Category Archives: performance

Hot Press from Sri Lanka: Thoughtful Ethnographic Commentary

  Arun … and Sam …

 A = Introduction from The Editor, Thuppahi

‘Sam’ Samarasinghe is an old Peradeniya colleague who was born and bred in the Kandy Peradeniya area. We worked closely together in the 1970s in running the Ceylon Studies Seminar. He has been teaching at Tulane University since about 1989, but maintains a flat in Kandy and returns every year. He was a central figure in the ICES affairs in Kandy till about 2006(?). More vitally, his local embeddedness is signaled in his central role in running a Kandy ‘rag’ (The Kandy Herald I think it was/is called). Continue reading

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Wickrema Weerasooriya leaves Our World

Rohan Pethiyagoda, Daily News. 6 December 2018, where the title is “Wickrema Bida Adieu

Sri Lanka is the poorer due to the passing away last Tuesday of Dr Wickrema Sena Weerasooria. There were so many aspects to his life, and he was so many things to so many people, that it is difficult to know where to begin. Most Sri Lankans who can yet recall the J.R.Jayewardene presidency remember Wickrema as the all-powerful Secretary to the Ministry of Plan Implementation, one of the few ministries of which the President was the subject minister.

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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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Sharmini’s Appeal: Stand Up for Democracy on December 6th

Sharmini Serasinghe

My dear fellow Sri Lankans, please share this post as widely as possible for the sake of Democracy in our Sri Lanka


An appeal from me to all my fellow Sri Lankans who wish to see Democracy restored in our country…… On 6th December, 2018 at 3.30 pm, many of us apolitical journalists, writers, artistes including musicians, film stars and other’s in diverse professions are gathering at the Open Air Theatre at the Viharamahadevi Park  to “Stand Up for Democracy” in peace. I appeal to all my countrymen and women to join us in our mission.

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Sidhu applauds fellow-cricketer-politician Imran Khan

The Editor, Express Tribune, 27 November 2018, “Navjot Singh Sidhu says Imran Khan’s name will be written in the first page of history books”

Indian cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu has said Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s name will be written on the first page of history books for opening Kartarpur border for Sikh pilgrims in India. Speaking in Express News programme “Takrar” on Tuesday, the visiting dignitary said the Pakistani premier will grow stronger by facing even tougher tests in the future. “I know him [PM Imran] for a long time … he is a brave, honest and empathetic man which made him join the tough field of politics,” he remarked.

Indian Minister and former Test cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu in the “Takrar” program of Express News

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Tamils pay Homage to Dead Tigers on 27th November: Channel 4 You Tube on Deep Scars of the Wars

Jonathan Miller of Channel 4 reporting from Sri Lanka, 27 November 20 — with title  Tamils hold provocative remembrance services for fallen Tiger fighters”

Amid continuing political turmoil in Sri Lanka, the Tamils in the north of the country have tonight held ceremonies commemorating fallen fighters of the Tamil Tiger insurgent army which was summarily defeated nine years ago. The remembrance events are highly controversial, particularly among ethnic Sinhalese nationalists.

Despite international outrage over alleged atrocities committed by Sri Lankan armed forces, there has been little progress towards accountability. We report from the former Tamil Tiger capital, Killinochi. A warning: the report contains images that some viewers might find distressing.

 This snap is from 27 November 2015

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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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