Category Archives: Buddhism

Lanka’s China Policy and the ‘Waves’ in the Indian Ocean

Palitha Kohona, in The Island, mid-May 2018, where the title reads  “China, India and the Indian Ocean:Sri Lanka’s Foreign Policy Challenges,”

bassador and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations; Former Foreign Secretary.

Sri Lanka’s foreign relations must reflect the country’s priorities. Sitting in the middle of the Indian Ocean at the southern tip of India, Sri Lanka occupies an enviable strategic position. A blessing that, with careful and thoughtful handling and long term vision, can be leveraged to its advantage and, mismanaged, a curse that has and will attract the unwelcome attentions of global and regional powers seeking to strategically dominate the Indian Ocean. Throughout history, Sri Lanka has captivated the greedy interest of various powers, for strategic and trading reasons. At times, we elegantly parried and benefited from this attention. At other times we faultered. Responding to and judiciously managing these covetous advances and ensuring that the national interest is safeguarded, including its territorial integrity and sovereignty, will remain a priority. Having overcome a terrible terrorist challenge, nine years ago, we are again facing one of those seminal periods in its history. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under american imperialism, authoritarian regimes, Buddhism, China and Chinese influences, cultural transmission, economic processes, foreign policy, growth pole, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, sri lankan society, world events & processes

Ehemai Deviyo!

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under architects & architecture, authoritarian regimes, Buddhism, cultural transmission, economic processes, fundamentalism, heritage, life stories, martyrdom, modernity & modernization, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, psychological urges, self-reflexivity, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, trauma, truth as casualty of war, vengeance, world events & processes

Escaping to Sri Lanka on Holiday

Mal Chenu in Sunday Mail, 15 April 2018 ….. where the title runs “Why Aussies love Sri Lanka Right Now”

Venetian adventurer Marco Polo described Sri Lanka as “the finest island of its size in all the world”. Sure, that was in the 13th century and young Marco hadn’t seen Tasmania but the myriad wonders of this tropical nouveau-paradise are as varied and exotic as the scents in the spice gardens of Matale and Kegalle. In short, Sri Lanka is a potpourri of unpredictable pleasures. Once a flyover location, eschewed by travellers for years because of civil war, Sri Lanka is fast emerging from its travails, posting sharp rises in tourism since the 26-year conflict ended in 2009.

Sigiriya is a World Heritage site

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under art & allure bewitching, australian media, Buddhism, cultural transmission, economic processes, elephant tales, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, photography, pilgrimages, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, tourism, transport and communications, travelogue, wild life

The History of Caste in South Asia via a Work on the Rise of the Karava in Ceylon

Susan Bayly  in 1983, reviewing  Caste Conflict and Elite Formation: The Rise of a Karava Elite in Sri Lanka, 1500-1931 by Michael Roberts Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1982.

The literature on the south Asian caste system is vast and contentious and the current war of words shows no sign of abating. This book conforms to current trends both in focusing on the experience of a single caste group under colonial rule, and also in adopting a polemical tone towards other historians. Roberts’ subject is the Karava population of Sri Lanka and his first aim is to explain why this group of poor fishermen and artisans managed to throw up a disproportionately large elite of businessmen, lawyers and other western-educated professional men by the end of the nineteenth-century. The discussion is set against the background of works on comparable Asian business communities such as the Marwaris and Parsis. An important theme, then, is the relationship between individual enterprise and the corporate structure of caste: did the Karava magnate class emerge because of, or in spite of, their roots in a hierarchical caste order? Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under British colonialism, Buddhism, caste issues, communal relations, cultural transmission, discrimination, disparagement, economic processes, education, historical interpretation, immigration, Indian religions, Indian traditions, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, politIcal discourse, power politics, sri lankan society, transport and communications, world events & processes

Kemper in London on Anagarika Dharmapala and the Buddhist World

Listen to PODCAST by Steven E. Kemper introducing his book Rescued from the Nation: Anagarika Dharmapala and the Buddhist World (U of Chicago Press, 2015) from New Books in Buddhist Studies … in London …..

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Buddhism, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, education, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Indian religions, Indian traditions, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, religious nationalism, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, tolerance, unusual people, violence of language, world affairs, zealotry

High Commissioner Skandakumar’s Speech to the Muslim Community in Melbourne, March 2018

High Commissioner Speaks to Muslim Diaspora in Melbourne,

Published on Mar 14, 2018 …..

Continue reading


Filed under accountability, Buddhism, communal relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, education, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, life stories, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, tolerance, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

A Battery of Cricketers condemn Sinhala Racist Attacks

Mahela Jayawardena :

Sanath Jayasuriya :

Kumar Sangakkara : Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, atrocities, Buddhism, communal relations, cricket for amity, democratic measures, disparagement, education, ethnicity, fundamentalism, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, human rights, landscape wondrous, life stories, meditations, Muslims in Lanka, nationalism, patriotism, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, racist thinking, religious nationalism, riots and pogroms, self-reflexivity, Sri Lankan cricket, sri lankan society, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, tolerance, trauma, unusual people, vengeance, violence of language, welfare & philanthophy