Category Archives: education

A Catering Kitchen in Mannar: Mothers 4 Mothers

An Appeal for Donations from BRIDGING LANKA

Dear Michael, … As we edge nearer to Mothers’ Day, we are trying to raise funds for a project which is close to our hearts — the building of a catering kitchen and cafe for our widows to enable their financial survival: https://chuffed.org/project/mothers-4-mothers

This project focuses on vulnerable women who’d been affected by the war Many are widows, some were deserted, some are disabled and some have been victims of rape and assault, many have children to care for.  They are a bunch of survivors, admirable people, wonderful cooks and carers.  Continue reading

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Remembering Oswin Silva: St. Aloysius College, Galle …. Lions …. and US Aid

Johnny de Silva

Aloysius Oswin Silva ……Born  = June 21, 1937 …..  Called to Rest  = March 2 2018

Oswin joined St. Aloysius College in January 1947 when he was 9 years old. At that time his parents Mr and Mrs A Moses Silva lived in Peliagoda, Kelaniya. He continued at SAC till he had reached the HSC form when in 1958 he left to join Aquinas University College in Colombo. Continue reading

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Australia: International Students– Chinese Inflow

‘Tim Dodd, in The Australian, 18 April 2018, with the title “Chinese defy warnings and flock to Australian universities”

Chinese students have defied unspecified ‘‘safety’’ warnings from their government amid fears of undue Chinese influence, flocking to Australia in larger numbers this year than ever before. Official figures to be released today show 173,000 Chinese students enrolled in Australian universities, colleges and schools in the first two months of 2018, 18 per cent more than in the same period last year.

In total, 542,000 students from more than 190 countries have enrolled in Australia so far this year, according to the latest data. This is 13 per cent more than for the same period last year, indicating yet another boost is on the way for education exports, which were valued at $32.2 billion in 2017. Continue reading

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The History of Caste in South Asia via a Work on the Rise of the Karava in Ceylon

Susan Bayly  in 1983, reviewing  Caste Conflict and Elite Formation: The Rise of a Karava Elite in Sri Lanka, 1500-1931 by Michael Roberts Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1982.

The literature on the south Asian caste system is vast and contentious and the current war of words shows no sign of abating. This book conforms to current trends both in focusing on the experience of a single caste group under colonial rule, and also in adopting a polemical tone towards other historians. Roberts’ subject is the Karava population of Sri Lanka and his first aim is to explain why this group of poor fishermen and artisans managed to throw up a disproportionately large elite of businessmen, lawyers and other western-educated professional men by the end of the nineteenth-century. The discussion is set against the background of works on comparable Asian business communities such as the Marwaris and Parsis. An important theme, then, is the relationship between individual enterprise and the corporate structure of caste: did the Karava magnate class emerge because of, or in spite of, their roots in a hierarchical caste order? Continue reading

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EFC Ludowyk: For Peradeniya and Ceylon ….. His Lasting Legacies

Tissa Jayatilleka, being a Four Part Series in the Island, March 2018, conveying the
…. Text of the 18th Ludowyk Memorial Lecturer delivered by Tissa Jayatilaka, an alumnus of the University of Peradeniya and Executive Director of the US-Sri Lanka Fulbright Commission.

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Introducing Prophetic Indictments by Mervyn De Silva

Noel Ranjith

Regular readers of “The Island” newspaper over the twenty year period from the 1980’s will remember the almost weekly columns written by Dr. Mervyn D. De Silva, who was in those years a Deputy Director of the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs, followed by being appointed as the Director of the Ministry of Plan Implementation, and later becoming a Member of Parliament through the National List. His most profuse and provocative period was during the tenures of four Presidents from Mr. J. R. Jayawardene to Mrs. Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga. His writings covered a wide range of public and national concerns and took their cue from what the controversial American journalist I.F. Stone believed was the purpose of good journalism  –to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable”.

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Michael Roberts in Conversation in London, 8 March 2018

VISIT https://vimeo.com/259131094

Distinguished academic Dr Michael Roberts was in England recently and talked about his experiences and work including his online life as creator of the Thuppahi Blog (https://thuppahi.wordpress.com) …. This Q and A takes 60 minutes.

Pic by Eranga Jayawardena

Michael Roberts is a historian by training and has taught at the Department of History at Peradeniya University (1961-76) and the Department of Anthropology at Adelaide University (1977-2003). His major works are in agrarian history, social mobility, nationalism and ethnic conflict. Based on his interest in the Tamil liberation struggle and the sacrificial devotion mustered by the LTTE, he has written extensively on suicide missions. Michael Roberts has also edited several volumes on Sri Lanka entitled Collective Identities. In 2004, he retired as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Adelaide University, but continues to write articles.

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