Category Archives: photography

Striking Camera Hits

COL01:SPORT-CRICKET AUSTRALIA:KANDY,SRILANKA,10SEP99 – Australian fielders Jason Gillespie (left) and captain Steve Waugh collide in attempting to take a catch from the bat of Sri Lankan Mahela Jayawardena on the second day of the first cricket test at the Asgiriya stadium in central Kandy September 10. Jayawardena survived with his score on 34 but the two fielders were taken to hospital with Gillespie rushed on a stretcher with a broken leg and Waugh with an injured nose. The Jayawardena swept a ball from Colin Miller and Gillespie came in from long-leg while Waugh rushed down from short fine-leg to take the catch. Sri Lanka went in for lunch at 181 for 5. al/Photo by Anuruddha Lokuhapuarachchi REUTERS

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Everyday Scenes from Sri Lanka, January 2020

Vistas The Ordinary, the Daily and The Greenery from the Camera Lens wielded by young Asela Atukorala of Adelaide

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Addressing Shenali Waduge and the One-Eyed UNHRC Hunters, One

Michael Roberts

Shenali Waduge has a long history as a defender of Sinhala interests within and beyond the island of Sri Lanka. In quite a few minds she would be classified as a Sinhala chauvinist. One must, however, not throw the baby out with the dirty bathwater.[1] Her essays should not be dismissed out of hand. Indeed, there were several striking claims in an essay she presented recently in two outlets[2] for me to include it within Thuppahi under this imposed heading: “To Your Face: UN and UNHRC challenged by Shenali Waduge.”

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To Your Face: UN and UNHRC challenged by Shenali Waduge

Shenali Waduge, in LankaWeb, 31 December 2019 and at SPUR Victoria, 17 March 2019 where the title reads thus = “Questions for UNSG & UN Human Rights Council regarding Sri Lanka”

1.         UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon commissioned 3 members (Ban Ki Moon Panel of Experts) selected personally by him to submit a personal report on the ‘final months’ of Sri Lanka’s conflict. This report was not commissioned by the UNGA or UNSCThis report was never tabled at the UNGA, UNSC or even UNHRC. This report was actually leaked to the public. How can the UNHRC head quote from this leaked personal report & how can 3 successive UNHRC resolutions be based on a personally mandated leaked report?

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An Incidental Cameraman …. Over the Years

Michael Roberts in Snap-Action

Casting a Net at Twilight at Waikkal, Sri Lanka, 1990s …. truly a shot snapped on a whim as our little boat dropped us on the shore from an inland canal – with my spot in the prow giving direct access

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Ludicrous Verdicts in Powerful Quarters Still Asserted TODAY: Death Toll in Eelam War IV Magnified Manifold

Michael Roberts, Courtesy of Colombo Telegraph, 2 December 2019,  where the title is “Excess! Tamil Death Toll Magnified In The Course Of British Interventions In The Sri Lankan Presidential Election”

 “just as in Kosovo if enough civilians died … the world would be   forced to step in” (Pulidevan, the LTTE Political Commissar, message in early 2009 to friends in Europe (quoted in Harrison: Still Counting the Dead, 2012: 63)

The assessments of the last stages of Eelam War IV embracing 2008/09 have been bedevilled by the verdicts of intellectuals and officials encased in drawing rooms located within an ivory tower. The hoary verdicts in the past have resurfaced today in the vociferous campaign aimed at influencing events in Sri Lanka – with the Shadow Chancellor of the Labour Party[1] and such HR activists as Alan Keenan,[ii] Fred Carver and Richard Gowing[iii] participating in this grandstanding work. Possessing no experience of modern warfare, mostly unfamiliar with the landscape of the pertinent battle theatre within the northern Vanni and animated by human rights fervour, they have bought into the clever LTTE strategy that built up a picture of an ”impending humanitarian catastrophe” – a picture generated from mid-2008 and involving Tamil advocates within the diaspora as well. Continue reading

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Vale Rajpal De Silva: Doctor, Historian, Art Collector and A Treasure House for Ceyloniana

Srilal Fernando … in The Ceylankan, November 2019

I write this as a personal appreciation of a dear friend Dr R.K. (Rajpal) de Silva. I shall leave it to others more qualified than me to write about his contribution  to recording the history of paintings in Sri Lanka mainly during the Colonial period.  His life at the Royal College, Colombo and his lifelong association with his schoolmates are aspects that I only know of in passing.  He has written about his life as a medical student and as a doctor which makes interesting reading.

Pix by  Athula Devapriya

When Mano rang to say that Rajpal passed away that day, I was full of grief. I had had a telephone conversation with him a few days before.   Though infirm, he was at that time full of good cheer.  It confirms the adage that “death comes like a thief in the night”.

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Violence in Sri Lanka: Slipshod Scholarship

Michael Roberts

I recently circulated a whole set of articles by some Muslim scholars (located in the Eastern Province and abroad) as well as a few others in Western universities — mostly written in the 2011-19 period. I am beginning to go through them slowly when I can carve out time for this set of tasks. A few have focused on the incidence of crime and communal violence in the post 2009 period.

What strikes me on reading these ventures is the limited degree of reading of past works that has been pursued and the appalling gaps in their background – lapses which also impinge on their comments on the death toll in the last stages of Eelam War IV.

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Birds in Lanka: Janaka Gallangoda’s Photographic Virtuosity

Dr Janaka Gallangoda spent two years at Flinders University in 2014/15 and I have been fortunate in gaining access to his scintillating camera-work previously. Here are a selection from his snap shots of birds in Sri Lanka

 Kashmir Flycatcher (Ficedula subrubra) …. Rare winter migrant to the central hills of Sri Lanka from the Kashmir region of Himalayan foothills. This is a globally threatened bird. Many birdwatchers from all over the world travel to Nuwara Eliya to watch this little jewel.  It is a solitary and fairly territorial bird found near forest edges, gardens and tea estates. 

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Essays on Sinhala Buddhist Extremism towards the Muslims in Sri Lanka

 Iselin Frydenlund** presenting a review article in the Journal of Religion and Violence, Vol. 6, No. 2, 201830 … reviewing Buddhist Extremists and Muslim Minorities: Religious Conflict in Contemporary Sri Lanka. Edited by John Clifford Holt. Oxford University Press, 2016. 254 pp. Hardcover $105.00 /ISBN: 9780190624378. Paperback $35.00 / ISBN: 9780190624385.

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