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New Archaeological Evidence on Cultural and Commercial Relationships between Ancient Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu- Osmund Bopearachchi

by ratnawalli - September 8, 2013 at 3:28 am

Prof. Osmund Bopearachchi – New Archaeological Evidence on Cultural and Commercial Relationships between Ancient Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu

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Richard Salomon- “Indian Epigraphy, A Guide to the Study of Inscriptions in Sanskrit, Prakrit, and the Other Indo-Aryan Languages

by ratnawalli - September 8, 2013 at 3:15 am

Chapter 3- The Languages of Indic Inscriptions

Richard Salomon – Indian Epigraphy – A Guide to the Study of Inscriptions in Sanskrit, Prakrit, and the Other Indo-Aryan Languages

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Tamils of Sri Lanka: Historical Roots of Tamil identity* Prof. S.K. Sitrampalam

by ratnawalli - August 17, 2013 at 9:16 am

Prof. S.K. Sittampalam – Tamils of Sri Lanka Historical Roots of Tamil identity

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On Kuragala- C.H.Collins in Journal R.A.S (Ceylon) Vol. XXXII, No 85 of 1932.

by ratnawalli - May 4, 2013 at 11:46 am


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Passage to India? Anuradhapura and the Early Use of the Brahmi Script

by ratnawalli - March 14, 2013 at 11:19 am

R.A.E. Coningham, RR. Allchin, CM. Batt & D. Lucy
Robin Coningham – Passage to India… Anuradhapura and the Early Use of the Brahmi Script

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Studies in South Asian Linguistics- Sinhala and other South Asian Languages- James W. Gair

by ratnawalli - December 14, 2012 at 10:08 am

Selected and Edited by Barbara C. Lust
Prof. James W. Gair – Studies in South Asian Linguistics – Sinhala & other South Asian languages

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by ratnawalli - January 22, 2012 at 8:03 am

(Actually I was not dating Ajith then, but can’t a girl dream?)

Published in my column in The Nation ‘The Painted Goose’ on January 22, 2012

By Darshanie Ratnawalli

In the afternoon of 10 October 1987, sound of shelling was once more heard in Jaffna barely three months after India enforced peace in Sri Lanka with the Indo-Lanka Accord. Most Jaffnese (records UTHR) couldn’t believe that it was the IPKF shelling them and thought it must be the SL army. But it wasn’t. It was the IPKF. On 4th October, 17 tigers travelling in a fishing trawler to or from Tamil Nadu were apprehended by the SL Navy. On 5th October, 2.00 p.m., those 17 men, who had been taken by the IPKF from the Naval base to the Palaley air base, were visited by Balasingam and Mahattaya. At the exact same time, Major General Harkirat (Harry) Singh, Commander of the IPKF, who was in Trincomalee (under orders to ‘deny the airport to the SL forces’), was getting a message; “At 2 o’clock I get a message, why is the G-o-C IPKF interfering in the ‘constitutional activities of Sri Lanka? These were the exact words. This message came all the way from the force headquarters in Madras. And, ‘Please lift your siege in Jaffna, let the Sri Lankans do what they want to.’”


By late evening that day, the message bore fruit; “Our troops withdrew, the Sri Lankan troops charged, and these fellows swallowed cyanide. Those who chewed, they died on the spot, those who swallowed were saved.” According to General Harry, 13 chewed that day. Only 4 swallowed. That night the LTTE started avenging those who chewed. During the night of 5th October, the LTTE liquidated one Sinhalese baker (poor, elderly, forced to leave Jaffa in ‘83’, …

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Are you saying the LTTE weren’t a Sri Lankan Force?

by ratnawalli - January 8, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Published in my column in The Nation ‘The Painted Goose’ on January 8, 2012

By Darshanie Ratnawalli

The LTTE were technically Sri Lankan Forces too. They are on record in non- Sri Lankan sources as having had amputations performed on people to stop them from leaving no-fire zones. A book, which announces that Sri Lankan forces amputated people’s limbs to stop them from leaving no fire zones will be technically correct too. One can issue statements explaining how the author did not write ‘Sri Lankan Government Forces’, merely ‘Sri Lankan Forces’ and what’s wrong with so and so’s comprehension that he fails to see that the LTTE were Sri Lankan Forces too.

Luckily perhaps for our sanity, Niromi’s story in Sri Lanka stops in 1988 (in her own account she was shot of the LTTE as well as Sri Lanka by 1988). If the saga had gone on past 1989, we’d have to endure arguments that ‘for a young LTTE cadre to describe the LTTE as Government Forces would not be unusual at all as given the collaboration between the LTTE and the SL government against a common undesirable; the IPKF, the LTTE either considered themselves as an extension of the SL Government forces (or far more likely) considered the Government Forces as an extension of themselves.’  (The collaboration started somewhere in October 1989 according to General Kalkat in ‘India’s Vietnam’ )

Even though Sri Lanka was deprived of Niromi’s colorful presence in 1988, before the meaning of ‘government forces’ could ‘branch out’ too much, we are not scot free of creative interpretations. The Tamil people it seems saw the IPKF as doing the dirty work of the Government and there’s nothing incongruous in describing the IPKF as ‘government forces’ as the back cover of Tamil Tigress does.

“Two days

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The Amazing Bulls In Our Bullring

by ratnawalli - January 8, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Published in my column in The Nation ‘The Painted Goose’ on January 1, 2012

By Darshanie Ratnawalli

Ernest Hemingway was passionate about bullfighting and wrote two books revolving around it. When I was in school or just after, I read one, ‘The Dangerous Summer’ it must have been not ‘The Sun Also Rises’ or I would remember the plot. What I remember is Hemingway being disdainful and scathing about periodic moans by aficionados that the bulls are getting smaller. He was such a persuasive author that I came away from the book determined to always believe in the bulls of my time. Looking into the metaphorical bullring of Sri Lanka’s ethno-political intellectual space and watching the leading bulls in action, this belief helps me not to despair of the sport when the smaller bulls come charging in and it looks as if they are the overwhelming majority and one may have to accept certain really small bulls as the current gold standard of their category. You need to remind yourself that the bigger bulls are out there, they will eventually come into the ring and there’s no need to prune down your expectations and settle for a lesser and lower sport. So many bulls exposed to the force-field of our ethno-political intellectual space turn out small because there is an inbuilt blight, almost a curse on it. A bull has to have exceptional potential for bigness to withstand the enormous pressures exerted by this resident blight and turn out be of even a reasonable stature. I have (at least) three metaphorical bulls in my sights (I use the bull metaphor irrespective of gender as you will see). Let’s give each of them a connoisseur’s once over. This week’s selection is Dr. Jehan Perera.

In 2010, Dr. Jehan Perera inspired me

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Finally some arguments for Niromi in lieu of total silence.

by ratnawalli - December 31, 2011 at 5:01 am

This is in reply to VSJ’s valiant attempt to defend Niromi De Soyza

The Tigers did not fight the SL forces while fighting the IPKF. Did the tigers make peace with the SL forces while they were fighting the IPKF? It’s more like a peace with the SL government was forced down their throats  with the signing of the Accord and after the Accord turned to discord and they decided peace was out it was the IPKF they found themselves fighting. Not the IPKF as well as the SL forces.

Niromi’s monumental and fatal slip is exposing her ignorance of who she fought during her alleged fighting tenure.

Q– Niromi who did you fight during your fighting tenure?

N– urm..The IPKF ..and the Govenment Forces.

Q– What do you mean by ‘the Government Forces’?

N– What’s this, you can’t read or somethin? Read my 2009 Telegraph short story where I clearly say “The war resumed, just as Prabhakaran had predicted, though now we were fighting not only the government troops but the peacekeepers, too.” Geddit? When I mean government I mean the SL government. Simple linguistics and perception no?.

“The blurb and article could be put down to editing by a person other than Niromi.”

That neither the blurb nor the Telegraph article was a publisher’s contribution or isolated minor slips are confirmed by the fact that 2 years after the 2009 article Niromi re-affirms (yes re-affirms without the slightest awareness that she is fatally revealing her ignorance) in her own voice in the Throsby interview what she said in the Telegraph article; “…when I joined, the Indian forces had arrived and the tigers had chosen to fight the Indian forces as well as the Sri Lankan forces”

That the blurb is not a publisher’s mistake …

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