Distinguished academic Dr Michael Roberts was in England recently and talked about his experiences and work including his online life as creator of the Thuppahi Blog (https://thuppahi.wordpress.com) …. This Q and A takes 60 minutes.
Pic by Eranga Jayawardena
Michael Roberts is a historian by training and has taught at the Department of History at Peradeniya University (1961-76) and the Department of Anthropology at Adelaide University (1977-2003). His major works are in agrarian history, social mobility, nationalism and ethnic conflict. Based on his interest in the Tamil liberation struggle and the sacrificial devotion mustered by the LTTE, he has written extensively on suicide missions. Michael Roberts has also edited several volumes on Sri Lanka entitled Collective Identities. In 2004, he retired as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Adelaide University, but continues to write articles.
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Michael Roberts, ‘reprinting’ an article that appeared in The Island on the 7th August 2008 with a note indicating that “An editorially-modified version of this article was published in HIMAL circa 2007.”
Modernity took firm root in Sri Lanka under the imperial aegis of Britain. British rule involved a considerable transformation in the political economy of the island, a revolution in the communication system, the administrative unification of the country and the emergence of new class forces of a capitalist variety. English became the administrative language and one saw the development of an indigenous socio-political elite group, referred to locally as “middle class,” whose mode of domination included a facility in English-speak and a particular life style.
Ajantha Mendis, center, and teammates wait for 3rd umpire’s decision on a leg before the wicket against India’s captain Anil Kumble during fourth day of the second test cricket match between India and Sri Lanka in Galle (AP) Continue reading
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