Sri Lanka Colombo Chetty Family
Sri Lanka Colombo Chetty Family Genealogy
CASIE CHETTY - Family
1 Casie Chetty
2 Adrienne Casie Chetty, became a Protestant
3 Casper Casie Chetty,
converted from Hinduism to Roman Catholocism
Mudaliyar Simon Casie Chitty,
b:27 Mar 1807, d:5 Nov 1860, District Judge of Chillaw and Maniagar of Puttlam,
first native to be appointed to the Ceylon Civil Service, appointed a Tamil Member
of the Legislative Council when this office was rendered vacant due to the death
of Coomaraswamy Mudaliar. He held this office for seven years and then resigned.
On his retirement from the Legislative Council due to heavy expenses he was made
the First Ceylonese Civil Servant and also a member of the Royal Asiatic Society
in 1845. He proceeded to Chilaw as District Judge which office he held until his
death on November 5, 1860 at the age of 53. Before his death he became a
Catholic. Mudaliyar of Kalpitiya. Proctor. Interpreter to the Puttalam Courts at
the age of 17. Later took up position as Office of Assistant Collector.
Collector of Chilaw and Maniyagar of Puttalam and Attorney to the Government was
in addition to these Offices. During this period he maintained and conducted a
free Tamil School at Kalpity for 50 students. Held several offices of trust in
the Dutch East India Company Service. Settled down in Kalpitiya after marriage.
1834: Simon Casie Chetty writes the 'Ceylon Gazetteer'. He
describes Batticaloa as a cool, healthy and fertile district. He is nominated as
a member to the Executive Council. 1859: Simon Casie Chetty publishes his
'Tamil Plutarch'. +
Marie de Rosairo (7015)
Mudaliyar John Casie Chitty , b:1830, Deputy Fiscal, Kalpentyn (Kalpitiya),
6 Casie Chetty, b:22 Nov 1852
Aloysius Mount Carmel Casie Chetty , b:1853, Proctor + Mary Muthukumaru
Angeline Casichetty + Chevalier Sir Chittampalam Abraham Gardiner, 1896-1960
Aloysius Gardiner, b:1915, d:17 Sep 1990 + Mavis Henry
Sanjiv Gardiner, Chairman Ceylon Hotels Corporation Limited
Gardiner + Kamini
Gardiner + Santhiapillai Aloysius, d:1970
Aloysius + Christobel Perera
Rohini Aloysius + Chrisanthakumar
Anslem Xavier Bastiampillai
Romano Xavier Dennis Bastiampillai
Edward Chrysanthakumar Bastiampillai
Hubert Aloysius + Carol Rohini Aiyadurai
Joseph Aloysius +
Bernadette Jeyaleela Thambimuttu
Aloysius + Lorna Sylvia Pinto
Mangalam Aloysius + Antony St. George, 1923-Jan 28 1991, Distributor for
Shell Agrochemicals in Jaffna
Albert Athisayaratnam Page
Nirmalar Page + Rajakulendran Jonathan Mather
Juliana Natasha Rasamany Mather
Christina Chamara Mather
Therese Ariyamalar Page + Indran Selvaratnam
Anthony Asokumar Page + Patricia Sylvia de Souza
Abraham Arvindakumar Page
Angeli Letitia Mariam Page
Rajkumar Page + Kshirabdi Tanya Padmanabha
Rachel Atendri Page
Tara Lucy Manonmani Page
Louis Ranjitkumar Page
Cecilia Kirubaimalar Page + Joseph Amrit Muttukumaru
Joseph Chandrakumar Page + Maria
Valentine Ranjitkumar Page + Roshanara
Leah Raya Page
Marianne Mahimalar Page
Gardiner + Soosaipilla Ratnanathar
Therese Annapoorani Ratnanathar
Gardiner + S P Dominic
Casie Chetty + Pius Abraham, Station Master
Prosper Abraham + Margery de Abrew
Alastair Abraham + Cynthia Congreve
Dominic Joseph Rajiv Abraham
Lionel Abraham + Olga De Zoysa
Reverend Father Dr Percy Abraham Doctor & Jesuit Priest
Bertrand Abraham + Selvaranee Pullenayagam
Cecilia Abraham + Dr. John I Fernandopulle, Kochchikade, Negombo
Satyendra Fernandopulle + Dr Shanti Eliatamby
Savitri Fernandopulle + Thomas Ratnasabapathy
Rosmary Abraham + G F Sethukavalar, PC
Josephine Casichetty + Dr. Sinnadurai
Casichetty + Arasaratnam
Casichetty + C Thambinayagam
Chetty + Philip R Brito-Babapulle
Daughter Casie Chitty + Ramalingam Swaminathar
Eldest Daughter Swaminathar
Second Daughter Swaminathar
5 Harry Casie Chetty,
Interpreter Mudaliar of the
District Court Colombo, later Headmaster of the Lower school of St Thomas
College. + Anna Pieris Aserappa
6 Godwin Casie Chetty
+ Jane de Rosairo. They
had two sons Mervyn Casie Chetty (1913-1999) the late lawyer and poet, and Rajah
Casie Chetty who died in 1974
7 Mervyn St. Sebastian Casie Chetty, b: 1913, d:Sat Nov 6 1999,
Lawyer, Social Activist, Poet, Represented Sri Lanka at Law Asia Conferences,
been a Member of the Bar Council and a member of the disciplinary panel of the
Bar Association. Murdered by robbers who stole cash and whiskey from his
residence at Mount Lavinia on Nov 6 1999.
8 N Yohesan Casie Chetty, Headmaster of S. Thomas' Preparatory
8 Christofer Daneshan Casie Chetty, Ambassador to Germany +
Rajah Casie Chetty,
died in 1974
1 Casie Chetty
2 Casie Chetty
3 Dr Linus Casie Chetty + Beda, d:July 24 2007
4 Flavia Casie Chetty
4 Dr Elmo Casie Chetty
4 Bona Casie Chetty (d)
4 Dr Vasantha Casie Chetty + Ranjit Abeysekera
4 Duleep Casie Chetty + Patricia
4 Dr Aiyeesha Casie Chetty
4 Dr Shyama Casie Chetty + Lakshman Fernando
4 Nirmala Casie Chetty
1 Casie Chetty
2 Augustus Casie Chetty, d:1958 +
Felicia Alles (7002)
Lakshman Felix William Casie Chetty + Name Not Known
4 Name Not Known
4 Name Not Known
4 Name Not Known
Sharmini Casie Chetty
Rukmani Casie Chetty
Casie Chetty + Brito Muthunayagam (Cuckoo)
1 Casie Chetty
Mudaliyar Spencer Casie Chetty
3 Ms Casie Chetty + Weerappa
4 Lydia Weerappa, b:1870,
Grand Daughter of Mudaliar Spencer Casie Chetty one of the wealthiest
members of the Colombo Chetty Community, owned almost all houses in Jampettah
and New Chetty Street.
Simon T Savundranayagam, b:1865, MA Cantab, FA Madras, School Pricipal
5 Tony Mannings Savundranayagam, b:1896, 1st Ceylonese Govt Store keeper
5 Peter Donald Savundranayagam, b:1898,
Chief Accountant Civil Aviation +
Miss Casie Chetty (7017)
5 Alexander Savundranayagam, b:1901,
Civil Servant, Commissioner + Miss Swaminathan
Savundranayagam, b:1904 + Berty Mendis, Station Superintendent Railways
5 Pearl Savundranayagam, b:1910 +
5 Sam Savundranayagam,
b:1915 + Miss Fernandopulle
5 Maurice Canute Pulle Tissera, b:19-Jan-1915, d:22-Nov-1994, Head
Staistics Standard Vacuum Oil Comapany and ESSO + Mectilda
Theresa Pulleneyegam, b:9-Apr-1919, d:26-Oct-1989
6 Rajes Savundranayagam, b:27-Apr-1943, + H.R.Nonis,
d:1985, a well
known Zoology lecturer in Sri Lanka
Son - Chartered Marketter
Savundranayagam, b:11-Apr-1947 + J.B. Paul,
7 daughter, Marketting Executive
6 Shirley Pulle Tissera, b:26-May-1950, Company Director and well known Social worker - District
Governor of Lions International (91/92). President FONGOADA (Federation of NGOs
Against Drug Abuse).. President SAFNGO (South Asian Federation of NGOs). Vice
President Colombo Chetty Association of Sri Lanka. President of CFPA (Network
against AIDS). Chairman MJPNR (Movement for Justice, Peace, &
Reconciliation). Co-ord of the Congress of Religions. Justice of Peace (All Island) +
Anita Jeniffer Alles, b:6-Sep-1961, m:1983 (only daughter of Anton
and Angella Alles)
7 Anoushka Pulle Tissera, b:15-Feb-1984
7 Rukshan Pulle
Pulle Tissera, b:29-Jun-1988
Pulle Tissera, b:21-Nov-1990
6 Carmini Lourdes,
b:21-Sep-1954 + Sherwel Fernando, Managing Director of Allied Tread Co in Sydney
obit:CASIE CHETTY -
BEDA Safe in
the Arms of Jesus. Dearly beloved wife of late Dr Linus, darling mother of
Flavia, Dr Elmo, late Bona, Dr Vasantha and Ranjit Abeysekera, Duleep and
Patricia, Dr Aiyeesha, Dr Shyama and Lakshman Fernando and Nirmala, dearest
grandmother of Dushyanthi, Natasha, Michael, Erandha and Ashan. Cortege leaves
residence 151, Pickerings Road, Korahena, 3.30 p.m., 25th Wednesday for
R.C. Burial Ground, Kanatte, Borella. DN Wed July 25 2007
CASIE CHETTY -
POOMANIE Beloved wife of Late Gaspar, mother of Brighton (Deceased),
Sherril, Nihal, Brightley, Christine, Robin, Lucky, Ranjan and John,
mother-in-law of Minakshi, Neville, Fermin and Sandhya, expired. Cortege leaves
residence at 3.00 p.m. on Sunday 05th August for Burial at General Cemetery,
Borella. 62/7, Cemetery Road, Ettukala, Negombo. DN
Sat Aug 4 2001
the Chetties rose a great Tamil scholar -
200th birth anniversary of Simon Casie Chetty will be celebrated today at Kalpitiya
Kasipillai Manickavasagar, 25 March 2007
Simon Casie Chetty, the first civil servant of Ceylon was a
member of the Legislative Council, judge, scholar and prolific author. His 200th
birth anniversary is being celebrated today at his school in Kalpitiya near
Puttalam. The programme will include the release of the reprints of three of his
English books, unveiling his portrait and a commemoration meeting. He was indeed
a multi-faceted personality.
The parchment scroll detailing the biographical data of Simon Casie Chetty
prepared for posterity by M.H.M. Naina Marikar, M.P. for Puttalam and Deputy
Minister was unveiled at the New Puttalam Law Courts complex on October 19,
1984. The inaugural address on this occasion was delivered by Dr. Nissanka
Wijeyeratne, former Minister of Justice.
The History of the Colombo Chetties written by Shirley Pulle Tissera, and the
History of Colombo Chetty Community written by A.T.S. Paul confirm that "the
ancestors belonged to a small community that hailed from Alwar in the Tinnevely
district in South India, who were Tamil-speaking Hindus. One of them, Casper
Casie Chetty migrated to Ceylon in the middle of the Portuguese period, became a
Catholic, and was known to be living in Colombo with his wife in 1620. The
grandfather of Simon, Adrian Casie Chetty became a Protestant and a member of
the Dutch Reformed Church.”
Chetty VS Setthi
The Colombo Chetty Association (CCA) in its historical souvenir has made an
etymological declaration of the word Chetty, that "it is interpreted as Setthi
in Pali, Hetti or Situ in Sinhalese and Etti in Tamil. Therefore, any reference
to Setthi or Situ would mean Chetty. This is important because in all historical
records this Community is referred to as Setthi or Situ".
At the same time, the Tamil Lexicon published under the authority of the
University of Madras in six volumes in the early 1930s and reprinted in 1982,
etymologizes on page 1583 of volume 3 that the term Chetty originated and
derived from the Prakrit word Setthi. It is worthy to note that the Prakrit and
Tamil words sound alike and that the Tamil word Chetty originated and derived
from the Prakrit word as proved by the Tamil Lexicon. Incidentally, the
suffix-like Pulle is Pillai in Tamil meaning child, and Appa is father.
Prakrit and the Middle Indo-Aryan languages began as vernacular dialects and
eventually developed distinct styles. These dialects were distinguished by
regional names. In Malayalam Chetty is Cetti, and in Kanarese and Telugu it is
Jetti. Some scholars restrict Prakrit to the language used by the Hindu and Jain
writers, while some others include the Buddhist languages such as Pali and
The Souvenir also mentions that "the ancestors of the Colombo Chetties first
moved from the North Western parts of India to Malabar and Coramendal coast”,
but it is yet to be ascertained with evidence. The President of the CCA Reggie
Candappa admitted this fact thus: “Occasionally, articles have appeared in the
local press giving a vague insight into the origins of our community.”
The souvenir also states that they came to Ceylon from Madura and Nagapatnam as
well. Supporting it, A.T.S. Paul says in his book that “The advent of the
Colombo Chetty community from Nagapatnam, India is well documented from 1663
during the reign of King Rajasingha II of Kandy, and the Governorship of the
Dutch, Ruckloff Van Goens. With the arrival of the Westerners in search of the
riches of the East, the Chetties of India used the opportunity to further their
trade. Tandava M.P. Aserappa, a wealthy ship owner, arrived in his own vessel
from Nagapatnam with his brother Arthurunarayan. He was a Hindu. On his
conversion to Christianity he took the name of Anthony Pieris Aserapa.
Incidentally, the Tamil language was termed Malabar in most of the translating
of the Bible into Tamil and it was the word used to denote the Tamil language by
the early foreign missionaries.
Speaking of the origin of the Colombo Chetties S.P. Tissera says: "The Colombo
Chetties belong to the Vaisya Caste. The Vaisyas compose the nobility of the
land, and according to the classification made by Rev. Fr. Boschi they were
divided into three distinct tribes or castes. The highest sub-division being the
Tana Vaisya or merchants, followed by Pu Vaisya or Husbandmen and Ko Vaisya or
Herdsmen. The Tana Vaisyas are commonly called Chetties.” It is the Tamil term
Chetty that associates the Colombo Chetties with the reputed Tana Vaisya caste,
and Dharmasiri Senanayake, then Minister observed at the opening of the CCA
Exhibition that “The Chetties and the Tamils have some cultural links” (Dinamina
As per the Tamil Lexicon, Chetty is Vaisya or mercantile caste. It is the title
of a trader, wrestler, prize-fighter and the Hindu God Skanda. Chettinadu is a
landmass of 1700 sq. km and consists of 74 towns and villages. There is neither
a separate country as such nor a government for it. Yet, since the Chetties were
industrious and philanthropic, their territory has been dignified after them.
The bulky Madurai Tamil Great Dictionary produced in 1937 mentions 12 categories
of Chetties and the list includes the Tamil word ETTI, respectably ETTIAR which
has been referred to above in the etymological declaration.
Simon Casie Chetty
In this illustrious community was born Simon Casie Chetty, the greatest Tamil
scholar the Colombo Chetty community ever had. He writes in the preface dated
August 15, 1859 to his classical work the Tamil Plutarch: “Of the languages of
the Seythian family the Tamil confessedly occupies the most distinguished rank
and, it is peculiar to the people of that part of India, which was formerly
under the sway of the Chera, Chola and Pandiya kings and of those of the eastern
and northern provinces of Ceylon. The name “Tamil” signifying “sweet” is
characteristic of the language. Indeed it is one of the most copious, refined,
and polished languages spoken by man, as correctly observed by an accomplished
Orientalist Taylor. Few nations on earth can perhaps boast of so many poets as
the Tamils. Poetry appears to have been the first fixed form of language amongst
them; for as has been remarked by Abbe Dubois, “They have not a single ancient
book that is written in prose, not even the books on medicine.”
Simon’s father Gabriel was born in 1779, but his father had an early death and
his maternal uncle Abraham Muthukrishna, Chief Tamil Mudaliar of the Governor’s
Gate brought up Gabriel and caused him to study Dutch. However, as the capture
of the island by the British gave importance to English, Gabriel studied English
and Governor North appointed him as one of the Tamil translators to the
Government from which post he rose to the position of Mudaliar of Kalpitiya and
settled down there after marrying Marie, daughter of Simon de Rosario and held
several offices of trust in the Dutch East India Company Service.
Their son Simon Casie Chetty was born in Kalpitiya on March 21, 1807 and
baptized in Colombo as an Anglican. Simon attended the Tamil school at Kalpitiya
and subsequently another. Somewhat like Srilasri Arumuga Navalar who at a young
age, tutored his Principal in Tamil at the Jaffna Central School of Rev. Dr.
Peter Percival, Simon taught Tamil to Lt. Smith who also had literary
achievements. He agreed to teach English to Simon. This was the beginning of
Simon the scholar. Dr. Nissanka Wijeyeratne speaking of Simon said: “Later he
was to master, besides his native Tamil, English, Sinhalese, Sanskrit, Hebrew
and Arabic and had a fair knowledge of Portuguese, Dutch, Latin and Greek.”
Simon’s father died on 2.8.1837 and he was appointed Mudaliar and a Proctor. Mr.
Mooyart was the Assistant Government Agent and District Judge of Puttalam and he
engaged Simon in his literary pursuits. The Christian missionaries beginning
with the Methodist Mission were received in Jaffna by the Mooyarts. In 1839 he
completed a church at a cost of 250 pounds and more than half of it was paid by
At the age of 17 Simon was appointed Interpreter to the Puttalam Courts, later
to the Office of Assistant Collector. His later appointments were: Collector of
Chilaw and Maniyagar of Puttalam and Attorney to the Government was in addition
to these Offices. During this period he maintained and conducted a free Tamil
School at Kalpity for 50 students.
Simon married his cousin of the Wesleyan Mission in 1839. The following year he
had the acquaintance of Mrs. Foster, wife of the Commander and this accomplished
lady and a lover of literature helped Simon in his literary research for about
nine years. Simon Casie Chetty was appointed a Tamil Member of the Legislative
Council when this office was rendered vacant due to the death of Coomaraswamy
Mudaliar. He held this office for seven years and then resigned. On his
retirement from the Legislative Council due to heavy expenses he was made the
First Ceylonese Civil Servant and also a member of the Royal Asiatic Society in
1845. He proceeded to Chilaw as District Judge which office he held until his
death on November 5, 1860 at the age of 53. Before his death he became a
Simon Casie Chetty was a prolific writer and author of 12 published monographs
and seven manuscripts. The Ceylon Gazetteer was his Magnum Opus – his great
work, and it is the one that was displayed together with his portrait in the 75
cents postage stamp released on National Heroes Day of 1989.
Poet and lawyer Mervyn Casie Chetty
takes a walk down memory lane
A directory of legends laced
in vivid poetry
By Mihiri Wikramanayake - Sunday
Times Sep 19 1999
was once an all-too familiar figure in his little Baby Austin driving on the
busy roads of Colombo. But now this 85- year-old inimitable poet and lawyer,
Mervyn St. Sebastian Casie Chetty, stays home to reminisce about his past
glories with expressive stories and fond memories.
I, as a young girl, remember
him vividly from his frequent visits to the house of my late grandfather, Eric
Bird Wikramanayake. They were great buddies. EBW called Mr. Casie Chetty
"Comrade" for his political affiliations and he referred to my grandfather as "Gov'ner"
in respect for his elder status. Ever since, I have felt it a privilege to
'know' this great luminary.
Though age may show on his
slight frame, Mervyn Casie Chetty's mind is still as sharp as a razor. He
remembers every detail of face, and fact of each story precisely. His library is
a treasure trove of pictures and plaques of his past and credentials to his
name. He is a directory of legend and each story is laced with poetry and verse
of apt description. A doyen, indeed, of the old brigade.
Most people would know Mervyn
Casie Chetty best for his constant contribution towards poetry that appears in
the media. He published a book of his collections called "Rhyme and Reason" in
However, many more recent
poems remain unpublished due to the lack of sponsors and cost of publication.
"When I need to express
myself, the medium I find most concise and expressive is verse," he says.
Many a politician or
satirical figure has been 'criticized' in his poetry.
"It gives me great
satisfaction to know that I have offended them," he chuckles.
He quotes Alexander Pope,
"Yes I am proud,
I must be proud to see,
Men not afraid of God,
Afraid of me…"
His other bio-data is too
vast to accommodate here. He has been in and still holds many a valuable post in
many committees and societies.
But his contribution to the
Bar is of great significance. Mr. Casie Chetty was felicitated in 1999, for 50
years at the Bar although by then it actually amounted to 62 years.
He was also guest of honour
along with retired High Court Judge, N. de Jacolyn Seneviratne, at a dinner of
the Voet Light Society of Sri Lanka.
This, too, in honour of his
completion of 50 years at the Bar.
Mr. Casie Chetty, reminisces
about his life at S. Thomas' College, Mt. Lavinia. He recalls a "bully of a
teacher who failed me in physics and chemistry thereby forcing me to choose Arts
instead of Science."
"This master expected me to
attend extra classes in those bleak December misty mornings while our Cambridge
exams were on," he remembers. "It was absolute torture. I gave up and followed
the Arts stream," he said. That led him to join Law College and his career in
the legal profession was born.
Many years later, he holds
many an exalted position due to his prowess in the legal field. He has
represented Sri Lanka at the Law Asia conferences, been a Member of the Bar
Council, Member of the Disciplinary Panel of the Bar Association, Vice Chairman
of the Compensation Tribunal and Member of the World Peace Council. This is just
a drop in the bucket. As an alumni of STC Mt Lavinia, he now holds the esteemed
positions of Hony. Life Member of STC, Mt. Lavinia, Past President of the Old
Thomians Swimming Club for two terms, Hony. Sec. of the Old Thomians Tennis
He remembers fondly that
great Prime Minister of Ceylon, Sir John Kotelawela, with whom he spent many a
"Sir John would come to the
Mt Lavinia Hotel to swim at least three times a week," he says. He had two
horses brought along with him and while he rode one, a guest would ride the
other. After the ride, the hotel would have laid out three chairs for him and
his guests and there was many an occasion when I would join him for lunch.
"While we jumped into the
water for a swim, Sir John's driver would be standing on the beach with a
wristwatch to time our swim for exactly ten minutes," he laughs.
"He was a fine host and I had
many entertaining evenings at his home in Kandewala," he recalls.
Mervyn Casie Chetty is
critical of the changes and attitudes in society of this day and age. He
despairs that money has become the root of all evil and that even in the arena
of sports, money overcomes patriotism. He is also concerned about the religious
fervour that seems to overcome people.
"Times have changed for the
worse," he says. "We have been given an overdose of religion. People must leave
religion alone and then society may benefit for the better.'" Mr. Casie Chetty
still maintains a daily morning walk. After a long illness some years back, he
has to now depend on the use of a walking stick and finds it difficult to keep
in touch with all the societies and committee meetings.
He keeps himself busy reading
and doing some notarial work. He is looking forward to turning 86 in the second
week of October.
In closing, Mr. Casie Chetty
added these lines, "I stride with none for none is worth my stride...."
A book by
Mervyn Casie Chetty
About the Author
Mervyn St. Sebastian Casie Chetty, member of
a well-known family of the Colombo Chetty community, wrote poetry even before he
commenced his career at the Bar 51 years ago. This book contains 130 of his
poems. He learned to love literature at S. Thomas' College, the school by the
sea at Mt. Lavinia. Family traditions also influenced him. His maternal
great-grandfather was the distinguished Simon Casie Chetty, administrator,
linguist, judge, legislator and prolific author of the early British era. Mervyn
Casie Chetty is a doughty espouser of causes, wielding a pen that could be
humorous or satirical, didactic or vehemently expressive of righteous
indignation. Perhaps he has been unequalled in Sri Lanka for his consistent
output of poems of topical interest. Significantly, not a few of some of his
early pieces, when read now, seem nearly as fresh as when they were first
composed. A constant curiosity and an amazing variety of interests have helped
to supply grist to the poetic mill. Casie Chetty's active membership in
associations and societies includes (among others): S. Thomas' College O.B.A. of
which he is a Trustee, Medico Legal Society of which he is a Vice President, the
Bar Association of Sri Lanka, the Organisation of Professional Associations, the
Classical Association of Ceylon, Afro-Asian Solidarity Association, Civil Rights
Movement, Lanka Soviet Friendship League, Royal Asiatic Society (Ceylon Branch),
of which he is a Trustee, the Association of Writers, Poets & Playwrights, World
Peace Council (Sri Lanka Branch), Sri Lanka Girls Guides Association, Tamil
Union Cricket & Athletic Club of which he is a Vice President, Old Thomians'
Swimming Club of which he is an Honorary Life Member and may be the most
significant though mentioned last -the Sri Lanka Rationalist Association, of
which he is President. In politics, Casie Chetty has supported the Lanka Sama
Samaja Party since 1932, but his catholicity of outlook has enabled him to
cultivate dialogue and friendship with persons of all communities and creeds,
not excluding stalwarts of opposing political camps.
This article, or contribution from my late
father appeared in the Thomian Nite Souvenir of 1969 (7th Thomian Nite). His
very close friend and classmate the late Mr. N. A. de S. Wijesekere (former
Secretary of the OBA and former Puisne Justice) had 'moved on' in 1969 and this
was meant as a tribute to a gentleman who had played such a pivotal role in
establishing the Thomian Nite Dinner-Dance.
Mervyn Cassie Chetty: So unbelievable, so
By Mihiri Wikramanayake - Sunday Times Nov 7 1999
It was a sad and visibly shocked gathering
of friends and family who streamed into the driveway of Mervyn Casie Chetty's
residence last morning.
cold news of his horrible death spread like wildfire amongst the early risers of
the city. News that at first seemed so unbelievable and unfair, but true
"The way of today's society has reached
this house too," said his younger son, Yohesan Casie Chetty, trying to
come to grips with his loss. His 86-year-old father was murdered in cold blood
early in the morning for no apparent reason. The motive is unclear. For a man
who lived his life in absolute simplicity and honour, his house held more
memories and mementos than riches for the taking.
It was only a month ago, that I visited
Mervyn at his home to talk about himself. Having known him for all my life as a
favourite friend of my grandfather's, I met with him to take "walk down memory
"Old books; old pictures; months at
Strange music, songs and stranger dreams -
Shadow of shadows, those we shared."
A genial person, Mervyn spent a better
part of the morning reminiscing about the days gone by and his many
contributions to society and government. A famed poet and lawyer, father and
friend, Mervyn was no one's enemy. He was proud of his achievements and happy
"Death makes no conquests of this
conqueror, for now he lives in fame though not in life," Shakespeare.
"His worst moment was when the Soviet
Union collapsed," said Ganesan Casie Chetty, his ambassador son. "It was
his mecca to where he made many a visit." But though his political affiliations
were socialist oriented, Mervyn had many close friends in all ranks. It was the
way of the old brigade, the generation now moving on, where politics and power
did not corrupt but encouraged friendships and alliances.
He commented about the degradation of
society. The fact that drugs and booze were overtaking the norms and morals of
this country. It is exactly for that reason it seems, that this gentle man
succumbed to his death. Those with less than an iota of his worth took his life
away. For that justice must be done. It is fitting to say in the words of Frank
T. Marzials, "God help the fools who count on death for gain."
Whisky robbers kill senior lawyer
By Chris Kamalendran - Sunday Times Nov 7 1999
Mervyn Casie Chetty — leading
lawyer, social activist, poet and the most distinguished member of Colombo
Chetty community — was killed by suffocation when a masked gang broke into his
Mount Lavinia residence soon after midnight yesterday.
Police said six persons, two of whom were
masked, had entered through the back door of the house while the 86-year-old Mr.
Casie Chetty and his 76-year-old domestic aide, Sellamuttu Perumal were
Mr. Perumal said when he awoke he saw some
men trying to tie Mr. Casie Chetty's arms and legs. When he intervened, they
overpowered him and tied him up as well. Police said that after overpowering Mr.
Casie Chetty and his aide, the robbers got away with a crate of whisky and
several thousand rupees in cash.
Mr. Perumal said he later managed to untie
himself, and around 2.20 a.m. rushed to a neighbour's house and alerted them.
Then police rushed to the scene and found
Mr. Casie Chetty dead.
Sniffer dogs which were brought to the
scene immediately led the police to a nearby house where the crate of whisky was
found and three suspects were arrested.
Mr. Casie Chetty was felicitated recently
for 60 years of service as a lawyer and also received an award as the most
outstanding member of the Colombo Chetty community in Sri Lanka.
He has represented Sri Lanka at Law Asia
Conferences, been a Member of the Bar Council and a member of the disciplinary
panel of the Bar Association.
Mr. Casie Chetty is a great-grandson of
the famous Mudaliyar Simon Cassie-Chetty of Kalpitiya, the first
Ceylonese Civil Servant, elected member of the Legislative Council and later
District Judge in 19th century.
Cherishing Thomian spirit
Sunday Times Feb 11 2001:
S.Thomas' College, Mount Lavinia has
throughout its history emphasized and stressed the crucial importance of
building character, moulding lives and the making of men as being central to a
holistic education, a distinguished old boy of the school N. Y. Casie Chetty
said last week.
Speaking at the special general assembly
held to mark the sesquicentenary of the college on February 3, Mr. Casie Chetty
said the sterling qualities adumbrated, can verily be considered to form the
warp and woof of an exquisite tapestry that they proudly refer to as their
"In a day and age when we cynically and
despairingly observe all around us, that a decadent and degenerate society has
spawned human beings of mediocrity, myopic vision, duplicity , mendacity,
venality, warped values and sycophants who flourish and thrive supinely
conforming to the dictates whilst slavishly doing the bidding of their political
patrons; such noteworthy values as idealism, integrity and independence,
inculcated and ingrained in Thomians over generations, to always think
critically and with unblinkered vision, to always act boldly and independently
devoid of petty considerations of political correctness or personal advantage,
assumes special and heightened significance," he said.
Mr. Casie Chetty who is the headmaster of
S. Thomas' Preparatory School, Kollupitiya said the cardinal values his old
school instilled in him and many others had helped mould the lives of countless
Thomians in the past and must surely continue to be of immeasurable importance
to Thomians in the future.
Speaking on the theme for the special
general assembly "Building the future, based on the heritage of the past", Mr.
Casie Chetty said they must cast their minds to what the future would hold
whilst remaining firmly anchored to the values and principles which guided the
college's founder Bishop James Chapman, the first bishop of the diocese of
Colombo and its legendary wardens such as Miller, Stone and De Saram.
"The character and conduct, life and
example of individuals of the calibre of Chapman, Miller, Stone, De Saram,
Hayman and Keble who have played such an integral and vital role in the
development of our beloved school bear more than ample testimony to the worth,
efficacy and relevance of such values," Mr. Casie Chetty said.
"I have always considered these values,
which I have absorbed whilst a student at the college, as having a profound
impact on my life, and I wouldn't be faulted in making bold to say that these
very values have formed the very core and essence of, what we popularly refer to
as the intangible "Thomian spirit," he added.
"Other values having equal validity and
significance are those of idealism, integrity and independence. Once again the
names of Chapman, Miller, Stone, De Saram, Hayman and Keble personify those
attributes which we Thomians have come to cherish and admire.
Mr. Casie Chetty said he was a fourth
generation Thomian on his paternal side, with a direct line of descent dating as
far back as the founding of the college in Mutwal.
Mr. Casie Chetty concluded his speech by
reading a poem entitled "Esto Perpetua" composed by his late father Mervyn Casie
Chetty who was a distinguished old boy of the school in 1968 on the occasion of
the golden jubilee of the college.
A MOMENT FOR REFLECTION
Many were the happy occasions when we met in
the late Mr. N. A. de S. Wijesekere's hospitable home to usher in the first
Thomian Nite in 1963. It was mainly due to his initiative as Hony. Secretary and
Treasurer of the Old Boys' Association that the urgency of organising a warm
and cordial function of this kind for the younger Old Boys was realized and so
auspiciously initiated. The younger Old Boys had for long been eagerly waiting
for something more lively and attractive than the staid dinners "in Black-Tie or
Lounge" with post-prandial speeches to add to the ordeal. With Mr. Wijesekere as
Hony. Treasurer both Mr. & Mrs. Wijesekere and a few other enthusiastic members
on the Organising Committee, I had the privilege as its first Chairman of
launching the inaugural Thomian Nite Dinner-Dance which has been growing in
popularity each year. As we enjoy ourselves at this function for the first time
after the untimely demise of our lamented friend, it is but meet that we should
stop for a moment to honour the memory of the author and inspirer of this most
popular series of Annual Dinner-Dances.Again on the late Mr. Wijesekere's
initiative it was decided to offer Scholarships at the College out of the
surplus proceeds of these Annual Dinner-Dances commencing with a modest two
Scholarships in 1967, to perpetuate the memory of our Founder, Bishop Chapman
-it was possible last year to offer six "Bishop Chapman Memorial Scholarships.'
That this popular function is not just another Dinner-Dance during the festive
season, or another occasion for Old Boys to gather in strength in convivial
surroundings and renew their loyalties to the Alma Mater is recognised by all
who help to make these occasions a success. The Executive Committee of the Old
Boys' Association at its last meeting unanimously accepted the resolution of Mr.
E. F. Edrisinghe that a Scholarship should be offered in memory of late Mr. N.
A. de S. Wijesekere out of the Thomian Nite funds. This is a fitting tribute to
the memory of one of the School's most loyal and distinguished sons - the
architect of the Thomian Nite. The School was his absorbing interest and he
spent himself freely in its service. He was unassuming and accessible and
counted a large number of friends; "Wije" is no more but we shall remember him.
His name is writ large in the Annals of the School.
Mervyn Casie Chetty
Coincidently November 6th happens
to be a significant day brining about memories of the late Mr. Mervyn Casie
Chetty who's 5th death anniversary falls today. As a revered tribute
to this great Thomian and as we Thomians who honour great Thomian values we pay
homage by publishing some of his selected poems. Thereby let us offer a minute
of silence in his honour.
the top with CIMA Janashakthi Pinnacle Awards
Two past winners share their views -
Daily Mirror Feb 26 2007
CIMA Sri Lanka Division and Janashakthi
Insurance Co. Ltd will hold the fourth annual CIMA - Janashakthi Pinnacle Awards
ceremony on 06 March 2007 at the Trans Asia Hotel.
Recognised as one of the leading events in
the country’s business event calendar, the CIMA - Janashakthi Pinnacle Awards
celebrate business excellence, leadership, management and teamwork at the
highest standards. They also reward excellence in professionalism among the
cream of Sri Lanka’s business community. Below is an interview with last years
Joint Winners of the ‘CIMA Business Manager of the Year’ awards - Rajiv Casie
Chetty and Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne.
The CIMA Janashakthi Pinnacle awards 2005
produced two winners in the category ‘CIMA Business Manager of the Year’. The
two recipients - Rajiv Casie Chetty and Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne - come from
diverse industries and diverse backgrounds but are united by one factor; they
have both achieved excellence in their chosen professions and careers and have
reached the pinnacle as Business Managers.
Rajiv Casie Chetty wears many hats
as Executive Director of Lanka Ceramics Limited and Managing Director of Ceytea
Plantations Management Limited, Horana Plantations Limited and Uni Dil Packaging
Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne is the country
manager for Microsoft Corporation in Sri Lanka and holds one of the top jobs in
the IT industry in this country. He is also on several advisory panels aimed at
fostering and developing the IT industry in different forms.
When asked about the ‘CIMA Business
Manager of the Year’ award and the impact it had on him, Casie Chetty
said that the award had created an impact among his peers, his circle of friends
and associates, and that people were more aware of his capabilities and
competencies as a strategist and a manager. Wijeyratne felt that the award had
generated significant interest and recognition from many quarters. . He said
that the award had been very rewarding and fulfilling as it was confirmation
from an impartial and recognized body of his abilities and competencies as
decision maker and strategist. He mentioned that it had resulted in a new
dimension in terms of his career and felt it would enhance his standing in the
business community here, and within Microsoft
Both winners felt the criteria used to
evaluate the applicants were balanced and evaluated a Business Manager on
multiple levels and performance measures. While a senior manager generally plays
one dominant role within an organisation, there are many other smaller roles
they are called on to handle and there was acceptance that the criteria took a
holistic approach in evaluating all aspects of an individual’s role. An example
given by Wijeyratne was that while as the Country Manager of Microsoft in Sri
Lanka he was not required to function locally in multi-disciplined teams, but as
a member of regional teams and panels he was very much a part of several
multi-functional teams. He therefore felt that the evaluation criteria had
considered all relevant aspects such as innovation, and leadership.
Both Casie Chetty and Wijeyratne
are CIMA graduates and felt that the grounding and the analytical skills
acquired through the CIMA curriculum had made a significant impact on their
careers. Wijeyratne in fact felt it was the bedrock on which he had built his
career. While neither were handling purely financial functions, they felt that
CIMA had given them an edge in strategic thinking and decision making. The
ability to “digest” and identify trends and patterns in numbers very quickly was
one area they both specifically mentioned.
Casie Chetty was of the opinion
that the competition generated good interest and that it provided an opportunity
for business managers to be recognised and rewarded for their skills and
competencies. He also believes that competitions such as this help create role
models for corporate managers in Sri Lanka as the success of the winners would
serve to inspire others.. Wijeyratne affirmed that the CIMA Janashakthi Pinnacle
Awards helps both the industry and business leaders, as it created aspirations
which was the best possible way in which business leaders could be fashioned and
Both winners were especially thankful to
CIMA and Janashakthi for the opportunity to visit INSEAD, one of the world’s
largest graduate business schools in Fontainebleau, near the French capital
Paris, which has a global perspective and multicultural diversity. Casie
Chetty opted for a course on business strategy and was greatly appreciative
of the opportunity to gain valuable insights on strategy and several other
business disciplines while Wijeyratne has opted for a course titled ‘Leading
Decision Making” and will be making the trip to France this March.
The CIMA Janashakthi Pinnacle awards is
scheduled to be held on 6 March this year and will, as in the past, celebrate
and acknowledge leadership, innovation and teamwork at the highest level.
This year there will be five categories on
offer with the ‘Business Manager of the Year’ and the ‘Young CIMA Star of the
Year’ awards being restricted to CIMA members and passed finalists, while the
other awards are open to the public. Not only have business leaders been
encouraged to apply, the general public has also been able to nominate those
whom they think have achieved excellence in their careers for the awards of
Chief Financial Officer of the Year and Business Leader of the Year.
When asked about the format of the
competition both Casie Chetty and Wijeyratne commented that the ability
to nominate business leaders was an excellent idea and said they hoped that this
would increase the number of applications in each category. They said that the
written submission together with an interview was an excellent format as most
competitions of this nature are adjudicated only on written applications which
can sometimes be rather two dimensional. Wijeyratne in fact said that he would
encourage business managers and business leaders to apply because winning such
an award was a unique experience not to be missed.
Mrs. Nilima Casie Chetty FSCMA, FCA,
Mrs. Casie Chetty is a practicing
Chartered Accountant. She has her own Practice. She has wide experience in the
field of taxation having served as a Consulting Tax Manager at KPMG Ford Rhodes
Thornton and Co. for many years. She is actively involved in numerous committees
of Professional Institutes and Non Govenmental Organizations.
She is a Fellow of the Certified
Management Accountants of Sri Lanka and Institute of Chartered Accountants of
Sri Lanka and an Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Management
The Aserappa - Casie Chetty
Island By A. T. S. Paul
The eldest son of Louis Pieris, Anthony Pieris Aserappa married the daughter of
Senapathi Chettiar. Due to the difficulty of finding suitable partners of the
same caste and religion, the other sons, Philip Pieris, Christopher Pieris,
Saveril Pieris, and Bastian Pieris Aserappa did not marry, nor did Louis
Pieris's four daughters.
Anthony Pieris Aserappa had two sons, Louis Pieris and Saveral Pieris. Both were
Louis Pieris Aserappa married Anna daughter of Thomas Soosay Chettiar (1764).
They had two sons, Anthony Pieris Aserappa, and Peter (Pedro) Pieris Aserappa.
Louis Pieris died in 1804, Saverely Pieris remained a bachelor.
Anthony Pieris Aserappa (1769-1813) was a ship owner whose ships sailed between
Nagapatnam, Colombo, and Mumbai. He married Johanna Rodrigo Thambichetty. They
had four children Louis Pieris, John Pieiris, Kathalia Pieris, and Anna Pieris.
Louis Pieris Aserappa the eldest son, was Shroff of the salt stores in Negombo.
He married Magdalene Jurgen Ondaatchi daughter of Solomon Jurgen Ondaatchi
Interpreter Mudaliar of the Galle, Courts.
The marriage of Louis Pieris Aserappa and Magdalene Ondaatchi was fruitful. They
had four children whose marriages strengthened the bonds between the Aserappa's
the Ondaatchi's, and the Casie Chettiya.
The eldest son Anthony Louis Aserappa Pulle was Head master of the Mission
school in Slave Island. He married Maria Ondaatchi daughter of Philip Jurgen
Ondaatchi. They had no children.
The eldest daughter Magdalene Pieris Aserappa, married Johan Christoffel
Fernando Pulle Chettiar son of Fernando Pulle Chettiar of Jampettah. They had
two daughters Anna and Maria. Anna married Harry Casie Chetty, Interpreter
Mudaliar of the District Court Colombo, later Headmaster of the Lower school of
St Thomas College. Their son Godwin Casie Chetty married Jane de Rosiro. They
had two sons Mervyn Casie Chetty (1913-1999) the late lawyer and poet, and
Rajah Casie Chetty who died in 1974.
Peter Louis Aserappa Pulle the second son of Louis Pieris and Magdalene married
Mary Ondaatchi the daughter of Peter Jurgen Ondaatchi, Their son Walter Nicholas
(1864-1928) was a Police magistrate in Negombo. He married Lily Allagakoon.
Their daughter Mary Rani Aserappa married Segarajasingham.
The third son of Louis and Magdalene-Solomon Louis Aserappa Pulle (1837-1902)
was a Proctor of the Supreme Court, Colombo, married Mary Anne Casie Chetty
(1841-1917). They had a large family of eleven. Six were girls, Alice, Evelyn,
Frances, Ella, and Florrie were splinters. Maud married S.C. Kanagasundaram
Chief clerk of the Colombo Kachcheri. They had four daughters Selvarani,
Muthurani, Maharani and Thangarani.
Two of the five boys, Arthur Louis Reginald, and Charles Pieris were bachelors,
while Anthony married Saloma Marugappa, and Ernest Proctor of the Supreme Court,
married Birdie Allagakoon. They had three sons, Ernest Kingsley Aserappa BA (Cantab)
Advocate, later Legal Draftsman, Hector an airline pilot, Earle, and one
daughter Irene. Aserappa.
John Pieris Aserappa (1813-1861), the second song of Anthony Pieris Aserappa and
Johanna Rodrigo Tambichetty was a clerk in the Colombo Kachcheri. He married
Wilhelmina Amelia Jurgen Ondaatchi (1831-1891), daughter of William Jurgen
Ondaatchi Interpreter Colombo Courts, and niece of Rev. Jurgen Ondaatchi.
Translator and Colonial Chaplain (1835-1897) John and Wilhelmina raised a large
family of eight-six girls, and two boys. Marriage with foreigners were recorded
for the first time.
Anne married Robert Smith sub editor of the Times of Ceylon. She died in 1876 of
childbirth. Ellen (1848) married an Irishman, John Cowell who was a store
keeper. William was a bachelor, and Angela was a spinster. Magdalene (Maria)
1848 married a German engineer Arthur Kurt Von Possoner (1833-1900). Johanna and
Charlotte remained spinsters. Johan Edwin (1860-1931) who was Police, magistrate
at Avissawella, married Catherine Rosa De la Harpe a Dutch Burgher. They had no
Kathalia Pieris Aserappa (1797-1822), daughter of Anthony Pieris Aserappa and
Johanna Rodrigo Tambichetty married Philip Jurgen Ondaatchi, son-of Rev Mathew
Jurgen Ondaatchi. They had no children.
Who are these Colombo Chetties?
I Like It One of the e-zines in Thamil is called Kuviyam (www.kuviyam.com).
This electronic magazine is originating from Toronto, Canada.
From this centre there are other e-zines in Thamil as well. Two
of these are Tamilweek and Pathivukal. Kuviyam had articles not
only in Thamil but also in English and French. However in Spring
2005, I happened to read a printed version of selected material
from the web of this e-zine. The magazine was edited by Pon
Kulendiran, a Canadian of Lankan origin. He was earlier a senior
executive engineer for the Sri Lanka Telecommunications.
Among the articles in the
printed version was one on the Colombo Chetties. I found it
interesting and thought that our readers would like to know
something about an influential community in Sri Lanka, if I cull
out some details from the article. The article was signed by Pon-Canada.
Probably, it was written by the editor himself. The writer has
acknowledged reference to a book called History of the Colombo
Chetties compiled by Reggie Candappa. Here are some gleanings:
Rev. Fr. Boschi has classified the Colombo Chetties as
Vaishnavars (those who worship Lord Vishnu). They came through
the northern and northwestern parts of India and settles in
Coorg and Banaras. Because of the Islamic invasion led by
Mohammed Ghazani in the 11th century, these people were driven
to the southern parts of India- Nagapattanam, Thirunelveli,
Thanjavoor, Malabar, Mathurai and other areas. From these places
they came down to Sri Lanka and engaged in business. They
settled in Colombo before the arrival of the Portuguese in 1505.
The word Chetti comes from Cheththi in Pali. In an inscription
in Polonnaruwa dated 1205, the name of Kulanthai Chetty is
found. In the 16th century Galdeniya inscription, too, there
were mentions about Chetties. The Alageswara families in the
Kotte kingdom (1400-15210) were Chetties. Chettinathar among the
three that rebeles against Vijayabahu I, was also a Chetty. The
late President Jayawardene’s ancestors were Chetties. The
Colombo Chetties spoke Thamil until the late 19th century. Their
names were a combination of Thamil and Telugu. But, within the
next 60 years they changed their names to Sinhala and English
oriented. Ondaatji, Candappa, Muttukrishna, Muttupillai,
Anandappa, Perumal, Murugappa, Casie Chetty are Thamil names of
the Colombo Chetties. The ending names of Chetties in Negombo
areas are Pulles. Simon Casie Chetty was born in Kalpity near
Puttalam. He was fluent in eight languages. He wrote books in
English, Thami and Sanskrit. He published a newspaper in Thamil.
A stamp was issued in his honour in 1989. Soma Thera of
Bambalapitiya Vijairamaya, born in 1898, adopted Buddhism and
was the first to spread Buddhism in Germany. The Colombo
Chetties built many Hindu temples in Colombo and Yaalpanam.
Chetty became Hetti in Sinhala. Hettiyawatta, Hettiarachchi,
Aadhihetty, Hettigoda, Hettige, Hettiyamulla are Sinhala names
that remind the Colombo Chetties.
Sir Chittampalam Abraham
Abraham Gardiner was born in 1896, son of Samuel Vairamuttu Gardiner and
Salomapillai Vairamuttu Gardiner, daughter of Gabrielpillai
Bastiampillai. The Gardiner’s were originally from Achchuveli and
Manipay in Jaffna, later they lived in Colombo. Chevalier Sir
Chittampalam Abraham Gardiner was a Law student when he became
interested in business ventures. Eventually he became an outstanding
businessman of Colombo.
He was in control
of several prominent business establishments in the Island. Besides
being the Pioneer Cinema Promoter in the country, he had interests in
other undertakings including Cargill’s and Millers. His most successful
venture was the Ceylon Theatres Ltd.,
Abraham Gardiner married Miss Angeline Casie Chetty, daughter of
Aloysius Mount Casie Chetty. They had a son named Cyril Aloysius
Gardiner. He married Mavis Henry, daughter of Henry.
entertainment as his field of business and founded Ceylon Theatres on 29
September 1928, for which he is remembered today. The concern holds
interests all over Ceylon. He was a keen Rotarian, helped many, and made
generous endowments to charitable organisations.
In recognition of
his valuable services to the Roman Catholic Church, the Pope made him a
Knight of St. Sylvester in 1947. He was appointed to the Senate, the
Upper House of the Parliament in 1947. He was also a keen racehorse
owner and his horse won the much Coveted Governors Cup in 1947.
A. Gardiner remained Chairman of Ceylon Theatres until his death in
1960. Tribute was paid to him and his service in the field of
entertainment was recognised when Parson’s Road was named “Sir
Chittampalam A. Gardiner Mawatha” in his honour.
In her mother's footsteps
By Roshan Peiris - Sunday Times
May 2 1999
Casie Chetty, wife of diplomat Daneshan Casie Chetty has a flawless complexion
and statuesque good looks. Proud to follow in the footsteps of her mother, Anita
Dickman, Shanthi has written a cookery book, a well illustrated publication
titled "Anita Dickman's Cookery Course". This is written as a tribute to her
"I am a cookery teacher
by profession. Before I went abroad with my husband I taught cookery at home to
young housewives in the making and even to experienced housewives too. I am also
a Chartered Secretary.
"In India where we were
posted, I did not give cookery demonstrations, but learnt much of the intricate
"In fact, in Indonesia
and Belgium where my husband was Ambassador I made it my vocation to follow
In Indonesia Shanthi
wrote a special feature on Sri Lankan cookery for an Indonesian magazine. "A
clever way to publicise our country," she said.
"Indonesian cooking too
has spices, especially Padang near Sumatra," said Shanthi. "They are very
similar to us in the choice of food. But of course, they were both intrigued and
delighted at tasting our string- hoppers and hoppers. I did make pol mallun
since Indonesians are used to coconut in their food. I also made the other
accompaniments that go with stringhoppers and hoppers such as ambul thiyal,
seeni sambol and fish curry. They loved it all.
"I also demonstrated for
women's groups including Ambassadors' wives the art of making our curries,
sambols and yellow rice. I did it to show how we Sri Lankan's liked our food,
not with a view to earning money unless it was to collect money for charitable
In Belgium, she said,
the wives of Ambassadors met often at each others' homes for tea.
A book that excites
readers' appetites - Sunday Times May 16 1999
Anita Dickman's Cookery
Course- By Shanthi Casie Chetty Reviewed by Roshan Peiris
Shanthi Dickman as a
child watched and assimilated avidly her mother Anita Dickman's cookery. Her
mother who attended Pensional-Le Manoir Lausanne, always endeavoured to instill
in her pupils an appreciation of the finer points of cooking, and besides
stimulated them to be creative in their approach. They were made to see the
originality and glamour in turning out dishes with a difference.
Shanthi imbibed her
mother's love for cooking and as she grew older helped her mother with her
cookery classes, and cookery demonstrations.
She enlarged on her
experience through courses in cookery while in Lausanne. After marriage to
diplomat Daneshan Casie Chetty, Shanthi continued with her cookery
demonstrations for charity in New Delhi, Jakarta and Brussels.
With the help of her
sisters Shanthi has compiled this plush cookery book as a tribute to her mother.
The book, contains a
wealth of information, such as how to assess weights and measures, preserving
the nutritional value of food and a guide to herbs and spices, besides the
"Anita Dickman's Cookery
Course" might well be included among compulsory reading for young housewives in
the making. It is a book that could revitalise even the jaded culinary
repertoire of older women.
Shanthi has taken pains
to explain culinary terms such as sauting, stir frying, shallow frying, cooking
on papillote and cooking 'Au Gratin' etc.
The attractive colour
pictures embellish the book and the readers' appetite for good cooking.
There are many Indian
recipes for Chicken Korma, Murgh Korma, Dosa, Puris, Alu Prathas (Parathas
stuffed with potatoes) Chapati, Mutto Buriyani and Mung Dhal Palak etc.
There are the "special occasion meals"
such as making the ever popular Lamprais. Blachang made with dried prawns,
Lamprais Curry, Seeni Sambol all of which are part of Lamprais accompaniments.
There is Turkish rice, Masala Liver,
Beef Vindhali and Burmese blachang sambol to mention a few. The local kiri bath,
stringhoppers and stringhopper buriyani, roti, pittu and hoppers have not been
There are recipes for souffles,
savoury pancakes with meat and bacon filling, moussaka, savoury sausage and egg
swirl, cottage pie crumble and stuffed cabbage and many more tantalising
Meringues, home-made chocolates, cake
mixtures, icing and frostings, bread, pastries and pastas also soups, salads and
Hors-d' oeuvres and Indian and Moghul cuisine are all included.