Since I had been introduced to the British peer Lord Michael Naseby in the surrounds of the House of Lords in March 2018, I assumed that he had been born into the aristocratic upper layer of British society. Wrong. It required his book Sri Lanka for me to learn that he was from the upper middle class and had contested parliamentary seats from the late-960s on behalf of the Conservative Party in what were Labour strongholds – with his peerage being of 1990s vintage. As vitally, his early career as a marketing executive had seen him working in Pakistan and Bengal in the early 1960s before he was stationed in Sri Lanka as a marketing manager for Reckitt and Colman in the period 1963-64.
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Jonathon Riley, reviewing Michael Naseby: Sri Lanka. Paradise Lost. Paradise Regained, 2020, London, Unicorn
Sri Lanka, Ceylon – geographically so close to the Indian sub-continent and yet with a culture and history that has been for many centuries distinct. What a difference a few miles of water make – as we in England know well. I recall visiting Sri Lanka in 1993 and, on the anniversary of independence in 1948, and reading a leader in the newspaper that suggested maybe it would have been a good idea to have stayed with Britain a few years longer. A brave sentiment indeed and one which, after more than twenty years, makes much more sense having read Michael Naseby’s book.
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Jeremy De Lima, in The Ceylankan Number 1 of February 2020, Journal 89 Volume XXIII…… Bhāratha’s, பரதர், භාරත
United Nations Map – (Common source material)
India and Sri Lanka are geographically very near, but yet so far in culture, civilisation and genetic diversity. As depicted in the map above, the sub-oceanic existence of the hitherto mystical “Adams Bridge” between Dhanushkodi in India and Talaimannar in Sri Lanka has now been conclusively shown to exist through aerial mapping. It is thus reasonable to conclude that natural movement would have occurred between India and Sri Lanka over the aeons. While there is much documented history about Sinhalese and Tamils, there appears to be a relative dearth of public knowledge of a smaller migrant race called the Bhāratha’s. The writer hopes this compilation will improve the knowledge of this now vanishing group who have unobtrusively and yet so selflessly contributed so much to the history of this Island nation.
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