Category Archives: heritage

Ramsay Centre’s Multi-Million Dollar Imperial Incursion into ANU Rejected

Robert Bolton, courtesy of Financial Review, 15 June 2018, where the title is Why the ANU vice-chancellor Brian Schmidt rejected the Ramsay Centre’s millions” … with highlighting being the imposition of The Editor, Thuppahi

At Tuesday’s meeting of Sydney University’s academic board vice-chancellor Michael Spence took the unusual step of requesting that a discussion about the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation be cut from the minutes. According to the student newspaper Honi Soit Dr Spence explained to those in the room, “there are some cultural warriors on the Ramsay Centre Board”.

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Gregory Peck: Peyaawa for Peck from His Pal Victor

Victor Melder, whose preferred title is “The Truth about Gregory Peck and Peyawa”

In 1953 my father, Randolph (Rando) Melder, was stationed as Driver, CGR in Kadugannawa. We occupied a ‘Railway Bungalow’, besides the rail tracks bordering the Kadugannawa – Pothupitiya Road. A rail gate was situated by our home too. In early 1954 the movie “Purple Plain” was on location in Sri Lanka and much of the filming was done at Kadugannawa, at the outskirts of the town, on the Colombo- Kandy Road (Peradeniya end). An entire Burmese village was recreated in an area of a fallow paddy field. It was fascinating watching the village come up, with the local villagers supply plants, timber etc, all for a fee.

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Protecting Sri Lankan Rights: The Modern Saga of Shipwreck “Avondster”

Somasiri Devendra, in Island, 13 June 2018, where the title is “Under the Waters of Galle:  A Prelude to the “Avondster’ Project”

The curtain rises: One morning in 2002 I received a call from the Additional Director General, Central Cultural Fund (CCF), Mr. H. D. S. Hettipathirana, to discuss a glitch in the Avondster project which was due to get off the ground. I was, then, wearing several hats: Consultant (to the CCF) and Special Advisor (to the Director-General, Archaeology) on Maritime Archaeology; and member of the Advisory Committee to the Ministry. I was also a member of ICUCH (the ICOMOS International Committee on the Underwater Cultural Heritage) and had been involved in the formulation of both the ICOMOS Charter and the UNESCO International Convention on the Underwater Cultural Heritage. Neither I – nor anyone else in the country – had had any maritime archaeological training: I was the proverbial one-eyed man in the kingdom of the blind! But, in all these honorary positions I strove to balance national and international interests.

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Dinesh and Mother Charity: Boundless Kindness

Elmo Jayawardena,in Daily News, 1 June 2018, where the title is “Kindness t Its best”

Recently I stopped at a traffic light. A father and son walked on the pedestrian crossing. The father was holding the autistic boy’s hand, guiding him to the opposite pavement.

Probably, that is what he is doing from the time the child was born to the day the father dies. Such is the perpetual responsibility of a parent who raises an autistic child.

Dinesh Fernando is 31 years old and does not even have a bicycle to call his own. Continue reading

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June 11, 2018 · 5:32 pm

Tributes for Sir Desmond de Silva

PRESS RELEASE from The RESIDUAL COURT, The Hague, 5 June 2018 ….  Residual Special Court Remembers Former Prosecutor Sir Desmond de Silva, QC

The Residual Special Court has learned with sadness of the death of former Special Court Prosecutor Sir Desmond de Silva, QC, who passed away on Saturday in the UK. Desmond was the first Deputy Prosecutor at the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

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KM de Silva looks back on His Life and Times

Chandani Kirinde, in Sunday Times, 27 August 2017, where the title is “A Historian Looks Back”

Kingsley  Muthumuni De Silva’s fascination with history began at the tender age of ten, when, on a visit to Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, he first came face to face with the country’s great classical civilization. The colossal architectural and engineering feats of the island nation’s forefathers left a lasting impression in his young mind. Years later as he travelled the world having established himself as a leading historian, K.M. De Silva discovered that the building techniques adopted by the Lankan builders of yore were far ahead of anything he saw in many countries in the west.

K.M. De Silva: Still writing at 85. Px by Indika Handuwala

“After my first view of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, I came back thinking what a lot these people have done. In the unique architectural styles seen in the Brazen Palace to the moonstone slabs, there is something quite remarkable about the imagination of the people who created them,” said De Silva.

While seeing this living laboratory of the country’s history set in motion his lifelong passion for the subject, there were several of his teachers both at his alma mater Kingwood College, Kandy and the University of Colombo, Peradeniya who helped hone his skill as a historian.

In his recently released memoir aptly named, “The making of a historian, K.M. De Silva gives a glimpse of his teachers who helped develop his love of history and guided him. Among them were Sydney Perera and Ainsley Samarajiva, two of his teachers in the upper classes at Kingswood, the former a stimulating geography teacher, the latter “who took teaching of history to a much higher level than it had been so far in school.”

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Ernest Renan as Pathway to National Reconciliation in Australia

Stan Grant, ABC News, 31 May 2018, with title  Äboriginal reconciliation and what we can learn from a French philosopher”

What can a French historian and philosopher tell us about reconciliation between black and white in Australia? More than a century ago, when in Australia it was still widely presumed that Aboriginal people were a dying race, Ernest Renan was grappling with the question, what is a nation? It remains one of the most profound and powerful statements of identity, written in 1882 in the shadows of the French Revolution.


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