Category Archives: landscape wondrous

Gota’s Assets placed in the Present Political Context

H. L. D. Mahindapala, in Colombo Telegraph, January 2020, where the title is

Any critical assessment of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa must take into consideration the salient characteristics that make him stand out from the run-of-the-mill politicians who had occupied the peaks of power.

The first notable characteristic is that he is the first head of state to come from the Sri Lankan diaspora. Initially it was a disadvantage tangled in legalities of citizenship. Later it smoothened out and has been an invaluable asset to him. His existential experiences as an expat in America had widened his horizons and opened up new vistas in his thinking and strategizing. He has acted so far as a leader who had seen the future and is bent on taking the nation in that direction. It has all the signs of being influenced by the American efficiency in delivering goods and services. The new breed of intellectuals he had recruited to run his state indicates clearly that he is in a hurry to modernise the sluggish nation and usher it into the 21st century. His first-hand knowledge of an advanced nation would hasten him to mix tradition with modernity without deracinating the nation – a critical issue in modernising Afro-Asian countries.

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Filed under american imperialism, communal relations, economic processes, electoral structures, foreign policy, governance, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, Presidential elections, Rajapaksa regime, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, unusual people, world events & processes

Sri Lanka enters CNN List of Best Travel Destinations for 2020


The South Asian island nation of Sri Lanka is as ancient as it is beautiful; as complex a civilization now as at any time in its 2,000-year history. Despite recent tumult (the horrific terror attacks last Easter), Sri Lanka remains an essential destination, an epicenter of history, with relics and ruins, temples and palaces, wildlife running free.

The ancient city of Polonnaruwa, which was Sri Lanka's capital in the 12th century is a UNESCO Heritage site.

The ancient city of Polonnaruwa, which was Sri Lanka’s capital in the 12th century is a UNESCO Heritage site…. Jorge Fernández/LightRocket/Getty Images

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Filed under art & allure bewitching, landscape wondrous, world events & processes

Striking Shapes …. Curious ‘Arrangements’

God’s Willing Palm

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Filed under heritage, landscape wondrous

A Roaring Fire ravages the Southern Ocean Lodge and a Good Part of Kangaroo Island

Roy Ecclestone, in SAWeekend, 17 January 2020, ….”Trapped in a bunker and hoping for a miracle: The destruction of Southern Ocean Lodge” ……..

It was after the firestorm swept over Southern Ocean Lodge for the fourth time that one of the staff decided it was time to leave the concrete bunker beneath the world-renowned Kanga roo Island hotel.“We can go out now,” the man said, sure the danger must finally have passed. But John Hird, the lodge’s general manager, was having none of it. “No, no – you’re staying for two hours,” he insisted, sticking to their fire plan. And just then, the inferno struck again.

Southern Ocean Lodge before the fire.

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In Appreciative Memory of Karen Roberts, 1965-2018

Michael Roberts

It has been something of a shock for me to discover that the Sri Lankan authoress Karen Roberts[1] had passed away in USA in 2018 while only in her middle-aged fifties (about the same age as my daughters). What a tragedy!

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Filed under art & allure bewitching, communal relations, cultural transmission, education, female empowerment, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, literary achievements, Muslims in Lanka, politIcal discourse, riots and pogroms, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, trauma, unusual people, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes

The Wat Buddha Dhamma Monastery survives the Bush Fire in New South Wales

Courtesy of Gerald Wimalasena & Palitha Manchanayake

The Wat  Dhamma Buddha Monastery s located at Wiseman’s Ferry in New South Wales where the bush fires raged recently.

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Filed under heritage, landscape wondrous, life stories, the imaginary and the real, world events & processes

The Medium of Learning in Sri Lanka for Sri Lanka: Journeys

Wilfrid Jayasuriya, in Daily Mirror Epaper, 18 January 2020, where the title is “English as the medium of modern education”

We are glad that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa hit the nail on the head about the meaning of education. Not a promising opening sentence? I do not wish to get into a harangue on education but just want to say there is an alternative to the education modus operandi which we practise by and large for more than a century. That alternative is the United States’ system as opposed to the British colonial model which was the foundation of our lay education for the last two centuries. Suffice to say that in my own family history, my maternal grandfather was a postmaster who worked in the English medium and my paternal grandfather was a school teacher who practised in Sinhala and English media. My father passed the Senior School Certificate in both English and Sinhala media and my mother passed the Junior School Certificate in English medium. I have both certificate documents and they are signed by the Vice Chancellor of Cambridge University because education in Ceylon had been allocated to Cambridge University!

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Filed under accountability, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, education, education policy, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, language policies, life stories, literary achievements, performance, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, world events & processes