A friend of mine (let’s call her Brenda) lives, breathes, consumes and is consumed by advertising. I remember, years ago, she returned after the official launching of the scandal-tainted ‘Water’s Edge’. ‘It’s a nice location for a shoot’ was how she described the place. I owe a lot to Brenda because she taught me a lot about advertising. That comment ...

There are times when I lament my abysmal acquaintance with Greek and Roman literature and of course the political and historical tracts it contains and indeed which makes much of it. I see a quote here, a reference there, that’s all. I then look it up somewhere. I had heard of Cicero and had come across a quote, a reference, ...

You can compose your own music Nights are quiet times. The city shuts down bit by bit and at one point you also shut down. Then you get silence. For most of the day and even sometimes late into the night, however, we are surrounded by sound. There’s always someone saying something. There’s a TV on. Someone is playing music. There are household sounds of people ...

Cards get reflected in eyes This is the fourth in a series of articles on rebels and rebellion written for the FREE section of 'The Nation'. 'FREE' is dedicated to youth and youthfulness. Emotion can take various forms. One can feel strongly about something. One can feel righteous anger. One can feel intense sorrow. If something gives you an e-attack, or an emotion-attack, it can ...

The phenomenon that is Mahinda It is four years since the 18th Amendment to the Constitution came into effect. It was dismissed at the time and occasionally since then as a subversion of the democratic spirit and further entrenchment of dictatorial provisions in the J R Jayewardene Constitution of 1978.Now, four years later, the 18th Amendment is in the news ago. There’s little or no ...

We shall not be re-named! Everyone takes note. Some keep notes. Some in diaries and journals. Some in their minds and hears. Some of these are shared via email or on Facebook or blog; some are not. Among these people are Kolombians, people from Colombo who know much -- so much that they are wont to think that others don't know and can't think. This ...

The lament of a Diaspora Tamil Back to enforced participation in protests?I am a Diaspora Tamil. That’s what I am called. Misnamed. Technically I am an expatriate Sri Lankan Tamil, but the word ‘diaspora’ reminds people of the Jews and therefore makes a case where there is none. Smart move by whoever started using that self-description. Political smartness doesn’t percolate to us ordinary folk though. It’s ...

The Vote-Budget Pic www.therepublicsquare.comThe JVP’s Sunil Handunnetti captured the Opposition’s sentiments with regard to Budget 2015 best. He said ‘අද අය වැය දිනය නෙමෙයි...වඩා හොඳයි මේකට අල්ලස් දිනය කියල කිව්වා නම්’ (this is not Budget Day…it would be more appropriate to call it Bribe Day). There was at once dismay (at the political impact of the budget) and acknowledgment that at least ...

An ode to a beautiful child The last light streamed through the window. Soft light deflected off walls, filtered through leaves – the kind of light that has a way of silencing day-end’s inevitable cacophony. It entered a small room in the way truth enters our hearts – without announcement or fanfare, naked as innocence and in utmost silence. We don’t ask questions, we don’t demand ...

Pebbles are amazing things They come in all sizes. They come in different shapes. And they come in many colors too. We walk on them, kick them aside and sometimes even spit on them. They don’t seem to mind of course. Perhaps that’s because we really don’t notice them or because they seem too insignificant in our lives. Perhaps it is because there are ...

Why Wiggy missed a train Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council, Canagasabapathy Visuvalingam Wigneswaran is a former judge. A man of words. An educated man who commands respect. A civilized man, some would say. A lot has been written about him. He has his cheering squad and he has his detractors. When he entered politics some of the gloss of vocation, ancestry and education ...

Get off my walkway! Pic by Hiranya MalwatteEveryone takes note. Some keep notes. Some in diaries and journals. Some in their minds and hears. Some of these are shared via email or on Facebook or blog; some are not. Among these people are Kolombians, people from Colombo who know much -- so much that they are wont to think that others don't know and ...

Re-graining the nation I joined 'The Nation' newspaper (re-joined, to be precise) in October 2011. I wrote my first editorial after re-joining on October 23, 2011. It's been a great three years. By way of remembering the beginning, I reproduce here the first editorial I wrote, titled 'Re-graining the nation'. 'Let it be written in the blood of Korean farmers that rice will ...

The p-word cuts both ways This is the third in a series of articles on rebels and rebellion I am writing for the FREE section of 'The Nation'. 'FREE' is dedicated to youth and youthfulness. People say this is the Age of Communication. It’s not enough to know the word. You have to say it. It has to go around. You got to update status, ...

It was a Tuesday. Ratnayake Hall. Dumbara Campus, University of Peradeniya. First day. I remember it being a cold morning. There was an English Test. An hour, perhaps a little longer. I am not sure if there was one of those orientation-programmes after the exam, although I do remember Prof Ashley Halpe giving a lecture on responsibility to us freshers ...

Options for the Opposition Dayan Jayatilleka in an article published in the Colombo Telegraph (How a weak opposition could still play it smart) offers that the Opposition is actually helping President Mahinda Rajapaksa secure a third term. He claims that the Opposition has picked the wrong slogan, that of ‘constitutional change’ when ‘it has little prospect of acting as a rallying cry among millions ...

Did the European Court of Justice slip Mahinda a trump card? Here’s the ‘word on the street’ or rather ‘word on the walls’ on Saturday October 18, 2014: ‘යුරෝපාසංගමයLTTE තහනමඉවත්කරයි…රනිල්යුරෝපයෙන්වැඩඅරඹයි’ (The EU lifts LTTE ban – Ranil embarks (on campaign) from Europe).’ It is a neat juxtaposition. The first part is true in part. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) annulled the EU regulations proscribing the LTTE but did so with ...

In the early 1990s a director of a state institution was at the receiving end of efforts to remove him orchestrated by the particular subject minister who used the institute’s trade union. His detractors produced a series of scurrilous pamphlets about the man full of invective and unsubstantiated allegations laced with foul language. The director, each time he came across ...

This is the third in a series of articles on rebels and rebellion I am writing for the FREE section of 'The Nation'. 'FREE' is dedicated to youth and youthfulness. Ok, so you’ve picked your fight. You’ve decided to object. So you must have some idea of what you are objecting to. Consequently you probably have a good sense of ...

SB’s teaching methods There are those in which world who don’t mince their words. Being forthright has its pluses and minuses. Honesty is rewarded but then again in this day and age deceit is far more profitable. A silver tongue that is owned by a person of integrity is quite potent. The Minister of Higher Education S.B. Dissanayake is not such a man. ...

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