Eardley Lieversz, 16 July 2019
Interestingly, I am in touch with Apey George’s grandson, Mahindra, who lives in Melbourne. He is George Silva Junior’s son. George and his wife were good friends with my maternal aunt and uncle. They were very Burgherised. You wouldn’t consider George Jnr as a Sinhalese. He is very Burgher in his manners.
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This article is inspired by Fabian Schokman of Moratuwa whose questioning comment led to a brief exchange involving Eardley Lieversz and myself. I will place these exchanges first before proceeding to address the context and implications of the article on “Goyigama Lansiyās” written by a retired Sinhala police officer of senor rank.
This essay was obviously penned in light-hearted spirit. But, in conveying ethnographic tales of past times in genial tones, the account reveals questionable ‘seams,’ i.e. strands, within the socio-political order. Readers are advised to absorb the essay “The Goyigama Lansiyaas” as an initial measure …. before proceeding to the exchanges and the arguments below.
the 2nd Pic may well be British ladies and gents in a Whites only club
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In recently facing up to internet challenges and clarifying the term “chauvinism,” I proceeded at a general level and presented definitions within a comparative framework that brought the concepts of “racism” and “tribalism” into our framework of analysis. I now provide instances of ethno-religious confrontation from Sri Lankan history that illustrate this phenomenon.
Pics from Gerald Peiris 2017
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Gananath Obeyesekere, being an academic article  published initially in 1975 in the American Ethnologist, Vol. 14, pp.1-23 …. and is also available in pamphlet form as No. 11 in the Studies in Society and Culture Series organised by the late Ananda Chittambalam and Michael Roberts … ISBN 955-9195-10-7 … while the illustrative snaps are impositions by the Editor, Thuppahi and are intended to suggest the atmosphere called into being by the supplicants seeking support and/rt vengeance at the shrines
It is my intention in this paper to deal with a series of interrelated problems. First, we will consider the following specific questions and propositions: (a) How far can we make inferences about personality and social structure from official statistics computed by government agencies, in this case statistics on homicide and crimes of violence ?
Criminology as a discipline is especially concerned with this problem, and recent criminological studies in Sri Lanka have made social structural, cultural, and personality inferences from the statistical data (Wood 1961; Bloch 1960; Jayewardene and Ranasinghe 1963). At the outset, let me emphasize that I am not concerned with the conventional debate about the accuracy of governmental statistics. I agree with the criminologists who have worked on this problem that Sri Lanka’s official statistics on homicide and violent crimes are reasonably accurate, and on the face of it there is perfect justification for using these data for social analysis (see Wood 1961). Continue reading
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