“The Portugese, the Saviours of our Culture?” = This is the title of a scholarly article written in the Ceylon Historical Journal in the 1950s by B. J. Perera BA (History) University of Ceylon who was our teacher in the University Entrance class. It was of course “dead against” the version given by nationalist historians after independence. However his interpretation simply put was that the Mughals had conquered Hindu India and ruled it for a couple of centuries and converted a large part of the Hindu population to the Muslim religion as had happened in countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia and the Maldives, which had been either Hindu or Buddhist. The evidence in Bali and Java of the existence of Buddhist and Hindu relics supports this view.
Mattayaas in the Gal Oya and Eastern Province interior
Filed under arab regimes, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, colonisation schemes, communal relations, cultural transmission, economic processes, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Indian religions, irrigation, Islamic fundamentalism, land policies, landscape wondrous, life stories, Muslims in Lanka, population, sri lankan society, travelogue, unusual people, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes
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.
Filed under Australian culture, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, immigration, landscape wondrous, life stories, literary achievements, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, population, teaching profession, unusual people, world events & processes
EDITORIAL News Item, News-in-Asia, September 2018
Sri Lanka’s mid year population as at 2017 was estimated at 21.444 million, a rise from 21.203 million estimated in 2016, latest official data showed here Friday.According to a report in Ceylon Today, quoting official data, since 2012, Sri Lanka’s population has increased by 1,019, million. The highest population increase was recorded from the capital Colombo District with a population of 2.419 million and the lowest was from Mullaitivu, in the north. with a population of 96,000.
Gamini Seneviratne, courtesy of The Island, 18 June 2018
SB who passed away last week at the age of 93 was undoubtedly the foremost analyst we have had of what his principal work defined as “The Political Economy of Underdevelopment”. In that work, first published in 1982, as the blurb puts it, Dr. de Silva dealt with the theory of underdevelopment as he attempted a synthesis between the internal and external aspects of underdevelopment. In the Marxist tradition he focused on the impact of the external on the internal as the dominant reality.
First published in 1982, this reissue deals with the theory of underdevelopment, as Dr. de Silva attempts a synthesis between the internal and external aspects of underdevelopment and, in the Marxist tradition, focuses on the impact of the external on the internal as the dominant reality.Viewing underdevelopment as a problem in the non-transformation to capitalism, this analysis is in terms of the character of the dominant capital and of the dominant classes. Underdevelopment thus encompasses the ‘traditional’ peasant economy and also the export sector where the ‘modernizing’ influence of colonialism was felt. The book finally considers how the contemporary internationalization of capital affected the economies of the Third World.
Filed under British colonialism, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, economic processes, export issues, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, modernity & modernization, population, power politics, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, transport and communications, unusual people, working class conditions, world events & processes
Hugh Karunanayake, courtesy of THE CEYLANKAN, vol XXI/1, January 2018 where the title is “A Naturalist’s Paradise–Colombo in the 1940s”
Padda boats along the Negombo Canal
Growing up in mid twentieth century Colombo was a fascinating experience to any young person. That was the era when urban growth was taking place at a pace that afforded local fauna to thrive at will without any restrictions. Colombo South with its tree lined avenues and homes with spacious gardens provided sanctuary to a wide range of fauna ranging from avi fauna to reptiles. As a five year old just admitted to Royal Preparatory School I was mesmerised by the “golden beetles” that lived in the Andara trees that stood on the perimeter of the school grounds on Racecourse Avenue. Many of us five year olds fascinated by the shiny green gold sheen of the beetles, with great delight collected the beetles some of them dead and others still alive and took them home. The live ones did not live long, they were away from their natural surroundings, and we innocents knew nothing about their sustenance requirements. Also, keeping beetles was done in secrecy as our parents would not have countenanced it. Looking back on those childhood days I believe that my interest in natural history may have had its beginnings in the school yard. Not long after my interest turned into rearing and breeding tropical fish. That interest was abiding and lasted through my adulthood even into retirement in Australia where I kept koi carp and other tropical fish for many years.
Filed under cultural transmission, economic processes, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, meditations, population, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, travelogue
Shirley W. Somanader, from The Island, 6 September 2014
Travel Before the Trains: A measure of the efficiency of communication between a place and the outside world is the ease of accessibility to the Capital city. In terms of this measure, the isolation of the Batticaloa district, as late as the first quarter of the Twentieth century is expressed, by a person who had lived through the better part of those times thus: “A journey to Batticaloa was something of an adventure. It was long and tiresome and often risky. Before the introduction of the train service in 1928, there were only two means of communication with the outside world. One by sea, at first by sailing vessels, replaced later on by coasting steamers, which called once a week either from the south or north: The other by land across rocks and precipices of the Uva Province. The journey was done on horseback or bullock carts.”
Filed under British colonialism, commoditification, cultural transmission, governance, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, modernity & modernization, population, sri lankan society, Tamil migration, transport and communications, Uncategorized
Richard Fynes, reviewing Marie-Françoise Boussac, Jean- Françoise Salles & Jean-Baptiste (eds.) Ports of the Ancient Indian Ocean, Delhi: Primus Books. 2016. ISBN 97893840820792 …………… in IIAS Newsletter, Summer 2017
This edited volume delivers much more than is suggested by its title, since it includes discussions of emporia as far inland as Delhi, the time-scale covered by its articles extends from the 20th century BC to the 18th century AD, and since not only the Indian Ocean, but also the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Bay of Bengal and the South China Sea are discussed by the various authors. Given the wide range and disparate nature of the twenty-four papers in the volume, how should one orient oneself among them? Best to begin with Elizabeth Lambourn’s ‘Describing a Lost Camel’ – Clues for a West Asian Mercantile Networks in South Asian Maritime Trade (Tenth-Twelfth Centuries AD). The volume taken as a whole forms a contribution to the genre of world history and Lambourn provides a clear-eyed assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of that genre. Although Lambourn’s paper is primarily concerned with the two hundred years from the tenth- to the twelfth centuries AD, her masterly analysis of the sources and criticism of the various methodologies in which they are employed provide the reader with a prism with which to view the remaining papers in the volume. Lambourn begins her account with a review of the relevant archaeological and documentary evidence. It is salutary to learn just how insecure is the dating of many South Asian ceramic types and consequently of the archaeological sites whose dating has been largely derived from ceramic evidence. Lambourn notes the problems posed by pluridisciplinary character of the sources and their simultaneous use. Her paper focuses on the port of Sanjan, in the domain of the western Indian dynasty of the Rastrakuta, where, for the tenth century there is rare conjunction of evidence from archaeology, Arabic geographical writings and Indian epigraphy. Her discussion is rich both in evidence and insight, and she gives due acknowledgment to the work of Ranabir Chakravarti, whose work has led scholars to reformulate the questions they ask of the sources. Lambourn’s findings lead her to speculate on the nature of world history and the relationship between micro- and macro history, as she expresses dissatisfaction that she is “left with an eclectic collection of small insights and few satisfactory larger narratives.” Such honest appraisals of the conclusions of one’s research invite further questions and are thus a stimulant to further research. Continue reading
Filed under centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, ethnicity, growth pole, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Indian religions, Indian traditions, landscape wondrous, Middle Eastern Politics, population, Portuguese in Indian Ocean, transport and communications, unusual people, world events & processes