Category Archives: meditations

Vibrant Lifeways in Sri Lanka via Its Literary Figures and Places

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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Suicide Missions as Witnessing: From Self-Immolation to Assassination and Mass Strike

Michael Roberts ….. This article appeared first in Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 2007, vol. 30:  857-88.with the titleSuicide 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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Lessons for Joe Root, Dauris and the British: Minefields, Terrorist Hits and the Miliband Intervention in 2009

Shamindra Ferdinando, Island, 27 November 2018:

Having visited one-time LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) dominated Periyamadu on Nov 19, morning, Englishman Olly Stone tweeted: “GREAT DAY UP IN NORTH SRI LANKA VISITING THE MINEFIELDS WITH MAG (Mine Advisory Group), AN AMAZING JOB THEY ARE DOING WITH THE LOCAL PEOPLE TO HELP MAKE THE PLACE SAFE AGAIN AND GROW THE COMMUNITY!”

Periyamadu, Nov 19, 2018: Some members of the England cricket team accompany Mine Advisory Group (MAG) personnel to an area cleared of explosive devices. From Left : Joe Root, Keaton Jennings, Jonny Bairstow, Olly Stone and British High Commissioner Dauris (partly covered) at the back (pic courtesy BHC, Colombo)


Twenty five-year-old Stone is a right-arm fast bowler and right-handed batsman of the visiting English team. Stone was one of the four members of the English team to experience the life in former battlefield east of the Kandy-Jaffna A9 road. Captain of the team Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Keaton Jennings, too, visited an area declared cleared of mines.

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The Mahathma’s Lines = The Reconciliatory Path We Need in Sri Lanka

Courtesy of KNO Dharmadasa

New Delhi, Oct 02 (ANI): On the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, artists from over 124 countries have contributed in paying homage to the Father of the Nation through his favourite bhajan ‘Vaishnav Jan To Tene Kahiye’. The famous Gujarati hymn was penned by the 15th century poet Narsimha Mehta and was one of the favourite bhajans of Gandhi, who included it into the roster of prayers routinely sung before his meetings. During the closing ceremony of the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Conference (MGISC) and in the presence of the Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Gutierrez, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation Uma Bharti, launched a medley version of the bhajan, sung by artists from over 124 countries. All Indian Missions abroad identified local artist groups to record the bhajan who gave rise to an eclectic, colourful and rich rendition of the hymn infused with the local flavour of the region. Videos from different regions of the world have also been put together in a fusion video of about five minutes to give flavour to the bhajan. Amongst the star performers is President of Nauru Baron Divavesi Waqa. Waqa’s gesture was not just a tribute to Gandhi but was also a personal gift from him to Prime Minister Modi. The medley version and individual country contributions are available on the External Affairs Ministry’s Youtube page. ———————————————————————————————- ☛ Subscribe to our Youtube Channel – ☛ Visit our Official website: Enjoy and stay connected with us!! ☛ Like us: ☛Follow us : ☛ Circle us : ☛ Feedback to Shrawan K Poddar :

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An Ode in Memory of Ashley Halpe

Jean Arasanayagam: marking Prof. Halpe’s birth anniversary which fell on the 18th of November 2018


Recalling our youthful days as students at the University of Peradeniya, sharing our interests in drama and theatre, music, painting and literature.

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Filed under art & allure bewitching, education, heritage, landscape wondrous, life stories, meditations, performance, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, tolerance, unusual people

Remembering Darrel Weinman — Surgeon and Doctor Extraordinary

Ranji Wikramanayake, in The Island, 11 November 2018 …. and also in

Darrel Weinman attended St. Peter’s College Colombo where he was a brilliant student & excelled at sport. He was the school cricket captain. A few years ago when a mutual friend, Dr.Tony Don Michael passed away, I informed him. He said, “He was my protégé”. Tony played cricket for the school, under Darrel.

He was a good student & I am reliably informed by his classmate (from 2nd year St. Peters ) Dr. Derrick Nugara who graduated with  him, that he qualified with 1st class honours. I didn’t know him as a student as he was a few years senior to me, but in 1957, when he was studying for the primary FRCS, he borrowed a box of pathology slides from me. Needless to say, he passed first & won the Hallet prize. Continue reading

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A Remarkable Loyalty in the Artistry of Ivor Denis

Tony Donaldson, reproduced here courtesy of CEYLANKAN … and replacing today 25th November 2018 the initial version presented in Thuppahi

Three giants of the Sri Lankan arts world have passed away this year. The visual artist Neville Weereratne died in Melbourne on 3 January 2018, aged 86 (Donaldson, 2018); the visionary filmmaker Lester James Peries died, aged 99, in Colombo on 29 April; and the singer Ivor Denis passed away at his home in Seeduwa on 18 June, aged 86.

 Ivor Denis playing violin

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