Dec 4 – 10

Maithripala Appeals to Mahinda-led Opposition not to Sabotage new Constitution Making Process and Ethnic Reconciliation

By P.K.Balachandran

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Thursday appealed to the Joint Opposition led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, not to thwart the constitution-making and ethnic reconciliation processes by indulging false propaganda because if the current chance to solve the national problem is missed due to narrow minded jockeying for power, the country will only return to conflict and bloodshed. [DBSJ]

Maestro W. D. Amaradeva Created a Distinctive Genre of Sinhala Music

By
D.B.S.Jeyaraj

(This article appears in the December 2016 issue of ‘Saamagaana – The First Melody,’ a magazine devoted to classical music published in Bengaluru, India. It is being published here to mark the 89th birthday of maestro Amaradeva on 5 December.) [DBSJ]

Oct 12 – 18:

Pictorial: Farmers in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka East mark re-possession of their Lands

Padukadu-Kanguveli, in Muttur, Trincomalee District: Farmers who were kept out of their lands for decades, begin their re-possession by ploughing and sowing the paddy seeds.

Traditional function was held on October 13th to mark the occasion: [TW]

Phenomenal Influence of Films and Film Personalities on Politics in India’s Tamil Nadu State

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj

The South Indian state of Tamil Nadu has been ruled alternately by two “Dravidian”political parties since 1967.One is the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham(DMK)under the command of nonagenarian Muttuvel Karunanidhi.

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The other party currently in the saddle is the All- India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham (AIADMK) which is led by Jayalalithaa Jayaram who was removed from chief ministerial office due to being convicted for corruption.Both the DMK and AIADMK face an uncertain political future at this point of time due to the uncertainty factor concerning their respective leaders. [DBSJ]

How Jayalalithaa in her Actress Avatar Sparkled on the Silver Screen as Tamil Cinema’s Uncrowned Queen

by

D.B.S.Jeyaraj

The recent conviction and consequent imprisonment of Jayalalithaa Jayaram on charges of acquiring disproportionate wealth during her past term of office (1991-96) has resulted in the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister being under media spotlight for many days now.

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This week’s ‘Spotlight’ column too will be about Jayalalithaa but the focus will be on certain aspects of her family background, early life and scintillating career as a film star and not on her politics or present plight. [DBSJ]

Sep 14-20

Kurai Ondrumillai ♫ Song by Rajaji ♫ Rendered by Haricharan ♫ Featuring SV Temple, Pittsburgh, PA

No regret whatsoever ♫ No Worries Krishna

by K. Thirukumaran

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There are many translations of the Tamil devotional song “Kurai Ondrumillai” penned by Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (10 December 1878 – 25 December 1972), the last Governor-General of India. A notable in-depth analytical translation is on the Wikipedia by Gopalkrishna Gandhi. I attempt here a lucid translation of the lyrics.

It is notable that one Tamil word “Kurai” applies to many nuances throughout the song, but no single English word seems to be the right fit.

The song is solitary evidence as to why Rev. Father Xavier S. Thaninayagam, referred to Tamil as the language of Bhakthi, “The devotion to the sacred and the holy.” [TW]

Sacrifice in Silence of a Generation: A Tribute for my parents and their Generation

By K. Thirukumaran

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Ammah: Since god cannot be everywhere,

Everyone here has this most selfless person in her or his own lives. [DBSJ]

Comrade Bala Tampoe: Life and Times of a Legendary Trade Union Leader-1

By

D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Philips Balendra Tampoe

Philips Balendra Tampoe

When news reached me in Toronto that Philips Balendra Tampoe popularly known as Bala Tampoe had passed away in Colombo on September 1st 2014, I felt somewhat guilt ridden and remorse stricken. The reason for these feelings was that with Bala being no more there was no way in which I could undertake an envisaged project concerning the veteran Trade unionist.The project was to do a series of interviews with Bala Tampoe in a biographical mode and compile them into a book. [DBSJ]

Rajini Rajasingham Thiranagama: Unforgettable Symbol of Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tragedy

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

It was 25 years ago on September 21st 1989 that Dr. Rajini Thiranagama nee Rajasingham was killed in Jaffna. She was 35 years old at the time of her death.The 25th anniversary of her death is to be commemorated through a series of events next week in the northern capital. This is the first time that such a commemoration of Rajini’s memorable legacy is to be held in Jaffna, since the one held in 1989, a month after her death. [DBSj]

Sep 1-7:

Navaneetham Pillay Is The Most Famous South African Tamil Of Our Times

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Navi Pillai is a name which has become very familiar to most Sri Lankans in recent times.The past week has seen the Sri Lankan media flooded by references to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Emotions are on the rise and expectations are high as the week long visit to Sri Lanka by the 72 year old UN Human Rights chief continues to receive extensive media focus.

Alliance of Media Organizations in Sri Lanka Present Memorandum to UN Human Rights Commissioner Ms. Navaneetham Pillay

(Text of Memorandum Submitted to H.E. Navaneetham Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights by the Alliance of Media Organizations in Sri Lanka on August 29th 2013)

Freedom of Expression is a constitutionally guaranteed fundamental right in Sri Lanka, while it’s also guaranteed by virtue of Sri Lanka being a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. However, the last few years had seen this right under severe threat, and below is a summary of some of our key concerns and appeals to Your Excellency.

Jun 23-29:

Sri Lankan Public Relations Minister Mervyn Silva Drinks His Own Urine Daily Like Ex-Indian PM Morarji Desai

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj

The secret behind the good health of Minister of Public Relations and Public Affairs Mervyn Silva is due to his emulating former Indian Prime minister Morarji Desai who lived up tp a hundred years.

It is now known that the controversial politician elected as MP from Gampaha district drinks his own urine every day just as Morarji Desai did.

TMVP Front “Dravida Senai” Suspected of Burning Muslim Establishment at Urukaamam in Batticaloa District

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj

A Muslim owned business establishment at Urukaamam in the Eastern Batticaloa district was subjected to an arson attack on Thursday June 20th 2013.

A provision store cum eatery owned and run by Mr.Seeni Mouhammadu Fareed near the main street junction in Urukaamam was burnt down by an “unknown”gang at about 10. 30 pm on Thursday.

President Rajapaksa Requests Media To Deny Publicity to Anti-Muslim Activities of Sinhala Buddhist Organizations

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has asked the Sri Lankan media to refrain from giving publicity to the anti-Muslim activities of Extremist Sinhala Buddhist organizations. The President made this request when he met the editors of Sri Lankan newspapers and heads of TV and Radio stations for breakfast at “Temple Trees” on Friday June 21st 2013.

India and China have no choice but to build a meaningful relationship with each other, avoiding military confrontation

by Col.R Hariharan

The 21st century is going to be the Asian century, if we go by the continued growth of Asian economy despite global economic downturn. Three Asian power centres – China, Japan, and India – are increasingly influencing global power equation well beyond Asia. As strategic analyst Brahma Challaney puts it “Never before have China, Japan, and India have all been strong at the same time.”

Feb 24-Mar 2:

India Still Talks of Implementing 13th Amendment when President Rajapaksa has Consigned it to the Constitutional Morgue

by Col R. Hariharan

A U.S. draft resolution on Sri Lanka’s accountability for alleged war crimes being brought before the 24th meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) now in circulation (received from an Indian TV news channel) is at Annexure.

Sri Lanka must work with UN to ascertain Truth

By M.A. Sumanthiran

I count it a privilege and an honour to have been invited to address this assembly this afternoon.

It is said that Truth is the first casualty of war. I want to say today that Truth is also the first step in reconciliation. It is in recognition of this principle that after the struggle to end Apartheid in South Africa, the process that united the country was called the “Truth and Reconciliation Commission”.

Minister Maithripala Sirisena Attempting to Obstruct Justice to Safeguard Son Daham who Attacked Asela Waidyalankara

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Sri Lanka today is a land of perplexing paradoxes and ironic contradictions. A former Army commander is forcibly dragged to captivity and court-martialled on flimsy charges by military personnel and officers who served under him.

Paaventhar Bharathidasan: Wouldn’t you not sing in Tamil to the heart without love

“Thunbam Nergaiyil”

Wouldn’t you not sing in Tamil to the heart without love, dear oh dear, and rid away hardship

Paventhar Bharathidasan’s song Thunbam Nergaiyil, made famous in ~ “Oar Iravu”, the C.N. Annadurai written Tamil Movie ~ is rendered by many reputed singers.


Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on the warpath against Sri Lanka again

By
D.B.S.JEYARAJ

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jayaram who will be celebrating her 65th Birthday tomorrow February 24th is once again on the warpath against Sri Lanka.

According to Indian newspaper reports the actress turned politician has announced that Tamil Nadu would not host the 20th Asian Athletics Championships scheduled to be held in the state in July.

Ms. Jayalalithaa said her government has written to the AAA, seeking the exclusion of the Sri Lankan contingent from the event. This was in view of the Sri Lankan government acting repeatedly against Tamils. The participation of Sri Lankan athletes would hurt the feelings of Tamils, she said.

Time for Indian Prime Minister to Publicly Announce India’s Unhappiness over the way Sri Lanka has Conducted Itself in the Post-War Period

BY Col.R.Hariharan(Retd)

On the eve of the release of a full length film on Sri Lanka’s alleged war crimes, the British daily the Independent carried an article along with two photographs showing Prabhakaran’s son eating a snack before his Sri Lankan captors allegedly shot him dead in cold blood.