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From poets’ muse to principal in Jaffna

From poets’ muse  to principal in Jaffna

In February 1917, William Butler Yeats received a letter from a close female friend living in Ceylon and wept after reading its contents. “Last December I became an Amazon and my left breast and pectoral muscle were removed. Now my left side is a beautiful slab of flesh adorned with a handsome fern pattern made [...]

Letters to the editor

Violence and election law violations are here to stay The campaigning for the recent Provincial Council elections ran true to form. The usual poster and cut-out wars, other open violations of so-called election laws were all in place. Some incidents of violence were reported even after the elections. Perhaps this might have been prompted by [...]


My father, the dedicated surgeon | Dr. N.A.J. Niles My brothers, Rajeswaran, Jayantha and I write these words of appreciation of our late dearly beloved father, to mark his 100th birth anniversary which falls this year. Here’s an extract of an article in the Times of Ceylon edition of September 15, 1957 (Page No. 20) which [...]

Bringing back a smile to their faces

She takes a few careful steps forward and lets out a happy squeal, as the onlookers cheer her on. Eleven-year-old Prabhani Vithanage is beaming. Before her, clad in a crisp white shirt and sarong, is her greatest supporter – Ganesh Velautham, founder of the Shivan Foundation for Disabled Children. Prabhani, like many of the children [...]

Letters on a meditative journey

There is something very conversational about Freed Freedom; Miriam de Saram, the author (of sorts) on one end writes with intelligence, vivid imagery and a great deal of respect. On the other end, a meditation master of the Mitirigala Nissarana Vanaya responds with great care, simplicity and understanding. A collection of this correspondence between a [...]

The Little Sisters’ one big family

The Little Sisters’ one big family

It is just before noon and from rooms they emerge in ones and twos. Their hair is peppered with silver and their gait is slow and unsteady. While some use walking aids, a few others come in wheelchairs. Scrupulously clean they are and they walk with dignity. Whatever medications they have to take are distributed [...]

Arugam Bay: An exotic, eclectic experience

Arugam Bay: An exotic, eclectic experience

The unusually large waves, bellowing like blue behemoths performing a roaring symphony to an enraptured audience of the sun’s finest rays, draped in gold and crimson garments. The droves of surfers, carrying their sea-scarred boards along the deep dunes while gazing toward the water in anticipation of the battles ahead. The uncomplicated cabanas and roadside [...]

The true beauty of Sri Lanka

The true beauty of Sri Lanka

“Rajiv is different to the new crop of wildlife photographers that Sri Lanka is producing. Firstly he doesn’t concentrate only on the national parks. Secondly he is deeply concerned about conservation,” says veteran wildlife photographer Namal Kamalgoda of Rajiv Welikala who is preparing for his maiden wildlife photographic exhibition “Wildlife Diaries: Memoirs from the Sri [...]

A magical musical journey

A magical musical journey

Christopher Ondaatje is a man of many talents who has had a charmed career and life. He was born in Sri Lanka, educated in England and built a successful career in finance and publishing in Canada. In the early ’90’s he sold all his business interests and returned to writing where he has broken new [...]

Mekala, a fusion of classical and modern dance

Mekala, a fusion of classical and modern dance

Kalasuri Desha Nethru Dr. Arunthathy Sri Ranganathan’s Aru Sri Art Theatre is ready with a new production, “Mekala”, a dance drama which is introduced to us as, ‘the dancer with a magic bowl, born a courtesan, who later lived a life of chastity and charity’. Manimekala, the main character is the daughter of Kovalan, a [...]

Mariam wins Godage Short Story Prize

Mariam Riza was awarded The Best Anthology Short Stories (English) Prize for her second collection of short stories titled ‘People, We Are’ at the recent Godage National Literary Awards 2012 held on September 11. This second collection also received commendation from the judges for the Gratiaen Prize 2012. Her debut collection of short stories ‘Cry [...]

One creation, but many layers

Peter Neusser knows exactly how much distance he covers in a single step – 90cm. He can replicate the distance nearly exactly if he’s walking at a certain pace and it’s important he does so when it comes to creating one of his Multiples. These extraordinary photographs are actually several images – anywhere up to [...]

Ladies’ College brings to life a perennial love story

To celebrate their 80th anniversary, the Sinhala Literary Society of Ladies’ College will present ‘Sakuntala’- the great Sanskrit poet Kalidasa’s play as a dance drama on Friday, October 25 at 7 p.m. at the Ladies’ College Hall. Sakuntala is the poignant love story of King Dushyantha and the beautiful Sakuntala who grew up in the [...]

Tanya to premiere two new compositions at St. Martin-in-the-Fields

Tanya to premiere two new compositions at St. Martin-in-the-Fields

In the few years since she was discovered “quite by accident,” Tanya Ekanayaka has proven it is possible to gracefully storm the international stage. From New York to London and to our little island, her star as a concert pianist is steadily rising. Tanya’s next solo recital will be a free lunch-time concert (1 p.m.-2 [...]

Making a song and dance out of nothing – or someone – rather special

Making a song and dance  out of  nothing – or  someone – rather special

It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s Jesus Christ! Superman? No, we’re not being facetious. Or blasphemous. But simply trying to reflect some of the sentiments associated with this much-awaited, much-hyped production. Many say it was “good” (some “very good” or a few even “exceptional”). Others, “bad”. And we’re yet to encounter a dyspeptic enough [...]

What’s in a name? A lot if you are a Royal

What’s in a name? A lot if you are a Royal

Of all the aspects of our identity, the most indelible is our name, confirmed in baptism (and, in time, perhaps, confirmation). For a Christian prince in direct line to the throne it is not only important, but a legal necessity, for without baptism he would not be able to succeed. This is because a sovereign [...]

The Mavericks are back

There comes a night every year in Colombo, where you can don a Stetson hat and cowboy boots and sing along to the twang of guitars. “Country Roads” is a fixture in many a country music loving Sri Lankan’s calendar. The brainchild of the Country Music Foundation (CMF) and organised by Feizal Samath and Jury [...]

Tips from the High Street ‘Knicker Queen of Britain’

Tips from the High Street ‘Knicker Queen of Britain’

Janie Schaffer’s gesture of goodwill literally blew up in her face. Or rather, in front of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s residence at No. 10, Downing Street, orchestrated by her security. She was slightly mystified; they were only blue silk roses after all. Although maybe-just maybe-the fact they were made from underwear material might have had [...]

People and events

Anuradhapura Clinical Society annual sessions The third annual clinical sessions of the Anuradhapura Clinical Society will be held from October 23-25 at the Palm Garden Hotel, Anuradhapura. The event is organised jointly with the Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) Foundation clinical sessions. Minister of Health Maithripala Sirisena will be the chief guest at the sessions [...]

“Ivory and The Elephant: A Historical Perspective”

The Lanka Decorative Arts (LDA) is to hold an international conference titled “Ivory and The Elephant: A Historical Perspective” from November 26-28. This is the fourth conference organised by the LDA.  The sessions will be held at the Dutch Burger Union Hall in Bauddhaloka Mawatha Colombo, and the Jetwing Lighthouse Hotel, Galle. The sessions cover [...]

All choked up about CHOGM

Really, dears! There’s no pleasing some people, is there? On the one hand, there are those who have done nothing but grumble that our roads, streets, and highways are in a terrible state of disrepair. On the other, there are others whose grouse is that the repair crews and renovation equipment are making a shambles [...]

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