Category Archives: religiosity

Nath-thal in Ceylon in My Youthful Years

Alex Van Arkadie

Long before the legendary seafarer ‘Sinbad’ chanced to harbor in waters lapping the little isle of  ‘Serendip’, or European colonizers discovered Ptolemy’s ‘Ceylan’, pilgrims from the distant Orient have been visiting here. During the reign of the Indian Emperor Asoka (2nd Century BC), the island’s North Central Province was home to Sinhala Kings under whose patronage Buddhism spread. Following India’s gift of a sapling from the Bodhi Tree under which Sidharta Gautama Buddha attained ‘nirvana’, the ancient city of Anuradhapura draws pilgrims and curious visitors from everywhere. The tree is regarded as the oldest in the world (2,200 years). Similarly, a painting in the office of Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Rome, depicts  “Emissaries of the Sinhala Royal Court presenting Credentials to Emperor Claudius” (according to Roman Historian Gaius Plinius Secundas, AD 23-79, pix. below).

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Filed under cultural transmission, economic processes, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, life stories, performance, Portuguese in Indian Ocean, religiosity, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, world events & processes

Rampant Corruption Debilitating Our Nation, says Bishop Canagasabey

Rt. Revd. Dhiloraj Canagasabey, Bishop of Colombo: Extracts from His Address at  the 132nd Annual Sessions of the Diocese of Colombo, Church of Ceylon.

‘One of the most disappointing failures of the govt. has been its inability to end rampant corruption’

Each year, both in the report of the Standing Committee of our Diocese and in my own charge we turn to look at the significant events that have taken place in the country, viewed from the standpoint of the Church. Our scriptural and theological understanding of God’s concern for and involvement in the history of peoples and nations requires us to engage fully with the issues of our country and the world. Continue reading

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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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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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Knowledge in the Sinhala World. Yesterday and Today

Sajeeva Samaranayake presents his considered thoughts on the discussions associated with Geedreck Usvatte-Aratchi’s National Trust talk on “Sinhala Attitudes to Knowledge” – which appeared in the Island as well as Thuppahi in August 2017. Emphasis in blue is that of The Editor, Thuppahi; but the black highlights are the author’s.

In the following note I am setting out the findings of Dr. Usvatte Arachchi, my comments thereon and some questions that arise. This is to help move this discussion forward as it appears to be a very critical inquiry into our collective capacity as a Sinhalese speech community.

 Samaranayake    Usvatte-Aratchci

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Mantovan and Ambos: Two Young European Scholars researching Sri Lankan Issues

 Mantovan  Ambos

The Newsletter of the International Institute of Asian Studies at Leiden reveals the interests of two recent Fellows at IIAS who have been delving into Sri Lankan issues in recent times. Herewith some summaries

Giacomo Mantovan is of Italian lineage:

“My research in social anthropology, which focuses on individuals and their relations with their social milieu, and in particular with state authorities, aims to grasp how certain critical times, such as civil war, exile, and illness, become moments of construction of subjectivity and memory.” Continue reading

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Buddhist Monks on Violent Paths. How Come? An Essay in Mid-2013

Alan Strathern, in BBC News,  on 2 May 2013, ….  repeat 2013, with the title being  “Why are Buddhist monks attacking Muslims?”

Of all the moral precepts instilled in Buddhist monks the promise not to kill comes first, and the principle of non-violence is arguably more central to Buddhism than any other major religion. So why have monks been using hate speech against Muslims and joining mobs that have left dozens dead?

At the annual Ananda Harvest Festival in Bagan, Myanmar, thousands of monks from all over Myanmar came to receive alms. While walking around the vast temple grounds, I chanced upon this boy monk who was playing with his toy gun. Even though it was only a toy gun, I found this image a disturbing juxtaposition of the peace that Buddhism embodies and the violence that guns symbolise.

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