Sri Lanka is led by a man who has, by his admission, two faces. In a more democratic avatar is Gotabaya Rajapaksa the President. Here, the individual in question is presented as smart, suave and sage. Before he spoke, his suit bespoke, as rapper Kanye put it in song, captures man and mission. An older … Continue reading The Defence Secretary and the President
I spoke to my father’s sarong on the morning of the 9th. It was my birthday, the first after Thaththa died. Growing up, my sister and I never celebrated our birthdays with parties. We never went to any either. I cannot recall what my sister got for hers, but I almost always got a book … Continue reading 9 April, Dunedin, New Zealand
Late October last year, I was woken up early in the morning by my mother in a state of panic. I had returned to Sri Lanka a few days before to pursue my doctoral fieldwork. Responding to my mother’s cries, I found my father unconscious on the floor. The significant brain trauma and internal haemorrhaging … Continue reading Memories of my father
Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one. MARCUS AURELIUS, Meditations An invitation from the Head Prefect to submit an article to the College Magazine is not one that can be refused easily or taken lightly. I last wrote to the magazine in the mid-90’s, before taking over as Editor. … Continue reading College as it was then, and continues to be
Pottu I by Anushiya Sundaralingam, courtesy Queen Street Studios She had a broad forehead, a broader smile and a large red pottu. Her teeth gleamed as she picked me up, and I remember hints of red, dotting the white, randomly. I remember her as large, but this was from a perspective low to the ground. … Continue reading The woman with the pottu
Right to Information (RTI) legislation was unanimously passed in Sri Lanka’s Parliament last week without a vote. It sounds easy and inevitable when framed thus, but that one sentence masks decades of activism and advocacy to pass RTI to no avail, and strong pushback from government predominantly based around national security issues. It was unlikely … Continue reading Right to Information: All hype with no bite?
Was asked by a mainstream media newspaper to send in comments on the 'Sinha-le' phenomenon. ### “Sinha-le”, a campaign primarily promoted over social media both in Sri Lanka and abroad, can also be seen on stickers adoring three-wheelers and other vehicles. The campaign is essentially racist, mixing elements of violent xenophobia, Islamophobia, racial slurs and … Continue reading “Sinha-le”: Comment to media on implications
Invited by Anukshi Jayasinghe to write for Ceylon Today's Celebrity Bookcase section, these are five books I love and keep returning to. ### Buddha in the Attic, Julie Otsuka A compelling novel based on the indentured labour from Japan, mostly young women, who came over to the West Coast of the United States. This is … Continue reading Books
Braving catcalls, they walk around the boundary, waving College flags as staunchly as their male counterparts and often, with more aplomb and confidence – for history proves that not a single female has been entreated by an empty beer bottle to shut-up and get lost (as is the fate of many men who try the same feats) in over a century.... Men rescued by women, women fighting women, brothers fighting for their sisters, sisters fighting for their brothers, fathers, sons, mothers, lovers, grandfathers and more, all engaged in a ritualistic dance to the strains of a kaffringa, the Royal-Thomian brings with it a sense of strange togetherness – that the chaos has its own logic, the cricket its own pace, the spectators their own music, the females their signature cadence, the males their own rhythm.
There is something about the rain that emboldens us to think more charitably about the world around us.Something in the footfall of hasty droplets that reminds us of our childhood, of the siestas looking upwards at branches and green leaves bend with the fecundity of a monsoon, of the smell of rain upon gravel, grass and sun parched earth, of the overcast skies that compelled us into bed and into the arms of a spine that held within its arms words that transported us to far away lands.It beckons us to remember a time of innocence, a time before the warts that coloured our worldview became evident amidst the wrinkles of wisdom we collect as we grow up.I am most unproductive in the rain.