A land where five empires have met and clashed and left remnants of themselves behind. Here and there a monument, a temple, a church, a road, a plant and everywhere the most vivid remnant of all, chunks of humanity. And so you often stumble on Sinhalese endowed with features that seemed to have stepped out of a picture by Velasquez. Similarly, most of the Sinhalese of one district (Negombo) talk not Sinhalese but Tamil, while the intelligentsia of all Ceylon know English better than they know their own languages.
Category Archives: citizen journalism
A Note received from Gerald Peiris, Friday 15th November 2019 … 12.56 pm
Gota, I think is going to be a definite winner, despite all the anti-Rajapaksa propaganda, Al Jazeera being just one source of such viciousness. Throughout the campaign Gota maintained a sense of dignity and balance (vis-a-vis the subject of ethnic relations) and has provided hope for the future of the country replacing the widespread despair that prevailed earlier. Sajith has been so hopelessly bad in his platform performances, sounding more like an undergrad firebrand contesting at a university student council meeting, focusing (to an incredible extent) on the theme of what a great guy he is.
Ivan Amarasinghe to Michael Roberts –a personal communique dated 15 November 2019 which I have taken the liberty to publicize …. deploying our common groundings at St. Aloysius and Ivan’s wide cosmopolitan experience
Over the last six weeks, I have been doing the rounds at all levels: 1. grass roots peasantry in Colombo and Galle, 2. Plantation Tamil sector in the Central and Southern provinces, 3. villages from Hikkaduwa, Galle, Akmeemana, Baddegama, Deniyaya, Akuressa, Weligama, Unawatuna, Habaraduwa and along the coast up to Hambantota, Beliattha communicating with local people; 4. the peripheral urban Sinhala Buddhist areas, 5. the inner Colombo Black-Whites; 6. Local MPs; 7. Governor of Southern Province (being my cousin who sided with MS in 2015!); doing the flood relief activities with him and the various Provincial and Local Council heads while staying in his official residence and being an “embedded” traveller in his official vehicles.
A chance finding of an old article that I had written on “dedicated medical work” on both sides of the battlefront during the last stages of the war brought vibrant memories of Dr Susiri Weerasekera into my mind. Getting to know him well after I visited the Friend-in-Need Society opposite the Gangarama at Colpetty in mid-2010, I can assure all readers that he was a man to have alongside one in adversity. We became warm friends over the years. My admiration for his dedication towards humankind, his industry, patriotism and sagacity is unbounded. He is alive still I believe; but I write in the past tense because he lapsed into a state non compos mentis about two years back and I find it distressing even to seek information on his state of body and mind.
This is a valedictory memorial in several parts.
Our history of impunity, especially since the ascent to power of J.R. Jayewardene in 1977, brings us to the strange and largely un-mourned disappearance of the law. The Easter eruption, the evidence suggests, was a gamble the protagonists stumbled into in confronting the arithmetical realities of the coming presidential election. Their expectations appear to have gone awry. What transpired was in effect, a second attempt at disenfranchisement, this time of the Muslims. The Plantation Tamils were disenfranchised in 1949, as a follow up to the 1948 Citizenship Act.
Nandasiri (Nandi) Jasentuliyana, in Sunday Times, 24 August 2019 …. with pictorial illustrations due to Moran Perera
When the annual Sri Lanka Day was celebrated in the historic city of Pasadena this year, Sri Lanka took its rightful place among the ethnic festivals held in America. The featured event of the day was the ‘Pageant of Lanka’, a miniature Kandy Perahera. It took the breath away of the onlookers who filed along the historic route of the annual New Year’s Day Rose Parade, the most prestigious parade in America.