Category Archives: ethnicity

Hardy Women: Yesterday’s Africans in Today’s Lanka

African sisters in Sri Lanka

On the road to Sirambiyadi

On the road to Sirambiyadi

In every culture family is an important element of human life. For centuries Ceylon had been a maritime domain for foreign traders, defiant conquerors and zealous missionaries. All these foreigners left behind their ancestors, who with time, integrated into our society. There were many nationalities who lived here in those ancient times – Arabs, Europeans, Indians and Africans. Much focus has been given to the various ethnic clans, but, people of African origin domiciled here were marginalised. Once in a while, these African-Sri Lankans would capture our attention via a youtube song video. One of the last such families of direct African origin live in Puttalam. The name Puttalam, is believed to be derived from the Tamil word “upputhalam” – uppu meaning salt and thalam meaning area of production, thus Puttalam is still famous for salt.

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Filed under British imperialism, cultural transmission, economic processes, ethnicity, gender norms, heritage, landscape wondrous, life stories, Portuguese in Indian Ocean, religiosity, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

Chinese Alibaba to retail Sri Lankan Tourist Potential in China

Editor, NEWS-in-Asia, 13 August 2018, whose title is Sri Lanka to ink agreement with China’s Alibaba to attract more tourists

Colombo, Aug 14 ( – The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) will ink an agreement with Alibaba’s travel arm, Fliggy, to bring down 1,000 travelers weekly to Sri Lanka in order to expand the island’s growing tourism sector, Daily FT quoted Tourism Minister John Amaratunga on Tuesday.

high jinks at Bentota beach

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Filed under China and Chinese influences, commoditification, ethnicity, growth pole, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, modernity & modernization, sri lankan society, tourism, transport and communications, travelogue, world events & processes

Vorsicht! Looking for a Hitler in Sri Lanka Today

Tisaranee Gunasekara, in Sunday Observer, 12 August 2018, where the title is “On Doctors and Kings. An authoritarian wind is sweeping across Sri Lanka”

The current yearning for the heavy hand of a strong leader is in tune with the Zeitgeist. Across the globe, people, disillusioned with democracy, are opening their ears to the siren song of authoritarianism. As Barrack Obama pointed out in his Mandela Centenary Lecture, “We now stand at a crossroads – a moment in time at which two very different versions of humanity’s future compete for the hearts and minds of citizens around the world.”

In Sri Lanka, the less immoderate, less illiberal government is in a state of semi-paralysis. The extremist and anti-democratic opposition is surging ahead. The myth that democracy is part of ‘The Problem’ (or even ‘The Problem’) rather than the least bad form of governance is ascendant. If democracy is the problem, then the solution, by definition has to be anti-democratic. This is the dangerous place to which Sri Lanka is careening. Continue reading

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Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, cultural transmission, electoral structures, ethnicity, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, Hitler, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, Rajapaksa regime, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, unusual people, world events & processes

Anagarika Dharmapala in Ceylon and the World: Missing Dimensions highlighted by Kemper

Sasanka Perera, in The Island, 8 August 2018, where the title is “Rescuing Dharmapala from the ‘Nation’,” …. with emphasis via highlighting in this version being an imposition by The Editor, Thuppahi

I was intrigued to see the worlds of knowledge of the past that were opened up when reading Steven Kemper’s 2015 book, ‘Rescued from the Nation: Anagarika Dharmapala and the Buddhist World’ published by the University of Chicago Press. Growing up Sinhala Buddhist in Sri Lanka, Anagarika Dharmapala (1864-1933) would easily be one of the most important historical characters from the recent past, we had become familiar with early in our lives. This was certainly so for my generation. As we know from that experience, Dharmapala was closely and intimately linked to the country’s Buddhist revivalism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Precisely due to this reason, he was the most iconic culture hero of the Sinhala Buddhists in the modern period.

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Awful Events in July ’83: Will We Ever Learn

Harim Peiris, in Daily News, 23 July 2018, where the title reads “‘Never again’: The enduring lesson of July 1983, after 35 years” …. with highlights being the work of The Editor, Thuppahi

July 23 marked the 35th anniversary of one of post-independent Sri Lanka’s darkest chapters, the July 1983 pogrom against Tamil civilians throughout the country. The pogrom was sparked by an ambush of an Army patrol in Jaffna, by the LTTE, then one of several militant groups operating in the North, in which the entire platoon of 13 soldiers was wiped out.

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Filed under accountability, atrocities, authoritarian regimes, communal relations, democratic measures, disparagement, economic processes, ethnicity, fundamentalism, historical interpretation, jihad, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, life stories, LTTE, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, religiosity, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, Tamil migration, tamil refugees, teaching profession, truth as casualty of war, vengeance, violence of language, welfare & philanthophy, world affairs

The Demons within the Proposed New Constitution: A Trojan Horse?

CA Chandraprema, in The Island, 25 July 2018, where the title is“The nature of the State and the Presidency” … with emphasis added by The Editor, Thuppahi

The new draft constitution prepared by a panel of experts, for the consideration of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly is now out. The panel of experts who prepared this draft comprised the following: Prof. Suri Ratnapala, N. Selvakkumaran, Prof. Navaratna Bandara, Asoka Gunawardena, Suren Fernando and Niran Anketell. Proposed Article 1 of the draft constitution describes the Sri Lankan state as follows: “Sri Lanka (Ceylon) is a free, sovereign and independent Republic which is an aekiya rajyaya/ orumiththa nadu, consisting of the institutions of the Centre and of the Provinces which shall exercise power as laid down in the Constitution. In this Article aekiya rajyaya // orumiththa nadu means a State which is undivided and indivisible, and in which the power to amend the Constitution, or to repeal and replace the Constitution, shall remain with the Legislature and the People of Sri Lanka as provided in this Constitution.”

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Does Terrorism Work? The Palestinian Story, 1939-47

Bruce Hoffman

ABSTRACT: Does terrorism work? Its targets and victims steadfastly maintain that it does not; its practitioners and apologists that it does. Scholars and analysts are divided. But, if terrorism is as ineffective as many claim, why has it persisted for at least the past two millennia and indeed become an increasingly popular means of violent political expression in the twenty-first century? Using the Jewish terrorist campaign against the British in Palestine during the 1940s, this article attempts to shed light on this question.

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