Category Archives: travelogue

Koggala in the Western Imperial Design in the 20th Century, 1931 onward

Michael Roberts

The recent political debate on SOFA, MCC etc (see Roberts 2019)  highlights the place of KOGGALA in the Western imperial map of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The British airfields at Katunayake Trinco and Koggala were part of the imperial defence system – a geo-political ensemble that became even more significant after the fall of Singapore to the Japanese in WW Two marked vulnerabilities not envisaged till then.

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Kieran de Zoysa’s Last Hurrah: “I am so Sri Lankan …. A Real Achchaaru”

Kieren Shafritz De Zoysa’s Essay “Sri Lanka: My Cultural Connections” … submitted for the Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition … written just before he was among those killed by a Muslim bomber at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel on Easter Sunday 21/4/2019**

The tropical sun burns bright. On my way to school, red and black buses full of office workers, tuk-tuks of all colours, Porsches, Land Rovers, and BMWs crowd the roads. There are few road rules. I pass a speeding blur of white colonial buildings, ancient banyan trees, old elegant homes behind high walls, short ladies pushing trash carts, small kadeys selling cream crackers and sodas, and road-side hawkers offering freshly plucked red rambutans, golden yellow mangoes, young orange coconuts. Steel and glass office towers stand high over small houses. Cranes rise above expensive new apartment buildings. Occasionally I see a Buddhist monk in orange robes. Lonely, stray dogs roam the streets and sidewalks scavenging for food, near tourists who turn bright lobster red taking selfies in front of thousand-year-old temples.

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MCC at Galle: Big Boost for Tourism and Cricket via Sanga and Galle

Item in Daily News, 1 November 2019 …. http://www.dailynews.lk/2019/11/01/sports/201649/traditional-mcc-champion-county-match-be-played-galle

Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) yesterday announced that next season’s Champion County match against Essex will be held in Sri Lanka. The traditional curtain-raiser to the new English domestic season, which dates back to 1970 in its current guise, will be played at the Galle International Stadium between 24 and 27 March 2020.

Pics by David Colin-Thome

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Birds in Lanka: Janaka Gallangoda’s Photographic Virtuosity

Dr Janaka Gallangoda spent two years at Flinders University in 2014/15 and I have been fortunate in gaining access to his scintillating camera-work previously. Here are a selection from his snap shots of birds in Sri Lanka

 Kashmir Flycatcher (Ficedula subrubra) …. Rare winter migrant to the central hills of Sri Lanka from the Kashmir region of Himalayan foothills. This is a globally threatened bird. Many birdwatchers from all over the world travel to Nuwara Eliya to watch this little jewel.  It is a solitary and fairly territorial bird found near forest edges, gardens and tea estates. 

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Lord Naseby on Johnson’s Brexit Deal: “Bite the Bullet” good Lords!

On Saturday, Oct 19th the House of Lords debated the Brexit deal that the UK’s PM Boris Johnson had recently successfully concluded with the EU. Conservative Peer Lord Naseby, who founded the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Sri Lanka, joined this debate and highlighted the opportunities that Brexit offers for strengthening economic and trade relations between UK and Sri Lanka.

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The Veddas in the East of Ceylon in the 1950s

L.C. Arulpragasam, in Sunday Observer, 13 October 2019, where the title is  The Veddas and the Gal Oya scheme: Ultimate resettlement at Bintenne”

In the Jungles of Bintenne: In 1950 I undertook a sociological survey along with Mr. Kuda Bibile, a University colleague, of the Veddas living in the jungles of Wellassa and Bintenne in the Badulla District of the Uva Province. The only authoritative study of the Veddas at that time had been done by Dr. C. Seligmann, a German anthropologist, in 1911. I carried his heavy tome around with me on my entire journey.

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Sustaining a Malay Lankan Identity: A Magnum Opus on Their Heritage

Sust
A young medical student Tuan Careem hopes that his book ‘Persaudaraan’ (brotherhood) will help rekindle an interest in Malay culture among the youth of his community.  When he was young, he spent many days in bed recovering from bouts of asthma. While many would cite similar experiences as a reason why they did not succeed in later life, young Tuan Careem does just the opposite. “I used to get sick a lot when I was small so I would have to spend a lot of time at home. My parents took me to the library and let me borrow books to keep me occupied, but unfortunately for them I read the books at an inconveniently fast rate,” grins 24-year-old Tuan.

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