Posts Categorized: Sri Kantha

Snake Oil Sellers for Sri Lanka

snake oil: n. informal. A substance with no real medicinal value sold as a remedy for all diseases. [New Oxford American Dictionary, 2001, p. 1613] The March 2nd issue of the New York Times carried a travel-related opinion piece by Joshua Hammer, which I consider nothing but snake oil. I checked on the profile of… Read more »

Onomastics of Tamil Personal Names – Part 1

Front Note by Sachi Sri Kantha I contributed a regular column about Tamil personal names to the Tamil Nation (London) [August 12, 1992] print edition, under my pseudonym C.P. Goliard. As 23 years had passed since then, I revisit this vital theme on the onomastics of Tamil personal names and provide additional materials which were… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 33

MGR Remembered Part 32 Additional details on MGR’s 1965 trip to Ceylon After reading Part 32, my friend and fellow MGR biographer R. Kannan had shared with me the information which had appeared in the DMK party’s organ Murasoli daily during October 1965, from Murasoli archives. I provide below the material he had extracted: “The… Read more »

Art Buchwald Humor Awards for 2015

The ninth death anniversary of humorist Art Buchwald (1925-2007) falls on January 17th. And for this occasion, I also release my 7th consecutive list of news-making individuals from South Asia (or of South Asian origin) for 2015. To repeat the three conditions that I have instituted for selection of the Art Buchwald Humor Awardees, (1)… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 32

by Sachi Sri Kantha, December 24, 2015 Part 31 First and Only Visit to Ceylon in late 1965 Last October marked the 50th anniversary of MGR’s first and only visit to his land of birth. I don’t have much primary materials with me now, about this visit. The blame lies on my mother. This is… Read more »

Remembering S. Sivanayagam (1930-2010) via His Letters

Front Note by Sachi Tamils who were in political journalism profession in Ceylon (later Sri Lanka) were forced to make an unusual decision. Whether they have to be weathervanes or not. Majority (including his namesake, S.D. Sivanayagam) opted to be weathervanes for their paychecks and supper. Only a handful like S. Sivanayagam (1930-2010) and Kovai… Read more »

From Sachi’s Files – Chapter 5

Front Note by Sachi: I provide this essay of little over 1,600 words by John Colmey which appeared in the In These Times (Chicago) fortnightly, 25 years ago. The individuals quoted in this essay were, Ranjan Wijeratne (then No. 2 honcho in President Premadasa’s cabinet), Gen. Cyril Ranatunge (then, Secretary to the Ministry of Defense),… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 31

by Sachi Sri Kantha, October 29, 2015 MGR Remembered Part 30 Comments and Questions from a Correspondent I was alerted by the sangam web editor about a few questions posted in French text by a correspondent from France. Here were the comment and questions of Ferdinand O. Lacour. The editor had translated the text into… Read more »

From Sachi’s Files – Chapter 4

Front Note by Sachi In this chapter, I provide the complete word text of a cover-story essay (~ 5,700 words) authored by Deanna Hodgin, which appeared 25 years ago, in the Insight on the News magazine (Oct.22, 1990). According to a Wikipedia entry about this magazine, this print magazine, founded in 1989 (as a sister… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 30

by Sachi Sri Kantha, September 21, 2015 MGR Remembered Part 29 Kannan’s comment and My response A critical comment received from my friend R. Kannan, on Aug. 19 (after reading Part 29), was as follows: Sachi, very well researched, as always. I greatly benefit from your hard and committed work. My feeling is that NSK… Read more »

Nisha Biswal and Uncle Sam’s Verbal Strip Tease Act

Nisha Biswal, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, during her recent visit to the blessed island told reporters, “We have recognized that there is a different opportunity that exists today and a different landscape for trying to advance reconciliation. We look forward to a process in Geneva that allows an… Read more »

From Sachi’s Files – Chapter 3

Front Note On July 29, 2015, the Afghan government announced that the Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar had died in April 2013. Quite a few may remember that 14 years ago, this same Mullah made a wave in Colombo’s political circles, when he ordered the demolition of the huge standing statues of Lord Buddha in… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 29

by Sachi Sri Kantha, August 15, 2015 MGR Remembered Part 28 Three Other Actresses I should acknowledge that, my convenient choice of heroines and muses in the previous chapter does disservice to three actresses who had been regulars in MGR’s movies. They are, M.N. Rajam, C. R. Vijayakumari and comedian actress Manorama. All three, in… Read more »

From Sachi’s Files – Chapter 2

Front Note by Sachi In Chapter 1, I had transcribed the travelogue essay of Julian West about his visit to Jaffna in early 1991 (Asiaweek, March 8, 1991). This item elicited three responses from the readers of Asiaweek. Two were from Sinhalese, and the other one was from me. For completeness, I provide these three… Read more »

Pol Pot and His Admirers Revisited

The death of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew (the Prime Minister of Singapore from 1959 to 1990, and the Bully of Asia’s Business Mecca) on March 23rd this year at the age of 91, offers me an opportunity to revisit Pol Pot story. An editorial eulogy for Lee Kuan Yew by the Economist weekly had a… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 28

by Sachi Sri Kantha, June 6, 2015 MGR Remembered Part 27 Prelude As of now, in 27 chapters (and approximately 87,000 words), I was able to cover MGR’s life until 1962. I need to cover the remaining 25 years of his successful career, in which he transformed himself as a politician and a chief minister… Read more »

From Sachi’s Files – Chapter 1

Front Note by Sachi On April 23, I received an unexpected email from a German scholar from Hamburg. It read as follows: “Vanakkam! I am a research scholar working on Tamil at the University of Hamburg, Germany. I am currently working on a research article about C.N. Annadurai’s critique of the Kambaramayanam. In the course of my research,… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 27

by Sachi Sri Kantha, May 7, 2015 MGR Remembered Part 26 Losses of Unexpected Kind Excluding one chapter towards the end, in which MGR describes the political vivacity of his friend P. U. Shanmugam (1924-2007; who was one of the 15 DMK candidates to be elected at the 1957 State Assembly Elections of Madras State),… Read more »

Maithripala Sirisena: A Case of ‘Much Ado about Nothing’

I have borrowed the title from Shakespeare’s play ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ for a reason. After the last Presidential election held in January, Western mainstream media were gushy on the fresh breeze of democracy in the cursed island.  Before I touch this theme, here is an unusual attempt in categorizing the periods of President Maithripala… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 26

Part 25 by Sachi Sri Kantha, April 7, 2015 Table – Chronological List of MGR Movies released 1960-1967 MGR’s biography would be incomplete, if the rivalry offered by Villuppuram Chinnaiah Ganesa Moorthy aka Sivaji Ganesan (1928-2001), his junior contemporary and reputable rival in Tamil movies and Tamil Nadu politics, is left uncovered. As such, in… Read more »