Friday, May 27, 2005

It wouldn't hurt to be nice!

The Island
Originally uploaded by chandare.

Who wrote this caption?

(It says"With screwdriver ,Clinton shows what he 's good at".Feb 22nd. 2005 The Island)
This weekend President Bill Clinton will be arriving in Sri Lanka for Tsunami related aid work.This is his second visit. Hope it is not the last.During his presidency US saw the biggest economic boom in history.His domestic and foriegn policies made him a lot of friends and foes.He is passionately loved and passionately hated .He is considered the first "black president" because of his popularity among african-americans.John Kerry's campagin had to drag this guy who was recovering form a heart surgery to african -american churchs at the last minute .I have seen many Sri Lankan politicians speak (unforunately not the generation of SWRD,Dudley,N.M or Colvin) but I have to say President Clinton is one of the best damn public speakers I have heard.Check the transcript of the speach in 2004 Democartic national convention.You have to watch the video to see the crowd reaction and the full impact of the speach. (Barak Obama had a great speach ,too.On a related note ,9/11 tribute was led by a Sri Lankan -American ,a Muslim .One Mrs.Sally who lost her daughter )

Ranasinghe Premadasa
Originally uploaded by chandare.

Come to think of it, His closest parallel in Sri Lankan politics is president Premadasa ,who came from a non-privileged background .He had to fight privileged clans in his own party as well as the outsiders.Had to take a different or centrist positions against their main party lines.Faced an impeachement and survived.To top it all, Both men had spouses who were very much public figures, loved and hated passionately.(Anybody remember Hema Premadasa singing "Bakthi Gee" in ITN or Rupavahini?).Also both men had their sexual life made public .(During 90-94, gossip columns of Ravaya ,Aththa and Yukthiya carried stories about President and the female singer he was supposed to be sleeping with .That's what prompted first lady to sing "Bakthi gee" on TV as a one-upmanship according them).President Premadasa loved his Sucharitha office in Kehelwatta.President Clinton choose Harlem for his office .

Bill Clinton
Originally uploaded by chandare.
Why do I say we (Sri Lankans)have to be nice to President Clinton and show that we can handle tsunami recovery positively?It is not because he was the most powerful man in the world for 8 years .Unlike the isolationist school of thought in US (except when it comes to oil matters) , he is a guy who belives in engaging in the world affairs in a positive way .He is actually more popular abroad than in US I think.He intervened in Bosnia when he didn't have to.Brokered (at least tried !) peace processes in Ireland and Palestine.Cares a lot about Poverty and AIDS in Africa.I think one of his focus in this tour is AIDS crisis in India.Democratic party always had a soft corner for third world democracies(Republican administrations always favoured Pakistan instead of India for instance).On the other hand he has a wife who is a popular senator who might become US president in 2008.It's like having our own ambassador in whitehouse ! People , not so long ago nobody knew where Sri Lanka was!

So what do we do with this incredible opportunity?Last time he was here,our president's brother acted like a teenager by asking for autograpghs.Is he the guy who aspires to be the next President?Then JVP's Wimal Weerawansa avoided posing for photograpghs with him(actually it would be good for president Clinton not to pose with him.He will get hell from conservatives here .).The highlight of Sri Lankan welcome came from the great Sinhala nationalist watch dog "The Island "!
Was this the maturity we displayed just 5 weeks after a great tragedy?Is this the way to treat a stranger who came to help us?I hoped nobody outside would notice it.Guess what?They did!Jeff Greenwald is a freelance travel writer was in Sri Lanka to help out.His dipatches were carried in ,too. Check his dispatches here.
I don't know diplomacy,at least this time ,please behave like adults.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Marie Barone, the typical Sri Lankan mother-in-law?

I know this is trivial compared to what is happening in Sri Lanka.Sometimes you gotta enjoy small things in life.
"Everybody Loves Raymond" ends today.
Here is what the Salon critic Heather Havrilesky has to say about it.
Nobody I know will be mourning the passing of "Everybody Loves Raymond" since, for years, everybody I've talked to thinks that "Everybody Loves Raymond" sucks. Here's the thing, though: None of them had ever watched it, or if they did, they flipped by, saw an ugly couch and some older people, and figured it was just another outdated, painfully dorky sitcom gleefully consumed by the masses.
I'm a fan of the show (and -- full disclosure -- contributed to an authorized book about it before I joined Salon). I consider it one of the best classic sitcoms on TV, and one of the darkest, populated by characters who, due to their very natures, absolutely torture each other. When they're not manipulating, wheedling, lying, teasing, undermining or openly criticizing, they're sitting on the couch facing the television, trying like hell to turn down the volume on the absurdly myopic humans around them. In other words, they're just like family.
As a dorky Sri Lankan ,what I immediately noticed was it's Sri Lankan connection.It mentioned Sri Lanka twice as I can remember.(Debra's parents had once been to Sri Lanka on vaction and describe it when they visit.I'm not sure about the other one but I think it might be Ray in a later episode who says something about Sri Lanka) .That could be the second highest mention of a foreign country in the show, after Italy. Mind you ,this was way before tsunami.At the time nobody has heard about the country.

Here comes the bomb.
Heather Havrilesky interviewed Phil Rosenthal for the Salon of the Q&A goes like this.
Q:"Raymond" is pretty subtle and its pace is very patient, particularly compared to the breakneck speed of most sitcoms, where everyone's stepping on each other's bad punch lines. All of this makes the characters feel much more like real people.
A:Well, that's the best compliment we could get. The show plays in like 171 countries. We get letters from Sri Lanka: "That's my mother."

Looks like somebody over there has an obsession with Sri Lanka ! ;-))

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Language Politics

During the run upto kottu Sinhala font ,I posted a link to an article in "Lakbima" in one of the comments.Lohan has commented on the whole issue in his blog.The article says that since the language of Sinhala news has been degraded ,the minister of cultural affairs is planning on controlling the language used by media,starting with a booklet on how to spell.

I haven't listened to Sinhala TV/Radio programs that much in last couple of years.I can guess what is going on since I have seen what happened after loosening the media control in early 90's.I think the langauge used for Sports ,talk shows or comedy is not appropriate for news.I also belive it's an internal editorial decision of the TV/Radio station.It's upto the Viewers/Listeners to vote using remote control or the small knobs in their TV/Radio sets.

Debates about the langauge changes due to Electronic media is not unique to Sri Lanka.Shepard Smith who has an hour long news show (runup to O'Reilly show at 8 PM EST)on FOX News uses a different kind of language.You can check the transcript of a documentary here or just google.

What's important of this whole issue is that the attitude in Sri Lanka about government control.The Language ,Religion or what date of the month you can get wasted should be controlled by the government!Seriously folks, this is a government who could not protect it's head of state(1 prime minister and 1 president killed.One president lost an eye),Couldn't balance a budget(last balanced budget is 1954 or something) and still couldn't build a highway connecting the capital and airport after 30 years of trying (just 20 miles!Started 1975 or something).What makes you think that the government is capable of forcing you to use correct "Na" or "La" in words?

same thing(sort of ) in Sinhala can be found here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


elohon;eg; b;elog; livim bosov(Boßov) gAn Ádhskin;m pTn;gt; Ek;d siØhl pn;Diteyo; rAlk; Ávus;s gn;n miT vDo eloku mot®kovk; nAhA!
Mm huGk; klkin; siØheln; liylo nAti nisot; ,huG klkin; lØkoev gUvn; vidulieyT svn; dIlo nAti nisot; vt;mn; tt;vy gAn liyn Ek ehod nAtievn;n puluvn;.meg; Ádhs nm; tmn;eg; puvt; vADsThn; ídiript; krn vidiy Em Áoytn vl vgkImk; . kRIDo vADsThnk; eho; vihulu vADsThnk; eho; ídiript; krn vidiyT puvt; ídiript; kirIm hrinAhA.hriyT mm em; b;elog; liyn vidiyT prik;Sn vor;tovk; liyn;en; nA veg;.hrinmi evn;n ón epR;k;ßkeyo; Eyin; ÁAt; evn Eky;.viyokrn gAn Ek Ek Áyeg; Ádhs; evns; niso kvurA vArdi krnvo kiylo kv;d tIrny krn;en;?ÁAmtitumod?ej.bI. mhocor;y tumod?Áriesn; mhtod?nAt;nm; Ámoris; Áy;yod?EtekoT E;k úl;lØgny krn ÁyT edn dÐuvm emkk;d?; ktovkT svn; dimd?
(mm lØkoev íØgRisi Ád;yopny gAn liyd;di ml pAnlo moðY polny krn;n ón kiylo liv;vo.E;t; Ek pRoeyo;gik vADk; enem;.)puvt; kiyviem; boso pRS;ny ÁpiT vitrk; Áoevnik pRS;nyk; enem;.efoks; puvt; nolikev; eßpr;D; s;mit;eg; Boßo vilosy emeh; lGdi vivodyT lk; úno.em; evb; .sm;bndey; tieyn piTpt bln;n.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Sn;toromI sh § lØkov

mm hitoegn hiTiey; meg; bIelg; Eek; pud;glik etrturA liyn;en; ná kiylo.nmut; edsAmIbr; 26 epodu Át;;dAkImk;.mm rApvohiniey; hAtAp;m dhs; gnnk; Eho meg; gmI plot muhudT gsoegn yn hATi bloegn hiTya.emonvd krn;en; ,kvurAt; pris;smin; ín;nvld kiylo bln;n ívryk; nAti durktn ÁAmtUmI.dvs; 4 kT 5kT ps;es tvt; bln;n bAri niso rápvohiniy vhlo dolo epotk; ÁtT gt;to. epot sumon gnnovk; pAt;tkT dolo tibuIb Sn;toromI
kr;t® egugri eDviDI erobr;Tis;.

epot gt;et; Eek; lØkov gAn sdhn; evnbv ekehhri kiyvpu niso.epot piTu 900 k; vitr.lØkov gAn sdhn; evn;en; epet; Án;timT!ktov, kr;t®eg; jivit ktov.Os;eTIliynu hirkrAevk; hiern; pAnlo índiyoev ebmIboey; potol elo;kT Ektu vnvo.Em epot pdnmI krgn dAn; sinmoi pTiyk; hdnvo.Ehi Sn;toromI nAt;nmi lin; boboeg; crity rGpon;en; ejoni eDp;.mT hietn vidiyT eloek; jnpuiym Áorvl; edkk; ( eholivuDi potol Áor sh eboliuvuDI sØgit Áor)Ek; krlo E;k hduevt; Ámutum sinmo pTyk; evyi!

mT Ánik; epot Enkn; ín;n evnvo lØkov gAn kiyvn;n .lin; bobo lØkovT En;en; 87-90 koley;.lØkoev yud;d edkk;.Ohu En;en; ebom;boey; potoley; kTyut;tkT!blmu lin; bobo Áep; ítihosey; ÁdurA koley; rhs; Eli kryid kiylo?

epot gAn vicoryk;
emm lipiym ín;guisieyn;

Shantaram and Sri Lanka

This is not a book review!
Here is a review
Book on amazon
I thought of not writing anything personal in my blog.Dec 26 is a shared expreriance .I guess I can break my own rule once in a while and write about it since it sets up the thing I'm going to write.
After almost a week of watching TV,endless phone calls and trying to figure out how to help, I couldn't watch anymore TV .All the major networks were showing my hometown being swept away to sea .I turned off the TV and started reading "Shantaram" by Gregory David Roberts which has been lying around .I had bought it a couple of weeks before since I read somewhere that the story involves Sri Lanka .
The book was gigantic.Almost 900 pages.I finally found Sri Lanka in the last page!the story was about a convicted felon from Australia escaping the prison and joing the mafia in Bombay.It is almost an autobiography.Hollywood is shooting the movie version with Johnny Depp as Shantaram(Lin Baba).I don't know how they are planning it but It could be the ultimate movie if they combine two money making genres,Bollywood Musical and Hollywood Gangster.

I have to wait for the next book since that's when Lin baba comes to Sri Lanka in the middle of two wars(this is 87-90 period) to carry out a mission he is entrusted with.May be Lin Baba will shed some light on the darkest era of our history.

Check the same thing in Sinhala using Indi's awesome font! ;-))

Monday, May 09, 2005

Sri Lanka is paying it's bills by exploiting it's women

I checked the most e-mailed article in New York times today.That's what I usually do when I miss a Sunday Edition.There was an article about Sri Lanka in the top ten.It was not about Tsunami.New York Times is probably the most influential paper when it comes to journalism.On-line edition is widely read and it's free.It couldn't be all Sri Lankans who has been e-mailing the article to each other ,to make it to top ten.

Mm Ád úed; nivi eyo;k; Tyimis; pt;ter; vADipurm Í-emil; kl puvt; pt; lipi Átr lÐkov gAn lipiyk; dAk;ko. nivi eyo;k; Tyimis; pt;try elo;key; blvt;m pt;tr vlin; Ekk;.Em lipiy mul; dhyT En;n Íeml; kel; lÐkev Áy vitrk; evn;n bAhA.Ánit; Ek Ey sUnomiy gAnt; enemi.

You can check the article here .It is about Sri Lankan housemaids.I have seen these kind of article for so long.Nothing has changed for the last 20-30 years.Same is true about female workers in free trade zone or female workers in the tea plantions.Those three combined together keep the country afloat.

Em lipiy emi smibn;ðeyn; blogn;n puluvn;.E;k lÐkik g®h es;vikovn; gAn.emi veg; lipi kIyk; nmI psugiy ÁvIrAdu tieh; pl evlo ÁAd;d ?ÁAyi nidhs; evld klep; esvikovn; gAn?tv gt;etot; vtu krey; kn;tevo; gAn?emi kn;tovn; tun; egol;l niso tmyi rT bn;ekoelt; enovi tieyn;en.

I have seen bar room fights in Sri Lanka ,just because some guy hit on another guy's -cousin's -friend's girl friend.Check what happened when some guy took a picture of some guy's sister-in-law's legs.When it comes to living on the money those women make ,Sri Lankan men don't have any shame.

Mm lÐkoev smoj Solovl rn;Du dAkla tieynva kaeg; hari bDuvk; diho nikn; blpu niso.ÁAyi emi liyum kiyvla bln;n kaegd nAnn;Dieyk;eg; gel; pin;tur ghlo evcic ed;.eE; únaT lÐkoev pirimin;T reTi gAnU duk; vidlo hmibu krla sl;li vlin; jivt; evn;nnmI hirikit nA!

siiGl ÁkurA livIm

mm nAvtt; eha;Diey; pn;tiey;.siGeln; biela;g; liyn;n út;sah krn viT tmyi etern;en ÁpiT Ek eha;Diyk; nAtibv.ekTin;m siGeln; siGl liyn;en; ekaehamd?;


Friday, May 06, 2005

Mage Palamuwana Sinhala Blog Rachanaya(My First Sinhala Blog Entry)

Mage nama Chandare.
Eka mage aththa nama nemei.Aarudha namakin liwima angata gunai kiyala mata hithuna.Mama paawichchi karanna yanne Sinhala basawe katawachana viyakaranaya.Blog ekak kiyanne hithe nidhahasen karana pauwdgalika wadak nisa mata ehema karana eka lazyei.
Sinhala yathuruliyanaya(type karana eka) hari amaru wadak. Yathurupuwaruwe akuru hoyana eka muka poottu wena wedak!Mehema Romanu akuru walin liyana eka lehesei(I wrote leseei in several ways to show how complicated this task is).
Mama Sinhala blog dakala thiyanawa.Uda haranayak washayen gaththoth X kandayame e-journal eka ,eka widiyaka blog ekak.Namuth egollange thaakshanaya wenas.Liyanna amarui.Mehema type karana eka hari layseei.
Lankawe blog-golaya(blogosphere) sahenna wishalai.kottu eke blog 50 withara thiyenwa.indi Sinhalen blog liyana ona kiyala rachanak liyala thiyena nisai mama meka liyanne.
kottu wala laisthu gatha karala inna blog baluwoth honda honda sellam meheth wena bawa balaganna puluwan.Udhaharanayak washayen gaththoth indigei manolo ge patalawilla(manolo ),indigei-morquendigei-mahangu-thawa godak ayagei adyapana prathisanskarana vivadaya(education), ethkota handi garuppu walin indi-appa kana ape ihala pelanthiya(indi-appa) .Thawa baluwoth piththala Wanduru Sangeetha Kandayame Sandarshanaye kageda nanandiyekge "gale" pinthura gahala wechcha vipathiya wage sellam thiyenawa(BMS).
mata hithenne Sinhalen blog liyanna sahenna pirisak yomu unoth honda wiwada saha ,honda sellam eliyata enna puluwan.
Mata weda thiyenawa.Methanin danata nawathinnam.