Category Archives: Uncategorized

Ernest Renan as Pathway to National Reconciliation in Australia

Stan Grant, ABC News, 31 May 2018, with title  Äboriginal reconciliation and what we can learn from a French philosopher”

What can a French historian and philosopher tell us about reconciliation between black and white in Australia? More than a century ago, when in Australia it was still widely presumed that Aboriginal people were a dying race, Ernest Renan was grappling with the question, what is a nation? It remains one of the most profound and powerful statements of identity, written in 1882 in the shadows of the French Revolution.

 

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Understanding Military Organisation via the Sinhala War Poems – the Hatana Kaavya

Cenan Pirani: Widening the study of military organization in the early modern South Asian context: an examination of the Sinhala Hatana Kavya”, in South Asian History & Culture, Vol9/2, April 2018, pp. 207-24.

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The Golden Age of Motor Cars in Ceylon

Hugh Karunanayake, courtesy of The CEYLANKAN

My previous piece on the “Early Years of Motoring in Ceylon” ( The Ceylankan  # 60 Nov 2012)  evoked a level of  interest  which has since prodded me on  to reflect  on motoring in more recent times. The decade of the 1950s – mid twentieth century Ceylon, could verily be described as the “golden age” of motoring.  The early 1950s especially were years  when the country  enjoyed the “Korean boom”;  export commodities mainly  rubber were fetching record  prices, income tax relatively low, all  leading to  consumption going on at a gallop. There were no national investment projects of note to capture  the surplus that was generated, and most  of the money that flowed in, went towards conspicuous  consumption largely in the purchase of luxury goods such as automobiles.

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Methodist Schools in Batticaloa and Galle are the earliest schools to sustain their continuity to the present

Shirley Somanader

1.  Methodist Central College, Batticaloa is specifically mentioned  as an English School from August 1814 as a separate institution apart from any Vernacular school.

Rev William Ault arrived in Batticaloa on the 12th of August  1814. * He died on April 01st 1815. He laboured in Batticaloa for just seven months. * But in the first of his two letters to his mother after arriving, he writes that he has established an English school,  I quote from his letter, “On my arrival here I found in this place a Tamil school containing about thirty boys. That school is now under my superintendence. We have established another, which now contains thirty, besides the English school, which I teach myself.                         

  .as it is today

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Lester James Peries: Grand Master of the Cinematic Form

Sachitra Mahendra in Daily News, 5 April 2018

Immediately following Independence, Ceylon roamed in darkness. The country was at a loss. The country was looking for an identity at least for the sake of its majority ethnic group, Sinhalese. The urge had been brewing for a decade, and the architects were in the making.

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Victor Melder’s Remarkable Sri Lanka Library in Melbourne

Thuppahi's Blog

Courtesy of the web journal CONFLUENCE at http://www.confluence.mobi/blog/unique-sri-lanka-library/

An unique library on Sri Lanka, perhaps the only one of its kind overseas, exists in Melbourne, Australia. This library was begun by Victor Melder in 1968, when he migrated to Australia. Victor, who had only one book with him then, has today accumulated over 4,600 books, 2000 magazines and journals, 25 years Sunday newspapers and a collection of video and audio tapes all on Sri Lanka.

Victor 003Victor, who grew up in a village in Peradeniya, states he has savoured village life to its fullest and attributes this to be the cause of his unpretentious love for his motherland. This love, admiration and respect for this beautiful island is something he wishes to share with everyone alike in Australia. This is what gave birth to the ‘Victor Melder Sri Lanka Library’, which today is used by many Australia wide, as a…

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Facets of the Islamic Faith are Integral to Jihadism

Denis MacEoin, courtesy of The Gatestone Institute, 21 February 2018, where the title is “Does Jihad Really Have “Nothing to do with Islam”?

  • “National Security officials are prohibited from developing a factual understanding of Islamic threat doctrines, preferring instead to depend upon 5th column Muslim Brotherhood cultural advisors.” — Richard Higgins, NSC official.
  • At the heart of the problem lies the fantasy that Islam must be very similar to other religions, particularly Judaism and Christianity, out of which it was, in fact derived.
  • The use of force, mainly through jihad, is a basic doctrine in the Qur’an, the Prophetic sayings (ahadith), and in all manuals of Islamic law. It is on these sources that fighters from Islamic State, al-Qa’ida, al-Shabaab, and hundreds of other groupings base their preaching and their actions. To say that such people have “nothing to do with Islam” could not be more wrong.

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