Category Archives: literary achievements

Vibrant Lifeways in Sri Lanka via Its Literary Figures and Places

Uma Mahadevan Dasgupta  in The Hindu, 8 December 2018,  where the title is “In Sri Lanka, Life imitates Art”

As we travel through Sri Lanka, its strong literary voices come crashing in like waves, and life seems to imitate art

I sit in the huge living room of the old governor’s home in Jaffna. The walls, painted… a warm rose-red, stretch awesome distances away to my left, to my right and up towards a white ceiling. When the Dutch first built this house egg white was used to paint the walls. The doors are twenty feet high, as if awaiting the day when a family of acrobats will walk from room to room, sideways, without dismantling themselves from each other’s shoulders. —Running in the Family, Michael Ondaatje

 Hectic colours: Second Cross Street Pettah 

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How Sri Lanka missed the Chinese Path to the Cutting-Edge in Today’s World

G. Usvatte-aratchi, Sunday Island, 2 December 2018, where the title is “Sinhala and Tamil as languages of instruction and administration”

There have been several letters to the Editor in The Island, on these themes. I want to correct some mistakes that recurred in these interventions and present a perspective that has not been presented so far.

Solomon Bandaranaike had little to do with the language of instruction in school. The credit goes to J.R. Jayewardene and V. Nallliah who moved a resolution in the State Council in 1943 that the language of instruction in schools shall be Sinhala and Tamil. The resolution was carried. I read somewhere that the moving spirit for the initiative came from Jayantha Weerasekera, who was an official in the Sinhala Maha Sabha, of which at that time Jayewardene was a (the?) leader. Jayantha Weeraekere was a close friend and collaborator of Kumaratunga Munidasa, a powerful voice for Sinhala language. The Resolution was not acted upon until January in 1947.

  Jayantha Weerasekera  CWW Kannagara

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Vale an Extraordinary Tamil Scholar: Mahadevan decoded the Indus Valley and Brahmi Scripts

EDITOR, News-in-Asia, 26 November 2018where the title is as follows: “Eminent epigraphist Iravatham Mahadevan who deciphered Indus Valley and Tamil Brahmi inscriptions passes away”

Renowned epigraphist Iravatham Mahadevan, who passed away early Monday, was instrumental in reviving interest in Sangam literature, said R. Nagaswamy, veteran archaeologist. Recalling Mahadevan’s contributions, Dr. Nagaswamy said the epigraphist’s reading of Tamil Brahmi inscriptions in Pugalur near Karur had shown that there were three successive generations of Chera kings of the Sangam era, and this had re-kindled interest in the Sangam literature.

Pic by T.Ramakrishnan/The Hindu

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A Gathering of Scholars in Felicitation of Eric Richards with a New Book iin January 2017

Flindersblog: “Historians pay tribute to Eric Richards”

A new book Emigrants and Historians (Wakefield Press) has been published in honour of Flinders historian Emeritus Professor Eric Richards. The book launch is part of an international symposium focusing on Australian-UK migration being hosted this week by the School of History and International Relations. This week’s First Eric Richards Symposium in British and Australasian History in fact follows the 2015 International Seminar in Honour of Professor Richards.

Presentations from the earlier seminar have been published in the new book, entitled Emigrants and Historians – Essays in Honour of Eric Richards (Wakefield Press), to be launched at the symposium at Flinders, Victoria Square today.

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Amunugama’s Chameleon Faces and Phrases

Sarath De Alwis, in Daily FT, 13 November 2018, where the chosen title is Untruth is the crisis” …. with highlighting being the hand of The Editor, Thuppahi

Political language, said George Orwell, is designed to make lies sound truthful, murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. 

Dr. Sarath Amunugama is the subject of this essay. In addition to his current incarnation of a politician, he is an erudite scholar, a socio anthropologist of repute. His incisive mind’ has few rivals in the parliament that stands dissolved.  I last met him on 30 November 2015 when he joined Professor Gananatha Obeysekera in celebrating the life and work of Dr. Stanley Thambiah in a panel discussion at the International Centre for Ethnic Studies.  Dr. Amunugama paid a touching tribute to the author who made the penetrative survey of political Buddhism published under the rhetorical title ‘Buddhism betrayed?’
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Game, Set and Eric: Professor Eric Richards, August 1940 – September 2018

Memories of Eric from the Tennis Academia

 ERIC watching the Socceroos at Adelaide Oval

RON SLEE: Eric Richards,  Renaissance man

My first and last encounters with Eric were on a court.  40 years ago at Flinders University, we played squash at lunch time.  Four weeks ago, we played tennis at Eden Hills on Saturday afternoon, just up the road from that Flinders squash court.  Sport kept bringing us together over those four decades.  We enjoyed different sports, but tennis was the enduring one.  Continue reading

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Galle Literary Festival 2019: The Stars

Sunday Times, 26 October 2018:  “Fairway Galle Literary Festival 2019 : Attending Authors Revealed”

The Fairway Galle Literary Festival is set to take place from January 16- 20, 2019. This marks the tenth anniversary of The Festival,  establishing itself as a much anticipated and highly acclaimed fixture on the South-East Asian cultural calendar. The list of attending authors was revealed yesterday at a media briefing. The author briefs are given below

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