Category Archives: meditations

A Historical Exhibition in Mumbai that Challenges the Hindutva

   Vaishnavi Chandrashekhar, courtesy of  Christian Science Monitor, 17 November 2017, where the title runs Mumbai museum challenges Indians’ self image

In a dimly lit gallery at Mumbai’s premier museum, visitors admire a 17th-century cloth painting depicting characters from a Muslim court in south-central India. An Ottoman trader feeds a bird; a Central Asian merchant holds a Chinese vase; and in one corner, a yogi sitting cross-legged on a deer-skin contemplates a wondrous new object: a pineapple brought to India from the New World by the Portuguese. Such intriguing juxtapositions, unexpected stories, and global connections form the essence of an ambitious new exhibition that recounts India’s history and its engagement with the world through 200 objects. In doing so, it offers a counterpoint to rising intolerance and nationalism in India and elsewhere.


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Fr. Michael Rodrigo Assassinated in 1987: A Man serving People …. All People

Alex Perera, in Sunday Island, 12 November 2017, where the title is different: “Thirtieth Death Anniversary of Fr. Michael Rodrigo”

“I am a Catholic in my religion, but a Buddhist in my culture” Fr. Michael

Thirty years ago, on November 10, 1987, while Rev. Fr. Michael Rodrigo O.M.I was celebrating the Holy Eucharist, he was shot and killed at his small shelter in Alukalawita, Buttala. Continue reading

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Of Bonds and Boundaries via Biographical Moments

Wilfred Jayasuriya

Fortunately the priest was walking by the ward. He wore a black hat like a gentleman of my father’s vintage, when they wore such hats as a style when the British ruled us. He was also quite dark skinned like my father and had well chisselled features, a round chin, a proportionate nose and mouth—what my mother said about my father in spite of him being quite dark skinned that he was a handsome man. And this priest was well dressed in his white cassock and black waist band and he had a cross with Christ tucked in it. “Father,” I asked, “are you a Catholic priest? Can you come and see my friend? He is very ill. In this ward.” I pointed to the interior where the 12 o’ clock crowd had already filled the spaces between the beds.

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Filed under art & allure bewitching, British colonialism, caste issues, charitable outreach, cultural transmission, heritage, historical interpretation, Left politics, life stories, meditations, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, unusual people

Dr. John Scudder and the American Medical Mission in Jaffna

 D.C. Ambalavanar, courtesy of Tamilsangam, where the original title is “From New Jersey to Pandatherippu. Dr. John Scudder and the First Western Medical Centre in South Asia”

On October 18th [2017] a public function was held by the Church of the American Ceylon Mission in the village of Pandatherippu in Northern Sri Lanka. This was the final event of several held over the past year to celebrate and commemorate the arrival of the first American missionaries to Jaffna in October 1816. During this function which was attended by public officials, members of the medical profession and church members, a postage stamp and first day cover honouring Dr. John Scudder was officially released by the Sri Lankan Postal Department.

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Appreciating Iromie Wijewardena’s Artistic Universe

Darshanie Ratnawalli, in Island, 21 October 2017,  with title as “A long, beautiful woman carries a garland,”

An elongated woman, not as elongated as a fashion designer’s sketch, but in exactly the right proportion for visual grace sits on the floor at her ease. The gold colour of her jacket and cloth shimmers, almost blazes out, creating a pearlescent cloud of luminance, behind which the darkness of the room is a solid backdrop. Both the luminance and the golden colour have texture that leaps out of the canvass inviting touch. An invitation revoked by norms of polite society, which insists that touching is the exclusive province of ownership. And ownership will not change at any price. Iromie Wijewardena will never part with her ‘Artist Collection’ of which ‘After the performance’ just described is part. One can only admire from the safe confines of her art deco living room, while under a guest’s obligation to respect the host’s possessions.

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In Search of Sunil Santha

Tony Donaldson, courtesy of THE CEYLANKAN, Vol  XX, November 2017, … with highlighting emphasis being an imposition by The Editor, Thuppahi

In November 2016, I travelled to Sri Lanka at the invitation of the Sunil Santha Society to deliver the inaugural Guru Devi Sunil Santha Memorial Lecture in Colombo. I wrote the lecture in September and titled it Sunil Santha: The Man who Invented Sinhala Music for a Modern Age. The cardiologist Dr. Ruvan Ekanayake, a great fan of Sunil Santha’s music, translated the lecture into Sinhala. I spent 25 days in Sri Lanka. What follows is an account of the trip with a few critical reflections. I will not expand on the lecture as it exists as a published book and it need not be repeated here.

  With the Sunil Santha Samajaya. l-r. Upali Ariyasiri, Lanka Santha, Tony Donaldson, Vijith Kumar Senaratne, Lloyd Fernando, and Pushkara Wanniarachchi.

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US vs THEM…. Animosities…. and the Horrors Arising Therefrom

Rajmohan Gandhi, from Daily News, 7 October 2017, where the title is “The other as foe History is replete with the horrors of us-vs-them narratives” …. with highlighting emphasis in blue being the work of the Editor,Thuppahi

Currently being watched by riveted and shaken viewers across the US, Ken Burns’ 10-part documentary, The Vietnam War, is relevant for places and issues far removed from the America and Vietnam of the 1960s and 1970s.[

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