Posts Categorized: Book Reviews

Prabhakaran and LTTE: A Chronological Bibliography

Compiled by Sachi Sri Kantha, May 23, 2024 Front Note This is a revised version of my previous compilation, in three parts. Part I appeared on Nov 16, 2009. Part 2 was posted on Nov 24, 2010, and Part 3 appeared on Nov 27, 2011. Cumulatively, there were 189 items in the three parts. After… Read more »

Axiom Business Book Award for ‘Prisoner 1056’

by Axiom Awards, Michigan, USA, May 2024 Other winners in  ‘Memoir / Biography’: GOLD Happy At Any Cost: The Revolutionary Vision and Fatal Quest of Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh by Kristen Grind and Katherine Sayre (Simon & Schuster) SILVER (tie) Bully Market: My Story of Money and Misogyny at Goldman Sachs by Jamie Fiore Higgins… Read more »

Review: Human Rights for Pragmatists

Social Power in Modern Times by Jack Snyder, Princeton University Press, July 2022 ISBN:9780691231549 Reviewed by G. John Ikenberry in Foreign Affairs, New York, posted December 25, 2023 January/February 2023 In this masterful work, Snyder offers a bold explanation for why, how, and when societies make progress in expanding political rights and freedoms. Typically, the story… Read more »

Book Review: ‘Politics of Hate’

Religious Majoritarianism in South Asia by Knox Thames, Global Policy, Durham University, UK, May 18, 2023 Politics of Hate: Religious Majoritarianism in South Asia edited by Farahnaz Ispahani. HarperCollins India 2023. 336 pp., £17.99 paperback 9789356293557, $14.99 e-book 9789356290013 The history of the Indian subcontinent is as vast as the region’s size and population. Consequently, foreign… Read more »

Book Review: Prisoner #1056 – How I Survived War and Found Peace

by Roy Ratnavel, Viking/Penguin Random House, Canada, 2023, 260 pp, US$27.00 by Sachi Sri Kantha, October 28, 2023 This book of memoir by Roy Ratnavel (born 1969), a naturalized Canadian of Sri Lankan Tamil descent, has achieved bestseller status in Canada this year. The memoir has 12 chapters altogether, among which the first three (in… Read more »

History of Tamils in Sri Lanka

by Laxshen in Reddit’s Eelam thread, late August, 2023 The Kingdom of Jaffna by S. Pathmanathan, Colombo, 1978 on Noolaham Primary sources for History of the Sri Lankan Tamils by Dr. Murugar Gunasingham, Sydney, 2005 on Noolaham Sri Lanka: The National Question and the Tamil Liberation Struggle by Satchi Ponnambalam, UK, 1983 on Noolaham The… Read more »

The Gospel According to the Sri Lankan (Sinhalese) Army

2022 version by Sachi Sri Kantha, June 21, 2023 This is my review of a book with a very long title -34 words! It is, ‘Prabhakaran’s Ruthless Terrorism in the guise of Liberation – Are the Sri Lankan Security Forces guilty of Genocide? – How the LTTE violated Human Rights by intentionally committing genocide –… Read more »

‘Kilinochchi’: A Story of Trauma and Resilience

by Groundviews, Colombo, June 4, 2023 In Himali McInnes’ story, Kilinochchi, which is short listed to win the Commonwealth Short Story Prize for 2023, the protagonist is Nisha, a Tamil tea plucker with a turbulent past who moves to New Zealand with her white husband. Her only son AJ, whose father is Sinhalese, goes back… Read more »

‘Politics of Hate’ Review

Two thoughtful contributions by Sri Lankan academics Neil DeVotta and Gehan Gunatilleke show how majoritarianism’s relentless othering is less about the majority’s imagined ideal minority-free state, and more about the satisfaction derived from blaming, punishing and depriving the “others” — the Sinhala Buddhist majority’s first target was the Indian Tamils. by Nirupama Subramaniam, Indian Express,… Read more »

‘Prisoner #1056’ by Roy Ratnavel

From the publisher, Penguin Random House, April 18, 2023 ABOUT PRISONER #1056 An incredible immigrant story from a prominent Canadian Tamil who fled torture and imprisonment, arrived in Canada with $50 in his pocket, then rose from the mailroom to the executive suite of the country’s largest independent asset management company. Roy Ratnavel’s astonishing journey began… Read more »

Interview with Shankari Chandran

“‘Song of the Sun God’ is a novel that interrogates the injustices faced by the Tamil people” by Krishna Selvaseelan, Tamil Guardian, London, March 20, 2023 I will begin this piece with a confession. In times of emotional distress and crisis, I often watch YouTube clips of the 1991 film ‘Thalapathi’, a film which is… Read more »

Author A. Muttulingam

by Tamil Wiki, accessed March 7, 2023 A. Muttulingam (January 19, 1937) is one of the pre-eminent writers in modern Tamil literature. His contributions, which include short stories, essays, interviews and novels, are characterized by humour, aesthetic appeal and perfection in form. Born in Sri Lanka, he is a storyteller who travelled the world on… Read more »

The Untold Story of Ancient Tamils in Sri Lanka

by by Prof. Bertram Bastiampillai, Sri Lanka Guardian, March 31, 2008 “And history may need to rewritten in the light of new evidence and argument. Much about Tamils needs to be unraveled and examined according to the author who is convinced and tries to convince that Tamils had been in the island from early years… Read more »

Indian Ocean Strategic Ocean Newsletter 2022

by Indian Ocean Strategic Studies, New York, January – August 2022 Indian Ocean Strategic Studies newsletter January 2022 Indian Ocean Strategic Studies newsletter March April 2022 Indian Ocean Strategic Studies newsletter May June 2022 Indian Ocean Strategic Studies newsletter July August 2022 Mission of the IOSS The Indian Ocean is at the heart of international… Read more »

Review of Sharanya Manivannan’s ‘Incantations Over Water’

She sings of love Sharanya Manivannan’s graphic novel propounds and embodies the theme of multiplicity by Sneha Krishnan, The Hindu, Chennai, February 10, 2022 Sharanya Manivannan’s graphic novel, Incantations Over Water, is set near Kallady lagoon in Mattakalappu, Ilankai (Batticaloa, Sri Lanka). But the story stretches beyond the common concepts of place and time. In its structure… Read more »

‘The State will Come After the Defenceless’

Shehan Karunatilaka The reason I chose 1989 was because I was a bit of a coward. I wanted to write about 2009 and the end of the war, with the basic premise of what if the dead could speak. But I wasn’t brave enough to engage there. by Pasan Jayasinghe, The Hindu’s Frontline, Chennai, September… Read more »

Asymmetric Warfare at Sea: The Case of Sri Lanka

by Jayanath Colombage, LAP Lambert Academic Publishing, September 24, 2016 ISBN: 3659865753 EAN: 9783659865756 Reviewed by P.G. on Amazon in the United States on July 9, 2022 and given two out of 5 stars An Academic Paper with a Few Nuggets, But Not a Naval History Book I have had an interest in maritime special… Read more »

Noolaham: Preserving Lanka’s Tamil Language Heritage Digitally

by Shannine Daniel, The Sunday Times, Colombo, May 29, 2022 The Noolaham digital library was initially a Tamil language “virtual library” which contained documents, books, manuscripts, videos, photos and other material in the Tamil language. Established in 2005, it has since expanded to include books and other documents in Sinhala, English, Sanskrit, Dutch and French…. Read more »

‘Prisoner #1056: A Survivor’s Story’

Why and how, I wrote Prisoner #1056 – The story behind the story by Roy Ratnavel, May 18, 2022 Book expected to be released by Penguin Random House on April 18th, 2023. Pre-order at https://www.amazon.ca/Prisoner-1056-Survivors-Roy-Ratnavel-ebook/dp/B09Z4JKCCV/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2D3PVSCLYHW3V&keywords=roy+ratnavel&qid=1652886733&sprefix=roy+rat%2Caps%2C115&sr=8-1 ‘The Rise’ Keynote Address about the book, May 8, 2022, London on YouTube In my thirties, perhaps around the age… Read more »

Sex, Repression & Sanskritization in Sri Lanka 1987

The 1987 Stirling Award Essay by Dennis McGilvray, Ethos, American Anthropological Association, Vol. 16, No. 2 (June 1988), pp. 99-127 The_1987_Stirling_Award_Essay_Sex_Repres Since 1952, when the concept of Sanskritization was first utilized by M. N. Srinivas in his study of the Coorgs of western India, the idea has been a useful, if at times ambiguous, tool… Read more »