Category Archives: education

The Deep Imprint of Prabhakaran’s Thamililam: Kilinochchi in May 2009

Sinharaja Tammita-Delgoda, being an article published in The Island on 17 May 2009 and thereafter in 2010 by the Centre for Land Warfare Studies –with the title “Letters on a Blackboard – A Lost Generation” … being a review is based on the author’s personal impressions and experience of the last Eelam War. Much of the material was gathered during the course of the author’s visits to the war zone between 19 March and 27 April 2009,

The entrance to Kilinochchi Maha Vidyalayam (Kilinochchi High School) is dominated by a large map. Although it is actually a map of Sri Lanka, most of it is blank. One section however, is clear and sharply defined in bright red. Stretching all the way down from the top, it occupies the entire north of the island, snaking down on either side. On the west coast it touches the outskirts of the capital Colombo; on the east, it reaches right down to the deep south. All in all, the red areas encompass more than one third of the entire landmass and almost two thirds of the coastline.

The rest of the country however, does not exist. An empty space in washed out blue, it is barely distinct from the surrounding ocean. The map is entitled “Our Country. Tamil Eelam.” Every day, every student entering and leaving the school would have to file past this map. This was all they knew of Sri Lanka. Recently however, the map has been slighted amended. At the very heart of the blank space, daubed in big letters, are the words “SL ARMY.” Continue reading

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Filed under authoritarian regimes, cultural transmission, education, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, politIcal discourse, power politics, rehabilitation, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, zealotry

Left-Liberals in Intolerant Mode within Some American Campuses

Kay Hymowitz, in The Weekend Australian, 18/19 March 2017, where the title is “Free Thought dies in Campus Ghettoes”

Warning to Aussies from a visiting American: pay careful attention to the latest mob action to darken one of America’s elite — and one of its loveliest — campuses, Middlebury College in Vermont. The incident offers a glimpse of how identity politics and political correctness can evolve into a dangerous religious orthodoxy with its own canonical dogma, rituals, believers, and heretics.

Middlebury is a foretaste of where Australia is headed if the campus culture of intolerance continues on the same trajectory.

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The Tea Business in Ceylon and the Life and Times of Tony Peries

Tony Donaldson. in a Vale for the  Late Tony Peries of Colombo & Sydney, courtesy of THE CEYLANKAN, 2017 edn , where the title is “Remembering Tony Peries” … with emphasis added by The Editor, Thuppahi.

My first encounter with Tony Peries took place in 2003.  By chance, I stumbled upon a meeting of the Ceylon Society in Melbourne one Sunday afternoon at which Tony was giving a talk about his book George Steuart & Co Ltd 1952 – 1973: A Personal Odyssey, published in 2003, a copy of which occupies a prominent position on my bookshelf.   He made an immediate impression on me as a gifted speaker with a natural stage persona that drew audiences into his world.

tony-peries

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Filed under accountability, Australian culture, British colonialism, commoditification, cultural transmission, economic processes, education, historical interpretation, Left politics, life stories, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, unusual people, world events & processes

LLRC advocated Bilingual National Anthem and Other Cultural Paths towards Reconciliation

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National Anthem

8.291 Several views were expressed concerning the use of the National Anthem as a unifying factor, and in bringing about greater understanding among the communities. One view was that it would be advisable to reflect the two national languages policy by symbolically introducing at least two lines in Tamil to the National Anthem.172 It was pointed out that this would be a major step towards healing the wounds of the past.

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Disappearing Burgher and Malay Surnames in Island Lanka

Tuan M. Zameer Careem,  initially extracted from  https://sirimunasiha.wordpress.com/about/sinhala-names-through-out-the-ages/rare-ethnic-surnames/ where the title reads “Rare Ethnic Surnames” … but I have since been informed that Mr Careem published it in Ceylon Today . Since it has received a record number of hits over the last two days, Careem can be well pleased.

The multi ethnic Sri Lankan society has since recent decades witnessed
innumerable changes and many of the most notable ethnic communities are now
on the brink of extinction, with the population dwindling to a noble
handful. Some of the most colourful surnames that once stood as a beacon to
help distinguish the ethnic backgrounds of locals have now gone into abeyance.
The ethnographers are of the opinion that the frequent intermarriages with
members of the prominent ethnic groups and the death of male line descendants
have gradually airbrushed the identities of many minorities. It is sad to
note that there is hardly any material written on the subject of Lankan
Onomatology. However, it is unmistakably clear that many of the Lankan
patronymics and surnames have European roots.

burghhers-11 Pic from www.burghersuk.com

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Vale Jim Gair, Sinhala Enthusiast, Linguist Extraordinary

A Valedictory in American Academia

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James Wells Gair, Ph.D. ’63, professor emeritus of linguistics who throughout a long and distinguished career produced groundbreaking work on South Asian languages and their relation to other languages, died Dec. 10 in Ithaca. He was 88.“Jim Gair was in many ways the paradigmatic Cornell linguist,” said John Whitman, chair and professor of linguistics. “He had a language passion for Sinhala, the language of Sri Lanka, and he threw himself entirely into it, teaching the language, writing textbooks for its learners, and analyzing both the colloquial language and its classical texts.

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Ceylon in the Rainer Schickele Papers

Rainer Schickele served with the Dept of Agricultural Economics  Peradeniya University in the 1960s and lived in Kandy. He was committed to the agricultural development of the island. On the 21st January 1969 he presented a paper on Land settlement Policy in Ceylon: A Tentative Proposal,” I note here that all the cyclostyled CSS papers are available at Peradeniya University >Librar and several university libraries in USA. 

Alas I do not have a photograph of Rainer (1905-1989). But it is with considerable pleasure that I note the availability of the SCHICKELE PAPERS at  NDSU, Institute for Regional Studies and University archives,  the North Dakota State University Libraries.  Note the followiing summary.”The Sri Lanka (Ceylon) Series consists of reports and papers Schickele wrote while helping the university and government build agricultural economic departments. The series consists of twelve progress reports that Schickele wrote in order for the ADC to monitor the progress of the program.The series also contains papers Schickele wrote regarding the current agricultural situation in Sri Lanka and how to rectify some of the problems.” Continue reading

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