Category Archives: art & allure bewitching

Word Pictures in Deciphering Sri Lankan History, Politics, War

Jonathon Riley, reviewing Michael Naseby: Sri Lanka. Paradise Lost. Paradise Regained, 2020, London, Unicorn

Sri Lanka, Ceylon – geographically so close to the Indian sub-continent and yet with a culture and history that has been for many centuries distinct. What a difference a few miles of water make – as we in England know well. I recall visiting Sri Lanka in 1993 and, on the anniversary of independence in 1948, and reading a leader in the newspaper that suggested maybe it would have been a good idea to have stayed with Britain a few years longer. A brave sentiment indeed and one which, after more than twenty years, makes much more sense having read Michael Naseby’s book.

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Tracee’s Corona-Curtailed Wildlife Encounters in Lanka

Tracee Fullum from USA

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Yasmin Azad’s “Stay, Daughter” hits the Bookshelves

Muslims of Sri Lanka who, decades ago, grew up in communities that were moderate and broadminded often wonder why Islamic fundamentalism has come back with such force. What made a once-tolerant people want to set themselves apart from everyone else?

This question lies at the heart of Stay, Daughter, a memoir that gives an intimate glimpse into the world of Muslims as times changed and the impact of the modern and Westernized world was felt.

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Exposure: Beach Scenes in Southern France over the Decades


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Vijayapalan Award bestowed on Sangakkara at Tamil Kamban Vizha

Pranavesh Sivakumar in Daily News, 6 February 2020, where the title runs “Sangakkara bestowed with top Tamil recognition”

Former Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara became the first-ever sportsman to be honoured and felicitated at Kamban Vizha (a prestigious Tamil cultural festival) for his exceptional and exemplary service and for doing his country proud.

Star southpaw Sangakkara, awarded the K. Vijayapalan memorial award, joined an elite and exclusive list of award winners and honourees, including Indian musical maestro S.P. Balasubramaniam, who shared the same stage.

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Our Anthem FOR Hearts and Minds

Michael Roberts

The full-frontal challenges from Janaka Perera and Daya Hewapathrane[1] to my advocacy of the National Anthem being sung in Sinhala and Tamil are on different scales, the one moderate and the latter extremist/chauvinist. But they are not totally apart. Both indulge in cherry-picking examples from the world beyond Sri Lanka to bolster their prejudices. More significantly, the moderate claims of JP work insidiously to bolster the extremists like DH and, worse still, to alienate moderate Tamils (the extremist Tamils, in my assessment, are beyond conversion to amity or sanity).


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Yamuna Sangarasivam: Teaching Dance and Her Dance with Michael Jackson

Julia Smith: “Michael Jackson and the Anthropology of Dance,” ……

 Yamuna on right with a student

How did Yamuna Sangarasivam get a chance to dance with Michael Jackson in his iconic “Black or White” video — which premiered in 27 countries to an audience of 500 million?

Although she was a huge fan of the King of Pop, she never imagined that she would meet him, let alone dance a duet with him in one of his music videos! She heard of Jackson’s call for ethnic and modern dancers and auditioned — along with more than 3,000 others — because the amazing opportunity blended her passions for the anthropology of music and the anthropology of dance with her expertise in Odissi dance (classical dance tradition of Orissa, India).

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