Hannah Beech, in New York Times, 8 July 2019, where the title runs “Buddhists Go to Battle: When Nationalism Overrides Pacifism” …. A call to arms for Sri Lankan monks. Ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya in Myanmar. A Buddhist faith known for pacifism is taking its place in a new age of nationalism
GINTOTA, Sri Lanka — The Buddhist abbot was sitting cross-legged in his monastery, fulminating against the evils of Islam, when the petrol bomb exploded within earshot. But the abbot, the Venerable Ambalangoda Sumedhananda Thero, barely registered the blast. Waving away the mosquitoes swarming the night air in the southern Sri Lankan town of Gintota, he continued his tirade: Muslims were violent, he said, Muslims were rapacious. “The aim of Muslims is to take over all our land and everything we value,” he said. “Think of what used to be Buddhist lands: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir, Indonesia. They have all been destroyed by Islam.”
Filed under accountability, Bodu Bala Sena, Buddhism, communal relations, cultural transmission, disparagement, fundamentalism, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, nationalism, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, power politics, religious nationalism, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, vengeance, violence of language, world events & processes
Somasiri Devendra, in Island, 13 July 2019, with this title “VVT, Tahiti, and the ghost of the Bounty. The ship from Valvettithurai which sailed the seven seas” and this dedication “Dedicated to the late Mr. Kumaraswamy of Oxonia Institute, Colombo, proud son of Valvettithurai, with whom I was to co-author a work on our northern nautical culture. On him, be Peace.”
A traditional Thoni showing the backward-coiling Surul and nailed-on occulus.
The story begins …
In 1937 an adventurous ‘Yankee’ sailed a small yacht round the world – the smallest to do so, at that time – stopping awhile in Ceylon. After many adventures, he returned to Ceylon in search of a Jaffna-built ship whose elegant lines had caught his eye. He found her, bought and refitted her in Colombo and sailed for Boston, with an all-Jaffna crew. Boston was as overwhelmed by the vision of this ‘ghost’ of the legendary Bounty, as by its dusky crew and of the voyage itself. But a couple of months later she was sailed again, this time with an all-American delivery crew, to Tahiti. And then, like the Bounty, she disappears.
Filed under arab regimes, centre-periphery relations, commoditification, cultural transmission, economic processes, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, modernity & modernization, Portuguese in Indian Ocean, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, transport and communications, unusual people, world events & processes
A Wandering Laankikaya
Following is an interesting piece by former Sri Lankan (Sinhala) DIG of Police now domiciled in Canada. This appeared some time ago.
Recently I njoyed reading a lively discussion in a newspaper about the ‘Govigama Burghers’. The first time I heard the term ‘Govigama Lansia’ being used in lighter vein was by my cousin the late Neville Algama. He referred to his friend and classmate at Royal College V.T. Dickman as ‘Govigama Lansia’.
Siva Rajaratnam that affable Attorney- at- law who hailed from Trincomalee became a dear friend of mine after he cross-examined me for several days before the Sansoni Commission. He too had been a classmate of Dickman’s. In 1980 when I was the DIG–Metropolitan, Siva invited me to his Royal College batch mates’ annual get-together at his Wellawatta Rohini Road residence as the guest of honour, although I was not from that Reid Avenue school.
Filed under British colonialism, communal relations, cultural transmission, discrimination, disparagement, heritage, historical interpretation, life stories, self-reflexivity, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, taking the piss, tolerance, unusual people, world events & processes
Aussies and Kiwis depict their Conservation Work in Sri Lanka
Nate Bills …. Australia
The location for the project is awesome! You are so close to the national park and the villages where you can see elephants. Everyone working at the field house is so nice and they make it a good atmosphere when you are working or relaxing in between activities. The cooking from Mahinda is the best I had on my trip.
We were really lucky seeing elephants every day, especially at the park where we saw heaps in one afternoon and even saw one of the two bulls with tusks.
Filed under accountability, charitable outreach, education, elephant tales, heritage, landscape wondrous, life stories, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, travelogue, unusual people
Prasad Abu Bakr, in Sunday Observer, 7 July 2019, …. http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2019/07/07/art/book-review-slow-cooked-thoughts
This is a ‘must-read’ book for those who lived during that glorious past, which is quietly slipping out of our grasp. It is also one for the next generation, who live in a world of make-believe – thinking that demolition of that glorious past and the pristine environment that was there, in the name of ‘development’ is aimed at making the world a better place to live in.
In her Foreword, Jill Macdonald refers to Slow-cooked Thoughts as a compelling compilation of writings both occasional and various, linked by a common motif of the writer’s passionate and unwavering belief of what constitutes a right relationship with the world around us.
Filed under accountability, art & allure bewitching, commoditification, cultural transmission, economic processes, education, environmental degradation, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, human rights, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, meditations, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, tolerance, transport and communications, travelogue, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes
News Item, Sunday Times, 7 July 2019, .…http://www.sundaytimes.lk/article/1093438/in-pictures-architect-ismeth-raheems-exhibition-of-collected-works-1960-2019
Well known architect Ismeth Raheem’s retrospective exhibition of Collected Works 1960-2019 showcasing his myriad interests ends on July 1 at the Harold Peiris Gallery of the Lionel Wendt. The exhibition features many fascinating sketches and his gold leaf work rarely seen by the public. The exhibition opened on Friday, June 28………Pix by Priyantha Wickremarachchi