An army officer, a member of the country’s Sinhalese majority, telephoned Mr. Navaratna, also a Sinhalese, and asked, “Are you a Tamil or a Sinhalese?”
Mr. Navaratna, a spare, wiry man who edits the city’s only English-language newspaper, The Saturday Review, replied, “I am a Sri Lankan.” The army officer is said to have angrily slammed down the phone.
My interest lies only with Stalin’s continuous refusal to recognize Ceylon as an independent country, until he died in 1953. For a comparative profile of other South Asian nations, India received recognition in UN on October 30, 1945. Pakistan received UN recognition on September 30, 1947. But, Ceylon had to wait until December 14, 1955. To the best of my knowledge, no Sri Lankan historians had attempted to study this peculiar theme. My postulated reasons are two-fold: (1) espionage angle, and (2) political angle.
by Sachi Sri Kantha, February 13, 2013 Part 4 Influence of Kali N Ratnam and M.R. Radha In my opinion, MGR’s autobiographical chapter 126 is an important one. In it, he had paid compliments and his professional debt to Madras Rajagopala Naidu Radhakrishnan (aka M.R.Radha). Considering the fact that M.R. Radha shot MGR on January… Read more »
by Sachi Sri Kantha, January 31, 2013 Part 3 Mentors who shaped MGR’s character In this part, I provide materials on MGR’s mentors, as he had described in his autobiography. Foremost among the real mentors was his mother Sathyabama, about whom I presented some details in part 3. I provide translations of his autobiographical chapters… Read more »
“One day in the make-up room when we were alone, MGR told the following. ‘Everyone believes that I’m a true Malayalee. I’m telling this to you. That’s wrong! There isn’t anything inferior in identifying oneself as a Malayalee. But, as for me, it is not true. My ancestors belonged to Kongu Nadu region and were from Mandradiar group. Their ancestral town was Pollachi. During the period of Haider Ali who ruled Mysore, he passed an edict that Hindus should convert themselves to Muslims. Scared by this edict, many Hindu families turned into Muslims. Those who were not willing to turn into Muslims, left their ancestral town Pollachi and passed Koimbatore and via Palakkadu valley, settled in the villages around that region. Among those who settled like this, my father’s ancestors was one.’
The sixth death anniversary of humorist Art Buchwald (1925-2007) falls on January 17th. And for this occasion, I also release the 4th consecutive list of news-making 16 humans and one evolutionary relative of humans (a toque monkey) who are natives to South Asia region, for 2012. To repeat the three conditions that I have instituted… Read more »
by Sachi Sri-Kantha, December 30, 2012 Part 1 Inspiration from a book review I got the inspiration to write MGR’s biography three years after his death in 1987. A book review by Sunil K. Pandya of India’s leading nephrologist M.K.Mani’s autobiography, which appeared in the British Medical Journal of March 24, 1990, carried a two… Read more »
by Sachi Sri Kantha, December 18, 2012 Unlike the tone taken by many facultative memoirists who had poured out their sentiments on the recent death of sitar maestro Ravi Shankar on December 11th to the Hindu (Chennai) newspaper, strictly I avoid their style of presenting their reminiscences on how they had a brief (or lengthy)… Read more »
Escapist? MGR protested. His films were certainly not escapist, he said. He recognized the link to Fairbanks. But ‘Fairbanks, great as he was, is now forgotten’. An acting career, said MGR, must now have a political dimension, and he himself had found that in the Dravidian movement.
Before this year ends its lap, I have to complete this anniversary posting. Year 2012 marks the 120th birth anniversary and 65th death anniversary of Swami Vipulananda (1892-1947). In his relatively short lifespan of 55 years, Swami Vipulananda (hereafter Swami, in short) accomplished more for Tamil studies than ordinary mortals could perform a fraction even… Read more »
As I have borrowed the main title for this anniversary exercise, from the ever popular Casablanca (1942) movie song‘As Time Goes By’, I opted to transcribe some recorded relevant facts that had appeared in international press on the ethnic cleansing atrocities of Sri Lankan army on Tamils, for the year 1985…
Excluded in these books (for convenience or due to lack of access to the available records) were the ethnic cleansing events that were perpetrated in the Tamil homeland of Sri Lanka by the Sri Lankan army and its abettors(the Home guards) armed and trained by the government…
Among these, Simon Winchester’s recording of the destruction of Tiriyai village in Trincomalee district was a powerful piece.
While on her early morning routine jaunt of street cleaning, this Colombo crow picked up the following memo, casually dumped into a garbage can near the office of Presidential sibling and Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. This secret memo had the 10 top reasons for hiring Tamil women scribbled in pen on it…
In his second term, will President Obama elevate himself to the rank of an admirable statesman? Can Eelam Tamils expect something better than his previous performance?
By design or accident, Weiss has conveniently ignored the contributions of CIA to the Sri Lankan civil war in his book of 342 pages. This is more exasperating, as he was “the United Nations spokesperson in Sri Lanka”! Phew! He cannot claim ignorance.
The tragedy of the Hindu is the tragedy of newspaper editors who allow themselves to be sucked into the decision-making processes of their governments! [Tamil Times, London, October 1988, p.12]
My verdict: Those who read the editorials presented in the Appendix can recognize that Kasturi posed as a wiseacre and his wishy-washy writing style was verbose, pretentious, repetitive, unimaginative and unrealistic to the aspirations of Eelam Tamils. Last but not the least, his written stuff was boring to read!
So, what’s the price for a Ceylon Tamil politician? If you are a keen student of politics in independent Sri Lanka, the answer is a Cabinet portfolio. For the sake of Cabinet positions, two independent Tamils namely Chellapah Suntharalingam (1895-1985) and Cathiravelu Sittampalam (1898-1964) pawned Eelam rights.
That Prabhakaran committed suicide cannot be provable, but is certainly believable, considering the above-listed five strikes against the probability that he was killed by an army sniper. If the Sri Lankan army offers sustainable evidences to negate the five strikes that I list above, then I will buy their version of Prabhakaran’s death.
The malady faced by the Hindu was aptly diagnosed by S. Sivanayagam, while he was residing in Chennai. He wrote in 1988, “The tragedy of the Hindu is the tragedy of newspaper editors who allow themselves to be sucked into the decision-making processes of their governments!” [Tamil Times, London, Oct. 1988].
On September 9, Lakbima (a Sinhala daily newspaper in Colombo) carried a cartoon by HasanthaWijenayake. It featured a plump Jayalalitha Jayaram, the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, in an aggressive posture against Sri Lanka. While her right index finger was pointing at Sri Lanka, her left hand holding the lower end of saree to her… Read more »
The shock that an LTTE landmine had decapitated the Sinhalese military leadership of the Northern Province, who had bragged only a week before to the India Today magazine (July 31, 1992) that they were about to humiliate LTTE, was too much to absorb by the Sinhala media and politicians. There was an orgy of breast beating, finger pointing and blame shifting. For popular consumption, these military heroes had died either due to carelessness (as Chandraprema opined recently) or due to internal back-stabbing by President Premadasa who was envious of the popularity of Major General Denzil Kobbekaduwa. Sinhalese military analysts and public found it difficult to gulp that they lost their heroes to the LTTE’s adept reconnaissance tactics.