Posts Categorized: Sri Kantha

Sorry, Dr. Seermaran

by Sachi Sri Kantha, October 18, 2013 ‘Better late than never’ is one of my favorite English proverbs. Early this year, when I published my thoughts on T.L.B. Bastianpillai (1941-1978), the sadistic Tamil cop, in April, I remembered Dr. P.R. Seermaran again. He was my freshman student at the Medical Faculty, University of Peradeniya, in… Read more »

Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap (1911-2013)

Gen. Giap’s victory over Americans had a positive and negative influence on how Prabhakaran conducted his war against the Sri Lankan army. General Giap’s prime strategy was to ‘wear down the enemy’, despite heavy losses. Prabhakaran successfully incorporated the guerrilla warfare from General Giap’s book to Sri Lanka and caused much pain in the crotches of his Indian and Sri Lankan enemies. Prabhakaran also firmly believed that with severe handicaps (in personnel and military budget), he could eventually win against the Sri Lankan army. But, he failed to take into his calculation the aid provided by Soviets and Chinese to General Giap’s army. Secondly, Prabhakaran also failed to realize the truth in the adage, ‘Time and Tide waits for no one’.

Cho Ramaswamy

Someone has to say it straight, and let it be me. Cho’s knowledge on Eelam Tamil affairs is gibberish…

To disprove Cho’s repeated faulting of LTTE for the breakdown of Rajiv-Jayewardene Accord of 1987, I provide Dixit’s reasons why it failed.

Reason 1: “ Intelligence agencies, armed forces and the Ministry of External Affairs, including myself told him (Rajiv Gandhi) that the initiatives being taken for signing the agreement were valid and practical….That the advice was wrong and the political judgement on which this advice was based was erroneous has to be acknowledged with the benefit of hindsight.”

MGR Remembered – Part 11

by Sachi Sri Kantha, September 27, 2013 Part 10 Mythologies in the movies of India and Hollywood There is a derisive Tamil idiom which pokes fun at half-baked scholarship. It is, ‘Kundu chattikul irunthu kuthirai ootuvathu pola’ [translation: Like horse riding within a hollow pot]. One cannot ride a horse with the narrow confines of… Read more »

Anna (1909-1969)

by Sachi Sri Kantha, September 12, 2013 Book in Review Anna: The Life and Times of C.N. Annadurai, by R.Kannan, Penguin Books India Pvt.Ltd., New Delhi, 2010, 423 pp. September 15th marks the 104th birth anniversary of Conjeevaram Natarajan Annadurai, who was popularly known to all Tamils by the dimunitive prefix ‘Anna’. When he died… Read more »

‘Ceylon: A Divided Nation’ by Bertram Hughes Farmer

by Sachi Sri Kantha, Septermber 5, 2013 Farmer front pages Anniversaries are regularly celebrated and remembered for their impact on the society. Last month Americans remembered the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a Dream’ speech. In November this year, another 50th anniversary (the assassination of President John F. Kennedy) will be commemorated…. Read more »

Anna, Annachi, Annathe

by Sachi Sri Kantha, August 21, 2013 Recently I completed reading a wonderful biography on C.N. Annadurai (1909-1969), the founding leader of DMK, by R. Kannan. It’s title was simply ‘Anna’ – appearing palindromic in English. This led me to study the semantics of this endearing Tamil word. This essay is also a sort of… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 10

by Sachi Sri Kantha, August 11, 2013 Part 9 Last few months had seen the deaths of quite a few Tamil movie personalities who were involved with MGR during his film career. The obituary list includes actoresses Rajasulochana and Manjula, playback singer T.M. Soundararajan, lyricist Vaali, and music director T.K. Ramamoorthy of the Viswanathan-Ramamoorthy duo…. Read more »

On ‘The Face of Buddhist Terror’

“The article did a fine job of highlighting what’s already been in the news recently, but it said nothing about the history of Buddhist fundamentalism. It’s not a new thing. Beech spoke of the Bodu Bala Sena that formed in Sri Lanka less than a year ago, but it is worth pointing out that ethnic Sri Lankan Tamils have been aware of hate-inciting Buddhist monks for decades. While the world holds to its idealistic illusions about the one major religion that appears to be free from the violent and toxic fundamentalism that seems to afflict all the rest, Buddhist extremism was there, alive and well, free to fester and gain momentum for decades.”

Ian Goonetileke and the Anti-Tamil Riots of July 1983

by Sachi Sri Kantha, July 14, 2013 Anti-Tamil riots of July 1983 Eminent bibliographer H. A.I. Goonetileke (1922-2003; long affiliated to the University of Peradeniya as its chief librarian) was one among the handful of contemporary Sinhalese scholars whom I respect very much. His bibliography on the anti-Tamil riots of July 1983 appeared in the… Read more »

T.M. Soundararajan

Tribute video by Sangam. by Sachi Sri Kantha, June 20, 2013 Poets or lyricists provide the substance to their poem or lyrics. But, it is the singer’s voice (and to an equal extent the music director or the one who arranges the score) who offers the form for those poems or lyrics. Good examples were… Read more »

Bahukutumbi Raman (1936-2013)

by Sachi Sri Kantha, July 3, 2013 In light of the recent death of Bahukutumbi Raman (1926-2013), I offer the following sentiments from an Eelam Tamil’s angle. What humorist Andy Rooney wrote once, “Spies are, generally speaking, maladjusted social misfits who can’t make a living at anything else”, fits perfectly to B. Raman who promoted… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 9

by Sachi Sri Kantha, June 13, 2013 Part 8 Number of Tamil movies released between 1936 and 1947 MGR’s rivals for action roles during 1936 to 1947 Two of MGR’s pre-hero movies, namely Harichandra (1944) and Salivahanan (1945) deserve mention in tracing MGR’s ascend as a movie icon. In both of these movies the hero… Read more »

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.