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Uditha Devapriya
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Someone who loves books and films.
Someone who loves books and films.

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The mainstream polity ridiculed the Joint Opposition and the SLPP for not having the numbers. That is a problem it is still afflicted with. But as the local elections showed, parliamentary presence can be a poor barricade against popular revolt.
Mahinda Rajapaksa's fringe factor
Mahinda Rajapaksa's fringe factor
fragmenteyes.blogspot.com
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TV Royal fulfils two aims. The first, Kaif Sally, one of the two organisers behind the project, told me, is "selfish". There are at present 48 clubs and societies extending to almost every field of activity, from astronomy to zoology, at Royal. As Kaif put it, "they are drawn to the competition that results from the pressure of proving that your club is better than your friend's." For this reason, TV Royal will attempt to bring out the sense of kinship between them. The second aim, which I am interested in, is "selfless", and it entails "setting a trend" for other schools to follow. To put it more succinctly, this is the first time that a school here will telecast its own channel. "We do not want to set a precedent and then prevent others from matching that precedent. We want them to equal us, do better than us, and along the way, reinvigorate the concept of media units in the country."
TV Royal: Making the waves
TV Royal: Making the waves
fragmenteyes.blogspot.com
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Tombs's book is both an alternative and a watered down account of history. Personally, I believe it is relevant even to Sri Lankan historians, because it paints a picture of colonialism and exploitation which is at once deceptively self-evident and distorted. On the slave trade, for instance, Tombs argues that there was a sustained campaign led against it by the British state, which culminated with the enactment of the Slavery Abolition Act of 1834. A closer examination of this piece of legislation, its historical antecedents, and its ramifications for a world in which the balance of power had shifted to the other side of the Atlantic are called for, I rather think.
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"Probably the most important thing we've learnt in debating is to not be ruffled by praise or blame, by victory or defeat. When we win, we don't flaunt. When we lose, we don't sour. Moreover, debating has taught us a lot about people, their preferences and their prejudices. I won't say that it has taught us everything that we need to know about those people we come into contact with in our tournaments, but it's gone a long way in helping us understand other perspectives. This in turn has helped us understand that this is a field which is not exclusively reliant on confrontations and fights. There's more, much more to debating, especially Sinhala debating, than shouting and hollering and bringing your competitor down. I suppose we are all united in saying that we've learnt to be immune to pressure, and by being immune to pressure that way, we've learnt to comprehend this field better."
Debating beyond force and foes
Debating beyond force and foes
fragmenteyes.blogspot.com
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Hiruna isn't alone, as I mentioned before. There are others. Many others. All of whom profess an interest in various other spheres, the movies included, with an interest in being active participants in those spheres. Hiruna, by nature introspective, prefers the path of the poet. Those others prefer the path of the director, the scriptwriter, and the discerning actor. To be all these things, it is necessary to be a discerning human being. Are our institutions, of learning and power, enough to channel their innate sensibilities and respond positively to what they want to become? I certainly hope so. Until that transpires, though, I can only hope and continue being friends and talking with them.
Reflections on some wonderful friends
Reflections on some wonderful friends
fragmenteyes.blogspot.com
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Dewnaka Porage, in one sense the hero of Garasarapa, is the definitive younger face of Kamal Addaraarachchi, who plays his character as a psychology lecturer when he grows older. Everything is there - the frown, the firm mouth, the aquiline eyes, even the stubborn resolve - and so when he woos a girl (played by the charming Kavindya Adikari) who happens to be swayed by morbid and supernatural forces, we only hope that when SHE grows older, she will be played by the actress who more than any other actress has been paired with Kamal in the movies. But this excitement, this sense of nostalgia with respect to the film industry and its plethora of stars, is not at the heart of Jayantha Chandrasiri's latest work, which meanders along, sometimes with purpose, sometimes without it, and ends up in a climax that is as anticlimactic as it's going to get. The payoff, so essential to Chandrasiri's oeuvre, even in his television serials, is absent, and in a tragic way.
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Deborah Young's review of Guerrilla Marketing in Variety is at times off the mark because it fails to account for the richness in Jayantha's madness (when she indicts those "innovative dance numbers that jump out of nowhere", she is both paying a compliment to Channa Wijewardena's choreography and devaluing a key component of the plot, because without those dance numbers, we would not get a sense of proportion, a foundation, through which we can make sense of the link between Gregory Muhandiram's rabid aversion to culture and his idealisation of mass deception), but where she is correct is where she takes to task what she sees (a little wrongly) as a "silly, star-crossed love triangle" between Thisara (Kamal), his wife Rangi (Sangeetha), and his former lover, who happens to be working at the same ad agency that Rangi and Thisara are, Suramya (Yashoda). Here, for the first time, we saw a dichotomy arise between two facets Jayantha had brought together before.
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It is difficult to draw up imaginary lines dividing Dharmapala the national figure from Dharmapala the lay preacher. In an essay on Buddhism, published at the turn of the 20th century, for instance, he implores the British to "let industrial and technical schools be started in populous schools and villages." Perhaps more than anything else, if we are to chart Dharmapala's ascendancy as a crusader and a radical wielder of his faith, we need to consider that it is the intermingling of these two strands, rather than the separate analysis of each of them, which can best help us understand the man beneath the robe, and the robe and the enigma which made up the man. Free from all that invective.
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They say Lester Peries reminded one of a Bourbon Prince: short, unassuming, and never beset by the arrogance which visits lesser personalities. Well, if that were the case, you can say the same thing of the good professor: short, full of humility, and never even once arrogant. “I keep my pride locked up. It escapes only through my work,” Lester told me. Again, you can make the same case for Fonseka: his word is his work, and his work is his pride. But that was a different time. A time so different that we can’t escape into it. The past, as someone once wisely said, is another world altogether. One would have to be extremely fortunate to have born to it. Lester was. Carlo was. Many others were. We were not.
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By no means did the rebel sects emerge purely because of the activities of the British. Long before Pilimathalawa’s and Eheliyapola’s defections, long before the Chieftains decided to side with the British in a bid to oust the King, those rebel sects were quickly coming up. Their emergence was conditioned by the regions they originated from. In the hill country, the dominant caste was Govigama; in the outer fringes and the low country, the dominant castes were Salagama, Karava, and Durawa, and in that particular order. The Siyam Nikaya yielded to the pressures this conundrum necessitated, and years after its founding by Welivita Saranankara, it yielded to the dominant caste. Upasampada was restricted to this caste (which was not dominant in the low country, or along the coastal belt).
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