Ruhuna Putra, in Island. 22 July 2020, with this title “Galle’s famous Fibber’s Tree”
It was a giant tree of the Banyan family (Ficus altissima), fairly tall, most of its branches canopied and dotted with many a rookery, while some branches bent downwards to the ground and propagated. It also had several subsidiaries. It was centrally located within the town of Galle in a small section of the large cattle pen of the mighty King Ravana covering vast acres, opposite the present police station and close to the war memorial roundabout.
This article, entitled “Two State Hypocrites—The Indo-Pacific Humbugs” – written by one “Pettibandige” in Asian Tribune annoyed me greatly when I glanced at it first: in part because it is a slashing hack job steeped in bile and excess; and in part because of its glossing over of the Japanese imperial expansionist programme in the first half of the 20th century via its assertion “Possibly Pearl Harbour was a result.”
However, the stream of stridency adopted in the essay seems to be a literary device that is (A) in step with its play on the Sinhala ge name “Patabändige” – modified here to “Petti” as in box; and (B) in line with its continuous mockery of the two leading actors, namely Trump and Modi. I have therefore inserted my own imprint by marking those points I question in black and those jibes that have some foundation in red….. Michael Roberts
Matthew Weaver, in The Guardian, 6 & 9 September 2019 with this title “Loch Ness monster could be a giant eel, say scientists”
The Loch Ness monster could be a giant eel, according to a fishy new theory that will keep Highland tourists guessing. In one of the biggest DNA studies of its kind, a team of scientists from New Zealand’s Otago University found the presence of about 3,000 species in the deep murky waters of the Scottish loch. Most of the creatures were very small, and while they did detect DNA from pigs, deer, sticklebacks and humans, there were no monsters. But Prof Neil Gemmell, who led the study, said he couldn’t rule out a theory that eels in the loch have grown to an extreme size.
The phrase BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES took life more than 500 years ago, 1497 to be precise, in the Italian city of Florence. The unusual practice was started by the followers of Franciscan priest Girolamo Savonarola. He denounced corruption, despotic rule and the exploitation of the poor. These were un-abated traits of Florentine rule, which were evenly spread among the rich and the powerful. Friar Savonarola waged war on vanity and preached to his followers to discard anything that was vain for a simple life of a man or woman who sought lasting contentment and happiness. To this end, he encouraged people to bring all their items of vanity and burn them. The bonfires of the vanities became a rallying call of the followers of Padre Savanarola so much so the Pope excommunicated the rebel priest and imprisoned him. He was later hanged along with two of his assistants and their bodies were burned. So ended the Bonfires of the Vanities, and Florence went back to abusing power.
Andrew Fidel Fernando, in ESPNcricinfo, 1 July 2019, with this title “Angelo Mathews and the craziest ball of the 2019 World Cup”
Gather round, kiddos. Let me tell you a story about Sri Lankan cricket. What would you like to hear? The story about how Dimuth Karunaratne, who hadn’t played ODI cricket for four years, became captain for the 2019 World Cup. Ah, that is a good one. Crazy, no? Unbelievable even. All the things you want in a good story. Or what about the tale of the Sri Lankan selectors who picked about five wrong players in a squad of 15 for the tournament? That is not that hard to believe, I suppose, but it’s not bad as well.
But actually, lamayi, the one I’m thinking about is even better than those two. It’s dramatic. It’s funny. It’s colourful. It is hauntingly sad and fabulously uplifting at the same time. Like the best stories, it has so many layers. Most of all, it’s beyond insane.
Angelo Mathews dismissed Nicholas Pooran off his first delivery to seal the match for Sri Lanka Getty Images
Thuppahi's Blog · This web site presents the interventions of MICHAEL ROBERTS in the public realm with reference to Sri Lankan political affairs. It will embrace the politics of cricket as well. ROBERTS was educated at St. Aloysius College in Galle and the universities of Peradeniya and Oxford. He taught History at Peradeniya University and Anthropology at Adelaide university. He is now retired and lives in Adelaide.