Category Archives: citizen journalism

Vibrant Lifeways in Sri Lanka via Its Literary Figures and Places

Uma Mahadevan Dasgupta  in The Hindu, 8 December 2018,  where the title is “In Sri Lanka, Life imitates Art”

As we travel through Sri Lanka, its strong literary voices come crashing in like waves, and life seems to imitate art

I sit in the huge living room of the old governor’s home in Jaffna. The walls, painted… a warm rose-red, stretch awesome distances away to my left, to my right and up towards a white ceiling. When the Dutch first built this house egg white was used to paint the walls. The doors are twenty feet high, as if awaiting the day when a family of acrobats will walk from room to room, sideways, without dismantling themselves from each other’s shoulders. —Running in the Family, Michael Ondaatje

 Hectic colours: Second Cross Street Pettah 

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A Naked Display of Double Standards by the West in Sri Lanka

Tamara Kunanayakam, in Island, 3 November 2018, where the title is Tamara: Why was West silent on wrongdoings of former regime”   ………..Note: the highlighting is the work of The Editor, Thuppahi

Tamara Kunanayakam, Economist, Expert on international affairs, Former Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN at Geneva, Former Cha”irperson/Rapporteur of the UN Intergovernmental Working Group on the Right to Development yesterday asked why West had been silent on some grave wrongdoings of the ousted Premier Wickremesinghe.  Kunanayakam, speaking at a briefing organized by Eliya Organization said: “What is the explanation for the West’s silence on the postponement of local government elections for some three years and delays in holding Provincial Council elections, all under the Premiership of Ranil Wickremesinghe?


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Young Tamara Kunanayakam in Central Europe, 1970s-to-1980s

Michael Roberts

 With Tamara Kunanayakam what you see and hear is what you get: no subterfuges, straight-talking without frills or obscurantisms. Seeking to explore the events in Geneva from 2011 when she was our Permanent Representative there for a short spell, I met her in her rented home in Battaramulla in June 2016 in the convivial presence of her French husband and their dog Hombrito.[1]

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Dharmasiri Bandaranayake’s Message for Reconciliation and Oneness

Kamanthi Wickramsingha in Q and A, in Daily Mirror, 14 March 2018, where the title runs Peace and unity should be in everyone’s heart”

Dharmasiri Bandaranayake, the maverick of Sinhala cinema and theatre, has attempted to portray the reality of the state in every production. From Hansa Vilak tBawa Duka, Bawa Karma and stage plays such as Eka Adipathi, Dhawala Beeshana and Makarakshaya [he has] addressed issues from the 1980s riots to the dogma of Buddhism in Sri Lanka to other issues of national and political importance. “If the perpetrators of previous riots and crimes were identified and punished, what happened in Digana would have never happened,” said Bandaranayake in a candid interview with the Daily Mirror. He recently directed ‘Paradise in Tears’ a documentary film which portrays the historical evolution of the ethnic crisis in the country through its various phases. During the interview, Bandaranayake expressed his concerns over the manner in which the country’s rulers have treated people and how they have suffered as a result of ethnic violence, the role of artistes and how people should respond during incidents such as what happened in Kandy.   

  • There is no punishment for perpetrators
  • People should refrain from promoting separatist agendas
  • Violence should never be in the vocabulary of artistes
  • Reconciliation shouldn’t be on billboards   

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Kishani’s “Danno Budunge” in 2016: Further Vibes and Reverberations


In February 2016 I borrowed an article  by Sasanka Perera in Groundviews and placed it in Thuppahi   When I recently advertised this article in FACEBOOK it drew a critical comment from Vinod Moonesinghe of Sri Lanka and then a spate of comments. Several of these thoughts provide food for thought …and debate.  So, let fruitful reflections flow –beginning here with my original note and then deploying the critical line penned by VINOD MOONESINGHE to encourage more sparks to kindle flames.

 Vinod Moonesinghe Tony Donaldson Darshanie Ratnawalli

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Remembering 9/11: Two Australian Tales in 2017

ONE = Mary Lloyd: “The Australian artist who captured the horror of 9/11 on film,” 11 September 2017

Chris Hopewell heard the sound of the first plane collide with the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001, but it was his cats running in circles that tipped him off that something disastrous had happened. After the Australian artist opened his curtains and went onto the balcony of his Williamsburg apartment, he saw the damage that had been done to the tower, but had no idea what had caused it.

Pic by Reuters- Sara K Schwittek

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Revelations: Oppression of the Dalits in India via A Family History

Tariq  Ali’s essay entitled THE UNSEEABLES  in the London Review of Books Vol. 40 No. 16 · 30 August 2018   …. reviewing  Ants among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India by Sujatha Gidla Daunt, 341 pp, £14.99, May, ISBN 978 1 911547 20 4


This is a family biography that encompasses a history rarely told: despite its longevity, caste, and caste oppression, is not a popular theme in India. Sujatha Gidla writes of poisoned lives, of disillusionment, betrayed hopes, unrequited loves, attempted escapes through alcohol and sex. What distinguishes her book is its rich mix of sociology, anthropology, history, literature and politics.

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