Category Archives: commoditification

Danielle de Niese straddles the World in Opera

Justin Burke, courtesy of The Weekend Australian Review, 28/29 October 2017 where the title is “Homecoming Queen”

When opera superstar Danielle de Niese returns to Australia next month to perform in The Merry Widow, among the audience will be one particular fan from her past: Johnny Young. For it was in the final year of Young’s long-running TV talent show in 1988 that de Niese, then a precocious nine-year-old singing Whitney Houston ballads and musical theatre standards, got her first big break.

Young Talent Time never ‘made’ anybody’s talent, Danielle’s wonderful voice was a gift from God,” says Young, of the series that aired on Channel 10 for an astonishing 18 years. “Danielle was a sweetheart, and she became more and more relaxed as that season went on, and by the time she won it you could see this girl was going to be something special.”

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How the Railways Came to Batticaloa

Shirley W. Somanader, from The Island, 6 September 2014

Travel Before the Trains: A measure of the efficiency of communication between a place and the outside world is the ease of accessibility to the Capital city. In terms of this measure, the isolation of the Batticaloa district, as late as the first quarter of the Twentieth century is expressed, by a person who had lived through the better part of those times thus: “A journey to Batticaloa was something of an adventure. It was long and tiresome and often risky. Before the introduction of the train service in 1928, there were only two means of communication with the outside world. One by sea, at first by sailing vessels, replaced later on by coasting steamers, which called once a week either from the south or north: The other by land across rocks and precipices of the Uva Province. The journey was done on horseback or bullock carts.”

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A British Royal Wedding …. Papare Style

The Royal Wedding Sri Lankan Style =




Published on May 7, 2011

This is what the Royal family would have done if Sri Lankan Papare music was played!!! 😀 Made possible by @kanchanasandeep

102 Comments …. Wow!

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Hambantota Port set for Boom under Chinese Auspices

Peter Fuhrman,  courtesy of Beyonf Brics  where the title is “China-owned port in Sri Lanka could alter trade routes”

Much has been said — but far less is understood — about the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative, the centrepiece of Xi Jin ping’s expansive foreign policy. That Mr. Xi has ambitions to extend across Eurasia China’s commercial, political and military power is not in doubt.But, the precise details on OBOR remain just about as unclear now as they did four years ago the policy was unveiled — which countries are included, how much cash China will invest or lend, where are the first-order priority projects, will any of the trillions of dollars of proposed  China-owned port in Sri Lanka could alter trade routes, will spending achieve commercial rates of return? Questions multiply. Answers are few.

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The War is Past. Paradise is Regained

Michael Buerk,  in the The Telegraph, 5 September 2017, where the title is “The war is history: Michael Buerk returns to Sri Lanka” ** Note Editorial Comment at End 

The Tigers’ lair was deep in the jungle. It was difficult to find and tough to get to; two hours jolting, semi-prone, in a trailer dragged by a tractor, watching for mines. This was a war zone for decades. The paddy fields were abandoned long ago to the peacocks and their perpetual courtship, dozens of them everywhere, each male made fabulous by desire. The man-made lake that once fed the fields was covered in lotus flowers. A crocodile basked on a rock in the shallows, jaws gaping as if in wonder at the lonely beauty of it all. Well into the thicker brush, down a maze of paths and tunnels through the thorn trees, we came first to what was left of the Tigers’ guard post. Just rubble now where 30 fighters held part of the perimeter of what was, in effect, a separate state. Their latrine, the only recognisable structure left, was now home to a 15ft Indian rock python.

  Buerk was in Sri Lanka for the BBC at the beginning of the war, in the Eighties

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Political Fiddling undermines Economic Growth and Stability in Sri Lanka

Sirimevan Colombage, courtesy of Daily Mirror, 4 September 2017,where the title is “Politics of Socio-economic Development in Sri Lanka”

The ultimate goal of socio-economic development is to improve people’s quality of life dependent on access to the basic needs such as food, safe drinking water, shelter, clothing, education and healthcare. An important factor that determines these dimensions of quality of life is income – usually measured in terms of the per capita income, which is equivalent to gross domestic product (GDP) divided by population. Money is not everything but one could also argue that money is needed to buy everything to fill the basket of basic needs listed above. Hence, GDP growth is an essential ingredient for socio-economic development.

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Speaking of the Self: Gender Issues in South Asia

Niroshini Somasundaram, in IIAS Newsletter, reviewing A. Malhotra & S. Lambert-Hurley. 2015. Speaking of the self: gender, performance, and autobiography in South Asia. Durham: Duke University Press. ISBN 9780822359838

In the last few decades, scholars of South Asian history have disputed the notion that South Asian cultures do not possess the autonomous representation of the individual, particularly in documenting histories, compared to their European counterparts. To that end, the numerous ways in which self-representation has been practiced in this region in different forms and time periods have been increasingly explored in scholarship. The rich collection of essays in this volume, edited by Anshu Malhotra and Siobhan Lambert-Hurley, challenge the existing boundaries and discourses surrounding autobiography, performance and gender in South Asian history by presenting a varied and fresh selection of women’s autobiographical writing and practices from the seventeenth to mid-twentieth centuries. The compelling choice of authors explored in the essays include Urdu novelists, a Muslim prostitute in nineteenth century Punjab, a Mughal princess, a courtesan in the Hyderabad court and male actors who perform as female characters. It moreover challenges conventional narratives in the field of autobiographical studies by relaying in careful detail the different forms which ought to be encompassed within the genre of autobiography such as poetry, patronage of architecture and fiction. Continue reading

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