DBSJeyaraj.com on Facebook

Beginning to blog after thirty two years of journalism

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I want to begin my first post on this weblog with greetings for the new year in my mother tongue-Thamizh.

“Vanakkam! Puthaandu Vaalthukkal!!

Let’s hope the advent of 2009 will see a bright future emerge for us all.

As for me the dawning of the new year heralds an exciting new venture.

After considerable thought I have launched my own blog under my own name.

My by-line will be the name of the blog with of course the mandatory “dot.com”

So friends , you have to click on www.dbsjeyaraj.com

Hopefully the new year will see me blogging away as much as possible.

A friend somewhat unfamiliar with the word asked me “What is a blog”?

Well , this word is derived from “weblog” which itself is a conflation of two words “web” and “log”.

A weblog is a kind of an internet log book. It’s a collection of writing posted publicly on the world wide web . Gradually weblog got popularised and shortened as blog.

Persons posting blogs are bloggers and the art of doing so is blogging.

My writing has been appearing on the web for many years now. I’ve also been associated with some websites like www.tamilweek.com, www.transcurrents.com and www.federalidea.com for the past few years.

In that sense I do have been on line for quite a while. Yet, there’s a reason for this blog.

Upon reflection I find that most of the stuff posted on these websites were actually not intended for the web. Most if not all were written for newspapers, newsmagazines and journals.

These articles and news stories were posted concurrently on the websites. So these were not really “blogs” meant for the web but actually re-productions from the print media.

Now I want to write specifically for the web instead of posting print media articles.

2006_09_24 (Blogged)

[A news stand in Minuwangoda, pic by: Dennis S. Hurd, New Westminster, BC, Canada]

Blogging requires a different approach in writing.

Many of those who read me on line are under the impression that I am writing exclusively for those websites. That’s not correct.

Except for a few pieces most of those articles were for publication and not posting.

I will of course continue to write for the print media. The DBS Jeyaraj column for example will continue to appear on Saturdays in the “Daily Mirror” of Colombo.

The fact that newspapers in Sri Lanka are publishing what I write on Sri Lankan affairs from Canada is indeed gratifying and self-satisfying.

Receiving mail from readers in all parts of the world is a happy but humbling experience.

What I intend doing now is to branch out a bit and write specifically for the web on my own blog.

April 2009 would mark the 32nd year of my entry into mainstream journalism. It was on April 9th 1977 that I joined the Colombo Tamil daily “Virakesari”.

Despite many up’s and down’s and facing many difficulties I’ve managed to stay on course.

I’ve been detained at the notorious fourth floor by the CID in Colombo over my interviewing former LTTE deputy-leader “Mahattaya”.

I’ve been produced in courts by the Police in Colombo and barred from leaving Sri Lanka for my alleged pro-Tamil writing.

I was fired as Colombo correspondent by the Chennai-based “The Hindu” for exposing the atrocities of the Indian Army in Jaffna.

When running an independent Tamil weekly in Canada, pro-LTTE goons assaulted me in the presence of my wife and broke my head and leg.

Later my paper published in Toronto had to close down as the tigers in Toronto Intimidated newspaper vendors and advertisers.

Media rights organizations had to issue a public appeal when I was subjected to death threats on a gigantic scale by tiger and pro-tiger elements.

Even now I continue to get hate mail, anonymous telephone calls of a threatening nature . I also get vilified in sections of the media on either side of the ethnic divide.

Why I persist with writing and journalism despite many opportunities to lead a safer, comfortable lifestyle by switching professions is simply because I LOVE TO WRITE.

There is also the commitment as a Tamil of Sri Lankan origin to do what I can to help resolve the conflict by promoting better understanding and awareness through providing accurate, reliable information.

There is also this inherent characteristic of fighting for the underdog and speaking truth to power.

But fundamentally I continue to write because I LOVE TO WRITE No force can stop me from writing as long as I am alive.

After decades of writing for the print media I feel it’s time to plunge into web journalism, using perhaps all the advantages of the internet.

When I started www.transcurrents.com , only my articles were posted on it. Later its scope was widened to include interesting and informative pieces written by others also.

Until very recently the postings were not regular.

Still , the website has proved to be quite successful with over a million visitors and over 1. 6 million hits or pageviews for this year.

So I guess that this blog too would get quite a lot of hits. I do hope that happens.

This blog would be one where I post my thoughts and views on different subjects It would not focus on politics and current affairs much.

This does not mean that I would not write on such topics. I will.

But my main focus would be on other subjects and themes.

Sometimes I feel that I’ve short-changed myself by focusing on politics greatly. Nowadays politics disgusts and depresses me.

As a person I have a lot of diverse interests. I’m passionate about films and some film personalities.

I also read books, magazines. Avidly!

I am also interested in things like music, dance, drama, sports, foreign affairs,Human rights,wildlife, history, literature, nature, architecture, archaeology, travel, places of interest etc.

So my blog would reflect these wide-ranging interests in the days to come .

People, places, events, ideas etc would be a recurring agenda in the blogs.

Nostalgia for the past will be a dominant theme as I am rather sentimental.

So I think there would be a variety of posts as time goes by. Eclectic!

The underlying thread in all these would be my thoughts, impressions and experiences. MY TAKE on these matters

The good thing about blogging is that there are no restrictive rules on form and content. You can write what you want and in any way you like.

However the blogs are expected to be comparatively short, varied and topical. Brevity, multiplicity and immediacy are the three watchwords.

Another integral part of a blogging is reader comments.There will be a comments section. But bitter experience necessitates some monitoring. That’s the sad part of the blogosphere.

I will welcome your comments but you do not have to post for the sake of posting or confront me or each other.

There will be many readers who will definitely have more knowledge about or fresh insights into the subject matter of the respective blogs.

Please share your knowledge and perspectives. Let’s make it informative and interesting.

The idea is to have an amiable conversation not an indecent confrontation.

I think I’ve said enough for now.

Blogging is an evolving art. A blog is a creation information.

So let’s progress together in the coming days and learn from each other.

My heartfelt gratitude to my loyal readers.

I invite you all to embark on a new blogging journey along with me.

Thank You

With Best Wishes

David Buell Sabapathy Jeyaraj

Email: dbsjeyaraj@yahoo.com

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  1. Well done and congratulations on your new effort.
    If and when Sri Lanka sees unity and peace,
    hopefully, to be followed by prosperity to all Lankans,
    the role you played and the platform you provided
    for the catholicity of views and expressions what I would term as a “peace discourse” – will doubtlessly engage popular acceptance and recognition.

    Happy New year.

  2. I hope you inspire other journalists to blog, or at the very least, open their minds to the potential of new media to strengthen independent journalism.

    All the best,

    Sanjana Hattotuwa
    Editor, Groundviews

  3. Hi DBS,

    Our best wishes on your new venture.My blessings and my support for you is always there.I hope and prey with your blessing and with the almighty GODS BLESSINGS peace will come in 2009 and all the sufferings of our people irrespective of race and religion in SRILANKA will come to an end and we would be able to breath the air of peace soon.

    I am positive your venture will be a successful one.

    Uncle, Aunty, Rukshi and Yogan

  4. Happy New Year DBSJ.

    Congratulations on this new venture and this is long over due.
    You will have the strong support of all the good hearts for the rest of your life. But the majority of the humans realize the value of life only very lately and therefore you might have to face some difficulties. The road you travelled was full of landmines and you have survived. It will not be difficult for you to finish the journey you started. At the end, you will be rewarded for the efforts you took for the prevalance of rule of law in Sri Lanka.

  5. “Vanakkam! Puthaandu Vaalthukkal!!

    “I understand that dbsjeyaraj.com for anyone, is always something special and for your own, celebrating this year can always be regarded as a milestone. when the country was witnessing turbulent times, I admire the very forthright views expressed by your paper, especially at a time when the media freedom was in the special focus.

    I trust you will continue this trend in the coming year too. More strength to your elbow for your fearless exposures of events in this country! I wish to congratulate you and all your correspondents and wish them only the very best,”

  6. hello D.B.S

    good luck.universal citizens think alike.hopefully your writings will make others think correctly.


  7. I am not sure if you remember our meeting in Canada.

    You are a compelling journalist enormously detailed with your facts. I do rate you between the two eminent journalists among Tamils I had read during these years.

    I will always remember the account of tragic murder of Pararajasingham a very lovable man and the Killing of the students in Trincomalee.

    Please accept the best of wishes for the New Year. I have no doubt the web log will be a successful, and controversial. That is your job and I will look forward to reading your columns. I am saddened to hear of the injuries you sustained and the humiliating way you were treated in front of your wife.

    I share with you the traditions of crimson and gold and can see the free spirit it has always encouraged.

    Good luck and best of wishes

  8. Congratulations. I find most people of the media, unfortunately, publish only those views that compliment them. my appeal to you is to accommodate the other side of the coin as well.

  9. Vanakkam DBS!!

    Vettikumel Vetti Vanthu Seraddum Unkalukku!! This is the climax!! Long awaited!!! Now you will be able to reach millions of readers and supporters around the globe instantaneously by using this modern media of Internet. We are anxiously looking g forward for your news, views and creations.

  10. Dear DBS,

    I am not someone who always agree with everything you say, yet that does not stop me from congratulating you on this new innovative effort to make use of your excellent potential as a journalist. Your skill is an inborn gift, which, those who are lacking in it – most ambitious journalists, just for the sake of it – can only envy.

    You made the right decision; journalism is evolving exponentially and blogging has added entire new dimension to it, while giving the fans to make an input in terms of comments.

    Good luck with everything that goes with it!

  11. Vanakkam! Puthaandu Valthukkal!!

    Congratulations on your new venture.

    Anna, I have no art to reveal my heart when I came to know about your own weblog. There is no doubt you are certainly going to create a vast, sea change in electronic media as a blog written by a man of your calibre will definitely be a spermatozoa of social change, especially for Tamils diaspora, if not for others.

    Anna, you are one of the very few journalists who adamantly adheres to the very ethic code “Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist’s credibility”. That’s why you are where you are now.

    I still recall once you went on saying during a confabulation that “Luxmy and Saraswathy don’t dwell in same abode”. On the contrary, I see both of them dwell together in all the so-called tamil journalists’ houses in Canada, except your house, and I am saddened to note that this mere fact always reminds me of you.

    But my wife who is one of your loyal reader once said to me that the reason for Luxmy not living in your house is because Luxmy, like your loyal readers, expects you to report in the most objective and unbiased way to serve the public good. May The Almighty Bless You, anna!

    Anna, the paramount truth is that there is no match with your practice of journalism, the gathering and dissemination of information about current events, trends, issues and people while also striving for non-bias viewpoint in parallel.

    As far as I am concerned, I’ve known you for the past 16 – 17 good years. Anna, am I correct? As you, I also strongly believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. Your very duty, as a well-respected journalist, has been to further those ends by seeking truth (even though, too much truth is uncouth) and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues.

    Anna, your venture will be a successful one.

    Good luck and best wishes!

  12. Yo Jey, what up? I for one am not really impressed by your writing, but I do admire your guts. I always wonder why journalists get beaten up and still continue writing, but I suppose nothing like a beating to prove your point – truth hurts. Though I was surprised by your claim, I can fully sympathize with your feeling that politics disgust you these days. Truth has become a joke, both sides of any war projecting their own versions of the facts.

    Good luck on your new venture.


  13. Good Luck with your new venture. I look forward to reading your blogs on all the various subjects you mentioned. Your service to the Sri Lankan diaspora and beyond is invaluable.

    Yaavarukkum en Puthaandu Vaalthukkal!!!

  14. Dear Mr Jeyaraj,

    As a regular reader of your column I wish you all the best in your new endeavor. I have enjoyed and been educated by your unbiased and informative articles. And have no doubt you would continue to do so with your writings.

    My heartfelt wishes and God’s blessings to you and your family for 2009.


  15. Congratulations on your new Endeavour. Wish you all the best. I always look forward to your well-written columns in online or printed media.

    I am saddened to hear what happen to you in Canada, but I also lost hope for Tamil Journalist in Sri Lanka. What happen to Nirmalarajan (BBC), Sivaram and others in the hands Sri Lankan Government agents is un-forgivable. Just look what is happening to Mr. Tissanayagam.

    Only humble request I have for you is please refrain from ridiculing LTTE. I understand they have their share of roguishness and a small number of Tamil Diaspora appeared to be miss-guided. However, LTTE is the only hope for us.

  16. Ayubowan DBS,

    On behalf of all readers who appreciate you captivating style and unbiased analysis I wish you all the best !

    Your writing has enlightened me personally, and given a different perspective.

    Keep on writing

  17. You are a well competent journalist, it is no doubt. Whether people agrees or not they like to read your columns because of your way of writing.

    Hope you will do your utmost through this site to resolve the conflict in Sri Lanka.

  18. Puthaandu Vaalthukkal !!!

    Congratulations on your new endeavor. We admire you for the objectivity and the accuracy of your articles. And for the fact that you had to suffer a lot in order to bring the truth to us commands our respect.

    You could easily take a side as hundreds of other journalists and make life easier. Instead you chose the difficult path. Thanks and keep it that way !!!

  19. Well Done Sir!


  20. Dear Annoi, weldone and congratulaitions on your new effort. Welcome to blogger’s world! I hope that the readers find the new media-blogging is amazing.

    Happy Blogging 🙂

  21. Wish you Happy New Year and good luck on your new venture.

    I’m happy so much about this. I like your unbias style.

    Keep on your way further in 2009

    wish you all the best again……….


  22. I use few websites to gather information (defence.lk, tamilnet, southasiaanalysis etc) but your news is “The News”. Probably I like the expansions by incorporating minor details.
    For a liberal and intelligent Sri Lanka – The Unknown Man

  23. Dear Mr Jeyaraj,

    I applaud you on your foray into blogging. I have long read you analyses of the Sri Lankan situation and found them to be accurate and prescient. Most importantly I admire the fact that you do not inject your ego into these pieces. I consider you the best and most unbiased military analyst of the Sri Lankan conflict. I look forward to reading more of you thoughts.

    Keep up the good work sir!

    Ajit Alles

  24. Hello DBS!

    I have been a reqular reader of your column more than 25 years, since your start in Island , Hindu and now in TamilWeek.

    You have the very rare and extraordinary style in writing in English which brings many of us our long cherished “Manvaasanai” and nostalgic feelings while reading some of your articles.

    Your very detailed backgrounds input and unbiased analysis is very educative and impressive.

    I understand your frustration and anger in writing again and again the same topic !

    But that is the reality! Soon you will see the dawn!!

    Carry on your cherised profession like a Karma Yogi
    according to your own self -consciousness!

    Remember the Golden Rule!

    You can not satisfy everyone at a time!
    You can not satisfy a singleone all the time!
    So! You satisfy yourself all the time consciously!

    Keep on batting!!

    Your continued courageous service will be appreciated by your own countrymen who are not emotinally blind and /or racially biased!!!

    Best wishes in your new endeavour!

  25. A Happy New to you and yours DBS.

    I will continue to enjoy your work.

    Kudos to you for embracing the free media as you move forward.


  26. Congratulation DBS,

    I have been following your writing last 3 years only. But I adore the way you are writing.

    I hope in future you would concentrate on writing to bring those who oppose to your view to your side.

    Example: If you suggest something to LTTE, they will think this guy belongs to some other movement. They never analyze what the content is. Ethiriyaiyum Nanpanaka theriyathu This is why they are behind in the war.

    Is it possible you to write in Tamil?

    Good Luck


  27. Hey Jey,

    Great analogy between world war 1 ,2 and what’s going on in Nortthern Srilanka, Mr. Prabakaran’s personallity has contributed to what’s going on now and he has failed to establish any kind of relationship with indian leadership or other tamil leaders within lanka that he can count on when times are tough. No question Prabakaran fought a tough fight but the 22,000 LTTE Cadres gave up their life deserve much more tangeble trophy. A Settlement.

  28. Hi DBS
    Well done ,this might be good wake up call to our community ,the courage,and determination,and your apporach change the views,and time and time again we suffered a lot ,mostly every single one of us had the effect one way or other.where are we leading to the future children, how far can we run and run,

    You as a devoted journalist can make a good society even when I m wishing you,i also would like to wish your family behind you to give your full support.GOD BLESS YOU!

  29. Dear Jeyaraj,
    I read all the comments made by all your well wishers and it seems that everybody likes you. I am hoping that you can use this place to build a bridge among Sinhalese and Tamils. We can live together in peace in one country and we all can develop it. We are already way behind the rest of the world and we will have lot to catch up.
    Please urge all parties to trust Sinhalese and its govenment one last time to prove how much we care about our tamil brothers and sisters. Please reject LTTE and its terrorism UNTIL they lay down their arms.

    Best of luck to you and your column!!!


  30. As a regular reader of your columns which appeared both in ‘The Nation’ and ‘The Sunday Leader’ and now the ‘Daily Mirror’, it is with great honor that I wish you all the very best in blogging.
    As a reader mentioned above I too resorted to visiting several different websites for the current situation in Sri Lanka.But from now onwards you are going to be my main source of news.

    Good luck Sir!

  31. Dear DBSJ,

    I enjoy your writing style, if I remember right you did contribute to the Saturday Review of years gone by.
    Wish you all the best.


  32. Hello Mr Jeyraj, I am fascinated by your unbiased reporting. Never been beyond Rambewa where we have some property, so more than eager to know the geography of the area in the news. My interest in nostalgia, wild and bird life, tourism based on nature and history and more importantly prevailing remoteness in the Island led me to admire what you had written.Wish you could recall more often, those great days of the sixties and seventies when all of us were just one of the same kind! You think there is some hope for us, all of us who are spread around the world passing many a miserable winter to get together here in this land like no other, once again? Hopefully, we’ll live to see it! S.N.

  33. Vanakkam DBS,
    Congrats to you on opening your long awaited online blogg venture. You are the man with an unmatching pen power.
    Keep writing to educate the masses.
    All my best wishes.

  34. I enjoy reading your articles, and you bring a special perspective indispensable to understand our times.

  35. Dear Mr, DBS Jeyaraj,
    Your are a true hero in the field of journilism and I wish all the success and happiness.

  36. It is people like you who should come back to Sri Lanka and take your rightful place among your community. Rational thinking is the key to a lasting peace in our beloved motherland.

    Alas it may be a long time before this is recognised !

  37. Wish you tons of good luck. I admire you for sticking to your profession in the face of such adversity!

  38. As a Indian Tamil from TN, I am very sorry for the difficulties that SL Tamils have suffered. It is now I believe universally acknowledged that their misery was due both to Sinhala chauvenism and the LTTE. I wonder if MR. Jeyaraj and others would agree that SL Tamils would have been much better off if instead of opposing the IPKF, the LTTE had cooperated with them. I do realize that India has made mistakes as well (like foolishly arming the militants) not to mention our moronic politicians (like Vaiko)

    If you had read my articles you would not be asking me this…………..DBSJ

  39. hi! as i m happy to see you have got your own blog,hope with your vast experience and facts and as “TAMILAN” we will started to see you contibuteing towards our freedom struggle in a positive manor not the old way of hate and un -produtive towards our struggle.

    and we will be very happy to see you with unmistakble facts and experience to write some dedicated opinion post permanantly posted with many people participating rugulerly.

    thanks and “GOOD LUCK”

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