There are countries that wait for us  if we want them to… Pic by Tharindu Amunugama (Thabbowa)Places are made of people. They are also made of songs and melodies, words and lines. Moments are also similarly made. ‘Times’ too. We hear a song or a particular configuration of words and immediately something is triggered and for a moment we take flight to an individual, an encounter, a place or a particular period ...

Courtesy www.malaymail.comI was hit. I wish I was a hit but no, I was hit. For me at death-point or hit-point if you prefer who hit, how and why are irrelevant. I was no misfit by any stretch of the imagination. I had some skies yet to fly, some miles to clock and some more perfect landings to make. Some ...

Hail All the Grandmasters of Bee-Essing! Courtesy www.sunipix.com‘We have new evidence that the Russians intend to deliver heavier and more powerful rocket launchers to the separatist forces in Ukraine, and have evidence that Russia is firing artillery from within Russia to attack Ukrainian military positions,’ US State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters during the Thursday afternoon briefing last week.That’s a serious claim. A very serious ...

The 'common candidate' drama Pic by Chandana Wijesinghe, with permission from 'The Nation'People have short memories, some politicians like to think. But politicians themselves are people and the claim is eminently applicable to that category as well. Forgive-forget after all is par for the course in a profession about which it is said that there are no permanent enemies or friends. Indeed, politicians can ...

Mathematically challenged NGO activists and other tidbits Mathematically challenged NGO activistsThere are some 1400 NGOs registered with the NGO Secretariat. Various people, some from NGOs and some 'companies' which operate as though they are NGOs and indeed believe they are representatives of 'civil society' (are corporate entities also part of 'civil society' and do CEOs of top companies come for 'civil society' events?), came out and protested. ...

'The greatest gift you can give your parents is to help them look after their grandparents,’ my father told me this about 19 years ago. At the time his mother, afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease, could scarcely recognize anyone. It was not easy to take care of her for she had lapsed into a state where she could not match object ...

I think it was Pablo Neruda who said that the saddest lines begin with the words ‘if only’. Come to think of it other people, poets and philosophers included, must have figured this out long before Neruda did; it’s just that I remember reading a poem by Neruda which makes mention of this truism. It is not just about love, ...

The 'unseen' underside of Black July He was at one time the foremost Tamil leader espousing the Eelam cause, a man who fired the separatist imagination of a generation of Tamil youth, a man who went from being referred to ‘Thalapathy’ (Commander/General) by admiring supporters to ‘Thurogi’ (traitor) by the very same one-time admirers and later killed by forces he himself unleashed. He was assassinated on ...

Nostalgie04:  An exhibition of heart In August 2012, like in Augusts that came before, one man like many other men walked around Notre Dame. Like other men before him he came, he saw and he took pictures. We have no way of knowing if others saw Notre Dame and the life around the cathedral with similar eyes. We don’t know if the photographers, forever strangers ...

Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe has stated that if national unity is to be obtained then the primacy of the law has to be protected. He has made the further point that the collapse of law and order has not only caused anxiety among Muslims and Tamils but has impacted everyone. He is correct. While Wickremesinghe has taken pains ...

The word ‘defense’ is confused I am a noun. Check your online dictionary and you’ll find that I am a useful noun. Indeed, I am a necessary noun in these times of arrogance and aggression and not just originating from verbal (meaning ‘from verb’) quarters. That’s always been the case, come to think of it. But these are aggressive days of the missile kind. In ...

Twenty years ago, while a student in Cambridge, Massachusetts, I received a letter from a friend in Ampara. He wanted to buy a ‘Landmaster’, a hand-tractor. He had some money but was short of some Rs.20,000. This friend was a batchmate at Peradeniya. He wanted to buy this for his younger brother, Kumara. The oldest in the family was a ...

Mahela's timely retirement and other tidbits Mahela's decisionMahela Jayawardena has announced his retirement from Test Cricket. Good. He's realized he has reached his peak and is on the way out anyway. Best time to go. Like Murali did. Like Sanath did not. Now if only everyone knew how to pick that moment to say 'This is it, I am done, thanks for the good times, bye-bye!' ...

Remembering Richard and forgetting Ranjithan There were some 60,000 people killed in what is clearly the bloodiest period in post-Independence Sri Lanka, 1988-1990. Our roadsides were turned into crematoriums, our rivers, canals and such into cemeteries. I remember a day in June 1988, in Bingiriya. I remember distinctly thinking this thought: ‘I can’t do anything to stop this!’ ‘This’, then, was an inevitable hurtling of ...

Years ago, at a preliminary round of a junior best-speaker contest, Suresh De Mel spoke of his ambition. He wanted to be an accountant. The reason was ‘fascination with numbers’. He went on to enter university after studying in the Mathematics stream and later re-invented himself as an economist. He was and I believe still is teaching in the Economics ...

What if there’s a law saying you should eat your own trash? Courtesy ft.lkBeauty is context bound, this everyone knows. Depends on angle. Lighting. Mood. Things like that. It is made of particular configurations of elements. Take one contributing factor out and that which was thought to be beautiful would appear plain. We can of course compensate with memory and still say ‘beautiful’ but that’s a life-trick and self-delusion. I am thinking ...

History is written by the winners, this is well known. In other words, chronicling is an exercise that is framed by power realities. Those who win and those who wield power frequently bend the story in ways that glorify them. It is the exceptional historian that would paint things in colours closest to the truth and resist embellishment as well ...

History is written by the winners, this is well known. In other words, chronicling is an exercise that is framed by power realities. Those who win and those who wield power frequently bend the story in ways that glorify them. It is the exceptional historian that would paint things in colours closest to the truth and resist embellishment as well ...

‘Gaza’ and its many WTF moments Over 200 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces over the past ten days. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to continue ‘Operation Protective Edge’. The UN’s top human rights official, Navi Pillay says that the Israeli action ‘may violate international laws prohibiting the targeting of civilians’; key word ‘may’. When over half the dead are civilians, when residential ...

Previous Page