Category Archives: citizen journalism

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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Lakshman Gunasekara’s Reflections on the Political Turmoil in Late 2018: Three Essays

Lakshman Gunasekera

ONE. Lakshman Gunasekara: “Politics vs Constitutionalism,” in Horizons, 9 December 2018 …

When the Bandaranaike International Memorial Conference Hall (BMICH, what a mouthful) began hosting conferences in those old-fashioned 1970s, we, the ordinary citizens hadn’t a hope of freely strolling into its premises (let alone its halls). One needed a conference invitation to enter the gates and some ‘delegate’ or ‘media’ tag to enter the main hall or ‘committee rooms’ (as they were quaintly termed then). Today, in our lower-middle-income country comfort zone, people are constantly streaming in and out of the BMICH, for weddings, exhibitions, conferences, convocations, concerts and seminars, all at the same time (and I am sure there is romance in those verdant gardens).    Continue reading

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Understanding Yes People: Ehemai Hamu!!

Michel Nugawela in Daily FT, 8 January 2019, where the title runs thus “Why followers follow bad leaders” … ….. with highlighting emphasis added by The Editor, Thuppahi — who has also deployed images at the end in step with Nugawela’s argument

Maithripala Sirisena. Mahinda Rajapaksa. Ranil Wickremesinghe. We’ve had different leaders with the same unhappy results for decades. At the core of this country’s political gridlock and dysfunction is a failed leadership culture and not a few men jockeying for power. Our existing model of representative leadership and behavioural conduct urgently needs fixing, as does fast tracking the empowerment of a new generation of leaders in the UNP. And yet we often forget that leadership is also a two-part equation. Followers have their own identity, just as leaders have theirs. In fact, Michael Maccoby, a leadership expert who has advised, taught, and studied the leaders of companies and governments in 36 countries, says: “Followers are as powerfully driven to follow as leaders are to lead.”

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Galle Fort and Its Literary and Pictorial Fare: A Partial Bibliography

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“Putting The World To Write” …. in Galle

An INVITATION to a Writing Event with a Title that is Right

Talk, Tea & Book Launch Wednesday January 16th …. 3- 5 pm Jetwing Lighthouse

The first Galle Literary Festival was launched in 2007 amid the chaos of the Civil War. Despite the bitterness of that war, the festival projected the country onto the arts stage as a serious global literary force and attracted many big literary heroes from around the world, which it continues to do, up to this day, where the tenth anniversary is going to be the most exciting festival yet. There is no better location for it to be held in and around the Galle Fort, a UNESCO world heritage site and modern bastion of protection, both physically as in the tsunami of 2004 and ideologically, for all kinds of people from all kinds of religious backgrounds, all working together for the good of the fort, its people and its visitors.

Donald Trump and …

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Swinging into Christmas in Anglophile Style in Ceylon during the 1950s

Roel Raymond, in Roar Media, 31 December 2017, with this title “Christmas In Ceylon In The ’50’s: Swing Bands And Grand Galas”
History records social transformation. It is through the lens of historical narrative that we see the ages and eras of the past and learn of the people, places, and events that made an impact. Documented history throws a light on the customs and rituals of people as they wend their way through time, leaving their mark on a particular epoch.

In the 1950’s, Ceylon has just gained independence from the British Raj, the fruits of which were yet to be seen. Many of the cultural influences of the British were still apparent, including speaking the English language, clothing styles, and partaking in English customs and holidays.

 Galle Face Hotel. Image courtesy luxuryhotelsassociation

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Anne Abayasekara’s Sturdy Witness to Our Troubled Times

Suvendrini Kanagasabai Perera, in Island, 26 December 2018, where the title reads In the thick of it: Anne Abayasekara, Unfaltering Witness. Review of book – ‘Telling It Like It Is’emphasis via highlights below being the work of The Editor, Thuppahi

Reflecting on her life at an address to the Rotary Club in 2012, Anne Abayasekara made a telling comparison between the life of the creative writer and what she described as her own “enduring love affair with journalism”: “The distinctive feature about journalism … is that in writing for newspapers, you don’t sit in solitude, but have to be out on the street, in the thick of people and events.”

Anne Abayasekara spent over 65 years in the thick of it, thoroughly enmeshed in a world she relished and clearly loved, but nonetheless viewed with great clarity. Her extraordinary career spans Independence in 1948 (she attended the festivities as a young reporter for the fashion pages), the three grim decades of the war and the unpromising peace that has succeeded it. Through it all, she held up a mirror to the society she loved, bearing witness to its atrocities and most egregious failures, as to its small acts of grace and moments of beauty. This carefully distilled selection of her writings provides an important snapshot of this period. At the same time, emerging from its pages is a picture of the writer herself: a spirited, large-hearted, deeply humane woman, characterised, above all, by a rare, sustained courage. Continue reading

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