Mr. J.B. Muller, journalist to now defunct Independent and Times of Ceylon newspapers expired of a heart attack while going to Hospital on 19 June 2011. He was interred at the General Cemetery, Borella, on Tuesday, 21st of June, 2011.
J.B. Muller was the author of the book “The Burghers”, (ISBN 955-1535-00-6) and the book became Sri Lanka’s first audio book launched on 4th January 2007 at the Sri Lanka National Library in Colombo.
I had the pleasure of meeting J.B. in 2007 and whilst I have certain issues with the way J.B. built a case around burgher Jewishness and the lineage of Sri Lankan Jews, J.B. was a man known to be passionate and take risks. He was the first to put Jews and Burghers together in the Sri Lankan media. This was in an environment where there is still a degree of tension around the nature and parameters of racial hybridity amongst certain sections of the burgher community. Muller was keen to support my own research and offered to assist people in the burgher community process their own ‘newly discovered’ Jewish ancestry.
As I said to Andrew Harris in his recent article in the Asian Jewish Life, Issue 6, 2011 “He [J.B.] is to be commended, … Although he tends to work not with hard evidence, but with inferences, Fiona freely admits that hard evidence is difficult to come by. (Harris, 201).
Daily News, Monday, 20 June 2011
MÜLLER - JOHN BARRY of 25, Poonagala Road, Bandarawela - 90100, (born in Colombo on the 3rd of February 1943). Beloved husband of Indrani, loving father of Claire, Carolyn, Esme, David and Lance, son of late Lionel Terence Müller and of Ethel Annlyn Rôdè (nee Van Langenberg), brother of Therese and Maurice. His mortal remains lie at A.F. Raymond’s Funeral Parlour. Cortege leaves at 5.00 p.m. on Tuesday 21st June. Burial at General Cemetery Kanatte (General Christian Section). No. 364/1, Polgahakottunuwa, Batakettara, Piliyandala.
Link to a series of letters to the Burgher Association about the complex racial/ religious connections, including Jewish;