The Presidential Stakes in the Near Future in Sri Lanka

Sanjana Hattotuwa, Sunday Island, 20 January 2019 where the title is “Puppets, Pawns and Presidents”

Sirisena, Wickremesinghe, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, his brother Chamal and Karu Jayasuriya. The last week saw media frame prospective candidates for an office that the incumbent said, nay, swore on 9th January 2015, he would never seek re-election to and would be the last to occupy. Evidence of Sri Lanka’s sickeningly bankrupt political culture is again to be found in how, leaving aside unequivocal promises four years ago, even the catastrophic events of late 2018 and its entrenchment have not resulted in any meaningful measures to abolish the Executive Presidency. While the government continues bizarrely, blindly and blithely with business as usual, the names paraded as Presidential aspirants offer some interesting insights.

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“Both the Cricketing and Political Dispensations in Sri Lanka are in Deep Shit” says Gideon Haigh

Gideon Haigh, in The Weekend Australian, 19-20 January 2019, where the title is  “Crisis of cricket and democracy in Sri Lanka”

In Shehan Karunatilaka’s kaleidoscopic novel of Sri Lanka and cricket, Chinaman, the narrator stops to consider whether the game is so nationally useful at all. “Does Sri Lanka need more schoolteachers, more soldiers or more wicketkeepers?’’ he asks. “A middle-order batsman or a bank manager? A specialist gully fieldsman or a civil engineer?’’ Needless to say, he resolves the conundrum favourably to the game. “Left-arm spinners cannot unclog your drains, teach your children or cure you of disease,” he concludes. “But once in a while, the very best of them will bowl a ball that will bring an entire nation to its feet. And while there may be no practical use in that, there is ­almost certainly value.”

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Water and Wild Life in Sri Lanka brought to life

Mike Birkhead and Associates .... and their Documentary Series = https://www.mikebirkhead.com/Wild-Sri-Lanka.html

Nowhere else on earth is the power of water to create, shape and sustain life so dazzlingly evident as on the tiny oceanic island of Sri Lanka. Rising from the waves, it is a land where not one, but two monsoons mark time. A world where rains pour down, clouds swell, rivers flow, mists dance across the skies, frosts dust the highlands and thousands of man-made lakes form a curious wonderland filled with a wildlife that is strange, beautiful and utterly unique. In this series we will delve into the land of these breathtaking creatures – from the largest mammal on earth, the blue whale, to the smallest, the etruscan shrew – and discover how, from the moment Sri Lanka fractured from the southern supercontinent of Gondwanaland and was carried by the oceans to its present home – it has been an island which has been ruled by one unstoppable force: water.

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How Washington nurtured Maithripala Sirisena in 2013-15 to serve Its Ends

Daya Gamage of USA [i]with highlighting emphasis being the work of The  Editor, Thuppahi

As you have noted in your email[ii] that Chandrika and Ven. Sobhitha[iii] were instrumental in identifying and cultivating Maithripala Sirisena to take the field against Rajapaksa at the 2015 Presidential Election, let me emphasize that Washington also had a firm covert hand in the selection.

Way back in 2013 Washington identified Sirisena as a possible candidate against Mahinda Rajapaksa. The first step was when, as Rajapaksa’s Health Minister, Sirisena received the Harvard Health Leadership Award 2013 from Harvard University Dean Dr. Julio Frenk and Harvard Professor (International Affairs) William Clark for minimizing the consumption of alcohol and smoking and adopting a National Drug Policy in Sri Lanka.

Health Minister Maitripala Sirisena receiving Harvard Leadership Award 2013 From Harvard University Dean Dr. Julio Frenk and Harvard Professor International Affairs William Clark

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Brexit Explained the British Way — with Humour

John Bull

David Cameron made a promise he didn’t think he’d have to keep to have a referendum he didn’t think he would lose.

Boris Johnson decided to back the side he didn’t believe in because he didn’t think it would win. Then Gove, who said he wouldn’t run, did, and Boris who said he would run, said he wouldn’t, and Theresa May who didn’t vote for Brexit got the job of making it happen.

She called the election she said she wouldn’t and lost the majority David Cameron hadn’t expected to win in the first place. She triggered Article 50 when we didn’t need to and said we would talk about trade at the same time as the divorce deal and the EU said they wouldn’t so we didn’t. People thought she wouldn’t get the divorce settled but she did, but only by agreeing to separate arrangements for Northern Ireland when she had promised the DUP she wouldn’t. Continue reading

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Cracking Impact! The Suntharalingam Saga’s Theatrical Tour de Force

Cassie Tongue in Time-Out, 16 January 2019, where the title is “Counting and Cracking review” ….. with Brett Boardman’s PICs …. and highlighting added

It’s only January, but we have an early contender for the best play of the year in Counting and Cracking. And we certainly won’t see another play like it any time soon. Set in a recursion of town halls – a Sri Lankan-style one built inside Sydney’s landmark Town Hall – Counting and Cracking takes place in both Colombo and Sydney, in the 1970s and 2004, and always keeps one foot in each world; as we are about to see, the past and present are not so easily separated.

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Chettinad’s Palaces in View

T. S. Subramanium,in Frontline, 7 December 2018, with photos by Velankanni Raj …. where the title runs “The Palaces of Chettinad”

The palatial decorated homes of Chettiars in the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu are symbols of a colonial-era architectural heritage marked by opulence. The stately mansions of Nattukottai Chettiars of the Chettinad region in Tamil Nadu are a statement of the affluence the mercantile community enjoyed at the height of its prosperity during the British Raj. The palatial houses, with the built-up area measuring anywhere between 20,000 square feet (1,858 sq. metres) and 70,000 sq. ft (6,503 sq. m), were mostly built in the period between the early 1800s and the 1940s. The Chettiars had set up flourishing trading and business enterprises in Burma (now Myanmar), Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia (including Java and Sumatra), Vietnam, Mauritius and the Philippines.

       At the Chettinad palace, a large patio with “thinnais”

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