Upali Mahaliyana’s Introductory Note
This is NOT my autobiography. Although Ajith, the main Character in this novel, shares the times and a part of his background with me, he is a completely different person who had a very different character and a life to mine. His family has absolutely no resemblance to mine.
This is NOT a biographical novel either. Although Ajith binds the story together, it is not just his story.
Instead, it is a story of changing lifestyles, values and attitudes of Sri Lankan society over different times and different environments, demonstrated through five generations of the same family. It covers an era from the early part of the twentieth century to the present times and a geographical area from a rural village in Sri Lanka, through a provincial city and the capital city into the Sri Lankan diaspora in the world.
D H Lawrence came to Ceylon with his wife Frieda in late February 1922. Lawrence once referred to the later years of his life, spent wandering from place to place across the world in search of relief from illness, as his “savage pilgrimage”. Interestingly, the Lawrences arrived just a couple of years after Hilda Westbrook (soon to be Kularatne) first passed through the Colombo Harbour steamboat passenger terminal.
Filed under British colonialism, Buddhism, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, education, heritage, landscape wondrous, life stories, literary achievements, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, unusual people, world affairs
Tony Donaldson, whose preferred title is “A Time of Celebration and Reflection. Sri Lanka’s 70th Independence Day in Melbourne”
Many Sri Lankans have made the journey to Australia and now call it home and Melbourne continues to be a popular destination with the number of Sri Lankans living in this multicultural city estimated to be approximately 35,000. It is a diverse community and so it was pleasing to see that the emphasis of Sri Lanka’s 70th National Independence Day celebrations held on 4 February 2018 in the Kingston City Hall, Moorabbin, was placed on recognizing the plurality of Sri Lanka as a nation of many ethnic and religious groups. Organized by the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Melbourne, the celebrations were like a gift of treasures but it was also a time to reflect on the postcolonial history of Sri Lanka and its future.
Kandyan dance performed by the Sri Lankan Cultural Ensemble of Australia
Filed under communal relations, cultural transmission, education, ethnicity, heritage, life stories, patriotism, politIcal discourse, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, tolerance, unusual people, world events & processes
Jordana Narin in Daily News, 2 February 2018, with title as “Colombo’s Wetlands at Risk”
There is a breeze in Diyasuru Park that feels distinctly un-Colombo. The air is more lush, the birds more diverse, the grass more green. The park, located near the Parliament building in Thalawathugoda, is 18 hectares of urban wetland. And it’s one of the few the city has left.
Colombo is drying up—literally. Since the 1980s, the city has lost almost 60 percent of its wetland area. Today, on World Wetlands Day, it’s more crucial than ever to consider why all of this matters—and why the fight to save Colombo’s remaining wetlands is one that should involve each and every one of us.
The Jakana bird lives on floating vegetation in wetlands such as water lilies. Picture by Sanjiv De Silva, IWMI.
Filed under art & allure bewitching, education, environmental degradation, governance, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, modernity & modernization, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, world events & processes