Posts Categorized: First Person

Dead or Alive?

Parents of children gone in Sri Lanka’s civil war have spent 15 years seeking answers by Krishnan Francis, Associated Press, New York, May 18, 2024 MULLAITIVU, Sri Lanka (AP) — For 15 years, Rasalingam Thilakawathi has been trying to find out what happened to her daughter at the end of Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war…. Read more »

Vaddukkottai Memories: Jaffna In The 1960s

by Glenn Yocum, Colombo Telegraph, May 21, 2013 Prof. Glenn Yocum Confessions:  I’m an American, now almost 70 years old.  I spent a year in Vaddukkottai, Jaffna in 1967-68.  Technically, at that time I was a “missionary,” though I never converted anyone or wanted to.  Impelled much more by adventure and wanderlust than any sense of “calling,”… Read more »

Uduvil Girls College’s Bicentenary

by Dr. Thayalan Ambalavanar, Jaffna, February 7, 2024 Report Tuesday morning (6th February) saw the inaugural function of the Bicentennial celebrations of Uduvil Girls’ College in their college hall. The program was titled ‘Anthizo’ which in Greek means blossom. It was 200 years ago that a young American missionary, Harriet Winslow, started this school which… Read more »

Prabakaran’s Suthumalai Speech 1987

Speech by V. Prabakaran at the Suthumalai Amman temple, Jaffna, Sri Lanka, on August 4, 1987. Translation by Anton Balasingham in the second chapter of his book ‘War and Peace.’ ‘My Beloved and Esteemed People of Tamil Eelam, ‘Today, a turning point of immense significance has taken place in the history of our struggle. This… Read more »

Pirapaharan’s First Interview

by Anita Pratap, Sunday, Calcutta, India, March 11-17, 1984 [archived at TamilNation, accessed 6/17/2023] Velupillai Pirabakaran, leader of the Liberation Tigers ofTamil Eelam, tells Anita Pratap. Q: What made you opt out of a conventional system and spearhead a liberation movement which you knew would be outlawed? A: The democratic parliamentary system, or what you refer… 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 »

Childhood Memories of Telok Pulai, the Chinna Yaalpaanam

Of Klang, Malaysia by Sivananthiram Alagandram, Geneva, February 26, 2023 Many who lived in the Chinna Yalpanam  have gone abroad . Kindly consider posting  at sangam, so that  it would enable many to share their experience in Telok Pulai as well as the social change that has happened, I have given my e mail for… Read more »

An Archive for the Dispossessed

Creating spaces for multiple truths by Shankari Chandran  The Griffith Review, Australia, May 2022 Shankari Chandran is a Tamil-Australian lawyer and the author of three books: Song of the Sun God (Perera-Hussein Publishing, 2017), The Barrier (Pan Macmillan Australia, 2017) and Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens (Ultimo Press, 2022).  She is the deputy chair of Writing NSW and a member of the Sweatshop Literacy Movement…. Read more »

From Sachi’s Files – Chapter 20

Colombo Diary of Teenage Years (1965-1970) by Sachi Sri Kantha  Front Note When my teenage period began (from 1966 May 8 onwards), I was living at No. 10, Government Flats, L-block, Bambalapitiya, Colombo 4, with my family. Then, I was at Grade 10, at Colombo Hindu College, Ratmalana. I had been chosen for the honorary… Read more »

Black July: The Unspoken and the Unspeakable

by Ambika Satkunanathan, Groundviews, Colombo, July 29, 2020 Photo courtesy of Sangam July. Referred to as Black July to mark the pogrom against Tamils in 1983 carried out by Sinhala mobs. Pogrom is a Russian word meaning ‘to wreak havoc, to demolish violently’, that has come to mean organized, state sanctioned violence that targets a certain… Read more »

Sri Lanka’s Road Ahead is Hazardous

An exclusive interview with Ambassador K.P. Fabian by A. Jathindra, Centre for Strategic Studies – Trincomalee, July 4, 2022 Ambassador K.P. Fabian served in the Indian Foreign Service between 1964 and 2000, during which time he was posted to Madagascar, Austria, Iran, Sri Lanka, Canada, Finland, Qatar, and Italy. During his time in the diplomatic… Read more »

Cynthia Shanmugalingam’s Fantasy Dinner Party

Minnette de Silva, Akwaeke Emezi and M.I.A. The British-Sri Lankan chef and founder of Rambutan provides sweet Egyptian cucumbers; a demon queen provides the soundtrack by Cynthia Shanmugalingam, Financial Times, London, June 25, 2022 From deep inside my ear I hear that unmistakable alarm: the anaemic, shrill buzz that means it is mosquito hour. The… 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 ‘The Rise’ Keynote Address about the book, May 8, 2022, London on YouTube In my thirties, perhaps around the age… Read more »

Amnesty: End the Use of and Repeal the Draconian PTA

by Amnesty International, London, February 18, 2022 Index Number: ASA 37/5241/2022 Amnesty Repeal PTA Feb 18 2022 43 years since it was first passed as a temporary measure, the draconian PTA continues to be used by the Government of Sri Lanka to target, and harass minorities, activists, journalists and critical voices. Despite assurances to amend… Read more »

The Year of Darkness

by Sumi Moonesinghe, The Island, Colombo, February 6, 2022 narrated to Savitri Rodrigo July 1983 was one of the darkest months this country has ever experienced. It was then that I saw my countrymen turn on each other and where barbarism outweighed every Buddhist precept upon which the country had built its foundations. Black July… Read more »

Nationality, Complex Identities & Multiple Belongings

by Dr. Rohini Hensman, Pravada/Polity, Colombo, December 2021 NationalityComplexIdentitiesandMultipleBelongings I am not arguing that the nation-state is on the verge of becoming defunct; this is far from being the case. Rather, I am arguing we should reject the notion that a unique and homogeneous ‘nationality’ is a marker of our identity. Indeed, with climate change… Read more »

Interview by an IDP in 2009

Interview of an IDP by MANISATNEWS.BLOGSPOT.COM (originally on YouTube) in Tamil in 2009  Figurative translation into English by Nagalingam Ethirveerasingam, Ph.D. (Cornell) in November 2021 The host warned the young people who are not strong enough to see tragic scenes not to watch.  She said that what you are about to see is what the… 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 »