"Star Lanka Online" Our NEW Web site And Web TV Channel Launched

TFGE , The Future Global Educational Center Has Launched
the official web site, called
*** Star Lanka Online Dot Com ........................

www.starlankaonline.com will be completed in very near future....

*** Star Lanka Online TV Channel,..................

Just One Click ahead ...

Now you can watch "Star Lanka Online TV" channel broadcasts from Matara, Sri Lanka in most part of the day. Still we are keeping a test transmission also. There is a link right side of your hand to watch our TV channel. You can watch (Click On the Box) live channel on this site without going to another site to watch the TV. and also recorded parts, following the below link.

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Major discovery in Afghanistan

Major discovery in Afghanistan

The monastery found while digging for the copper mine

In 2001, Afghanistan's ruling Taleban blew up two giant Buddha statues in defiance of international efforts to save them. United Nations former Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in Pakistan on a tour at that time, described the Taleban's acts as a disservice to themselves and Islam.

The monuments, in Bamiyan were once a big tourist draw, and one of them was the tallest of its kind in the world. They dated back to between the Second and Fifth Centuries AD, before the advent of Islam, when Afghanistan was a centre of Buddhist learning and pilgrimage.

The 2,000-year-old Buddha statues were believed to have been carved during the time of the Kushan dynasty which is thought to have been the ancestors of the Hazara tribe that inhabits Bamiyan, the heart of the Hazarajat region.

Nine years after this barbaric event that produced a global public outcry, a Chinese company digging an unexplored copper mine in Afghanistan had unearthed ancient statues of the Buddha in a 2,600-year-old Buddhist Monastery in Mes Aynak.

Knowing the dangers posed to them by the Taleban, international archaeologists are rushing to salvage what they can from a major Seventh Century BC religious site along the famed Silk Road connecting Asia and the Middle East.

The ruins include a monastery and 'Stupa' and were discovered as labourers excavated the site on behalf of the Chinese Government-backed China Metallurgical Group Corp (MCC), which intends to develop the second largest copper mine in the world, lying beneath the ruins.

This picture is believed to have been taken by the Taleban, as they got ready to blow up the Bamiyan statue

MCC wanted to start construction work on the mine by the end of 2011, but under an informal understanding with the Kabul Government, it has given archaeologists three years to carry out a salvage excavation. Archaeologists working on the site since May say that there won't be enough time for a full preservation. The monastery complex has been dug out, revealing breathtaking hallways and rooms decorated with frescoes and filled with clay and stone statues of standing and reclining Buddhas, some as high as 10 feet and mighty in their grandeur.

Mini stupas

An area that was once a courtyard is dotted with mini stupas standing four or five feet high. More than 150 statues have been found so far, though many more are believed to be in place.

The larger ones are too heavy to be moved, and the team lacks the chemicals needed to keep the small ones from disintegrating when extracted.

"That site is so massive that it is easily a 10-year campaign of archaeology," said Laura Tedesco, an archaeologist brought in by the US Embassy to work on the sites in Afghanistan.

The team hopes to lift some of the larger statues and shrines out before winter sets in this month. Around 15 Afghan archaeologists, three French advisers and a few dozen labourers are working in the area, a far smaller team than the two dozen archaeologists and 100 labourers normally needed for a site of such size and richness. They say that the salvage effort is minimal due to lack of funds and personnel.

Important points

An Afghan archaeologist standing inside the monastery Pic: AP

"This is probably one of the most important points along the Silk Road," said Philippe Marquis, a French archaeologist engaged in the project. "What we have at this site, already in excavation, should be enough to fill the (Afghan) National Museum."

Mes Aynak's (20 miles from the south of Kabul) religious sites and copper deposits have been bound together for centuries and throughout the site's history, artisan miners have dug up copper to adorn statues and shrines.

When China won the contract for the mine in 2008, there was no discussion with Kabul about the ruins, only about funds, security and building a railroad to transport the copper out of Logar's dusty hills.

But a small band of Afghan and French archaeologists raised a stir and put the antiquities on the agenda. Some believe that Afghan archaeologists have known since the 1960s about the importance of Mes Aynak, but almost nothing had been excavated.

Although the mine could be a major boost for the Afghan economy, worth tens of billions of dollars, a Mining Ministry official working on the antiquities issue said MCC shares the government’s goal of protecting their heritage while starting mining as soon as possible.

But people all over the world are worried that the Taleban will soon destroy this historic site as they do not allow 'non-Islamic' relics or religious sites to exist in their country.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Murali speak about all time Sri Lankan destroyers , JVP's move

Murali speak about all time Sri Lankan destroyers , JVP

Muttiah Muralitharan has made a confusing claim about the recent Sri Lankan political history, when he told an Australian newspaper that a lot of Sinhalese were killed when “Communist Party came”.

Murali who is currently touring Australia had made this statement during an interview with renowned cricket writer Peter Roebuck. It was published in the leading Australian newspaper Sydney Morning Herald.

“Do you think that these troubles and growing up in a mixed community helped to give you strength of character? The Tamils had a hard time” Roebuck had asked Murali.

“The Sinhalese as well. They had hard times when the Communist party came, they were targeted and a lot of people were killed” had been Murali’s reply.

Murali has also recalled how his house and his father’s biscuit factory was burned down during violence in 1977, and has said that they have forgiven things because they are not “politicians”.

“Our factory and our house were burnt down in 1977 and that was painful for a time. We were saved by Sinhalese. They came and stopped the crazy people before they killed us. We never forgot that. We rebuilt them and moved on. That was our family way. We are businessmen, not politicians. My father kept things as simple as possible.”

Mural has also recalled the 1983 violence during the interview “There were riots but after 1983, it became normal. Remember I was staying at hostel in school for seven years and living with many Sinhalese and Tamils in the same dormitories so it was not that difficult.”

Murali also claimed that he was never interested in the captaincy of the team.

“Did you ever want to captain?” asked Roebuck and Murali replied “No! I thought it was a burden”

Muralitharan has also detailed his plans to build a village with all facilities in the Tamil areas of the country

“ After the [2005] tsunami we did something because the infrastructure was down. We provided free medicine and nurses, empowered women and built a village with 1000 houses and facilities like cricket fields, schools. I want to build the same in the Tamil area in the north next. [The] President has given us 50 acres of land to build 300 houses and nurseries and the rest. We expect 15,000 people to benefit for this project” Murali said.



He means about JVP avtivities. They are the only Communist Party active in those days. Then, there isn't any confusing parts in the Murali's speech as Dailymirror news said.

------------Sir. Priyantha De Silva

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Swarnawahini Mega Star Debacle - Unseen and untold story

Mega Debacle .........................
Grand finale ends abruptly

The much-hyped grand finale of the Mega Star reality show was marred by hostility and humiliation late on Saturday night after the irate audience at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium turned furious hurling empty bottles and stones on to the stage when the top management of the EAP Group including its chairperson Soma Edirisinghe were preparing to present the Mega Star Trophy to the winner Ajith Weerasinghe.

Angry fans said the whole country believed the trophy was a cakewalk for UNP parliamentarian Dayasiri Jayasekara who showed consistency right from the beginning of the programme. Dayasiri was placed second, Suresh Gamage third and parliamentarian Upeksha Swarnamali fourth.

A senior police officer who was at the scene claimed the main architect behind this mega programme was also manhandled by some angry fans and he had managed to flee the area with Ms. Edirisinghe.
The Mega Star contest itself took a shocking twist during the past few months amidst allegations of large-scale malpractice and manipulations within the reality singing programme which had 36 participants representing diverse fields. Besides actors and actresses there were three print media journalists, a doctor, a nurse, a police officer, a model and parliamentarians in the singing show.

Analysts said this was probably the first time in history that the finals of a reality programme came to such an embarassing end, with the channel abruptly abandoning its live coverage due to brawls that took place at the venue.

All 36 participants of the Mega Star show were not invited to the grand finale and the channel was unable to give a valid reason for this lapse.

The participants charged the whole show which went on for one year was manipulated by one individual who had the whole programme under his control.

Mega Star winner Ajith Weerasinghe was not reachable for his comments.
Informed sources said the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium had also suffered serious damage due to the commotion.

Earlier last week, a group of leading artistes protested that they had not been invited to the grand finale of the mega reality television event.

A globally renowned film actress who is also known for her singing prowess charged that she and several other participants were subjected to what she called unfair treatment because they spoke openly whenever they saw injustice.

Popular actress Damitha Abeyratne said all participants in this programme were popular figures representing diverse fields like cinema, tele drama, fashion, media, health, police and politics.
“It is therefore the responsibility of the organizers to ensure the dignity of the participants too. We did not even receive an invitation for the final, leave alone participating. We feel this is an injustice from the people’s point of view too. The people obviously expected the show to be a glamorous one with all the participants. Some of our colleagues were run down by the channel just because they spoke out against the unjust acts that were taking place. We can’t fathom the attitude of the organizers for trying to humiliate the very people who boosted their programme,” they said in a frustrating tone.

But the main players of the programme declined to respond to some queries posed at them over those allegations. We asked them if the 36 participants would be invited for the grand finale or not, whether they would be given any performances or not at the finals, whether they would be called up onto the stage and whether any prizes would be given to the 36 stars….

Film sources said instead of inviting the 36 participants, the organizers got senior film stars to take part in a filler event. But many film world personalities asked how the senior stars took part in a programme which blatantly let down and humiliated their junior colleagues.

Despite the final alcking credibility, many people asked why a panel member was praising the main architect of this show, insisting that he was a better organizer than those who organized Bollywood film festivals.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The True Story of Swarnawahini Mega Star Finale 2010

The True Story of Swarnawahini Mega Star Finale 2010

menna eththa kathaawa ethana hitiya kenekk gema wachana walinn...

mulinma methana wune suresh kapuna nisa kattia poddak awissila hitiye but echchara awulak wune na eeth sureshge boards wisikkarakara thamai kattiya hitiye. final desicion eka dunnata passe kattia hu kiwwa, awards denna yanakotya aaaathin water bottle ekak stage eka maddata wisikkara hariyata kamal gawata wage awe, e welawe mervin silva stage ekata awa. eyawa eyage security eka wata karagatta. mr silvagen kisima prashnayak ethana wune na, ethana crowd support eka wadiyenma thibbe dayasiritai sureshtai, so ajith apu nisa dayasirige kattia awissuna, ekata sureshge kattia join wuna, sureshwa kattiya ussagena cheers kara, ethana godak wela awulak giya dennek ambaneta guti kawa kattiya kiyanne SMS ganan karapu aya kiyala. Kamaltath sure na decision eka eya 6 , 7 parak wage kole balanawa, brake eka welawedith kole balanawa, passe meya judge board eka nidos kara by asking the winner shirly nagitalama kiwwa dayasiri kiyala anith dennamath ehemai. so ethakota judge board eke force ekak na, anith eka ajith kiyanne multi millioner kenek eyata bmw factoreis thiyena kenek.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mega Star Winner 2010 Swarnawahini - Dayasiri ?

Violence at Sugathadasa stadium

A violent situation has been created at Sugathadasa stadium following the announcement of a winner of a popular reality show Mega star.

Spectators have turned unruly when it was announced Ajith Perera has won the Mega star event of Swarnavahini beating MP Dayasiri Jayasekara.Panelist Deputy Minister Mervyn Silva has sided with MP Jayasekara.Deputy Minister Mervyn Silva and MP Jayasekara were taken away from the stadium under tight security, eye witnesses said.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

World Cup soccer's psychic octopus dies

World Cup soccer's psychic octopus dies

Paul, the oracle octopus who shot to fame in the World Cup this summer for his uncanny ability to predict the results of Germany's soccer matches, has died at his home in Oberhausen at the age of two.

English-born Paul made headlines across the globe after he correctly forecast how Germany would fare in seven matches, before his psychic powers were tested again for the final.

After Germany's semi-final defeat, Paul tipped Spain to beat the Netherlands in the final, which prompted one news agency to report he had spurred a jump in demand for Spanish government bonds. Paul's prediction duly came to pass: Spain won.

Staff at the Oberhausen Sea Life Center in western Germany said in a statement they were "devastated" to learn of Paul's death when they returned to work on Tuesday.

"He appears to have passed away peacefully during the night, of natural causes, and we are consoled by the knowledge that he enjoyed a good life," said the centre's manager Stefan Porwoll.

Before matches, two containers of food were placed in the eight-legged creature's tank, each one bearing the flag of one of the teams about to compete for their chance to become world champions. The container Paul picked first was seen as his pick.

Following the World Cup, a Spanish zoo made a transfer bid for Paul but his German keepers refused to sell.

Paul will be kept in cold storage until the center decides how to mark the mollusc's extraordinary life, Porwoll added.

"We may decide to give Paul his own small burial plot within our grounds and erect a modest permanent shrine," he said.

Paul, who was hatched in Weymouth, England, may yet continue to dazzle the world with predictions from beyond the grave.

A Russian newspaper said in July it had got Paul to predict who would be Russia's next president -- but that the results would be kept secret until the election year of 2012.

Sea Life said Paul would live on as the object of a host of commercial enterprises ranging from special clothing lines to mobile phone applications inspired by his fame in Oberhausen, one of Germany's most cash-strapped cities.

Meanwhile, donations made in honor of Paul's achievements would help to fund a planned permanent rescue center for sea turtles on the Greek island of Zakynthos, Sea Life said.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

NEW CARS 2010 >>>Ferrari 458 Italia

NEW CARS 2010 ...

Ferrari 458 Italia 2010 vs GTA Spano 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sarath Fonseka found guilty !

Fonseka found guilty

The first Court Martial today found General (Ret.) Sarath Fonseka guilty and sentenced him for a dishonorable discharge from rank pending approval of the President, military officials said

The defence counsels of General Fonseka were not present at the proceedings of the first Court Martial this week, which examined cases relating to General Sarath Fonseka's alleged involvement in political work while in active service.
Fonseka convicted by Sri Lanka court martial

A court martial has found the former Sri Lankan armed forces chief, General Sarath Fonseka, guilty of engaging in politics while on active service.
Gen Fonseka would be stripped of his rank and medals once the government has ratified the decision, officials said.

He has been detained by the authorities since shortly after January's presidential election, when he failed to oust President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The general and his supporters say the charges are politically motivated.

Gen Fonseka led the army in its victory last year against the Tamil Tigers and was hailed as a war hero by the majority Sinhalese community for bringing an end to 26 years of civil war.

He still faces a second court martial on alleged corrupt deals while in the army.

Dishonourable discharge

On Friday, officials said the general had been found guilty by a three-member panel and sentenced to a dishonourable discharge, pending the approval of President Rajapaksa as commander-in-chief.

"When an officer is cashiered, he loses the rank and all the awards and honours received as a military officer," the Sri Lankan presidential secretariat said in a statement.

One of Gen Fonseka's lawyer, Sunil Watagala, told the BBC's Charles Haviland that the case has been heard in the absence of the defence team during a court vacation.

Mr Watagala said it was irregular for a trial to be held now - but the court martial had rejected the defence proposal that it be held next week.

An aide to General Fonseka, Tiran Alles, described as "totally unacceptable" the holding of the trial during this period.

A few months after the Tamil Tigers' defeat, Gen Fonseka was promoted from army commander to chief of the defence staff by Mr Rajapaksa.

The two men clashed over who should take credit for the war, however, and Gen Fonseka is said to have seen this as an attempt to sideline him.

In November, he shocked many by announcing his retirement. Two weeks later, he declared his intention to run for the presidency.

Mr Rajapaksa beat him soundly to win a second term. Opposition parties claimed that the vote was unfair.

On 8 February, Gen Fonseka was arrested and taken into military custody. The government said he would be tried for "military offences".

Rally arrests

It was later announced that he would face two separate courts martial for undertaking political activities before resigning from the army and for granting corrupt arms procurement contracts while in command.

He was then told he faced civilian trials for allegedly inciting unrest by quoting reports that accused the defence secretary of war crimes, and for recruiting army deserters to work on his election campaign.

He has been allowed to leave jail under military escort to attend parliament since April, when he was elected an MP for the opposition Democratic National Alliance (DNA). His parliamentary status will not be affected by the sentence.

Meanwhile, a court in the southern city of Galle has remanded supporters and two parliamentarians from the DNA until 16 August.

Parliamentarians Vijitha Herath and Ajith Kumara and the group are accused of assaulting the police after a rally demanding the release of Gen Fonseka on Thursday.

Police used tear gas and batons to disperse the crowd.

President confirms sentence on General Sarath Fonseka

General Sarath Fonseka is to be cashiered from SL Army
ImageThe convening officer of the Court Martial – 1, HE the President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Confirming Authority on Saturday (14) confirmed the accused, General G.S.C. Fonseka be cashiered from the Sri Lanka Army as recommended by the tribunal that probed the accused’s involvement in politics on three separate charges.

In accordance with provisions in the Army Act under Section (124), the accused was charged on one count and under Section (102) on two counts;

1. Traitorous / Disloyal Word
2. Neglect to obey garrison or other orders (two counts)

The tribunal comprises Major General H.L Weerathunga, (President), Major General A.L.R Wijethunga and Major General D.R.A.B Jayathilaka. Rear Admiral W.W.J.S Fernando serves as Judge Advocate for both Court Martial - 1 and Court Martial - 2. Prosecution led evidence of four witnesses including Minister Jonston Fernando, Mr Gamini Abeyrathna, Parliamentarian Luxman Seneviratne and Major General A.W.J.C De Silva. Mr Rienzie Arsacularatne was the Defence Counsel for General Sarath

The Court Martial - 1 probing charges against General Sarath Fonseka under three separate charges commenced its sittings for the first time on 16th March 2010, in accordance with provisions in the Army Act after it was appointed by HE the President Mahinda Rajapaksa on 11th March 2010 as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces on recommendations of the Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya.

General G.S.C Fonseka joined the Sri Lanka Army on 5th February 1970 and received commissions as a 2nd Lieutenant on 1st June 1971 in the Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment. Months after HE the President was elected, he was appointed the Commander of the Army on 6th December 2005. He was promoted to the Rank of a General on 18th May 2009 immediately after the conclusion of the war for peace. On 14th July 2009, he was appointed to the post of Chief of Defence Staff and he retired from the service on 14th November 2009.
Last Updated ( Sunday, 15 August 2010 )

Friday, August 6, 2010

Premier D.M. jayarathne is hospitalized

Premier D.M. jayarathne is hospitalized

Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne has been admitted to a private hospital in Colombo after suffering from high blood pressure and sugar, the relatives of the Prime Minister told Daily Mirror online.

Jayaratne (79) was sworn in as Prime Minister in April this year and is the founding member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). (Daily Mirror online)

Sakvithi arrested - Most wanted fraudster of Sri Lanka

Sakvithi arrested - Most wanted fraudster of Sri Lanka

The most wanted fraudster Sakvithi Ranasinghe and his wife have been arrested and are now in police custody in Sri Lanka.

Intelligence sources told Daily Mirror online that Sakvithi had altered his appearance and was using a Tamil name at the time he was arrested by the Mirihana Police and had in his possession monies worth more than Rs. 150,000.

Sources added that he was arrested in Kaduwela following information provided by a Civil Defence Force officer and had reportedly returned to the country from India two months ago. He was handed over to the CID for further investigations.

Sakvithi is accused of swindling more than 1,000 million rupees. Police say they had received more than 2,900 complaints. Senior policemen, soldiers, a woman athlete, cricket players and prominent social figures are among the victims.

Sri Lanka had earlier sought Interpol assistance to arrest the man in connection with what might have been the largest single cash defraud in the country.

An arrest warrant was issued against him in connection with the activities of the finance company in which thousands of Sri Lankans have deposited their savings

By Indika Sri Aravinda

The most wanted fraudster Sakvithi Ranasinghe and his wife have been arrested and are now in police custody in Sri Lanka.

Intelligence sources told Daily Mirror online that Sakvithi had altered his appearance and was using a Tamil name at the time he was arrested by the Mirihana Police and had in his possession monies worth more than Rs. 150,000.

Sources added that he was arrested in Kaduwela following information provided by a Civil Defence Force officer and had reportedly returned to the country from India two months ago. He was handed over to the CID for further investigations.

Sakvithi is accused of swindling more than 1,000 million rupees. Police say they had received more than 2,900 complaints. Senior policemen, soldiers, a woman athlete, cricket players and prominent social figures are among the victims.

Sri Lanka had earlier sought Interpol assistance to arrest the man in connection with what might have been the largest single cash defraud in the country.

An arrest warrant was issued against him in connection with the activities of the finance company in which thousands of Sri Lankans have deposited their savings. (Daily Mirror online)

Uploaded with lanka e news

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mervyn ties man to tree

Mervyn ties man to tree
-----By Gandhya Senanayake

Deputy Minister Mervyn Silva tied a samurdhi officer to a mango tree a short while ago over his failure to attend a dengue prevention programme in Kelaniya last week.

The official was however later released while two other women and a man were also reprimanded by the Deputy Minister over their failure to attend the same programme.

The Deputy Minister also severely warned one of the lady officers after she raised her strong objections in seeing the male samurdhi officer being tied to a tree.

The Deputy Minister warned her to be quiet if not suffer a similar fate.

Deputy Minister Silva however said that that the media report that a child in his electorate had died due to dengue was untrue because the child was not from his electorate. The man who was tied to the tree however said he could not attend the event as his child was ill the day the programme was conducted.

The event took place amidst the presence of journalists who were invited by the Deputy Minister to witness the incident.

Deputy Minister Silva further stated that this was only the first warning to the officials and further action would be taken if incidents of this nature continued.

The three officials who pleaded their innocence claiming that they did attend the prevention programme were told by the Minister to prove their presence.

Furthermore he said that if people had misled the Minister by giving false information about their absence, those people would be produced in front of the three officials so that they could be slapped. (Daily Mirror online)

Monday, July 26, 2010

A child has been killed by an elephant at Matara, Devinuwara Essela Perehara 2010

A child has been killed by an elephant at Matara, Devinuwara Essela Perehara (peli) on 24th July.

I myself was at that place when the incident was happened at Devinuwara. I was about 100 - 150 meters away from the incident. According to the eye witnesses , After the Essela peli perehara, the boys of Kawadi group was dancing around the Dewalaya. one of elephant had got a boy around 16, who was in the Kavadi group, from the trunk and killed on the floor using its leg. The people around him began to run away.

I have the video on my phone the Kavadi dancing at that day, will upload for youtube later today.

That Incident reported on Daily mirror today as this.

Jumbo Thovil ends Kavadi

An elephant that went berserk at Devinuwara Upulvan Sri Vishnu Devalaya on Saturday (24) night had killed a 16-year-old youth who was performing Kavadi, Gandhara police said.

The tragic death of Tharindu Isurukumara (16) of Devinuwara had occurred soon after the conclusion of the sixth ‘Peli’ procession.

The elephant that went berserk had attempted to attack four other youths too but they had escaped unhurt.

After the tragic death Devinuwara Maha Devalaya had been closed for religious observances as it had to be cleansed to keep up with the traditions of purifying the place after a death.

Organizers had taken a decision to not to employ that elephant for the ‘Randoli’ procession.

The post-mortem inquiry of the deceased is to be conducted at Matara Base hospital. Gandara police are conducting further inquiries.

Botox makes you happier because it stops you frowning

Botox makes you happier because it stops you frowning


By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent

The anti-wrinkle drug can make people feel better because it stops them frowning when they are unhappy which feeds back to the brain reducing the intensity of the feeling.

The theory is that if they cannot physically frown then the brain feels there may be less to frown about, scientists claim.

They said it is the psychological equivalent of the old song "when you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you" – or when you don’t frown, then the world is less sad.

It applies even if the reason for seeming happy is an injection of chemicals into the forehead to stop wrinkles, said the study by the US Association for Psychological Science.

Many celebrities have the shiny forehead and startled rabbit look that suggests they have had Botox treatments, though not all admit it.

Botox injections are a temporary measure in which tiny amounts of the toxin paralyse muscles, particularly those that cause frowning.

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin tested 40 volunteers who had small doses of Botox into their forehead.

They were then asked to read out a series of written statements ranging from ones that were "angry" to "sad" to "happy" both before and after their treatment.

Like any kind of paralysis, blocking the body’s natural movement can have an effect on emotion, the study’s authors told the journal Psychological Science.

When those who had received the treatment read out the more negative statements they took slightly longer to do so than they had before having the injections.

According to researcher David Havas, the time delay was tiny but significant because it suggests the brain takes longer to process the emotion behind the statements.

Mr Havas said: "There is a long-standing idea in psychology called the facial feedback hypothesis.

"Essentially, it says, when you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you. It’s an old song, but it’s right.

"Actually, this study suggests the opposite: When you’re not frowning, the world seems less angry and less sad."

Research leader Professor Arthur Glenberg added: "Normally, the brain would be sending signals to the periphery to frown, and the extent of the frown would be sent back to the brain.

"But here, that loop is disrupted, and the intensity of the emotion and of our ability to understand it when embodied in language is disrupted.

However you have to be careful, research suggests. Having Botox in the lower part of your face can prevent a smile and have the opposite effect, research last month from Barnard College, New York, suggested.

(C) The Telegraph Group london 2010

Being anxious about your relationship leads to heart problems

Being anxious about your relationship leads to heart problems



By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent

Researchers have found that people who feel insecure or anxious about their lovers are nearly 50 per cent more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than those happy with their partner.

Dr Lachlan McWilliams of Acadia University in Canada looked at a study of more than 5,645 adults aged 18 to 60 and found that people who felt insecure in relationships or avoided getting close to others might be at a higher risk of developing several chronic diseases.

The participants answered a questionnaire about their histories of arthritis, chronic back or neck problems, frequent or severe headaches, other forms of chronic pain, seasonal allergies, stroke and heart attack.

They also disclosed whether a doctor had told them they had heart disease, high blood pressure, asthma, chronic lung disease, diabetes or high blood sugar, ulcers, epilepsy, seizures or cancer.

The results showed that "anxious attachment" was positively associated with a wider range of health conditions, including some several involving the cardiovascular system including stroke, heart attack and high blood pressure.

"These findings suggest that insecure attachment may be a risk factor for a wide range of health problems, particularly cardiovascular diseases," said Dr McWilliams.

"The findings also raise the possibility that interventions aimed at improving attachment security could also have positive health outcomes."

The study was published by the American Psychological Association.

(C) The Telegraph Group london 2010

Study sheds lights on how animals will be affected by climate change in the future

Study sheds lights on how animals will be affected by climate change in the future
Climate change creating ‘super marmots’ that are bigger and more abundant


By Richard Alleyne

Scientists first began studying the animals, that live at around 10,000 feet up in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, in 1962.

To reach their findings, the team analysed the body mass, survival and reproduction of female yellow-bellied marmots by live-trapping them multiple times during the summer and individually marking them using numbered ear tags.

The results showed that since then, the average mass of adult marmots had increased by 11 per cent or 400 grams. The population had also grown by a quarter over a 33 year period.

The lead researcher in the study, Dr Arpat Ozgul of Imperial College London, said the population increase could be down to a "short-term response" to longer summers.

But he explained further study was needed to shed light on how animals will be affected by climate change in the future.

"Marmots are awake for only four to five months of the year," he said.

"These months are a busy time for them- they have to eat and gain weight, get pregnant, produce offspring and get ready to hibernate again.

"Since the summers have become longer, marmots have had more time to do these things and grow up before the upcoming winter, so they are more likely to succeed and survive.

"Will populations thrive in the changing climate? We suspect this population increase is a short-term response to the lengthening summers, but we hope by continuing this long-term study we will shed important light on the marmot’s future response to climate change."

Recent research has shown that a certain breed of sheep in Scotland is shrinking due to the effects of climate change.

Professor Tim Coulson, co-author of the research which was published in the journal Nature, said marmots had provided another example of how climate change is impacting on the natural world.

He said: "We have shown how we can model the consequences of environmental change on wild populations.

"If we can get better at predicting how climate change is likely to influence the natural world, perhaps we can devise ways to help species predicted to be adversely affected by our changing climate."

(C) The Telegraph Group
London 2010

Antigone comes alive

Antigone comes alive



Reviewed by Gaston Perera

A group of young university people, the Academic Players from the Drama and Theatre and Image Arts Unit of the University of Kelaniya have produced Sophocles’ Antigone in Sinhala under the direction of Priyankara Ratnayake. It was performed at the Lionel Wendt on the 16th and 17th July.

When most other students are either shouting slogans or throwing stones or merely vegetating in the dismal university world, the very fact that these young people should involve themselves in theatre is something so refreshing and so encouraging that by itself it is worthy of the highest commendation. But even more praiseworthy is the fact that they should venture to produce nothing less than Sophocles’ Antigone.

It is a brave person indeed that would dare to produce a Greek play in Sri Lanka, leave alone Antigone. The difficulties seem insurmountable. There is no onstage action in a Greek play, only the spoken word. There is no exposition because the Greek spectators would be familiar with the cycle of legends on which the drama is based. Then there are those strange, unfamiliar conventions to deal with like the Chorus and Messengers. Most of all there always is in the background a whole world of equally strange and unfamiliar "mores", such as, for instance, the significance of an unburied corpse which is the whole point of the play, Antigone.

And yet this play, first produced 2500 years ago in 5th century BCE Athens in its heyday, has enjoyed a popularity that has never faded. In modern times alone it has been produced in France, Germany, Spain, Puerto Rico, Argentina and Peru. It has inspired renowned dramatists such as Bertolt Brecht, Jean Cocteau and Jean Anouilh to write dramas based on its themes. Even operatic versions of Antigone have been composed. Sri Lanka, too, has had the good fortune of witnessing it when it was produced by Somalatha Subasinghe in the 90s.

The secret of the universality of its appeal lies in the timelessness of its themes and their continued relevance to every age and every clime. Antigone’s defiance of the ruler Creon’s edicts symbolizes at one level the eternal conflict between religious obligations and the obligations to the state. Such a theme embodies also a whole range of other resonances such as state control and civil disobedience and human rights and the nature of justice. It also raises other profoundly serious issues such as the proper application of the laws of a state. It throws into focus the tragic consequences that ensue when these laws are insisted on obdurately and without restraint. It is as if Sophocles is saying in this play that when the edicts of political authority and the dictates of religion – each of which are intrinsically justifiable by themselves – come into confrontation and become irreconcilable, a fatal outcome can only be avoided by giving primacy to religion.

Priyankara Ratnayake’s production steers clear of most of these issues. He sees Antigone’s predicament as the consequence of the conflict between the demands of religion and the demands of political authority. This conflict is depicted in his production by Antigone’s fierce determination to give a proper burial to her dead brother, Polyneices, as religion demands and Creon’s equally unyielding resolve to deny that to him as a rebel against the state. It is the excellent acting of the players that enables him to get this across.

Viswajith Gunasekera is well cast in the role of Creon. He has the advantage of stature and build to suggest kingliness and at all times exudes a quiet air of unruffled authority. But his unwavering resolve that the rebel Polyneices must pay for his treason emerges in the rare fury and raised voice when his edict is questioned or in his dogged refusal to reconsider his decision despite even the warnings of the prophet, Teiresias. And when in the end the world crashes around him he plays the broken man also to perfection. Antigone also plays well the role of the sister with a burning commitment to secure a decent burial for her dead brother. Neither Ismene, her sister, nor any one else can dissuade her and in her exchanges with Creon she shows a supercilious indifference to his threats with her contemptuous smile. When she is led away to her death her farewell speech in the original Greek is here rendered as a song of lamentation. This was an exquisite performance by itself and surely the range and power in her singing speaks of a trained voice. Ismene, Haimon, the betrothed of Antigone, and Teiresias, the blind prophet, all played their parts competently and well. But the other outstanding performance came from the sentry. His was a bit part really and intended to provide an element of comic relief but he was eminently successful in portraying the down-to-earth, garrulous guard, not over-awed by royalty or occasion. All in all, therefore, the acting is of a very high standard and it is this aspect of the performance that makes up for other drawbacks.

Priyankara Ratnayake would do well, for instance, to pay more attention to the spoken word, which is after all the conduit for communication with the audience. The programme says the translation of the play into Sinhala was done by Ariyawansa Ranaweera. It is not clear whether the translation is from the original Greek or from another English or other translation and, if so, whose. The need for this is to understand the nature of the script and the words the actors are to speak. Very often it sounded high-flown and not easily intelligible and not the language of everyday speech. But even that is what little was actually heard. This is the other point. Much of what was spoken onstage was inaudible or spoken too fast to be grasped. In fact very little could be gathered of that crucial opening scene between Antigone and Ismene where the resolve to defy Creon is first stated because neither could be heard – and that is from as far forward as the fourth row. Two exceptions to this were Creon and the sentry.

Another issue that requires attention relates to the sets, props and costumes. In the world of the theatre it is these that create the illusion of the time and the place where the dramatic action occurs and produce that virtual reality the dramatist strives to achieve. In Priyankara Ratnayake’s production the sets are basic and minimal and are adjusted by the actors themselves in the course of their movements. They do little to add anything as regards time and place. The same could be said of the stage props which seem to be chairs and tables from a kindergarten. The costumes are indeterminate. Creon comes in a bifurcated garment and tunic while Antigone appears in a white strapless, halter-necked evening gown. The soldiers carry what look like fire-arms and present day army helmets. Such attire does not suggest a 5th century BCE Athens by any means but rather the 21st century Colombo. Perhaps what Priyankara Ratnayake wants to suggest is the present day in keeping with the subtitle he has chosen for his performance - "A Day Like Today". But modern dress will not do in a Greek play – what with its strange conventions like the Chorus and its strange "mores" relating to burial.

In fact where Priyankara Ratnayake’s production falters most is in relation to the Chorus. The role of the Chorus is quintessential to Greek drama. It has been defined as the "ideal spectator". This is because what the Chorus says is what the dramatist wishes the spectators to understand as his views. The Chorus interpretes the action onstage as the dramatist sees it. In the Greek original of Antigone the constant plea of the Chorus is for restraint, for abstaining from excess whether in the exercise of political authority or the expression of private conscience. In Priyankara Ratnayake’s production there is, alas, none of this. The Chorus there is reduced to an unmitigated mockery. Instead of giving expression to the lofty sentiments in the original Greek what the spectators were treated to was a kind of perverted physical jerks and PT drill and at other times a baila dance. The only impression that was conveyed by these meaningless contortions and gyrations was that there was a hopeless misapprehension of the real function of the Chorus and they only succeeded in creating an irritating distraction from the main action.

All this is, however, is not to decry the achievements of these young players but only to make suggestions – sincerely - for improvement in the forthcoming performances. As I said earlier it is something immensely gratifying that there still are university students producing plays instead of throwing stones. Their commitment to theatre and their courage in producing a Greek play deserves commendation. One must, therefore, wish them every success and pray that their dedication should not flag.

Mahasenapathi Dutugemunu Rajatuma An excellent book on King Dutugemunu

Mahasenapathi Dutugemunu Rajatuma An excellent book on King Dutugemunu



Reviewed by Bandu de Silva

Much has been handed down to us about King Dutugemnu through chronicler tradition and by word of mouth since the 6th century AD compiler of Mahavamsa wove the story into an epic poem. But, a book devoted singularly to this king using sources outside the chronicler tradition is still a rarity. Dr. P.G. Punchihewa’s new book written in Sinhala, tries to meet this lacuna, though he does not claim so.

Though the book is not a voluminous historical treatise, but a small work of 125 pages primarily written for school children, who through the wisdom of our present day rulers were denied the opportunity of learning their own history in schools, it contains information selectively derived not only from the chronicler and other literary tradition but also folk tradition, again without being engrossed in details, and historical evidence presented by epigraphic sources which are far more reliable.

The book is arranged under 16 themes and presented in a lucid style, something that school children and adults alike could read in one sitting without getting bored.

The author, Dr. Punchihewa needs no introduction as a writer. The long inventory of his publications in Sinhala and English including books for children, his literary compositions, fiction, travel accounts and translations from English to Sinhala and vice versa , all numbering around two dozens, which were well received speak for his writing skills.

The strong tradition about Dutugemunu had drawn little support from more reliable historical sources but epigraphists have since brought to light much evidence which gives credence to some aspects of the popular story. The author has brought in this new data to support the traditional account. Dutugemunu himself is identified as Gamini Abhaya of the cave –donor’s inscriptions which record their genealogical background. His father Kavantissa is also identified with ‘Tisa’ who possessed a number of paladins referred to in one inscription. But for some other identifications by Paranavitana like that of ‘Abi Savera’ of an inscription as a reference to Vihara Maha Devi one has to depend on the respect for his great authority and ‘intuition’ than to the validity of the argument. Magama seals with the symbol of a ship could confirm the tradition about sailing tradition in the days of Vihara Maha Devi and the modern day Tsunami about the memory of the great deluge which inundated the Kelaniya kingdom. The book uses some of this evidence. To this evidence one could add the important identification of [Saddha] Tissa in the genealogical references of a number of inscriptions left by his son Lajji Tissa (Lajaka Tisa) found in the Ampara district where according to tradition, both father and son spent much of their time developing that district. (Dighavapi or Digamadulla). That strengthens the chronicler tradition.

The author refers to the several inscriptions of great significance which clearly establish the historicity of Dutugemunu’s paladins, the Dasa Maha Yodhayas. They are not mere legendary men of great prowess of the tradition but Commanders of a professional soldiery who supported Dutugemunu in his enterprise to unite the whole of Sri Lanka. Dr. S. Paranavitana interpreting a cave inscription at Ritigala had asserted that Dutugemunu himself presided over these area Commanders was a great Commander himself. It is in view of this interpretation of Dutugemunu as against the traditional presentation of him in purely legendary heroic characteristics that the author has portrayed him in the book as: "Maha Senapathi Dutugemunu Rajatuma."

The author makes a vital departure from the Mahavamsa tradition which portrays Dutugemunu’s father Kavan Tissa as a weak ruler. This is done by projecting him as laying the foundation for the unification of the scattered settlements in the island through the use of diplomacy and laying the foundation for the bigger battles north of Mahaweli by placing guards at vital strategic points. This is also an aspect that Collin de Silva introduced through his historical-fictional writing. I would have called both Kavantissa and Dutugemunu pioneers who worked towards achieving the ‘Ekachchatra’ (unification and unity) idea in the island which continued till the last days of the Sinhalese kingdom which helped to sustain itself as an independent nation through out history before the final subjugation by the British.

The author agrees with the tradition in portraying Vihara Maha Devi as a courageous and resourceful female who motivated Prince Dutugemunu to unite the country (Ekachchatra) and accompanied him in the war against Elara. However, she disappears suddenly from history after her presence halfway through the war, an aspect to which attention has not been drawn by any writer. The present work too avoids it. Could one find the reason for this in the proposal of a marriage alliance to the Tamil chieftain named Titthamba at a place called ‘Ambatitha’ (crossing ford named Amba)? Mahavamsa refers briefly to the employment of the strategy to entice this Commander by placing ‘the mother in view.’ (mataram dassayitvana tena lesena aggahi=Showed the mother and captured the opponent). That was after a long drawn war with him lasting four months. The Mahavamsa Tika, however, explains this as a matrimonial proposal, i.e., ‘Dutugemunu promising to his adversary marriage with his mother and with it the expectation of government’. (Geiger). ‘He was caught like a fish going after the bait’, the Tika says. At this point of time did the queen –mother decide on a less adventurous settled life style with this adversary with the son’s blessings for the greater security of the rear during the march against Elara? Such a proposition might not please those who hold Vihara Maha Devi in high veneration but this is a reality to which Mahavamsa itself briefly, and Mahavamsa Tika, in more emphasis alert us.

Dutugemunu’s youth is briefly discussed leaving out much of the folk tradition in Kotmale area but the author brings to our attention two cave inscriptions which are considered references to Dutugemunu’s wife, Ran- etana of tradition. The inscriptions refer to ‘Rajika’(Ven.Medhankara)and to ‘Kati" (Paranavitana). These are nothing but surmises which could arouse curiosity more than support the tradition. Like other works this book too does not inquire into this aspect.

It is interesting to note that Dutugemunu crowned himself (sayam rajje ‘bhsecayi") after returning to Magama from exile. This is another point that has evaded scrutiny of writers on Dutugemunu including the present writer. Was the Prince facing a problem because there was no queen of equal birth to be anointed with him? Did he then like Napoleon crown himself at Magama without ceremony? Though the king’s [second] consecration at Anuradhapura is mentioned in the Mahavamsa the name of the consecrated queen is conspicuous by its absence. The curiosity arises not because the names of queens are mentioned on other occasions of consecration but because the chronicle makes out the king’s consecration was carried out with great pomp with attendant festival customs.(kilam abhisittanam carittam canurakkhtum). The consecration could not have taken place with an ordinary woman as queen. That was against the tradition Mahavamsa was upholding. Did this absence of any reference to the anointed queen then present the occasion for folk writers to compile the story of ‘Dutugemunu rajatuma ha Naga kanyawo describing the king’s amourous behavior towards the Naga maidens; and the king’s envious remarks about son Prince Saliya’s choice of a beautiful woman as his spouse albeit a Chandali ?

The author does not leave out the folk tradition about the king’s death by a cobra bite though he does not discuss the story referred to above about ‘Naga-kanya’ which is behind the folk story of the king’s death. That folk tradition is not compatible with the character of Dutugemunu that Mahavamsa presents; but like the love affair with Ran-etana, the daughter of the village smith which the chronicle has avoided, it reveals a human side of this ruler. As any virile man might have been tempted, he too was, perhaps, tempted by the beauty of the three Naga maidens bathing in his pond (their diyaredda sticking to the body?). The other folk account of his encounter with the Chandali daughter-in-law when he said to the Prince that he himself would not have hesitated to make such a choice also brings out the human side of the king. To me these three folk traditions (two found in the form of written manuscripts) present a truly human situation of a ruler which deserves sympathetic understanding. Neither pouring scorn nor trying to hide them under the cloak of high moral rectitude could help a fair evaluation. If the Arahants could speak of redemption for the king over the death of multitudes in war by virtue of the his destiny to achieve Arahathood in the time of Maitriya Buddha why did these lesser circumstances become unacceptable to the chronicler tradition?

The book also points to the close relationship between the Prince and the elephant Kandula who accompanied him throughout the war since he came over to him during the battle of the two brothers. I recall during a discussion of the French translation of Collin De Silva’s book "Winds of the Sinhale" presided by me in Paris, the lady translator explained to the audience that one of the reasons for her getting interested in the book was the relationship between man and beast. (the Prince and the Elephant in this case).

The account of King Elara is briefly discussed highlighting both the version of his justice as well as the later version in Rajavaliya which places him in negative light. However, the point made in Rajavaliya that Kavantissa paid tribute to Elara has drawn the attention of the author. He tries to explain this by quoting from Manorathapurani where Dighahajantu, Elara’s commander is referred to have gone to worship Samantakuta which is in Rohana country. The author suggests that there could have been some amicable relationship between Elara and Kavantissa. Later, in the 14th century one finds Ariyacakravrti, the Jaffna ruler helping Ibn Batuta with an escort to accompany him to Adam’s Peak. The Rajavaliya account could be drawing from this latter day reality of the Jaffna ruler exacting toll in the Sinhalese kingdom.

The story of Elara belongs to the common pool of mariner’s tales in West Asia and South Asia. It was present in Persia in the story of the legendary hero Anosharvan complete with the bell of justice and the story of the cow and the bird long before Sri Lanka was colonized around the 5th century B.C. and is part of the popular tradition even in present day Islamic society. I commented on this point through my newspaper articles after I learnt of this strong tradition during my stay in Iran. India too has its own versions. Dr. Merlin Peris has brought out other similarities between Mahavamsa and Greek legends.

The author focuses attention on the character of Dutugemunu in the episode of ‘Vittaka’ (remorse?) over the death of large numbers in the war. The Mahavamsa version of discounting the number of deaths to one and half is a curious one. Gananath Obeysekera pointed out that the Mahavamsa compiler had been influenced by the morals in Bhagavatgita. The present book points to different versions given in Thupavamsa and Sumangala vilasini on the issue. The author also draws a distinction between the situation of Emperor Asoka’s repentance and Dutugemunu’s ‘vitakka.’ (doubt).He says quite rightly that Dutugemunu knew from the beginning that people would die in the war but the war was executed with the objective of uniting Sri Lanka and to confirm the stability of the Buddha Sasana in the country. He also shows that the Commanders who fought in the war were well rewarded by the king. The inference is there did not exist a circumstances for the king to worry over the deaths.

The penultimate two themes are devoted to the religious work performed by the king. The construction of Mahathupa has received emphasis. The last discussion is an over all assessment of the role of the ruler in the history of the island.

The significance of Dr.Punchihewa’s present work lies in the fact that he has been able to overcome prejudices found in some of the earlier writings like presenting an overtly Buddhist perspective. He has presented to school students and the general readers a book which all Sri Lankans could accept as a balanced piece of writing. If Ponnambalam Arunachalam could appreciate the chronicler version of Dutugemunu why should the story be hidden from the new generations?

The book deserves to be in every library and school as well as to be pursued by general readers.

Published by Sarasavi Printers Ltd. the book is moderately priced.

Last Queen of Sinhala: Kusumasana Devi

Last Queen of Sinhala: Kusumasana Devi



by Walter Wijenayake

It was on July 20, 1613 that Kusumasana Devi, also known as Kamalasana Devi or Lokanatha Maha Biso Bandara, the queen of Wimalasharmasuriya I, breathed her last at Velimannatota, present Rock Hill Estate in Kegalle. Today is 397 years.

She was a daughter of King of Kandy - Jayaweera II alias Karaliyadda Bandara, who ruled the Kingdom from 1500 to 1542.

Sitawaka Rajasinghe was instrumental in banishing this King in order to annex the Kandyan Kingdom to Sitawaka. The King Jayaweera II with his queen, son, three year old daughter along with his sister and nephew fled to Mannar to seek refuge under the Portuguese. There the king and the queen breathed their last on an attack of smallpox.

The church of Mannar undertook the custody of the orphan Princess and handed over to the Portuguese nuns. They baptised her as Dona Catherina. Further they gave her an education befitting a queen keeping in their mind a plan to give her in marriage to a Portuguese General at the appropriate time and place her in the Senkadagala throne so that they achieve what they failed by might by sheer diplomatic manoeuvres.

She learnt under the Portuguese the languages, religions, music, state crafts and diplomacy, etiquette and all other intricate details befitting a would be queen.

The Portuguese, who were waiting for the right opportunity to invade the Kandyan Kingdom, planned in 1594 to bring Dona Catherina to Kandy from Mannar. Their motive was to enthrone her as the Queen of Senkadagala and get her married to a Portuguese Prince. When the proposal was made Dona Catherine/Kusumasana Devi who was far-sighted with a balanced mind decided to totally reject this proposal at the right time.

She came to Kandy accompanied by 150 Portuguese soldiers, a batch of Sinhala slaves, two Portuguese Generals and the residents of Mannar. Her trip to the destination took eight days. Don Pedro Lopez, the Portuguese General in Kandy accompanied by all the Kandyan Chiefs, Dissavas, other headmen and Provincial leaders were in attention to receive the Princess. Large crowds gathered on either side of roads to pay their respects and have a glimpse of the heir to the throne and the daughter of their deposed king.

She was crowned in Kandy. She married Wimaladharmasuriya I on January 2, 1594, who became the King of Kandy. This union brought an end to the civil wars within the country.

Kusumasana Devi begot by King Wimaladharmasuriya I, three children, namely, a son Mahaasstane (the legal heir to the throne), two daughters Sunya Mahudasin and Cathan Adsain and lived in the old palace in the premises of the present Kataragama Devale where the palace complex was within inner Fortress as indicated in the old Portuguese maps as well as the French but copied mirror reserved by Spilborgen in 1602.

It was in this particular period that the Perahera of four devales of Kataragama, Vishnu, Matha and Pattini was established. Kusumasana Devi with the King restored peace and harmony in the country and did so much for Buddhism and built the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy.

The King Wimaladharmasuriya breathed his last in August 1604 and Kusumasana Devi then married Senarath, cousin of the late king on January 5, 1605. By this marriage she bore three sons, namely, Wijepala, Kumarasinghe and Mahadasin.

Had Kusumasana Devi got caught in the Portuguese trap and been married to a Portuguese prince at a time when Don Juan Dharmapala of Kotte too had given the country to the Portuguese on a deed of gift we would have lost our country in 1592 and not in 1815. If there had been no Kusumasana Devi, there would have been no Dalada Maligawa today, for Wimaladharmasuriya’s legitimacy derived from his marriage to her.

While residing in a palace in Velimannatota, she passed away on July 20, 1613.

Code of management

Code of management



By Anupriyo Mallick
The Statesman/ANN

THE culture and character of a country are based on its social, political and economic environment. From that culture springs the national ethos, which prescribes a code of conduct for its citizens and creates the context for business ethics and values.

The Indian ethos and wisdom, a legacy from its ancient past, envisaged a socialist pattern of society, with an accent on re-distribution. It has always been a champion of renunciation and rectitude, rather than accumulation and aggrandisement. Mahatma Gandhi once remarked that it was difficult, but not impossible, to be an honest businessman; but it was impossible to be honest, and also, amass wealth.

Considering the contemporary commercial scenario, certain issues call for reflection. The media all too often carries reports of financial scams and scandals. Even the world of sports is tainted with treachery, perversion and political skullduggery. Where is the scope for relief and redemption?

The distressing scenario makes it imperative that basic ethical norms should form part of a professional career. Perhaps, the curriculum of management education could be restructured to reflect its national culture and character.

Ethics and values must find a place in the art and science of management. The ability to do the right thing and, what is more important, doing it every time (even when no one is watching) is the noblesse oblige in the managerial milieu. It must become the hallmark of a professional manager.

Three facets

EVERY man has three facets ~ the gross or physical (sthoola) the subtle (sookshma) and the casual (kaarana). While the physique is strengthened through food, the mind is purified by pure desires. The "casual body" represented by the antahkarana (conscience) is sanctified by sacred thoughts. The inherent divinity of man is thus manifest and the fullness of life achieved. It is this sense of unity that has been the core of India’s traditional culture. It has sought to promote the well-being of all as a cardinal faith. When Indians realise the value of this heritage, they will make their lives meaningful.

Every country has developed its institutions and way of life on the basis of its cultural traditions, its system of values, and its historic circumstances. These institutions and value systems cannot be transplanted to other countries whose history, culture and circumstances are different. For instance, the management patterns in the United States and Japan are different. In America, the management pattern is based on a competitive and profit-oriented system. The equation between the management and workers is based on "hiring and firing". Money and profits are more important than human values. By emulating the American management model, we in India are encountering difficulties and are not reaping the benefits we expected.

In Japan, the management pattern is different. The workers have a high sense of discipline and even when they have grievances, they do not resort to strikes which affect production. Relations between the management and workers are generally cordial and cooperative. This has helped Japan to progress.

There are certain features that are common to all business organisations in any country. These relate to such matters as accounts, production procedures, and maintenance of statistics, materials management and the like. But as regards business ethics and human relations, we in India have to choose our patterns in keeping with our culture, traditions and conditions. MBA institutes need to attach special importance to cultural and ethical values.

Priority must be given to the country’s ethos and values. The course curriculum should cover matters such as the economic environment, with due emphasis on personnel management. It doesn’t make sense to emulate the management practices of another country. This can lead to a waste of resources. And this is precisely what is happening in many countries, including India. What is beneficial for one country need not necessarily be beneficial for another. The parameters ought to be the circumstances, the individual attainments and the specific requirements of our country.

Different values

THE attempt to combine different sets of values may result in the loss of values of the less developed country. There is a story which illustrates how listening to the views of all and sundry can reduce one to a laughing stock. A fruit vendor put up a signboard which read: "Fruits are sold here." A passerby told the shopkeeper the word "here" in the sign board was superfluous. The vendor got the word erased. Another person remarked that there was no need to announce that fruits were being "sold" as that was obvious. Accordingly, the word "sold" was erased. A third man said that there was no need to mention that "fruits" were being sold, as that was visible to everybody. Eventually, all that remained was a blank board. Yet the designer advanced a bill both for the art-work and the erasure. The fruitseller realised the folly of acting on the opinions of every passerby without relying on his own judgment.

In the sphere of business management, a similar situation has developed in India. By following the advice of other countries, India has harmed its economy and finances.

The pursuit of money as an end in itself is making people greedy. Many farmers are switching over to profitable crops. This is not the kind of management we can afford. We should be concerned with "man management". The proper study of mankind is man. The management institutes should offer a mix of Indian culture and values on the one hand and such conventional disciplines as production, accounts, finance and personnel on the other. If the spiritual aspect is neglected in management education, man is reduced to an artificial, mechanical being with no genuine human qualities.

The writer is Professor, Eastern Institute for Integrated Learning in Management, Kolkata

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Actress Asin combats Tamil filmdom over Sri Lanka - by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Actress Asin combats Tamil filmdom over Sri Lanka

July 16th, 2010

The South Indian state of Tamil Nadu has a robust Film industry. From it’s nascent stages ,film- making in the state has been inclusive in nature. Artistes and technicians from various parts of India have worked and continue to work in Tamil films. Many non –Tamils employed in the film sector have chosen to live in Chennai.

Asin Thottumkal looks up during a news conference, about her new film “Ready” which is being shot in Sri Lanka, in Colombo June 30, 2010.~ Reuters pic

Sri Lanka’s film industry too has had historical links with Tamil Nadu. The first Sinhala film produced by SM Nayagam a Tamil was shot in Madras as Chennai was known earlier. Several other Sinhala films in the forties and fifties were made in India.

Several South Indian artistes were involved with Sinhala films then. The veteran director P. Neelakandan, music composer Vedha, Playback singers like AM Rajah, Jikki ,Ranee and Jamunarani have all left their imprint on Sinhala films.

Movie: Wana Mohini. Singers: H. R. Jothipala and Jamuna Rani

An interesting aspect of this Madras-Ceylon collaboration was the record created by Indian film producer-director Sri Ramulu Naidu in 1954. Naidu the owner of Pakshirajah studio in Coimbatore produced the block buster “Malaikallan” starring MGR and Bhanumathy that year. It was adapted from the Novel written by the state’s poet laureate Namakkal Ramalingampillai.

What was remarkable is that Naidu went on to make and re-make the Tamil film in five more languages. Each version was a commercial success. This six film phenomenon has not been replicated by anyone so far.


The Telugu film was “Aggi Ramudu”; the Malayalam version “Taskara Veeran”; in Kannada it was “Bettada Kalla”; the Hindi movie was “Azad”. Now guess in which language the sixth film was made? Sinhala! The film was named “Soorasena”.

I do not know who acted in the film but the music was composed by SM Subbiah Naidu. Among the songs were “athana methane” by Jamuna Rani, “Manaram Ranguman” by Jamuna Rani and Ranee. I believe the Sinhala singer duo Lata and Dharmadasa Walpola sang “Aalokey Alokey” and “Ananda Shreeya” for “Soorasena”.

This phase came to an end from the early sixties. Exchange control procedures being tightened was a restraint. Costs of production in Tamil Nadu escalated. More importantly Sinhala cinema had its tryst with destiny after Lester’s “Rekawa”. Making films in India went out of fashion. Sinhala cinema acquired an indigenous flavour and came into its own.

When the economy was liberalised and exchange control procedures relaxed after the advent of the UNP government in 1977 a new phase began. Indo-Lanka joint ventures flourished.Several actors and actresses like Malini Fonseka (Pilot Premnath) Gamini Fonseka (Neelakkadalin Orathiley) Vijaya Kumaratunga (Nankooram) Geetha Kumarasinghe (Mohanappunnagai) have acted in Tamil films.

Who is the black sheep – HR Jothipala ~ Sinhala – dubbed film: Pilot Premnath (1985)

Currently Pooja Umashankar acts in both Sinhala and Tamil films.She is of Indo- Lanka parentage with a Sinhala mother and Kannadiga father. Sri Lankan beauty queen Jacqueline Fernandez made her debut in Hindi films by playing the heroine opposite Riteish Deshmukh in “Aladin”.

Several Tamils from Sri Lanka too have worked in the Indian Tamil film industry. The reputed cinematographer–director Balu Mahendra is from Batticaloa. The producer – director–story and screenplay writer VC Kuganathan is from Jaffna. Others like “Ceylon” Vijayendran, AE Manoharan and Ceylon Chinnaiah have also made their mark in Tamil Nadu films. In earlier times Thavamani Devi from Jaffna dazzled Tamil film fans. Her topless female Tarzan role in “Vanamohini” remains unforgettable.

MG Ramachandran

There are other historical links too. The well –known actor and former Tamil Nadu chief minister MG Ramachandran (MGR) was born in Kandy. The comedian Superstar JP Chandrababu lived for many years in Colombo and was an alumni of St.Josephs College. The actress cum producer Radhika and her actress sister Nirosha are daughters of famous Tamil actor MR. Radha. Their mother was from Wennappuwa. The actress Sujatha lived for many years in Galle where her father was teaching. She speaks fluent Sinhala. The music composer L. Vaidyanathan was born in Arali when his father the Violin Maestro was teaching carnatic music at Jaffna College.

It could be seen therefore that a historical connection existed and continues to exist between Sri Lanka and the Tamil Nadu film industry. There was a time before 1983 when the Sinhala film industry was all –embracing with multi-ethnic participation. The Tamil film industry to its credit continues to be inclusive with multi – ethnic , multi-religious participation.

This idyllic state of affairs is facing some upheaval in recent times. The serpent in the name of politics is invading the garden of Eden. The powerful factor causing this is the impact of Sri Lanka’s ethnic crisis or the Tamil problem.

Politics is not something new to Tamil filmdom. Several actors and actresses like MGR, Sivaji Ganesan, SSR (SS Rajendran) KR Ramasamy, TV Narayanaswamy,K. Bhagyaraj,Ramarajan,Sarathkumar,Vijaykanth, Karthik, SS Chandran, Radharavi,Vaigai Chandrasekharan, Cho, SV Shekhar,Napoleon, VN Janaki, Jayalalitha, Padmini, Vyjayanthimala, Jeyachitra, Theepa etc have engaged in politics with at least three becoming chief ministers.

Others like CN Annadurai, M.Karunanidhi, “Murasoli” Maran, Nanjil Manoharan, AVP Asaithamby, have been script writers. Politicians like Kovai Chezhiyan, Rama Arangannal, RM Veerappan have been film producers.

It is however important to note that these cine artistes while engaging in politics did not politicise the film industry. In fact they tried hard to prevent their politics affecting the film industry. On numerous occasions these actors and producers sank political differences to rally on behalf of the film industry.


Currently there are three important political party leaders in Tamil Nadu with a cinematic background. One is Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham (DMK) leader and Chief minister Karunanidhi. The other is All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham (AIADMK) leader Jayalalitha.The third is Desiya Mutpokku Dravida Kazhagham (DMDK) leader Vijaykanth.

While their political rivalry does cause waves the film industry is not affected by this on a large-scale though individual film artistes do flock around these leaders .The industry is not politicised by this brand of politics.

There are however two tendencies within the Tamil film industry that are politicising it on a large scale and causing ethnic divisions. One is the mobilising of the film sector for political causes affecting the state. One such instance is the agitation against the Karnataka state over sharing of Cauvery river waters.

All the film artistes in the state are expected to participate in these activities. Those who do not are vilified as anti – Tamil. Woe unto those who are from Karnataka state or from the Brahmin caste. They have to be extra-careful in not “offending” these abrasive sentiments expressed in the name of Tamil nationalism.

The second and perhaps more potent source of politicisation and division is the Sri Lankan Tamil issue. On a broader political level the Lankan Tamil issue has been hijacked by pro-LTTE, pro – Eezham, minor politicians like Pazha. Nedumaran and Vaiko (V.Gopalaswamy). A vociferous minority hogs the megaphone and engages in actions that are detrimental to Tamil Nadu-Sri Lanka relations.


This tendency has now pervaded the film industry too. Just as in the political sphere, a short-sighted, selfish group has assumed the leadership of this type of politics in the cinematic sphere. As a result a virulent form of politicisation is imposed on the film industry. An extremist agenda is set by an active minority and the silent majority is compelled to fall in line or face the threat of being ostracised.Politicisation encompasses the entire industry in this manner.

The proponents of this new ultra-nationalism in the Tamil film sphere are hell bent on rupturing all links with Sri Lanka. Tamil film artistes are prohibited from travelling to Sri Lanka or engaging in film related activity there. This unhealthy trend in a sense is ahistorical as it seeks to reverse an amicable relationship that has been in existence from the time movie making commenced in both places.There is a strong element of coercion here as those who flout this process face punitive consequences.

Chief among this group holding the entire industry to ransom is a man called Sebastian Seeman. This man is a film director and actor. He is an ardent supporter of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) and a rabid follower of Velupillai Prabhakaran.He is one of those propagating the myth that Prabhakaran is alive and that Tamil Eezham is around the corner.

Seeman has formed a political organization called “Naam Thamizhar” or “We Tamil”.This was the name of a movement founded in 1958 by the lawyer and publishing tycoon SB Adhithanar. The “Naam Thamizhar” movement of Adhithanar advocated secession from India for Tamil Nadu state and also demanded a Pan-Tamil state comprising Tamil Nadu, the North-east of Sri Lanka and even other regions in Malaysia and Burma where Tamils lived in large numbers.

Adhithanar dropped his separate Tamil state demand after secessionism was disallowed Constitutionally in 1962. He later contested on the DMK ticket and was Tamil Nadu legislature speaker when Annadurai was chief Minister. When Karunanidhi became chief minister Adhithanar was co-operatives minister.

“We Tamil”

It was Adhithanar’s “We Tamil” label that Seeman borrowed for his party. Incidently Seeman too hails from the same Nadar community as Adhithanar.Seeman inaugurated his party in Madurai in mid-May. Around 60,000 members were enrolled on the first day. Seeman’s flag has the tiger symbol.

Seeman has a pathological hatred of the Sinhala people and Brahmins .He accuses Sri Lanka of unleashing genocide on his Tamil brethren in Sri Lanka.The Brahmins are accused of colluding in this. He often utters blood-curdling threats. Last year he was deported from Canada for threatening that Sinhalese should be killed.Last week he issued similar threats against Sinhalese in India.

A public meeting was organized to condemn the alleged shooting of a Tamil Nadu fisherman by the Sri Lankan navy. Seeman addressing the meeting said that if Tamil fishermen were continuously killed then Sinhalese students in India will have to face death. The Tamil Nadu police cracked down on him for spreading disaffection among people and threatening to commit violence.Seeman has been remanded till the 23rd.

The harsh reality in Tamil Nadu is that Seeman’s stock has been rising among supporters of the LTTE in the state. He has actually overtaken politicians like Nedumaran and Vaiko in becoming the accredited pro-tiger leader in Tamil Nadu.One reason for this is Seeman’s claim that he had met Prabhakaran when the war was on and received his endorsement. One of the films directed by Seeman was named “Thamby” or younger brother. Thamby is the pet name for Prabhakaran.

The primary cause for Seeman’s ascendancy among pro-LTTE sections in Tamil Nadu is due to his chauvinist outpourings and irresponsible pronouncements. He makes a tremendous impression on emotionally vulnerable youths. In addition Seeman also has a cinematic charisma being a director and actor. Seeman has been in the forefront of powerful moves to politicise the Tamil film industry over the Sri Lankan Tamil issue.


Those involved in the industry were galvanised into staging demonstrations and protest fasts over the issue. There is a great deal of concern and sympathy in Tamil Nadu on this.Protesting or expressing sympathy over the Tamil predicament in Sri Lanka by their Tamil Nadu counterparts is understandable and legitimate.But Seeman and those of his ilk channelled these sentiments into a strident extremist stance.

Sebastian Seeman

Moreover those not participating were branded as traitors to the Tamil cause. Extra pressure was exerted on non – Tamils in the industry. The actor Jeeva is of North Indian origin but hails from a family resident in Chennai for decades. When Jeeva attended a demonstration , Seeman singled him out for praise saying that Jeeva was manifesting his gratitude for living comfortably in Tamil Nadu for years. What Seeman was saying in his crude fashion was that non – Tamils in the state had to toe the “Ultra- Tamil” political line.

Thus Seeman was virtually intimidating and influencing the Tamil film industry on this issue. Seeman and supporters were presented with a fresh opportunity when the India International Film Awards (IIFA) festival was scheduled to be held in Colombo in early June this year. The IIFA ceremony has been criticised by the Indian non- Hindi film industry for virtually ignoring non – Hindi films. But it was not on this count that Seeman spearheaded a campaign against it.

Seeman was opposed to the IIFA being held in Colombo. He and his supporters alleged that genocide was on against Tamils in Sri Lanka and that as a mark of solidarity with Tamil Nadu the Hindi film industry should boycott the festival in Sri Lanka. Those who wanted to attend were warned that their films wont get screened in Tamil Nadu and that they wont be allowed to work in Tamil Nadu.

The anti –IIFA elements targeted the brand ambassadors for the festival Amithabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan. Seeman’s supporters transcended state boundaries and spread their protests in Mumbai the cradle of Bollywood movies. Demonstrations were held opposite the Bachchan and Khan residences.

IIIFA Festival

As the protests escalated the Hindi filmwallas began capitulating. Both Amitabh and Shah Rukh retreated and said they would not be able to make it to Colombo. So did Amitabh’s son Abishekh and daughter in law the ravishing Aiswarya Rai. None of them said they were boycotting due to the protests but it was quite obvious . A number of other stars also kept away citing various excuses.

The protestors also targeted the famous director Maniratnam whose film “Ravan” was to premiere in Colombo for IIFA. Maniratnam backed out saying post-production was incomplete.

Tamil Nadu stars invited for the IIFA festival were also asked not to proceed. Superstar Rajnikanth announced that he was not going. The other superstar Kamal Hassan stated that he had already turned the invitation down. Emboldened by their success , Seeman & co demanded that Kamal return the “Padmashree” honour awarded by the Government. Kamal refused saying it was an honour bestowed by his country.

In Tamil Nadu a joint meeting was held among the various bodies connected to the film industry. The “Nadigar Sangam” (Actors Guild) along with the Film Employees Federation of South India (FEFSI) representing film industry workers, the film producers council,Theatre owners association and film distribuotors association met and issued an ultimatum to those planning to attend the IIFA in Colombo. It was common knowledge that Seeman was the hidden force behind this move.

There were however many Hindi film stars who defied the diktat and proceeded to Colombo. Salman Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Bipasha Basu, Kareena Kapoor, Diya Mirza,Suniel Shetty and Vivek Oberoi were among those who boldly defied the objectors and attended the IIFA. Salman stepped in as brand ambassador and took Amitabh to task for bowing out at the last minute.

The festival took place as scheduled though with a few mishaps. It had however lost its lustre as a result of the boycott. Lanka’s Jacqueline made the nation proud by getting the award for best debut performance.

Vivek Oberoi

In Tamil Nadu the film industry big-wigs began cracking down on those who had attended the IIFA. Genelia D’Souza a Goan actress was acting opposite Vijay in the Tamil movie “Velayutham”. When media reports stated that she had been in Colombo, Genelia was promptly fired from the movie.But Genelia appealed saying she had not attended the Festival. It was accepted. She now continues to act in the film.

Namitha the buxom bombshell from Gujarat announced that she had rejected the IIFA invitation as her loyalty was to Tamil Nadu where she had made her mark in Tamil movies. Namitha was praised lavishly for her solidarity with Tamils.

The casualty in this exercise was Hrithik Roshan. His film “Kites” was pulled out from Theatres in Tamil Nadu as the actor had gone to Colombo and also captained a team in the friendly Cricket encounter. This sent the shivers down many film stars.

Two actors however were unfazed by this high-handed action. They were Salman Khan and Vivek Oberoi. Both had been romantically entangled with the gorgeous Aishwarya Rai. In fact they had clashed openly over her. But now both had lost out to Abhishekh who had made Aishwarya the Bachchan “bahu”. The jilted two stood by Sri Lanka despite the pressure. Apart from participating at the IIF both actors extended their stay in Sri Lanka.

Vivek Oberoi at the June 13th mass wedding ceremony ~ pic: indi.ca

Vivek accompanied Namal Rajapaksa to the North and had a first –hand experience of the situation there. He was at Poonagari for the inauguration of the Pooneryn – Gurunagar ferry. Oberoi was also a Guest at the mass wedding ceremony for ex –LTTE cadres in Vavuniya. Vivek was a big hit and was seen dancing with the newly weds.

Vivek also went to Nedunkerny where he was appalled by the condition of a school there. Oberoi has now taken the responsibility for renovating and re-building the school, equipping it and providing assistance to teachers and students.

Those who recall the yeoman service rendered by Vivek to coastal villagers in Tamil Nadu affected by the Tsunami are confident that Nedunkerny too would benefit as pledged by Vivek. Incidently his father Suresh is an actor from Punjab while Vivek’s mother is From Tamil Nadu.

Salman Khan

Salman Khan also promised aid to the affected Tamils in the North. He promised to construct 125 housing units. Salman however was bowled over by the scenic beauty of Sri Lanka and the friendly hospitability of her people. He stated that he would shoot his movie “Ready” in Lanka.

Asin Thottumkal (L) stands next to Salman Khan gesturing during a news conference, about their new film “Ready” which is being shot in Sri Lanka, in Colombo June 30, 2010-Reuters pic

The film was already slated to be shot in Mauritius. But Salman got the location shifted to Sri Lanka. Soon his co – star Asin arrived in Colombo. The defiance of Vivek Oberoi and Salman Khan had irritated the hardliners in Tamil Nadu filmdom. The involvement of Asin angered them further.

24 year old Asin Thottumkal is a “Mallu” or Malayalee actress from Kerala. She was born in Kochi on October 26th 1985. Her father is a businessman and mother a medical doctor. The name Asin means without sin . The “A” is from Sanskrit denoting without and the “Sin” is from English.Asin says poetically that her name means “pure without blemish”

Asin ~ Mukunda Mukunda in Dhasavatharam

Asin has acted in Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil and Hindi films. The first movie she acted in Tamil was “Ullam Ketkuthe” but the first to be released was “M.Kumaran son of Mahalakshmi” She has acted in many successful Tamil films like Sivakasi, Pokkiri, Varalaru, Vel, Maja, Alvar, Ghajini and Dhasavatharam. Within a few years Asin had established herself as the uncrowned queen of Tamil cinema

Asin captivated the hearts of many through her role in “Ghajini” where she played Kalpana , a vivacious and impulsive girl with a heart of gold. The film was re-made in Hindi with Aamir Khan paying the male lead. This movie was Asin’s entry into Hindi films. It was a smashing success with Asin receiving rave reviews and awards.

Her second film was opposite Salman Khan . “London Dreams” was a flop but Asin had earned a place in Hindi cinema. She stopped acting in Tamil films and relocated to Mumbai. Tamil film fans were deeply distressed.But recently she was signed opposite Vijay for a Tamil film.


The sight of Asin visiting Sri Lanka along with Salman Khan and the announcement that she was acting in a movie being filmed in the Island infuriated the anti –Lanka lobby in Tamil film industry. Asin was warned to drop out of the film or face consequences in Tamil Nadu. She was informed that she would not be allowed to act in Tamil unless she recanted and withdrew from “Ready”.

But the attractive actress was made of sterner stuff. Instead of succumbing to the intimidation , Asin made a spirited defence explaining her position. She pointed out that the initial appeal was not to attend the IIFA festival as a token of sympathetic concern for the suffering Sri Lankan Tamils. Asin said that she respected that appeal and had refrained from going to Colombo for IIFA ceremony.That was her own decision, she said.

However the decision to shoot “Ready” in Lanka was not hers. When she signed up for the film it was to be shot in Mauritius.But it was now changed to Sri Lanka. As an actress she had no say in the matter. In terms of her contract she had to act wherever the location.It was unfair therefore to penalise her for this.

Asin also had the temerity to challenge the chauvinist hawks in Tamil tinselworld. “Why are actors being forbidden to go to Lanka”? She queried. The Cricketers were going there and no one was objecting, businessmen were going and no one was protesting, tourists were going and no one was criticising but only actors were being threatened with penalties for going to Sri Lanka. “Five planes with full load of passengers were going to Colombo daily” Asin argued.

Even as the Asin furore gathered momentum the double standards and hypocrisy of Seeman was further exposed. Seeman had assembled a pack of “volunteers” to be used for demonstrations against “traitors” to the Tamil cause. Now these dogs of war were straining at the leash to launch a campaign against a forthcoming Hindi film “Raktha Charithra”.

The film directed by Ram Gopal Varma had Vivek Oberoi playing the lead role. Since Vivek had not only attended the IIFA festival but had also teamed up with Namal Rajapaksa to travel to the North, Seeman’s “attack canines” wanted to teach him a lesson. But to their shock Seeman vetoed the proposal.

Asin, Surya in Ghajini


“Raktha Charithra” was also the first Hindi film of Surya the Tamil actor. Surya was the son of veteran actor Sivakumar , elder brother of young actor Karthi and husband of actress Jyothika. Surya had a good role in the Hindi film which was to be dubbed in Tamil as “Ratha Sarithiram” or blood history.

Thus any campaign against the film due to the Vivek Oberoi presence would also affect Surya.Seeman did not want to offend Surya as the actor had consented to star in a future film project of director Seeman. So Seeman who debarred Hrithik Roshan’s “Kites” from flying in Chennai was not prepared to oppose screening of Vivek Oberoi’s “Raktha Charithra” due to Surya.

This hypocritical attitude was typical of Seeman. He would flex muscles and then be flexible for his selfish requirements.For instance he professes to be virulently anti-Brahmin and anti-Sinhala but his hero in many films including “Thamby” was Madhavan a Tamil Brahmin.Likewise his heroine in “Thamby” was Pooja who acts in Sinhala films and is half-Sinhalese. All this showed that Seeman was an opportunist and was hypocritically practising the politics of hate against Brahmins and Sinhalese.

Despite this stance vis a vis Vivek Oberoi’s film the Seeman brigade was howling for Asin’s blood expecting perhaps that she would grovel at their feet. It was announced that Asin would not be allowed to act in Tamil films or in Tamil Naadu. But an unrelenting and unrepentant Asin embarked on an unexpected humanitarian mission.


Asin established a Trust and organised two humanitarian projects aimed at helping the affected Tamil people in the North. One was to conduct special eye clinics and the other was adopting or sponsoring orphaned children

Asin visiting Jaffna Hospital

150 children ranging from Age one to sixteen were sponsored or adopted by Asin’s trust in the “Sevana” home at Vavuniya. A three day eye clinic was conducted in Jaffna and Vavuniya hospitals. Five medical doctors were brought down from India at Asin’s expense. Over 300 surgeries were performed in Jaffna and around 100 in Vavuniya. Spectacles costing 5,000 rupees each were provided by Asin. There is a waiting list of 4,000 requiring eye surgery and Asin says she will bear the cost.

Instead of being intimidated by the Tamil extremists in Kodambakkam (the Hollywood of Tamil Nadu) Asin boldly travelled to Sri Lanka again. She accompanied the first Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa and Gampaha district MP Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle to the North. Asin became the first Tamil film actress to visit Jaffna in three decades.

When she was in Jaffna people began flocking to the Teaching hospital to get a glimpse of her. Those who were let in amidst the tight security were thrilled to interact with the alluring actress. Asin posed for photographs and talked with the people. She also visited the eye clinic patients and received their gratitude and blessings.

In Vavuniya too Asin visited the hospital and spoke with patients. She spent many hours with the orphaned children and distributed many presents along with Mrs. Rajapaksa. The children warmed to Asin and began chatting eagerly. They called her “Akka”. Many started crying when she was leaving and implored her to stay longer. A visibly moved Asin promised to return and left.

The extremists in the Tamil Ndu film world were stunned. They now attacked her viciously for accompanying Shiranthi Rajapaksa to the north. Unable to stomach the fact that this actress had single-handedly accomplished a great deal more for the Northern people than themselves, pro –LTTE Diaspra media accused her of being an Indian Agent.


An unperturbed Asin , fortified by her first-hand experience , went on the offensive. She began giving interviews to Tamil Nadu media organs . She told them of the children, the people with eye ailments and above all the abject plight of the Tamil people.

Asin related her experience with the people and said how happy the people were that a Tamil film star had come to see them.She said that the Tamil people were feeling isolated and abandoned and yearned for more and more visits from their kinsfolk in Tamil Nadu. “Instead of boycotting Sri Lanka more people from Tamil Nadu film industry should visit Sri Lanka and express solidarity with the people” she said.

The talented actress described as “Goddess Asin” by some of her fans related anecdotes of how the Tamil people had requested her to bring actors like Surya, Vijay and Ajith with her on her next visit. She pointed out that instead of penalising actors for going to Sri Lanka more people from the Tamil film industry should be encouraged to visit Lanka. “Film stars and cine artistes should build bridges between people and not get embroiled in politics.Please do not mix politics with cinema and art” she appealed fervently.

Asin’s stance and appeal resonated with lots of people. She struck a responsive chord in the minds of many who recognized the futility of “sanctions against Sri Lanka” by the Tamil film world. But the hearts of some hardliners did not melt. While Seeman was quiet due to his arrest, the Actors Guild secretary Radha Ravi announced firmly that Asin would be banned from filming in Tamil Nadu and acting in Tamil films. He said that representatives of all five organizations connected to Tamil filmdom will meet and finalise the verdict against Asin.

The course of events took a different turn when Sarath Kumar the President of the Actor’s Guild issued a statement contradicting the secretary Radha Ravi. Sarath who is also the leader of “Samathuva Makkal Katchi” said that Asin should not be penalised. He said that in deference to an earlier appeal to boycott IIFA festival all Tamil film artistes including Asin had not gone to Colombo.

Sarath Kumar

The matter ended there and the travel ban should not be extended further , Sarath Kumar said. “When so many Indian professionals and entrepreneurs were regularly visiting Sri Lanka it was not fair to debar Tamil film stars from Sri Lanka” he said. The decision against Asin will be reviewed, he said.

Sarath Kumar

Sarath Kumar also went on to say that he had received letters from many Sri Lankan Tamils requesting assistance to re- build their homes. He said that he would submit these letters to the Actors Guild executive committee and discuss the matter. Sarath Kumar said a decision would be taken soon about a delegation of Tamil actors and actresses visiting Northern Sri Lanka.

It remains to be seen whether Sarath Kumar would be able to convince his colleagues about an enlightened approach to the issue in general and the Asin affair in particular. It does seem however that the defiant courageous stand adopted by Asin would receive broad approval.

Asin has certainly demonstrated her mettle by confronting and combating the extremist elements in the Tamil film industry. Her principled stand over the Sri Lankan issue should endear her to all right –thinking people. The humanitarian projects she has financed will bring greater benefits to a section of the people than all the rants and raves of Seeman and his rabid followers.

The Tamil Nadu film industry should transcend politics and reach out to Sri Lanka. Tamil films are viewed not only by Tamils and Muslims but also by a large number of Sinhala people. A visit by a Tamil film star delegation would be welcomed by the people of Sri Lanka regardless of ethnicity. As for the Sri Lankan Tamil people a visit by Tamil actors to the North and East would be appreciated more than a protest demonstration in Tamil Nadu.


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