Category Archives: Uncategorized

Famous Authors dwelling on Ceylon’s Attractions: Read against the Grain Please

Tamara Fernando in the Daily News, 22 November 2017 where the title is “Reading against the grain: the darker side of travel writing” ….. while the highlighting emphasis is the work of The Editor, Thuppahi” .

Much to the delight of the coffee-table-book author and the travel connoisseur, Sri Lanka is not only rich in natural beauty, but also equally well-endowed with ornate, detail-laden travel accounts of Westerners encountering its landscape for the first time. The series of publications by the National Trust of Sri Lanka, for instance, or books on her national parks often quote from and excerpt this language.

  Mark Twain

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Seeking the Roots of Tamil Tiger Dedication: A Journey

Michael Roberts

I began this research engagement via my interest in ethnic violence in Sri Lanka and my  study of the 1915 anti-Moor “riots” when at Peradeniya University in the 1970s. Neelan Tiruchelvam revived my interest when he invited me to attend Conference in Kathmandu in the late 1980s and to present my thoughts on the 1915 pogrom–invariably undertaken in the light of the July 1983 pogrom directed against Tamils.

At this point I decided that I had to break free of my immersion in Sri Lankan material and needed to gain comparative insights by looking at secondary literature on racial violence in USA directed at Blacks and at “communal violence” and “riots” in India. A short-term Research Fellowship at Teen Murti in Delhi in 1995 provided me with the data and experience for this route.  The newspaper material on the Anti -Sikh violence in Delhi and the north in 1984 after Mrs Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards was especially thought-provoking (and has recently fed into two articles on “Anguish as Empowerment” and “Kill Any Sikh“). Continue reading

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Shirley Somanader’s Historical and Literary Works

Shirley Somanader


2009 1st edn., A5 size, 64pp., 200 copies printed.

This is a biographical work. The book contains a collection of a series of articles on the Christian witness of Daniel Somanader, his wife Angelina and his children, especially two of their daughters.  All the articles were written Mrs M. E, Rigg, the wife of Rev. Edmund Rigg, Methodist Missionary in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) between 1865 – 1870 and they first appeared in the ‘Christian Herald’ , a newspaper published in the Wesley Press, Batticaloa at that time, except one  article which was written in by Rev. James Gillings, the then Superintendent Methodist Missionary in Batticaloa and appeared in the’ Wesleyan Juvenile Offering’ of July   1859. Continue reading

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How the Railways Came to Batticaloa

Shirley W. Somanader, from The Island, 6 September 2014

Travel Before the Trains: A measure of the efficiency of communication between a place and the outside world is the ease of accessibility to the Capital city. In terms of this measure, the isolation of the Batticaloa district, as late as the first quarter of the Twentieth century is expressed, by a person who had lived through the better part of those times thus: “A journey to Batticaloa was something of an adventure. It was long and tiresome and often risky. Before the introduction of the train service in 1928, there were only two means of communication with the outside world. One by sea, at first by sailing vessels, replaced later on by coasting steamers, which called once a week either from the south or north: The other by land across rocks and precipices of the Uva Province. The journey was done on horseback or bullock carts.”

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US Admiral Harris at the Galle Dialogue in 2016

Admiral Harry Harris, 28 November 2016,  as presented at … with emphasis added by The Editor, Thuppahi

Thanks, Admiral Wijegunaratne for that kind introduction. In addition to being an expert in asymmetric naval warfare and special boat operations, the Admiral is also a well-known Rugby player – definitely a man you’d want on your side! So I’m pleased to call him friend.

Admiral Harry B. Harris, Jr., Commander of U.S. Pacific Command, visited Sri Lanka November 27-29 to attend the Galle Dialogue 2016 maritime security conference and meet with senior government and military leaders, including President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe….Photo by U.S. Embassy of Colombo, Sri Lanka

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Tamils Yesterday, Rohingyas Today: Rohingya Issue and Its Wider Ramifications in a Nutshell

Ravi Velloor,, in The Island, 15 September 2017where the title reads “Rohingya issue and the danger to South-east Asia” … with highlighting being the work of The Editor, Thuppahi

Not since the landlocked Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan swept out its Nepali-speaking Hindu population in the late 1980s has Asia witnessed as relentless an action against a minority group as seen lately in Myanmar. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has called the sustained drive to push Rohingya Muslims out of Myanmar a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”. Continue reading

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Cricketing Amity, September 2002: Janashakthi XI vs Jaffna District Cricket XI

During the ceasefire period after Eelam War III some leading members of the cricketing world in Colombo reached out in reconciliatory mood to Jaffna by organising a high-profile cricket match.[i]

Enthusiastic Jaffna Fans mob Murali

Chandra Schaffter: The Jaffna Match, 1 September 2002

With Ranil Wickremesinghe becoming Prime Minister in 2001, a ceasefire agreement was negotiated with the LTTE and the A9 was opened after many years. Janashakthi took the opportunity to open its Jaffna branch in August Because of our association with cricket, we felt that the best way would be to stage a cricket match which would bring the enthusiastic cricket fans in Jaffna out of their homes.  It was a major rush but my son Ramesh,who was adept at such events, began organizing the match as well as the  opening of the branch.  I had just returned to Sri Lanka after managing the cricket team in the UK and I had agreed with a team of about 15 of the cricketers to go up to Jaffna in a special bus and play a match – not so much for cricket per se but in order to create an impression in Jaffna.

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