Category Archives: the imaginary and the real

“Sacrificial Devotion” — How I Entered This Terrain

Michael Roberts

With the benefit of a Teen Murti Fellowship I was collecting data on communal violence in India in 1995 when my readings of news archives indicated that the death of Mrs Indira Gandhi by assassination in Delhi induced a handful of individuals in southern India to commit sympathetic suicide. Since news reports did not indicate similar reactions in other parts of India, I began to reflect on the cultural foundations that promoted such expressions – acting, of course, in contexts that also could provide political and economic inspirations. This eventually led to my first essay on this topic:  “Filial Devotion and the Tiger Cult of Suicide,” Contributions to Indian Sociology, 1996, 30: 245-72.

Dhanu waits to kill Rajiv Gandhi in suicide attack

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Fire-Storm Images, III: LTTE Leaders

 

Velupillai Pirapaharan in his presentation of self in Che Guevara mode

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Filed under accountability, historical interpretation, island economy, language policies, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, war crimes, war reportage, world events & processes, zealotry

Introducing FIRE AND STORM by Michael Roberts

Anonymous Reviewer in Sunday Times, 21 July 2013,  where the title runs “Important contribution towards a dialogue on Lankan polity. Book facts”

When Michael Roberts left Peradeniya in the late seventies, he was part of an exodus of intellectuals from the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya, arguably one of the best universities at that time. The exodus of academics at that time was compelled by the economic difficulties faced by university dons. It was the second wave of such emigration that diminished the intellectual life of the university and country.

  Pirapāharan and leading Tiger Commanders at the Indian sponsored training camp at Sirimalai in 1984

The Arts Faculty of the University of Peradeniya never regained its prestigious academic status after that. Today the University of Peradeniya cannot take pride in intellectuals of the eminence of E. F. C. Ludowyck, E. R Sarachchandra, H. A. de S. Gunasekera, Fr. Ignatius Pinto, Ian Van den Driesen and many others. Continue reading

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Peddling Gross Falsehoods on Sri Lanka’s Public Debt and Economics

The LANKA GUARDIAN introduced an essay by the banker Ajit Kanagasundaram with the following note:   “Over 90 percent of government revenue currently goes on debt servicing, mainly to China, and the concessionary capital repayment moratorium on multi-lateral agency loans will soon expire. What happens then?”  The article is entitled “Sri Lanka: Plight at the end of the Tunnel”    and can be read at  https://www.slguardian.org/2017/07/sri-lanka-plight-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel/

 

Readers should visit the web-site for the full article. Since economic data on this topic is Greek to me, I sent an immediate inquiry to a few specialists I had met at a Marga gathering [relating to the Gamani Corea Foundation] on Saturday … and have followed it up by embracing a few others with the same inquiry. The short responses from Dushni Werakoon,  Godfrey Gunatilleka and Nishan de Mel, indicate that Kanagasundaram and the Lanka Guardian are peddling nonsense. Continue reading

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Breakthrough Heart Transplant at Kandy Hospital: An Almsgiving beyond Life

Kumudini Hettiarachchi, in  Sunday Times, 16 July 2017, reporting on  the human saga behind a trailblazing medical feat in Sri Lanka under the title  “A new heart begins to beat  

 Overjoyed is H.A. Wijaya Kumarasiri from a village in Anuradhapura. His Sudu, with her new heart beating strongly within, had opened her eyes and given him a smile that morning, as he murmured endearments to her. We meet him the same day, Wednesday, at noon as he lingers outside the Kandy Teaching Hospital’s Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit (CTICU), awaiting another glimpse of his wife.
The heart transplant team at work in Operating Theatre B. Pix by Priyantha Wickramarachch

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Hanging on to THAT which one values

Elderly woman on a cruise…………….. Amazing how your values change as you age

! I LOVE THIS WOMAN

An elderly lady was standing at the railing of the cruise ship
holding her hat tight so that it would not blow away in the wind.

A gentleman approached her and said, “Pardon me, madam..

I do not intend to be forward but did you know that your dress
is blowing up in this high wind?”

“Yes, I know,” said the lady.

“I need both my hands to hold onto this hat.”

“But madam, you must know that you are not wearing any panties and your privates are exposed!” said the gentleman in earnest.

The woman looked down, then back up at the man and replied, “Sir, anything you see down there is 75 years old.  

I bought this hat yesterday!”

 

 

 

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Tactical Push ‘n Shove on Sea and along Air in Asylum-Seeker ‘War’

Simon Benson,  in The Australian 29 June 2017, where the title is  “People-smugglers downsize to beat barricade”

Border protection officers intercept a people-smuggling boat, whose occupants were sent back to Sri Lanka on Monday
Border authorities are facing a new wave of people-smuggling operations described as “micro-ventures” designed to penetrate the naval barricade, with smaller, less detectable teams using more perilous sea routes.In what Border Protection ­officials claim is the emergence of a new model designed to test the Turnbull government’s resolve, four of the eight intercepts at sea since February last year have carried fewer than eight people.

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