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.
Filed under British colonialism, Buddhism, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, economic processes, education, evolution of languages(s), governance, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian traditions, island economy, language policies, life stories, literary achievements, politIcal discourse, religiosity, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, world events & processes
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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Steven Kemper: Rescued from the Nation: Anagarika Dharmapala and the Buddhist World, University of Chicago Press, 2015
Anagarika Dharmapala is one of the most galvanizing figures in Sri Lanka’s recent turbulent history. He is widely regarded as the nationalist hero who saved the Sinhala people from cultural collapse and whose “protestant” reformation of Buddhism drove monks toward increased political involvement and ethnic confrontation. Yet as tied to Sri Lankan nationalism as Dharmapala is in popular memory, he spent the vast majority of his life abroad, engaging other concerns. In Rescued from the Nation, Steven Kemper reevaluates this important figure in the light of an unprecedented number of his writings, ones that paint a picture not of a nationalist zealot but of a spiritual seeker earnest in his pursuit of salvation.
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Trent Dalton, in The Australian, 6 Septmber 2017, where the title is “Cook Rediscovered . Miracle on The Reef,”
She can hear the cannon blasting. She can see the worn, callused hands of Captain Cook’s men touching it. She can see where it sat on the Endeavour before it was desperately heaved overboard into the night-time waters of Endeavour Reef to be found 200 years later by researchers from the American Academy of Natural Sciences. Cook historian Michelle Hetherington draws a long breath. There’s no story she can tell more thrilling than the story of the black iron cannon she stares at now in a soft-lit room inside the National Museum of Australia. “This is our actual history sitting in front of us,” she says. “Who touched it? They may have all touched it! This is our link to that voyage in the 18th century.”
A painting of the Little Old Man, a Waymbuurr Warra elder, commissioned by the Cooktown Re-enactment Association.
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