Category Archives: meditations

Here, There and Almost Everywhere! Jaraa in Sri Lanka

frances-fFrances Ferdinands, in Sunday Island, 19 February 2017, where the authors’s chosen title is “Becuase I Care”

As a Sri-Lankan born Canadian Artist, I have had the privilege of spending time here in Sri Lanka within the last two years. From January – March 2015 I was here on a Canadian Government sponsored project geared towards exploring my artistic heritage and incorporating this experience into my own art practice. I was mentored in the traditional arts and crafts of Temple painting, and Beeralu Lacemaking. I recently returned in early January of this year to study the traditional craft of mask making. Continue reading

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The Indus Civilisation: A Great Civilisation, Yet Forgotten?

Andrew Robinson, courtesy of History Today Volume 65 Issue 12 December 2015….

Perhaps the most famous statement about the Indus civilisation is the opening paragraph of an article in the Illustrated London News published in 1924 by John Marshall, Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India: “Not often has it been given to archaeologists, as it was given to [Heinrich] Schliemann at Tiryns and Mycenae, or to [Aurel] Stein in the deserts of Turkestan, to light upon the remains of a long-forgotten civilisation. It looks, however, at this moment, as if we are on the threshold of such a discovery in the plains of the Indus.”

aa-indus-1 Steatite seal from the Indus valley, c.2500 BC. The script is still undeciphered

Subsequent Indus excavations certainly made an impression on the young Kenneth Clark. In Civilisation, Clark, while pondering the non-western beginnings of civilisation two-and-a-half millennia before the classical Greeks, observed in 1969:“Three or four times in history man has made a leap forward that would have been unthinkable under ordinary evolutionary conditions. One such time was about the year 3000 BC, when quite suddenly civilisation appeared, not only in Egypt and Mesopotamia but also in the Indus Valley; another was in the sixth century BC, when there was not only the miracle of Ionia and Greece … but also in India a spiritual enlightenment that has perhaps never been equalled.” Continue reading

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Asian English Cricketers undermine Farage and UKIP

Andy Bull, 1 November 2016, in The Spin,where the title runs “Farage’s canvassing shows English cricket must embrace other cultures” … and where the subtitle says “Canvassing counties and alienating communities” … . and the first lines stresses that “When Nigel Farage leafleted Yorkshire fans he tried to tap into outdated notions at odds with the example being set by England’s four Muslim players”

ansri-moeen  Ansari and Moeen for Blighty in Cricket …. “Zafar Ansari, left, does not practise Islam but identifies as one of four British Muslims in England’s Test side: ‘That’s really exciting and something we’re proud of.’ Photograph: Philip Brown/Getty Images

Back in June, a little less than half a year and a little more than half a lifetime ago, Nigel Farage visited Headingley. It was the fourth day of Yorkshire’s match against Lancashire, but he had not come for the cricket so much as the opportunity to pose for a photos and press some flesh. He stopped off in the Long Room, where his assistants started handing around Ukip leaflets. Farage often talks about what a keen fan he is of the game. But here, perhaps, was a first clue that this may not be entirely true. Because anyone who understood the sport would surely know better than to try to proselytise Yorkshire fans while they were attending to the serious business of watching the Roses match. Farage was, apparently, told to either leave off or leave altogether. One of Yorkshire’s members wrote a fine follow-up letter to the club. “You only have to look at the newspapers which people read at Headingley to see that Yorkshire cricket supporters hold diverse political views,” he wrote, “but we are all united by a love of cricket in general and Yorkshire cricket in particular.” Headingley wasn’t the only cricket ground Farage campaigned at in the summer. He also held a rally at New Road in Worcester, stopped in at Lord’s, and had lunch at the Nevill Ground in Tunbridge Wells, where he spoke about how much he enjoyed the “very English scene”. Continue reading

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In Anguish. The Hughes Family nail Cricket Australia to the Mast

The AUSTRALIAN divulges the full text of Their Evidential Letter to the Coroner, 15/16 October 2016

I am Gregory Bruce Hughes. I am the father of Phillip Joel Hughes; the late Test, One-Day and 20/20 international player for Australia. Husband of Virginia Hughes and father of Jason and Megan ­Hughes. I’m a humble farmer who believes I have successfully taught my children the meaning of life alongside (my) wife Virginia. With these values I also believe I have given my children the ­desire to succeed in their own indiv­idual way. An example of this would be the feeling I had seeing my son Jason and daughter Megan on stage at Phillip’s funeral service speaking so highly of their loved brother and our family. I am truly very proud to be their father.


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The Phil Hughes Coronial Inquest: Cricketers Wallow in Contradictory Evidence


Item extracted from The Australian, 13 October 2016

Doug Bollinger allegedly told Matthew Day: “One of my sledges was ‘I am going to kill you. I can’t believe I said that.”

Matthew  Day  told Jason Hughes: “Doug Bollinger told me he sledged them by saying he was going to kill them.”

Jason Hughes told Matthew Day: “Tom Cooper told me the same thing.”  Continue reading

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The Buddhist Virtues We Need Today — Via “Sathyodaya”

Upul Wijayawardhana,  in The Island, 7  October 2016, where the title is The Dawn of Truth

We live in an era when exaggerated ritual gets the pride of place. Not a day passes without the image, on television, of a politico offering pujas in temples, kovils and churches etc. to invoke blessings either on themselves, their party or the country. Some are even more foolish, instead of feeding the poor, they smash perfectly edible coconuts to cast evil spells on their opponents! Even worse, some idiotic politicos, not being content with the offerings at home, rush abroad to make offerings to the more powerful foreign gods! On top of that we see elaborate Bodhi Pujas, Pahan Pujas, Atavisi Buddha Pujas and over-the-top Buddha Pujas.


“So, what is your problem?” some may ask. My problem, as a convinced follower of the Buddha Dhamma, is the real dangertheserituals pose submerging the Dhamma; burying the spiritual in ritual. More and more are seeking ‘liberation’ with rituals and bribes than treading the noble path shown by the Enlightened One. It is out of this concern that I have written many pieces of late but I did not realize I would find a most unexpected supporter for my views. I must thank Mr G A D Sirimal and my brother Jagath for this amazing discovery. Mr Sirimal sent me a paper cutting but it was Jagath who recommended the gem of a booklet “Sathyodaya”.

aa-sathyodhaya Continue reading

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Rathika Pathmanathan Face-to-Face and Woman-to-Woman

Frances Bulathsinghala, courtesy of Daily FT, 5 October 2016, where the title reads Facing the past, bridging the divide” ... with emphasis inblue highlghts added by the Editor, Thuppahi.

The life of 25-year-old Rathika Pathmanathan is a testimony of a post-war nation at the crossroads. She has lived the hideous gore of war, bloodied trenches and is now living the possibilities of peace. She has dared to trust and she has dared to forgive.  In her book ‘There is a Darkness Called Light and I Grope for Myself in the Thick of It,’ published in English, Sinhala and Tamil, recounts her days as a teenaged fighter in the LTTE frontlines of the last phase of the war; the nights and days of starvation in the trenches, the excruciating combat training, the loss of family and the new world of Colombo where she arrived for medical treatment for the leg she almost lost. Seated in the small, sparsely-furnished room she occupies on rent in a remote Sinhala majority suburb in the outer periphery of Colombo, Rathika speaks of wanting to rebuild her life, to study and most of all to actively work towards reconciliation in Sri Lanka, a task she is engaged in at present through her book and as an activist.


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