“The Fog of War” There is a wonderful phrase “the fog of war”. What the fog of war means is, war is so complex, it’s beyond the ability of the human mind to comprehend all the variables. Our judgement, our understanding are not adequate, and we kill people unnecessarily. Words by Robert McNamara, in the shattering, haunting documentary The Fog of War – Eleven ...

Taking Refuge in the Muslim Quarter My brother was wandering the streets alone, fighting back tears.  My brother was searching for his mother, our mother, and his sister. One of the most extraordinary events of our lives had just taken place. Not half an hour before,  he had been what you would expect of a twelve year old boy – avoiding homework, telling tall tales and ...

The Afrikaner Men Who Made Me Want To Be More I had turned up as a scrawny teenager in their classrooms, with a tormented past, having missed months (years?) of school, unable to follow conversational English, let alone speak it. The slow dismantling of the Apartheid system had forced this once white-only school, in the heart of Transkei, to admit non-white students, and yet the teachers remained all-white – a mixture ...

From Around the Web: In Charge A score never chased in world cup history. Against a team we’ve never beaten in any form of the game. One run to win. One ball remaining. And Dilani Manodara hits it for a SIX! It’s a shocker ladies and gentlemen. The girls have thrilled and delighted us! You can see a video summary of the match here and the ...

An Istanbul Encounter The two beautiful women, with a hint of glamour about them, sat nestled together on the long red soft sofa, the large white duvet with colourful circles drawn up to their chests and spilling down to the wooden floor in waves, their freshly showered scent filling the softly lit room. The broad face and innocent welcoming eyes of one and ...

Cinema is needed to help us reflect on life. An interview with director Asoka Handagama about his latest movie Ini Avan (Him, Here, After / இனி அவன்). Charles and Jenny would sit opposite each other in the shade of the porch outside the kitchen, their legs spread out in front of them, bare feet touching. The food would be in ...

There is a kind of beauty to reclaiming a house from the weeds. We always started early, to do as much digging and pulling before the sun begins to singe the skin. It is methodical. Inch by inch we battle the unwanted plants – such abundance of it – and we win. The land emerges from under the suffocation of ...

The Descent of Man 1986, the year bombs fell from the sky in Sri Lanka for the first time since  Japan bombed Colombo and Trinco in 1942. You will be bombed today Dear little ones This afternoon the silence Of expectation Of something in the air Will be punctured You are not yet as an animal In the jungle Skittish and alert This is the beginning Of your descent Here we go

  You will be bombed today Dear little ones This afternoon the silence Of expectation Of something in the air Will be punctured You are not yet as an animal In the jungle Skittish and alert This is the beginning Of your descent Here we go

An Alaskan Encounter “Where are you from?” he asked. We were standing outside at the Hot Spot Cafe, north of the Yukon River, the only place for miles along the Dalton Highway in Alaska. It was late at night, but it was light out. I was hugging myself against the late summer chill. “Sri Lanka,” I said. “Hmm… Sri Lanka… How do you ...

From Around the Web Then one night I awoke screaming and realized that the house had been set ablaze. My neighbours burned my house because they thought I had HIV. Princey Mangalika, founder of the Positive Women’s Network (PWN+), recalls her journey. She received the Red Ribbon Award this year. I felt that the way women experienced loss and trauma was very different from ...

A Country that Forgot Ten Million Deaths I was reclining on the grassy bank next to my tall lanky pale friend. Peter was like a brother to me. The glorious summer sun was beating down on us and shimmering off the pond. “You know, there was a village from Congo reconstructed where we are seated,” he said. “What are you talking about?” “King Leopold had a whole ...

That Space in the Mind There are boundaries, physical boundaries, that are mapped on to the mind. “Thangachi, don’t go by the Old Park Road.” “Did you hear? Don’t go by the Old Park Road.” “Yes, mother.” Death lurks by Old Park road. Conspiracies are whispered. Each morning, Old Park Road funnels hundreds of boys and girls, in their starched white uniforms and striped red ...

From Around the Web We are walking endlessly inside a narrow circle built by the past without having the ability to break it open. From Remembering The Martyrs And Traitors, an opinion piece by Mahendran Thiruvarangan, Colombo Telegraph. …that terrible time, years Compelling a revised image of ourselves, years When all discourse, all thought Yielded to an orchestration of silences From the poem Pasan ...

Leaving Sri Lanka: Part 2: The Journey Part 1 Fishing boats at Rameshwaram. The same boats used to smuggle people. Photo by Ravindraboopathi. When the on-board motor had failed to start the previous night, it seemed a force outside our knowing, good, evil or benign – it couldn’t be told, was playing tricks on us. I had imagined, that at the end of the journey, waited a sunlit room ...

Set recorded live at Arugum Bay full moon party. 1am – 2am Siddhatha, Recorded Live @ Arugum Bay FM Party, Sri Lanka by Siddhatha Only the children turning fallen palmyra trunks into boats and paddling across the water with the oars of time have vanished From: Bridging Connections – Poetry dealing with the passing of time: a blog post by Rajiva ...

You taught me love for a language its scent is in my nostrils You showed me terror mind numbing soul annihilating terror and yet taught me to laugh at death Your sweet smelling earth under my nails and in my hair as metal turned to shards You gave me a stage and an audience so I could create new realities ...

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