Ranil’s true colors Mr Arrogance rides again? Ranil Wickramasinghe is the Prime Minister of this country. He is Prime Minister today because he helped Maithripala Sirisena become President of this country. If he enjoys any power today it is simply because the President has unofficially conferred to him much of the decision-making powers vested in his office by the Constitution. We can call ...

Reflections on the literary cosmopolite It is common in organizations that carry the ‘South Asian’ tag to toss in something Sri Lankan, Pakistani or Bangladeshi to make things seem not-just-Indian. This is particular seen in South Asian collectives outside the subcontinent, be it forums on development, trade, literature or traditional knowledge. It is not uncommon in the subcontinent either. Including the token ‘other’ to give ...

I saw a Goddess of Small Things at the GLF No, it was not Arundathi Roy, not in physical or metaphorical terms. I put down her book after reading about 20 pages out of sheer boredom. Perhaps I missed something by doing so, but hey, life neither sanctions nor forbids and missing things here and there does not mean we end up leading lesser lives. I don’t know what the ...

Memories of a memory-man Newspapers have cultures and sub-cultures, traditions, customs and rituals. I remember one at the Sunday Island. Manik De Silva’s erstwhile Man Friday, ‘BNL’ was such a right-hand man that I would call him ‘Manik’ and inquire if ‘BNL’ (Manik) was in or out. BNL would invite a small group of friends every year for lunch, usually the first Sunday following ...

What kind of friend do you want to be? This is the twenty second article in a series I am writing for the JEANS section of 'The Nation'. The series is for children. Adults consider yourselves warned...you might re-discover a child within you! Scroll down for other articles in this series. There are good teachers and there are not-so-good teachers. There are teachers who mean well but somehow do ...

‘Thangamale’ is how people working on the tea plantations, all Tamils, refer to Glenmore Estate, Haputale, located between the Haputale and Idalgasinna railway stations. It means ‘golden rain’. The Sinhalese who lived in a small village at the lower end of the tea plantation use the corruption or rather the Sinhalized term ‘Thangamalewatte’. Their village is called Yahalabedda. The Sinhalese ...

Are you ready to shut down your petrol shed? This is the twenty second in a series of articles on rebels and rebellion written for the FREE section of 'The Nation'. Scroll to the end for other articles in this series. 'FREE' is dedicated to youth and youthfulness.A single individual is not a front. This is why, when you take on forces beyond your individual strength, you try to ...

They’ve kept the baby and the bathwater! Kolombians are a distinct people from Colombo who know much -- so much that they are wont to think that others don't know and can't think. They have things to say. A lot of things to say. The entire country can learn from them. This is the eighteenth in a series published in 'The Nation' under the title 'Notes of ...

The news that the Human Rights Council has agreed to a request made by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to postpone publication of the report of a UN investigation into war crimes in Sri Lanka was cheered by some in Sri Lanka. Elsewhere there was chagrin, for example an outfit calling itself Sri Lanka Campaign has expressed disappointment. ...

The Mahanayakas, Maha Nayakas and the issue of custodianship It is no secret now that Chief Prelate of the Malwatte Chapter, the Most Venerable Thibbatuwawe Sumangala Thero actively supported the presidential bid of Sarath Fonseka. After Fonseka lost and was subsequently arrested, the Mahanayaka Haamuduruwoprotested to the President and clearly chagrined by the President’s refusal to respond went on to mobilize the other Mahanayakas and issue a joint statement ...

The new Government has hit the ground running when it comes to ‘show’. Allegations are a dime a dozen so to speak, these days. There’s a lot of ‘show’ but little to see, strangely. Sure, the law doesn’t move as fast as the vengeful or the righteous want it to. There is thing called ‘due process’ after all. This does ...

Maithripala Sirisena's Identity Crisis Color blind or color-less? The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) is suffering from an identity crisis. The signs are all over the place. The SLFP has more Members of Parliament than any other party and yet finds itself in the Opposition. The man who secured the support of a majority of voters is the leader of the SLFP and yet ...

My batchmate and present editor of The Island, Prabath Sahabandu has a peculiar sense of humour. The year was 1990. He was in his final year at Peradeniya. I remember him accosting a fresher at the library. There was an elderly person at one of the book shelves. Browsing. Prabath drew the attention of the fresher to this person. The ...

Richard Bach says somewhere in his book ‘Illusions’ that the answer to any question that is in your mind, whether clearly formulated or resident as a vague, query mark without word or formulation, is right before you. He recommends the random opening of any book and assures that the page will contain answer and also give flesh to that which ...

Wallflowers are pretty, aren’t they? In case you are wondering, yes, there is a flower by that name. Wallflowers are fragrant and come in clusters of yellow, orange, brown, red or purple. They are grown or have become ‘naturalized’ on old walls and cliffs in Southern Europe. We are referring to a different kind of ‘wallflower’ here. These wallflowers are all over the place. You ...

Poetry, love and revolutions This is the twenty first in a series of articles on rebels and rebellion written for the FREE section of 'The Nation'. Scroll to the end for other articles in this series. 'FREE' is dedicated to youth and youthfulness.One day someone asked himself, ‘do revolutions begin with poetry and that it ends with the abandonment of love?’ More than ten ...

If rice is too expensive, eat cake yako! Pic courtesy www.justasiam.wordpress.com Those who thought that lunacy was defeated along with Mahinda need to think again. The other day someone forwarded me a complaint of sorts posted on Facebook, clearly by one of those people who sorely need a brain implant. I got my driver, who has passed the A/L to translate for me. This is the complaint:When Johnny ...

Siri Gunasinghe, Pioneer of Sinhala Free Verse Described as a Sanskritist, an art historian, poet, novelist and film maker, Siri Gunasinghe turns 90 on February 18, 2015. The following article, based on an interview with the legendary literary figure was published twelve years ago in the Sunday Island (February 10, 2002). I am re-posting by way of tribute. Years ago, my mother decided to do her teaching ...

The 'leniency' shown by the UNHRC with respect to investigations of alleged war crimes shows that violations as well as violation-investigation are framed by considerations of political expediency. What after all is the need to give breathing space to a new government? Does it mean that 'reconciliation' as per preferred outcomes overrides rights-concern? Why limit the whole thing to the ...

Resolving to hate C.V. Wigneswaran just another Appapillai Amirthalingam?The Northern Provincial Council (NPC) has passed a resolution charging successive governments of perpetrating genocide on Tamils in Sri Lanka. For a Council that has an ex-judge of the Supreme Court as Chief Minister the interjection of the word ‘genocide’ is mischievous at best. If language legislation in 1956 amounts of ‘genocide’ then clearly Mr ...

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