Fascinating Features of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Early Life.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Mahendra Percy Rajapaksa known to the world as Mahinda Rajapaksa has been sworn in as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka for the fourth time at a grand ceremony held within the precincts of the Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara. The Kelaniya Buddhist temple is venerated by Sri Lankan Buddhists who believe Lord Buddha visited …

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TNA Suffers Electoral Setback In North and East Polls.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The long awaited 2020 Parliamentary Elections has concluded with a 71% Voter turnout despite the difficulties imposed by the COVID -19 Pandemic threat. Appropriate health procedures were followed by the authorities with enthusiastic cooperation of the people. Voter feedback is generally positive about the efficient manner in which the polls were conducted. The …

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The Indo -Lanka Accord and the Sri Lankan Tamils

By D.B.S.JEYARAJ Today (29 July) is the 33rd third anniversary of the Indo-Lanka Accord. It was on 29 July 1987 that former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and then Sri Lankan President Junius Richard Jayewardene signed in Colombo the agreement between India and Sri Lanka known as the Indo-Lanka Accord along with two letters described …

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Poetry For Reflection On Sri Lanka’s Election Day

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Sri Lanka or Ceylon as it was known earlier has faced many challenges and problems since Independence from Britain in 1948. We have had military coup attempts, communal riots, pogroms, armed revolts, external military intervention, assassinations of heads of State, terrorist violence and above all a long secessionist war that threatened to tear …

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Tamils Desiring a Silk “Verti” May Lose Even Their Cotton “Verti”.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The Rajapalsa regime is all out to get a two-thirds majority in Parliament through the forthcoming elections on August 5. The avowed objective of such a steam -roller majority is to promulgate a new Constitution or enact Constitutional amendments unilaterally. According to Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna(SLPP) ideologue Prof. Gamini Lakshman Peiris a strong …

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July 1983: Two Northern Attacks and One Island-wide Anti-Tamil Pogrom

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The fourth week of July revives bad memories among most Tamils who lived in Sri Lanka during the month of July in 1983. It was in that week in July that large-scale violence was let loose upon Tamils living in various parts of Sri Lanka including Colombo and suburbs. The week long spree …

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Jeevan Thondaman, Ceylon Workers Congress and The Tamils of Nuwara- Eliya District

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The hills of Nuwara – Eliya are vibrantly alive with the hectic sounds of Parliamentary electioneering! Nuwara – Eliya district with its picturesque landscape and salubrious climate elects eight members in the 225 member Parliament of Sri Lanka. 577,717 registered voters in the district are eligible to cast their ballots at the forthcoming …

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How Sirimavo Bandaranaike Became The World’s First Woman Prime Minister 60 Years Ago.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Sri Lanka known as Ceylon made history 60 years ago when Sirimavo Bandaranaike was sworn in as the world’s first woman prime minister on 21 July 1960. The first paragraph of a news report in the prestigious British newspaper ‘Guardian’ dated 22 July 1960 stated as follows: “Mrs. Sirima Bandaranaike, Leader of the …

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Sumanthiran’s Unconventional Reaction To Sarvanapavan’s Newspapers Targeting Him

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj It was the morning of Saturday 4 July. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) had organised a meeting to discuss the forthcoming Parliamentary Elections at the ‘Ilankalainger Mandapam’ (Young Artistes Hall) in Nallur, Jaffna. The meeting was for all TNA past and present members of local authorities as well as Parliamentary Election candidates in …

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Comrade Shan and the Tamil Militant Armed Struggle; A Birth Centenary Tribute To Nagalingam Sanmugathasan

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The China of today is vastly different to the China that I knew of in my younger days. Thinking about the China of those times evokes memories of many things like the cultural revolution, red guards, the great leap forward, the red book of Chairman Mao’s thoughts and above all Mao Zedong himself …

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How Ex- LTTE Commander “Col”Karuna Was Deported To Sri Lanka in 2008 After Being Arrested, Detained and Convicted in Britain

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj‘ With Parliamentary Elections being scheduled for 5 August, most political parties and independent groups contesting the polls have commenced their respective campaigns in a big way. The hopelessly-divided chief Opposition, seemingly bereft of valid issues to raise, has eagerly seized upon the ‘Karuna Amman admission of Elephant Pass killings’ to target the SLPP …

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How “Col” Karuna’s Eastern Tiger Revolt Was Crushed By LTTE Chief Prabhakaran

by D.B.S.JEYARAJ Vinayagamoorthy Muraleetharan alias “Karuna Amman” a.k.a. “Col” Karuna has got himself into hot water by shooting his mouth off at an election meeting in the East. The former Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) commander for the Batticaloa and Amparai districts who defected from the tigers after revolting against former LTTE supremo Veluppillai Prabhakaran …

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Karuna Ammaan’s Boast of Killing 2000-3000 Soldiers in One Night at Elephant Pass.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Vinayagamoorthi Muraleetharan alias “Karuna Amman” a.k.a. “Col” Karuna is currently very much in the news. The former Eastern Regional Leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who broke away from the LTTE in 2004 and collaborated with the Sri Lankan armed forces in combatting the Veluppillai Prabhakaran-led Tigers appears to be …

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Gotabaya a Standalone President Acting Extra-Constitutionally Without a Parliament

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj JR Jayewardene and Gotabaya Rajapaksa:A tale of Two Executive Presidents – Part Three The entry of Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa into the presidential race in 2019 brought about a paradigm shift in the mode and manner of contesting elections by major political party fielded presidential candidates. In the past all candidates who fancied themselves …

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Premadasa Impeachment Move Showed That a President Facing a Hostile Parliament was Vulnerable.

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj JR Jayewardene and Gotabaya Rajapaksa: A Tale Of Two Executive Presidents -Part Two Junius Richard Jayewardene’s reign as Executive President which began in 1978 came to an end in 1988. Even at the tail-end of his tenure, the grandmaster of political chess did toy with the idea of contesting for a third term …

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JR Jayewardene and Gotabaya Rajapaksa: A Tale Of Two Executive Presidents

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa who was sworn in as Executive President on 18 November 2019 has been in office for six months now. He has been compelled to cope – and continues to cope – with several challenges during his brief but eventful tenure. However, it is not my intention to evaluate Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s …

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The Plot Within the TNA Targeting Party Spokesman Sumanthiran

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Mathiaparanan Abraham Sumanthiran was in the eye of a raging political storm some weeks ago due to a YouTube interview given by the 56-year-old President’s Counsel cum politician to the “Truth with Chamuditha” show. A few of the questions and answers in Sinhala were picked up by a Tamil TV – reportedly aligned …

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When Arumugan Thondaman Clashed With Mahinda Rajapaksa.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) leader and Cabinet minister of Livestock and Rural Community Development, Savumiamoorthy Arumugan Ramanathan Thondaman died of a cardiac arrest on Tuesday May 26th 2020. The 55 year old political leader known as Arumugan and Thonda would have celebrated his 56th birthday on May 29th but fate decreed otherwise. Arumugan …

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The “Traitorisation” Tragedy Of Tamil Nationalist Politics.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj‘ ‘Traitorisation,’ the monster created over the years by Tamil nationalist politics, is running amok again. The current target is former Jaffna District Parliamentarian and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) spokesperson Mathiaparanan Abraham Sumanthiran. The lawyer-politician is being attacked as a ‘Tamil traitor’ for some of the comments he reportedly made in a Sinhala language …

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Tale of a Tiger: Facets of LTTE Supremo Veluppillai Prabhakaran’s Life.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran was killed 11 years ago in combat with the armed forces of Sri Lanka on 19 May 2009. The longest war in South Asia came to an end after the military debacle of the LTTE on the shores of Nandikadal Lagoon in the …

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Was The Tamil National Alliance Formed By The “Tigers” In 2001?

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is the premier political configuration representing the Sri Lankan Tamils of Northern and Eastern Sri Lanka. The booming question that has been looming large on the Tamil political horizon during the past week or more is whether the TNA was created by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) …

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TNA Spokesperson Sumanthiran In The Eye Of a Political Storm

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Former Jaffna District Parliamentarian and Spokesperson of the Tamil National Alliance(TNA) and Ilankai Thamil Arasuk Katchi(ITAK), Mathiaparanan Abraham Sumanthiran is currently in the eye of a political storm. The you tube interview given by the 56 year old Presidents counsel cum politician to the “Truth With Chamuditha” show conducted by senior journalist Chamuditha …

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TNA Scores Politically By Responding To PM Mahinda’s Invitation Positively

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj When Seven major opposition parties made an offer of responsible cooperation in return for restoration of Parliament to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa they were rudely rebuffed. When his brother Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa invited all former MP’s of the dissolved Parliament for a political conference, he was rebuffed (but not rudely) by all opposition …

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Will President Gotabaya Rajapaksa be More Flexible Due to Mounting Legal Challenges and Relent or Continue to Remain Rigidly Intransigent?

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj June 20th 2020 is the D-day for Sri Lankan Parliamentary Elections. The Election Commission has fixed June 20 as the new date for the postponed election of April 25. However a question mark looms large over the holding of polls on the said date as scheduled. At least eight fundamental rights petitions have …

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Responsible Cooperation In Return For Restoration of Parliament: Opposition Parties Seek Responsive Cooperation From President

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj ‘Responsive cooperation’ was at one time a popular phrase in the political lexicon of Ceylon as Sri Lanka was known in the past. It came into vogue through G.G. Ponnambalam, the mercurial leader of the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC), founded in 1944. The G.G. Ponnambalam-led Tamil Congress demanded a political system based …

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Politics of Postponing Parliamentary Elections Amidst a Pandemic

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The world including Sri Lanka is undergoing a pandemic crisis of colossal proportions. The Island nation however is in double jeopardy as it is in the grip of two crises siumultaneously. One of course is the Covid-19 Health crisis inflicted globally by nature. The other experienced by Sri Lanka is the Constitutional crisis …

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Gota’s 71st Birthday is New Election Day! Can Sri Lanka Emulate South Korea on June 20?

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj June 20th 2020 is the new D-day for Sri Lanka’s postponed parliamentary elections. The three – member election commission that met in Colombo on April 20 has decided that fresh elections to the now dissolved parliament could be held on June 20. A notification to this effect has been duly gazetted. The parliamentary …

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Covid-19 Pandemic’s Impact On Sri Lanka And Potential Implications: An Informative Conversation With TNA Spokesperson MA Sumanthiran

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj * People MUST Go Out as well as Stay at Home!Not just Stay at home only. * No election can be held while exercising ‘Social Distancing’. Electioneering is the very anti-thesis of social distancing. * An election held before the virus is completely eradicated, will only heighten the risk of a fresh outbreak. …

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Coronavirus Pandemic, Postponed Elections and the Tamil National Alliance

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The deadline for the 2020 Parliamentary elections nominations scheduled for April 25 ended at Noon on Thursday March 19th. Two hours later Sri Lanka’s Chief Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya announced that elections would be indefinitely postponed due to the spread of the dreaded COVID-19 Virus Pandemic in the Island. Mahinda Deshapriya explained to …

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From the Depths of Despair to Heady Heights of Happiness: Uphill Struggle of Popular Singer Jothipala

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Sinhala cinema’s super star Gamini Fonseka once described H.R. Jothipala as a playback singer “who sang to joy, emotion and grief, the three essential areas in film songs”. In an excerpted interview published in these columns a fortnight ago, Gamini stated forthrightly: “Of all singers, H.R. Jothipala is exclusive. He has come to …

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HR Jothipala Like TM Soundararajan Modulated His Singing To Suit The Actors he Sang For On Screen

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj “Poruthukeesi Karaya, Ratawal Allanna Sooraya,” the lilting Baila song from ‘Sandesaya’ was the first Sinhala film song that I became immensely fond of as a little boy. I did not see the film ‘Sandesaya’ when it was first released in 1960 but I memorised the words by listening to the song and sang …

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Sajith’s Father Ranasinghe Premadasa’s “Citizens Front” Revolt Against UNP Leader Dudley Senanayake

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj “Gedara Hitiya Rosa Kekula Rosa, Rosa” was the opening line of a lilting Baila song in Sinhala that was hugely popular in the seventies of the last century. The toe-tapping number which became known as the “Rosa ,Rosa” song was from the film “Lasanda” released in 1974.”Lasanda” was based on a story written …

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How and Why Twelve LTTE Suspects Were Arrested and Released in Malaysia

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj In October last year, twelve Malaysian Nationals of Tamil origin were arrested by the Malaysian Police over suspected links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and alleged involvement in terrorist activity. The head of Malaysian Police Special Branch Counter-Terrorism division Deputy Commissioner Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay went to town with claims …

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Korean Film Maker Bong Joon-Ho’s “Parasite” Makes Oscar History 🇰🇷🎬🌏

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Cinematic history was made on 9 February at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles where the 92nd awards ceremony of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) was held. For the first time in its ‘nonagenarian’ lifetime, the Academy award known as Oscar was presented to a non-English film in the …

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Was Recent US Action Against Army Chief Shavendra Silva Due to Sri Lanka’s Problematic Chinese “Connection”?

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj “May you live in interesting times.” is a saying that is believed to be an ancient Chinese curse. Many writers and speakers often use this expression or phrase and attribute Chinese origins to it. In spite of the widely held belief about Chinese links, recent studies by Etymologist scholars and linguistic researchers have …

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Vijaya Kumaratunga: Charismatic Actor-Politician May Have Changed Nation’s Destiny

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj The political landscape of Sri Lanka seems gloomy and desolate. Most of the actors who strut about the political stage posing as visionaries and leaders are in actuality empty vessels devoid of substance. Proverbial wisdom tells us that empty vessels make most sound. This is most apparent in the cacophony of voices currently …

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Tamils Want To Sing The National Anthem In Their Mother Tongue

by D,B.S.JEYARAJ Singing The National Anthem In Tamil Trilogy – 3 This is my third and final column in this trilogy of articles about the singing of Sri Lanka’s national anthem in the Sinhala and Tamil languages. I would have very much liked to write about hot topics like Ranjan Ramanayake’s recordings or President Gotabaya’s …

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The Past Under Mahinda Is Resurfacing In The Present Under Gotabaya

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Singing The National Anthem In Tamil Trilogy – 2 2020 has dawned!Greetings for the new year to all “Daily Mirror” readers. My article in these columns last week about moves being contemplated to forbid the singing of Sri Lanka’s national anthem in Tamil at the 70th independence day event, seems to have been …

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Singing The National Anthem in The Sinhala and Tamil Languages

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Singing The National Anthem In Tamil Trilogy – 1 The news story appearing in the “Daily Mirror”last week was like a bolt out of the blue. It said that the national anthem would be sung in the Sinhala language only at the forthcoming celebratory event of Sri Lanka or Ceylon gaining full independence …

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

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj (Popular Tamil Nadu Film Actor cum Political Leader M.G.Ramachandran known as “MGR” was born in Kandy on January 17th 1917.. This article written earlier for the “Spotlight” Column of “Daily Financial Times” is reproduced here to denote MGR’s 103rd Birth anniversary) There was a time when the magical initials MGR were a …

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Dawn of Ceylon Independence and Birth of the Tamil Federal Party

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj December 18th 1949 was a Red letter day in the political history of Sri Lankan Tamils known as “Ilangaith Thamizhar” in their mother tongue. On that day a group of sixty Tamils including two parliamentarians and two Senators launched a new political party with the avowed goal of establishing an autonomous state for …

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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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The Switzerland Connection in LTTE Fund Raising Activity

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Recent events have focused the media spotlight on the Federal Republic of Switzerland known officially as the Swiss Confederation. The landlocked European nation is respected highly on a global scale due to its policy of armed neutrality. Despite the impeccable credentials of Switzerland, the country is being viewed negatively by influential sections of …

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Positives and Negatives of The “New” Rajapaksa Regime Under President Gotabaya

by D.B.S.JEYARAJ President Gotabaya Spearheads the Return of Ruhunu Rajapaksas – Part Two The election of Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the seventh executive president of Sri Lanka has effectively demonstrated that the “Ruhunu Rajapaksas” have come to stay as a dynastic political force in the country. As stated last week in the first of this …

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Sajith’s Sanitary Pad Pledge and the Popular Hindi Film “Pad Man”

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The titles of two popular films figured prominently in the English language mainstream and social media during the course of Sri Lanka’s 2019 Presidential Election campaign. One was the English science fiction film ‘Terminator’ made in the USA while the other was the Hindi semi-biographical film ‘Pad Man’ made in India. Both film …

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

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj (This Article written three years ago is re-posted here without any changes to denote the death anniversary of Anton Stanislaus Balasingham) 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 …

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President Gotabaya Spearheads the Return of Ruhunu Rajapaksas

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The 2019 Presidential election is over and Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been elected as the seventh executive president of Sri Lanka with a thumping majority. The result seems to have upset the calculations and predictions of many a commentator and analyst writing in English both in Sri Lanka and abroad. It has indeed …

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Early Bird Gotabaya is Front Runner in Presidential Race But Late Entrant Sajith Is Catching Up Fast

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj “Gotaphobia”: Who’s Afraid of Nandasena Gotabhaya Rajapaksa? – Part Two This writer devoted several hours in the past fortnight to communicate with a cross section of Sinhala media personnel in the Southern, Central, Sabaragamuwa, North Western and North Central provinces of Sri Lanka. A few journalist colleagues in Colombo helped to put me …

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“Gotaphobia”: Who’s Afraid of Nandasena Gotabhaya Rajapaksa?

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj “Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf, The big bad wolf, the big bad wolf, Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? Tra la la la la la la la” – Song Written by Frank Churchill for the 1933 Walt Disney Animated Film “Three Little Pigs” “Onna Babo Billo Enawaa” was a familiar …

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Rivalry and Rapprochement Between Ranil and Sajith: What Did Happen?

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The political spectacle “Ekwa Idiriyata”(Forward Together) that unfolded on October 10th at Galle face green has elevated the morale of the green party to ecstatic heights. A mammoth crowd – estimated by some of being in the range of six digits – gathered on the shores of the Indian ocean to see, hear …

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How Many Tamil Votes Can EPDP chief Douglas Devananda Canvass for Gotabaya Rajapaksa At Presidential Poll?

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Ever since the name of Gotabaya Rajapaksa began to be bandied about as a potential candidate at the Sri Lankan presidential elections, doubts have been raised as to whether the former defence ministry secretary could win at the hustings. This skepticism has intensified in recent times after former president Mahinda Rajapaksa formally announced …

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Will Sajith Premadasa Split From The UNP And Contest Presidential Poll Separately Or Remain in the Party Even if Denied Candidacy?

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj There is political excitement in the air in anticipation of Presidential elections before the end of the year. Even though no dates have been specified there is much speculation about prospective candidates and their prospects. Among those being spoken of as a potential presidential election contender is Hambantota District Parliamentarian and Cabinet Minister …

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Will Ranasinghe and Sajith Premadasa Be The First Father-Son Duo To be Presidents of Sri Lanka?

By D.B.S.JEYARAJ The eighth Sri Lankan presidential election is expected to be held on or before December 7th this year. Though dates have not been announced yet, many names are being bandied about as potential candidates. Among such names is Hambantota district parliamentarian and cabinet Minister of Housing and Construction and Cultural Affairs Sajith Premadasa …

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Preeminent Hindi Filmstar Amitabh Bachchan Gets Prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award For Contribution To Indian Cinema

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Legendary Hindi film actor Amitabh Bachchan will be the latest recipient of India’s celebrated Dadasaheb Phalke Award this year. The annual award honours a distinguished person in the field of cinema for his or her “outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian cinema” each year. India’s Minister of Information and Broadcasting …

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Buddharakkitha And Somarama Theras: Role Of Two Buddhist Monks In The Assassination Of Prime Minister S.W.R.D.Bandaranaike

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj Sixty years ago on September 25th 1959 Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike (SWRDB) the prime minister of Sri Lanka known as Ceylon then was shot and seriously wounded by a Buddhist monk named Ven.Talduwe Somarama Thero. Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike succumbed to his injuries the following day.The fourth Prime minister of Independent Ceylon/Sri …

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THE PRIME MINISTER IS DEAD ! : How and Why SWRD Bandaranaike Was Assassinated Sixty Years Ago

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj “The Prime Minister is Dead” was the striking headline in extra – large, bold letters of a special edition published by the now defunct “Times of Ceylon” on the morning of Saturday, September 26th 1959. Though I was only a little kid at that time and sixty years have passed since, I still …

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Sunil Ariyaratne Brings W.A. Silva’s Epic Novel “Vijayaba Kollaya” To Screen As a Spectacular 3-D Film.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj When Professor Sunil Ariyaratne was studying for the General Certificate of Education (GCE) Ordinary Level in 1963 at St. John’s College, Nugegoda, one of his favourite textbooks was W.A. Silva’s novel ‘Vijayaba Kollaya’. Fifty-six years later in 2019, the eminent academic-writer-lyricist-director has made a film out of the novel he relished reading as …

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Singer – Actress Doris Day’s Evergreen Signature Song “Que Sera Sera” (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj When I was just a little kid enrolled at the Santa Maria Montessori school in Wattala, a song we sang without knowing its meaning then was ‘Que Sera Sera’; when I was a boy studying at S. Thomas’ Preparatory School in Kollupitiya, a song we were taught the meaning of and sang loudly …

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From Housewife in “Tintagel” To “Prime Minister At “Temple Trees”: Contours of Sirimavo Bandaranaike’s Political Journey

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj Germany’s defence minister Ursula von der Leyen has been elected president of the European Union (EU) Commission following a secret ballot among Members of the European Parliament. She is the first woman to be elected as President of the EU commission and will replace current President Jean-Claude Juncker on November 1st this year. …

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How The LTTE Assassinated Senior Tamil Leader Amirthalingam In Colombo Thirty Years Ago….

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The cruelly tragic killing of five Tamil Students by suspected members of the Security forces thirteen years ago in Trincomalee town was re-visited in these columns last week. This week’s column seeks to revive memories about a murder most foul perpetrated by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) in Colombo city exactly thirty …

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Horrible Killing of Five Tamil Students In Trincomalee Town Thirteen Years Ago

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Five Tamil Students were killed near the beach in Trincomalee town thirteen years ago on January 2nd 2006. Two other students also suffered injuries but survived. The names and the dates of birth of the five victims were: (i) Manoharan Ragihar- 22.09.1985, (ii) Yogarajah Hemachchandra – 04.03.1985, (iii) Logitharajah Rohan – 07.04.1985(iv) Thangathurai …

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The Singling Out of Rishad Bathiudeen as a Political Target

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The orchestrated political campaign by the Mahinda Rajapaksa -led opposition in association with sections of the Buddhist clergy and mainstream media against three prominent Muslim politicians has ostensibly succeeded. The stated aim of the campaign was to secure the dismissal, resignation and/or arrest of two Provincial Governors and a Cabinet Minister. Eastern province …

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Buddhist Monk’s “Fast Unto Death” Led To Mass Resignation Of Muslim Ministers

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The first few days of this month saw Sri Lanka once again hurtling towards another orgy of anti -Muslim violence. The Buddhist monk Ven. Athureliya Rathana Thero who is also a member of Parliament was on a “fast unto death” in the vicinity of the Kandy “Dalada Maligawa”(Temple of Tooth) hallowed by Buddhists …

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Anti-Terrorist Action Must Not Become a Witch Hunt Against Sri Lankan Muslims

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Mohammed Zahran the founder – leader of the National Thawheed Jamath and suspected ring leader of the Islamic State (IS) inspired attacks on Easter Sunday has been officially reported dead by the Sri Lankan Police. According to an official communique issued by the Sri Lankan Police , Mohammed Cassim Mohommed Zahran was one …

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Anti-Muslim Violence in Negombo: What Really Happened on Sunday May 5th and the Commendable Response of Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Negombo, called Meegamuwa in Sinhala and Neerkozhumbu in Tamil, is a multi-ethnic coastal town 31 km to the north of Colombo. The ethnic breakdown in Negombo is roughly 75% Sinhalese, 14% Muslim and 9% Tamil people. The population is mainly Christian, comprising Catholics (65.3 %) and Protestants (3.35%). With numerous Catholic cathedrals, churches, …

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Ex -Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa Relinquishes His US Citizenship With Effect From April 17th to Overcome 19th Constitutional Amendment Deterrent and be Eligible to Contest Forthcoming Presidential Elections as the SLPP Candidate

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Gotabaya Nandasena Rajapaksa has ceased to be a naturalized citizen of the United States of America (USA) according to well -informed sources . The Retired Army Colonel and Former Defence and Urban Development Secretary has formally relinquished his US citizenship and has lost his Dual citizen status in Sri Lanka it is learnt …

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Zahran’s Family Members Dead in Sainthamarudhu Skirmish Between Security Forces and Islamic State Terrorists

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Sri Lanka’s security forces have engaged in many battles and armed confrontations during the long war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).The military defeat of the LTTE in May 2009 brought an end to the conflict. Thereafter for ten years the country has been experiencing peace and relative tranquility. The armed …

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Nation of Tawheed Jamath’s Deadly Leader Zahran Hashim Alias “Abu Ubaida”

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Easter Sunday is celebrated by Christians both Catholic and Protestant as the day on which the crucified Jesus Christ rose from the dead.It is a joyful day on which Christians sing jubilantly – Death, where is your sting?Grave, where is your victory?He’s alive, He’s alive, He is risen! In a cruel twist of …

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Palm Sunday Mob Attack on “Aadara Sevana” Methodist Centre in Anuradhapura and Its Aftermath

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The “Aadara Sevana” (Abode of Love) in Anuradhapura is a social service cum prayer centre run by the Methodist Church in Sri Lanka. It is located a few km away from Anuradhapura town at a place called Kundichchaankulama in Sinhala and Kundichchaankulam in Tamil. The relatively unknown Methodist Centre in the North Central …

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Rekava, Gamperaliya and Nidhanaya: Cinematic Triple Gems Of Lester James Peries

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj Lester James Peries is regarded by many including this writer as Sri Lanka’s greatest film director. The birth centenary of the master film maker born on April 5th 1919 will be commemorated this week. Lester as he was generally known passed away last year just 24 days after his ninety-ninth birthday .His first …

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Rajapaksas Close Ranks Behind Gotabaya as Presidential Candidate

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Is Mahinda Playing Fair by Gota in the Presidential Candidacy Issue? Was the heading of an article by this writer that was published a fortnight ago in the “Daily Mirror”. Let me begin this week’s article by excerpting five relevant paragraphs from the D.B.S. Jeyaraj column of March 9th 2019. Here are the …

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M.N. Nambiar: Birth Centenary of Tamil Cinema’s Greatest Screen Villain

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Thursday 7 March 2019 was the birth centenary of Indian film actor Manjeri Narayanan Nambiar known to the world at large as M.N. Nambiar. The great Thespian who made a name for himself by acting in negative roles was hailed by many as the greatest screen villain of Tamil cinema. In a stage …

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Is Mahinda Playing Fair By Gotabhaya In The Presidential Candidacy Issue?

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Is former President Mahinda Rajapaksa Playing fair by his younger brother Gotabhaya Rajapaksa as far as the Presidential Election candidate issue is concerned? This question has popped up in the minds of many observers of Sri Lanka’s political scene in recent times. Although the Rajapaksa brothers present an outward image of monolithic unity, …

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Mahinda Takes Decision With Rajapaksa Family’s Approval To Nominate Brother Gotabaya as Sri Lanka Podujana Party Candidate For 2019 Presidential Elections: Gota Commences Renunciation of US Citizenship Process.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Former Defence and Urban Development Ministry Secretary and Retired Colonel of the Sri Lankan Army Gotabaya Nandasena Rajapaksa generally Known as Gota is likely to be nominated as the official candidate of the Sri Lanka Podujana Party(SLPP) at the forthcoming 2019 Presidential elections. After a prolonged period of indecision and speculation, the decision …

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The Politics of Demonizing Federalism and Depicting It as Separatism

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The year was 1985. Junius Richard Jayawardene was the Sri Lankan President while Rajiv Gandhi was Prime minister of India. The New Delhi facilitated talks between an official Sri Lankan Govt delegation and six entities representing the Sri Lankan Tamils were going on in the Bhutanese capital of Thimphu during the months of …

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“The Man Who Would Be King”: Remembering Anura Bandaranaike On His 70th Birth Anniversary

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj ‘The Man Who Would Be King’ is the title of a long tale written by Rudyard Kipling in 1888. This very popular story was made into a successful film starring Sean Connery, Michael Caine and Christopher Plummer by the well-known director John Huston in 1975. The objective of this article however is not …

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Marie Colvin: Courageous Journalist Who Lost an Eye in Sri Lanka and Her Life In Syria.

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj Journalists in the line of duty are required to write about different people from all walks of life but it is very rarely that they write about themselves or fellow journalists. It is accepted as part of a scribe’s lot in life. As far as the fourth estate is concerned it goes with …

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SWRD Bandaranaike Was Lanka’s Pioneering Proponent Of Federalism

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The Constitution reform or Constitution making process appears to be at a standstill. Apart from the Tamil National Alliance(TNA) all other political parties represented in the Constitutional Assembly do not seem keen on taking the process forward at this juncture. The chief reason for this lethargy seems to be real and imaginary concerns …

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Neelan Tiruchelvam’s Absence Felt In The Making Of a New Constitution

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Sri Lanka approaching her seventy-first anniversary of gaining freedom from the United Kingdom is presently in the midst of an interesting politico-legal phase. The Island nation is engaged in formulating a new Constitution. The country from the time of Independence has had three Constitutions so far. The current exercise if successful would result …

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Seventy Years Of Independence and the Tamils of Sri Lanka

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj (This article published to denote the 70th anniversary of Ceylon/Sri Lanka’s independence from British rule is being re-posted without any changes to mark the 71st Independence day on Geb 4th 2019) Three score and ten years have passed since Sri Lanka then known as Ceylon gained Independence from Britain on February 4th 1948. …

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Why Mahinda Is Reluctant To Endorse Maithripala As Presidential Election Candidate For 2019 Polls

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The greatest political surprise or upset in Sri Lankan politics last year was the political re-alignment of President Maithripala Sirisena and Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. In a bizarre political twist Maithripala joined forces with his ex-leader to launch an unconstitutional and undemocratic attempt to remove Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and replace him with …

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Remembering Lasantha Wickrematunge On The Tenth Anniversary Of His Assassination

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj ‘Spotlight’ shines for the first time in the new year. Although devoted in principle to films, film personalities and film-related matters, the column will deviate in practice this week to focus on a renowned Sri Lankan newspaper Editor whose contribution to his country and people as a Watchdog of the Nation has been …

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Mahinda Rajapaksa May Be Down But He Is Certainly Not Out Yet.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s attempt to seize power through the backdoor with the support of President Maithripala Sirisena has been roundly defeated by a courageous display of united resistance by concerned citizens in combination with decisive votes in the legislature and unanimous rulings by the Judiciary. After clinging on stubbornly from October 26th …

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Rightfully Restored Premier Ranil Likely To Hold Early Parliamentary Elections

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The seven-week-long curse which blighted this beautiful and bountiful land from 26 October onwards ended over the mid-December weekend. On Saturday 15 December former President and Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa terminated his illegitimate tenure as purported Prime Minister by signing a letter of resignation at his residence amidst a gathering of acolytes, …

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Mahinda’s Hurried Backdoor Power Grab and the Gotabhaya Factor

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Former President and current Kurunegala district MP Mahinda Rajapaksa was interviewed regarding the present political situation by Kelum Bandara of the “Daily Mirror” last week. One of the questions posed to Mahinda in the interview was – “There is perception among some that you took over the Government entering through the backdoor despite …

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From Molamure to Jayasuriya: “Honourable” Speakers of Sri Lanka

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The Parliamentary proceedings of Sri Lanka known formerly as Ceylon have been the focus of my interest from a fairly early age. It began when I was in the Upper-fourth D class (Grade seven) at St. Thomas’ College Mt.Lavinia in 1966. Our English teacher Mrs. Fernando advised us at the beginning of the …

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Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s Heroic Defiance of Maithripala and Mahinda

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj “The Speaker represents the House. He/she represents the dignity of the House, the freedom of the House and because the House represents the nation, in a particular way, the Speaker becomes a symbol of nation’s freedom and liberty. Therefore that should be an honoured position, a free position and should be occupied always …

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Machiavellian Manipulation by Maithripala To Replace Ranil With Mahinda 👑

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj “Machiavelli is the only political thinker whose name has come into common use for designating a kind of politics, which exists and will continue to exist independently of his influence, a politics guided exclusively by considerations of expediency, which uses all means, fair or foul, iron or poison, for achieving its ends – …

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The No Holds Barred Game Of “Grabbing” Sri Lankan Members of Parliament 💰

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The continuing political crisis in Sri Lanka has resulted in a great numbers game being played now. The aim of the game is to gain majority support among members of Parliament. Both Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as well as the purported Prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa who was appointed amidst controversial circumstances by President …

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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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How Sampanthan Made Wigneswaran The TNA Northern Chief Minister Candidate In 2013

BY D.B.S.JEYARAJ “Blow, blow, thou winter wind, Thou art not so unkind, As man’s ingratitude” – William Shakespeare ~ “As You Like It” It’s official now! Canagasabapathy Visuvalingam Wigneswaran has announced the launch of a new political formation known as the “Thamizh Makkal Koottani” meaning Tamil Peoples Alliance(TPA). The retired Supreme court Judge who was …

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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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M.H.M. Ashraff Was The Single Most Popular Mass Figure In Eastern Muslim Politics: Seventieth Birth Anniversary Commemoration.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj October 23rd is the 70th Birth anniversary of legendary Muslim Congress leader M.H.M. Ashraff. The dynamic lawyer – politician hailing from Eastern Sri Lanka would have completed the Biblical life span of three score years and ten if he were among the living today. Alas! This was not to be as Ashraff passed …

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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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