Category Archives: Portuguese in Indian Ocean

A Grand Monument of Dutch Rule in Sri Lanka: The Dutch Reformed Church

Mahil Wijesinghe in  Sunday Observer, 11 June 2017, which is entitled “Dutch Reformed Church of Galle:  Dutch Period’s Finest Monument”

The Dutch Reformed Church stands inside the Galle Fort. Continue reading

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Nuvara Yugayē Sinhala Bava reaches the Bookshelves

  bearing ISBN 978-955-665-161-4 in the year 2016 … with the translation being the result of the labours of Anura Hettiarachchi and Ananda Wakkumbura. The original work is entitled Sinhala Consciousness in Kandyan Period, 1590s-1815, Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publications, 2004

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Sinhalaness in the Middle Period and in Wars Against Colonial Intrusions

Chris Speldewinde, in the The Australian Journal of Anthropology, vol. r19, No. 1, 2008, reviewing  Michael Roberts. Sinhala Consciousness in the Kandyan Period 1590s to 1815. Colombo 4, Sri Lanka: Vijitha Yapa Publications. 2004. Pp.xx +274, bibliog., index. US$60.00 (He), ISBN 955-8095-31-1.

Having spent a considerable period during my undergraduate studies of anthropology concentrating on cultural aspects of Sri Lankan society, I was enthusiastic to have been given the opportunity to read and review this work by Michael Roberts. In this latest addition to his many volumes of work on his native Sri Lanka, Roberts, has provided a rich tapestry of the period pre-dating the formalisation of British colonial rule on the island of Sri Lanka. He examines the forms of reaction of a society affected by migrating Indians from the north and European colonial expansion, beginning with the arrival of the Portuguese in the mid-sixteenth century and later, the Dutch and the British. This book provides a considerable amount of both historiographical and ethnographic material, from a wide range of sources to keep the reader engrossed in the development of distinct ethnic identities on this island nation. The use of verbal history passed on through poems and songs from the period is used extensively to substantiate Roberts’ theories of the development of a definitive Sinhalese ethnic identity.

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The Royal We: Sinhala Identity in the Dynastic State of SĪHALĒ

alanAlan Strathern reviewing Sinhala Consciousness in the Kandyan Period 1590s to 1815. by Michael Roberts. (Vijitha Yapa Publications, Sri Lanka, 2004. pp.xx, 274) f or Colombo Telegraph  20 December 2012, where blog-comments can be located 

Michael Roberts’ writings have sometimes given the impression of a man who will write at the drop of a hat and at great speed: the subjects have been many and various; the approach as openly adversarial as many of the relationships he takes as his subject; the arguments occasionally advanced by death-defying conceptual leaps or obscure symbolic readings; the prose style quirky or impatient with the more conventional norms of academic prose. The latter is evident even in the present work, in fact the culmination of decades of reflection, where he refers openly to his own intellectual progress, to arguments with colleagues, even to his own ethnic category – Tuppahiyek, or ‘mongrel’ – and sees no cause for shame in routinely citing ‘personal communication’ or telephone conversations in is footnotes. Such considerations might induce the superficial reader to underestimate the importance of the arguments presented in this new monograph. In fact it deserves to be widely read by all those interested in the vigorous debates about ethnic sentiment, nationalism and the murky passage from one to the other.

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Analysing the Kashmir Imbroglio

Gerald H. Peiris, in an essay which is an abridged and up-dated version of Chapter 8 of G. H. Peiris: Political Conflict in South Asia (2013, a monograph published by the University of Peradeniya).

 Information on the Indo-Pakistan conflict pertaining to Kashmir being widely circulated in the context of the recent upsurge of their mutual hostilities has a distinct pro-India bias, mainly because the bulk of international news that reaches us tends to be filtered through the media of mass communication in the global ‘West’. The present crisis in Kashmir is, of course, the latest episode of a complex saga recorded from many perspectives, with no heroes and villains, an abundance of zealotry, and countless victims of circumstances. What is attempted in this paper is to present a brief but objective portrayal of this conflict in order to forestall the possibility of our views, here in Sri Lanka, being influenced by prejudice and ill-informed pronouncements on rights and wrongs. 

kashmir Kashmir — from internet kashmir-gerry Continue reading

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Celebrating Galle Fort and Its History in You Tube

I. Galle Fort – A Historical Living City … courtesy of  CCF Television … Published on Mar 26, 2014 … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHUbnsyQtHI …….with Sanchia Brown as spokesperson

ALSO SEE https://au.pinterest.com/ccftv/galle-fort-sri-lanka/

galle-fort-dd-1 Pic from Juliette Coombe

II. Galle Fort = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnlYrgDUdNU…

Galle Fort “ගාලු කොටුව” – Infinity Sri Lanka

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Challenging Ratnawalli’s Imperial Sinhala Position

Michael Roberts

In a recent article I took issue with Robert S. Perinpanayagam for his short sharp comment on one of my essays on the Elephant Pass debacle of the year 2000. Embittered Tamilness has appeared in Colombo Telegraph as well as Thuppahi. Darshanie Ratnawalli recently entered a long comment in CT in ways that seem to support my work. However, her reading confuses the concept of “nation” with “nation state,” while also providing a distilled historical interpretation that overweights the past record in ways that suggest a measure of Sinhala exclusivism that leans towards the chauvinist camp. My presentation of this set of criticisms here is intended to supersede the hurried memo I placed in CT in opposition to her claims.

2b-Chelva hustings  Chelvanayakam campaigning 13-Banda & masses for Sinhala OnlyBandaranaike on the SLFP Sinhala Only ‘road train’

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