Posts Categorized: Sri Kantha

Dr. Grace Rajamalar Barr Kumarakulasinghe (1908-2013)

by Sachi Sri Kantha, August 19, 2014 ‘It’s better late than never’ – is a favorite working dictum of mine. Thus, I offer this brief late tribute to Dr. Grace Rajamalar Barr Kumarakulasinghe, who died on April 26, 2013, at the ripe age of 104 years! I presume, her longevity is a record for any… Read more »

RAW’s Cockamamie Story – 25th Anniversary

For the uninitiated, the acronym RAW in the title stands for Research and Analysis Wing, India’s equivalent of CIA. In my previous commentary on rebutting the baloney of Subramanian Swamy, I made reference to his evading answer on RAW’s activities in Sri Lanka.   Thus, I wish to reminisce on the 25 year old most… Read more »

Rebutting the Baloney of Subramanian Swamy

“Last year, even the prestigious New York Times in its editorial entitled, ‘Preventing Genocide in Liberia (Sept.13, 1990) referred to the current situation in Sri Lanka as follows, without naming the culprits: ‘From Sri Lanka to the Balkans, political opportunists have exploited ethnic rivalries in the quest for short-term advantage. Too often, their efforts have drowned their countries in blood.’ ”

Re-check the date of this particular New York Times editorial. It was before Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination. Who were the political opportunists, who have exploited ethnic rivalries in the quest for short-term advantage? In Sri Lanka, the tradition was started by SLFP’s founder S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike. And how about, Rajiv Gandhi in 1987? He was also a political opportunist exploiting Sinhalese-Tamil ethnic rivalry for short-term electoral advantage.

MGR Remembered – Part 19

by Sachi Sri Kantha, July 17, 2014 Part 18 One merit in writing to the electronic medium is the availability of immediate opportunity to amend and revise previous errors. In Part 17, when I reviewed MGR’s two autobiography volumes, I had stated that Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi (a pal turned political foe) had published 4 volumes… Read more »

Sivakumaran’s Cyanide Suicide

The militant group, Tamil New Tigers, made their first attempt to rob the Kopay branch of the state-owned People’s Bank on 4 June 1974. The policemen on guard gave chase and Sivakumaran, the leader, swallowed the cyanide capsule he was wearing. The Tigers wore and wear cyanide capsules so that when in danger of capture they can commit suicide, thus denying the police or security forces of information about their organization. Sivakumaran was the first to die that way.

Lessons from Nehru’s ‘The Discovery of India’(1946) Book

Last month, the political stock of the descendants of Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964) received severe thrashing at the recently held General Elections in India. As such, the commemoration of his 50th death anniversary that fell on May 27th was muted. After his death, politician Nehru’s visions for a socialist India or a non-aligned India also had… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 18

by Sachi Sri Kantha, June 6, 2014 Part 17 In the previous chapter (Part 17), I reviewed MGR’s two volume autobiography. To this chapter, I received the following comment from my long standing friend Prof. Sundaram Gunasekaran of University of Wisconsin, Madison. His thoughts were as follows: “Very interesting, especially the story of his [MGR’s]… Read more »

Schadenfreude of a Sinhalese Blockhead

by Sachi Sri Kantha, May 23, 2014 The dictionary defines ‘Schadenfreude’ as “n. pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune. ORIGIN German, from Schaden ‘harm’ + Freude ‘joy’”. Some English wordsmiths have stated that there is no exact English word, to express this sentiment. Thus, the word has to be borrowed as it is… Read more »

The Plight of Presidential Pet Macaws

by Sachi Sri Kantha, May 4, 2014 Last month, South American Macaws kept by President Mahinda Rajapaksa made news, due to their surprising escape from high security territory. I have received exclusive details about the current plight of these macaws, from my source ‘Colombo Crow’. For four days (from April 16th to 20th), this news… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 17

by Sachi Sri Kantha, April 29, 2014 Part 16 As I had mentioned at the ending of the previous part, to celebrate the memory of MGR, Kannadasan Pathippagam (publishers) had released MGR’s autobiography on January 17th of this year – to coincide with MGR’s 97th birthday. Thus, it is opportune to offer a review of… Read more »

Deciphering the Enemy List of Gota

I love lists of all kinds. Thus, it is not unusual that I had a treat that The Honorable Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary for the Ministry of Defence in Sri Lanka, under his capacity as the Competent Authority, released his ‘Enemy List’ on March 20th. The description about this particular list appears only in one sentence…. Read more »

Why India Abstained in the Recent Vital Vote in Geneva?

by Sachi Sri Kantha, April 1, 2014 While on her early morning routine jaunt of street cleaning, my vital source (a Colombo crow) picked up a smudged, print-out copy of a diplomatic cable, casually dumped into a garbage can near the office of the Presidential palace in Colombo.  It appears that the cable had been… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 16

by Sachi Sri Kantha, March 28, 2014 Part 15  Costs of Film Production in 1950s Historians of Indian film, Barnow and Krishnaswamy had included the currency conversion rates, as follows: For years 1949 to 1963, one American dollar equaled 5 Indian rupees. Thus, 200,000 to 2,000,000 rupees (the range cost of production of a film… Read more »

1974 Jaffna Tragedy and De Kretser Commission Findings

40th Anniversary of January 10th Deaths in Jaffna and De Kretser Commission Findings Jaffna Conference 1974 Tragedy committee report The Fourth International Conference of Tamil Research Studies was held in Jaffna, between January 3rd and 9th, 1974. Unfortunately, on the next day (January 10th), a tragedy occurred and nine individuals lost their lives among the… Read more »

On That “Memo to the US Congress and Senate

by Sachi Sri Kantha, March 5, 2014 One of my regular correspondents sent me last month, a “Memo to the US Congress and Senate regarding the UNHRC Resolution-Re: The Geneva UNHRC Resolution in March 2014 against Sri Lanka ” and asked, ‘What do you think of this?’. It was posted in the Lanka Web Com… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 15

by Sachi Sri Kantha, February 24, 2014 Part 14 Then, as of now, carping cinema critics have had a couple of serious problems. Their tone of criticism was nothing but crass elitism, and on top of that they were also ignorant about the logistics and economics of movie making. To counter such criticism, I offer… Read more »

Stanley Jeyaraja Tambiah (1929 – 2014)

“In 1958, while I was leading a research team composed of university undergraduates, all of whom were Sinhalese, that were engaged in a sociological study of peasant colonization in Gal Oya, ethnic riots unexpectedly broke out in our midst, and at Amparai, Sinhalese public workers went on the rampage in hijacked trucks, attacking Tamil shopkeepers and Tamil peasant colonists. My students, very solicitous for my safety, insisted that I stay behind closed doors while they stood guard. And I was later hidden in a truck, and spirited out of the valley to Batticaloa, a safe Tamil area. That experience was traumatic: it was the first time the ethnic divide was so forcibly thrust into my existence. And intuitively reading the signs, I wished to get away from the island, for I experienced a mounting alienation and a sense of being homeless in one’s own home.”

Serendipity: A Happy 260th Birthday to You

Introduction ‘Serendipity’ word was coined by Horatio (better known as Horace) Walpole (1717-1797), in a January 28th 1754 letter to Horace Mann, then residing in Florence, Italy. Eighty years ago, in his presidential address delivered before the 36th annual meeting of the Society of American Bacteriologists on December 28, 1934, Milton Rosenau (1871-1940; then affiliated… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 14

by Sachi Sri Kantha, January 21, 2014 Part 13 concluded with one of MGR’s logic in movie making; which is,“One can work with those who know everything. One can also work with those who don’t know anything. But, one shouldn’t work with those who know nothing, but pretends to know everything.” In retrospect, none can… Read more »

Art Buchwald Humor Awards for 2013

The seventh death anniversary of humorist Art Buchwald (1925-2007) falls on January 17th.  And for this occasion, I also release the 5th consecutive list of news-making 15 individuals who are natives to South Asia region, for 2013.  These selections are based on the words or deeds performed by the chosen individuals during 2013, as indicated… Read more »