Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Hundred Days in Ceylon Under Martial Law in 1915

"This book is an appeal to the British conscience for justice to the people of Ceylon. I believe it will justify my faith. Bred, though not born, one of them, I have known the people of Ceylon for over thirty years and chosen to make their home my own. I may fairly claim to be free from partiality for any particular community, or interest in any particular race. My ordinary work affords me uncommon opportunities of appreciating their virtues and observing their failings, and I have not insisted upon the former more than I have criticized the latter in the course of my daily contributions to public opinion in the Island. I cannot, I fancy, be accused of undue Sympathy with the Sinhalese. On the contrary. I have not infrequently incurred their disappointment by declining to support their objects and interests, when these seemed to me to conflict with those of other Ceylonese. My writings in June, 1915, testify to my keen sympathy with the plight of the Moors, while my resolute refusal to favor the Sinhalese "national" movement forfeited the goodwill of many who did not hesitate to denounce me as an "alien," in their resentment at my failure to sympathize with what I feared might, unintentionally, widen cleavages- instead of fostering unity, among the Ceylonese. Nor have my sympathies with the Ceylonese been indiscriminate: when a cry, " Ceylon for the Ceylonese " was raised from the platform on one occasion, I rebuked it in terms that left no room for mistake."- Armand de Souza