Category Archives: British colonialism

SBD de Silva: Marxist Scholar Extraordinary … Sharp Mind, Simple Life-Style

Gamini Seneviratne,  courtesy of The Island, 18 June 2018

SB who passed away last week at the age of 93 was undoubtedly the foremost analyst we have had of what his principal work defined as “The Political Economy of Underdevelopment”.  In that work, first published in 1982, as the blurb puts it, Dr. de Silva dealt with the theory of underdevelopment as he attempted a synthesis between the internal and external aspects of underdevelopment. In the Marxist tradition he focused on the impact of the external on the internal as the dominant reality.

Front Cover
RoutledgeMay 23, 2012 – Business & Economics – 646 pages

First published in 1982, this reissue deals with the theory of underdevelopment, as Dr. de Silva attempts a synthesis between the internal and external aspects of underdevelopment and, in the Marxist tradition, focuses on the impact of the external on the internal as the dominant reality.Viewing underdevelopment as a problem in the non-transformation to capitalism, this analysis is in terms of the character of the dominant capital and of the dominant classes. Underdevelopment thus encompasses the ‘traditional’ peasant economy and also the export sector where the ‘modernizing’ influence of colonialism was felt. The book finally considers how the contemporary internationalization of capital affected the economies of the Third World.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under British colonialism, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, economic processes, export issues, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, modernity & modernization, population, power politics, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, transport and communications, unusual people, working class conditions, world events & processes

Caste Relations over Time: Challenging Frank Conlon’s Reading of My Work on the Karava

CONTEXT

In the academic circuit most books are sent to reviewers by journals in the field of study encompassed by the book. My work on Caste Conflict and Elite Formation: The Rise of a Karāva Elite in Sri Lanka, 1500-1931 published by the Cambridge University Press in 1982 was sent to Frank Conlon, a historian at the University of Washington by the Journal of Asian Studies. His review appeared in 1985. It was, and remains, a serious reading that is not informed by any personal animus, while being obviously guided by his own work on caste interaction in India.

 

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under British colonialism, caste issues, commoditification, cultural transmission, discrimination, economic processes, education, governance, historical interpretation, island economy, land policies, landscape wondrous, life stories, modernity & modernization, sri lankan society, transport and communications, unusual people, working class conditions, world events & processes

KM de Silva looks back on His Life and Times

Chandani Kirinde, in Sunday Times, 27 August 2017, where the title is “A Historian Looks Back”

Kingsley  Muthumuni De Silva’s fascination with history began at the tender age of ten, when, on a visit to Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, he first came face to face with the country’s great classical civilization. The colossal architectural and engineering feats of the island nation’s forefathers left a lasting impression in his young mind. Years later as he travelled the world having established himself as a leading historian, K.M. De Silva discovered that the building techniques adopted by the Lankan builders of yore were far ahead of anything he saw in many countries in the west.

K.M. De Silva: Still writing at 85. Px by Indika Handuwala

“After my first view of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, I came back thinking what a lot these people have done. In the unique architectural styles seen in the Brazen Palace to the moonstone slabs, there is something quite remarkable about the imagination of the people who created them,” said De Silva.

While seeing this living laboratory of the country’s history set in motion his lifelong passion for the subject, there were several of his teachers both at his alma mater Kingwood College, Kandy and the University of Colombo, Peradeniya who helped hone his skill as a historian.

In his recently released memoir aptly named, “The making of a historian, K.M. De Silva gives a glimpse of his teachers who helped develop his love of history and guided him. Among them were Sydney Perera and Ainsley Samarajiva, two of his teachers in the upper classes at Kingswood, the former a stimulating geography teacher, the latter “who took teaching of history to a much higher level than it had been so far in school.”

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under British colonialism, cultural transmission, economic processes, education, heritage, historical interpretation, life stories, literary achievements, nationalism, patriotism, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, unusual people, world affairs

How It Became. Documenting the Ceylon National Congress

Michael Roberts

   BU4A8624 (1) Haris de Silva

The four volume Documents of the Ceylon National Congress produced by the Department of National Archives in 1977 runs into 3208 pages. In keeping with bureaucratic rigidity, the four volumes are still sold at some Rs 250. The give-away price has not enabled it to reach the public. The treasure trove of documentary data within these four volumes –  encompassing LSSP and Communist Party meetings in their early days — remain unknown and unseen. How many scholars, let alone armchair historians, know that FC “Derek” de Saram, Oxford Blue and Ceylonese cricketer of note, was among the ginger group (identified as “Young Turks” by me as the editor of the documents) who attempted to rejuvenate the CNC in 1938/39 by converting it into a party that could contest elections?[1] Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under British colonialism, caste issues, constitutional amendments, cultural transmission, economic processes, education, electoral structures, ethnicity, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, land policies, landscape wondrous, language policies, Left politics, life stories, modernity & modernization, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

Symbolic Moments: Corbyn and Labour Party Support Self-Determination for Sri Lankan Tamils

“Jeremy Corbyn reaffirms the UK Labour Party’s strong support for Tamil self-determination and peace and justice in Sri Lanka,” 17 May 2018

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, British colonialism, British imperialism, conspiracies, constitutional amendments, Eelam, governance, historical interpretation, politIcal discourse, power politics, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, taking the piss, Tamil migration, terrorism, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, world events & processes

The Earliest Missionary English Schools: Challenging Shirley Somanader

Ananda Jayasinghe

Mr. Shirley Somanader’s (SS) article titled “Methodist Schools in Batticaloa and Galle are the earliest schools to sustain their continuity to the present” is subterfuge. Mr. Somanader has ‘cherry picked ‘ and compiled the history of the Batticaloa Central College.

Mr. Somanader had started a series of postings on the Facebook, and the article appeared in Mr. D B S Jeyeraj’s blog. To the writer the article is a ‘tunnel minded’ compilation.  This is an esoteric subject and needs much holistic research. An ad nauseam topic but the writer is responding in good faith in an attempt to make Mr. Somanader realise that his postings are deceptive. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, British colonialism, cultural transmission, doctoring evidence, education, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, sri lankan society, teaching profession, welfare & philanthophy

School Links across Palk Strait. Lawrence Colleges

Editor NewsIn Asia, 12 May 2018 where the title is Indian High Commissioner helps Indian and Sri Lankan schools forge links”

Colombo, May 12 (newsin.asia): In a path-breaking initiative, the Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, has launched a program to help Indian and Sri Lankan schools forge links with each other so that people to people relations between India and Sri Lanka are established at a young and impressionable  age.Late last month, the High Commission of India facilitated a Youth Exchange Program for students of two famous schools,  The Lawrence School, Sanawar, India (established in 1847) and Royal College in Colombo (established in 1835).

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under British colonialism, cultural transmission, education, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Indian traditions, landscape wondrous, sri lankan society, world events & processes