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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Donald Trump was invited to address a major gathering of the American Indian Nation two weeks ago in upstate New York. He spoke for almost an hour about his plans for increasing every Native American’s present standard of living. He referred to how he had supported every Native American issue that came to the news media. Although Mr Trump was vague about the details of his plans, he seemed most enthusiastic and spoke ‘eloquently’ about his ideas for helping his “red sisters and brothers.” At the conclusion of his speech, the Tribes presented him with a plaque inscribed with his new Indian name, “Walking Eagle.” The proud Mr Trump accepted the plaque and then departed in his motorcade to a fundraiser, waving to the crowds.
A news reporter later asked the group of chiefs how they came to select the new name they had given to the Presidential Candidate.
They explained that “Walking Eagle” is the name given to a bird so full of shit it can no longer fly.
Michael Roberts ….. This article appeared first in Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 2007, vol. 30: 857-88.with the title “Suicide Missions as Witnessing: Expansions, Contrasts” and is reproduced here with its original American English spelling. The re-working of this article was seen to by Ms Nadeeka Paththuwaarachchi of Battaramulla. The pictorial images are embellishments that were not part of the original essay. I have also added highlighting emphasis in orange as well as a few hyperlinks to other standard sources of information. The bibliographical references are within the End Notes as in the original format.
ABSTRACT: Studies of suicide missions usually focus solely on attacks. They also have highlighted the performative character of suicide missions as acts of witness. By extending surveys to suicidal acts that embrace no-escape attacks, theatrical assassination, defensive suicide, and suicidal protest, one gains further insight into the motivations of individuals and organizations. Illustrative studies, notably the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi and Sadat as well as Tamil Tiger operations, generate a typology that underlines the benefits of such extensions. The Japanese and Tamil contexts reveal the profound differences in readings of sacrificial acts of atonement or punishment by local constituencies. Norman Morrison in Washington in 1965 and Jan Palach in Prague in 1969 did not have such beneficial settings and the immediate ramifications of their protest action were limited. Morrison’s story highlights the significance of a societal context of individuated rationalism as opposed, say, to the “pyramidical corporatism” encouraging martyrdom operations in the Islamic world.
Jan Palach…19 Jan. 1969 Nathuram Godse vs Mahatma Gandhi .. 30 Jan 1948
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Anindya Dutta, in The Cricket Monthly, 25 June 2018, where the title reads “A dinner in 1946”
It was the last tour by undivided India to Britain. It was the summer of Merchant and Mankad, and independence was around the corner.The year was 1946. England was caught between the exhilaration of emerging victorious from the Second World War and the devastation the war had wrought upon the country, both in terms of people and resources. Rationing was still in place, and the economy was in tatters.For six long years, while war raged, cricket had taken a backseat. There had been little first-class cricket, and the battlefields claimed some of England’s most talented players, like the venerated Hedley Verity. There were only 11 first-class matches in the 1945 season. Nineteen forty-six was the first year when a normal county season was scheduled and Test cricket could again be played. Cricket was seen as a way to restore a feeling of normalcy to a country severely affected by war and its consequences.
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Romila Thapar, in The Hindu, 27 November 2019, where the title is “Remembering Iravatham Mahadevan”
“He knew more about Indian epigraphy and the linguistic aspects of Dravidian and Indo-Aryan than some specialists”
I heard the news on Monday morning of the passing of Iravatham Mahadevan and was deeply saddened. Mahadevan, or Jani as his friends called him, was a special person of extraordinary talent and a much-respected scholar despite his having worked in administration for most of his professional life. Continue reading