Background information known only to a few has emerged during the coronial inquest into the tragic death of Phil Hughes after he was felled by a bouncer bowled by Sean Abbott of New South Wales (NSW) at the personal score of 63 runs on 25 November 2014 – with the revelations produced by the Hughes family in response to the coroner’s approach fueling this new fire. From my particular political position on the practices that prevail on the cricket field, let me summarize the conclusions that I draw from this corpus of data.
A. Phil Hughes was regarded as one of the most potent batsmen in the South Australian side and the game plan fashioned by the NSW team management and leaders was to subject him to a short-pitch bowling barrage – as blurted out by Trent Johnston, NSW bowling coach to Matthew Day (a cricketing mate of Hughes) in the immediate aftermath of the accident during hospital vigil.
B. This tactic was supplemented by the verbal badinage and abuse that is a standard practice in Australian cricket – a practice referred to as “sledging” and regarded as legitimate by all-and-sundry in Australia.
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Michael Roberts, courtesy of Colombo Telegraph
General Ratwatte in 1990s
President Kumaratunga in BBC Interview at the end of 1999
Preamble: When Generals Perera and Fonseka laid out contingency plans to evacuate the Jaffna Peninsula in April/May 2000 and appear to have been in panic, General Anuruddha Ratwatte, who was President Kumaratunga’s uncle and chief security advisor, stood sturdy and refused to countenance the planned evacuation of all troops from the Jaffna Peninsula.
Ratwatte had been among the chief architects of the disastrous military strategies in the period 1995-2000. But no one would dispute his fearlessness. On this occasion in 2000 the bravado was backed with political sense: when President Chandrika Kumaratunga (CBK) caved in on the 18th May 2000 and accepted the request from the Overall Commander in Jaffna, General Janaka Perera, to sign the evacuation plans (via VVT and Point Pedro) drawn up with guidance from his immediate deputy, General Sarath Fonseka, Ratwatte asserted that such a step would be the end of Sri Lanka.
SLA RM 70s firing
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From the Daily News, 12 July 2016
On the land like unto ocean, I assume the form of a wave, And trusted dreams as a lifeI was trapped in the whirlwind of three desires, Ensnared day after day For the mound of my body I searched for food Without rest night or day I eat, eat and sleep seeing nought else, I get no gain On the shore of sorrow, I erect a tent of five virtues, I regarded thou as my mother, my son Yet thee treat me in this fashion Without interceding on my behalf Standing in-between and questioning meIs it good to remain so? Oh! My Lord! The Lover of Sivakami!! Thou who created me, oh! Natarajah of Thillai!
This poem from the Natarajapathu was translated by Suntharalingam on January 14, 1978 (Thaipongal Day) and annotated in his mother’s copy of the Kandapuranam from 1930.
What does a grandfather’s letter mean to you? Boring… pedagogical… jam-packed with advices? For C Anjalendran, his grandfather’s letters reveal a bygone grand era of Ceylon. His grandfather was a strange combination of being a professor of mathematics, lawyer and – most interestingly – a politician walking shoulder to shoulder with D S Senanayake, S W R D Bandaranaike, J R Jayewardene, Sir John Kotelawala and Sir Oliver Goonetilleke.
Filed under caste issues, citizen journalism, devolution, Eelam, ethnicity, governance, historical interpretation, Indian religions, life stories, politIcal discourse, power politics, religiosity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, unusual people