Royal Cricket Souvenir, 2005, where the title runs “With a few choice words, Royal cricket under F. C. de Saram’s Tutelage”

Many distinguished old boys have coached Royal at cricket.  Names such as “Chippy” Gunasekera, Dr. C.H. Gunasekera, Barney Gunasekera, Mahes Rodrigo, Gamini Salgadu, H.T. Gunasekera and Channa Gunasekera immediately spring to mind.  To that illustrious list may be added relatively recent old boys such as Nihal Kodituwakku, Vijay Malalasekera, Dilip Somaratne (who coached Royal to successive victories in the early nineties) and Nirmal Hettiaratchy.  All of them were good at their job.  However, none of them had the mystique of Colonel Derrick de Saram (aka FC, Derrick, and Colonel) whose last coaching stint with Royal was from 1968 to 1974.

 young FC de Saram on song

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Filed under art & allure bewitching, British colonialism, cultural transmission, education, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, modernity & modernization, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, world affairs