Deciphering The Vanniyas; A People Out Of The Box

October 13, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Darshanie Ratnawalli

During the twilight of the Vanniyas, that is, the latter half of the 19th century, the last remaining representatives of that identity were found eking out a living in several villages of Nuvarakalaviya (North Central province) and Northern province (mainly around Vavuniya in Kurunthankulam and Nochcikulam or Chinna Cheddikulam). They were living, breathing fossils of a species of people that have entered case studies of modern historiography as exemplifiers of the incorporating drives of the pre-modern Lankan state. “Thus, in Sinhale on the one hand there existed an incorporative tolerance that a) permitted immigrant bodies to settle in the Vanni and the Eastern Province…”-(Michael Roberts, “Prejudice and Hate in Pluralist Settings: The Kingdom of Kandy”, 2000).

Philip Baldaeus Didn’t See a Big Ethnic Difference in Ceylon

October 13, 2013 at 5:08 pm
Posted by Sri Lanka Guardian

| by Laksiri Fernando
( October  13, 2013, Sydney, Sri Lanka Guardian) Both Robert Knox and Philip Baldaeus are important in studying and understanding the history, people and culture of Ceylon in the 17th century, with possible insights for today, but the scholars have so far given less attention to Baldaeus than to Knox for various reasons. Baldaeus was a Protestant Priest who came to the country as a missionary when the Dutch were taking over the Maritime Provinces from the Portuguese. He probably came to Ceylon in 1657 and left the country in 1665. In between, he was also in Malabar and Coromandel for missionary work.

The Crisis Of The Opposition & The Crisis Of The State

October 13, 2013 at 5:01 pm
Posted by Sri Lanka Guardian

| by Dr Dayan Jayatilleka
( October 12, 2013, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) It is no accident that the renovation and recovery of the British Labour Party during the long night of Thatcherism was intellectually spearheaded by three outstanding theoreticians of the Marxian Left, Eric Hobsbawm, Stuart Hall and Martin Jacques, all of whom drew on the political science of Antonio Gramsci to critically comprehend the success, national and cultural, of the Thatcher phenomenon of ‘authoritarian populism’ (Stuart Hall) and the ossification and obsolescence of the Labour Opposition.
There is no better guide to understanding the dual crises of Sri Lankan opposition and state and likely outcomes than Gramsci. His pertinently titled ‘Observations on certain aspects of the structure of political parties in periods of Organic Crisis’ in the essay ‘State and Civil Society’ in his Prison Notebooks could well have been about the United National Party:

Happy B’day Enchanting Duchess of ‘Rekhawa’ – Mallika Pilapitiya!

October 13, 2013 at 4:57 pm


| by  Sunalie Ratnayake
( October 7, 2013,Los Angeles, Sri Lanka Guardian)  Time has flown by in the blink of an eye. Over the decades that passed by, the world has emerged in many an entity, some; for the best, others; for the worst, yet in life, there are people, occurrences and impressions left behind, that could never be erased by the tenacious, ephemeral and constantly varying passage of time. Today, I am blessed to unveil a ‘time capsule’ that had been concealed for over five and a half long decades, since its initial revelation to the public eye, and its life and times of glory.

Today, with the same gracious smile, confident voice and warm attitude,  she spends her time mostly amongst her children and grandchildren, and  involves in religious activities. Yet, there is another side to her, she  had never exposed thus far, which I too happened to grasp via many of  our prolonged phone conversations over the years.

Wishing the North’s chief minister well

October 13, 2013 at 4:52 pm


| by Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena
( October 13, 2013, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) As he embarks on his official duties in this month of October 2013, Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council and former judge of Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court C.V. Wigneswaran must be left in no doubt of the hopes reposed in him by Tamil and Sinhala moderates despite extremists who revile him post-elections.
Overheated election rhetoric appears to have given way to a saner approach as signified by the Chief Minister taking oaths before President Mahinda Rajapaksa even as he was increasingly criticized for doing so from within his own ranks with some particularly ugly manifestations. 

Beggaring the People; Enslaving the Nation

October 13, 2013 at 4:50 pm


| by Tisaranee Gunasekara
“We used to live in the cashew plantation in ‘Aaru Bokka’. First they came from the Port and measured our land…. Then they sent letters. Our land has been valued at very low levels… 2 lakhs, 3 lakhs…. There were about 70 families…. We all owned plots of about 2.5 acres….  (After we protested) they increased it to 5 lakhs, 6 lakhs… And we moved into these plots of 20 perches….. Around this time of the year, the cashew would have brought us the most income… The…reservoirs…had been filled up…. We had brick-making huts. We never got compensation for any of those structures….. Before we left, they told us that one member from each family would be given a job… We didn’t get that either…. No one was given a job…. We are now totally helpless”. A villager displaced by the Hambantota Port (Mega Development Project in Hambantota: In Whose Interest? – Law and Society Trust)1

Former Trinity principal responds to Political Watch

October 12, 2013 at 10:27 pm

October 12, 2013, 7:20 pm

The article “Scandal Rocks Trinity” in the Political Column of  the Sunday Island of Oct 6, 2013 has referred to the time I was Principal  Trinity College. Your correspondent has been given inaccurate information. This  letter is purely to put the record straight and give your correspondent and the  general public, among whom are my students and friends, the correct facts:

1. I am British, born in India to an English father and mother  who were born in the UK. My father was a Medical Missionary in India from 1936  to 1969.

SC ruling Part 2: Battle over land turns into Battle of the Chief Justices?

October 12, 2013 at 10:24 pm

October 12, 2013, 7:18 pm

by Rajan Philips

In what seems to be becoming the battle of the Chief Justices, former Chief  Justice Sarath Silva has publicly disputed the factual foundation of the so  called landmark Supreme Court ruling whose main consequence might be to prop up  political claims denying provincial powers over land. One is left to wonder if  Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake will also enter the fray. As the only  academic who vaulted to the bench, she might be better placed in adding to the  knowledge of the law than delivering judicial opinions in op-ed articles.

Clock Towers in Sri Lanka

October 12, 2013 at 10:21 pm

October 12, 2013, 7:22 pm

A friend resident in Canada sent me an email about the Kandy  clock tower which awoke long ago memories and a smile at a more recent event  associated with this landmark.

Kandy experienced the worst floods in its living memory in  August 1947. I remember as a very young boarder in a school in Kandy being  marooned with most others, unable to take off for the August holidays. We did  not mind the forced stay since school was out and fun, games and ballroom  dancing were in; the last because it was the Matron’s prescribed method for  keeping warm. We played 304 to our hearts content. Tragedy intruded with one of  the boarder’s mother – single parent – arriving totally distraught as her house  in Katugastota had been washed away. A teacher who was engaged to be married at  the end of August lost her entire trousseau, engagement ring included. She lived  at Peradeniya Road in Getambe. That’s when the small temple by the side of the  Mahaweli earned its reputation for being extra auspicious or holy and the habit  of dropping coins and asking for blessing started by travelers to and from Kandy.  The temple stood intact in contrast to the destruction of much larger and even  stronger buildings reduced to rubble by the raging waters. The Peradeniya  Botanical Gardens and bridge across the Mahaweli were totally submerged.

The Galle Face Hotel begins an Historical Restoration Project

October 12, 2013 at 10:17 pm

* Business as usual at The Galle Face Hotel during the  revitalising transformation

October 12, 2013, 5:45 pm

The iconic Galle Face Hotel has embarked on a restoration  project of its Classic Wing, originally built in 1864. The ambitious restoration  project is designed to preserve the grandeur and romance of the magnificent  property while upgrading and modernising the quality of guest facilities,  amenities and services. The Classic Wing is scheduled to reopen to guests in  late 2014 while the Regency Wing will continue to operate as usual throughout  the restoration.

Hit Counter provided by orange county property management