Posts Categorized: First Person

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 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 »

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 »

Hardeep Singh Puri

Hardeep Singh Puri is now India’s Union Home Minister grappling with the pandemic.  At one time he was the Indian High Commission’s First Secretary in Colombo.  On May 17, 2020 last year he tweeted: I was a young First Secy (Political) at the Indian High Commission in Colombo in 1987 when I met V. Prabhakaran… Read more »

A History of the Jaffnese Community in Klang, Malaysia

by Mr. Sivananthiram Alagandram, date unknown Transformation of the Jaffna Community in  Klang,1900-1950. They arrived as a minority towards the end of the 19th Century in Klang from an agrarian background and by 1950,  the community had transformed itself into an affluent middle-class society and as a community to be reckoned with. The Royal Town of… Read more »

Padma Lakshmi: VP-Elect Kamala Harris Moved Me to Tears

Imagine how wide the ripples of impact can be when a woman of color is vice president. By Padma Lakshmi, The New York Times, Nov.13, 2020 Ms. Lakshmi is the host and executive producer of “Taste the Nation” and “Top Chef.” I was on a hike in Garrison, N.Y., when I heard the news of Kamala… Read more »

Tsunami and Civil War in Sri_Lanka

An Anthropologist Confronts the Real World by Dennis McGilvray, ‘India Review,’ New Delhi, , vol. 5, nos. 3–4, July/October, 2006, pp. 372–393 Tsunami_and_Civil_War_in_Sri_Lanka …Much of the anthropology of Sri Lanka in the last three decades would have to count as “public” scholarship, because it has been forced to address the contemporary realities of labor migration,… Read more »

Amazing Mum

The ‘amazing’ mum who fled two civil wars and ended up running a Flintshire petrol station by Kelly Williams, Daily Post, UK, September 19, 2020 Shanty Yoganathan’s daughter Niz shared her mum’s incredible tale as she gets set to celebrate her 50th birthday A proud daughter has shared the extraordinary tale of how her mum… Read more »

Tamil Prisoners’ Massacre 1983 Revisited by M. Nithyanandan

by Asian Tribune, Malaysia, July 26, 2004 Reliving the Welikade Prison massacres of 25 & 27 July 1983, is ‘horror revisited’ said M. Nithyanandan (54 yrs), a former Lecturer of the University of Jaffna and at present Head of the news and events divison of Deepam Television – a Tamil Language TV channel based in… Read more »

Do You Think The Tamil Ethnic Question Would Ever Be Solved?

by C.V. Wigneswaran, Colombo Telegraph, October 14, 2019 C.V. Wigneswaran Someone asked: Do you think the Tamil Ethnic question would ever be solved and all Sri Lankans could travel along a common path to peace and prosperity?  My response was: Yes of course! The time is ripe now for the resolving of the so called… Read more »

July 1983: Turning Point for Eelam Tamils

by M.K. Eelaventhan, July 27, 2019 Riots against the Tamil population in Sri Lanka have been a recurring event since 1956, commencing from our protests against the Sinhala Only Act. The year 1958 was on a larger scale covering the entire island. The keynote event was the burning of the chief priest of the Panandura… Read more »

Nine Decisions that Helped Lanka Beat LTTE

by V K Shashikumar, Indian Defence Review, October 2009 Not available in 2019 on Indian Defence Review website, but copied at http://www.sify.com/news/nine-decisions-that-helped-lanka-beat-ltte-imagegallery-0-international-kexv2Lbdede.html , accessed June 19, 2019 What we don’t see Will a good number of soldiers, tanks and artillery ensure victory in a war? These are outward aspects of a war which alone are… Read more »

Losing Santhia, Part Four

Tiger power by Ben Hiller, ‘Red Flag,’ Australia, March 28, 2019 Santhia of died of kidney failure in a Jakarta hospital in October 2017. She was only 42. Years earlier, she and her infant son fled Sri Lanka to Tamil Nadu, the southernmost state of India. They tried to reach Australia, but were stranded in… Read more »