Category Archives: unusual people

Minnete de Silva Pictorial : Aficianado and Architect Extraordinary

Minnete de Silva: Aficionado and Architect Extraordinary

Minnette de Silva (Sinhalaමිනට් ද සිල්වා;Tamilமினிட் டி சில்வா; 1 February 1918–24 November 1998) was an internationally recognized architect, considered the pioneer of the modern architectural style in Sri Lanka.[2][3] De Silva was a fellow of the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects.

De Silva was the first Sri Lankan woman to be trained as an architect and the first Asian woman to be elected an associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in 1948. De Silva was also the first Asian representative of CIAM in 1947 and was one of the founding members of the Architectural publication Marg. Later in her life, she was awarded the SLIA Gold Medal for her contribution to Architecture in particular her pioneering work developing a ‘regional modernism for the tropics’….. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnette_de_Silva

Minnette de Silva with Pablo Picasso (left) at the World Congress of Intellectuals in Defense of Peace, 1948

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Anecdotal Lore on “Apey George,” namely, George E. De Silva, and Family

Eardley Lieversz, 16 July 2019

Interestingly, I am in touch with Apey George’s grandson, Mahindra, who lives in Melbourne. He is George Silva Junior’s son. George and his wife were good friends with my maternal aunt and uncle. They were very Burgherised. You wouldn’t consider George Jnr as a Sinhalese. He is very Burgher in his manners.

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John Lukacs Looks to the Past in “The Future of History”

Richard Simon in his site where the title is “Looking Forward to the Past”…. http://notesfromceylon.blogspot.com/2019/07/96-normal-0-false-false-false-en-gb-x.html

  The Future of History,  by John Lukacs

A maverick but respected historian, John Lukacs had a lot to say about his own profession, and in the sunset of his life he gathered together his thoughts on the subject in this small but far from easy book. His theme is the role of history and the historian at the end of a historical era, the Modern Age. Continue reading

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“Goyi-Lansi”: Badinage founded on Class Differentiation laced with Ethnicity and Prejudice

Michael Roberts

This article is inspired by Fabian Schokman of Moratuwa whose questioning comment led to a brief exchange involving Eardley Lieversz and myself. I will place these exchanges first before proceeding to address the context and implications of the article on “Goyigama Lansiyās” written by a retired Sinhala police officer of senor rank.

This essay was obviously penned in light-hearted spirit. But, in conveying ethnographic tales of past times in genial tones, the account reveals questionable ‘seams,’ i.e. strands, within the socio-political order. Readers are advised to absorb the essay “The Goyigama Lansiyaas”[1] as an initial measure …. before proceeding to the exchanges and the arguments below.

the 2nd Pic may well be British ladies and gents in a Whites only club

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From SILENCE to MADNESS …… Pauline Schokman

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Addressing the 9/11 Conspiracy Theorists: Where Fervour Trumps ‘Deep Throats’

Michael Roberts

When one of my articles on the jihadist network that perpetrated the 21/4 attacks in Sri Lanka referred to the inspirations behind the 9/11 attacks in USA, I was surprised to receive vehement rejections of the latter contention from two good friends and one distant  ‘aide’ in Canada – challenges sent independently of each other.

These challenges have been rejected by other friends – at times quite bluntly. But Jeremy Liyanage,[1] Jean-Pierre Page[2] and Chris Black[3] are individuals with whom I have interacted fruitfully and whose commitment to the pursuit of truth and reform in this world are not in doubt. So, this revisiting of 9/11 and its perpetrators on my part is a personal journey that addresses my three friends, while yet seeking to raise significant issues in today’s world – especially embracing the ramifications of the ideological currents known as “Wahhabism” and “Salafism” (terms that seem to be deployed interchangeably).[4] Continue reading

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The VVT Thonies and Their Mastery of the Oceans Past

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.”

article_imageA 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.

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