Category Archives: Indian traditions

Anagarika Dharmapala in Ceylon and the World: Missing Dimensions highlighted by Kemper

Sasanka Perera, in The Island, 8 August 2018, where the title is “Rescuing Dharmapala from the ‘Nation’,” …. with emphasis via highlighting in this version being an imposition by The Editor, Thuppahi

I was intrigued to see the worlds of knowledge of the past that were opened up when reading Steven Kemper’s 2015 book, ‘Rescued from the Nation: Anagarika Dharmapala and the Buddhist World’ published by the University of Chicago Press. Growing up Sinhala Buddhist in Sri Lanka, Anagarika Dharmapala (1864-1933) would easily be one of the most important historical characters from the recent past, we had become familiar with early in our lives. This was certainly so for my generation. As we know from that experience, Dharmapala was closely and intimately linked to the country’s Buddhist revivalism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Precisely due to this reason, he was the most iconic culture hero of the Sinhala Buddhists in the modern period.

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Profound Flaws in Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Victory Speech in May, 2009

Michael Roberts

 This article was penned in Sri Lanka in late May 2009 on invitation from Muralidhar Reddy and appeared in FRONTLINE as lead article on Volume 26 – Issue 12 :: Jun. 06-19, 2009  with the title “Some Pillars for Lanka’s Future” and with a significant guideline photograph of the Ceylonese gentleman of varied ethnicity who pressed for constitutional reform in the 1900s and 1910son the foundations of all island thinking – albeit with an elitist upper-class bias. Note the radical proposal at the end of the article –which has  died without any takers …so there is no thinking outside the box.

Frontline also inserted this comment at the start: “Rajapaksa should match his sweet words with political reforms that institutionalise devolution and reach out to Tamil minds.”

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Understanding Military Organisation via the Sinhala War Poems – the Hatana Kaavya

Cenan Pirani: Widening the study of military organization in the early modern South Asian context: an examination of the Sinhala Hatana Kavya”, in South Asian History & Culture, Vol9/2, April 2018, pp. 207-24.

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Remembrance in May: Poignant Memories

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GK Haththotuwagama and His Riveting Street Theatre

Extracts from the Dr. Gamini Haththotuwegama Memorial Lecture delivered by Nihal Rajapakse at OPA Auditorium on the invitation of Richmond 60-70 Group.

Wikipedia describes Dr. Gamini Haththotuwegama in the following manner. “He was a Sri Lankan playwright, director, actor, critic and educator. He is widely known as the father of modern street theatre. He is among the most influential directors of post independent Sri Lanka.”

 Dr. Gamini Haththotuwegama … GK to us Galileans and to the occupants of Ramanathan Hall at Peradeniya in the late 1950s

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School Links across Palk Strait. Lawrence Colleges

Editor NewsIn Asia, 12 May 2018 where the title is Indian High Commissioner helps Indian and Sri Lankan schools forge links”

Colombo, May 12 (newsin.asia): In a path-breaking initiative, the Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, has launched a program to help Indian and Sri Lankan schools forge links with each other so that people to people relations between India and Sri Lanka are established at a young and impressionable  age.Late last month, the High Commission of India facilitated a Youth Exchange Program for students of two famous schools,  The Lawrence School, Sanawar, India (established in 1847) and Royal College in Colombo (established in 1835).

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KM de Silva’s Short History of Lanka reviewed critically by Charles Sarvan

Charles Sarvan aka Ponnadurai, in Colombo Telegraphreviewing K. M de Silva’s The Island Story: A Short History of Sri Lanka, International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Kandy, Sri Lanka, 2017

EPIGRAPH: “Sri Lanka in the first few centuries after the early settlement was a multi-racial, multi-ethnic society: a conception which emphasises harmony and a spirit of live and let live” (K. M. de Silva, op. cit., page 13)

It’s said that fools rush in where the wise fear even to walk. I tiptoe hesitantly, conscious that I am no historian (my discipline was Literature) while the author is perhaps the most eminent of Sri Lankan historians writing in English. The hope is that what I write will be taken as a layman’s perspective and contribution to discussion. Continue reading

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