Category Archives: World War II

The Japanese Air Raid on Ceylon, Easter 1942

    Jayantha Somasundaram,  courtesy of Colombo Telegraph, 18 April 2019, where the title is  “The Most Dangerous Moment”

“British Prime Minister Winston Churchill considered the most dangerous moment of the Second World War, and the one which caused him the greatest alarm, was when news was received that the Japanese Fleet was heading for Ceylon.” –The Most Dangerous Moment by Michael Tomlinson (1976) William Kimber, London.

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Filed under authoritarian regimes, British imperialism, Indian Ocean politics, power politics, security, transport and communications, war reportage, world events & processes, World War II

Diego Garcia and the Fate of Its Its Indigenized Chagossian People

 

ONE = A Summary Report

Diego Garcia is part of the Chagos Atoll, a “group of seven atolls comprising more than 60 individual tropical islands in the Indian Ocean” (Jayaweera 2018). Though discovered in 1512 by the Portuguese explorer Pedro Mascarenhas, it was uninhabited till the French moved in and took over in 1783. The atoll passed to the British after the Napoleonic wars in 1814/15. Thereafter the atoll was administered from Mauritius and was considered part of its domain. Over the years the overseers and workers imported to work the plantations and settlements on the islands became indigenized as “Chagossians” and by the 1960s are said to have been around 1500 in number (note the imprecision).

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The Kandy Äsala Perahära by Lorna Dewaraja

Tissa Devendra, in The Island, 3 October 2018, with this title “Mirror of Civilisation” being a book review of  The Kandy Asala Maha Perahera – by Dr.Lorna Dewaraja (Vijitha Yapa Publications 2018)

 

In publishing this fine book, Vijitha Yapa has faithfully fulfilled the last wish that Dr. Dewaraja expressed to her family – to hand over to Vijitha Yapa the manuscript of her book on the Kandy Perahera. I now have the privilege of reviewing this publication.

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A Place to Savour: Coron Island, Philippines

Coron Island

Coron is the third-largest island in the Calamian Islands in northern Palawan in the Philippines. The island is part of the larger municipality of the same name. It is about 170 nautical miles southwest of Manila and is known for several Japanese shipwrecks of World War II vintage. Because of its unique ecological features, the entire area is protected by several legal proclamations.
  • Max length: 20 km
  • Max width: 9,000 m
  • Population: 2,649 (2010)

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Gregory Peck in “Purple Plain” in Sri Lanka …. and Elsewhere

ITEM in Thinkworth  = https://thinkworth.wordpress.com/2015/05/10/when-gregory-peck-had-flu-in-sri-lanka-during-purple-rain/

Gregory Peck’s flu was cured by ginger-coriander tea when filming in Ceylon (Original Title)

TW has embedded a 7+minute Utube clip of the film “Purple Rain” shot in Sri Lanka …. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjOmbJK_4-k

http://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-the-purple-plain-1954-gfdtwo-cities-film-with-gregory-peck-19484850.html from 

The ‘Spotlight’ column returns after a lengthy interval. The focus this time is on American actor Gregory Peck. There is no particular reason other than nostalgia for writing about this former Hollywood idol at this time. Born in 1916, Peck passed away in 2003. So this year 2015 does not mark any significant anniversary in his life or of his death. Continue reading

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Profound Testimonies: Aged Holocaust Survivors and Their Last Testaments

Fiona Harari, in the Weekend Australian Magazine 27/28 Jan 2018, where the title reads “Last Testament”

Survivors of Nazism who have adult memories of the ­Holocaust are a fading group. Born in 1926 or earlier, they were at least 18 when the war ended. The war consumed a small fraction of their lives, percentage-wise. But its legacy endures in their memories, their outlooks and, increasingly, in their dreams. They are the last living voices of a generation that was not meant to be, men and women now in their 10th and 11th decades who have defied not just the law of a nation that sought to annihilate them, but the law of nature that not so long ago would have dictated a much shorter lifespan.

Mala Sonnabend. Picture: Fiona Harari

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Philip Maisel’s Oral History of Jewish Holocaust Experiences

Jewish Holocaust Centre, Melbourne ….  http://www.jhc.org.au/museum/collections/survivor-testimonies.html

The JHC has over 1300 video testimonies as well as over 200 audio testimonies in its collection. These provide eyewitness accounts of the horrors of the Holocaust, as well as glimpses into the vibrancy of pre-war Jewish life in Europe. The collection is widely used by researchers and students of oral history, the Holocaust and a variety of other disciplines. The testimonies’ project began in the 1980s as the Melbourne Oral History Project, established by Sandra Cowan and Jenny Wajsenberg and later co-ordinated by the late Anne Bernhaut. They conducted over 200 audio recordings of Holocaust survivors.

 Phillip Maisel has been recording a testimony of Holocaust survivors for 25 years. (ABC News: Peter Drought)

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