Category Archives: British colonialism

LH Mettananda assessed by DB Dhanapala in 1962

DB Dhanapala on LH Mettananda in his book Among those Present, 1962

OF COURSE, L.H. Mettananda is a fanatic. Anybody who dares to talk of Buddhist’s rights in a Buddhist country is bound to be called a fanatic bent on disturbing the peace and rousing up religious feelings.

Mettananda seated alongside Banda

Continue reading


Filed under accountability, atrocities, British colonialism, Buddhism, centre-periphery relations, chauvinism, communal relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, economic processes, governance, historical interpretation, language policies, Left politics, life stories, LTTE, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, riots and pogroms, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, unusual people, vengeance, violence of language, world events & processes

A Century of Cricket in Galle

EM Karunaratne,** an article abridged from Sport Down South … and made available by Oliver Guruge, another Gallilean and a keen member of the ‘Richmond Collective’ of today

Facing the Fort circa 1880s or 1890s before the Esplanade emerged –– Pix courtesy of the Australian National Gallery

At the very outset, it must be mentioned that the Galle Municipal Council, almost from its very beginning, willingly and enthusiastically rendered every possible help and assistance to sport, not only in Galle. but throughout the Southern Province. The co-operation. ex-tended by the Council and its stalwarts, was magnificent. The Council maintained, from the very beginning, the beautiful Esplanade, at great expense, and always kept it in excellent condition. This playground is the centre of all the sports activities of the Southern Capital. Cricket, Soccer, Hockey, Rugger and Volleyball are played here. Last, but by no means least, all Athletic Meets of importance, including those open to the whole Province, are held on the famous Galle Esplanade. In Tennis too, the support of the Council was equally conspicuous. The Galle Gymkhana Club was permitted, on nominal terms, to construct a fine Tennis Pavilion on grounds belonging to the Municipality. An Island-wide open Tennis Tournament for which the best players from Colombo and elsewhere enter, is annually a regular feature of the Race and Sports program of the Galle Gymkhana Club., from about the year 1920.

Continue reading


Filed under architects & architecture, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, cricket for amity, cultural transmission, education, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, performance, Sri Lankan cricket, sri lankan society, world events & processes

Justin Trudeau Rapped on Knuckles for Statement on Victims of Eelam War

When Justin Trudeau issued a brief statement on the 18th May 2020 expressing sympathy for all the victims of Eelam War IV in the course of his request for an accountability purpose, he was clever. There was no slant towards Tamil victims. But there was a reference to “the last phase of the war at Mullivaikal” …. and this, together with the focus on accountability, implied that he was supporting Sri Lankan Tamil and HR claims alleging mass killings.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, authoritarian regimes, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, cultural transmission, discrimination, disparagement, economic processes, Eelam, ethnicity, foreign policy, governance, historical interpretation, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, politIcal discourse, power politics, refugees, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil migration, tamil refugees, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, world events & processes

Overwhelmed by W. Dahanayake … A Few Insights into the Politics of Yesteryear

Bevis Bawa ... writing way back in an article entitled “And the “Brook” overflowed” .… a wonderful erudite title that I should perhaps have retained

A person I have wanted to write about for quite a while is our effervescent Daha known to some as “The Voice”. And to others, long ago, as the “Bibile Brook” and now Doctor of Literature [Honoris Causa”].


Last week I ran him down to earth in the corridors of the House. “Hullo Bawa”, he boomed in his rasping voice which sounds like gravel being thrown on a windowpane. “So now you are a journalist!”.

He led me to the dining saloon of the ship- I mean the restaurant of the House, so like a ship’s saloon [pale blue, grey, and concealed lights in the ceiling]. He ordered tea. Continue reading


Filed under accountability, British colonialism, economic processes, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, parliamentary elections, patriotism, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy

Ivor Jennings and Peradeniya University in Two Excursions

ONE:  Varman’ = “Jennings and the Old Galaha Road”

In 1952 we lived on Old Galaha Road.  That was the last year we lived there.  The government of the day compulsorily acquired our house and the land for the campus of the new University of Ceylon at Peradeniya.  Much against our wishes, we were on orders to quit our home.  The order to vacate, after the property was compulsorily acquired by the government, came from the Vice Chancellor’s office, the new owner of what was our beloved property.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, British colonialism, cultural transmission, education, education policy, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, literary achievements, modernity & modernization, performance, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, teaching profession, unusual people, world events & processes

Holy War Unmasked

 Brian Victoria …… Send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee. John Donne

Introduction: Is religion a force for peace or war? Or to borrow a phrase from the title of Christopher Hitchen’s book, God Is Not Great, does religion really poison everything, including the possibility of living in a peaceful world?

The answer is much like posing the question of whether the glass is half full or half empty. That is to say, for every example cited to prove that religion has supported warfare and violence, other examples can be presented to show ways in which religion has contributed to peace and the avoidance of war, reconciliation between bitter enemies and the general betterment of humanity and the world. When the question is posed in this way, the debate is as endless as it is futile unless the “winner” is the side that amasses the greatest number of examples.

Continue reading


Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, fundamentalism, historical interpretation, law of armed conflict, life stories, LTTE, meditations, politIcal discourse, power politics, religiosity, self-reflexivity, suicide bombing, Taliban, the imaginary and the real, trauma, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, violence of language, war reportage, world events & processes, World War II, World War One, zealotry, Zen at war

Australian Nationalism and the Ideology of Sacrificial Devotion

Michael Roberts, being an abridged version of an old article presented in the Library of Social Science run by Richard Koenigsberg and others.

Addressing the practices of remembrance in Australia, Richard Koenigsberg has noted the irony that a battlefield defeat at Gallipoli in World War One, 1915, served a people as an emblem of nationhood: the “Australian nation, came into being on the foundations provided by the slaughter of its young men.”

There is more irony. The commemoration of Australian courage, sacrifice and manliness at Gallipoli (and subsequently on the Somme) was threaded by tropes of youthful innocence that drew on classical Hellenic motifs. While the monuments and epitaphs that were crafted in Australia to mark this event were manifestly Greek in form. The gendered masculine metaphor, in turn, was often embodied in the seminal image of a full-bodied blonde young man. “Archie Hamilton” in Peter Weir’s classic film Gallipoli was/is one such trope (and he died of course).


Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, Australian culture, australian media, British colonialism, cultural transmission, education, ethnicity, European history, gender norms, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, life stories, martyrdom, mass conscription, military strategy, nationalism, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, war reportage, world events & processes