Monday, May 2, 2011


Battecaloa Fort - Photography-Anu Weerasuriya

Matara Fort - Photography-Anu Weerasuriya

1 comment:

  1. Date: May 19, 2011

    I have my doubts about the account of John Still. Of course he could not have been born in 1980 but let's say he was born in 1890. If he was 20 years when he came out to Sri Lanka, that would have been in 1910. If he then worked for two years in planting, that would have taken him to 1912. His war service would have begun the next year, 1913. So when was he with Bell? After the war, he returned, became a planter again, became Chairman/President of the Planters' Association (which indicates seniority in the trade), published "Jungle Tide" in 1931 in retirement. So this whole chronology is wrong.
    I think (no dates) that he was with Bell in 1900-1912 when he went off to the war like all young Englishmen of that time. He must have been a planter before he joined Bell. After the war he reverted to planting.
    There is a Nat.Geo article in 1903 about Sigiriya which shows a young English archaeologist climbing the rock. I think that is he. You know that he "married" and left behind children. What I remember most clearly is that, in "Jungle Tide" he predicts that the longest lasting legacy of English rule in Ceylon would be, not the language, but Cricket!!!

    Date: May 20, 2011

    Good Morning
    Many thanks for your email. Very sorry about the typo. That was a big mistake. Thanks for pointing it out.
    Point also taken about the chronology. And certainly JS has been right in his prediction!
    We would love to see the article in the Nat Geo about Sigiri. Any chance of obtaining a photocopy? Or digitally photographing it?
    Hope all is well with you --
    Our best regards,

    Date: Jun 2, 2011

    Dear Mr Somasiri
    This is to let you know that according to the book by Bell's grand daughters, John Still was born in 1880. I went back to the Munidasa article to check the date and found that it wasnt a typo on my part! The date given here is 1980. I just did a cut and paste from the web.
    Best rgds