Saturday, October 11, 2008

Major General Janaka Perera - mysteries

It was an incredibly tragic moment in Sri Lankan history when 27 families were left torn when the bomber last Monday hit his target. Janaka Perera and his wife, Dr. John Pulle and his wife were both taken away from their families. Plenty of comments have been made on blogs, news items, and lunch rooms about these murders.

We live in a time where the public is incredibly inconveienced for the greater good of VIPs. Case in point: the arrival of President Mahmous Abbas this week where people were made to walk from fort to various points to locate their transport. The Hilton stretch was completely cordoned off, when President Abbas decided he wanted to pray on Friday lunch time at the Fort mosque: no stone was left unturned to ensure his safety. We wait in traffic jams each day so that the VIPs can race by us and reach their destination safely. I dont think a single person can attend a function which will be attended by any of the current administration (especially the high up commanders -military and otherwise) without getting stripsearched. People get shot when they fail to stop at check points on a weekly basis.

So, can we accept Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara's comment 'the suicide bomber just walked straight in to the function and blew himself up?' (or something of that order). The fellow was buckle legged, he could have been stopped. He could have been shot at if he didnt stop. The army/police/navy don't seem to hesitate to shoot at innocent pedestrians/drivers. So why the hesitation now? How did this man gain entry into this high security event? An ex army commander, a leader of a province in the opposition was attending this event. How can we as the Sri Lankan public accept this?

As much as I oppose the war, Janaka Perera would have at countless times issued orders that have ensured the safety of the then minister MR and his pigmie followers. How is keeping his body at the Ratmalana airport for FOUR hours in the heat any show of gratitude? How is refusing his body the right to travel by air to his province any act of humaneness? How low have politics travelled in our country with this current administration? How can there be THIS much hate in this system?

Secondly, why would the LTTE target an ex army commander who works with the opposition when there is a sitting duck in the form of the current army commander? If it really was the LTTE who conducted this atrocity, then we really must question where do their allegiances lie? Perhaps its not just with themselves. Who prevented the Tamil population from voting to place the current administration in power? As mentioned by groundviews, who murdered Lakshman Kadirgarman thus placing MR in power? Why is a guerilla organisation that was considered the most organised specialist group in the world now suddenly losing and allowing the govt to enter their area?

These questions will always just be questions. It is not the people on either side in power that suffers. Its the people on either side that leave their families, that commit atrocicties that haunt them forever, the people who are left behind as parents, spouses and children leave them due to the unjustified cause that is war.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Law and Chaos: Galle Road Unit

On Monday, the Supreme Court gave an order to remove all barricades on Galle Road all the way up till Galle Face Hotel (why not further, I cannot fathom!). This I'm sure was due to the realisation that - these barricades are pointless, these barricades further exacerbate the traffic situation in Colombo and of course, these barricades are pointless. Having these barricades only protect those that are already protected and doesn't shield the general public from random bombings by unknown parties, kidnappings, and murders of political and otherwise natures.

On Tuesday, the barricades were removed. Partially. And what were we bestowed with instead? From 7am, approximately 10 policemen conducting individual searches of each and every car to pass the Galle Road from the Kolpetty area onwards towards Galle Face. What did it result in? Chaos . It took an hour to get from Bambalapitiya to Kollupitiya and about 5 minutes to get from Kollupitiya (past the High Commissions and his assness esteemed residence) to Galadari.

Imagine what this means. There is a bus depot near that check point. Therefore every other vehicle is a bus. There are three lanes formed on one side of that Galle Road partition. I assume an approximate 100-150 offices to be beyond that checkpoint (as WTC itself accounts for about 50). If we assume each office employs 300 people minimum and out of these, 1/2 arrive by individual vehicle and out of this 1/2 come by Galle Road, we have 10 policemen checking over ... 11,250 people and their cars. All these people need to get to work by 8 or 9am so that doesn't give the policemen ALL day to do this task, they must do this within a space of 2-3 hours (provided they've been imperiused and they actually want to do something that serves the public). Add in the usual incompetency associated with the Sri Lankan police force and what do we get... a MOTHER OF A TRAFFIC JAM.

WHO woke up on that Tuesday morning and went 'EUREKA I HAVE FOUND ANOTHER WAY TO INCONVENIENCE THE SRI LANKAN POPULATION!!!!' i can only but wonder. Idiocy is rife and common sense NIL in all those that rules us. There is only selfishness, pigheadedness and of course, ripe greed. No cars were strip searched prior to this on that stretch. Not even when Her Highness was living at TT. I'm not sure if any car checkings anywhere in Colombo, has resulted in a policemen finding a vehicle full of LTTE cadres without their IDs sitting with their rifles. I can only imagine with 28% inflation and rising cost of living combines with meagre salaries in the public service, that someone in the Registrar's dept would be more than happy to create a new IDs for anyone that asks.

So why continue with this charade? If you must 'protect' us, do your job properly. Those in power, use your brain. A war can only be 'won' so much before the other side returns. And a war that has gone on for 25 years will not be 'won' so quickly. I long to go back to the days when the ceasefire was strongly in place and we could drive around without having to be bothered with check points, bomb threats or stupid road blocks.

Tuesday is only but a reminder that those days are long gone.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

HIATUS but Im back.. For a short visit!

Just dropped by my blog today and saw a comment by Scrumpilicious saying 'where are you?' that compelled me to go 'awww' and log on to write a new post!

I've been ever so busy this past month, its actually quite manic. My job hunt was fruitful and I started a new job at the beginning of the month, amidst which Ive gotta study for an exam as well! So its pretty crazy!! Especially since I'm used to lazy days in front of the TV, checking out Kottu and ranting about my various topics!

I haven't kept much tabs on whats been happening in Sri Lanka this past month - since we are all still standing (I hope), Im guessing it doesnt amount to much. It was sad to see President Wijetunga pass away - he was actually my fave President - possibly bc he had such a short stint that he couldnt really create any chaos anyway! Oh and of course, I may have changed my viewpoint on SWRD Bandaranaike as the be all and end all of this chaotic situation in the country. I learnt that he died because he passed the Tamil Bill and of course the peg now passes to the Buddhist monks and Wimala Wijewardene for been utter dicks. (Sorry - I'm Buddhist too before anyone gets offended and starts yelling at me!)

I've been feeling very flightfooted and I'm dying to go back to London or even visit somewhere new like Egypt but the finances are in a terrible situation at the moment. So no such thing is gonna happen!

Thats it from me,

So what's new with you?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

A watch shop?!

So the world... or rather Colombo is resounding with the sound of a new bomb being set off in Pettah. Apparently it was set under a board in a pavement watch shop. Ok.. rack your brains people.. when did the LTTE ever use timing devices to send off small bombs in watch shops?!

I'm in my Mid twenties so I can fully assure you that I have not heard of any such thing. I've seen the consequences of their attacks on Central Bank, Orugodawaththa Oil refinery, Dalada Maligawa etc. So.. either the govt must be not telling us enough of how much their victory up north is affecting the LTTE (I mean, they must be pretty desperate to blow up a watch shop) orrr... something fishy is going on.

Take your pick. There's a good blog entry about this here.

Not all is as it seems.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cricket - What's up with us?

So, I went for Sunday's match, we lost. I watched a bit of yesterday's match. We lost. Now, before you think... Hmm it must be you, NO! I'm not the bad luck charm because I didn't watch the Dambulla match, and we still lost!

1996 - stuff of legend. Made some cricketing legends for sure. After that, it was a downward spiral. A lot of the oldies said farewell and a bunch of new guys came on. But how often, do we reminisce about that World Cup team? Asanka Gurusinghe's Sixer flying through the night air... Sanath achieving Master Blaster status.. Arjuna preferring to walk instead of run during the Finals... Aravinda letting Arjuna hit the winning runs..

I was 12 but I remember all of it. Watching the highlights on YouTube now, it makes you so proud!!! Then came the period that we'll all rather forget with purposely dropping catches and what losing to Kenya was it?

Now, we have a good team. We have excellent batting. We have legends in Jayasuriya, Murali and Vaas. But in all our sporting arenas, why are we not training up young talent as well as we should? Why are we relying on 30 year olds to bring us Olympic Golds? Close to 40 year olds to save matches? It shows a severe lack of interest by the ruling parties to invest enough money on training up young talents.

I don't know abt running, but I'm pretty sure there must be a few untrained Sanath's out there. With the high incidence of cricket games in this country, its a high probability that another Kalu or Gurusinghe is out there. But we don't locate them and we don't train them. Why else would players like Chamara Silva who held such hope during last year's World Cup fall to the background? We are lucky to have found Malinga and Mendis. But are they really the new Muralis? Do they have the determination and dedication to the Sport to succeed as Murali has? Malinga got his contract withdrawn for his bad behaviour on tour. Where's the dedication?

Right now, our team is inexperienced. Some say let them get trained up they'll be great. But will they? Are the right resources available for these players to hone their talent and become their best? I'm not sure. Mahela is a remnant from his generation of cricketers. His compatriots all come and gone. Sanga is off the era after Mahela.

Once Sana, Vaas and Murali decide enough is enough, will we really have that much hope? Shouldn't our infrastructure improve to support these sportsmen who clearly have the talents yet lack the resources? Its a sad state of affairs when we lost after 25 years to India in our own country. If this doesn't alert the authorities to sit up and do something about this sport that has provided us all with so many heroes, so many proud moments, I don't know what will.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Tree of Hope

Perhaps past events have hurt you, but you must still have hope. For without hope, your existence becomes dull. Pessimism is only good so far. With hope, life becomes a sunrise, you become more open to possibilities, opportunities and events. As the picture above, hope allows your mind to be a canvas. Without hope, you are but a cloudy night.

So even if someone doesn't reciprocate your feelings, even if someone has left you, even if you haven't met worth giving your heart to in so long you forget what it feels like, it is important to be open. It is vital to know that these feelings do pass. And that someone else will most definitely come along.

There are 6.6 billion people in this world. Have hope!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Baked Crab Cravings

I am craving one of these baked crab/cheesey filled dishes today!!

Any idea which places in Colombo offers the best?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Siestas, Lazy Days..

A lazy Sunday, a cool beer at the beach, read a book on a hammock whilst the sea breeze rushes through your hair, a good crab curry for lunch, a dip in the ocean...

Hmmm... what luxuries Sri Lanka provides!!! Isn't that fantastic? We have it all right at our feet. If just managed properly, this place really is Paradise. If its like this when not managed properly imagine what it would be with a booming economy?

I'm so glad to start working in Sri Lanka. After so many years of living abroad, it feels fantastic. To be able to afford any cuisine that I wish for at any point, to access the beach at any time, to smell the rain falling on the Earth. That smell.. do you know what I speak of? You can't find it anywhere in the world I'm sure. Just in the Sri Lankan soil.

With green hills, fresh strawberries and cream available in the Hill country and plenty of relics for the culturally inclined, its more than a shame its a tragedy that Sri Lanka has faced so much turmoil.

I'm glad to be back and I'm glad I can look forward for at least a year here. Sri Lankans always survive. These are the things that makes me proud to be Sri Lankan.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Good God!

If my previous post wasn't enough, I just had the pleasure of catching Jackson Anthony in a State TV interview.


'people say nationalism is bad but without embracing nationalism we cannot reach internationalism'...

F*** knows what internationalism is.. doesn't it completely go against the concept of nationalism? And as feared, the interview just re-iterated what I said in my previous post. Bogged down in Mahavamsa it's proving its purpose. Excerpts from people who watched the movie state that 'we are so grateful to Mr Anthony for reminding us our history'.

Meanwhilst take a look at a fellow blogger's entry here.

This is progressive thinking. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of a certain position and taking the best action. Of course this gentleman is educated. Perhaps its our fault for electing asses that don't even have a decent degree that this situation has arisen. What hope does our nation have when everyone who has even a blotch of brains are too afraid to speak up and let asses run the country?

Monday, August 18, 2008


I've managed to hit the top posts for yesterday/today for the first time in my history of Kottuing!

Very happy!!

Thanks all!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

ABA - my next rant..

I wasn't going to blog about this movie because I felt that one rant after another after another will just be excessive. However, i just read the following:

And I feel that it is imperative to express my opinion that this movie cannot be looked at anything but a movie.

For those that aren't entirely familiar with Sinhalese cinema, 'Aba' is the story of King Pandukabaya's childhood. It was directed by film actor Jackson Anthony and it was produced by... well apparently two business men. However the story behind the story is that Rs/- 800,000,000.00 was provided by none other than our great leader. The trailers for 'Aba' started been played when the hindi movie 'Jodhaa Akbar' was playing in the cinemas. And I have it on a trusted source that Mr. Anthony believed his cinematic creation to be on par with 'Jodhaa Akbar'.

So, shall we compare the two movies? (Just the two movies and what they inspired not the actual legend/story)

Whilst I was watching 'Jodhaa Akbar', a singular important thought came into my mind. 'How lucky are the Indian people that they have leaders like this they can look back upon with pride'. Why did I think this? Well, Akbar appeared from childhood to be a fair human being. He did not seek to kill his prisoners of war for the glory of his name. He went beyond himself to understand the plights of the people, reducing their taxes and bringing about prosperity to the country during his reign. He was fair to all his subjects were they Hindu or Muslim or the other various sects that India has to offer. So these were the reasons that were illustrated through this movie abt Akbar.

As a piece of cinema, it was a masterpiece. Songs by A.R.Rahman, dance sequences that were elaborately planned and hundreds as junior artistes. Of course, Indian cinema has more money available to it and more advanced technology and all around talents that are available to it than we have. Politically what did the movie potray? That it is possible to have fair leaders who can bring about the prosperity of a nation irrespective of the ethnicities present in that nation.

Now let's take 'Aba', cinematography and sets were excellent. Mr Anthony had taken on board what he has seen during his work with directors in large scale movies. They had workers from India flown in to create the sets. As you enter, the slogan associated with 'Aba' speaks of a person ascended from 'Ruhuna' (Now Hambantota) that saved the nation. Hmm.. analogies anyone? Movie starts. First line in the blank screen? Salutations to His Excellency MR. Ass licking anyone? I've watched many a movie in my lifetime, not many salutes a nation's President at the beginning.

For a movie spanning two and a half hours, the first twenty minutes are spent focussing on the events at the birthing chamber. We have a whole host of senior artistes from the Sri Lankan film industry: Malini Fonseka, Raveendra Randeniya, Sabeetha Perera, Shriyantha Mendis and a whole host of new artistes. The kid acts pretty well, more natural in his actions. It wasn't his fault that the script was ever so... retarded. Serela (the little girl who was a main actor in 'Water') is wasted in her role as the adopted child by Sabeetha's character. She merely dances here and there and waddles off. We know she is capable of a lot more.

Raveendra looks like a Sri Lankan Gandalf as the Pandula Brahamana. All decked out in white with the stump. Sabeetha seems incapable of efficient emotions even now as Unmada Chitra. Malini performed well in her role showcasing grandeur and dignity. Saumya Liyanage was excellent as Habara. His performance was slightly reminiscent of that of his father, Hemasiri Liyanage in certain films. Kingsley Loos appears to be a good fit for the character of Tissa.

Anyhow, back to the movie. Dialogue contained gems such as 'Even the Gods will forgive those who murder in the name of the country'. Needless to say several people in the audience snorted. And of course, Aba seemed to have mixed himself with Harry Potter as he is protected by the love of his uncle Chittaraja (who protects him as a ghost). And of course, in a highly ironic twist of facts... what religion protects Aba from his birth to his ascend to kingship? Hinduism. Mr Anthony seems to utilise Hindu Slokas and chants as background music and it is these chants as well as the psychic eye of a seer that succeeds in ensuring Aba's safety through all danger. Right at the end, Aba lifts his sword and is blessed by Chittaraja's ghost who is up on a rock and has assumed supernatural powers as he transfers his powers to Aba's palms or sword (I really couldn't be arsed paying attention to detail by this point). Its kinda like Lion King really. Only Simba is down below and Mufasa's ghost is on a rock. Imagine that. Its actually an injustice to the actual fellow who lived to reduce him to a mere puppet of a ghost or an astrologer.

And of course scattered throughout the 2.5 hours is various comments regarding the Sinhalese and the various gothras we come from etc etc. And the last rocker of a statement from Aba, 'I will fight for the glory of this motherland till death'. Yeah charming that.

So, why make this movie at this time? Around the world people use the medium of cinema and art as an opportunity to bridge gaps. To exaggerate the similarities and negate the differences. Did this movie make me proud to be Sinhalese/Sri Lankan? Err.. no. It made me feel a tad daft to be honest. Why, if this was true I have to go finding a ghost to protect me. Did this movie focus on the importance of blood lines and the importance of ethnicities? YES. Did it say we are all the same, cmon get along? No. So why would anyone in their right mind spend 800M rupees to make such a movie, intersperse nationalism promoting comments within it and throw it out to the public?

Why else? P.R.O.P.A.G.A.N.D.A

Hitler used it, Mussolini used it, Bush uses it, I'm sure Mugabe probably uses it, so why not our fellow?

To come back to the blog entry that inspired this post, this is how some people take this movie- to be fair I didn't read the whole post. However, it is not an epic movie that enters the annals of Sinhalese cinema. For its cinematography and elaborate attire, yes I conceded it is a great improvement from the Anarkali clad rubbish we see. However, if I was a fellow from Matara who watch this with the few rupees I have and I have already been indoctrinated about how great my race is, then we will have issues.

One must look towards legends and myth as examples of how to solve current problems. Sri Lankan history as illustrative as it is, is bogged down in Sinhalese Buddhism. That's not what the country needs at this point. That's precisely why MR spent money on this movie. That's precisely why the greatness of fighting for the nation is written all over it. Its an exaggerated method of alluring young fellows to join the army or support the war cause.

It is sickening when artistes use their talent (as Mr. Anthony clearly has talent) for these purposes. People are blinded by money. However, I am not blinded by 'Aba'.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Monks.. Buddhist Monks... Sri Lankan Buddhist Monks

Take a look at the third picture here.

Courtesy of Daily Mirror.

Now, when I used to go to school and study Buddhism, I was taught that Lord Buddha renounced the world of materialistic things, entered the forest and fought through many distractions to reach the Enlightened state. Through this enlightened state, he preached of the middle path. And ever since his time, those that believed so strongly in this philosophy and realised the truth in it, entered the temple, gave up all materialistic things and devoted his or her life to being an example of Lord Buddha to the generations that came after Him.

Lord Buddha spoke of Peace, of Non Violence, of Love towards all beings.

Well.. isn' t it ironic that in Sri Lanka we have Buddhist Monks leading protests against peace in the North? That in Sri Lanka, this ethnic problem arose due to the retarded sinhala buddhist mentality of this country?? Isn't even more ironic that monks are now in parliament, in violent protests (hurling grenades or something)? I don't know about you but these days I'm finding it very hard to show any respect to these yellow robed bald headed guys. Thats what they've reduced themselves to.

No more venerations. They come to Alms givings in their Mercs, they hoard money in stashes of CRISP notes in their temples, they receive gifts of Omegas and other expensive branded items by rich dignitaries. They conduct business. They enter parliament.

Them getting beaten up a few years ago at a meeting was the best thing I've seen. If you enter into an area that is by all means not suitable to what you are meant to be preaching and therefore being insulting to the religion that you are representing, then by sod's law you should get smashed for it.

Nowadays, these guys probably wear this yellow robe to gain prominence and power. I'm not an ardent buddhist but still, i'm sure I can preach to them what they should be practicing. Its sickening.

By way of disclaimer, I know that not all monks are like this. There are honest, religious monks still out there in this very religious country of ours. But where do they draw the line between reverence and power? Which monks will not fall to the lows of these monks in the spotlight were they given the same opportunities? Is consumerism and global development hitting these guys harder than it hits us?

Not all Tamils are LTTE, not all Sinhalese are Mahinda and not all monks are the JHU Monks. But unless we (who are sane) figure out what to do with these oddities who keep throwing themselves in the limelight and givins us the bad name, this country is pretty much doomed.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Story of A Papaya... And a Lesson in Being Sri Lankan

I was in Wellawatte yesterday to get some shirts and as we were returning to the car, my dad asked me whether I wanted to buy a papaya from the small kadey (store) on the by road where we had parked. I said yes, so we went inside the little shop and a lady was standing outside. We were too busy searching for the right papaya to notice who the lady was or who else was inside the very small area.

Anyway, we finally settled on a decent sized papaya and turned to give it to the shopkeeper and there was noone. Only that lady outside the store. So at this time, we looked a bit confused so the lady said 'Oh he's still not here'. I could see she was a Tamil lady. Dressed in sari. Very respectable.

At this time, another girl from a neighbouring store came to the shop. She also looked inside quizzically and proceeded to stand around. Dad kept the papaya on the weighing scale and left me with the money to pay the shopkeeper ONCE he returns. Of course, in the circumstance of things, I got chatting to the lady.

'He said he will be right back and left me here' She said chuckling. 'Not a good thing to do in these times'.

'Very trusting!' I replied

'Has he still not come?' asked the young Tamil girl.

So we kept waiting for about another ten minutes. I played around with the rice in the goni bags. There were lots of sachets hung about. Indicating that people really can't afford anything more than a 2 Rs. sachet of shampoo or Diva detergent.

There were several three wheeler drivers around. Each passer by caught my attention as I thought 'AH finally he has returned!!!'

So after 5 more minutes in the hot sun, the Muslim shopowner returns. Coolly and calmly he walks to the store. Goes inside and starts conducting the business. The lady and I look at each other and laugh.

She says something to the shopkeeper in Tamil and walks off.

I pay 100 Rs. for my papaya and walk to the car.

A small incident. Involving three ethnicities. But overwhleming with trust. No one tried to take stuff and run away. No one got angry at being made to wait. It was just accepted. And it was spent in a non hurried cordial way.

In the broader picture, we have war being waged apparently because this very cordiality doesn't exist amongst us the Sri Lankan population. Yet we have endured 25 years of war and over 50 years of propoganda attempting to brainwash us and atttempting to make us feel different from other Sri Lankans and still something like this incident still have the possibility of happening.

So if a segment of us still have the 'normal' mentality necessary to leave peacefully as good neighbours and citizens, then why can't the rest understand this ideology? How come we aren't all brawling every single day in our daily work? We all work with all three ethnicities, have friends in all three groups, but yet come the elections or any sort of threat to the asses in Power they preach the doctrine of hatred and fear. This lecture goes into the minds of the villagers and we have our current situation.

It is more than clear that we are all capable of living in this country without creating unnecessary trouble. So why wage war? Please, I request any of the armed forces, Presidents and other political idiots, dont wage war in my name. I don't ask for it. I don't want it. If you agree with me, perhaps we should all request the same.

If anything, the public should wage war against the government. Drive out these retards and get back the people with minds, hearts and good instincts.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Work Work Work Hunt for Work

10,000 B.C.

Caveman is hungry, wants to eat, runs after wildboar, catches it, eats it.

2008 A.D

I am hungry, I must attend multiple interviews, find a job, negotiate a salary, work my ass off, get the salary, purchase food items with salary, eat it.

Who says development was a good thing?!

Just so fed up of attending interviews! Finally reached final round and received an offer but the salary is not upto par with what I was expecting so do I go back in there, conduct more and more and more interviews till I finally get something with the proper salary range or just say 'FUCK IT.. and take this? I have debt to pay off so its not like I'm being greedy or anything.

I ranted about this a month ago or so and I shall rant about it again.

Its all bullshit. This whole exchange item for money, or service for money etc etc has evolved erratically and is perhaps one of the main causes behind a lot of things happening today! Greed is such a core attribute in all economies and nations. I mean look at our esteemed leader for one.

Ok it was a minor rant and its over.

If I didn't have to worry about money and financing mine, my future children and my parents futures, I would pretty much become a doctor. or a teacher. Noble professions. Dispense my wisdom unto others. Without cost.

Anyway, what would you be?

Friday, August 08, 2008

Inflation, Stupid Leaders and The Need For a Holiday

Currently in the midst of a serious job hunt which includes me having to have in depth knowledge of the country's fiascoes, economy and other depressing statistics. Inflation is down from 28% to 26% - cause for celebration! NOT! That's a whole 24% more than it should be! MR and his usual antics and the crimes of uneducated politicians stand out from blogs and newspapers. So, I feel I wanna take a leaf out of our great leader's book and go on holiday! Albeit I might give a miss to the Beijing Olympics (I thought the opening ceremony looked fantastic!).

My last fantastic holiday whose only objective was to relax was to the Maldives. Else I've been travelling around in the plans to visit people and work. Which doesn't really constitute a holiday since you have an agenda. Anyways, the journey to the Maldives wasn't as easy I thought. There are so many factors to consider so by the time you get there you're really ready for a holiday!

The transport cost from the airport to the island resort of your choice varies depending on how far it is from the airport and whether you use a speedboat or a sea plane. Sea Planes obviously are faster, but clearly more expensives. A 20 minute journey on a seaplane takes 2 hours on the speed boat. I tried both and found the sea plane to be mildly nauseating. Really. Been confined to a small aircraft which rocks here and there and has close to no air circulation is disturbing.

Then there's a choice of where to go! So many resorts, so many differences so little time!!!! and and other such sites provides pretty steep rates with not much scope for discount so what I tried to do was approach the hotels themselves. Failing which, the less commercially oversubscribed sites such as was a better option. They automatically compared all hotels found and provided me with the best rates in an easy to read format so my confused little brain wasn't fried in trying to look for the exact rates. Oh and for the fun of it, I searched Colombo and Kandy and such hotels on the above website and found all the hotels here as well! Which is FANTASTIC for those of us in Sri Lanka who can't seem to find a single website that gives rates for all the hotels here.

So in the end I managed to find a lovely hotel in the then Velidhuu resort owned by John Keels Hotels and had a scrumptious holiday. The beaches are so beautiful and so clean and so amazingly blue. I love the fact that the water isn't deep and you can wade around in peace. The comfort and peace that Maldives provides is hard to find anywhere else. Perhaps it's due to the fact that the somewhat steep prices keeps it a tad exclusive.

I'm dying to return and considering the current state of matters in Sri Lanka , perhaps its best we all jump ship, get some canoes and paddle away to the Maldives where we can live peaceful, white sandy blue beached lives :D

Monday, August 04, 2008

When Fools Become Leaders...

When fools become leaders,

* They print billions of extra money to stuff in their red scarves..

* They plunge a country into inflation of 28%

* They piss off our rather large neighbouring nations through deception

* They appoint their nearest and dearest as ambassadors.. ignoring that they are farmers

* They organise a summit when it isnt their turn

* They spend LKR 3BN on summit whilst the people get thrown out of their homes

* They close roads so they can travel around in peace and the people get stuck in jams for hours

* They warmonger amongst the villagers and use that ignorance to their advantage

* They attack anyone who cares to tell the truth

* They appoint thugs as ministers and minsters progeny wander around waving guns (see Mervyn Silva)

* They take the country, wring its neck, get as much as they can and throw it out.

Its distasteful. Its dispicable and its disgusting.

It starts with an M.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Quote from C.S Lewis 'Chronicles of Narnia':

'For in Tashbaan, there is only one traffic regulation, which is that everyone who is less important has to get out of the way for everyone who is more important'

Sounds familiar Sri Lankans?


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tradition? To Hell With It!

I was one of the many [somewhat sad] people who stayed up till late to watch the Sirasa Dancing Star final last night. Its not cause I'm an ardent subscriber of Sirasa, just that I was bored and the dancing was entertaining. I thought the artistes did a good job of keeping to the beat, looking graceful and not looking like they were trampling mud during their performances. Personally, I think the other actresses (not the finalists) have a tendency to over gesture with their limbs and features in order to copy their Indian counterparts. Sometimes it comes off as a bit OTT.

Anyhow, quite late in the show, the lights dimmed, and out came three Kandyan dancers decked out in all their regalia with their accompanying drummers.

'Oh how nice, they've decided to incorporate some culture as well' I thought to myself.

I thought it brought the show some well roundness when they showcase the talents of the artistes for western, sri lankan and indian music and then do a professional performance of traditional dancers.

What a shock! They made the dancers strut their stuff to a bass filled, RnB beat[ed], shrilly song. You couldn't hear the natural drums. The dancers were not in synchrony half the time. And to be honest, I thought they looked a bit lost. The beat they were dancing to was, I'm pretty sure, not a part of traditional bera pada at all. Sirasa then went on to leave no stone unturned and brought out low country and Sabaragamuwa dancers. Again, they performed age old dances to this ridiculous music.

I understand how Sirasa and whoever choreographed that atrocious segment wanted to bring traditional dancing to the future HOWEVER, I think somethings should be left as they are. If the dance was carried out to its original manner, it would have been more enjoyable.

Ironically, one of the types of dancers brought out usually dance at devol madu or thovils, by the look of it through the camera lens, the staged looked like a right thovil at that moment. The yak vesmuhunu [devil masked] fellows were standing there trying to get the beat, the kandyan dancers at the edge trying to do their thing, the drummers who couldn't be heard by us at home, the low country fellows doing that wonderful turn flip dance in the middle. In the background we had all the lights flashing and that nonsense song playing.

Surely, some taste people?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

This Week..

Black July. 1983 riots. Formation of the LTTE. The beginning of official war.

25 years. SAARC Summit. Malignant Leader. Hikkaduwa Beach Festival.

Err.. what? Yep, Hikkaduwa Beach Festival. Our great leader in the month where we should be remembering, learning the lessons, focussing on an end to this eternal crisis we have been thrown into has organised two massive fests for his subjects.

One, for the people who want to stay in Colombo, the great SAARC summit which has caused innocent people to become homeless, traffic to rise to unbearable levels with the Great Road Renovations (of course, its only the major roads and not the smaller roads that really need reparations) and the future Road Closures (so that these roads that are been made can not be potholed again by the horrible Sri Lankan populace).

Second, because Colombo is not the economic capital and it is okay for all the offices to close because of the SAARC summit, the people can leave the Leaders of the Asian World to discuss their important matters and head over to Hikkaduwa for the beach fest. Since our economy is flying and can afford both these extravaganzas, we can really take advantage of this great offer.

Now, who can say the Great Leader doesn't think of his people?

I wonder if the Dematagoda housing scheme that His Highness made for the people who was driven out of Slave Island in time for SAARC is ready yet? I wonder how many houses could have been made from the billion odd rupees thats lost through Mihin Air? How many salaries could have been increased by the amount thats been wasted on SAARC?

July really is a Black month for Sri Lanka.
It was Black since 1983...but since 2005 its gotten a whole shade darker.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Whose Blog Is This? - Conundrum

I wrote about blogging anonymity in 2006. Since I am wondering about it again, I shall naturally write about it again. Since my entrance into the Sri Lankan Blogosphere aggregated by Kottu, I've read a large number of posts by fellow Sri Lankans. Most I'm sure living and working in Colombo. Now as Colombo is so small, I begin to wonder do I know any of these people behind these posts?

I personally am at a dilemma. Do I write about everything I feel like writing about? Am I ok with someone I know stumbling onto my blog and realising Hey this sounds a lot like what [insert name] was saying the other day. Oh wait, a lot of this sounds like [insert name]. Why It must be them!!!

Do you, the reader, if you are a blogger tell people about your blog? Or use it as an anonymous venting hole?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Why are there NEVER any 'GOOD' jobs?!?!

About once a week I get this email from Princeton Review exclaiming 'Interested in [Insert Profession Name]... why not try [Insert Course Name]' and each week, I delete it. Ever since I left school, I've been searching for the 'right' job. Why is this so elusive?

By the 'right' job I don't mean a fantastic CEO like position at a Fortune 500 company. As a part time worker during my university years, I doubt I could have been too excellent at such a position. By 'right' I mean, something I enjoy. Something that doesn't make me want to run for the hills at the thought of going to work and something that inspires me to do better. I've worked numerous part time jobs in London - at WH Smith at 5 am as a sales assistant, fund raising on random Wimbeldon streets at 9pm in November, kitchen staff (this didn't last too long - i literally ran out on my first day after seeing the red hands of the dish washing guy) and teaching.

In my final year of university, I went through the applications process for the graduate training programs at financial institutions in London - an agonisingly lengthy process which in hindsight is a severe misuse of time. After going through this arduous process, finally recieved an offer from a large financial services firm. The last 6 months of university and the summer holidays afterwards, were spent in a wave of hope and pride for the future. It was my goal to perform excellently at my job and work the necessary hours and put in the greatest analytical skills to the job at hand. Once started however, it turned out that the salary did not (AT ALL) compensate for the work involved. My great analytical skills were rusting away whilst i ticked and checked away at spreadsheets that even a monkey could complete.

Disillusionment struck. I threw down the towel and huffed away asking myself 'Is this what I want from my life?!'. A lengthy respite later, I was yet again lured into the world of graduate training programs, this time at an investment bank and thus I put on my hopeful hat yet again and marched off into the world of Canary Wharf. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself amongst people whose personalities do not resemble those of undertakers and was carried with the tide. Did I mention that the tide wasn't made of water but of alcohol? Weeks and Months tumbled by and I was enjoying myself too much to realise that the actual job description was not very enticing. Plodding away at a computer screen or rather two computer screens was not helping anyone other than the CEOs and MDs at that bank.

The final nail in the coffin was a transfer to a certain country where the local employees were hideously racist. To me, it was return to the world of the undertakers. So now, I have thrown off this hat once and for all. All these experiences have made it very clear to me that I will not be happy in a role that does not entail helping others less fortunate than myself. Also, I will not be happy in a role that means paper pushing and sitting behind a desk. Maybe its my spiritual side but I feel I'm wasting a lot of time by doing this. Also, to negate my selfless heroic impression that you may have gotten from my previous sentence, I also hate to be told what to do.

Like any normal human being who has the ability to ask 'why', I start thinking further and asked 'why do we even need jobs?'. After university, and for some straight after school, we are thrown into the obligation and the cultural (this is a global culture) necessity of getting a job. At school we barely know our lefts from rights - Im still not entirely sure on that one - and we are meant to decide upon and lay the foundations towards our future careers. Needless to say 80% of these students, after coming out the other side from their chosen university degrees have no clue what to do with this piece of paper they have obtained. Really, what DO you do with your BSc in Zoology? Or that elusive degree BA in International Relations? How many people actually do enter the UN to carry out any internationally related work?

OF COURSE we must work. For the best part of our lives we must spend 25 days (24 if you're in Sri Lanka and its a Poya on a weekday month) a month at work and earn money. We do this because someone (very intelligent Im sure) decided it is important for us to earn money. That money is truly necessary. This rant will be a whole new post altogether. I digress.Our sometimes unfavorable educational and employment choices is mostly due to this assumption that 17 year olds are fully capable of making an educated decision on what they want to do with the rest of their lives. For some that may mean the next 43 years. When you are at home, mollycoddled for the best part, how will you know whats out there? How will you know what your personality is like till you leave the nest that is home and travel outside your comfort zone?

Where am I at now? Well I have decided to take up a very noble profession. I will probably be quite old by the time I graduate and am able to practice however I feel I would be able to work hard but use my brains at the same time. I think its important to do what you ENJOY. Not to take shit from mindless idiots but to find what you are good at and attempt to reach that place so you can really make a difference to at least a few people during your lifetime. And its important that you dont let the mindless idiots to take on the important jobs else we will have a situation like the current Presidency of Sri Lanka. Pity, I'm scared of public speaking else I would have given a try for that role :)

The Journey

One of my first aquaintances in this blogging world has given up his blog and gone off to the land of MySpace. Ever since my return after the long hiatus, I have felt his and my other original blogrends presence to a large extent. This made me want to track the journey that I have made with this blog since 2006.

I am not a constant blogger. I have to feel an inspiration on a subject before I write a post. Else I will ramble on unnecessarily. There are several such posts on this blog through the past few years. More often than not, I get an urge to write about a topic and I write about it, probably why my posts are usually quite short and to the point. (As i like to think). I think like most other bloggers, I return to the blog to find comments that may have been made on my most recent post and to read others' posts which then inspire me to write further.

I started this blog as a means to jot down my thoughts. It served its purpose to a greater level. It allowed me to vent my thoughts on most subjects - love, life, politics, anger, travel - all my feelings on any subject I pleased. This is not a hugely trafficked blog however the few bloggers that did come in and read my posts, hopefully enjoyed them and wrote down their thoughts in the comments areas. My friend blu was a great participant! I think he inspired a lot of newbie bloggers and many others by encouraging our blogging attempts. I miss his presence sorely. I hope he would have enjoyed my Harry Potter rant! :)

I want to use this blog as a means to encourage people to live their lives and as a means to draw international attention to the goings on of my country. As with life, this blog has changed as I have changed. Its shared my successes and my pitfalls just as a close friend would. I hope I will be able to continue in this manner and would be able to find other great friends like Blu in this large blogosphere.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Opinion Poll - Conflict Resolution Effective Methods

We see a lot of NGOs and other organisations start up in the name of Conflict Resolution here in Sri Lanka. However, 25 years on, we still have a war and a conflict worse than ever before. Under an incompetent leadership, we face a severe economic struggle with no respite in the near future. A large percentage of the budget of this developing nation goes on war expenses thus allows no space for economic growth. In fact, we are at an economic recession. The rupee has no value amongst the world currencies. The people can't afford a daily meal.

Last week's general strike's failure to evoke a response from the public shows something fundamentally wrong in this system. The people who needs to be targeted in order to stop this war are not being targetted. The grassroots carry on as before merely complaining about the cost of living issues but not rising to action. They may not be aware that this cost of living rises out of incompetent leadership however may believe that it is the cause of the unsuspecting tamil population taking their jobs.

I personally believe that conflict resolution begins with educating the masses. The politicians only visit the villages at times of election. Then, they fill them with lies and extort their vote. The NGOs only preach to the choir. The state media is biased and journalists that do speak the truth are been hunted down.

In this light, what do you feel is the best method for conflict resolution to be succesful? Who should we be targetting? In what methods?

For e.g. utilising the fact that Sri Lankans have a very high literacy rate and distributing pamphlets at bus stations, railway stations, cafeterias.

Pls comment! Moderation is what is needed and pls no extremism. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Harry Potter and the Sri Lankan Crisis

YouKnowWho aka Voldemort seems to have made a reincarnation in our splendid isle as none other than the Leader of this Beloved Nation. The Dementors are most definitely swooping very close as hope is driven out and despair rises each day. Muggles are being killed in abductions, kidnappings and bomb blasts which occur weekly. People seem to be Confuded regularly. The members of the government media appear to be Imperiused. Especially those at the 'Daily Noise' as they clearly haven't got a clue what's going on. Those that are in private media organisations are cleverly evading a heavy rain of 'Avada Kedavras'.

One glaring difference stares back at us in this eighth edition of Harry Potter. We do not have a 'Boy Who Lived' to whom we can turn to for salvation. In fact, all those who could have possibly been candidates have become 'Boys Who Didnt Live' such as Honorable Gamini Dissanayake, Vijay Kumaratunga, Lalith Athulathmudali, and R. Premadasa to mention but a few. The closest we have is Neville Longbottom in the shape of Ranil Wickremasinghe who needs to be coaxed into definitive action by Dumbeldore's Army. The Order of the Phoenix and Dumbeldore himself does not appear in this version. Dumbeldore's Army in the shape of Mangala Samaraweera, S.B. Dissanayake, Rosie Senananayake and numerous others in the UNP and associated Opposition parties do not seem to be able to rise to the challenege without the whispered intelligences of Dumbeldore and Harry Potter. We don't have the ultimate hero, Severus Snape either.

However we have multitudes of Death Eaters. The 109 ministers, the party affiliates, the masses that voted for these persons and still uphold their honor by conducting their various illicit activities for them are strong in numbers. Death Eaters and Snatchers rule. I wonder if Ms. Rowling did some research on Sri Lanka before she wrote the book. Where else could she have come up with such a similar situation albeit with no sense of hope.

It is a depressing time indeed. Someone will come to our rescue. At somepoint. Else we will also carry a wheelbarrow full of cash to go buy the loaf of bread from the local shop in the very near future.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Bone China

I came across Bone China as I was browsing through the fiction section at Crosswords, Bangalore. Reading the summary in the back cover, I was immediately convinced I should buy this book if only because it was a book about Sri Lanka if nothing else. I waited about a month to read it, but once I started reading, I found unable to shut this book by Roma Tearne and get on with other activities. I finished it in two days.

Set first in Sri Lanka and then in London, it follows the lives of three generations of the De Silva family. It carries the reader through the British occupation and its effects, the Tamil bourgeouis in the country and their downfall with the ending of the Crown Rule, the civil unrest and the accompanying exodus of an entire generation of Tamils from Sri Lanka and finally the challenges facing immigrants.

The prose is lyrical and elegant. The writing is beautifully simple and does not drag on this three generation novel into one of epic proportion. The reader is able to identify and get acquainted with each character in all three generations thus enabling the sorrow and loss that meets these characters to be felt as the reader's loss. Due to this close relationship between reader and character, the deaths that take place at each point of the book is felt strongly. The loss of the 2nd generation family members towards the end of the book makes the reader feel forelorn and strangely reminscent of them. Not only does Anna-Meeka, the third generation main character, able to think 'if they were here..' so are we, the readers.

Tearne is successful at conveying the complexity of emotions that accompanies migration. The eternal feeling of homesickness, not belonging and the struggle to fit in is depicted perfectly through her writing. The longing for the wide beaches, the palm trees and the Sri Lankan soil even though it is rife with civil war and unrest is common to many immigrants. It is a feeling that is captured so beautifully by her writing. In Jacob, we have the character that is shutting out the beauty of home and embracing all that is his new homeland however forever acceding that there is a limit to the happiness and contentment one can achieve away from ones homeland.

Tearne may have not got some of the details of the Civil war in Sri Lanka right. Like many of her contemporaries, as Sri Lankan authors living abroad it is difficult to truly comprehend the degree to which Sri Lankans living at home are affected by the war. Tearne speaks of suicide bombers in the 60's however suicide bombings are a sympton of the crisis with the LTTE and did not begin till the 80's. Similarly, the thoughts of the De Silva's on returning to Sri Lanka are negated due to the curfews and constant fightings on the streets. As maybe the impressions of lots of immigrants, Colombo is not constantly under fire and people living inside houses with doors bolted. Life goes on. In 'Bone China', life went on for Grace, Aloysius and Frieda amidst growing turmoil. Their eventual experiences were perhaps not completely understood by the rest of the De Silva family as all horrors become magnified as they sail abroad.

All in all, 'Bone China' was a magnificent read. In the same genre as 'July' and 'When Memories Die', this book captures the essence of Sri Lanka. What it is to live here, what it means to leave it and the sheer joy of the eventual return.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

2008 - year of crisis

As of late there has been increased debate whether globalisation is really as worthy of the hype as it was previously thought. The current state of the world economy is testament to the fact that somewhere something has gone wrong.

Oil prices are reaching record highs at $127 per barrel. The credit crisis of last year is still evoking aftershocks as seen by the recent Bear Sterns, Fannie and Freddie crises. The financial markets seem to have no boundaries. Food is becoming a scarce commodity. What is going on?!

With the increase in globalisation, China and India has become increasingly larger importers of oil. With demand soon exceeding supply, we have the current situation with oil prices reaching record levels. Experts are predicting a $200 per barrel situation by the end of this year. If OPEC splits due to the rift between Saudi Arabia and Iran/Venezuela, it is certain that oil prices will reach perhaps higher than $200 per barrel. In a world run by oil, this would mean a catastrophe.

On the other side of the arena, we have the crises in Burma and China with thousands of people dead and equal numbers barely surviving with reduced aid. The momentum to donate to the Myanmar crisis was slower than that seen in previous cases such as the 2004 tsunami or the Pakistani landslide. Are people running out of their empathy or their money? Around the world inflation is steadily increasing. India reports 3% whilst Sri Lanka is at 30%.

Sri Lanka is in a crisis beyond the reach of monetary assistance. People being abducted. Kidnapped. Murdered. No law. Genocide in the smaller scale. Bombs set off by persons that are not related to the terrorists. Who is doing what? Noone knows. What is the solution? Only a few dare to speak of it. Others leave.

This is not a proud moment in history. People seem to have forgotten their humanity in the seeking of more more more. Greed - for power, for wealth, for glory seem to have taken precedence over kindness, generosity, truth and honesty. Will we get through this? I don't know. Will we have to change? For sure. Will we have to reassess our priorities as nations, economies, families and individuals? Yes.

I can only hope we start now. For very soon it may be too late.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Catch up!

Hi All!!!

After a really very long hiatus I am back and what better way to catch up on 2007 than the checklist?? So here goes:

1. What did you do in 2007 that you'd never done before?
- I met an amazing human being, made a lovely bunch of girlfriends, had a job I thoroughly enjoyed, visited Singapore

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year? No but will make the same one this year, To go the gym religiously and get myself toned up!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yep, my cousin had a baby girl, my beautician had a baby boy :)

4. Did anyone close to you die? Nope, thank God

5. What countries did you visit? UK, Sri Lanka, India, Singapore

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007? 2007 really had it all, I would just like to be just the way it was..

7. What date from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? The most amazing guy on earth became mine -08th of June

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Obtaining a job with an investment bank, finding someone to love, and meeting some people who are my best friends

9. What was your biggest failure? Stupid romantic choice at the beginnign of the year

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Not really :)

11. What was the best thing you bought? New laptops for me and my mum :)

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My two best mates, my bf, my mum

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Close ex best friends

14. Where did most of your money go? In several long distance flights, lots of food and clothes :)

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Seeing my bf for the first time after so many bouts of long distnace!!

16. What song will always remind you of 2007? Avril Lavigne - Keep Holding On

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

I. happier or sadder? Happier.

II. thinner or fatter? Fatter

III richer or poorer? Richer

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Spent less time complaining and more time being productive

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Cribbing

22. Did you fall in love in 2007? YES and its the most exuberating experience EVER

23. How many one-night stands? None!

24. What was your favorite TV program? Grey's anatomy

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? Probably not. More disappointed in certain people, proud of a whole bunch of other people!

26. What was the best book you read? There were many but Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseinin stands out!

27. What was your greatest musical discovery? Indie, Alternative Rock, the awesome brit music scene! Not too much musical disvoceries going on last year

28. What did you want and get? Find good friends, Find a lovely bf, Find a great job

29. What did you want and not get? a few material possessions

30. What was your favorite film of this year? Becoming Jane, Ratatouille

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 23, went to India for pilgrimage

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Cant ask for anything more than what I received

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007? Comfortable yet trendy - ballet pumps all the way!

34. What kept you sane? Faith in God, Mum and a Few Good Mates

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Patrick Dempsey(LOL)

36. What political issue stirred you the most? Sri Lanka's ethnic crisis and political turmoil

37. Who did you miss? My bf :( when I was living away from him

38. Who was the best new person you met? My best mate Ned, the nicest specialiest girl around

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007: Things can get better, there are such things as nice guys, girlfriends are ever so important they can cushion any fall, Sri Lankan food is the best in the world

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year: L.O.V.E