Category Archives: female empowerment

The Deep Imprint of Violence within Christianity and Islam

lisetteLisette Thooft, 18 January 2015, in NieuwWij, where the title is “Karen Armstrong: “There is nothing in the Islam that is more violent than Christianity”  .

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Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, cultural transmission, Fascism, female empowerment, fundamentalism, heritage, historical interpretation, human rights, Islamic fundamentalism, landscape wondrous, life stories, martyrdom, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, religiosity, security, self-reflexivity, the imaginary and the real, trauma, unusual people, vengeance, violence of language, world events & processes

Fighting LTTE Women …. Looking Back from 2016

Kim Wall and Mansi Choksi, in Longreads, May 2018 where the title is “A Chance to Rewrite History: The Women Fighters of the Tamil Tigers” …… How during a brutal, 25-year civil war in Sri Lanka, the Tamil Tigers failed the women soldiers who sacrificed everything to fight for a sovereign state for the Tamil minority [with a NOTE from the Editor, Thuppahi at the end]

“We went on our first reporting trip together to write about an emerging Chinatown in Kampala in 2015,” says Mansi. “And then the next year, I moved to New York, where she was living, so we would spend our afternoons working together.” Mansi and Kim traveled to Sri Lanka in 2016. Mansi recalls Kim’s dedication to telling the story of the women who fought with the Tamil Tigers during Sri Lanka’s brutal, 25-year civil war. “Kim genuinely fell in love with the women we were writing about,” says Mansi. “You can hear it in her voice, in the tapes of our interviews.”

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Filed under communal relations, Fascism, female empowerment, gender norms, governance, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, language policies, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, mass conscription, military strategy, modernity & modernization, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, propaganda, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, war reportage, women in ethnic conflcits, working class conditions, world events & processes, zealotry

Shihara Farook assails Extremism. A Biography and Counter-Current of Significance

Shihara Farook

After three days of crying and being angry I am going to start speaking my heart to all of you. You are free to share this as much as you want and with whom you want. I was born a Sri Lankan Muslim in a town called Gampola very near Kandy Sri Lanka. I was born into a multilingual household and have been trilingual from birth. In that town we had a Muslim majority. There were several mosques and my very large extended family lived sprawled all over the town.

Irfadha Muzammil ….. from

At pre school age I was sent to a preschool in a local church . I observed the nuns quietly (Leon Chan and I were friends there as tiny tots) the nuns preferred to call me Fathima as it was a name of a Christian saint as well. They were peaceful kind and so calm! I had the most wonderful time of my life there! They ran an orphanage had some rabbits and made us all smile .

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Filed under accountability, communal relations, democratic measures, female empowerment, Indian traditions, landscape wondrous, life stories, patriotism, politIcal discourse, reconciliation, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, tolerance, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes

Meet Nishi Uggalla, Child Prodigy and Scientist in the Making

News Item in ISLAND, with Upul Wijayawardhana as Inspiration 5 March 2019, where the title is She has higher IQ than Einstein … Child Genius UK 2019: Nishi Uggalle”

The remarkable win of 12-year-old Nishi Uggalla, from Manchster, on Saturday night’s (2nd March) final of the Channel Four’s Child Genius competition was, no doubt, a proud moment for all Sri Lankans domiciled in UK.  But it was much more because she made it ultra-special and won the hearts of everyone who watched the programme by an inspiring acceptance speech. Further, she was different from all the other contestants; whereas all the others were driven by their parents or relations, Nishi was the driving force herself.

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Filed under cultural transmission, education, female empowerment, heritage, landscape wondrous, life stories, performance, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, teaching profession, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, world events & processes

Celebrating Anne Abayasekara’s Mighty Pen and Lifetime

Uvin Dassanayake in Daily News, 14 February 2019, where the title is “The pen PROVED MIGHTY INDEED!”

On Saturday February 9, Cinnamon Gardens Baptist Church was host to a celebration of the work of the late Anne Abayasekara, Sri Lanka’s first woman to become a staff journalist and a much beloved writer over her career of nearly 70 years. The evening proceeded with each of her seven children speaking about their mother, recounting fond memories of the sounds of her typewriter in the family home and sharing poetry she had written for her grandchildren; all to an audience of family, friends and people who had been, in some way, affected by Abayasekara’s work.

Anne with her husband Earle

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Filed under art & allure bewitching, cultural transmission, democratic measures, education, female empowerment, heritage, historical interpretation, life stories, literary achievements, meditations, patriotism, politIcal discourse, press freedom, religiosity, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, tolerance, unusual people, world affairs

Sovereignty, Space and Civil War in Sri Lanka: Porous Nation

Anoma Pieris has produced yet another book, this time with the prestigious Taylor & Francis imprint. In hardback it runs to 236 pages and has line drawings, tables and 35 illustrations — so it is expensive: Aus $ 216.88


Analyses of the Sri Lankan civil war (1983-2009) overwhelmingly represent it as an ethnonationalist contest, prolonging postcolonial arguments on the creation and dissolution of the incipient nation-state since independence in 1948. While colonial divide-and-rule policies, the rise of ethnonationalist lobbies, structural discrimination and majoritarian democracy have been established as grounds for inter-ethnic hostility, there are other significant transformative forces that remain largely unacknowledged in postcolonial analyses.

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Filed under accountability, art & allure bewitching, authoritarian regimes, centre-periphery relations, communal relations, cultural transmission, discrimination, economic processes, female empowerment, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, modernity & modernization, nationalism, photography, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, the imaginary and the real, transport and communications, trauma, truth as casualty of war, war reportage, welfare & philanthophy, women in ethnic conflcits

Economising via Gleaning. Ancient Practices for Today’s World

Item in THE ECONOMIST,  Christmas Special, entitled Gleaning. The return of gleaning in the modern world. How much can an ancient practice do to alleviate hunger?”

AT THE SALON in Paris in 1857, Jean-François Millet exhibited a painting called “Des glaneuses” (“Gleaners”). It caused a scandal. Millet had long made a point of painting peasants at their labours, but this big canvas was his strongest provocation. Into a decorous world of silks and parasols it introduced rough women, plump in their homespun skirts, rumps in the air, grubbing for ears of grain dropped after the harvest. One critic complained of “ugliness and…grossness unrelieved”. Another said it made him think of the scaffolds and pikes of the Terror of 1793.

Millet had seen the women differently. He found them dignified, doing their work in a sanctifying late-summer light, companions to his peasant “Angelus”. In this, as well as their humble roughness, he caught the essence of gleaning.

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