Blackballing Donald Friend. To Do … or not Do?

Michaela Boland,  in The Australian ,  October 2017, where the title reads “Art of Darkness”

He was a self-confessed paedophile. But does that mean Donald Friend’s art should be erased from our cultural landscape?

Pic from http://www.theaustralian.com.au/life/home-design/prestige-property/arts-at-the-heart-of-paula-nagels-home/news-story/dc9500557e55ba68482d3b50b41fc1ec

Bali was an exotic tropical ­getaway in the 1970s, a sultry land of endless beaches and lingering sunsets ripe for the influx of foreign visitors. Tourist facilities were rudimentary but the gentle and obliging locals were renowned for ensuring nothing was too much trouble for visiting foreigners, who could enjoy being pampered like royalty while paying like paupers.

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Tharanga Goonetilleke as Soprano on World Stage

Darshanie Ratnawalli, in Island, 7 October 2017 with a different title

My perception was that Tharanga Goonetilleke, the lyric soprano from Sri Lanka did not beat huge odds in becoming an international star in western classical music. Consider the facts. Scrutinize particularly the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka (SOSL) Concerto Competition winners in the 1990s. In 1994, SOSL, the oldest continuously performing symphony orchestra in South Asia commenced the bi-annual Concerto Competition to showcase young talent. Sixteen year old Tanya Ekanayaka won in Piano jointly with Soundarie David and Gayathri Attiken.

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A Home with Art and A Poodle at its Centre -Paula Nagel’s Walkerville House

Meredith Booth, courtesy of The Australian October 2017, where the article is entitled “Art’s at the heart of Paula Nagel’s Walkerville home”

Television, education and arts identity Paula Nagel has called Walkerville, in Adelaide’s leafy inner northeast, home for the past 17 years. The modern red-brick home sits at the centre of a thoughtfully disguised triplex belying a trove of art and treasures hidden within, reminders of Nagel’s extensive travel and varied career. “Everything in this house is me. I love maps and exotic things,’’ she says from a kitchen that holds decorative Russian spoons, tins and plates collected from her frequent trips to Greece and Moscow in the 1980s.

 Paula Nagel, with her 8-year-old miniature poodle Luca at home in Walkerville. Picture: Kelly Barnes

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Ranil Wijayapala bids Adieu to us all

Item from Sunday Observer, 22 October 2017

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Reporting War. Outrageous Obfuscations during the Last Phase of Eelam War IV

Michael Roberts

The demand for news and the monies generated in mass media mean that journalists attempt to cover modern wars at close quarters. Access to war fronts is dictated by many factors, including location and access as well as the nature of the war terrain. Access to locations where the battle-lines are fluid and changing may be easier than those with definitive war-fronts, though such conditions can turn out to be more fatal – as Western reporters in Libya and Marie Colvin discovered in Syria discovered in 2011/12.

Adie  Colvin Nesmann Birtley

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German Courts Institute Censorship

Judith Bergman, in Gates Institute Item, 21 October 2017, with title as “Germany: Full Censorship Now Official
Courts Rewrite History”

Germany has made no secret of its desire to see its new law copied by the rest of the EU.  When employees of social media companies are appointed as the state’s private thought police and given the power to shape the form of current political and cultural discourse by deciding who shall be allowed to speak and what to say, and who shall be shut down, free speech becomes nothing more than a fairy tale. Or is that perhaps the point?

Perhaps fighting “Islamophobia” is now a higher priority than fighting terrorism?

 A German court recently sentenced journalist Michael Stürzenberger (pictured) to six months in jail for posting on his Facebook page a historical photo of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, shaking the hand of a Nazi official in Berlin, in 1941. The prosecution accused Stürzenberger of “inciting hatred towards Islam” and “denigrating Islam” by publishing the photograph. –Image Source: PI News video screenshot

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Reporters struggling with Eelam War IV: Some Recollections and Reports

 Michael Roberts

In addressing the serious issues raised by some of the Western media reportage of the events unfolding during the last phase of Eelam War IV and several seemingly deliberate obfuscations, I recently sent a short set of questions to some Indian journalists who were in Sri Lanka then and also to a few Sri Lankan reporters/cameramen who had been taken to the war front – guided here by an official list available. I have only received responses from a few, but it is enough to set the reflections rolling.

  Journalists in plane en route to war front, circa 27 January —Pic by Kanchan Prasad

These responses throw light on the difficulties faced by journalists in reporting the war and I see them as important appendages to an analytical review that I have already penned in draft form (in progress). Those studying Eelam War IV should pay heed to these recollections, while also visiting the Al Jazeera You-Tube presentations provided by Tony Birtley & David Chater and marveling at the capacities revealed by Sergei de Silva Ranasinghe in deciphering the ups-and-downs of the SL Army progress from distant shores far better than Birtley or those in Colombo who visited the front on conducted tours on some occasions. Continue reading

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