Category Archives: ethnicity

Evaluation: Forces and Strands in Sri Lanka’s Cricket History

Binod K. Mishra, reviewing Forces and Strands in Sri Lanka’s Cricket History” by Michael Roberts, Colombo, Social Scientists’ Association, 2006, 64 pp., 21 photographs, bibliography, Rs. 300 (paperback), ISBN 9559102826 …. location of original review and date of publication is yet unclear

“Arise Sir Davenel”

Cricket brought to Sri Lanka the reputation of, and a genuine recognition as, a nation. The rationale for such an observation is the infamous reputation Sri Lanka has earned due to decade-old ethnic rivalry and insurgency that has threatened the concept of nationhood in the country. The World Cup triumph in 1996 and the heroic performances before and after that event have put Sri Lanka prominently not onlyon the sports map but also on the political map of the world in a positive sense. But the story of the riseof Sri Lankan cricket is not a normal rags-to-riches story but is filled with events that in some sense correspond to its political history. Michael Roberts’ work presents this interesting story of Sri Lankan cricket. Written in the year 2004, the booklet recapitulates, albeit briefly, the entire history of the game on this country. It is a vivid description of the evolution of cricket in the former colony of Britain. Throughout the evolutionary history of cricket, the author finds a clear reflection of the socio-political situation of Sri Lanka. Continue reading

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Vibrant Lifeways in Sri Lanka via Its Literary Figures and Places

Uma Mahadevan Dasgupta  in The Hindu, 8 December 2018,  where the title is “In Sri Lanka, Life imitates Art”

As we travel through Sri Lanka, its strong literary voices come crashing in like waves, and life seems to imitate art

I sit in the huge living room of the old governor’s home in Jaffna. The walls, painted… a warm rose-red, stretch awesome distances away to my left, to my right and up towards a white ceiling. When the Dutch first built this house egg white was used to paint the walls. The doors are twenty feet high, as if awaiting the day when a family of acrobats will walk from room to room, sideways, without dismantling themselves from each other’s shoulders. —Running in the Family, Michael Ondaatje

 Hectic colours: Second Cross Street Pettah 

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Rivetting Data on the Jaffna Peninsula and Tamil Politics, 1929-1970s

Handy Perinbanayagam 

This is a reproduction of COMMENTS  in a previous Thuppahi Item from 2012 — which presented an article by Rajan Philips in the Sunday Island of 26 February 2012. This unusual step is taken because the information therein: (1) about caste oppression in the Jaffna Peninsula even in the 1970s; (2) data on the politics of the Jaffna Youth congress and its boycott campaign against the Donoughmore Reforms and the 1931 elections in  the north; (#) a reading of GG Ponnambalam (4) the contributions to the discussion from R, Sid Perinbanayagam and Nalliah Thayabharan — with Thayabharan’s slashing criticisms of the LTTE and Tamil diasporic supporters evincing a remarkable courage.  

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Tiger Insurgents caught in the Oddusuddan Locality in June 2018

D.B.S. Jeyaraj in Daily Mirror, 30 June 2018, where the title reads “Seizure of Tiger arsenal in North renews fears of an LTTE revival attempt”

The 21km-long Puthukkudiyiruppu-Oddusuddan road progressing through the hinterland of North-Eastern Mullaitivu District, links Puthukkudiyiruppu on the A-35 Paranthan-Mullaitivu highway and Oddusuddan on the A-34 Mankulam-Mullaitivu highway. It was along this road that a trusted deputy of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran was killed by the deep penetration squad of the Sri Lankan armed forces on September  26, 2001. Vaithilingam Sornalingam alias “Col” Shankar, the founder-chief of the tiger air wing was killed by a claymore mine hung on a tree as he was driving his two-seater four-wheeler pick-up vehicle alone. The killing transmitted shockwaves amongst LTTE circles as it demonstrated the fact that the armed forces were capable of infiltrating the heartland of tiger-controlled territory and inflicting lethal damage.

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An Up-Country Village with an Ethnic Mix in Harmony

Priyan de Silva, in Daily News, 5 November 2018, where the title is Little Valley: where ethnic harmony reigns”

“I was entrusted with this grocery business by my father in 1991. I was 24 years old at the time,” said S.R.A. Bandula, weighing the few 100 grams of groceries that Valliamma had asked for. At the same time, 23-year-old Mohamed Rifad was leaning against the counter and munching on a few parippu wades while listening to our conversation. I was in the Little Valley colony situated in the Suduwella Grama Niladhari division of the Deltota Divisional Secretariat in the Central Province. The little grocery store run by Bandula and his wife Anoma Kumari is the first building on the narrow street that runs through the colony. “My father started the business when people could only afford to buy one beedi or half a cake of washing soap at a time,” recalled Bandula.

The street that runs through the colony was lined with small cottages which are in fact renovated line rooms and home to people from all three ethnic communities in Suduwella.

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Our Murali: An Ecumenical Man for All Peoples and Ethnicities

Pushpendra Albe, in Cricket Age, 10 November 2018 where the title is Murali Helps All Communities Alike, So Who Can Complain?”

As a cricketer, Muttiah Muralitharan has been regarded as the greatest spinnerof all time. As a cricketer, his journey to become the living legend of the game by overcoming all the hurdles and controversies, was nothing sort of a spectacular fairy tale.

However, there is another side of Murali, which has turned out equally admirable. As a philanthropist, through his NGO Foundation Of Goodness (FOG), Murali have brought change in the millions of the Sri Lankans, irrespective of their caste, background or religion. Murali’s journey as a philanthropist in last one decade has transformed Sri Lanka’s poor communities and has opened the whole new world for the younger generations. With his manager and founder trustee of FOG Kushil Gunasekera, Murali has become a symbol of peace, harmony and has uplifted millions of lives. Those Tamil leaders, who are questioning Murali’s contribution to the community, must see the ground reality of bowling legend philanthropic achievements, before pointing fingers towards him!

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Regulating Sabda Pujā: Did British Regulation of “Noise Worship” Trigger the 1915 Riots in Ceylon?’

Shamara Wettimuny, a reprint of an article in the LSE International History Blog, in May 2018, where the title is Regulating Religious Rites: Did British Regulation of “Noise Worship” Trigger the 1915 Riots in Ceylon?’

Violence targeting the Muslim community has recently increased in Sri Lanka. Yet the scale of the violence is relatively small compared to events that took place a hundred years ago. In 1915, a dispute over a Buddhist procession near a mosque led to island-wide communal riots in Ceylon (present day Sri Lanka). This article revisits this historical event. It explores how the rise of ethno-religious nationalist ideologies in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries converged with British regulation of ‘noise worship’ to trigger the most destructive episode of violence between Sinhala-Buddhists and Muslims to date.

Kandy in early 20th century

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