Category Archives: performance

Eagles that hunt drones as Members of the French Air Force

French military using winged warriors to hunt down rogue drones.   This is amazing.

Following incidents of drones flying over the presidential palace and restricted military sites – along with the deadly 2015 Paris terror attacks – the French Air Force has trained four golden eagles to intercept and destroy the rogue aircraft.

A golden eagle grabs a flying drone during a military training exercise at Mont-de-Marsan French Air Force base, Southwestern France.

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Filed under landscape wondrous, military strategy, modernity & modernization, performance, security, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, unusual people

Nath-thal in Ceylon in My Youthful Years

Alex Van Arkadie

Long before the legendary seafarer ‘Sinbad’ chanced to harbor in waters lapping the little isle of  ‘Serendip’, or European colonizers discovered Ptolemy’s ‘Ceylan’, pilgrims from the distant Orient have been visiting here. During the reign of the Indian Emperor Asoka (2nd Century BC), the island’s North Central Province was home to Sinhala Kings under whose patronage Buddhism spread. Following India’s gift of a sapling from the Bodhi Tree under which Sidharta Gautama Buddha attained ‘nirvana’, the ancient city of Anuradhapura draws pilgrims and curious visitors from everywhere. The tree is regarded as the oldest in the world (2,200 years). Similarly, a painting in the office of Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Rome, depicts  “Emissaries of the Sinhala Royal Court presenting Credentials to Emperor Claudius” (according to Roman Historian Gaius Plinius Secundas, AD 23-79, pix. below).

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Filed under cultural transmission, economic processes, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, life stories, performance, Portuguese in Indian Ocean, religiosity, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, world events & processes

Tensions and Tales from Sri Lankan Cricket: An Essay from 2009

Michael Roberts, being a reprint of an article entitled “Wunderkidz in a Blunderland: tensions and tales from Sri Lankan cricket,” that appeared in Sport in Society Vol. 12, No. 4/5, May–June 2009, 566–5 … with emphasis added by highlighting in blue and/or red.

The story of Sri Lankan cricket is a tale of great cricketing success within the context of a polity struggling with civil war and great levels of internal violence. Cricket is the one arena in Sri Lankan public culture where Tamils and Sinhalese, locked in a bloody civil war for decades, come together on a national public platform. From being reviled as a Western import in the early years of independence to its gradual embrace and penetration of new catchment areas in less affluent and more rural areas, the story of Sri Lankan cricket in many ways mirrors the development of the post-colonial Sri Lankan nation. This essay fleshes out prominent themes in the history of Sri Lankan cricket within the context of the major socio-political developments in twentieth century Sri Lanka.

 Sri Lankan cricketers celebrate their defeat of Australia  on 17th  March 1996 with the treasured World Cup in their hands

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The Cricketing Universe of Sri Lanka: A Short History written in 2007

Michael Roberts, providing a reprint of  “Landmarks and Threads in the Cricketing Universe of Sri Lanka,” Sport in Society, January 2007, vol. 10 (1): 120-42….

Cricket developed in British Ceylon [1] as a pastime indulged in by the British ruling elements, whether military men, officials, merchants or planters. It was but one sport in a wide repertoire of pastimes pursued by the British rulers, practices that were assisted by the resources they commanded, not least a host of minions servicing their leisured enjoyments. Continue reading

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A Propaganda Concoction: Tamil Torture Claims in 2017 challenged by Naseby and WION

WION and Padma Rao Sundarji, courtesy of WION, 18 November 2017, where the title is “Tamil torture wounds may have been self-inflicted: Lord Naseby”

Last week, 50 Sri Lankan Tamil men used an  international news agency to make a damning accusation: that they were raped and tortured by Sri Lankan authorities on suspicion of being members of the separatist terror group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), against whom Sri Lanka fought a bloody, 30-year-long civil war. By the time the war ended, more than 120,000 people had been killed. But the conflict ended in 2009. These men say they were tortured in 2016. Why did they wait so long to speak up? British parliamentarian Lord Naseby knows Sri Lanka intimately, having been associated with it for 45 years. He heads a parliamentarian group supportive of Sri Lanka in England’s House of Lords. And he spoke to WION in an exclusive about the latest charges and possible motives.


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Camera in the Sky: Sri Lanka from Above

Sri Lanka: The Island from Above  by Dominic Sansoni, Sebastian Posingis & Richard Simon …. Published by Barefoot Books

For years, Dominic Sansoni dreamed of photographing Sri Lanka from the air. Having extensively documented the island’s multicultural populace, its urban and rural beauties, its architecture, its culture and festivals and even its wars, he had come to be acknowledged as the most successful and artistically committed Sri Lankan photographer of his generation; yet he found himself still unable to attain the longed-for aerial perspective.

Dominic    Sebastien

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When Radio Ceylon swayed India

Anand Sethi,  whose original title is “The Dial of Serendipity,” ….

Anand Sethi takes a stroll down memory lane while tracking down the building which once housed Sri Lanka’s iconic Radio Ceylon

 Image courtesy: Anand Sethi

Bauddhaloka Mawatha is a wide, tree-lined avenue in Colombo in Sri Lanka. It runs from Galle Road in the west towards Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, the administrative capital of Sri Lanka, in the east. The avenue runs past a few university playgrounds and several colonial-era buildings, now occupied by embassies and ministries in a leafy part of Colombo 7, as the locals call it.

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