Category Archives: female empowerment

Threads of Moral Puritanism in Sinhala Nationalist Practice

 Michael Roberts ** … a reprint of an article published in South Asia, Vol. XIX, Special Issue, (1996), pp. 205-220. with the title “Teaching Lessons, Re mo ving Evil: Strands of Moral Puritanism in Sinhala Nationalist Practice

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Expressions of Sinhala nationalism since the mid-nineteenth century, as one might expect, have been varied and multi-faceted. In this essay, I highlight a thread of moral puritanism which has not only been powerfully inscribed into the pogroms espoused in the period 1880s to 1910s, but also within the altered context of the 1950s-1980s.

 Borella Junction, Colombo, 24.25 July 1983

   A Hindu mob waiting to defend their own from Muslims in Bhagalpur –before becoming a marauding band seeking retribution — in a pattern also seen in 1915 in Sri Lanka during the anti-Moor pogrom

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Rakhita and Senel: Transforming Lives

A SUNDAY TIMES Feature, 23 July 2017 entitled “Young and Unafraid,”… http://www.sundaytimes.lk/170723/plus/young-and-unafraid-251199.html

A month ago two young Sri Lankans were in London to receive the Queen’s Young Leaders Award. Established in 2014, the programme is aimed at discovering, supporting and encouraging exceptional young people between the ages of 18-29 across the Comonwealth for their contribution to their communities. This year, 21-year-old Rakitha Malewana and 26-year-old Senel Wanniarachchi were honoured for their work with HIV/AIDS and social activism respectively.

   Rakitha Malewana, raising awareness about HIV/AIDs. Pix by Indika handuwala

  Social activist Senel Wanniarachchi. Pic by Sameera Weerasekera

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Ceylon Tea and Its Surrounds: Richard Simon’s Tour de Force

Michael Roberts, courtesy of Sunday Times, 16 July 2017, … http://www.sundaytimes.lk/170716/plus/an-invigorating-draught-250066.html

  

Sri Lanka. Aerial view of tea estate hillside.

Ceylon Tea is a must-read, must-absorb work of art. Its review of the history of tea in Sri Lanka is set in deep context – context historical, context political and context social. As such, it is a tour de force.   Continue reading

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Introducing FIRE AND STORM by Michael Roberts

Anonymous Reviewer in Sunday Times, 21 July 2013,  where the title runs “Important contribution towards a dialogue on Lankan polity. Book facts”

When Michael Roberts left Peradeniya in the late seventies, he was part of an exodus of intellectuals from the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya, arguably one of the best universities at that time. The exodus of academics at that time was compelled by the economic difficulties faced by university dons. It was the second wave of such emigration that diminished the intellectual life of the university and country.

  Pirapāharan and leading Tiger Commanders at the Indian sponsored training camp at Sirimalai in 1984

The Arts Faculty of the University of Peradeniya never regained its prestigious academic status after that. Today the University of Peradeniya cannot take pride in intellectuals of the eminence of E. F. C. Ludowyck, E. R Sarachchandra, H. A. de S. Gunasekera, Fr. Ignatius Pinto, Ian Van den Driesen and many others. Continue reading

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Inspirations from Tamara Kunanayakam … and Incisive Criticisms of Yahapaalanaya

Lasanda Kurukulasuriya 

Tamara Kunanayakam was the recipient of ‘Inspirational Woman of the Year’Award in this year’s ‘Top 50 Professional and Career Women Awards’ organized by Women in Management, in partnership with the In ternational Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group. The 50 winners from Sri Lanka and the Maldives received their awards at a glittering ceremony held at Hotel Taj Samudra on Friday. Ms. Kunanayakam, best known for her defence of Sri Lanka’s independence and sovereignty as Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva 2011-2012 when a resolution was brought against the country at the Human Rights Council, said “the fact that I won this award, for me is a recognition of the values and principles I stood for.” The Daily Mirror  talked to her about the less-known aspects of her background and career. Excerpts from the interview:

Tamara Kunanayakam receives the award from Dr. Rohantha Athukorala, Chairman – Panel of Judges

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Jayathma Wickramanayake is on the UN World Stage

Ruwini Jayawardana,  in Daily News, 28 June 2017, where the title is  Passion, Poise and panache!”

She is certainly going places. Incoming UN Youth Envoy Jayathma Wickramanayake will taking office as the second Youth Envoy in the history of the United Nations System next month. She will be succeeding Ahmad Alhendawi of Jordan.

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Burgher Tennis Club in Galle, circa 1928

Burgher Tennis Club

Left to right – Standing: Messrs R. W. E. de Vos, Vyvil Loudowyk, Fred Bastiansz, E. F. C. Ludowyk Jnr., R. A. de Vos, Bubsy Austin, E. F. C. Ludowyk Snr, W. Colin-Thomé, Dudley de Kretser, Arthur Arndt, Bertie Toussaint

Seated: Miss Mina de Vos, Miss E. Koch, Mrs Glen Altendorf, Mrs Bertie Joseph, Mrs R. A. de Vos, Mrs Bertie Toussaint, Miss Rita Kale, Mrs E. F. C. Ludowyk, Mrs W. Colin-Thomé, Mrs Dudley de Kretser, Mrs Bessie Bartholomeusz,

Seated on ground: Earnleigh de Krester, Miss Owen Ludowyk, Miss Ina de Zilwa, Miss Mabel Arndt, Miss Mavis Ludowyk, Miss Dagmar Toussaint, Francis Toussaint.

A NOTE: I discovered this photograph mounted on cardboard in my Mss depository, but cannot recollect how i got it . …. possibly from Rene Ludowyk or Percy Colin-Thomé,  The latter would have been the one who identified the personnel for the details inserted i with the image in my sister’s book, Galle As Quiet as Asleep. Continue reading

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