Category Archives: heritage

The Ambalama: Blending Serenity and Beauty … amidst Poson Activities

Danya Udukumbure, in The Island, 23 June 2017, where the title runs 

It was the Poson weekend, actually a long one if one skipped work on Friday. Just perfect for an impromptu adventure! A quick call to my friends in Wariyapola and I was behind the wheel. It was still dark outside, but the road was dotted with white clad folk hurrying to the temples to observe sil. I revelled in the peaceful Poson spirit in the air. It seemed that the spirituality was weighing heavy as we were dealing with the aftermath of the catastrophic monsoon floods which left death and destruction in its wake in several districts. ‘Anichchai, Dukkai, Anaththai’. The whole country was in a lacklustre mood, or so I thought.

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Filed under art & allure bewitching, charitable outreach, cultural transmission, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, meditations, modernity & modernization, performance, religiosity, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, tolerance, travelogue, welfare & philanthophy, working class conditions

Protective Togetherness

WHAT  Sri Lanka requires NOW !

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Filed under cultural transmission, heritage, life stories, plural society, politIcal discourse, power sharing, sri lankan society, unusual people

Flood Disaster Aid. A Mother-and-Baby Pack Mission

Myrna Setunga

Hi Michael, Despite a few hiccups and delays at the start, the Mother and Baby Pack Mission was concluded very satisfactorily. With a lot of help from Dushy & Tanya Perera and Sonali & Niranjan (my niece and her husband) who provided their vehicles, we were able to load 45 packages including 45 basins into the two vehicles. On Monday, the 19th June, we left at 6.30 a.m. and help from Dushy’s GPS we got to our first stop in Madurawela by 7.30 a.m. We had to wait till all 13 women turned up. They told us that all their houses got flooded right up to the roof. Yet they had happy faces as you will see in the photos. I think they were really pleased with their gifts.

 Myrna and some recipients of Packs at Bulathsinhala Continue reading

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Filed under centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, economic processes, female empowerment, heritage, landscape wondrous, life stories, meditations, performance, rehabilitation, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, trauma, unusual people

Iranganie Serasinghe: Actress and Environmental Activist

Prasanna Cooray, in Island, 18 June 2017,  with the title “Irangani: Mother figure of Sinhala Cinema and Environmental Activism””

Irangani Serasinghe needs no introduction in this country. She is convinced that as for the destruction of our environment politicians have to take the blame. She says, “The worst ar e the politicians. We have to protect our trees and environment mostly from them”, said Irangani Serasinghe. At 90, yet agile and full of vigour, she has fought man a battle, tooth and nail, on the environment front for decades.

On June 3, she chaired the seminar under the theme, “Destruction of central hills – Death of future of the country” held at Mahaweli Center in Colombo where I was one of the speakers. The seminar brought to light the environmental destruction and misery brought to the lives of the people in Welimada plain by the ongoing Uma Oya multipurpose development project. There she told me she would be 90 in a few days. On June 9 Irangani celebrated her 90th birthday. Continue reading

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Recovering Lionel Wendt’s Virtuosity

Manel Fonseka, in The Sunday Times, 18 June 2017, where the title runs “Lionel Wendt: Recovery and dispersal””

When I first wrote about Lionel Wendt in 1994, the person and the artist seemed to be almost forgotten. Few visitors to the popular theatre and art gallery that bear his name had any idea who he was or were even curious about him. He had become like a personality behind a well-worn street name, familiar but unknown. It was as if he had disappeared along with his house, ‘Alborada’ (‘morning-song’ in Spanish) when the latter was demolished in 1950 for the present Wendt Memorial complex.

Adventure in Space, n.d, Courtesy LWMF

His memory was retained almost solely perhaps by those who possessed a copy of that beautiful book Lionel Wendt’s Ceylon. Underwritten by his friend Harold Peiris and published by Lincoln-Prager, London in 1950 for the Lionel Wendt Memorial Fund (LWMF) it has now become a collector’s item. It was planned when Wendt’s younger brother Harry Wendt was still alive, and was to be the first of three volumes of photographs. Five thousand copies were published. However, the book did not sell easily and subsequent volumes were abandoned.

The search for Wendt
My own search for Lionel Wendt came about quite by accident. In 1993 I began to work on an article in connection with the 50th anniversary (August 29, 1993) of the founding of the `43 Group in Lionel Wendt’s house. It struck me that outside the Sapumal Foundation there was no sizeable (or publicly accessible) collection of the work of these artists. My husband had told me how much his own interest in modern art was inspired and influenced during his schooldays by the paintings that used to hang in the foyer of the Wendt theatre. But I had never seen them – or, at least, noticed them. They were part of an impressive collection built up by Lionel Wendt, left to his brother Harry and then to Harold Peiris, who gave it to the Fund. A passing reference in Neville Weereratne’s book (The `43 Group: A Chronicle of Fifty Years in the Art of Sri Lanka, 1993) to the decision in 1963 to sell these paintings, put paid to my article by launching me on a journey to discover the ‘lost’ collection instead. Continue reading

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Royal College ……. Ehema Thammai !!

ALSO SEE hHugh Karunanayake: How Royal helped spawn S. Thomas College,”  18 Aoril 2016, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2016/04/18/how-royal-helped-spawn-s-thomas-college/

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June 20, 2017 · 11:33 am

From Mountain Village to Neurologist in Melbourne

Tissa Wijeratne, … https://worldneurologyonline.com/article/the-journey-of-one-neurologist-from-sri-lanka-to-melbourne/#disqus_thread … where the title is “The Journey of One Neurologist from Sri Lanka to Melbourne”

Born and raised in what I describe as “the jungle,” my life started in one of the remotest parts of Sri Lanka: a village called Kirioruwa-Bandarawela in the central mountainous area. Electricity, hot water, television, and telephone were all miles away from us at the time. I fondly recall days spent reading in the shade of a tree in the rice fields that surrounded my family home — the place where sky and earth met, almost kissing each other daily. The mountains were covered with a layer of lush tea bushes. Our home sat on the top of one of these mountains.

 Tissa Wijeratne, MD (right), with one of his mentors from his time as a student in Sri Lanka. Continue reading

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