Category Archives: heritage

Ferment in Lanka’s Political Firmament: Three Tamil Voices — Philips, Moonesinghe and Somasundram

Rajan Philips:  “One more symbolic step: Wigneswaran’s audience with the Mahanayake Thera,” September 16, 2017

We need a break from the tedium, rather the opprobrium, of national corruption. To paraphrase Dr. Harsha de Silva’s public lamentation, the whole country is awash in corruption. The continuing non-promotion of people like Harsha de Silva and Eran Wickremaratne to full cabinet rank shows the depth of cabinet entrenchment by the corrupt and the crooked and the extent of exclusion of the bright and the honest. The government leadership has a lot to answer for its cabinet choices even as it has a lot of explaining to do about its highway contract choices.

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Filed under accountability, disparagement, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, modernity & modernization, NGOs, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, social justice, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, TNA, world events & processes

Steven Kemper on Anagarika Dharmapala: A New Study

Steven Kemper: Rescued from the Nation: Anagarika Dharmapala and the Buddhist World, University of Chicago Press,  2015

Anagarika Dharmapala is one of the most galvanizing figures in Sri Lanka’s recent turbulent history. He is widely regarded as the nationalist hero who saved the Sinhala people from cultural collapse and whose “protestant” reformation of Buddhism drove monks toward increased political involvement and ethnic confrontation. Yet as tied to Sri Lankan nationalism as Dharmapala is in popular memory, he spent the vast majority of his life abroad, engaging other concerns. In Rescued from the Nation, Steven Kemper reevaluates this important figure in the light of an unprecedented number of his writings, ones that paint a picture not of a nationalist zealot but of a spiritual seeker earnest in his pursuit of salvation.

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Filed under British colonialism, Buddhism, cultural transmission, education, fundamentalism, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian religions, Indian traditions, landscape wondrous, language policies, life stories, literary achievements, meditations, nationalism, pilgrimages, politIcal discourse, power politics, religiosity, religious nationalism, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, unusual people, world events & processes

Royal College, Colombo via Darrell Lieversz’s Painting Brush

Darrell Lieversz

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Filed under cricket for amity, cultural transmission, education, heritage, landscape wondrous, sri lankan society, unusual people

One Pillar vs Ethnic Chauvinism: Global Cross-Cultural Families

Swaminathan S. Ankleswaria Aiyar, courtesy of The Times of India, 2 April 2005, “My family and other globalisers”

In 1992, I wrote a book titled Towards Globalisation. I did not realise at the time that this was going to be the history of my family.  Last week, we celebrated the wedding of my daughter, Pallavi. A brilliant student, she had won scholarships to Oxford  University and the London School of Economics. In London, she met Julio, a young man from Spain. The two decided to take up jobs in Beijing, China. Last week, they came over from Beijing to Delhi to get married. The wedding guests included 70 friends from North America, Europe and China.

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Filed under citizen journalism, communal relations, cultural transmission, ethnicity, female empowerment, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian traditions, life stories, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, reconciliation, tolerance, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes

Felicitating English among Novices Through Literature

Sachitra Mahendra, in Daily News, 12 September 2017, where the title reads “Courage that Counts”

They wanted to speak English. Some of them could deliver well. But most of them could not, sadly. For them all – the newly chosen batch of undergraduates – the university offers a course with the English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU). But then these undergraduates were not interested in attending the course either. They were still required to pass the ELTU exam to be qualified for the degree completion. However excellent they may have scored in other subjects, they would not obtain the certificate without the ELTU green light. The fault is not theirs, according to Madhubhashini Disanayaka Ratnayake, who was the ELTU Head attached to the University of Sri Jayawardanapura.

 Pictures by Wasitha Patabendige

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Filed under art & allure bewitching, cultural transmission, education, education policy, heritage, language policies, life stories, literary achievements, politIcal discourse, sri lankan society, teaching profession, unusual people, world affairs

Farmer Field Schools Initiative on Sri Lankan Tea Plantations

Dushy Perera, at  where the title is Taking Farmer Field Schools to Sri Lankan Tea Plantations”

A few days ago at the hundred plus year old DMCC Planter’s Club in Dickoya (central Sri Lanka), ETP initiated a momentous programme that will train a group of trainers who will be responsible for establishing and running a farmer field school (FFS) programme on Sri Lankan tea plantations.ToT attendees  ToT attendees

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Filed under accountability, cultural transmission, economic processes, education, heritage, island economy, modernity & modernization, performance, sri lankan society, unusual people, world events & processes

Captain Cook’s Endeavours: Seen as “White Ghosts” by the Guugu Yimithirr People

Trent Dalton, in The Australian, 6 Septmber 2017, where the title is “Cook Rediscovered . Miracle on The Reef,”

She can hear the cannon blasting. She can see the worn, callused hands of Captain Cook’s men touching it. She can see where it sat on the Endeavour before it was desperately heaved overboard into the night-time waters of ­Endeavour Reef to be found 200 years later by researchers from the American Academy of Natural Sciences. Cook historian Michelle Hetherington draws a long breath. There’s no story she can tell more thrilling than the story of the black iron cannon she stares at now in a soft-lit room inside the National Museum of Australia. “This is our actual history sitting in front of us,” she says. “Who touched it? They may have all touched it! This is our link to that voyage in the 18th century.”

A painting of the Little Old Man, a Waymbuurr Warra elder, commissioned by the Cooktown Re-enactment Association.


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Filed under Australian culture, australian media, British colonialism, cultural transmission, economic processes, ethnicity, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, meditations, modernity & modernization, plural society, politIcal discourse, power politics, reconciliation, religiosity, self-reflexivity, the imaginary and the real, tolerance, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes