Category Archives: British colonialism

Asoka Bandarage’s Study of The Separatist Conflict in Sri Lanka appeared in 2009

Assoke Bandarage BANDARAGE COVER

The Routledge Flier: Using careful historical research and analysis of policy documents, this book explains the origin and evolution of the political conflict in Sri Lanka over the struggle to establish a separate state in its Northern and Eastern Provinces. The conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the secessionist LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) is one of the world’s most intractable contemporary armed struggles. The internationally banned LTTE is considered the prototype of modern terrorism. It is known to have introduced suicide bombing to the world, and recently became the first terrorist organization ever to acquire an air force. The book argues that the Sri Lankan conflict cannot be adequately understood from the dominant bipolar analysis that sees it as a primordial ethnic conflict between the Sinhala majority and the Tamil minority. The book broadens the discourse providing a multipolar analysis of the complex interplay of political-economic and cultural forces at the local, regional and international levels including the roles of India and the international community. Overall, the book presents a conceptual framework useful for comparative global conflict analysis and resolution, shedding light on a host of complex issues such as terrorism, civil society, diasporas, international intervention and secessionism.

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A Historical ‘Cuppa’ of Ceylon Tea

Ceylon Tea: The Trade That Made a Nation

The Colombo Tea Traders’ Association will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Ceylon tea on July 20th with the launch of an illustrated history entitled Ceylon Tea: The Trade That Made a Nation. This art-quality large-format illustrated book has been authored by Richard Simon with Dominic Sansoni as Illustrations Editor, while the design has been fashioned by Sebastian Posingis. Continue reading

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A Grand Monument of Dutch Rule in Sri Lanka: The Dutch Reformed Church

Mahil Wijesinghe in  Sunday Observer, 11 June 2017, which is entitled “Dutch Reformed Church of Galle:  Dutch Period’s Finest Monument”

The Dutch Reformed Church stands inside the Galle Fort. Continue reading

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Book on Ceylon Railway Heritage sponsored by The National Trust

 Scene from .. and not in the book as far as i know

Launch of The National Trust Book CEYLON RAILWAY HERITAGE By K.A.D. Nandasena & Vinodh Wickremeratne will be held on the 25th May 2017 at 6.15 pm followed by our Monthly Lecture No.95 at 6.30 pm at the HNB Auditorium

Ceylon Railway Heritage Continue reading

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Filed under British colonialism, economic processes, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, modernity & modernization, sri lankan society, transport and communications

Preserving the Sikkim Palace Archive: Digitalisation Project

Alex-McKay-250x250 Alex McKay, reprint from IIAS NewsLetter, where the title readsThe Sikkim (India) Palace Archive Digitilisation Project” …. Emphasis by highlighting is the imposition of The Editor, Thuppahi

The Indian Himalayan state of Sikkim, which separates Nepal to the west and Bhutan to the east, emerges into the historical record with the establishment of the Namgyal dynasty in the 1640s. As a Buddhist kingdom Sikkim’s closest cultural links were with their northern neighbour Tibet, but during the 19th century they were increasingly drawn into the orbit of their southern neighbour, British India. The colonial government sought to establish diplomatic and trading relations with the Tibetans as well as to ensure the security of their northern frontier from any threat in that direction. Sikkim offered them a “stepping stone” to Tibet and despite Sikkimese efforts to avoid alienating either of the two powers the British appointed a Political Officer in 1889 who ruled Sikkim under the Princely State system. A series of Political Officers then oversaw the administration of Sikkim down to Indian independence in 1947. In 1975 the 12th and final ruling Chogyal (King/Maharaja), Palden Thondup Namgyal (1923 – 1982), was deposed by India and Sikkim was merged into India. It exists today simply as a state of India, albeit with certain administrative distinctions.

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Apoi! Apoi! Yahapaalanaya!!! Walking Gossiping Sinhala Gentlemen Today

  Sinharaja Tammita-Delgoda, Courtesy of the Daily Mirror, 9 March 2017, where the title is “Eavesdropping in Colombo Colonial slang rules the local tongue”

There is a pounding on the sand, a sound of thudding footsteps. A young woman in yellow shorts flashes past. Behind her puff several older women in tracksuits, behind them a woman strides out in a black chador. Colombo was once a shabby third world capital like any other, its buildings and its people hiding behind high walls and piles of sandbags. Since the end of the Eelam War the walls have been knocked down and the city has become a place of sweeping open spaces, elegant colonial buildings, parks, walkways, ponds and lakes.  The end of the war has ushered in a revolution. Walking was once the preserve of the upper middle class: now everybody flocks to these public spaces. Previously you would only hear English, the voice of Sri Lanka’s colonial past, but now it is mostly Sinhala and/or Tamil.   

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Footsteps across Continents: Hedi Simon and the Stadlens of Austria and Britain

Matthew Stadlen, in The Telegraph, 11 November 2013, where the title is “Family history: retracing the steps of a romance disrupted by war”

In 1938 my grandfather, the pianist Peter Stadlen, was returning to his native Austria from a concert tour of Ireland when he happened to meet a girl on the ferry home. As a result he caught a cold from chatting to her on deck, and had to stop over in Amsterdam. The fates were with him, because the following day – 75 years ago – the Nazis marched into Austria; Peter was a secular Jew. He was able to communicate with his mother and sister, who were still in Vienna, and urge them to leave by the next train to Holland. From there, all three made it to London as refugees, and that is where my family has been based ever since. They were lucky.

 Hedi Simon … also known as Heidi Keuneman before her second marriage to Peter Stadlen

My great-great-uncle, known as Onkl Friedl, did not escape. He was one of the very first to die at the hands of the Gestapo when they moved into Vienna. He had been chief economic adviser to pre-Nazi Chancellors of Austria, and was immediately put under house arrest. A paraplegic, he always kept cyanide in his ring in case he should ever be caught in a fire, unable to escape. He tricked the Nazi guards into leaving his room and took the poison. I have red hair but neither of my parents do: Onkl Friedl was a redhead and I’ve always believed it comes from him.

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