Posts Categorized: Sri Kantha

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 »

On Gota’s Glossitis

Gota in the title of this commentary refers to Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the younger sibling of ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The other word, ‘glossitis’ is a medical term, referring to inflammation of the tongue (Gk. Glossa = tongue). The Feb.12th issue of the Colombo Daily Mirror carried an interview with Gota by Lakna Paranamanna. The caption… Read more »

Tribute to Rasipuram Krishnaswamy (R.K.) Laxman

by Sachi Sri Kantha, February 1, 2015 Millions of Laxman fans were saddened to hear the news that the ace cartoonist R.K. Laxman (1921-2015) had died on January 26, at the age of 93. As a tribute to his career, I present (1) four of his biting cartoons on the Sri Lankan scene, and (2)… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 24

Part 23 In the previous chapter, I had observed that charismatic persons can be identified with following primary traits. (1) Originality in deeds, (2) humility in action, (3) Apportioning due credit to fellow associates, and (4) risk taking attitude. Subsequently, I located an interesting article by Ken Rea in the New Theatre Quarterly journal, published… Read more »

Art Buchwald Humor Awards for 2014

The eighth death anniversary of humorist Art Buchwald (1925-2007) falls on January 17th. And for this occasion, I also release the 6th consecutive list of news-making individuals in South Asia for 2014. This year, for realistic reasons, I have extended the chronological frame up to Jan.10, 2015. This is because, the recent Presidential election was… Read more »

President Mahinda Rajapaksa – a Victim of King Kavan Tissa’s Curse

Sri Lankan pundits, Indian pundits and international pundits will pull their hairs and come out with some arrant nonsense on why a confident President Mahinda Rajapaksa lost the January 8th presidential election to his former pal and deserter Maithiripala Sirisena. I have no doubt that all will ignore the black curse of King Kavan Tissa… Read more »

Autobiography of Actor-politician S.S. Rajendran

by Sachi Sri Kantha, January 3, 2015 Book: Nan Vantha Pathai [The Path I Trod], by S.S. Rajendran, Akani Veliyeedu, Vandavasi, Sept 2014, 392 pp, Indian rupees 500. Sedapatti Suryanarayana Thevar Rajendran (affectionately known as SSR by Tamilians) was a founder member of DMK party and contributed to its growth for the first 20 years,… Read more »

Indira Gandhi: interviewed by Oriana Fallaci – Part 2

Part 1 Front Note I continue Oriana Fallaci’s questions 26 to 47, and Indira Gandhi’s answers to them. In this segment, Indira had talked about her personal relationships with her father Jawarhalal Nehru, mother Kamala, mentor Mahatma Gandhi, husband Feroze Gandhi and son Rajiv. The dots, wherever they appear, are as in the original.  … Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 23

Part 22 by Sachi Sri-Kantha, December 10, 2014 Here is the comment, which I received from fellow MGR biographer and friend R. Kannan, for Part 22, on November 5th. “Hello Sachi: I just finished part 22. Nicely done. You might have wished to record SSR and MGR showing up at the Vellore General Council meeting… Read more »