Posts Categorized: Sri Kantha

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 »

MGR Remembered – Part 13

by Sachi Sri Kantha, December 22, 2013 Part 12 Thoughts of Three Readers I provide the thoughts of three readers of this series, and my responses to them. In an email that I received on Nov.8, a reader Manickam Miller from Chennai wrote the following: “Your details and non-traditional perception of things interested me. I… Read more »

President Obama’s Eulogy to Nelson Mandela

by Sachi Sri Kantha, December 11, 2013 Mandela- Partisan and Peacemaker, Negotiation Journal (July 2003) President Barack Obama delivered a eulogy on December 10th to Nelson Mandela’s memorial service held at the First National Bank Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa. I composed this short commentary, based on the material provided by the Office of the Press… Read more »

Tribute to Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)

by Sachi Sri Kantha, December 5, 2013 [Thirukkurall Tribute to Nelson Mandela – Anjamai Allal Thirukurall Tribute – Katka Kasadara (some English translation)] Just now, I added my brief thoughts to the ‘Readers Comments’ section of New York Times news feature on the death Nelson Mandela. It reads as follows: “Crocodile tears will be shed… Read more »

Life in Point Pedro circa 1920s-1930s

by Sachi Sri Kantha, December 2, 2013 I provide below an autobiographical document, which I solicited eleven years ago. The author of this document is my father, who died in October 20, 2003 after reaching 80 years. When he wrote this, he was ailing from bladder cancer. Somehow, he persevered to complete this assignment, for… Read more »

Prabhakaran and the LTTE

by Sachi Sri Kantha, November 20, 2013 November 27th marks the Maaveerar Day remembrance. As such, I provide part 4 of the select chronological bibliography on Velupillai Prabhakaran and LTTE. Part 1, 2 and 3 were presented in 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively. Cumulatively, I managed to compile 189 research papers published in English, in… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 12

by Sachi Sri Kantha, November 1, 2013 Part 11 One Dilemma of Biographers Few biographers begin the biography of their subjects, immediately from the date of birth. Here are some examples: Ernest Jones began his ‘Sigmund Freud: Life and Work (vol.1, 1953) with, “Sigmund Freud was born at 6:30 pm on the six of May,… Read more »

General Giap and Prabhakaran

by Sachi Sri Kantha, October 28, 2013 Vo Nguyen Giap NYT article 1964 Aug 16 by Max Clos Mr. Villa Anandaram, currently residing in Canada, is a good friend of mine. Our friendship goes back to our classmate days at the Colombo Hindu College, Ratmalana, in mid 1960s. Though we disagreed (and still disagree) on… Read more »

Sorry, Dr. Seermaran

by Sachi Sri Kantha, October 18, 2013 ‘Better late than never’ is one of my favorite English proverbs. Early this year, when I published my thoughts on T.L.B. Bastianpillai (1941-1978), the sadistic Tamil cop, in April, I remembered Dr. P.R. Seermaran again. He was my freshman student at the Medical Faculty, University of Peradeniya, in… Read more »

Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap (1911-2013)

Gen. Giap’s victory over Americans had a positive and negative influence on how Prabhakaran conducted his war against the Sri Lankan army. General Giap’s prime strategy was to ‘wear down the enemy’, despite heavy losses. Prabhakaran successfully incorporated the guerrilla warfare from General Giap’s book to Sri Lanka and caused much pain in the crotches of his Indian and Sri Lankan enemies. Prabhakaran also firmly believed that with severe handicaps (in personnel and military budget), he could eventually win against the Sri Lankan army. But, he failed to take into his calculation the aid provided by Soviets and Chinese to General Giap’s army. Secondly, Prabhakaran also failed to realize the truth in the adage, ‘Time and Tide waits for no one’.

Cho Ramaswamy

Someone has to say it straight, and let it be me. Cho’s knowledge on Eelam Tamil affairs is gibberish…

To disprove Cho’s repeated faulting of LTTE for the breakdown of Rajiv-Jayewardene Accord of 1987, I provide Dixit’s reasons why it failed.

Reason 1: “ Intelligence agencies, armed forces and the Ministry of External Affairs, including myself told him (Rajiv Gandhi) that the initiatives being taken for signing the agreement were valid and practical….That the advice was wrong and the political judgement on which this advice was based was erroneous has to be acknowledged with the benefit of hindsight.”

MGR Remembered – Part 11

by Sachi Sri Kantha, September 27, 2013 Part 10 Mythologies in the movies of India and Hollywood There is a derisive Tamil idiom which pokes fun at half-baked scholarship. It is, ‘Kundu chattikul irunthu kuthirai ootuvathu pola’ [translation: Like horse riding within a hollow pot]. One cannot ride a horse with the narrow confines of… Read more »

Anna (1909-1969)

by Sachi Sri Kantha, September 12, 2013 Book in Review Anna: The Life and Times of C.N. Annadurai, by R.Kannan, Penguin Books India Pvt.Ltd., New Delhi, 2010, 423 pp. September 15th marks the 104th birth anniversary of Conjeevaram Natarajan Annadurai, who was popularly known to all Tamils by the dimunitive prefix ‘Anna’. When he died… Read more »

‘Ceylon: A Divided Nation’ by Bertram Hughes Farmer

by Sachi Sri Kantha, Septermber 5, 2013 Farmer front pages Anniversaries are regularly celebrated and remembered for their impact on the society. Last month Americans remembered the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a Dream’ speech. In November this year, another 50th anniversary (the assassination of President John F. Kennedy) will be commemorated…. Read more »

Anna, Annachi, Annathe

by Sachi Sri Kantha, August 21, 2013 Recently I completed reading a wonderful biography on C.N. Annadurai (1909-1969), the founding leader of DMK, by R. Kannan. It’s title was simply ‘Anna’ – appearing palindromic in English. This led me to study the semantics of this endearing Tamil word. This essay is also a sort of… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 10

by Sachi Sri Kantha, August 11, 2013 Part 9 Last few months had seen the deaths of quite a few Tamil movie personalities who were involved with MGR during his film career. The obituary list includes actoresses Rajasulochana and Manjula, playback singer T.M. Soundararajan, lyricist Vaali, and music director T.K. Ramamoorthy of the Viswanathan-Ramamoorthy duo…. Read more »