Monthly Archives: July 2021

TG: Echoes of the Past

by Tamil Guardian, London, July 23, 2021 This year marks 38 years since Black July: the anti-Tamil pogrom where thousands of Tamils were killed by brutal state-supported Sinhala mobs. It was a week of violence that saw Tamils murdered, tortured and displaced. It remains a premeditated and meticulously coordinated act of genocide. The remnants of… Read more »

Yet Another Incident in July 1983

by Basil Fernando, TamilNet, July 24, 2008 A poem, based on an eye-witness account of an event during 1983 pogrom captures the determination of a Tamil father at the time of his agonising death. The poem by Basil Fernando, a Sinhala lawyer, encapsulates the impelling spirit of the Tamil struggle of the post-pogrom years. Mr…. Read more »

The Origins of the Great Divergence

A review of Peer Vries’ “Escaping poverty” by Branko Milanovic, his personal Substack, July 22, 2021 While the world is witnessing global convergence (essentially the catch up of Asia with the West), the debates  about the origins of the Great Divergence—the take-off of the West and absence of growth in the Rest—are going strong. I… Read more »

From Sachi’s Files – Chapter 18

An interesting overview by Prof. Shelton Kodikara of ‘Family Planning in Ceylon’ by Sachi Sri Kantha, July 20, 2021 Family Planning in Ceylon (1973) by Prof. S.U. Kodikara Prof. Shelton Upatissa Kodikara (1927-1994) was an authentic Sinhalese academic, whom I respected very much. Sadly, as of now, there is no Wikipedia entry about his contributions… Read more »

Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa Dynasty is Not as Secure as It Appears

by Banyan, The Economist, London, July 17, 2021 The family that runs everything is running out of cash Since winning the presidency in a landslide nearly two years ago, Gotabaya Rajapaksa has worried not that he has too many relatives in government, but that he has too few. One of the 72-year-old’s elder brothers, Mahinda, himself… Read more »

Sri Lanka’s Falling Economy & Failing Good Governance

by Thambu Kanagasabai,  LLM [London] Former Lecturer in Law, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, July 21, 2021 President Gotabaya acclaimed as un uncrowned king of Sri Lanka after defeating the Liberation of Tigers in the genocidal war with the assistance of 22 countries particularly from India, Pakistan and China as confirmed by his brother Mahinda… Read more »

By Nanthikadal Lagoon, Our Dreams Lie Rusting in the Mud

by Shash Trevett, PEN Transmissions, July 8, 2021 Shash Trevett on the poetry of Nillanthan All translations of the poems quoted here were done jointly by Shash Trevett and Geetha Sukumaran. * 18 May 2009 was a day of apocalypse. Fire rained from the air, from the water, across the land. It did not discriminate… Read more »

The Myth of Security and the Prevention of Terrorism Act

False Promises by Ambika Satkunanathan, ‘Groundviews,’ Colombo, July 14, 2021 For decades human rights activists have highlighted the draconian nature of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), which promises safety and security, yet in practice makes each citizen vulnerable to being arbitrarily arrested, detained, tortured and even convicted of an offence the person did not… Read more »

Review of ‘A Passage North’ by Anuk Arudpragasam

Long shadows by Nilanjana Roy, Financial Times, London, July 2, 2021 The Sri Lankan writer’s second novel attempts to air the wounds of the country’s civil war and refuses to succumb to collective amnesia It can take just two novels to establish a writer as one of the most individual minds of their generation. Anuk… Read more »

The Pirabakaran Phenomenon

by Sachi Sri Kantha, reposted from May 2001 – February 2003 Original index at The Pirabakaran Phenomenon We have been re-posting histories of the period leading up to the war, including Prabakaran’s early life to make sure that they are more readily available.  The biography by T. Sabaratnam is at ‘Pirapaharan,’ Volume 1 & 2… Read more »

In Sri Lanka, the Government Looks Increasingly Like a Family Firm

Three brothers of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa now hold top posts in his government. Two of his nephews have official positions, too. by Muib Mashal, The New York Times, July 11, 2021 The first attempt by a Rajapaksa to return to power in Sri Lanka was brief. In 2018, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was sworn in as… Read more »

Sri Lanka’s 1st Gold Medal Winner

by N. Ethirveerasingham, July 8, 2021 In 1958, two time Olympian, Nagalingam Ethirveerasingam, won the 1st ever Gold Medal in ANY sport for Sri Lanka (Ceylon) at the 3rd Asian Games in Tokyo, Japan. In this video Ethir narrates the silent film of the Asian Games, which includes film of his winning jump at the… Read more »

One Island, Two Nations

by Kumarathasan Rasingam, July 9, 2021 Sri Lanka formerly known as CEYLON is an island country in South Asia.  Sri Lanka was historically comprised of two distinctive nations; the country’s history has been written or represented as if it were one nation. However, the two nations, namely Sinhalese and Tamils, have existed in Sri Lanka… Read more »

Review of ‘Methagu’ Film

by Arul MurugesaPandian, July 5, 2021 The most important factor about this movie is its timing. While a concerted effort is being made by nefarious forces to discredit the genuine liberation struggle of Eelam Tamils, this sincere effort to document the root causes of the armed struggle is a fitting reply.   The Family Man –… Read more »

Four International Tamil Actresses Shattering the Glass Ceiling

by Thamarai, July 1, 2021 Streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime have helped us discover emerging Tamil talent from across the globe. Here are four amazing international Tamil actresses to watch as they shatter the glass ceiling.   Geraldine Viswanathan Standup comedian, sketch writer and now actress, Australian newcomer Geraldine Viswanathan is no stranger… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 61

Political Activities, Travels to USSR and USA by Sachi Sri Kantha, July 2, 2021 Fellow MGR biographer R. Kannan’s expert comments on the previous chapter Part 60, received by email of Mar 29, 2021, are as follows: “ I read your well-researched article with interest. MGR had much respect for Kamaraj and Kamaraj had defended MGR’s… Read more »

The Pirabaharan Phenomenon, Part 45

The Scenario of the Eastern Front by Sachi Sri Kantha, October 18, 2002 D.S. Senanayake’s notorious Lebensraum (Living Space) strategy: a synopsis To analyze the dilemma faced by Pirabhakaran at the Eastern Front of Eelam in mid-1980s, I need to review the sinister significance of the Sinhala-Buddhist Lebensraum strategy which occurred in the first half… Read more »

‘Stateless’: Detention Camp Drama Floats Adrift

Despite agile performances, the Australian drama focuses on the wrong characters, giving its refugee stories short shrift Eelam Tamils have a small subplot in this series. Showing on Netflix — Editor by Maria Fontuora, Rolling Stone, USA, July 13, 2020 In 2004, an Australian citizen named Cornelia Rau was wrongly imprisoned in an immigrant detention… Read more »