A House in Jaffna for the Sri Lanka Archive of Contemporary Art, Architecture and Design

by Smriti Daniel Vimila Velthas lays out lunch on the table in the courtyard. She has prepared a traditional Jaffna meal – yam, coloured orange with the heat of chillies and cooked till creamy, a spicy fish and eggplant curry served with fat grains of red rice. Velthas presses her guests to eat more and …

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19 Reasons as to why I Would Rather be From Sri Lanka Than Anywhere Else

By Kasturi Saikia “Old Ceylon” is lovely, chilled out and surreal beyond explanation. One small patch of land, nicknamed as the ‘teardrop of India’ perhaps has the sweetest people on earth and its landscapes diversified from hilly terrains to sandy beaches. Why would we prefer living anywhere else when we are blessed to be from …

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D.B.S. Jeyaraj’s Journey Home: Journalist in Exile Visits Sri Lanka for the First Time in 25 Years

Marianne David Interviews DBS Jeyaraj for DailyFT Pix by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai Introduction Forced into exile 25 years ago and compelled to stay away in order to stay alive, journalist D.B.S. Jeyaraj always dreamt of returning to Sri Lanka. That flame of hope flickered occasionally, as the war dragged on and then escalated despite intermittent ceasefires, …

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North American Tamil Sangam’s Honour Actress Trisha Krishnan – at 27th Annual Convention – for her Outstanding Contribution to Tamil Cinema

A Pictorial Roundup of the cultural events via facebook.com/fetnaconvention pic via: twitter.com/trishtrashers 27th Annual Convention of the Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America (FeTNA), The umbrella organization of Tamil organizations within the North American Continent was held on July 4th and 5th at Chaifetz Arena, located on the campus of Saint Louis University, in …

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A Stroll in Time Through Jaffna City Main Street

Text and Pix by-Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai Jaffna’s Main Street begins at a curvy corner at the entry point to the peninsula. and gets connected to the Jaffna town through the long and winding A9 Highway. Here is a street that had faced enormous challenges and witnessed causalities. Lives have been lost on this road and its …

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Navaneetham Pillay Expresses Solidarity in Colombo Event with Affected Families on International Day of Disappearances

Text and Pix Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai International Day of the Disappeared is commemorated annually on the 30th of August. Visiting United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navaneetham Pillay attended a special event held to mark the International Day of the Disappeared, and addressed the families of the disappeared. Woman member of the disappeared cry uncontrollably …

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Reawakening of Maavittapuram in Valigaamam North of Jaffna

Text and Pix Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai The Sangam period poetess said “Koyil Illa Ooril Kudiyirukka Vendaam” (Don’t live in a place, where there is no temple). Maavittapuram is a holy village, and famous Kanthaswamy temple is situated in 30 acre red soil in Vali North Pradesha Sabha of Jaffna District. Hindu devotees walk past a destroyed …

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“Our Village” (Ape Gama)-Unique Exhibition Combining Art Making and Cultural Mapping

Text and Pix by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai “Our village” (Ape Gama) is an art exhibition that presents the creative results of three community based art projects that Theertha carried out in Horapawita, Maradana and Gampaha since 2009. This was a project that thought of art as activism. In this project, the Theertha artists worked with school …

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Fr. Thani Nayagam Birth Centenary: “All humanity is my fraternity”

by K. Thirukumaran The Birth Centenary celebrations of Fr. Xavier Stanislaus Thani Nayagam have been held at the Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America convention (FeTNA) venue from July 5-6th at the Sony Centre in Toronto. An exhibition of publications, photographs and mementos of Rev. Thani Nayagam was held open both days and a …

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US Diplomat “Connects the Dots” in Sri Lanka Through an Eye of a Camera

Text and Pix by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai Chris Elms, the young Press and Information Officer attached to the US Embassy in Colombo had been doing more than his diplomatic job in Colombo. Captured in Yala He has been busy learning about the country he made his temporary home for two years, and busied himself with capturing …

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Violence Against Women is Violence Against Humanity

Text and Pix by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai Women’s Action for Social Justice (WASJ) recently organized a panel discussion on the theme Violence Against Women is ‘Violence Against Humanity,’ which was held at the Public Library auditorium. Signature campaign seeks public attention and participation Over 10,000 signatures, which have been gathered against Violence Against Women, from 10 …

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Anguish of Uncertainty Felt by Family Members of “Missing” LTTE Surrendees

Text and pix by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai Mothers, wives and sisters of several LTTE surrendees are demanding that they be reunited with their family members, four years after the war. Ananthy Sasitharan, wife of Sinnaththurai Sasitharan alias Ezhilan War came to an end in May 2009, but that did not put an end to the suffering …

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Life Begins Anew for Keppapulavu Displaced People Relocated At Seeniyamottai

Text and pix by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai A board placed roadside announced,: “Keppapulavu Model Village”. Houses here are those who belonged to the final batch of returnees from Menik Farm, onetime the world’s largest facility for the Internally Displaced Pesrons (IDPs). Young returnees In September last year, public and media were denied access to this site.

Kaarainagar Fishermen Suffer Rapacious Exploitation at Hands of Tamil Nadu Poachers

Text and pix by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai The Indian Ocean like other seas is bountiful and its resources benefit many. But for the Sri Lankan and Indian fishermen, fishing in the deep blue waters of the Palk Strait, from time to time, it also amounts to fishing in troubled waters. While both countries handle the issue …

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‘Parai’: Keeping Alive the Tamil Leather Drum Tradition Despite War and Displacement

Story and pix by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai Heavy leather drums Parai is an ancient percussion instrument that was played at temple festivals and funerals. In the bygone era, it was used as a tool for making public announcements during special occasions. The artistes from Kanakaraayankulam in Vavuniya North and Mulliyawalai in Mullaithivu District have preserved this …

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Two Jaffna Sisters Playing the ‘Nathaswaram’ and ‘Thavil’ in Male Dominated Music Sphere

Text and Pix Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai Passionate traditional musical siblings of the peninsula “Mangala Isai” is a traditional music group that performs at Hindu temples during festivals, Hindu weddings, and at puberty ceremonies. This particular group has two women who play “Naathaswaram” and “Thavil” generally played only by male musicians.

In Reverence of Goddess Amman: ‘Katpulaththu Manonmany Ambaal’ Temple at Nanthaavil

Text and Pix by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai Temple worship is an integral part of Hinduism. Illustrative of this “Kopuram” or the tower over the main entrance of the temple is splendidly covered with sculpted images of Hindu Gods and Goddesses, and celestial beings. The tower is meant to be visible from afar, so that devotees can …

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Women in Families of “Disappeared” Take on New Role as Sole Breadwinners

Text and Pix Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapatipillai Women in the North and East were pushed to bear a double burden, after the men in the families were killed by the war, disappeared, surrendered or were detained during and after the end of the war. “My son is a fisherman and has been missing since 2008 from Mannar” …

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From the Comfort Zone to the Conflict Zone

Text and pix by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai In Sri Lanka, photography is a field strongly dominated by men. Few women have taken up photography or photojournalism as their career. Engaging in this special craft requires women practitioners to often justify their reasons for choosing a challenging and male-centric career. “Women in Politics”by Dushiyanthini Kanagasbapathipillai There had …

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Thyagaraja Aradhana: A Celebration of Carnatic Music

Pix and Text by By Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipilllai “Without peace there can be no happiness” said Saint Thyagaraja. All musicians and music lovers gathered to pay tribute, and sing and play the Gems of Thyagaraja. Men and women of all ages dressed gorgeously, and sat cross-legged on the ground. Five Keerthanams are known as the “Panchrathna …

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Families of the Disappeared Mass Protest Scheduled in Colombo Blocked in Vavuniya

Text and Pix by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai The Families of the Disappeared had organized a protest in Colombo on the 06th of March. The large convoy of family members of the disappeared who travelled from the North were stopped by the military in Vavuniya, and were not allowed to proceed to Colombo to take part in …

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Jaffna Music Festival: A Celebration of Musical Expressions

Text and Pix by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai Jaffna Music Festival brought in a bursting combination of vibrant music, colour and culture. The second Jaffna Music Festival was recently held at the Jaffna Municipal grounds. A rare treat for festival audience ~ Pushparani (Thavil) and Rajeswary (Naathaswaram) playing at Jaffna Music Festival Local and international musical groups …

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The Sacred Golden Temple of Sikhs at Amritsar

Text and pix by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai Amritsar, which literally means “pool of ambrosial nectar”, is popularly known for Harmandir Sahib (Temple of God or Abode of God) as it’s formally called or the Golden Temple. It is the most sacred temple, and a place of pilgrimage for Sikhs. Sikhism emerged in the north western state …

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Christmas; Celebrating the Birth of Jesus Christ

Text and Pix Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai “Glória in Excélsis Deo” in Latin means “Glory to God in the highest”. Christmas is an annual celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, which fall on 25th of December. “Christmas”, the word originated from the term “Christ’s Mass”. Christmas is celebrated as a major festival in many countries.

Women Carry Camphor Pots in Colombo Procession for Their ‘Missing’ Fathers, Brothers, Husbands and Sons

Text and pix by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai Women, whose fathers, brothers, husbands and sons have been disappeared over the past years, took part in a religious protest recently in Colombo. Women walk with burning camphor pots through the busiest business streets Nearly 25 women from Batticaloa, Colombo, Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaithivu and Trincomalee carried burning camphor pots …

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Preventing ‘outsiders’ from entering domain will not allow Tamil Drama to grow beyond what it is today

by Parakrama Niriella A Reply to S.Jeyasankar “Kaliman Vandi and History of Sri Lankan Tamil Theatre” was the title given to the write up by Sivagnanam Jeyasankar of the Eastern University , on the Tamil adaptation of the Sankskrit drama “Mruchakateeham” assumed to be written by Chudrakha between 400 – 500 AD. This was produced …

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The Sri Lankan connection of Swami Vivekananda

By Priyadarshi Dutta Hello Friends Narendranath Dutta known as Swami Vivekananda was the chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahamsar and founded the Ramakrishna mission that performs commendable service in many parts of the world including Sri Lanka. Swami Vivekananda is a Bengali who was born in 1863 and passed away in 1902. He was greatly responsible …

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Thaippongal celebrations at Temple Trees

A pictorial perspective Hello Friends, “Thaippongal” is the traditional Tamil Thanksgiving festival that augurs bountiful harvests and good fortune. It is known as “Thamizhar Thirunaal” and “Uzhavar Perunaal”. “Thaippongal” was celebrated by President and Mrs.Rajapaksa at “Temple Trees” this time. I am posting some pictures taken by photographer Sudath Silva from the event held on …

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“Api” (us)-“Owun” (them): A pictorial tugging at heartstrings

by. D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Hello Friends,

Several people both known and unknown have been forwarding a particular e-mail to me the last few days.

It consists of some moving pictorial images contrasting the pathetic existence of internally displaced Tamils on the one hand and the comfortable lifestyle of some Sinhala people on the other.

The pictures have Sinhala captions.