Category Archives: ethnicity

Sustaining a Malay Lankan Identity: A Magnum Opus on Their Heritage

Sust
A young medical student Tuan Careem hopes that his book ‘Persaudaraan’ (brotherhood) will help rekindle an interest in Malay culture among the youth of his community.  When he was young, he spent many days in bed recovering from bouts of asthma. While many would cite similar experiences as a reason why they did not succeed in later life, young Tuan Careem does just the opposite. “I used to get sick a lot when I was small so I would have to spend a lot of time at home. My parents took me to the library and let me borrow books to keep me occupied, but unfortunately for them I read the books at an inconveniently fast rate,” grins 24-year-old Tuan.

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Hard Times and Bleak Prospects for Malayaha Plantation Work Force

Meera Srinivasan, in The Hindu, 5 October 2019, with this title A bitter brew: For Sri Lanka’s tea estate workers, fair wage is still elusive”

Often described as the backbone of the economy, close to 1.5 lakh tea estate workers have been agitating for fair wages for the last three years. Ahead of Sri Lanka’s presidential election in November, which the labourers see as another season of empty promises, Meera Srinivasan reports on how they view their struggle

“Half the blood in our bodies is sucked by these leeches. Can’t someone find some medicine to keep them away?” At first it is hard to locate the voice that is emerging from the bushes. A few feet off the road margin, at a slightly higher elevation is a worker, with her head alone visible over the lush green leaves. “They get all over us even if we smear a packet of salt,” the worker says, as she continues to pick leaves at an estate near Hatton in Nuwara Eliya district of the Central Province in Sri Lanka.

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Narendran’s Critical Dissection of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Victory Day Speech on 18th May 2009

Rajasingham Narendran, courtesy of Colombo Telegraph, 19th May 2009, where the title is “A Response To The President’s Address On Victory Day”

I read with much interest the President’s ‘Victory Day’ speech at the Galle Face Green, yesterday [18th May 2009], reproduced in CT.   While I agree with much of his recount of recent history, there are glaring gaps in the story he recalled.  Further, he has failed to address the current concerns of the victims his forces liberated, at all.  I have selected some sentences and sections from his address to express my concerns.

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Murali’s Marching Tune …. the Alston Koch Way

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Sri Lanka’s Rivers of Grief from 1956-to-Present within Documentary Film

Anurudha Kodagoda in Sunday Observer, 6 October 2019, reviewing Dharmasiri Bandaranayake’s TEARS IN PARADISE

Dharmasiri Bandaranayake’s latest documentary film, ‘Tears in Paradise’ (Paradisayaka Kadulu), consists of the political history of Sri Lanka from the assassination of S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike to the 1983 Black July, emphasizing the dark history of violence released by the Sinhala-Buddhist ethnicity of the country with the patronage of the Sri Lankan Government which was in power at that time.

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Dr Susiri Weerasekera: A Man for All Seasons

Michael Roberts

A chance finding of an old article that I had written on “dedicated medical work” on both sides of the battlefront during the last stages of the war brought vibrant memories of Dr Susiri Weerasekera into my mind. Getting to know him well after I visited the Friend-in-Need Society opposite the Gangarama at Colpetty in mid-2010, I can assure all readers that he was a man to have alongside one in adversity. We became warm friends over the years.[1] My admiration for his dedication towards humankind, his industry, patriotism and sagacity is unbounded. He is alive still I believe; but I write in the past tense because he lapsed into a state non compos mentis about two years back and I find it distressing even to seek information on his state of body and mind.

This is a valedictory memorial in several parts.

Dr Weerasekera standing 2nd from right facing us with a visiting dignitary at the FINS buildng

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DS Senanayake’s Life and Times by KM de Silva … hits the island roads

Press Release from the ICES at Kandy

The ceremonial launch of two publications of the International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES, Kandy) titled, respectively, as The Life of D. S. Senanayake (1884-1952): Sri Lanka’s First Prime Minister, by Prof. K. M. de Silva, and its Sinhala version,  D.S: Sri Lankaway Prathama Agraamaathya, by Professor K. N. O. Dharmadasa, was held in Kandy on 3 October 2019 in the presence of a large gathering invited by Prof. Upul Dissanayake, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Peradeniya, who sponsored the event in collaboration with the staff of the ICES.

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