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Aimée  Jonklaas Williams: RAF Pilot in Wartime …. and a Remarkable Life

R.T. conveying a Vale from “City Dweller” …. [it is now revealed that “R.T.” is Roger Thiedeman of Melbourne

In July this year [2000], Aimée  Jonklaas Williams, a woman of Ceylonese birth, died in Spain, just short of her 81st birthday. Her ashes were interred in an English village on July 20. Early in August, in another Sri Lankan newspaper, a close friend using the pseudonym “City Dweller” wrote a moving tribute in celebration of the life of this remarkable woman.


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January 6, 2021 · 3:05 pm

Woollacott’s Insight in 1976: Tamils set for Guerilla War and Secession

In sorting through my papers I came across a news cutting that is historically significant. Here was one occasion where a visiting journalist deciphered a developing scenario correctly. That I retained the clipping in papers relating to an article  I drafted in 1976 is also significant. These circumstances are clarified briefly at the end of Woollacott’s piece. It is fitting that he should hold centre stage ((though, alas, Alamy have put a price on the only photograph I can find of Woollacott)…. Michael Roberts

Tamil satyagrahis being foricbly removed from Galle Face Green by Sinhala enthusiasts in 1956 during the former’s protest vs the Sinhala Only Bill … 1956 or thereabouts (see Victor Ivan: Paradise in Tears …

 Ponnadurai Sivakumaran of Urumpirai was a budding resistance fighter who committed suicide by cyanide in 1974 when trapped by police. He is embodied here in high profile with SJV Chelvanayagam of the Federal Party as the embodiment of resistance to oppression. As such, he reflects the strands of Tamil thinking that Martin Woollacott discerned in 1976. Note that the Tamil New Tigers or TNT had been formed in 1972 and metamorphosed into the LTTE in 1976. In the meanwhile the Tamil United Liberation Front under SJV Chelvanyakam adopted the Vaddukoddai Resolution on 14 May 1976 calling for a separate state of Thamililam.

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June 16, 2018 · 4:29 am

Dinesh and Mother Charity: Boundless Kindness

Elmo Jayawardena,in Daily News, 1 June 2018, where the title is “Kindness t Its best”

Recently I stopped at a traffic light. A father and son walked on the pedestrian crossing. The father was holding the autistic boy’s hand, guiding him to the opposite pavement.

Probably, that is what he is doing from the time the child was born to the day the father dies. Such is the perpetual responsibility of a parent who raises an autistic child.

Dinesh Fernando is 31 years old and does not even have a bicycle to call his own. Continue reading

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June 11, 2018 · 5:32 pm

Richard Boucher in Media Event in Colombo, 1 June 2006

Richard Boucher, Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs, in Press Conference in ColomboPress Release from the US State Department

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: Good Afternoon ladies and gentlemen. It’s a pleasure to be here with you. It’s a pleasure to be here again in Sri Lanka. I had good meetings this morning with President Rajapakse and Foreign Minister Samaraweera in which we discussed a whole range of issues, most notably, of course, the political and security situation in the country. We also discussed with the Foreign Minister some of the areas of bilateral cooperation and in fact our international cooperation on issues such as Iran and other things coming up in the area.

Richard_Boucher Pic from 

I told the President that we welcome the restraint that the government has shown in the face of many provocations by the Tamil Tigers. I told him that we stood squarely behind the government in its struggle to combat terror. As you all know, our position on the Tamil Tigers is that they have to renounce terror in both word and deed and commit themselves to a negotiated settlement if they are to have any dealings with the United States. I also told the President that the government needs to do everything possible to maintain law and order and to ensure the full respect of human rights in the areas that are under the government’s control. There are groups that are committing violent crimes in those areas. We take the government at its words that it will investigate those crimes thoroughly and bring people to justice. Continue reading

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September 9, 2015 · 8:44 am

Appreciating a Towering Figure in ‘Peradeniya School’ as he reaches Ninety

K. N. O. Dharmadasa, courtesy of The Island, 27 February 2015, where the title is slightly different**

It is a well known fact that the 1950s and 1960s were a period of intense activity in the field of Sinhala literature. A prominent factor in this activity was the so called ‘Peradeniya School’ which upheld a modernistic outlook revolutionising literary and artistic creativity. The novelists, poets and literary critics who represented the ‘Peradeniya School’ were an avant garde boldly challenging established norms and advocating a freedom of expression untrammelled by traditional constraints.

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March 2, 2015 · 3:09 pm