Posts Categorized: Sri Kantha

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 »

British Annexation of Kandyan Kingdom

by Sachi Sri Kantha, March 27, 2015 March 2, 1815 marked the 200th anniversary of the British annexation of the Kandyan Kingdom of Ceylon. To reminisce on the significance of this imperialistic annexation by the British colonial strategists, first I provide below the observations made by a few notable historians, such as Sir James Emerson… Read more »

Professor Mano Sabaratnam (1931-2014)

by Sachi Sri Kantha, March 13, 2015 Only in late December 2014, while web-surfing, I received the sad message that Professor Mano Sabaratnam (1931-2014) had died in October 2014. After I left the blessed island in 1981, for obvious reasons, I never had contact with her via letters, email or phone. But, she was a… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 25

by Sachi Sri Kantha, March 6, 2015 I received the following critical comments from fellow MGR biographer and friend R. Kannan, for Part 24 (Secured and Damaged Charisma), on Feb.3rd. Initials MKT refers to M.K. Thiyagarajah Bhagavathar, with whom I have compared MGR’s film career: “Dear Sachi: I read your part 24 of the MGR… Read more »