Michael Roberts, on 9th February 2008
ONE: GALLE LIT UP: FROM THE RIGHT FLANK
As a moderator and panelist participating in the Galle Literary Festival held between the 15th and 20th January 2008, my commentary is biased. It is doubly biased. I was born and nourished within the walls of the Fort in Galle, a site that cast a magic spell on the literary fare all and sundry encountered during these heady days.
with my sister at Girl’s Bathing Place … and as Little bum Mike on the way home
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Lakdev Liyanagama, in Daily News, 3 January 2018, with the title A century’s fruition
The centenary that the Ceylon Daily News celebrates this year is also a hundred years where this newspaper, newspapers in Sri Lanka and indeed the media, in general, have metamorphosed several times over, serving different roles depending on the needs of the day.
“DR’–a classic photograph by Lionel Wendt
A hundred years ago, in 1917, the Ceylon Daily News was born when Don Richard Wijewardene (known as ‘DR’ to all), took ownership of The Ceylonese and re-christened it the Ceylon Daily News. Wijewardene was involved in the movement to gain Independence from Britain and was not shy to use his newspaper for that purpose. In that sense, the Ceylon Daily News had an enmeshed roe in the country’s politics from its very inception. Continue reading
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Bill Leak, the editorial cartoonist for THE AUSTRALIAN, passed away at the age of 61 from a heart attack. The VALE iin appreciation in that newspaper extends to several pages. But perhaps the best epitaph was from the cartoonist Paul Broelman in the Geelong Advertiser–showing a memorial in stone of a hand with the index finger extended as “Up Yours!!”
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Sanjana Hattotuwa, from The Island, 8 October 2016, where the title is “The new constitution that may never be”. .. Emphasis below via highlighting is an imposition by the Editor, Thuppahi.
Gramsci spoke of the pessimism of intellect and the optimism of will. How does this relate to Sri Lanka today? The deafening silence around the process of constitution making, justified by key architects as inevitable in order for progress around tenacious issues to be made, indicates to all but the most delusional the reform process has little to no traction in the public imagination. This is a problem. Basic intelligence suggests a process as vexed as writing a new constitution, without public traction or debate, dumped by government elites for approval just before a referendum risks confusion at best and opposition or rejection at worst. And yet, Sri Lanka really needs a new constitution.
If the constitution expresses the will of the people, it needs to be one that guides us away from the structures of power and identity that led to what we are still hostage to – a violent, racist State, largely unable as a first step to even recognise the degree to which it excludes and discriminates. The optimism of will, when embodied in a constitution, is what can guarantee to the extent possible a better future for all citizens, independent of what government, Executive or Prime Minister are, say and do. Continue reading
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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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