S. N “Chubby” Arseculeratne whose choice of title was The stuff of history and the stuff of science; a re-consideration of C. P. Snow’s debate on The Two Cultures”
I am basing my comments on the topic of the ongoing debate – Did Jesus live in India ? There were earlier books on this topic by Holger Kersten (Jesus lived in India, The original Jesus, books by Fida Hassnain (A search for the Historical Jesus) and Elizabeth Clare Prophet (The lost years of Jesus). Commentaries by Bhante Dhammika (Australia), Kamal Wickremasinghe (KW), and V. J. M. de Silva were published in The Island. Tissa Devendra (10 January 2016, The Island) made legitimate comments on the proper styles of academic debate, commenting on KW’s tirade. The Jesus Conspiracy, also by Holger Kersten, dealt with the provenance of The Turin Shroud that is claimed to have covered the body of Jesus when it was taken down after his Crucifixion.
The points that I deal with are not the validity or historicity of the claims on either side of this debate, but firstly the differences in approach between writers in the Humanities, and those in the hard sciences, in their respective tasks.I then consider some reasons for the persistence of this debate on The Two Cultures.Continue reading →
Michael Roberts, being a reprint of a review article in South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, s., Vol. XXVII, no.1, April 2004 …… with a review of this essay by Bandu de Silva having appeared earlier Thuppahi. The version here has highlighted emphasis to aid the reader –clearly a ‘work ‘in 2017.
Alfred Jeyaratnam Wilson, now regrettably with his maker, remains Sri Lanka’s leading political scientist, with numerous books associated with his name. He had secured eminence as early as the 1970s, when attached to Peradeniya University, and this reputation enabled him to move to a Professorship at the University of New Brunswick around 1972. It was his considerable scholarly reputation that encouraged the president of Sri Lanka and leader of the right-wing United National Party, J. R. Jayewardene, to utilise his consultative services in the political negotiations and constitutional engineering that occurred in the period 1978–83. His participation was facilitated by K. M. de Silva, a confidante of the president as well as Wilson’s long-time friend.
Anonymous Reviewer in Sunday Times, 21 July 2013, where the title runs “Important contribution towards a dialogue on Lankan polity. Book facts”
When Michael Roberts left Peradeniya in the late seventies, he was part of an exodus of intellectuals from the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya, arguably one of the best universities at that time. The exodus of academics at that time was compelled by the economic difficulties faced by university dons. It was the second wave of such emigration that diminished the intellectual life of the university and country.
The Arts Faculty of the University of Peradeniya never regained its prestigious academic status after that. Today the University of Peradeniya cannot take pride in intellectuals of the eminence of E. F. C. Ludowyck, E. R Sarachchandra, H. A. de S. Gunasekera, Fr. Ignatius Pinto, Ian Van den Driesen and many others. Continue reading →
Bandu de Silva, in The Island, on 30 October 2006, reviewing Narrating Tamil Nationalism—Subjectivities and Issues by Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts’ slim book (52 pages) with pictures, published by Vijitha Yapa publications has already Attracted some public attention but I think it deserves a wider comment despite the shortness of the treatment because it is in itself a commentary on a more controversial work by A. J. Wilson on Sri Lankan Tamil Nationalism, its Orgin and Development in the 19th and 20 Centuries with a Chapter by Rev. A. J. V. Chandrakanthan. (London Hurst & Co., now published as a Penguin Book. A Jeyaratnam Wilson
The Routledge Flier: Using careful historical research and analysis of policy documents, this book explains the origin and evolution of the political conflict in Sri Lanka over the struggle to establish a separate state in its Northern and Eastern Provinces. The conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the secessionist LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) is one of the world’s most intractable contemporary armed struggles. The internationally banned LTTE is considered the prototype of modern terrorism. It is known to have introduced suicide bombing to the world, and recently became the first terrorist organization ever to acquire an air force. The book argues that the Sri Lankan conflict cannot be adequately understood from the dominant bipolar analysis that sees it as a primordial ethnic conflict between the Sinhala majority and the Tamil minority. The book broadens the discourse providing a multipolar analysis of the complex interplay of political-economic and cultural forces at the local, regional and international levels including the roles of India and the international community. Overall, the book presents a conceptual framework useful for comparative global conflict analysis and resolution, shedding light on a host of complex issues such as terrorism, civil society, diasporas, international intervention and secessionism.
Thuppahi's Blog · This web site presents the interventions of MICHAEL ROBERTS in the public realm with reference to Sri Lankan political affairs. It will embrace the politics of cricket as well. ROBERTS was educated at St. Aloysius College in Galle and the universities of Peradeniya and Oxford. He taught History at Peradeniya University and Anthropology at Adelaide university. He is now retired and lives in Adelaide.