Category Archives: landscape wondrous

Dharmapāla’s Seminal Moment at Buddha Gāya in 1891: An Anagārika for the Universe

 Michael Roberts, courtesy of  The Island and Sunday Times and with thanks to Sasanka Perera & Steve Kemper

Sasanka Perera has recently introduced readers to a new book by Steven Kemper entitled Rescuing Dharmapala from the Nation (University of Chicago Press, 2015) – a book which surveys the socio-political activities of the Anagarika Dharmapala in a refreshing manner. I have yet to get hold of the book, but Sasanka provides enough commentary to provoke a discussion.

 Dharmapala in USA –probably at the World Congress of Religions 1893

Within a context where Dharmapala aka Don David Hewavitarne is regarded as an influential Sinhala Buddhist chauvinist by many social scientists analysing Sri Lankan history and politics, Perera indicates that Kemper provides broader dimensions by re-situating Dharmapala “within the Buddhist world of his time by … focusing on his international activities in aid of Buddhist causes and cross-faith discussions.” Kemper’s new work, therefore, is a modification of the Protestant Buddhist thesis popularized in social science circles by Gananath Obeyesekere’s writings in particular. Continue reading

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Remarkable Compositions, Natural and Man-made

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Hidden Treasures

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Lakemba Sydney is “No-Go” Area for White Aussies

Watch “Thrown Out Of Sydney No Go Zone” on YouTube

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/16543248573c5861?projector=1

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Hardy Women: Yesterday’s Africans in Today’s Lanka

African sisters in Sri Lanka

On the road to Sirambiyadi

On the road to Sirambiyadi

In every culture family is an important element of human life. For centuries Ceylon had been a maritime domain for foreign traders, defiant conquerors and zealous missionaries. All these foreigners left behind their ancestors, who with time, integrated into our society. There were many nationalities who lived here in those ancient times – Arabs, Europeans, Indians and Africans. Much focus has been given to the various ethnic clans, but, people of African origin domiciled here were marginalised. Once in a while, these African-Sri Lankans would capture our attention via a youtube song video. One of the last such families of direct African origin live in Puttalam. The name Puttalam, is believed to be derived from the Tamil word “upputhalam” – uppu meaning salt and thalam meaning area of production, thus Puttalam is still famous for salt.

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Chinese Alibaba to retail Sri Lankan Tourist Potential in China

Editor, NEWS-in-Asia, 13 August 2018, whose title is Sri Lanka to ink agreement with China’s Alibaba to attract more tourists

Colombo, Aug 14 (newsin.asia) – The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) will ink an agreement with Alibaba’s travel arm, Fliggy, to bring down 1,000 travelers weekly to Sri Lanka in order to expand the island’s growing tourism sector, Daily FT quoted Tourism Minister John Amaratunga on Tuesday.

high jinks at Bentota beach

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Vorsicht! Looking for a Hitler in Sri Lanka Today

Tisaranee Gunasekara, in Sunday Observer, 12 August 2018, where the title is “On Doctors and Kings. An authoritarian wind is sweeping across Sri Lanka”

The current yearning for the heavy hand of a strong leader is in tune with the Zeitgeist. Across the globe, people, disillusioned with democracy, are opening their ears to the siren song of authoritarianism. As Barrack Obama pointed out in his Mandela Centenary Lecture, “We now stand at a crossroads – a moment in time at which two very different versions of humanity’s future compete for the hearts and minds of citizens around the world.”

In Sri Lanka, the less immoderate, less illiberal government is in a state of semi-paralysis. The extremist and anti-democratic opposition is surging ahead. The myth that democracy is part of ‘The Problem’ (or even ‘The Problem’) rather than the least bad form of governance is ascendant. If democracy is the problem, then the solution, by definition has to be anti-democratic. This is the dangerous place to which Sri Lanka is careening. Continue reading

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