Category Archives: British imperialism

Koggala in the Western Imperial Design in the 20th Century, 1931 onward

Michael Roberts

The recent political debate on SOFA, MCC etc (see Roberts 2019)  highlights the place of KOGGALA in the Western imperial map of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The British airfields at Katunayake Trinco and Koggala were part of the imperial defence system – a geo-political ensemble that became even more significant after the fall of Singapore to the Japanese in WW Two marked vulnerabilities not envisaged till then.

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English-Speak penetrates Europe

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.  As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5- year phase-in plan that would become known as “Euro-English”. 

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John Lukacs Looks to the Past in “The Future of History”

Richard Simon in his site where the title is “Looking Forward to the Past”…. http://notesfromceylon.blogspot.com/2019/07/96-normal-0-false-false-false-en-gb-x.html

  The Future of History,  by John Lukacs

A maverick but respected historian, John Lukacs had a lot to say about his own profession, and in the sunset of his life he gathered together his thoughts on the subject in this small but far from easy book. His theme is the role of history and the historian at the end of a historical era, the Modern Age. Continue reading

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The De Lanerolles and Sri Lanka

Item in Sunday Times, 7 July 2019, with this title

“Tale of a French ambassador in the time of the Kandyan Kingdom

Author Yasmin Rajapakse

The story of the ambassador from the French imperial court who became a naturalized subject in Kandy, producing progeny who were to make their mark on the island’s history, is an adventure told against the backdrop of an Indian Ocean made dark and stormy with colonial battles and a mountain kingdom at its edge. “The Odyssey and Living Legacy of Monsieur de La Nérolle, The French Lieutenant of the Expedition Escadre de Perse to Ceylon in 1672” by Yasmin Rajapakse was launched last month in the presence of former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and Eric Levertu, Ambassador of France to Sri Lanka.

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Remembering SBD de Silva: A Scholar in Every Fibre

Krisantha Sri Bhaggiyadatta, in Sunday Island, 16 June 2019, where the title reads “One Thing Leads to Another – Memories of a Great Guru”

SBD de Silva, at 92, acted like he would live forever. To the very end, he kept drafting in almost imperceptible scribble – with pen or pencil, whatever being handy, glasses falling off his nose, peering over some text or daily/weekly newspaper – filling an A4 until no blank space was left, and then, so as not to break his concentration or the sentence, without looking, reach for another blank…

Like Scheherazade of the 1001 Nights who had to keep narrating to save her life until each dawn, so did SB, by day and by night, keep writing as if fresh insights, expressed in perfect words, would make him immortal. Yet, ambushed he was by impermanence. But such dedication to his craft and to the country was sheer dream to witness, let alone to hope to emulate, yet must be upheld as a beacon of scholarship for future generations.

 SBD de Silva (1926-2018) at a diplomatic reception in the 1950s. His classic, The Political Economy of Underdevelopment, tracks our own economic history midst that of the world.

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The Building Boom that transformed Colombo over 100 Years Ago

Hugh Karunanayake,  courtesy of THE CEYLANKAN from Sydney, Journal 86, Vol XXII, May 2019

Ceylon, as Sri Lanka was then called, had hardly any commercial or mercantilism during the nineteenth century when it was gradually emerging from a peasant society into a plantation economy. There were two major factors which contributed towards the commercialization of Colombo as a city. The first was the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 which made a tremendous impact on trade relations between the occident and the orient.

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Nigel Farage castigated by a Sri Lankan British Namesake …. British Imperial History Flogged

Nigel Kerner to Nigel Farage and the BREXIT & UKIP PARTY A Letter entitled “To a Land of Dope & Gory. The Farage Balloon”

What hypocrites so many white Brits are. So many of us  positively stink of racism and that brand of cowardice that hides behind contrived mental devices that are designed to try to fool the world that we are decent fair objective people. Just look at the faces on any football terrace any weekend if you want to see what many Brits are really like. Animals snarling in an open terraced Zoo. Shouting racist slurs and chants at black athletes and football players whose skill often surpasses those of white players. So much for the once vaunted ‘British gentleman’ that once justifiably announced our better senses.

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