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

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj (This article written in May 2020 is re-posted here WITHOUT ANY CHANGES to denote the 68th birth anniversary of LTTE leader Veluppillai Prabhakaran on November 26) 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 …

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Great Heroes Day (Maaveerar Naal) was a Partisan Event Of, For and By the LTTE.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj (This article written in 2021 is being reposted without any changes to denote the 33rd LTTE Great Heroes Day of 27 November 2022) ‘Maaveerar Naal’ or Great Heroes Day (GHD) is observed on 27 November by sections of Sri Lankan Tamils regarded as being generally supportive of the Tigers. It is the day …

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“Kaadhal Mannan” Gemini Ganesan: On- screen Romancer and Off-screen Casanova.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Popular Tamil cinema actor Gemini Ganesan whose 102nd birth anniversary was on November 17th , is regarded widely as the greatest romantic lover in Tamil cinema . In a career spanning more than five decades Gemini Ganesan made his mark in Tamil films as the romantic hero par excellence. In fact he was …

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M.N. Nambiar: Legendary “Villain” of Tamil Cinema

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj (Legendary “Villain”actor of Tamil cinema M.N.Nambiar passed away fourteen years ago in Chennai on November 19th 2008. I wrote an article about him then which was published in the “Daily Mirror”of Colombo. I am reproducing a slightly edited version of that article on my blog now to commemorate his 14th death anniversary. …

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Downfall and Demise of LTTE Deputy Leader “Mahathaya”: How Tiger Chief Prabhakaran got his No 2 Arrested, Interrogated and Executed.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) has ceased to exist as a functioning entity after its military defeat on the shores of Nandhikkadal lagoon in May 2009. The LTTE at its heyday was a very powerful politico-military organization that controlled extensive swathes of territory in the Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka. …

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Sensational Capture and “Unofficial” Execution of JVP Leader Rohana Wijeweera.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Patabandi Don Nandasiri Wijeweera known to the world at large as Rohana Wijeweera was killed 33 years ago on 13 November 1989.The revolutionary leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) or People’s Liberation Front was 49 years old at the time of his death. The mastermind behind two bloody insurrections – in 1971 …

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“State Terror” in Colombo: The “Officially Sanctioned Unofficial Execution” of Tamil MP Nadarajah Raviraj

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The election of Mahinda Rajapaksa as Sri Lanka’s fifth executive president in November 2005 saw the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) intensifying. The new president appointed his US citizen younger brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the all-powerful secretary of Defence. Gotabaya retired colonel of the Sri Lankan army his erstwhile …

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When an Air Force “Giant Bomb” Killed the LTTE’s “Smiling Face” 15 Years ago.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Fifteen years ago on 2nd November 2007, the former political wing chief of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTEE), Thamilselvan (spelled also as Tamilselvan and Thamilchelvan) was killed along with some other tiger operatives in an airstrike conducted by the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF). The incident grabbed worldwide attention when it …

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Kandyan Sinhala Leaders Wanted Federalism and North -East Merger Before Lankan Tamil Leaders

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The course of contemporary politics in Sri Lanka has created a situation where federalism or the federal idea is identified with the political aspirations of the Tamils of Sri Lanka. The “IlangathThamizhar”or Lankan Tamils whose areas of historic habitation in the Island are the predominantly Tamil speaking Northern and Eastern provinces have for …

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How and Why the LTTE Evicted Muslims from the Northern Province in “Black October 1990”.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj This article was written in 2015 to mark the Twenty – Fifth Anniversary of Muslim Mass Expulsion From North by the LTTE.It is being re-posted without any changes to denote the 32nd annivrsary of the tragic event The Investigation launched by the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has …

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How and Why Actor “MGR” Launched the ADMK Party 50 Years ago

by D.B.S.JEYARAJ 17 October 1972 was a Tuesday. Fifty years ago on that auspicious day , a new political party was launched in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The founder and pioneering leader of that party – which celebrated its golden jubilee a few days ago- was the well known film actor turned …

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Amitabh Bachchan: Evergreen Octogenarian is Hindi Filmdom’s “Shahenshah” (King of Kings)

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Well-known Hindi film actor Amitabh Bachchan celebrated his eightieth birthday on October 11th. The veteran thespian continues to be active , playing a variety of roles in films. As a “rasika” who relishes his performances, it is with great pleasure that I write about him this week. It has been the practice of …

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Charismatic Actor -Politician Vijaya Kumaratunga: 75th Birth Anniversary Tribute

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj (This 75th Birthday Tribue to Vijaya Kumaratunga written in 2020 is being re-posted here without any changes to commemorate the actor-politico’s 77th birth anniversary.) Kovilage Vijaya Anthony Kumaratunga, known to the world as Vijaya Kumaratunga, was born in Seeduwa on 9 October 1945. Vijaya was an endearing personality with an enduring vision whom …

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How C.P. de Silva did not Become Prime Minister Due to “Salagama” Caste Factor.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The Prime Minister was the most poweful person in Sri Lanka known earlier as Ceylon during the first three decades of independence from Britain. The post of Prime minister lost its sheen after the Executive presidency was introduced in 1978. Until then the prestigious PM POST was a position much coveted by politicians.. …

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Sirimavo Bandaranaike: The Grand Old Lady of Sri Lankan Politics

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj October 10th 2022 is the 22nd death anniversary of the world’s first woman prime minister Mrs.Sirima Bandaranaike. I am therefore reproducing on my blog an article written about her by me 22 years years ago. It was published in the Indian news-magazine “Frontline” of Aug 19th – Sep 01st 2000 (Vol 17-Issue 17) …

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The Army Thought Prabhakaran had Died when “Col” Shankar was Killed

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The book launch of “Rana Bimaka Panhinda” (Notes from the battlefield) written by Former “Lankadeepa” journalist Ratnapala Gamage took place at the J.R.Jayewardene centre in Colombo on September 13th.The Lankadeepa’s ex- defence correspondent now domiciled in Switzerland has in the book recounted many of his experiences while reporting on the long war between …

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Sivaji Ganesan Made Many Tamils Appreciate Their Vibrant Language More

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj (The Doyen of Tamil Film Actors “Nadigar Thilagham” Sivaji Ganesan was born on 1 October 1928. This article was written last year to commemorate Sivaji’s 20th death anniversary.It is being reposted without any changes to denote his 94th Birth Anniversary) Sivaji Ganesan, M.G. Ramachandran (MGR) and Gemini Ganesan comprised the triumvirate that dominated …

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How and Why Buddhist Monk Talduwe Somarama Thero Shot and Killed Prime Minister S.W.R.D.Bandarananaike Sixty-three Years ago

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Sixty-three years ago on September 25th 1959 the Prime Minister Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike (SWRDB) of Sri Lanka known as Ceylon then was shot and seriously wounded by a Buddhist monk. Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike succumbed to his injuries and passed away the following day. Thereafter September 26th 1959 got etched as …

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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 eight years ago to commemorate the 25th death anniversary of Dr.Rajini.It is re-posted here without any changes to denote her 33rd 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 …

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MHM Ashraff; From Sectarian Muslim Leader to Visionary National Statesman.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj On the fateful morning of 16 September 2000, Mohammed Hussein Muhammad Ashraff(MHM Ashraff) boarded a Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) Mi-17 helicopter at the Police grounds in Bambalapitiya. The time was 9.30 am. The legendary leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) was at that time, the Cabinet Minister in charge of …

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Sri Lanka was Utterly Changed by JR Jayewardene in Three Important Spheres.

D.B.S.Jeyaraj “All changed, changed utterly” is a powerful line from “Easter, 1916”, the famous poem of William Butler Yeats. The poem by W.B .Yeats was about the Irish easter uprising in 1916 , its cruel suppression and how all changed utterly in Ireland.”A terrible beauty is born”says Yeats. In Sri Lanka “all changed” and “changed …

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Kingmaker Role of “lankai Thamil Arasuk Katchi” in Dudley Senanayake’s National Govt.

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj Part One – The Tamil Factor in Sri Lanka’s First UNP- led “National” Govt of Premier Dudley Senanayake When the March 22nd 1965 election results were announced no single party had obtained a simple majority on its own. It was a hung parliament. As stated in the first part of this article …

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“Emperor of Tamil Pop Music” AE Manoharan’s Futile Attempt to be a Film Star in Tamil Nadu.

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj Blessed are those Sri Lankans who have lived in different parts of the country, travelled widely within its borders and interacted with all people cutting across ethnic and religious barriers during times of peace and tranquillity in the past. Those who have had such broad experiences unsullied by narrow sectarianism know that …

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India’s Evolving Tradition of Electing Presidents Symbolizing the Diversity of Her People

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj Sri Lanka’s nearest neighbour and closest friend, India celebrated her 75th anniversary of gaining freedom from British rule on the 15th of this month.. “Incredible” India also made history last month by electing a woman from a tribal community as the Republic’s 15th President . 64 year old Droupadi Murmu was sworn …

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The Tamil Factor in Sri Lanka’s First UNP- led “National” Govt of Premier Dudley Senanayake

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj Reaching a viable agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and forming an inclusive cabinet are currently the twin urgent priorities of the Government headed by President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena. On the economic front both President Wickremesinghe and Central Bank Governor Dr.Nandalal Weerasinghe have been optimistic about reaching …

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Appapillai Amirthalingam: From Enfant Terrible of ITAK to TULF Elder Statesman

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Friday August 26th was the 95th birth anniversary of well-known Sri Lankan Tamil political leader and one-time leader of the opposition Appapillai Amirthalingam. The ‘enfant terrible ‘of the “Ilankai Thamil Arasuk Katchi”(ITAK) who later metamorphosed into the elder statesman of the Tamil United Liberation Front(TULF), strode across the Tamil political stage for nearly …

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The 2000 Day “Poaraattam” (Struggle) by Tamil Women for Their “Disappeared” Loved Ones.

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj The people’s protest mass movement known as the “Aragalaya” or struggle has concluded after 124 days.The “Gota Go Home”protest launched at Galle Face Green on 9 April 2022 came to an end on 11 August 2022. The Aragalaya that captured huge media attention during its peak did succeed in its original objective …

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Ranil Wickremesinghe, Dulles Alahapperuma and the Historic 2022 Presidential Election

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Leon Trotsky famously observed , “Politics is more like algebra than like elementary arithmetic, and still more like higher rather than elementary mathematics”. The recent election of President Ranil Wickremesinghe by Sri Lankan members of Parliament appears to be an illustrative example of Trotsky’s statement about Politics being more like Algebra than Arithmetic. …

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From Lone MP to PM and President: Resilient Ranil’s Three Stage Return and Rise to the Top.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj ‘There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life Is bound in shallows and in miseries.” – William Shakespeare – “Julius Caesar” (Act 4 Scene 3) There were many in Sri Lanka and abroad who thought the …

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“Dadayama”(The Hunt)” : Versatile Filmmaker Vasantha Obeysekera’s Milestone Movie

by D.B.S.JEYARAJ Devoting the first Saturday article of each month to a film, film personality or film-related topic is a practice being followed by this column in recent times This week’s article therefore will focus on versatile filmmaker Vasantha Obeysekera’s milestone movie “Dadayama” (the Hunt). I have written about the film and filmmaker before and …

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How Lakshman Kadirgamar Became a National List MP and Foreign Affairs Cabinet Minister

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj (This article written last year is being re-posted without any changes to commemorate the 17th death anniversary of former Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar who was assassinated in Colombo by the LTTE on August 12th 2005) Former Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar was assassinated in Colombo by the Liberation Tigers of …

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Indo-Lanka Accord 35th Anniversary: How the Tamils Messed up a Golden Opportunity.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Last week’s article was about the guerilla war fought by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna(JVP) against the Indian Army in the Trincomalee district. The JVP campaign in Trinco was then led by Kumar Gunaratnam alias “Gemunu”. Gunaratnam later split from the JVP and co-founded the Frontline Socialist Party(FSP). Kumar Gunaratnam alias Kumar/Kumara is currently …

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Dr. Neelan Tiruchelvam, his Devolution Package and the LTTE

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj “Any man’s death diminishes me because I am involved in Mankind,” wrote the metaphysical poet John Donne.The ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka has extracted a heavy human toll. In my personal capacity as a Sri Lankan Tamil and in my professional capacity as a journalist , I have lost count of the number …

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How Kumar Gunaratnam alias “Gemunu” Fought a Guerilla War against the Indian Army in Trinco

by D.B.S.JEYARAJ The India – Sri Lanka Accord was signed by former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and ex-Sri Lanka president Junius Richard (JR) Jayewardene on July 29th 1987 in Colombo. The 35th anniversary of the pact known generally as the Indo-Lanka accord will be observed this Friday (July 29). The Rajiv-JR accord was signed …

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JR Jayewardene, the Kanatte Mass Funeral and the July 1983 Anti-Tamil Pogrom

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj (This article was published last year and is being re-posted without any changes to denote the 39th anniversary of “Black July”) July 24th 1983 was the day on which a destructive spree of anti-Tamil violence commenced in Jaffna in the early hours of the morning and began spreading to Colombo in the later …

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Tenacious “Aragalaya” (Struggle) of FSP Leader Kumar Gunaratnam Alias Kumar/Kumara.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj “Gota Go Home” was the clarion call aroind which the people launched their “Aragalaya” or Struggle many weeks ago. It has now achieved its primary goal. Gota has been made to go , but to which permanent home remains an unanswered question still.It is also unclear as to whether he would be able …

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Rajanayagam: From Trotskyite Lawyer to “Tamil Times” Editor.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The “Tamil Times” (TT) was a monthly newsmagazine published in the United Kingdom(UK) for more than 25 years from October 1981 to December 2006. It was a political journal that focused on news, views and reviews pertaining to Sri Lanka in general and the Tamil People of Sri Lanka in particular. At it’s …

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Is the Medamulana “House of Rajapaksa” Falling Down, Falling Down?

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj “London Bridge is falling down, Falling down, falling down. London Bridge is falling down, My fair lady.” – Nursery Rhyme When Basil Rohana Rajapaksa was in a rn in as Finance Minister by his brother President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in July 2021, the appointment grabbed the attention of the world’s influential media. It was …

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Memories of Pro-China Communist Party Leader Comrade “Shan”

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Mao Zedong widely referred to as Chairman Mao was the revolutionary communist who played a pivotal role in establishing the Peoples republic of China in 1949. Mao whose name was spelled as Mao Tse Tung – in those days – exercised dictatorial control over China in his capacity as Communist Party chairman from …

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Kamal Haasan Makes Stunning Return to Cinema From Politics With Blockbuster “Vikram”

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj “Vikram,Vikram” is the Mantra being chanted by many a film fan these days. The Tamil action thriller “Vikram” along with its dubbed versions in Hindi,Telugu,Malayalam and Kannada was released worldwide in over 5000 Screens on June 3. It has proved to be a box office blockbuster since then. Vikram is having a successful …

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Gotabaya, Ranil and the Fable of the Scorpion and Frog 🐸 🦂 📖

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Return of Ranil : Remarkable Resilience of Premier Wickremesinghe. -Part Three Let me rewind back to my boyhood when I first read the fable about the scorpion and frog which I believe is of Russian origin. The scorpion which cannot swim wanted to cross the river. So the scorpion begged the frog to …

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“Mellisai Mannargal” M.S. Viswanathan and T.K. Ramamurthy, the ‘Monarchs of Light Music’ in Tamil cinema

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj (June 24th is the 94th birth anniversary of popular music composer Manayangath Subramanian Viswanathan (MSV) who along with Tiruchirappalli Krishnaswamypillai Ramamurthy (TKR) blazed a musical trail together in Tamil films for a period of 13 years. MS Viswanathan and TK Rammmurthy were known popularly as the “Mellisai Mannargal” (Monarchs of light music).This Article …

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Tamil Nadu’s DMK Chief Minister M.K. Stalin and Sri Lanka

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj On May 19 this year, the Panama-registered general cargo vessel “Tan Binh 99” departed at 8.28 am from the Chennai harbour in India with 9000 tons of rice, 200 tons of milk poweder nd 24 tons of essential medicines. Its destination was Sri Lanka’s Colombo port. This was the first consignment of a …

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Re-visiting the Killing of Subathiran Alias Robert by a Tiger Sniper 19 Years ago

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The armed struggle launched by Tamil militant groups to achieve the objective of a separate Tamil state caused massive loss of life and bloodshed. Many of those killed were victims of internecine conflict and fratricidal warfare. Among the many who were killed was Subathiran alias Robert, a charismatic personality with a colourful history. …

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Hirunika’s Letter to Gotabaya After the Presidential Pardon of Duminda Silva

by D.B.S.JEYARAJ In what has been described as a historic ruling, the Sri Lankan Supreme Court on May 31st 2022, issued an Interim Order suspending the operation of the Presidential Pardon granted by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to Arumadura Lawrence Romelo Duminda Silva known as Duminda Silva. The former parliamentarian and ex- provincial councillor had been …

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Anatomy of Anti-Muslim Violence: How “Bodhu Bala Sena” Mobs Caused Mayhem in Aluthgama and Beruwela Eight Years ago.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj ( Eight years have passed since violence was unleahed by Bodhu Bala Sena (BBS)instigated goons against the Muslims of Aluthgama and Beruwela on Sunday June 15th 2014. This article was written by me shortly after the incidents in the ensuing week in 2014.It is being re-posted without any changes to denote the eighth …

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“Que Sera Sera” (What Will be, Will be): Doris Day’s Signature Song of Cheerful Fatalism

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The first part of my article on Ranil’s return was published in the “Daily Mirror”of May 21st 2022. In that I made a brief reference to the song “Que Sera Sera” sung by the American singer com actress Doris Day. This was in the context of speculation about Ranil Wickremesinghe’s political future. This …

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Assassination of Journalist Aiyathurai Nadesan in Broad Daylight 18 Years ago

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The death of any member of the journalistic fraternity is distressing. More so when a scribe is gunned down in broad daylight by ‘unknown’ assassins for the ‘crime’ of writing something that displeased people with pretensions of power. The sadness is even more acute when the journalist was someone known to you for …

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How Ranil Wickremesinghe Became Prime Minister Again

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Return of Ranil : Remarkable Resilience od Premier Wickremesinghe. -Part Two The first part of the article titled “Ranil Returns: Remarkable Resilience of Premier Wickremesinghe”published in the “DailyMirror” of May 21st 2022 resulted in my getting quite a lot of feedback during the week. Much more than usual. I was pleasantly surprised by …

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Remembering Legendary Trade Union Leader Bala Tampoe on his Birth Centenary

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The “Political Pulse”column focuses this week on a man who was perhaps the last of the great trade unionists. A legend in his lifetime who was at the helm of a vibrant trade union continuously for a period of sixty six years – an unsurpassed record! I am of course referring to comrade …

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The Legal Prosecution, Judicial Conviction and Presidential “Absolution” of Duminda Silva.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj (This Article was written in July 2021 following the Presidential Pardon given to Convicted Murderer Duminda Silva by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa/It is being re-posted now in view of the historic interim order issued by the Supreme Court suspending the operation of the Presidential Pardon) Arumadura Lawrence Romelo Duminda Silva known as Duminda Silva …

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Return of Ranil: Remarkable Resilience of Premier Wickremesinghe

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Ranil Sriyan Wickremesinghe known as Ranil is in the seat of power again as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka for the sixth time. The new Prime Minister was neither elected to office by the people in a general election nor endorsed by a majority of MP’s in Parliament. Ranil is the leader of …

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♬ P. Leela, ‘Forgotten’ Singer Who Sang Unforgettable Songs In Tamil Cinema ♥

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj (P. Leela was the uncrowned queen of song in the realm of Tamil films during the fifties and sixties of the last century.Born in 1934, Leela passed away in 2005.This Article written in 2015 is re-posted here without any changes to denote Leela’s Birthdy on May 19) I was pleasantly surprised this …

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Ex-Culture Minister Geetha Kumarasinghe was a Dazzling Actress who Sizzled on the Silver Screen

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Actress turned politician Geetha Kumarasinghe grabbed media attention a few weeks ago when she spoke out strongly in support of President Gotabaya Rajapksa. The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna(SLPP) Galle district MP who enjoyed much popularity as a successful actress for many years had been appointed State minister of Culture and Performing Arts by …

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Will the Executive Presidency “Go Out” If Gota Refuses to Go Home?

by D.B.S.JEYARAJ “Go Home Gota” and/or “Gota Go Home” is the resounding clarion call that is currently motivating and mobilizing a number of protest demonstrations throughout Sri Lanka. The underlying thread is that Sri Lanka’s Executive President Gotabaya (Gota) Rajapaksa should resign and quit. The social media too is replete with demands of a similar …

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Lester James Peries and the Double Gold Winning “Gamperaliya”

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj This column focuses this month on my favourite Sinhala film director Lester James Peries and his award winning film “Gamperaliya” . Lester’s 103rd birth anniversary was celebrated on April 5 while his 4th death anniversary was commemorated on April 29 this year.The Gamperaliya film was based on the famous novel of the same …

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Southern Nightingale S. Janaki and the Story of Her Popular ♫ Singaara Velanae Deva ♫ Song

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj ( Versatile South Indian Playback singer S.Janaki Celebrates her 84th Birth Anniversary on April 23rd 2922. This article written six Years ago is re-posted here without changes to commemorate the popular artiste on this joyful day) Sishtla Sreeramamurthy Janaki popularly known as S. Janaki celebrates her 80th birthday on April 23rd 2018. …

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Unbowed and Unafraid, Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge Spoke Truth to Power

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj ( “The Sunday Leader” Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge was born on April 5th 1958. This Article Published in Janury 2021 is reposted here without any changes to denote the 64th Birth anniversary of the brilliant and beloved Journalist) Twelve years ago on 8 January 2009, Lasantha Manilal Wickrematunge, the Editor of The Sunday Leader …

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Tamil Progressive Alliance Wants a Non-Territorial Community Council for “Malaiahath Thamizhar” (Hill Country Tamils)

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) has taken the initiative in seeking a new representative body for the pre-dominantly Tamil people of recent Indian origin or Indian Origin Tamils(IOT). In recent times the community has become known as the “Malaiyahath Thamizhar” (Hill Country Tamils/Up Country Tamils). Although called Hill Country Tamils because they are …

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Former Def Secy NQ Dias Anticipated an Armed Tamil Struggle With Indian Support in the 60’s Itself.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj This weekly column returns with the second part of the article titled “ Sinhala Buddhist Strategist N.Q. Dias was Feared as the “Tsar” that was published in the “Daily Mirror” of February 19t 2022. The feedback I received indicate that there is much interest in the role played by NQ Dias in the …

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Why Basil Rajapaksa Does not fit the “Ugly American” Label.

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj Hell hath no fury as two Sri Lankan ministers ejected unceremoniously from the cabinet by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa! Both the sacked ministers wrathfully lay the blame for their ouster on Presidential sibling and finance minister Basil Rajapaksa. Wimal Weerwansa and Udaya Gammanpila who held the portfolios of Industries and Energy respectivey are …

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Assassination of UNP Tamil MP Maheswaran at a Hindu Temple in Colombo

by D.B.S.JEYARAJ The “Sunday Times” of March 13th 2022 reported that the death sentence imposed by the Colombo High Court on Johnson Colin Valentine alias Vasanthan who was found guilty of assassinating former minister and United National Party MP Thiyagarajah Maheswaran has been upheld by the Court of Appeal (CA).A bench comprising Judges Nissanka Bandula …

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M.N.Nambiar : The Virtuous Villain of Tamil Cinema who Terrified People by his Grimaces and Scowls

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj (Popular Tamil film actor M. N. Nambiar who excelled in playing “villain”roles on screen was born on March 7th 1919. This article appearing in the “Spotlight” cinema Column of the “Daily FT” on November 28th 2015 is being re-posted here with minor changes in the first paragraph to denote the 103rd birth anniversary …

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H.R. Jothipala: Sinhala Cinema’s Most Popular Playback Singer

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj I begin this column this week with an apology to readers. I had written a two part article titled “Sinhala Buddhist Strategist N.Q. Dias was Feared as the “Tsar” in the “Daily Mirror” last week(Feb 19). Unfortunately I am unable to write the second part this week as planned because I am yet …

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Sinhala Buddhist Strategist NQ Dias was Feared as the “Tsar”

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj In the article titled “1962 Coup:Takeover of Govt Through Operation Holdfast” that was published in the “Daily Mirror”of January 29th 2022, I had written about some persons who were to be arrested and detained at the Army headquarters by the Coup d’etat conspirators. Among these were the then Finance Minister Felix R Dias …

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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- four were she among the living now. This article originally written in 2016 for the “Spotlight”film affairs column in the “Daily Financial Times” is being …

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“The Man Who Would Be King”: Remembering Anura Bandaranaike On His 73rd 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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Upali Wijewardene: Sri Lanka’s Beloved Home-Grown Tycoon

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj (This Article written five years ago is being re-posted with a minor alteration to denote the 84th Birth Anniversary and 39th nniversary of the disappearance of Sri Lanka’s beloved tycoon Upali Wijewardene) Upali Wijewardene known widely as Upali was arguably Sri Lanka’s first home-grown tycoon of the post – Independence years who captured …

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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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Ariyanayagam Chandranehru: Tamil Nationalist son of the Eastern soil

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj (Former Tamil National Alliance Amparai district MP Ariyanayagam Chandranehru was assassinated on February 7th 2005 long with former LTTE Eastern Political Commissar Lt.Col Kausalyan.. This Article published then in “The Sunday Leader”is reproduced here to denote his 17th death anniversary………….DBSJ) Ariyanayagam Chandranehru was the latest unfortunate casualty caught in the crossfire of a …

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The Killing of LTTE Eastern Political Commissar Lt.Col Kausalyan

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj This column has for the past three weeks been focusing on the abortive Coup d’etat conspiracy of 1962. There has been much reader interest in the articles. I have been pleasantly surprised to receive a lot of responses ranging from persons related or connected to some of the coup suspects to people from …

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Speedy Takeover of Govt Through Surprise Moves was the Aim of 62 Coup Codenamed “Operation Holdfast”

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The 1962 Coup d’etat conspiracy had three noteworthy aspects.Firstly the architects of the conspiracy wanted a bloodless coup.The planning of the coup was done with the objective of avoiding bloodshed. Important people were to be either detained or have their movement restricted for specific periods of time but would not have suffered summary …

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“Nagaichuvai Mannan” Nagesh: The Comedy King of Tamil Cinema

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj “Naghaichchuvai Mannan” (King of Comedy) Nagesh passed away in Chennai on Jan 31st 2009. His 13th death anniversary is being commemorated this year. He was born on September 27th 1933. Nagesh was the undisputed king of comedians in Tamil cinema from the early sixties to mid-seventies of the previous century. After a …

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First Sinhala Talkie “Broken Promise” was Made by Tamil Film Producer S.M. Nayagam.

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj (Sinhala Cinema celebrates its 75th anniversary this January. The first Sinhala Talkie “Kadavunu Poronduwa”(Broken Promise) was released on Jan 21 1947.It was produced by a Tamil S. Maruthanayagam known as SM Nayagam. This article published last year is being re-posted without any changes to denote the milepost anniversary) “It is with pride and …

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Renowned Film Maker Dharmasena Pathiraja was the “Enfant Terrible” of Sinhala Cinema.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj (The fourth death aniversary of Renowned Film Maker Dharmasena Pathiraja falls on January 28th 2022. This article about “Pathi” was written last year.It is being re-posted here without any changes to commemorate the Maestro) January 28th 2021 was the third death anniversary of famous film maker Dharmasena Pathiraja. The renowned academic cum film …

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1962 Coup Conspiracy: Rising Disgruntlement Within Army and Police Top Brass

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj In order to understand the 1962 Coup d’etat conspiracy phenomenon, it is essential to delve deep into some events that happened between Independence in February 1948 and the envisaged D-day for executing the coup on January 27-28th 1962. A brief re-run of history is necessary to comprehend the motives of the coup suspects …

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Coup d’etat Conspiracy Crisis of 1962: The Background

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj This January is the 60th anniversary of what has come to be known as the 1962 Coup or Coup d’etat of Sri Lanka known formerly as Ceylon.News about the coup in Ceylon/Sri Lanka was first relayed over the state radio known then as “Radio Ceylon” on January 28th 1962. It was a Sunday …

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How Actor MGR Became Chief Minister: Cinematic Politics of M.G.Ramachandran

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj India is Sri Lanka’s closest neighbour. Among the Indian states, it is the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu that is closest to he Island.Tamil Nadu meaning “Tamil Land/Country” is home to more than 72 million people. Since 1967 ,Tamil Nadu has been ruled by political parties adhering to what is termed as …

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Seven Tamil Parties Write Joint Letter Seeking Indian PM Modi’s Help to Implement the 13th Constitutional Amendment in Full.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj In a significant political move, seven political parties mainly representing the Sri Lankan Tamils of the Northern and Eastern provinces have written a joint letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking his help to fully implement the provisions of the 13th amendment to the Constitution. As is well known the Provincial Councils …

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Killing of Five Tamil Students in Trinco Town: Emblematic Case of Impunity

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj A solemn, low key memorial event was held in Trincomalee town on Sunday January 2nd. Relatives and friends laid flowers and lit candles and lamps in memory of five Tamil youths killed in Trincomalee town on Jan 2nd 2006. The incident that happened sixteen years ago for which justice was not done is …

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“Col Charles”: The”tiger” Mastermind Behind LTTE Attacks Outside North-East

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj 14th Death Anniversary of Shanmuganathan Ravishankar alias Col Arulventhan a.k.a Charles (Shanmuganathan Ravishankar alias Col Arulventhan a.k.a Charles of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE)was killed on January 5th 2008. This article written within a week of his death in Jan 2008 is reproduced here on account of his fourteeth death anniversary) The …

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Indo-Lanka Accord, Thirteenth Amendment and the Tamil March of Folly

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Much concern is now being shown by political parties representing the minority (numerical) ethnicities of Sri Lanka over the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. As is well known it is the 13th Constitutional Amendment which ushered n a certain quantum of devolution to the country through the setting up of Provincial Councils. 13 …

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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” passed away in Chennai on December 24th 1987.. This article written earlier for the “Spotlight” Column of “Daily Financial Times” is reproduced here to denote MGR’s 34h Death anniversary) There was a time when the magical initials MGR were a …

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Thiagarajah Maheswaran: Blend of Business Acumen and Political Savvy

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj 13th Death Anniversary was on January 1st 2022. Year 2008 dawned on a dreadful note for Tamils in Sri Lanka as one more democratically elected Parliamentarian was assassinated in broad daylight. United National Party (UNP) Colombo district MP Thiagarajah Maheswaran was shot dead at the Shree Ponnambalavaneswarar Sivan temple in Kotahena. 41 …

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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! The COVID-19 Pandemic has restricted the fun,frolic and festivity this year too. Let us all hope and pray that the world withstands and recovers as soon as possible. The Christmas spirit however will remain despite the changed situation. An integral …

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LTTE Political Adviser Anton Balasingham:Up, Close and Personal.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) ‘Arasiyal Madhiuraignar’ (Political Adviser) Anton Stanislaus Balasingham passed away 15 years ago at his South London residence on 14 December 2006. Bala ‘Annai’ (elder brother) as he was generally known among Tamils died of cancer at the age of 68 years. The funeral was held at …

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Turmoil in Toronto as “Tigers” Target TNA Meeting

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Last Saturday (November 20) saw a group of self-styled political activists create a ruckus and disrupt a public meeting in the Scarborough area of Toronto City in Canada. The incident -though distorted and misreported in sections of the media – received wide publicity in Sri Lanka. Moreover it has generated a multi-faceted debate …

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Murugeysen Tiruchelvam: Former Chief Political Strategist of the ITAK/FP

by D.B.S.JEYARAJ In the ‘Political Pulse’ column of 10 November titled ‘Tiruchelvam QC and Sabry PC: A tale of two resignations,’ I had written to some extent about former Local Government Minister Murugeysen Tiruchelvam known as M. Tiru or Tiru. Interestingly much of the feedback I received displayed great interest and curiosity about M. Tiruchelvam. …

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

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj ( Former Sri Lankan President and Current Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa was born on November 18th 1945. This Article written last year is being reposted here without any Changes to denote Mahinda’s 76th Birth aniversary this year) Mahendra Percy Rajapaksa known to the world as Mahinda Rajapaksa has been sworn in as Prime …

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Tiruchelvam QC and Ali Sabry PC; A Tale of Two Ministerial Resignations

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The controversial appointment of Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero as chair of the ‘One Country, One Law’ (OCOL) Presidential Task Force (PTF) by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has created a political furore. The purported OCOL objective of the PTF as well as the alleged unsuitability of Gnanasara Thero to …

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Gnanasara Thero, Bodu Bala Sena and the Anti-Muslim Violence in Aluthgama and Beruwela

by D.B.S.Jeyaraj The appointment of militant Buddhist monk Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero as Chairman of the ‘One Country, One Law’ (OCOL) Presidential Task Force has shocked the country in general and the Sri Lankan Muslim community in particular. The controversial Gnanasara Thero is the General-Secretary of the Buddhist organisation Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) – meaning …

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Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Openly Supportive of “Ethno Religious Fascist”Organization Bodhu Bala Sena.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj (The appointment of Bodu Bala Sena(BBS) General- Secretary Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanaasara Thero as chairman of the Presidential Task Force on “One Country,One Law”(OCOL) by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has caused much controversy.It is being widely criticized. The appointment has also blatantly exposed the nexus between the President and the BBS.Gota’s BBS connection received …

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How and Why the Tamil National Alliance was Formed Twenty Years Ago

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The Tamil National Alliance(TNA) is now twenty years of age . The premier political configuration of the Tamil people in the Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka came into being on October 22nd 20, a few weeks ahead of the 2001 December Parliament election. Much water has flown down on either side …

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JR Jayewardene’s Infamous Kandy March Against the Banda-Chelva Pact

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj In my article ‘SWRD’s flirtation with federalism’ published in these columns on 29 September 2021, I had referred to the pact signed by the then Prime Minister Bandaranaike and Tamil political leader Chelvanayagam in 1957. What I wrote then was as follows: “The agreement signed by S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike and S.J.V. Chelvanayagam in …

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Revisiting the Attack on Thirukkumar Nadesan at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu by Pro-LTTE Goons.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The Pandora Papers are a series of papers being continuously published since October 3rd 2021 by the Washington based International Consortium of Investigative Journalism(ICIJ).The ICIJ is a worldwide network of 280 Investigative journalists and more than 100 Media organizations from many different countries spanning the globe. The Pandora papers are based on 11.8 …

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Rishad Bathiudeen Targeted in Witch Hunt After his Fall From Rajapaksa Grace

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj United National Party Leader and National list MP Ranil Wickremesinghe has expressed concern over the continued detention of Wanni District Parliamentarian, All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) Leader and former Cabinet Minister Rishad Bathiudeen. Ranil Wickremesinghe, who has been a MP without a break since July 1977, said in Parliament on 4 October that …

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How Film Actor Gamini Fonseka Thrashed Dehiwela Strongman Karthelis in a Fist Fight on the Galle Road.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Gamini Fonseka was the uncrowned king of Sinhala cinema for nearly three decades. He was the first and arguably the sole super star of Sinhala cinema.Notwithstanding the brilliant creators of our times who have raised the standards of Sinhala cinema, one is unable to imagine or visualise Sinhala cinema without thinking of Gamini …

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SWRD Bandaranaike’s Flirtation With Federalism.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike known as S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike was the fourth Prime Minister of Independent Sri Lanka known then as Ceylon. SWRD who was born on 8 January 1899 died due to assassination on 26 September 1959. This year therefore marks the 112th anniversary of his birth and 62nd anniversary of his …

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Murder Most Foul: Assassination of Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj (S.W.R.D.Bandaranaike, the fourth Prime Minister of Independent Sri Lanka known then as Ceylon was the target of an assassination attempt on September 25th 1959. He succumbed to his injuries a day later on September 26th. This Article written last year is being re-posted without any changes to denote the 62nd death anniversry of …

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Legendary Muslim Congress “Thalaiver” MHM Ashraff and the Tamils of Sri Lanka

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj (Legendary Muslim Congress Leader MHM Ashraff was killed on September 16th 2000 in a Helicopter crash.This article was written last year for the “Political Pulse” column in the “Daily Financial Times” to Commemorate his 20th death anniversary. It is being re-posted here without any changes to denote the 21st death anniversary of “Marhoom”MM …

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Writing Three Letters to Michele Bachelet Causes Turmoil Within the Tamil National Alliance

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The Tamil National Alliance(TNA) is currently in a state of turmoil. The current TNA crisis is linked up with the United Nations Human Rights Council(UNHRC) in Geneva. The issue is that of writing letters to the UN Human Rights Commissioner Ms. Michele Bachelet. As is well-known the TNA is the premier political configuration …

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Jacqueline Fernandez; Sri Lankan Jewel in Indian Hindi Filmdom Crown

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Sri Lanka’s Jacqueline Fernandez who has made a name for herself in India as a successful film actress was very much in the news last week for reasons unconnected to her cinematic career. The luminous star of Sri Lanka who has been illuminating the Hindi cinematic firmament for several years was summoned by …

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Saumiyamoorthy Thondaman was the Masterful Strategist and Shrewdest Tactician Among Tamil Political Leaders

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Saumiyamoorthy (spelled sometimes as Saumyamoorthy or Saumiamoorthy) Thondaman was the legendary co-founder and long-time leader of the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC). Thonda, as he was widely known, played a prominent role in the country’s post-independence politics for many decades. His political life was intertwined with the vicissitudes of the Indian Tamil people of …

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Remembering Comrade Bala Tampoe the Legendary Trade Union Leader on his Seventh 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 seventh death anniversary …

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Remembering Ketheeswaran “Ketheesh” Loganathan on His 15th Death Anniversary

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Last week saw this column focusing on former Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar who was assassinated by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on 12 August 2005. This week will see this column focusing on well-known political activist Ketheeswaran Loganathan who was killed exactly one year after Kadirgamar’s death. Ketheeswaran Loganathan known as …

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Shelton Ranaraja Was Loved and Respected by the Tamil People

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Shelton Ranaraja known to many as “Shelly Aiya” passed away on August 11, 2011. Shelton or Shelly Aiya was a politician for whom I have the greatest respect. The lawyer who represented the Senkadagala constituency in the Sri Lankan Parliament for more than fifteen years was arguably the conscience – keeper of the …

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Memories of Leonine Tamil Leader Murugesu Sivasithamaparam

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Very little is known or remembered by the younger generation of Sri Lankans about the nature of the non – violent Tamil political struggle for equal rights that preceded the violent armed struggle. Indeed for many the history of Tamil political resistance to what was perceived as majoritarian hegemony commences only from “Black …

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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)22 years ago on July 29th 1999. This article was originally written 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 22nd death anniversary) January 31st is the …

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“Medamulana Rajapaksa Dynasty”: Four Sons and Three Grandsons of Don Alvin Rajapaksa

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj Basil Rohana Rajapaksa was sworn in as Finance minister in the Government of Sri Lanka by his brother President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on July 8th 2021. The appointment was hailed by Basil’s supporers who project the new Finance minister as the “saviour” who would liberate Sri Lanka from the economic morass into which …

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Tony Ranasinghe: Sinhala Cinema’s Most Romantic Lover 💕

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj In keeping with the practice of devoting at least one article each month to a cinema related topic, this column focuses on the popular Sinhala film actor Tony Ranasinghe this week. As an ardent aficionado of Sinhala films I have seen and savoured many of the dashing and debonair Tony Ranasinghe’s films with …

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

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj ( On July 13th 1989 The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam assassinated Mr. Appapillai Amirthalingam the former Opposition Leader and Secretary -General of the Tamil United Liberation Front in Colombo. This article written in July 2019 is re-posted without any changes to commemorate the 32nd death anniversary) The cruelly tragic killing of five …

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