Wednesday, January 26, 2011

shit happens ma…move on hon… what else is there to do

Dasun said...

December 28, 2010 10:18 AM

Dear ratnawalli,
First let me congratulate you for the brilliant theory of elegant posts by yourself causing the shut down of kalaya forum. I was foolish to think this was due to a technical problem in the forum software. While you enjoy a drink celebrating this achievement I would like to draw your attention to something else.

Every week Prof. NdeS writes 3 articles to Irida Divaina,Vidusara and for Midweek Review section in Wednesday The Island ( news papers. Lot of scholars/laymen write to these news papers and some of them have challenged NdeS. That is the platform for a person of your caliber. Therefore without delay please challenge him there since your blog will not get proper attention of the misinformed public.

kind regards,

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ratnawalli said...

December 28, 2010 9:55 PM

I have never felt less like enjoying a drink and celebrating than when I tentatively assumed (wrongly as you now inform me. I am glad) that I was responsible for the crashing of the Kalaya forum. I simply felt sad.

About sending this post to Island or some such forum…I don’t know. When I have felt that a certain bit of writing by me had sensation value, cried out for a larger audience or had the power to alter however slightly the world views of people, I have tried to take it out of the narrow spotlight of this blog and accord it the bigger spotlight it deserves. For example, “Why did Dr. Jehan Perera lie to Dr. Michael Roberts? A Sri Lankan horror story” I got published in both the SL Guardian and Sri Lanka Web. But don’t you think that this subject matter would be considered esoteric and pedantic by most people?

Also I don’t see how Prof NdeS can ever redeem himself after being challenged in a public forum in this particular way; for even though as you have said, he has been challenged many times in public forums, those challenges have ranged from the ridiculous to ad hominem to vague and abstract; challenges in the realm of concepts as opposed to my challenge, which is a simple pointer towards a more empirical body of evidence built up by more specialist scholars.
So do I want to enjoy a bigger spotlight at the expense of Prof NdeS? I thought not. But now you have given me an idea. You sound as if you are in no doubt about the outcome of such a challenge; as if your money was totally on Prof NdeS emerging the victor. How touching it is that Prof NdeS is able to inspire such faith in his disciples even when it does seem as if his reading list in this particular subject has not being extensive.

So will think about it. I might or not send this to the Island. Island might or not accept it. But Prof NdeS might NOT emerge victorious. You think about it.

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Dasun said...

December 29, 2010 12:31 AM

Now i feel that even you don't believe in your claims. This should be the reason for the all sorts of excuses. "subject matter is pedantic for most people". You seem to accept that "most people" will be the ordinance and the defeat before starting the match but The Island is read by the english educated scholar type unlike the sinhala newspapers read by godayas. If you cannot communicate this to them what is the purpose of fussing over this story? You should try to follow great scholars like Dr.s Jehan and Michael who write to The Island time to time. I have seen non-phds also getting published there. So thats another baseless excuse.

I'm not a disciple of NdeS but a disciple of his teacher but you try to become his grandmother and protect him in public forums. come on! I didn't expect this from you but was expecting few articles on this important matter with some catchy heading like "Jaffna Tamil kingdom and portuguese". Please write a good article with a clear case for your claims (which should clearly contradicting with NdeS's claims) and send it to Island.

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ratnawalli said...

December 29, 2010 1:04 AM

You are not making a lot of sense. The heading of this article is "Embarrassing bits in Prof NdeS's public proclamations" And I have already written it and clearly shown why the bits I have selected are embarrassing. And I haven't used any of 'my claims' in it. It is a simple pointer towards a more empirical body of evidence built up by more specialist scholars. I don't know if you are the same Dasun who commented earlier because your IPs are slightly different.

However thanks for trying to encourage me to find a more public forum for this article. As I said I will give it some serious thought.

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Dasun said...

December 29, 2010 9:20 AM

This is amazing. I was expecting that you would write something to clearly show! but i cannot figure out what you have actually shown up to now.

You have quoted person C and claim person A is wrong and the persons B and D who quote from A are wrong. On what evidence that C claims A is wrong?

"Prof Abeyasinghe simply categorises (should i start drinking to see how he just categorises this from thin air?) the
“These terms [written] in the Portuguese and the Chingala languages, …..” on page 371 of Temporal and Spiritual conquest of Ceylon as an error on Queiros’ part."

Are we to assume Abayasinghe's theory is correct because he is Abayasinghe and Queiros's theory must be wrong because he is not Abayasinghe.. is that the logic behind this finding?

No. i'm neither historian nor academic to understand these. It seems pointless to persuade you on writing to The Island.

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ratnawalli said...

December 30, 2010 3:39 AM

My dear Dasun

Starting to drink whenever you can't figure something out is not a good solution. It would be smarter to read Professor T.B.H Abeyasinghe's ‘Jaffna under the Portuguese’ first.

Then many things would become clear to you. Blogger does not facilitate long replies and my reply to you run into a few pages. So I will post the full reply tomorrow morning as a new post.

You know I am almost 90% persuaded now.

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From: ratnawalli DPG


Sent: Thursday, January 20, 2011 3:02 PM

Subject: Re Article

Dear Sir, a cat may look at a king. Similarly, even someone like me, belonging firmly to the genus Toms- Dicks-Harries-and-Janes may, spot in the communications of one of your regular columnists, I won’t say fatal flaws, but clear evidence of indifferent research methods, a clear preference as it were, for surface skimming where in-depth diving is required. I am sorry to say Sir, that this has happened. I have spotted in the case of Professor Nalin De Silva’s communications, just such incomplete knowledge seeking methods, and this has led me to compose a long article and send it to your paper. I am sad to say that you haven’t published it so far. But I haven’t given up hope. In that spirit of hope, I am sending it to you again with some slight changes. (And also intend to courier a printout and a CD containing the document to your Office). Even though earlier I specified midweek review for this article, I can see that there may be space difficulties in this, so I have now come around to the opinion that, an Island of any date is quite alright. Here’s to hoping then Sir, that you will publish it at your earliest convenience.

from prabath

to ratnawalli DPG

date Fri, Jan 21, 2011 at 2:00 PM

subject From The Island editor with thanks

Dear Darshanie,

You have already posted this article on the Internet (on Jan. 06). This mail reached me on Jan. 20 and your hard copy was sent yesterday. Reproducing it after a lapse of over two weeks will be a waste of space. Would you mind sending me a different response to NdeS?


Prabath (Sahabandu)

from ratnawalli DPG

to prabath

date Fri, Jan 21, 2011 at 2:42 PM

subject Re: From The Island editor with thanks


Actually the first time I sent this to you along with the hard copy was 06 Jan 2011. Never mind. The audience would be completely different. If you publish it in The Island, it would go to an audience which doesn't even know of my site's existence. As far as your audience is concerned this article would be brand new. My site is too well hidden. I know its stats. Please do publish it. It won't be a waste.



  1. i didn't have time to visit your blog for several days. I hoped that your article will be published in island. however i don not see anything conclusive in your logic to select between Queiros and Abeysinghe. unfortunately don't have time to read the references you point to. One thing I can do for the moment. if you can explain the following

    "It is in pages 24, 25, 26, 27 of his book that Prof Abeyasinghe categorises the frequent references in Queiros’ work to Chingalas in Jaffna as errors. (Which they must be because the way Queiros tells it, there are Chingalas under every bush and in every culvert in 16th Century Jaffna, which simply could not have been.)"

    by TA we can have some discussion on the matter.

  2. What's TA? To anybody reading my article, that sentence you have highlighted becomes crystal clear. I have quoted whole paras from Queiros to show its meaning.

  3. I was referring Prof.Abeysinghe as TA for short.

    "(Which they must be because the way Queiros tells it, there are Chingalas under every bush and in every culvert in 16th Century Jaffna, which simply could not have been.)"

    Is the quoted lines from TA's book or from your intuition on 16th century Jaffna? I'm basically extracting the relevant information from the article for the ease of handling.

  4. The bold text you have given above is my words. Not TA's at all. All TA's statements are given within quotation marks and in coloured text. So are Queiros's statements. For ease of comprehension.