Category Archives: life stories

Here, There and Almost Everywhere! Jaraa in Sri Lanka

frances-fFrances Ferdinands, in Sunday Island, 19 February 2017, where the authors’s chosen title is “Becuase I Care”

As a Sri-Lankan born Canadian Artist, I have had the privilege of spending time here in Sri Lanka within the last two years. From January – March 2015 I was here on a Canadian Government sponsored project geared towards exploring my artistic heritage and incorporating this experience into my own art practice. I was mentored in the traditional arts and crafts of Temple painting, and Beeralu Lacemaking. I recently returned in early January of this year to study the traditional craft of mask making. Continue reading

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Filed under accountability, cultural transmission, economic processes, governance, life stories, meditations, patriotism, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, transport and communications, travelogue, unusual people

James Taylor and the Ceylon Tea Industry

Ceylon Tea Board on the occasion when the James Taylor Monument wa sunveiled n 29th January 2017

The commercial cultivation of tea in Ceylon, as Sri Lanka was then known, is acknowledged to have commenced in 1867 at Loolecondera Estate, Hewaheta, in the Kandy District, by an enterprising young agriculturalist, James Taylor, a redoubtable Scotsman, of which extraction were most of the  pioneers of the Industry.

james-taylor Taylor in the 1870s

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Taylor, the son of Michael Taylor and Margaret Moir, was born on March 29, 1835, in a cottage called “Moss Park” on the Monbodde Estate, near Laurencekirk in Kincardineshire. On being recruited as a Coffee Planter on Narenghena Estate, he arrived in Ceylon on February 20, 1852. Following a brief posting there, he was transferred to Loolecondera Estate, where he spent the rest of his life and eventually expired on May 2, 1892, at the age of 57 years, of dysentery, while still in service. Continue reading

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Filed under commoditification, historical interpretation, island economy, life stories, modernity & modernization, performance, sri lankan society, unusual people, world events & processes

The Failure of the Coup in Turkey: Erdogan and Russia

Nikolai Starikov,** translated by Julia Rakhmetova, –original title = “Why Russia Revealed Coup Plans to Erdogan”  ….. sent to me by a seasoned analyst with the comment: “A strongly Russocentric point of view … that has to be taken into account since it seems to be a fact that Russia did help Erdogan”

Traditionally, they have been conducted by the military, which modern Turkey’s founder Kemal Ataturk designated as the guardians of secularism, stability and integrity. Since WWII, there were military coups in 1960, 1971, 1980 and 1997, and the US was behind EVERY one. During the first coup in 1960, they tried to prevent a rapprochement with the USSR, turning off credit, and Turkish Prime Minister Adnan Menderes planned to visit Moscow to set up an alternative source of crediting and economic assistance. The military took over, and the politicians who wanted to repair relations with Russia were removed.

11erdogan-and-coup-cnnErdogan speaking–CN

ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH - People react as bodies draped in Turkish flags are seen on the ground during an attempted coup in Ankara, Turkey July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. TURKEY OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN TURKEY. TEMPLATE OUT

People react as bodies draped in Turkish flags are seen on the ground during an attempted coup in Ankara, Turkey July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer 

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Filed under accountability, american imperialism, governance, historical interpretation, legal issues, life stories, politIcal discourse, power politics, world affairs, world events & processes

Rear View? or Side View? Cast Your Vote!

aarear-view

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February 16, 2017 · 10:21 am

Muddles in the Present Kingdom of Lanka

Rajan Philips, in Sunday Island, 12 February 2017, where the title is Constitutional Tensions and Mixed Messages”
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When it seemed that there was nothing left and it was all over insofar as the government’s commitment to constitutional changes was concerned, there were new developments last week that are pleasantly surprising and politically reassuring. The first sign of hope emanated from a meeting President Sirisena had last Wednesday (February 8) with representatives of about 50 civil society organizations at the Presidential Secretariat. The second sign of optimism came from the appearance of External Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera at the Foreign Correspondents Association gathering on Tuesday night. A third pat on the back for the constitutional initiative came from former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, but she characteristically made it controversial by compounding it with her opinion on war crimes investigation. Continue reading

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Filed under accountability, communal relations, constitutional amendments, devolution, governance, human rights, life stories, politIcal discourse, power politics, power sharing, propaganda, reconciliation, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, social justice, sri lankan society

Bridging Lanka I: Sustaining Mannar’s Kulams

BRIDGING LANKA is a multi-faceted programme initiated by the Sri Lankan Austrailan Jeremy Liyanage and friends from circa 2009(?) to assist the social welfare of all the peoples in Mannar island and its adjoining hinterland. I was an observer at a town planning jam-session way back around 2011(?) and have been in touch with Liyanage ver since. Thuppahi is delighted to feature the several social service paths that BRIDGING LANKA is pursuing in the locality.

Protecting and Rehabilitating Mannar’s Kulams (ponds)

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Our aim: This project aims to rehabilitate Periyakamam Kulam as a ‘demonstration kulam’ so that authorities and residents alike will be inspired to value, protect and rehabilitate other kulams in Mannar. The sharp decrease in the number of kulams caused by severe encroachment has led to worsening annual flooding in the urban area, resulting in much human displacement and misery.

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Filed under heritage, legal issues, life stories, modernity & modernization, patriotism, performance, plural society, reconciliation, rehabilitation, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, social justice, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, unusual people, voluntary workers, welfare & philanthophy, world affairs

Thomas Meaney, A Review Article, courtesy of the Author and the London Review of Books,… with emphasis by highlights added by The Editor, Thuppahi … SEE www.lrb.co.uk

prabha-with-pistol-2   prabha-tiger

Rescued from the Nation: Anagarika Dharmapala and the Buddhist World by Steven Kemper, Chicago, 480 pp, £31.50, January 2015, ISBN 978 0 226 19907

Tamil: A Biography by David Shulman, Harvard, 416 pp, £25.00, September 2016, ISBN 978 0 674 05992 4

The Seasons of Trouble: Life amid the Ruins of Sri Lanka’s Civil War by Rohini Mohan, Verso, 368 pp, £16.99, October 2015, ISBN 978 1 78168 883 0

Independence was handed to Ceylon’s elite on a platter. ‘Think of Ceylon as a little bit of England,’ Oliver Ernest Goonetilleke, the first native governor-general, said. This was a point of pride. Don Stephen Senanayake, the country’s first prime minister, remarked: ‘There has been no rebellion in Ceylon, no non-cooperation movement and no fifth column. We were among the peoples who gave full collaboration while Britain was hard-pressed.’ After independence in 1948, Ceylon alone among the former colonies not only retained but promoted the monarchy: the Union Jack flew alongside the Ceylon flag; a new constitution was drafted by a former LSE professor, Ivor Jennings; Colombo debutantes were presented at Buckingham Palace; and, thanks to some genealogical ingenuity, George VI was recognised as the latest monarch in the ancient line of Kandyan kings. While the rest of the empire in Asia smouldered – in India there was Partition, in Malaya the Emergency, in Burma the civil war – Ceylon became Whitehall’s model for the transfer of colonial power. ‘There was no fight for that freedom which involved a fight for principles, policies and programmes,’ Solomon Ridgeway Bandaranaike, the anti-colonial head of state who took power in 1956, said when he reviewed the transition a decade later. ‘It just came overnight. We just woke up one day and were told: “You are a dominion now.”[1] Continue reading

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February 10, 2017 · 1:03 pm