Posts Categorized: Sri Kantha

Kuttimani Files

Thirty years ago, the name Kuttimani made waves in Sri Lanka. His given name was Selvarajah Yogachandran, and he was one of the Tamil militant leaders in Sri Lanka in 1970s. On July 25th 1983, he was one of the Tamil prisoners who were killed inside the Welikade jail. As such, it may be appropriate… Read more »

Book Burning in 1933 and 1981

by Sachi Sri Kantha, May 30, 2013  To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Jaffna Public Library bibliocaust, seven years ago (in 2006), I contributed a four part series under the caption ‘Perversity of Pyromaniacs’ to this website. It could be accessed easily if you simply google the caption of this series. This year being… Read more »

On Traitors

Book in Review: Traitors: Suspicion, Intimacy and the Ethics of State Building, edited by Sharika Thiranagama and Tobias Kelly, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 2010, 272 pp. As a prelude to my review of this book, I offer the following definitions taken from The New Oxford American Dictionary (2001), as the co-editors in their introduction… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 8

by Sachi Sri Kantha, May 3, 2013 Part 7 In Love with Temperance theme The Sathi Leelavathi (1936) movie, in which MGR debuted, had temperance in its plot. One thing which became certain was that MGR, for the whole 40 years of his movie career which spanned 133 movies, made the temperance theme as his… Read more »

Thatcher, the ‘Freedom Sniper,’ and Tamil Refugees

The editor and the cover designer of the Economist weekly (April 13, 2013) have a load of gall and a crooked sense of humor to tag, late Margaret Thatcher as a ‘freedom fighter’ in its homage to ‘The Lady’. If Thatcher was a ‘freedom fighter’, where does one place the likes of Nelson Mandela and… Read more »

Thatcher and Eelam Tamils

Not only Tamil militants and IRA, Thatcher also labeled African National Congress (ANC) under the leadership of Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo as ‘terrorists’. Now, some of her acolytes and sympathizers are attempting to cover up her vitriolic criticism of ANC during the 1980s…

Several British MPs were opposed to Thatcher’s government offering high-speed gunboats to the dictatorial Sri Lankan regime in 1985. But she overruled this opposition, with her conviction of fighting ‘terrorism’.

T.L.B. Bastianpillai (1941-1978)

April 7th marked the 35th anniversary of Bastianpillai’s killing at a jungle in the Mannar area… As one can check again, torture of young Tamil militants by Bastianpillai has been excluded in these descriptions. Those who don’t know the facts may perceive and conclude that Inspector Bastianpillai was an innocent law enforcement officer who was killed when he was doing his duty. Even the fact that he belonged to the CID division has been omitted! Getting information about the notorious CID personnel in Sri Lanka is more difficult than searching for a needle in a haystack.

MGR Remembered – Part 7

by Sachi Sri Kantha, April 1, 2013 Part 6 MGR biographies in English An evaluation As of now, the completed six parts in this series amounts to over 18,000 words. It is my view that MGR’s pre-hero phase during the first 30 years of his life has not been covered in such detail, for lack… Read more »

A 1980 years-old Crucifixion and a Traitor

by Sachi Sri-Kantha, March 25, 2013 For multiple reasons, including the date of occurrence, calculating the exact age of Jesus at death, and the trauma inflicted to the body, scientists have been interested in the crucifixion of Jesus, which had been suggested to have occurred between AD 30 and 35. An associated event that preceded… Read more »

Genocides in Cambodia and Sri Lanka

Carter and his national security advisor Zbignew Brzezinski were more intent to normalize political and business ties with China, the major patron of the Khmer Rouge regime, than worrying about Cambodian peasants. Note that diplomatic relations between China and Uncle Sam were established on January 1, 1979, six days before the fall of Khmer Rouge regime.

The first two paragraphs of a commentary by John Pilger, in the Covert Action Quarterly (Fall 1997) with the caption, ‘The Long Secret Alliance: Uncle Sam and Pol Pot’, offers the following details:

“The US not only helped create conditions that brought Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge to power in 1975, but actively supported the genocidal force, politically and financially.

MGR Remembered, Part 6

One of MGR’s critical biographers, M.S.S. Pandian noted, “Several of the MGR films give primacy to the role of the mother and it is reflected in the names of films like…”. Pandian counted only 5 of the above-mentioned MGR movies, and missed 4 which I have included. To quote Pandian again, “Significantly, MGR, during public meetings, addressed his female audience as ‘Thai kulam’ or ‘the community of mothers’. And it was also well propagated that MGR, in his real life, had shown enormous devotion to his mother Sathyabama. This included worshipping her picture every morning..”

Gamini Navaratne (1932 – 1998)

An army officer, a member of the country’s Sinhalese majority, telephoned Mr. Navaratna, also a Sinhalese, and asked, “Are you a Tamil or a Sinhalese?”

Mr. Navaratna, a spare, wiry man who edits the city’s only English-language newspaper, The Saturday Review, replied, “I am a Sri Lankan.” The army officer is said to have angrily slammed down the phone.

Stalin’s Antipathy to Ceylon

My interest lies only with Stalin’s continuous refusal to recognize Ceylon as an independent country, until he died in 1953. For a comparative profile of other South Asian nations, India received recognition in UN on October 30, 1945. Pakistan received UN recognition on September 30, 1947. But, Ceylon had to wait until December 14, 1955. To the best of my knowledge, no Sri Lankan historians had attempted to study this peculiar theme. My postulated reasons are two-fold: (1) espionage angle, and (2) political angle.

MGR Remembered, Part 5

by Sachi Sri Kantha, February 13, 2013 Part 4 Influence of Kali N Ratnam and M.R. Radha In my opinion, MGR’s autobiographical chapter 126 is an important one. In it, he had paid compliments and his professional debt to Madras Rajagopala Naidu Radhakrishnan (aka M.R.Radha). Considering the fact that M.R. Radha shot MGR on January… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 4

by Sachi Sri Kantha, January 31, 2013 Part 3 Mentors who shaped MGR’s character In this part, I provide materials on MGR’s mentors, as he had described in his autobiography. Foremost among the real mentors was his mother Sathyabama, about whom I presented some details in part 3. I provide translations of his autobiographical chapters… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 3

“One day in the make-up room when we were alone, MGR told the following. ‘Everyone believes that I’m a true Malayalee. I’m telling this to you. That’s wrong! There isn’t anything inferior in identifying oneself as a Malayalee. But, as for me, it is not true. My ancestors belonged to Kongu Nadu region and were from Mandradiar group. Their ancestral town was Pollachi. During the period of Haider Ali who ruled Mysore, he passed an edict that Hindus should convert themselves to Muslims. Scared by this edict, many Hindu families turned into Muslims. Those who were not willing to turn into Muslims, left their ancestral town Pollachi and passed Koimbatore and via Palakkadu valley, settled in the villages around that region. Among those who settled like this, my father’s ancestors was one.’

Art Buchwald Humor Awards for 2012

The sixth death anniversary of humorist Art Buchwald (1925-2007) falls on January 17th. And for this occasion, I also release the 4th consecutive list of news-making 16 humans and one evolutionary relative of humans (a toque monkey) who are natives to South Asia region, for 2012. To repeat the three conditions that I have instituted… Read more »

MGR Remembered, Part 2

by Sachi Sri-Kantha, December 30, 2012 Part 1 Inspiration from a book review I got the inspiration to write MGR’s biography three years after his death in 1987. A book review by Sunil K. Pandya of India’s leading nephrologist M.K.Mani’s autobiography, which appeared in the British Medical Journal of March 24, 1990, carried a two… Read more »

Sitar Maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar (1920-2012)

by Sachi Sri Kantha, December 18, 2012 Unlike the tone taken by many facultative memoirists who had poured out their sentiments on the recent death of sitar maestro Ravi Shankar on December 11th to the Hindu (Chennai) newspaper, strictly I avoid their style of presenting their reminiscences on how they had a brief (or lengthy)… Read more »

MGR Remembered, Part 1

Escapist? MGR protested. His films were certainly not escapist, he said. He recognized the link to Fairbanks. But ‘Fairbanks, great as he was, is now forgotten’. An acting career, said MGR, must now have a political dimension, and he himself had found that in the Dravidian movement.