Category Archives: cultural transmission

The Guard Stones Of Ancient Sri Lanka

Shannine Daniel, courtesy of Roar Media, 6 December 2017, where the title is  “When Architecture and Buddhism Came Together. The Guard Stones Of Ancient Sri Lanka”

The ruins of Sri Lanka’s ancient kingdoms are a testament to the architectural skill of our ancestors. They have several unique architectural features including intricately carved stairs, the moonstones that lie at the foot of the stairs, and the guard stones that are placed on either side of the stairs at the entrances to these historic and religious sites. Among these, the guard stones, known as muragal in Sinhalese, are particularly fascinating. These features of Sinhalese architecture have both practical and decorative purposes.

 Some academics believe that the concept of guard stones found its way to Sri Lanka from India

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Filed under art & allure bewitching, Buddhism, cultural transmission, heritage, Hinduism, historical interpretation, Indian religions, Indian traditions, landscape wondrous, life stories, Saivism, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, unusual people

The Coconut Palm in Sri Lanka: From Yesterday to Today

WTJS Kaviratne, in Daily News, ….

Anthropologists, explorers, invaders and travellers had made numerous references on the evolution of this versatile palm grown in more than 90 countries across the world. Some of these were mere theories based on assumptions yet to be proved scientifically. Extensive research is still continuing on the origin of the coconut palm on the foundations provided  through gene analysis by scientists.

Since time immemorial, the coconut plant has been found growing luxuriantly along the beaches of tropical countries. And certain scientists argue that coconut palm is not indigenous to any of those countries even if they grow there. Fossil remains of coconut up to 35 to 55 million years old have been excavated in Australia and India proving that coconut palm belongs to the Kingdom of Plants in the Prehistoric era. Continue reading

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Nath-thal in Ceylon in My Youthful Years

Alex Van Arkadie

Long before the legendary seafarer ‘Sinbad’ chanced to harbor in waters lapping the little isle of  ‘Serendip’, or European colonizers discovered Ptolemy’s ‘Ceylan’, pilgrims from the distant Orient have been visiting here. During the reign of the Indian Emperor Asoka (2nd Century BC), the island’s North Central Province was home to Sinhala Kings under whose patronage Buddhism spread. Following India’s gift of a sapling from the Bodhi Tree under which Sidharta Gautama Buddha attained ‘nirvana’, the ancient city of Anuradhapura draws pilgrims and curious visitors from everywhere. The tree is regarded as the oldest in the world (2,200 years). Similarly, a painting in the office of Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Rome, depicts  “Emissaries of the Sinhala Royal Court presenting Credentials to Emperor Claudius” (according to Roman Historian Gaius Plinius Secundas, AD 23-79, pix. below).

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The Huseins and Their Historic Mansions in the Fort, Galle

Juliet Coombe, in Daily News, 1 December 2017,where the title runsFragments of the past”

“New things you can replace. Old things are irreplaceable.” Such is the mentality that has underpinned the empire that is now the Historical Mansion, right through from the inventor of the museum, Hussain senior, who has passed the museum onto his eldest son Kamal who now runs it, along with the arcade, gem making workshop in the central courtyard and the fabulous antiques gallery with filigree jewellery that is hundreds of years old. Newness is not important to Kamal, he simply wants to preserve what his father collected so that future generations can understand and appreciate the lives that were lived without electricity hence the notches in the walls for candles and if you wanted water you had to draw it from the central courtyard well.


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Rampant Corruption Debilitating Our Nation, says Bishop Canagasabey

Rt. Revd. Dhiloraj Canagasabey, Bishop of Colombo: Extracts from His Address at  the 132nd Annual Sessions of the Diocese of Colombo, Church of Ceylon.

‘One of the most disappointing failures of the govt. has been its inability to end rampant corruption’

Each year, both in the report of the Standing Committee of our Diocese and in my own charge we turn to look at the significant events that have taken place in the country, viewed from the standpoint of the Church. Our scriptural and theological understanding of God’s concern for and involvement in the history of peoples and nations requires us to engage fully with the issues of our country and the world. Continue reading

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The ICC is Imbecile: Verbal Assaults permitted within Cricket Field

Michael Roberts, courtesy of Colombo Telegraph, where the title is as follows: “Against Verbal Assaults within Cricket Field”

Verbal intimidation within the boundary ropes of the cricket field has been tolerated far, far too long by the cricketing authorities (ICC and MCC). This disease has been sustained by weak umpiring from personnel of all nationalities and by clever cover-jobs from eminent cricketers of all nationalities manning the TV commentary teams (including Sunil Gavaskar, Harsha Bhogle, Simon Doull, Russel Arnold and Matthew Hayden and Murali Karthik in the present series in India).

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Famous Authors dwelling on Ceylon’s Attractions: Read against the Grain Please

Tamara Fernando in the Daily News, 22 November 2017 where the title is “Reading against the grain: the darker side of travel writing” ….. while the highlighting emphasis is the work of The Editor, Thuppahi” .

Much to the delight of the coffee-table-book author and the travel connoisseur, Sri Lanka is not only rich in natural beauty, but also equally well-endowed with ornate, detail-laden travel accounts of Westerners encountering its landscape for the first time. The series of publications by the National Trust of Sri Lanka, for instance, or books on her national parks often quote from and excerpt this language.

  Mark Twain

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