The Cradle of Humans where the first humans evolved is also one of the most exploited continents in the world. Second only to Asia in size, this land of origin, beauty and resources was exploited by the Western Imperial Powers since the 15th century. Not only the land itself was carved among themselves the colonial powers took it to dehumanize its inhabitants and carry them across the world as commodities. The continent was split and named according the fancies of the colonists to bear the stigma of colonialism as long as they could control this vast area of 11,677,239 square miles.
It took as late as the second half of the 19th century for the colonial protectorates to become free to manage their own affairs.
Belgian Congo- Republic of Congo, established in 1908 as colony of Belgium, it became Republic of the Congo in 1960.
Botswana- Bechuanaland, a British protectorate became independent in 1966 as Republic of Botswana.
Djibouti- French Somaliland, the French colony was renamed to the French Territory of Afars and Issas (1967 – 1977), the territory became independent in 1977, known today as Djibouti
Gold Coast and the Togoland British trust territory became the first sub-Saharan country in colonial Africa was the first to gain independence as Ghana in 1957.
Lesotho- Basutoland, a British protectorate became independent in 1966 as the Kingdom of Lesotho.
Nyasaland- Malawi, a British protectorate became the independent nation of Malawi in 1964.
Rhodesia, Northern- Zambia was administered by the South Africa Company from 1891 until takeover by the British in 1923. The name was changed to Zambia upon independence in 1964.
Rhodesia, Southern – Zimbabwe, acquired by [British] South Africa Company in 1923, gained independence (as Zimbabwe) in 1980.
Sudan, French- Mali, a part of the Federation of French West Africa, in 1959, became Sudanese Republic and Senegal and gained independence as Federation of Mali becoming in 1960.
Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form the nation of Tanzania in 1964.
Union of South Africa- Republic of South Africa was formed on 31 May 1910 as a parliamentary union of the four self-governing British colonies: the Cape of Good Hope Province, Natal Province, Orange River Colony and the Transvaal Province. The Union came to an end in 1961with a new constitution and became the “Republic of South Africa”.
The two countries eventually signed an agreement making the islands an Anglo-French condominium, which divided the New Hebrides into two separate communities: one Anglophone and one Francophone. This divide continues even after independence, with schools teaching in either one language or the other, and with different political parties. The condominium lasted from 1906 until 1980, when the New Hebrides gained their independence as Vanuatu.
The Colony of Southern Rhodesia was a self-governing British Crown colony in southern Africa from 1923 to 1980, equivalent in territorial terms to modern Zimbabwe. Following its Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1965 it existed as the self-declared, unrecognized state of Rhodesia until 1979, when it reconstituted itself under majority rule as Zimbabwe Rhodesia, which also failed to win overseas recognition. After a period of interim British control following the Lancaster House Agreement in December 1979, the country achieved internationally recognised independence as Zimbabwe in April 1980.
Robert Mugabe rose to prominence in the 1960s as the leader of the Zimbabwe African National. As current President of Zimbabwe he has served since 22 December 1987. As one of the leaders of the rebel groups in opposition to white minority rule, he was elected Prime Minister in 1980, serving in that office as head of the government, until 1987, when he became the country’s first executive head of state. As of August 2016, he is the world’s oldest and one of the longest serving Head of State. His 36-year rule has been characterised by gross human rights violations, resulting in him joining the world list of dictators.
Ceylon, Commemorative issue 2500 years of Buddha, 5 rupee, Silver 1957 UNC Commemorative issue
Buddha Jayanthi 2500th Anniversary
500,000 coins minted in 1957 of which 258,000 were melted down in 1962
An adaptation from the Anuradhapura Moonstone. The numeral 2500 at the centre with Flower petals around in inner annulus, next a procession of elephant, horse, lion and bull (2 sequences). next a procession of sixteen geese, with lotus flowers hanging from their beaks.
Note:These coins are popularly referred to as the Buddha Jayanthi coins
Sandakada pahana, also known as Moon-stone, is a unique feature of the Sinhalese architecture of ancient Sri Lanka. It is an elaborately carved semi-circular stone slab, usually placed at the bottom of staircases and entrances.
Engraver: Bernard Sindall
A design based on the Jasmine flower surmounted by a Lotus flower. The value in Sinhalese and the year of issue 1957 is superimposed at the center. The value FIVE RUPEES in English on left and Tamil on right and in Sinhalese `Sri Lanka’ at the apex and the anniversary `Buddha Jayanthi’ at the bottom.
Angkor, the lost capital of Kambuja (Cambodia) was rediscovered by the French naturalist Henri Mouhot in 1860. only about 150 years ago. Yet it has revealed culture, art and architecture that is unparalleled in South East Asia. Following the fall of Kambuja to the Siamese in 1431 AD, the splendor of the capital was lost to the jungle for the next four centuries. As the vegetation took grip on these magnificent buildings, their roots failed to shake the robust structures built through the masonry of ancient architects and artisans. Lost to man, snakes took shelter and the wild animals roamed claiming the territory that the humans took from them. Gods and nature mingled once again hidden from the greed and breed of the human race.
Upon its discovery, the world was stunned by the treasures that it revealed. Here was a fusion of two most ancient religions, Hinduism and Buddhism, with no signs of conflict between the two. Vishnu and Buddha mingled sometimes as one, Shiva’s serpent (Naga) guarded the Buddha. Uma shared the platform with Buddha and Vishnu, while Linga adored the temple with Buddha. The mythology of Hindus adapted to Buddha’s philosophy of life was in harmony.
Having remained undisturbed for generations, now a prolific number of magnificent work of art and sculpture from Angkor started emerging. As these arefacts from the Khmer state started to reach the western world. If all these artifacts were to be real how did such a large number of objects survive? Or all these fake! the invention man’s greed.
Experts may use the look and feel method for authenticity but they too are not infallible. Recalling that these bronzes were smelted and cast at over 1000 deg centigrade some tell tale marks should remain. The inner core of clay would be black showing evidence of firing and and a discerning buyer could employ Thermoluminescence (TL) dating but this is currently expensive, the current going rate being approximately £ 240.00 per object. If there is no remaining fired core clay within the bronze cast a metallurgist may help in dating. in order to understand this dilemma we have to go back nearly 2000 years in history to the advent of Christian era.
According to legend an Indian named Kaundinya on arrival to the larger Malay Peninsula, called Funan, formed an alliance with a Nagini princess, hence probably the early Naga influence on the state. For the next 1000 years Kambuja remained a Hindu state with a balance of Brahma, Shiva (Linga) and Vishnu as deities. Almost all art, bronzes and culture are centered on these deities from 600 to 1200 AD until Buddhism arrived in the 13th century. A remarkable peaceful union of the two religions followed with their sculpture encompassing the Hindu deities and Buddha.
During the reign of Jayavarman VII in the 12th century in Kambuja religious fervor set in fueling an output of a large number of smaller bronzes. This new demand exerted pressure on the craftsmen, contributing to some poor quality bronzes. Good quality pieces became relatively less. By the time Khmer State starting to fade in the 15th century its treasures had got redistributed to rest of South Asia where they have survived into modern times. In addition, continuous wars and invasion by the neighboring states contributed to redistribution of Khmer treasures and artifacts in Siam, Laos, Thailand, Burma, and as far as Tibet, Malaysia and China.
Some of my early collections are from these countries. Even as late as early 18th century the hostility between Siam and Cambodia continued causing further outflow of Khmer art and sculpture into other parts of the region. It is not surprising to encounter such relatively large number of ancient Khmer artifacts in the west over the past century, given the high output of Khmer bronzes for over a millennium. Some may be fakes or reproduction of the past century but certainly some jewels in sculpture cannot be painted with the brush.
The first inhabitants of Jamaica probably came from islands to the east in two waves of migration. About 600 CE the culture known as the “Redware people” arrived; little is known of them, however, beyond the red pottery they left. Alligator Pond in Manchester Parish and Little River in St. Ann Parish are among the earliest known sites of these people, who lived near the coast and extensively hunted turtles and fish.
The second wave of inhabitants of Jamaica are the Arawaks, also called Tainos. They came from South America 2,500 years ago and named the island Xaymaca, which meant “”land of wood and water”. The Arawaks were a mild and simple people by nature. Physically, they were light brown in color, short and well-shaped with coarse, black hair. Their faces were broad and their noses flat.
The first known inhabitants of Jamaica, the Caribbean Arawaks used Jamaican cassava as a staple part of their diet which originated in Brazil and Paraguay. Jamaican cassava also grows in tropical and subtropical areas of the world.
The main thrust of exploration of the New World came from Portugal, but Spain was quick to follow. In 1492, Ferdinand II and Isabella I helped the Italian navigator, Christopher Columbus, to sail in search of the New World. Columbus is believed to be the first European to reach Jamaica when he landed on the island on May 5, 1494, during his second voyage to the Americas. Columbus returned to Jamaica during his fourth voyage while sailing around the Caribbean nearly a year when a storm beached his ships in St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica, on June 25, 1503. For a year Columbus and his men remained stranded on the island, finally departing in June 1504.
The Spanish crown granted the island to the Columbus family the island was insignificant in the colonial scene and was valued chiefly as a supply base for food and animal hides. In 1509 Juan de Esquivel founded the first permanent European settlement, the town of Sevilla la Nueva (New Seville), on the north coast.
In 1534 the capital was moved to Villa de la Vega (later Santiago de la Vega), now called Spanish Town. This settlement served as the capital of both Spanish and English Jamaica, from its founding in 1534 until 1872, after which the capital was moved to Kingston.
The Spanish enslaved many of the Taino but some escaped while most died from European diseases and overwork. The Spaniards also in the meantime introduced the first African slaves. By the early 17th century virtually no Taino remained in the region and population of the island was about 3,000, including a small number of African slaves. Disappointed in the lack of the magic metal, gold on the isle, the Spanish mainly used Jamaica as a military base to for their colonizing efforts in the mainland America.
In late 1654, the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth England Oliver Cromwell launched the Western Design armada against Spain’s colonies in the Caribbean. English force then sailed for Jamaica, the only Spanish West Indies island that did not have any significant defence. In May 1655, around 7,000 English soldiers landed near Jamaica’s Spanish Town capital and soon overwhelmed the small number of Spanish troops (at the time, Jamaica’s entire population only numbered around 2,500). Spain lost the Battle of Ocho Rios in 1657 and the Battle of Rio Nuevo in 1658. For England, Jamaica was the base to the heart of the Spanish Empire,’ although in fact it was a possession of little economic value then. England gained formal possession of Jamaica from Spain in 1670 through the Treaty of Madrid. Removing the pressing need for constant defense against Spanish attack, this change served as an incentive to planting.
Cromwell increased the island’s white population by sending indentured servants and criminals to Jamaica. But tropical diseases kept the number of whites under 10,000 until about 1740. Although the slave population in the 1670s and 1680s never exceeded 10,000, by the end of the seventeenth century imports of slaves increased the black population to at least five times the number of whites. Thereafter, Jamaica’s blacks did not increase significantly in number until well into the eighteenth century when the slave population increased from 45,000 to over 300,000.
Abolition Act 1833 of the Parliament of the United Kingdom abolished slavery throughout the British Empire (with the exceptions “of the Territories in the Possession of the East India Company”, the “Island of Ceylon” and “the Island of Saint Helena”). However these two exceptions were eliminated in 1843. In Jamaica, Abolition of Slave Trade 1838 was officially announced at the Kings House in Kingston.
The first coins of Jamaica under Queen Victoria were issued in 1869 as the bronze coins introduced into the British coinage in the 1860s were not suitable for the West Indies. The use of cupro-nickel had been considered during the trials for the British coinage by Thomas Graham, renowned chemist and Master of the Mint from 1855–1869, and Jamaica provided an opportunity to test the new alloy. The first coins in cupro-nickel were released for this purpose in Jamaica and, like aluminium, this metal became a success for coinage all over the world.
When the World War broke out in in 1914, the Africans in the New World had acclimatized to the British institutions, culture and language to the extent of supporting Britain. In fact their response was so overwhelming the British War Office was concerned enough try and curtail the number of Black Africans in the army. On 19 May 1915 King George V, approved to raise a West Indian contingent on during the World War.
At the end of he war when the contingents started returning to Jamaica in 1919 the state services were poorly organised to offer
any support to the returning Black American Soldiers. With the already prevailing poor socioeconomic conditions when the soldiers began to arrive they quickly joined the wave of worker’s protests resulting from a severe economic crisis produced by the war. The political climate was right for emergence of black nationalist ideology espoused by black nationalist leader Marcus Garvey and others. Disenchanted soldiers and angry workers unleashed a series of protest actions and riots in a number of territories including Jamaica, Grenada and especially in British Honduras.
November 20, 1944 was an important day in the history of Jamaica when nominations for the first-ever elections held under universal adult suffrage in Jamaica took place. That election was held on December 14, 1944. This meant that all adults had the right to vote. Prior to 1944, one had to pay at least ten shillings tax per year or have property to be able to vote.
The end of World War II brought reality of occupied lands leading to decolonization across the world. British Government and local politicians were in long drawn out state of transition of Jamaica from a crown colony into an independent state. After Norman Manley was elected Chief Minister in 1955, he sped up the process of decolonization via several constitutional amendments. Under Manley, Jamaica entered the West Indies Federation, a political union of colonial Caribbean islands which if united would have brought ten British colonial territories into a single, independent state. However within Jamaican participation in the Federation was unpopular, and the results of the 1961 West Indies referendum held by Premier Manley cemented the colony’s withdrawal from the union in 1962. Further with departure of Trinidad and Tobago the West Indies Federation collapsed later that year.
The elections held in 1962 resulted in Alexander Bustamante’s premiership in April of that year. On 19 July 1962, the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed the act leading to the independence of Jamaica on 6 August in the same year. On this day, following 307 years of British Colonialism, the Union Jack was ceremoniously lowered and replaced by the Jamaican flag throughout the country. Princess Margaret opened the first session of the Parliament of Jamaica on behalf of her sister Queen Elizabeth II and the first Jamaica Independence Festival was held.
Abyssinia rulers take their origin from King Solomon. Menelik I, also known as Ebna la-Hakim (“Son of the Wise”[) ) was the first SolomonicEmperor of Ethiopia, who is traditionally believed to be the son of Solomon of ancient Israel and Makeda, the ancient Queen of Sheba. Menelik is believed to have ruled around 950 BC, and tradition credits him with bringing of the Ark of the Covenant to Ethiopia, following a visit to Jerusalem to meet his father.
King Solomon intended to send one son of each of his nobles, and one son of each temple priests with Menelik on his return to his mother’s kingdom. Menelik is supposed to have made a replica of the Ark to take with him on his mission. Upon the death of Queen Makeda, Menelik assumed the throne with the new title of Emperor and King of Kings of Ethiopia. The Solomonic dynasty ruled Ethiopia through 225 generations, except for a few interruptions, for three thousand years.
The Abyssinian Emperor Menelik II (1844 – 1913) was baptized as Sahle Maryam, his birth name being Negus of Shewa (1866–89). He was later raised to the status of Nəgusä Nägäst (King of Kings) from 1889 to his death. Earlier at the zenith of his rule in 1898 Menelik had expanded his territory and created a modern empire, thus restoring the ancient Ethiopia to its past glory of Axumite Empire which was one of the four most powerful kingdoms of the ancient world.
Menelik’s victory over the Italian invaders at Adwa in 1896 earned him great fame. Colonial Italy was defeated resoundingly by Ethiopia in one of the greatest battles in the history of Africa. This victory over Italy at the Battle of Adwa came at a time when almost all of Africa was colonized by European powers. Emperor Menelik is credited with rallying his fellow Ethiopians behind him to fight back fiercely enough so as to deliver an unimaginable victory against the so called powerful and mighty forces of a European army.
In 1889 Menelik proclaimed that the territories north of the Merab Melash (modern Eritrea) did not belong to his rule as the land was not peopled by Abyssinians, but by other tribes such as Adals, Bejas, and Tigres. This is probably the reason he ceded Eritrea to the Italians.
Benito Mussolini came to power in Italy in 1922 with a grandiose intent to create a new Roman Empire and was on a predatory watch over the world including Africa. His target was Abyssinia (Ethiopia), sandwiched between two small Italian colonies Eritrea and Somalia
Abyssinia at this time, ruled by Haile Selassie, was a member of the League of Nations, created after World War I to maintain peace by solving international disputes without resorting to war. Britain, France, and Italy were members of the League. If a member was attacked by another country, the League was supposed to come to its aid, but in fact the League lacked the strength needed to back this mandate.
Throughout the summer of 1935, Mussolini amassed troops on the Abyssinian border, and in October 1935 he launched a full invasion’ Selassie appealed to the League for help but the League’s intervention was too slow and weak. Mussolini conquered Abyssinia, creating the Italian East African Empire.
The ruler Haile Selassie was born in 1892 as Tefari Makonnen and became governor of Harar, a city in Ethiopia in 1911. In 1928 he was crowned king and ruler of Ethiopia. On November 3 1930 Selassie appeared on the cover of Time magazine as “Man of the year” and one of the Top 25 Political Icons in history. Writing about Haile Selassie, TIME stated, the King of Kings, Conquering Lion of Judah, Elect of God. (All were used to describe Haile Selassie) ruled as Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930.
An year later in 1931 he introduced the first constitution of Ethiopia. In 1935 when Italy invaded Ethiopia after a gruesome battle for 5 years Selassie went into exile.
Finally before the fall of Italy in 1941 during the Second World War Allied East African Forces forces retook Ethiopia. On January 18, 1941 Haile Selassie marched in the East African Campaign against Mussolini’s occupation.
In 1955, in an attempt to modernize the country, Selassie granted a new constitution with more rights for his citizens. In 1963, he presided over the first meeting of the Organization of African Unity In 1972. Selassie was ultimately deposed in a organized military coup by people who were discontented with his regime. However Selassie’s contribution to African solidarity earned him fame as one of the reformists in emerging African political scene.
Marriages are quoted to be made in heaven but occasionally they end up in hell. Hundreds of causes are proposed for failure of marriages from broken homes to infidelity. Everybody gets married with a sense of commitment although the reasons may vary from love to money. The trials of marriage usually occur in early stages of matrimony and early recognition may help to prevent a breakdown. As a physician, it is heart-warming to meet couples who have made their progress from silver, ruby to golden anniversary and beyond. The longer they have stayed together stronger is their bondage. The final sad hour of their life is when one spouse departs from the world leaving the other with a sense of emptiness and sorrow.
We have no way of knowing how many marriages would have been saved with correct intervention and support. The following is form of stress test for both the man and the woman to measure the depth of their problem and gauge the prognosis. The test is meant to be guideline only and not infallible.
10 POINTS STRESS TEST FOR MARIETAL STRAIN (WIFE)
Do you believe that your Husband is concerned about your health and well being
Do you believe that your husband prioritises your quality of life above money
In case of divorce do you believe that your husband will fight hard to give you only the minimum benefits
Do you think your husband will be very concerned about the effect of divorce on the children, if any
Do you believe that your husband may never want to see you again after divorce
Is your husband diagnosed to have mental illness or physical addiction to drugs or alcohol
Is your husband being negatively influenced by others
Has your husband ever left home over differences
Does your husband have an ongoing extramarital affair or had one in the past
A total score of 0 points denotes that marriage can be saved with intervention and counselling
Each negative score thereafter reduces the chances of the survival of marriage by about 20%
STRESS TEST FOR MARIETAL STRAIN (HUSBAND)
Do you believe that your wife is concerned about your health and well being
Do you believe that your wife prioritises your quality of life above money
In case of divorce do you believe that your wife will fight hard for every penny and more
Will your wife be very concerned about the effect of divorce on the children, if any
Do you believe that your wife may never want to see you again after divorce
Is your wife diagnosed to have a diagnosed mental illness or physical addiction to drugs or alcohol
Is your wife being negatively influenced by others
Has your wife ever left home over differences
Does your wife have an extra marital affair ongoing or in the past
A total score of 0 points denotes that marriage can be saved with intervention
Each negative score thereafter reduces the chances of the survival of marriage by about 20%
The Japanese occupation of the Philippines occurred between 1942 and 1945, when the Empire of Japan occupied the Commonwealth of the Philippines during World War II. The invasion of the Philippines started on 8 December 1941, ten hours after the Japanese attack on the Pearl Harbour.
Earlier in preparation for war, on July 26, 1941, General Douglas MacArthur had brought the 12,000 strong Philippine Scouts under his command with the 16,000 American soldiers stationed in the Philippines. Even these combined forces were poorly trained and equipped for an adequate defence of the islands against a Japanese invasion.
The attack on the Philippines was coordinated ten hours after the attack on Pearl Harbour in Hawaii. As the American aircrafts were entirely destroyed on the ground, lacking air cover, the American Asiatic Fleet in the Philippines withdrew to Java on December 12, 1941.
Japanese troops landed at the Lingayen Gulf on December 22, 1941 and advanced across central Luzon towards Manila. On the advice of President Quezon, General MacArthur declared Manila an open city on December 25, 1941 and removed the Commonwealth government to Corregidor. The Japanese occupied Manila on January 2, 1942.
The final Battle of Manila commenced on 3rd February 1945 and was a major event in the Philippine campaign of 1944-45 during World War II, fought by the American and Filipino forces against the Empire of Japan in Manila. This one-month battle culminated in the massacre of over 100,000 civilians and complete devastation of the city. In the process of ending the three years of Japanese military occupation in Philippines (1942–1945) battle destroyed architectural and cultural heritage of the city dating back to its foundation. General Douglas MacArthur emerged as the victor in the campaign to re-take Philippines.
Sri Lanka Post has a long history of 209 years, dating back to 1798, when the colonial Dutch rulers started five post offices in the Maritime Districts under their control. In 1799, they published the first postal regulations and postage rates. The Dutch East India Company operated the Postal service, which was not meant for the public but for official use.
The first postmaster by the British was appointed in 1802 and hand stamps were first supplied in 1813. The British took control of the whole island by conquering the Kandyan Kingdom in 1815 at the time of reign of King George III. Although horse drawn mail delivery commenced in Ceylon around 1832, the postage stamps were issued only on 1 April 1857.
The first Stamp features a portrait of Queen Victoria and is brown in color and of 6 pence value used to send a half ounce letter from Ceylon to England. Eight more stamps were issued in year 1857, all featuring the portrait of Queen Victoria. One of the 5 stamps that were issued on 23 April 1859 is considered to be the most valuable stamp in Sri Lanka: it is a 4 pence with a dark pink color known as the ‘Dull Rose.
A week after the First World War ended in 1918, Ceylon under King George V adopted war stamps when all postal rates were increased to defray war expenditure. The 2c, 3c, and 5 c were all overprinted “WAR STAMP” in two lines, and the 5 cent was also overprinted with an additional “ONE CENT” with a line struck through the original value. There are a number of varieties in the overprints, such as double and inverted overprints. Sri Lanka later is the only country to include details in a stamp in three languages viz. Sinhala, Tamil and English. The first stamps marked Sri Lanka were issued on 22 May 1972.
The first ever souvenir sheet of Sri Lanka was issued on 5 February 1966 on the topic ‘Typical Birds of Ceylon’. This sheet was reissued on 15 September 1967 to commemorate the 1st National Stamp Exhibition of Sri Lanka, overprinted ‘FIRST NATIONAL STAMP EXHIBITION 1967’.