President Sirisena’s Cabinet Comments Strike a “Raw” Nerve in India 🇱🇰🇮🇳

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Maithripala Sirisena is a man of many surprises. Sri Lanka’s sixth executive president has a penchant to make controversial remarks and startling revelations on more than one occasion. Most of these sensational disclosures explode in the public domain with a powerful bang and then fizzle out into pathetic whimpers. The latest in this …

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Can Maithripala Sirisena and Mahinda Rajapaksa Re-unite Politically?

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Ranil Wickremesinghe is Green! Mahinda Rajapaksa is Blue! President Maithripala Sirisena, Which Political Colour Are You? Former British prime minister and renowned statesman Sir Winston Churchill in a memorable radio speech over the BBC in 1939 referred to Russia in this way – “It (Russia) is a riddle,wrapped in a mystery,inside an enigma”. …

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Popular Sri Lankan Singer A.E. Manoharan Failed To Shine In India As Film Actor “Ceylon Manohar”

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Anthonypillai Emmanuel Manoharan known to the world at large as A. E. Manoharan was a multi-faceted personality possessing many talents. He was a singer, musician, broadcaster and stage and screen actor but it was his singing that brought him great honour. Manoharan, who passed away on 23 January this year at the age …

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President Sirisena Pressured Into Backtracking At UN In New York

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The perplexing political conduct of Sri Lankan President Pallewatte Gamaralalage Maithripala Yapa Sirisena has in recent times defied many norms and values of conventional politics. The turns, twists and turnarounds of the President are unfathomable to many. So uncertain have been Maithripala’s political moves and manoeuvres that the only certainty about Sirisena that …

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Rajapaksa Family Politics And Gotabhaya’s Presidential Candidacy.

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj Former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s interview to the influential Indian English daily “The Hindu” has caused quite a splash among political circles in Sri Lanka. The ex- president was interviewed by Suhasini Haidar and Amit Baruah for the newspaper which has acquired a reputation over the years of being the most …

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Actor Sivaji Ganesan Was An Oasis In The Desert Of Tamil Films.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj ‘Indian Film,’ first published in 1963 and co-authored by former Columbia University Professor Erik Barnouw and his student Dr. Subrahmanyam Krishnaswamy, is considered a seminal study of the evolution and growth of Indian cinema. The book is cited even now as a standard reference by those teaching, studying or writing about the film …

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

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj (This article was first published four years ago to commemorate the 25th death anniversary of Dr.Rajini.It is re-posted here to denote her 29th death anniversary) 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 …

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Tanya Ekanayaka’s Second Solo Album, ‘Twelve Piano Prisms’ Combines Sri Lankan Melodies With Music From Other Countries

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj ‘Spotlight’ shines this week on a remarkable Sri Lankan woman whose qualitative contribution to the realm of music has been noteworthy. Although devoted in principle to films, film personalities and film-related matters, this column will deviate in practice this time to focus on the internationally-celebrated composer – pianist Dr. Tanya Ekanayaka, whose second …

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Tony Ranasinghe Was Not The Conventional Sinhala Hero But a New Kind of Modern Hero.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Ranasinghe Hettiarachchilage Ignatius Anthony de Silva, known to the world at large by his stage cum screen name Tony Ranasinghe, was one of Sri Lankan cinema’s handsomest and most lovable actors. He excelled in playing both lead and character roles. This column focused last week on Tony Ranasinge’s dynamic duality as a lead …

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Pragmatic Politics of Plantation Tamil Leader Saumiyamoorthy Thondaman

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj When Sri Lanka known then as Ceylon obtained full freedom from British rule on February 4th 1948, the second largest ethnic community in the Island were the Tamils of recent Indian origin and not the Sri Lankan Tamil community. The 1ast official census before Ceylon got Dominion Status and then Independence from the …

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Dynamic Duality Of Actor Tony Ranasinghe Who Played Both Lead and Character Roles In Films.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Several dashing and debonair actors have graced the Sinhala silver screenover the years. Arguably the most lovable among these cinematic heroes wasthe dynamic Tony Ranasinghe who acted in both lead as well as character roles. Tony Ranasinghe who was born on 31 July 1937 entered the film world in the early sixties of …

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Wigneswaran, Sampanthan and the Presidential Task Force Boycott Issue

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj “Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall; All the king’s horses and all the king’s men Couldn’t put Humpty together again.” – Nursery Rhyme Northern province chief minister Canagasabapathy Viswalingam Wigneswaran is a retired Supreme court judge. Much was expected of CV Wigneswaran when he was first elected …

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“Medamulana Mahinda” and the Political Rise Of “Ruhunu Rajapaksas”

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The rise and growth of “political families” is a common occurrence in Sri Lanka. Ever since the Island known formerly as Ceylon gained limited forms of representative democracy through the Legislative and State Councils during British rule, the practice of members of the same family seeking posts through elections became widely prevalent. The …

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“Kalaignar” Karunanidhi Made Lasting Imprint On Tamil Cinema as a Film Script Writer

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Muttuvel Karunanidhi, known to the Tamil-speaking world as “Kalaignar” (artiste),passed away at the age of 94 in Chennai on 7 August. Karunanidhi had been Chief Minister of India’s Tamil Nadu state for a total of 19 years. Hewas Chief Minister of Tamil Nadufive times from 1969-71, 1971-76, 1989-91,1996-2001 and 2006-11. No other Tamil …

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The Sweet and Sour Real Life Romance of Reel Actors Savitri and Gemini

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj The recent release and box-office success of the Telugu biographical movie‘Mahanati’ (Great Actress) has created a great deal of interest inthe famous South Indian actress Savitri. The bio-pic simultaneously released in Tamil as ‘Nadigaiyar Thilagham’ (Doyenne of Actresses) is about yesteryear actress K.Savitri who was known as Savitri Ganesh after she married Tamil …

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♥’Kaatriniley Varum Geetham’-Melodiously Sung by M.S. Subbulakshmi in/as “Meera”♫

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj Favourite Film Songs – 8 Madurai Shanmugavadivu Subbulakshmi known as MS Subbulakshmi or more popularly as ‘MS’was a sublime singer who ruled the Indian classical music world for over five decades.Blessed with a divine voice,immeasurable talent and ethereal beauty she captivated the hearts and minds of innumerable fans. MS was acknowledged at …

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Dravidian Patriarch “Kalaignar” (Artiste) Karunanidhi and the Cinematic Politics of Tamil Naadu

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena reportedly sent two special representatives early this week to India with a letter to the ailing Dravidian Tamil political patriarch Muttuvel Karunanidhi wishing him a speedy recovery. Karunanidhi known widely as “Kalaignar”(artiste) has been leader of the Dravida Munnera Kazhagham (Dravidian Progressive Federation) since 1969 and served as …

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‘Kaanaa Inbam Kaninthathaeno’ – Splendid “Singing in the Rain” Song ♫

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Favourite Film Songs – 7 I love rain! One of the things I loved to do as a boy and even as a young adult was to get soaking wet in the rain. If it started raining while I was on my way home from school I simply got wet instead of …

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♥ “Singara Velanae Deva”- S.Janaki’s Superb Solo with Nadaswaram Accompaniment ♫

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj Favourite Film Songs – 6 Sishtla Sreeramamurthy Janaki popularly known as S. Janaki is widely praised as the “Nightingale of the South” .In a splendid career spanning over fifty years Janaki has sung over 20,000 songs for films made in 16 different languages.The Southern nightingale has won four national awards and 31 …

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Ketheeswaran (Ketheesh) Loganathan Championed Tamil Rights in a United Sri Lanka

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Death has become a mere word. The number of deaths is a simple statistic.Life is “nasty, short and brutish”. Even in such vile atmospheres where life and death are fast becoming meaningless a single man’s or woman’s death too cannot have any meaning. Yet there are people whose deaths diminish all of …

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“Neeyay Unakku Endrum Nigaraanavan” ~ Sparkling Song by TM Soundararajan ~ MS Raju ♫

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Favourite Film Songs – 5 “Neeyay Unakku endrum Nigaraanaavan” is a sparkling song from the old Tamil film “Baley Pandia” produced and directed by B.R.Panthulu in 1962.Sung by maestro TM Soundararajan(TMS) and “Konnakol”expert M.S.Raju(not to be confused with the Telugu film producer) the song was picturised in the film on actors Sivaji Ganesan …

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“Black July”: Thirty-fifth Anniversary of 1983 Anti-Tamil Pogrom.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj One of the darkest chapters in the sphere of Sri Lankan ethnic relations was the widespread anti-Tamil violence that occurred thirty – five years ago during the fourth week of July in 1983. Although the tragic history of post – independence Sri Lanka records that the Tamils of Sri Lanka were subjected to …

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“Dingiri Dingaaley Meenatchi, Dingiri Dingaaley”- Rocking “Baila”-Type Song ♫♥

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Favourite Film Songs -2 “ Dingiri Dingaale Meenatchi Dingiri Dingaale, Ulagam Poara Poakkaip Paaru Thangamay Chiillaaley” was a song that rocked Sri Lanka then known as Ceylon in 1958-59 and the years after. The rhapsodic song from a Tamil film “Anbu Engey?”was widely popular during my childhood days. It was released in Sri …

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✿ “Roja Malarae Rajakumari” ♛ ♥ ~ Popular Song by PB Sreenivas – P.Susheela Duo ♫

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Favourite Film Songs -4 “Ruritanian Romance” is a genre consisting of stories, novels, dramas and films set in a fictional country. Anthony Hope’s novel “Prisoner of Zenda” based in the imaginary state of Ruritania was the pioneering novel that spawned this popular genre. Literature, theatre and films of this genre are generally about …

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“Neela Vannak Kannaa Vaadaa” – Uplifting Lullaby Sung By Balasaraswathi Devi ♥ ♫

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj Favourite Film Songs -1 This article is the first in an on going series about film songs I have come to love over the years.Watching Tamil movies on screen and listening to Tamil film songs over radio was an integral part of life for me as a child growing up in Colombo. The …

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Sanjeewa Pushpakumara’s “Davena Vihagun” (Burning Birds) is an Authentically Realistic Film

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Filmmaker Sanjeewa Pushpakumara is a bright star in the cinematic firmament of Sri Lanka. His second feature film ‘Davena Vihagun’ (Burning Birds) is currently being screened in Sri Lanka. The film completed in 2016 has been shown at several international film festivals over the past two years. Just like Pushpakumara’s first film ‘Igillenna …

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Seizure of “Tiger” Arsenal in Oddusuddaan Revives Fears of Another LTTE Revival Attempt

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The 21 km long Puthukkudiyiruppu – Oddusuddaan road progressing through the hinterland of North – Eastern Mullaitheevu district, links Puthukkudiyiruppu on the A- 35 Paranthan – Mullaitheevu highway and Oddusuddaan on the A -34 Mankulam – Mullaitheevu highway. It was along this road that a trusted deputy of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) …

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Great ‘Gamperaliya’: A Great Novel Made Into a Great Film By a Great Director

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj Cinematic journey of maestro Lester James Peries – Part 2 ‘Gamperaliya’ (Changes in the Village/Changement au Village) was the third feature film made by ace director Lester James Peries. It was released on 20 December 1963.The film was based on the famous novel of the same name written by the doyen of Sinhala …

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“Nadigaiyar Thilagam” Savitri: Biographical Movie About The Rise and Fall of a “Mahanati” (Great Actress)

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Filmstars often act in the roles of real persons in what are known as “Biopics” or biographical movies. Biopics are usually about illustrious and interesting historical figures. Actors and actresses enacting such roles get praised if their performances are brilliant enough to project those historical figures in a realistic manner on screen. While …

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Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s US Citizenship and Presidential Ambition

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka Atul Keshap will conclude his three year term in Colombo this August.He will be succeded by Alaina B. Teplitz the current US Ambassador to Nepal. Both Keshap and Teplitz were appointed envoys to Sri Lanka and Nepal respectively by former US president Barack Obama in March …

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“Rekava”: Cinematic Journey Of Maestro Lester James Peries – 1.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj “Rekava” (Line of Destiny) in 1956 Revolutionized Sinhala Cinema The doyen of Sri Lankan cinema, Lester James Peries, has breathed his last. It has been my firm opinion that the master movie maker was Sri Lanka’s greatest film director. When I began the ‘Spotlight’ column focusing on films, film personalities and film-related matters, …

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Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s Economic Vision and Political Mission

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj “Viyathmaga”(Erudite Path) is an organization that claims to be dedicated to the goal of “an Intellectually inspired Sri Lanka”. It is said to possess an elitist membership comprising top level professionals, academics and entrepreneurs of Sri Lanka. The Viyathmaga website describes the organization in the following manner -“The Professionals for a Better Future …

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TNA May Launch Non-Violent Protest Campaign Against Govt Soon

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The Coalition Government of President Maithripala Sirisena and Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe may soon be facing a political challenge from an unexpected quarter namely the Tamil National Alliance(TNA). The TNA regarded as the premier political configuration of the Sri Lankan Tamil people is becoming increasingly frustrated at what it perceives as the slow pace …

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P.B.Sreenivas-S.Janaki: Evergreen Film Songs Of An Endearing Singer Duo

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Tamil film music has been enriched over the years by the immense contribution of non-Tamil music composers and playback singers of South Indian origin. Some of the notable non-Tamil music composers are M.S. Viswanathan, S.M. Subbiah Nayudu, T.G. Lingappa, S. Dakshinamurthi, S. Rajeswara Rao, T. Chalapathy Rao, P. Adinarayana Rao, V. Kumar, R. …

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Sri Lanka’s Greatest Film Director Lester James Peries Was Creative Pioneer of Authentic Sinhala Cinema.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj It is with great sorrow that I write of the death of Sri Lanka’s greatest film director Lester James Peries! The doyen of Sinhala cinema who celebrated his 99th birthday on April 5th passed away at a private hospital in Colombo on Sunday April 29th 2018. The nonagenarian filmmaker had been ailing for …

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When The Jayewardene Govt Brought a No Confidence Motion Against Opposition Leader Amirthalingam

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Hell hath no fury as an opposition thwarted in its bid to pass a no confidence motion against a Prime Minister! Sri Lanka’s self -styled joint opposition led unofficially by Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa and officially by Colombo district parliamentarian Dinesh Gunawardena is still smarting from the defeat encountered while attempting to …

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How And Why The TNA Helped Defeat The No Confidence Motion Against Premier Wickremesinghe

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj In the seven decade long history of Independent Sri Lanka’s legislature there have been two no confidence motions and related debates that are unprecedented and unparalleled. The first was in 1981 when members of the then United National Party (UNP) Govt brought and passed a no confidence motion against the former leader of …

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Lester James Peries, The Legendary Pioneer Of Authentic Sri Lankan Cinema

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj (Lester James Peries the doyen of Sinhala cinema celebrated his 99th birthday on 5 April 2018. This article published on April 8th 2017 in the Spotlight Column of “Daily Financial Times” is Being re-posted here with a slight update to commemorate the master filmmaker’s birthday) IF I were to pose the question “Mirror, …

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Realising Ranil Has a Majority in Parliament, Maithripala In a Political “U” turn gets Fowzie to Announce that SLFP Would Abstain From Voting for No Confidence Motion but Lakshman Yapa and Dilan Refute It Saying Party will Vote for NCM

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj In a comical turn of events – not entirely unanticipated – the Sri Lanka freedom Party (SLFP) faction under the purported leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena did a complete political volte -face by deciding to abstain from voting in the no confidence motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on April 4th 2018. An …

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TNA Captures Jaffna, Point Pedro and Chavakachcheri By Defeating Tamil Congress in Skilful Political Operation

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Jaffna is the capital city of the predominantly Tamil speaking Northern province of Sri Lanka. It was at the time of independence from Britain, the second largest city in the Island, next only to Colombo. Jaffna gradually declined in the post-independence years dropping to fourth place at the 1981 census. Thereafter with the …

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Dharmasena Pathiraja The Master Movie Maker

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj (Well-known Sri Lankan Filmmaker Dharmasena Pathiraja born in 1943 would have celebrated his 75th Birthday on March 28th were he alive today. This article was fist published on Feb 10th 2018 following Pathi’s passing away on Jan 28th 2018.It is being re-posted here to denote Pathi’s 75th Birthday) Renowned Sri Lankan film maker …

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“Wanda Pethi”, “Digakalliya”and the Anti-Muslim Violence In Amparai Town

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj * About 200 Youths From “”Diga Kalliya” (Group of Diga)Unleashed Violence(Diga derived from Digamadulla) * Sinhala Hardliner Ex-MP Had Meetings With youths and Police officials in Amparai Before Violence * Mosque and Office, 3 Eateries,1 Grocery Store, 8 Vehicles Damaged in Night of Terror in Amparai Town * 35 Persons From Mob Identified;5 …

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Orchestrated Anti-Muslim Violence in Amparai Town and Kandy District

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as minister of Law and Order on February 25th 2018. It was a stop gap measure. The premier was only expected to be in charge of the portfolio for two weeks until a new minister was appointed. The fortnightly stint as a”caretaker” minister however has proved …

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Office of Missing Persons May Give a “Quantum of Solace” To Long Suffering Loved Ones

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj Let me begin on a very personal note. The first major emotional upheaval I underwent as a result of losing a very loved one was when I lost my maternal grandfather in December 1968.I was 14 years old at that time. I was inordinately fond of him and he of me, his eldest …

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⭐🌟📽️ “Political Star Wars” In Tamil Nadu: ‘Global Hero’ Kamal Haasan Forms Own Party After ‘Superstar’ Rajinikanth

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Srinivasan Kamal Haasan is one of India’s foremost film actors. Known popularly as Kamal, the talented and versatile thespian has not only excelled as an actor on screen, but has successfully engaged in other cinematic spheres too. The multi-faceted artiste is a film director,producer, screenplay – film script, writer, film song lyricist,poet,dancer, choreographer …

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How Mahinda Trapped Maithripala With The SLFP Party Leadership

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Pallewatte Gamaralalage Maithripala Yapa Sirisena is currently in the throes of an acute political crisis after the local government poll results. It was only some weeks ago that a pugnacious and cocky President Sirisena threatened to wield his “kaduwa”(sword) against members of his own govt and opposition as part of his self-declared crusade …

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Evergreen Memories of Actor-Politician Vijaya Kumaratunga

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Popular film actor- politician Vijaya Kumaratunga was shot dead in cold blood on February 16th 1988. He was standing near the front gate of his Kirulapone residence on Polhengoda road and talking to an acquaintance when the assailants on a two-wheeler struck. Vijaya was shot twice in the back and fell on the …

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When actress Jayalalithaa reigned as uncrowned Queen of Tamil cinema

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj (Former chief minister of Tamil Nadu Ms.Jayalalithaa Jayaram was born on February 24th 1948. The glamorous actress turned politician who passed away in 2016 would have turned seventy were she among the living now. This article originally written in 2016 is being re-posted here to denote “Amma”s 70th birth aniversary) The demise in …

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Seventy Years Of Independence and the Tamils of Sri Lanka

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj Three score and ten years have passed since Sri Lanka then known as Ceylon gained Independence from Britain on February 4th 1948. The Island nation has been under colonial bondage for a very long period. Portugese rule came first in 1505,followed by Dutch rule in 1658.Finally came British rule in 1796 that lasted …

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Reigning Queen of Hindi Filmdom Deepika Padukone Sparkles On Screen as “Rani Padmavati”

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj After days of protests, demonstrations, threats and violence against its release, India’s ace filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s classical magnum opus ‘Padmaavat’ hit the screens on 25 January. Despite the controversy and in spite of being banned in several populous states in North India,the film about the legendary “Rani”(Queen) Padmavati has clicked at the …

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♛ Singer A.E.Manoharan Was Crowned “Thamizh Poppisaich Chakkaravarthy” (Emperor of Tamil Pop Music) ♫

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj “Ithaya Oasai”(Sound of the Heart”) was a drama put on the boards by the students of St.John’s College,Jaffna in 1963/64. The play proved so popular that it was staged to members of the public in Jaffna,Kandy,Trincomalee,Batticaloa and Colombo. The chief actor in the play was a handsome curly-haired student in the then Higher …

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Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Sarath Fonseka and the Assassination Of Lasantha Wickrematunge

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his misguided astrological and numerological wisdom held the seventh presidential elections on January 8th 2015. When the date was announced most people yearning for a regime change in Sri Lanka noted the symbolic significance of January 8th in a different context. It was on January 8th 2009 that …

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Kandy-born Actor-Politico “MGR” Reigned Supreme in Tamil Nadu Cinema and Politics

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj There was a time when the magical initials MGR were a household name in the Tamil-speaking homes of countries with a substantial population of Tamils, including India and Sri Lanka. The initials referred to swashbuckling actor M.G. Ramachandran, who starred as an action hero in over 100 Tamil films. MGR, as he …

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Will Tamil Film Hero Rajinikanth Become Tamil Nadu Chief Minister?

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj In the May 2014 Indian General elections the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) led by Narendra Modi swept the poll in many states to form a government with a stable majority in New Delhi. However Tamil Nadu was one of the few Indian states to resist “Modimania” with the Jayalalithaa Jayaram led All India Anna …

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“Moovaenthar” Sivaji Ganesan, MG Ramachandran And Gemini Ganesan Were The Three Kings Of Tamil Cinema Heroes

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj ‘We Three Kings of Orient Are’ is a popular Christmas carol written and set to music by Rev. John Henry Hopkins Jnr in 1857. This is about the wise men mentioned in the Bible who came to Bethlehem with the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to pay homage to the newborn infant …

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Scintillating Sri Lankan Actress Jacqueline Fernandez Is Sparkling Jewel of Hindi Cinema

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj ‘Spotlight’ shines again after many weeks to focus on a luminous Sri Lankan star of Sri Lanka who has been illuminating the Hindi cinematic firmament for several years. A beauty queen turned film actress who possesses a flair for promoting culinary commerce as well as retaining a penchant for espousing social and humanitarian …

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Separate Tamil State Demand Abandoned By DMK After 16th Constitutional Amendment Bans Secessionism In India

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj “Thamizhan Illaathaa Naadumillai. Thamizhanukkendroru Naadumillai” (There is no country without Tamils. There is no country for the Tamils) is a saying in Tamil that vividly illustrates the angst felt by the more nationalist sections of Tamils about the lack of a country of their own – an Independent sovereign self-governing Tamil state! The …

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“Merry Christmas and Happy New Year To All” – Seasons Greetings From D.B.S.Jeyaraj

“Merry Christmas and Happy New Year To All” – Seasons Greetings From D.B.S.Jeyaraj “Christmas is you, when you decide to be born again each day, and let God into your soul. The Christmas pine is you, when you resist vigorous winds and difficulties of life. The Christmas decorations are you, when your virtues are colours …

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Five of my Favourite Christmas Carols – How they Originated and Became Widely Popular

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Merry Christmas and a Happy new Year Friends! It’s Christmas season again! An integral part of Christmas is the singing of Christmas carols in churches as well as at events celebrating Christmas. The Many Faces of Christmas – Shaped Wooden Puzzle from Sri Lanka ~ Photographed at an exhibit of over 900 …

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Former Health Minister Siva Obeyesekere the First Woman Recipient Of “Deshamanya” Award Passes Away In Colombo

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Sri Lanka’s first woman recipient of the “Deshamanya” award and former Health Minister Ms. Siva Obeyesekere passed away peacefully in Colombo on Saturday December 23rd 2017. The Former parliamentarian for Mirigama known popularly as Siva was 88 years of age. Sivagamie Verina Dassanaike who was born on May 7th 1929 studied at Ladies …

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DK-DMK Dravidian Movement Split in India and the Decline of Tamil Separatism

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj India gained freedom from Britain at midnight on August 15th 1947. At the time of Indian independence there was a separatist movement in South India spearheaded by the “Dravidar Kazhagham” (DK) or Dravidian association led by E.V.Ramaswamy Naicker popularly known as “Periyar”(Great Person). As stated in an earlier article the DK demand was …

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Muslim Congress Founder MHM Ashraff’s Only Son Aman Ashraff Speaks Out Against SLMC Leadership

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Aman Ahamed Ashraff is the only son of legendary Muslim Congress leader the late Mr. MHM Ashraff and Ms. Ferial Ashraff who was Sri Lanka’s first Muslim woman cabinet minister. In spite of this family background 36 year old Aman Ashraff who is the executive creative director of Ashraff Associates (pvt) Ltd has …

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Tamil Secessionism and the “Dravida Nadu” (Dravida State) Demand in India

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj Tamil secessionism in the island of Sri Lanka came to an effective end in May 2009 when the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE)Organization was militarily defeated by the Armed forces of the Government of Sri Lanka. Interestingly enough our big neighbour India which has a Tamil speaking population of over 60 million people …

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LTTE Oriented Event “Maaveerar Naal” (Great Heroes Day) On November 27th Is Not The Tamil National Day Of Mourning.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj November 27th 1989 was the day on which the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE)first observed its annual “Maaveerar Naal” or Great Heroes Day (GHD). Twenty –eight years have passed since then and the 28th anniversary of the event is today Nov 27th 2017. The event continues to be observed on a large scale …

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President-Prime Minister Relations Strained as Maithripala Wants Ranil to Step Down as PM Before Testifying At Treasury Bonds Presidential Inquiry Commission On November 20th.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The prevailing political relationship between President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has come under heavy strain lately due to the on going Presidential commission of Inquiry into the alleged Treasury Bonds Scam , it is learnt. According to informed sources close to the Coalition Government headed by President Sirisena and Premier …

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Southern Skylark Susheela is Uncrowned Empress Of Tamil Film Songs ♫♥

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj (This Article Written in November 2016 is Being Re-posted here to denote the Birthday of P. Susheela on November 13th) “Joyous, and clear, and fresh, thy music doth surpass… how could thy notes flow in such a crystal stream?” – Percy Bysshe Shelley, ‘Ode to a Skylark’ An indispensable feature of Indian …

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Geetha Kumarasinghe, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and the UPFA Galle District MP’s

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Popular Sinhala movie actress Geetha Kumarasinghe who was elected member of Parliament from Galle electoral district on the United Peoples Freedom Alliance(UPFA) ticket in August 2015 has been unseated as an MP by rulings of the Sri Lankan judiciary. According to relevant media reports a five judge bench of the Sri Lankan Supreme …

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Alleged Killing Of 18 Navy and 8 Army Prisoners By LTTE In Jan 2009

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj President Maithripala Sirisena held successive discussions with two Tamil delegations in Colombo on Thursday October 19th 2017. The meetings were about the issue of Tamils detained in various prisons under the Prevention of Terrorism Act(PTA) in general and the hunger strike undertaken by three detenues at the Anuradhapura jail in particular. The focus …

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

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj (This article appeared 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 1st Death Anniversary of maestro Amaradeva on 3 November 2017.) Renowned Sri Lankan vocalist, violinist and music composer W.D. Amaradeva passed …

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J.R. Jayewardene’s Executive Presidency May Not Be Abolished After All

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Reputed American Writer and Humourist Samuel Clemens known to the world as Mark Twain was in London in May 1897 on a lecture tour. A rumour began circulating in the USA that Mark Twain was gravely ill on the verge of death. Subsequently another rumour began spreading in the US of Mark Twain …

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Ananda Sarath Kumara Who Forced Lady Teacher To Kneel Down Before Him Publicly is Appointed SLFP Anamaduwa Organizer by Maithripala Sirisena.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj President Maithripala Sirisena who is also the leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party(SLFP) has embarked on a project of purging the party of organizers regarded as loyalists of former president and party leader Mahinda Rajapaksa. Maithripala has removed more than 50 electoral organizers and replaced them with persons who are supposedly loyal …

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Former TULF Mannar MP Soosaithasan Passes Away at the Age of 83 in Sri Lanka.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Former Tamil United Liberation Front(TULF) Member of Parliament for Mannar Mr. P. S. Soosaithasan has passed away after a brief period of illness on Friday October 13 th 2017 in Sri Lanka. He was 83 years old. Mr. Soosaithasan popularly known as Soosai hailed from Vangaalai in the Mannar district of Sri Lanka’s …

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Maithripala-Ranil Govt Likely To Lose Referendum On New Constitution

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The coalition Govt of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has – as one of its primary objectives – the political project of enacting and passing a new Constitution.This requires a two-thirds majority in Parliament and endorsement by the people in an Island -wide referendum. More importantly the Govt has been …

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“Aekiya Raajya – Orumiththa Naadu”: For An Undivided, Indivisible Sri Lanka.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The Constitutional Assembly Steering Committee chaired by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has laboured mightily and brought forth the Interim report of proposals for an envisaged new Constitution. It would be premature to prognosticate on the report’s potential future or delve deeply into its contents at this point of time. Nevertheless it must be …

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Sarath Fonseka vs Jagath Jayasuriya: Clash of Two Ex- Army Commanders

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The recent spat – if one may call it that – between two former commanders of the Sri Lankan army has caused quite a furore. Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka and Lieutenant-General Jagath Jayasuriya have engaged in a heated exchange over issues of both command and control responsibity as well as alleged war crimes. …

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M.H.M.Ashraff Was The Single Most Popular Mass Figure in Eastern Muslim Politics

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj September 16th 2017 is the seventeenth death anniversary of Mohammad Hussein Muhammad Ashraff, the uncrowned sultan of the Amparai district Muslims and legendary leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC). The pioneering president of the SLMC was Ahammed Lebbe of Kattankudi with whom Ashraff co-founded the party in September 1981. It was …

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ITAK Gets a Clean Chit as Supreme Court Rules Federalism is not Separatism

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The month of August saw a flurry of hectic political activity in Sri Lanka. The statement made by controversial minister Ravi Karunayake at the Presidential Commission of inquiry followed by his resignation, the move to postpone Provincial council polls by way of the 20th Constitutional amendment, the revolt within UNP ranks against the …

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Remembering Comrade Bala Tampoe the Legendary Trade Union Leader on his Third Death Anniversary

By D.B>S.Jeyaraj (Veteran Trade Union Leader Philips Balendra Tampoe passed away at the age of 92 on September 1st 2014.Comrade Bala Tampoe as he was generally known created Trade union history by being the general secretary of the Ceylon Mercantile Union for an unbroken period of sixty – six years.To denote the third death anniversary …

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How JR Was Coerced By New Delhi to Sign the Indo-Lanka Accord 30 Years Ago

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj Thirty years ago on this day (July 29th 1987) an accord was signed by the then Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and Junius Richard Jayawardene the then President of Sri Lanka in Colombo that had far reaching implications for both the tear drop island in the Indian ocean and its giant neighbour. The …

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Neelan Tiruchelvam the Foremost Intellectual of Contemporary Tamil Politics

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj (Dr.Neelan Tiruchelvam was assassinated by the Liberation Tigers of tamil eelam(LTTE)18 years ago on July 29th 1999. This article was originally written three years ago to commemorate the 70th birth anniversary of Dr. Tiruchelvam on January 31st 2014. It is being re-posted here without any changes to denote Neelan’s 18th death anniversary) January …

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“Govigama” Monopoly Of Presidents And Prime Ministers In Sri Lanka

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj 71 Year old Lawyer Ram Nath Kovind has been elected on Thursday July 20th 2017 as the 14th President of India! An excerpt from Indian English daily “The Hindu” stated as follows – “Ram Nath Kovind was on Thursday declared elected as India’s 14th President polling 65.6% of the vote defeating the …

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Anatomy of an Anti-Tamil Pogrom: Thirty-fourth Anniversary of “Black July” 1983.

(This article was posted in 2013 to denote the 30th anniversary of Black July 83 and is reproduced here again with minor changes in view of the 34th anniversary of the anti- Tamil pogrom) by D.B.S. Jeyaraj “Shops, Banks, Offices and Restaurants in the Capital’s crowded City Centre and Main Streets being burnt while the …

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Ex-LTTE Leader Ezhilan’s Wife Ananthy Sasitharan Becomes First Woman Northern Provincial Minister

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj 45 year old Ananthy Sasitharan made history when she was sworn in before Northern province governor Reginald Cooray in Jaffna as Northern provincial minister of women’s affairs, rehabilitation, social services, food supply and distribution and industries on June 29th 2017. Ananthy who will celebrate her birthday on September 10th has set a record …

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Unsolved Murder in Broad Daylight of Batticaloa Journalist Aiyathurai Nadesan

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj Jaffna District MP, Mathiaparanam Abraham Sumanthiran waxed eloquent during the course of the adjournment debate in Parliament on June 6th 2017. M. A. Sumanthiran who is also the official spokesperson of the Tamil National Alliance(TNA) and its premier constituent, the Ilankai Thamil Arasuk Katchi (ITAK) emphasised that they stood “for a country that …

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Vasantha Obeysekere, his House on Lauries Road and the Film “Dadayama”

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj Versatile Film Director and Script Writer Vasantha Obeysekere breathed his last on 8 April. Vasantha, born on 29 December 1937, was 79 years of age when he passed away peacefully in Colombo. In a creative career that spanned nearly five decades, Vasantha made 13 feature films and several documentaries. He won many accolades …

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“Operation Re-shuffle” Key Objective Was Removing Ravi Karunanayake as Finance Minister

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The Oxford English dictionary defines the word compromise as being “an agreement or settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions”. Sri Lanka witnesed a political compromise of sorts between President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe when the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and United National Party(UNP)leaders …

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Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Nocturnal Rendezvous With Narendra Modi

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj Vesak festivity in Sri Lanka acquired an international dimension this year with the Island nation hosting the United Nations International Vesak day. The icing on this Vesak event cake was the participation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as chief guest in the celebrations. Even though President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil …

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Nine Cabinet and One State Minister Sworn In By President Sirisena: Changed Portfolios for Mangala, SB, Ravi and Arjuna etc | Tilak Marapana Back in Cabinet; Mahinda Amaraweera – State Minister

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Nine Cabinet Ministers and one state minister were re-allocated fresh ministerial portfolios in the morning of Monday May 22nd what was the first major re-shuffle since the formation of the current coalition Government headed by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe took office in August 2015. President Sirisena himself was the …

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The White-Vanning Ordeal Of Journalist-Activist Poddala Jayantha

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Well-known Sri Lankan Journalist – activist Poddala Jayantha was in the news last week when he sent a letter to the Director-General of Information Dr. Ranga Kalansuriya who is also the Secretary to the Cabinet Sub Committee on granting measures of relief to media persons who were subjected to various types of harassment …

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Geetha, Gotabhaya And The Political Implications of Dual Citizenship

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Kumara Vidugalage Dona Geetha Samanmalee Kumarasingha popularly known as Geetha Kumarasinghe is in the eye of a politico-legal storm. The glamorous actress turned politician who was elected to Parliament in August 2015 from the Galle district on the United Peoples Freedom Alliance(UPFA) ticket has been unseated by an Appeal court ruling. According to …

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Rehabilitated Ex- LTTE Cadres to be Given Membership in ITAK the Chief Constituent Party of the TNA

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi(ITAK) known also as the Federal Party has resolved to formally induct into party folds former members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) who have undergone a process of rehabilitation. The path breaking party decision was taken unanimously at the ITAK central Committee sessions held in Batticaloa on …

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C.V.Wigneswaran Hurts Christian Sentiments By Comparing Jesus Christ With Swami Premananda

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Northern province chief minister Canagasabapathy Visuvalingam Wigneswaran who possesses a remarkable flair for getting embroiled in controversial issues is in the eye of a storm again. This time it is over some remarks made by him during the course of a media interview on April 14th 2017.Mr. Wigneswaran was interviewed by a Tamil …

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Former “Virakesari” Editor-in-Chief K. Sivapragasam Passes Away Peacefully in Virginia

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj It is with great sadness that I write for the first time on my Blog after the advent of the April traditional new year “Hevilambi”! My first post for the new year is the last post for the Editor who first recruited me as a journalist. Kandasamy Sivapragasam , Former Editor -in …

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Tamil Nationalist Politics and the Process of “Traitorization” in Sri Lanka

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Octogenarian leader of the opposition Rajavarothayam Sampanthan in a hard hitting Parliamentary speech made four weeks ago drew attention to the prevailing practice of persons being condemned as Traitors (Drohi/Thurogi) within the sphere of Sri Lankan Tamil Nationalist Politics. The Trincomalee district MP who is also the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentary group …

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The Crown Prince of Sri Lankan Politics who was Never Crowned as King

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj “Politics is a blood sport” was a famous saying by former Sri Lankan president Junius Richard Jayewardene. In the cut-throatish competitive world of Sri Lankan politics there have been many casualties who aspired to high office but failed to fulfil their ambition. Even people with powerful bloodlines in Sri Lanka’s dynastic political …

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Current Hostility Between Police and Intelligence Agencies is Weakening Effort to Combat Overseas LTTE.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Case No B 85/17 concerning the assassination attempt targeting Tamil National Alliance (TNA)Jaffna district MP Mathiaparanam Abraham Sumanthiran was taken up at the Kilinochchi courts before Kilinochchi district judge A. A. Anandarajah on February 27th 2017. Five former members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) were again produced in courts as the …

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Many Attempts By Diaspora Tigers To Foment Violence In Sri Lanka

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The ongoing investigation conducted by the Police Terrorism Investigation Department(TID) into the assassination plot targeting Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Jaffna district MP Mathiaparanam Abraham Sumanthiran has unearthed more details about the conspiracy hatched by “tigerish” elements in the Global Tamil Diaspora. Five former members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) now in …

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Upali Wijewardene: Sri Lanka’s Beloved Home-Grown Tycoon

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Upali Wijewardene known widely as Upali was arguably Sri Lanka’s first home-grown tycoon of the post – Independence years who captured the popular imagination of the people at large. The Island nation has produced several indigenous business magnates and industrialists of great repute but there was none quite like Upali Wijewardene. He interacted …

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Will Norway Hand Over Diaspora Tiger Leader “Nediyavan” to Sri Lanka?

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj “What was your first military operation”? was a question posed to Veluppillai Prabhakaran in a media interview many years ago. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) Leader replied ” Alfred Durayappah”. Prabhakaran was of course referring to the popular former mayor and ex-MP for Jaffna Alfred Thangarajah Durayappah who was gunned down within …

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Overseas LTTE Backed Plot To Assassinate TNA MP Sumanthiran in Jaffna Revealed

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj “Nallavan” (not his real name) is a Tamil youth living in a Northern village. He was a former member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) organization who had surrendered to the armed forces in May 2009. He was incarcerated for a period of time and released after undergoing a process of …

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68 Years of Independence, Nation Building and the Future of Tamils in Sri Lanka

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Sri Lanka will Celebrate its Sixty-eighth Anniversary of Independence from the United Kingdom this Thursday. The country then known as Ceylon obtained full freedom from the British on February 4th 1948.Independent Ceylon/Sri Lanka / has faced many challenges and problems in the past 68 years. We have had military coup attempts, communal …

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First Sinhala Talkie “Broken Promise” was Released 70 Years Ago on Jan 21 1947

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj History was made 70 years ago when the film ‘Kadawunu Poronduwa’ (Broken Promise) premiered at the Kingsley Theatre in Colombo on 21 January 1947. The Chief Guest was D.S. Senanayake, Minister of Agriculture and Lands under the State Council system of governance during the penultimate stages of British rule. Senanayake went on to …

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Magical “MGR” Charisma of Kandy- Born Actor-Politico M.G.Ramachandran.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj January 17th 2017 was declared a holiday in the southern Tamil Nadu state of India. This was to acknowledge and celebrate the birth centenary of Marudur Gopalan Ramachandran or MG Ramachandran who served as chief miister of Tamil Nadu for 10 years from 1977 to 1987. It is the political party he founded …

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Lester’s “Rekava” Was First Sinhala Film To Compete At The Cannes Film Festival

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Sinhala Cinema’s Line of Destiny Re-drawn By ‘Rekava’ 60 Years Ago – 2 “Rekava”(line of Destiny)directed by Lester James Peries premiered 60 years ago at the Regal theatre in Colombo on December 28th 1956. It was a path breaking venture in Sinhala cinema that notched many “firsts”. Among these was the singular honour …

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Sinhala Cinema’s Line of Destiny was Re-drawn By “Rekava” 60 Years Ago

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj December 28th 1956 remains a red letter day in the cinematic history of Sri Lanka formerly known as Ceylon. The maiden feature film of a 37 year old director called Lester James Peries premiered at the upmarket “Regal”theatre in Colombo on that day.It was a black and white Sinhala film named “Rekava”. Though …

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Action Hero Gamini Fonseka Was The First Super Star Of Sinhala Cinema

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj “Spotlight” beams this week on Gamini Fonseka the first super star of Sinhala cinema. I had begun preparing this article many months ago to mark the 80th birth anniversary of Sembuge Gamini Shelton Fonseka who was born on March 21st 1936. My old schoolmate and journalistic colleague Prasad Gunewardene had been extremely keen …

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LTTE Political Adviser Anton Balasingham Knew The world was Going to Clobber the Tigers

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Ten years ago in the third week of November 2006 I received a telephone call from London.It was from Anton Stanislaus Balasingham the political adviser and strategist of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) Organization. I was surprised as we were not on speaking terms for nearly three years due to sharp political …

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“Mahinda and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa are the Closest we Have to Fidel and Raul Castro”

An Interview with Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka by D.B.S.Jeyaraj Dayan Jayatilleka needs no introduction. He is one of the most prolific writers and powerful commentators on current political affairs in contemporary Sri Lanka. The ex-diplomat’s stylishly forceful writings reflecting his present political stance evokes mixed reactions among readers. Some rave about them while others rant against them.Dayan’s …

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“Great Heroes Day” (Maaveerar Naal) is a LTTE Event and not a Tamil National Day of Mourning.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj November 27th 1989 was the day on which the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE)first observed its annual “Maaveerar Naal” or Great Heroes Day (GHD). Twenty –seven years have passed since then and the 27th anniversary of the event is today Nov 27th 2016. The event continues to be observed on a large scale …

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Murder Most Foul of Moderate Tamil MP Raviraj Ten Years Ago in Colombo

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Former Tamil National Alliance(TNA) Jaffna District Parliamentarian and Lawyer Nadarajah Raviraj and his Police bodyguard Sgt.Lakshman Lokuwella were gunned down on a Colombo street in broad daylight ten years ago. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Investigation report on Sri Lanka (OISL) presented at the 30th session of the UN Human …

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