Mal Chenu in Sunday Mail, 15 April 2018 ….. where the title runs “Why Aussies love Sri Lanka Right Now”
Venetian adventurer Marco Polo described Sri Lanka as “the finest island of its size in all the world”. Sure, that was in the 13th century and young Marco hadn’t seen Tasmania but the myriad wonders of this tropical nouveau-paradise are as varied and exotic as the scents in the spice gardens of Matale and Kegalle. In short, Sri Lanka is a potpourri of unpredictable pleasures. Once a flyover location, eschewed by travellers for years because of civil war, Sri Lanka is fast emerging from its travails, posting sharp rises in tourism since the 26-year conflict ended in 2009.
Sigiriya is a World Heritage site
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Susan Bayly in 1983, reviewing Caste Conflict and Elite Formation: The Rise of a Karava Elite in Sri Lanka, 1500-1931 by Michael Roberts Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1982.
The literature on the south Asian caste system is vast and contentious and the current war of words shows no sign of abating. This book conforms to current trends both in focusing on the experience of a single caste group under colonial rule, and also in adopting a polemical tone towards other historians. Roberts’ subject is the Karava population of Sri Lanka and his first aim is to explain why this group of poor fishermen and artisans managed to throw up a disproportionately large elite of businessmen, lawyers and other western-educated professional men by the end of the nineteenth-century. The discussion is set against the background of works on comparable Asian business communities such as the Marwaris and Parsis. An important theme, then, is the relationship between individual enterprise and the corporate structure of caste: did the Karava magnate class emerge because of, or in spite of, their roots in a hierarchical caste order? Continue reading
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Michael Safi in Hambantota and Amantha Perera, in The Guardian, 26 March 2018, with this title “The biggest game changer in 100 years’: Chinese money gushes into Sri Lanka,” … with highlights being the imposition of The Editor, Thuppahi
Little disturbs the serenity of Guan Yin, the bodhisattva of compassion, as her statue sits in contemplation at the centre of Mattala Rajapaksa international airport. The last flight from the airport departed at 7.50am. The next is scheduled for 7.50am tomorrow. In the meantime, check-in counters are empty, car rental desks deserted, and the only sign of life a handful of staff laughing around an information desk who disperse when a visitor arrives.
Mattala Rakapaksa airport, built with Chinese loans, handles 50,000 passengers a year, a fraction of its capacity of 1 million. Photograph: Michael Safi
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Ian Botham, in Elanka.com where the title runs thus “Cricket legend Ian Botham takes his grandchildren to the island country with an enormous soul – By Ian Botham”
My initial impression of Sri Lanka? Hot………..I first visited in 1982 – when England played their first test match against Sri Lanka in Colombo. Then we went and played in Kandy, in the central province, and it has become one of my favourite places in the whole country. It’s home to the Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa) and is the most important spot for Sri Lanka’s Buddhist community.
A family favourite: Ian Botham has spent time with his grandchildren in Sri Lanka – and has long found Kandy (right), where the Temple of the Tooth Relic is an important Buddhist landmark – to be one of its greatest cities. Continue reading
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Regular readers of “The Island” newspaper over the twenty year period from the 1980’s will remember the almost weekly columns written by Dr. Mervyn D. De Silva, who was in those years a Deputy Director of the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs, followed by being appointed as the Director of the Ministry of Plan Implementation, and later becoming a Member of Parliament through the National List. His most profuse and provocative period was during the tenures of four Presidents from Mr. J. R. Jayawardene to Mrs. Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga. His writings covered a wide range of public and national concerns and took their cue from what the controversial American journalist I.F. Stone believed was the purpose of good journalism – “to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable”.
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