The years 1966 to 1975 were heady days in Ceylon. Especially so for some of us in Peradeniya Univeristy where the CEYLON STUDIES SEMINAR was launched in November 1968 by a few members of the Arts Faculty assisted by the facilities provided by Professor Gananath Obeyesekera at the Sociology Department – located then on Lower Hantane Road away from the centre of teaching. Not least among these facilities was the service provided by the Sociology Department peon Sathiah[i] who cyclostyled the written seminar papers beforehand for circulation so that those who were keen could read any presentation beforehand if they so wished – a procedure that also maximized discussion time. This background service was seconded by the typing services of Mrs Hettiarachchi in the History Department and Mr Kumaraswamy in the Sociology Department.
A . Jeyaratnam Wilson Gananath Obeyesekera
Filed under accountability, British imperialism, caste issues, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, cultural transmission, disparagement, education, historical interpretation, language policies, Left politics, life stories, literary achievements, nationalism, parliamentary elections, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, teaching profession, unusual people
Chandra R De Silva, in Sri Lanka Journal of Social Sciences 41(1) 2018, pp 65-68, with highlighting emphasis being the Work of The Editor, Thuppahi
In one of the most challenging and thought-provoking history books published in Sri Lanka in the last decade, P. V. J. Jayasekera has used a wide variety of sources to challenge a number of existing interpretations relating to Sri Lanka under British colonial rule in the nineteenth century. While the book is based partly on his own doctoral dissertation completed in 1970, in Jayasekera’s own words “The scope and the foci of the original study have been substantially changed (p. ix)” in view of new theoretical approaches in the study of colonial history and the debates on history arising out of the recent ethnic conflict. Jayasekera has also carefully taken into account historical research on Sri Lanka published in the long period since he completed his dissertation. Readers should note that despite the title, Jayasekera has consciously avoided any attempt “to cover the confrontations of the Sri Lankan Tamil society with colonialism (p. xxvii)” and that, with the exception of brief references in the concluding section, information on Muslim-Buddhist relations will come to us only in the forthcoming second volume.
Filed under British colonialism, Buddhism, commoditification, cultural transmission, economic processes, governance, insurrections, island economy, language policies, law of armed conflict, legal issues, life stories, military strategy, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, transport and communications, welfare & philanthophy, working class conditions, world events & processes
Michael Roberts, courtesy of The Sunday Island 16 September 2018
Recently an anonymous hand writing as “A Dharmapala Devotee” presented a sarcastic opinion piece in the Island of the 5th September targeting myself, Gananath Obeyesekere and HL Seneviratne. My immediate response was short and rushed. This essay is a more considered set of comments.
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Writer S Karunakaran reflects on Black July from the perspective of a marginalised and often forgotten community – the Malaiyagha Tamils – and specifically those who tried to resettle in the North…
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Sandun A Jayasekera in Daily Mirror, 25 July 2017, where the title runs “New Constitution for Sri Lanka : ten experts working on initial draft of Constitution”
The Constitution making process is in limbo right now and the ‘Yahapalana Government’ seems quite content with the passing of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. Attempts to introduce a new Constitution has come under much criticism by many in the country. The Daily Mirror spoke to the main architect of the drafting of a new Constitution for Sri Lanka, Parliamentarian and Constitutional expert Dr. Jayampathi Wickramarathna on the issue. Continue reading
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CA Chandraprema, in The Island, 25 July 2018, where the title is“The nature of the State and the Presidency” … with emphasis added by The Editor, Thuppahi
The new draft constitution prepared by a panel of experts, for the consideration of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly is now out. The panel of experts who prepared this draft comprised the following: Prof. Suri Ratnapala, N. Selvakkumaran, Prof. Navaratna Bandara, Asoka Gunawardena, Suren Fernando and Niran Anketell. Proposed Article 1 of the draft constitution describes the Sri Lankan state as follows: “Sri Lanka (Ceylon) is a free, sovereign and independent Republic which is an aekiya rajyaya/ orumiththa nadu, consisting of the institutions of the Centre and of the Provinces which shall exercise power as laid down in the Constitution. In this Article aekiya rajyaya // orumiththa nadu means a State which is undivided and indivisible, and in which the power to amend the Constitution, or to repeal and replace the Constitution, shall remain with the Legislature and the People of Sri Lanka as provided in this Constitution.”
Filed under accountability, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, devolution, electoral structures, ethnicity, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, language policies, legal issues, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, security, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, TNA, world events & processes