“Yathum Ure
Yavarum Kelir”
“All the world is my world, all
humanity is my fraternity”
May 15 - 21,
Tamil &
Sri Lanka
News From
Around the
From Gun to Pen - I
The Story of Sivaram

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The mortal remains of Dharmeratnam Puvirajakeerthi Sivaram were laid to
rest at the family burial grounds of Aalaiadycholai in Batticaloa on May
2nd.Though a Hindu by birth Sivaram was not cremated. Most Batticaloa
Tamils unlike their Jaffna counterparts bury and not cremate their dead. The
ancient Tamils of India and Sri Lanka did so till Brahminic rituals of
Aryanisation replaced Dravidian customs . It is noteworthy that Batticaloa
Tamils follow this pracitce still. It denotes that they are children of that soil
with vintage history and roots.
Sivaram :  
of things past
[Sunday Observer]

By Ajith Samaranayake

I first met Siva in the
company of D. B. S.
Jeyaraj who was at that
time a colleague of
mine in The Island.
That was the time Siva
had come to Colombo
after the signing of the
Indo-Lanka Peace
Accord to set up the
political arm of the
PLOTE. Siva, late Ravi
John and Qadri Ismail
were batch mates at
the Peradeniya
University and Qadri
was the attesting
witness at Siva's

The PLOTE political
project never got off
the ground and the
next time I met Siva it
was at The Island
where he first started
his celebrated political
column under the
pseudonym Taraki a
byline that was given to
him by the then Editor
of The Island Gamini
Weerakoon. When I
succeeded Mr.
Weerakoon as the
Editor of the Sunday
Island he invited me to
meet Taraki over a
drink at the Grand
Oriental Hotel. Taraki's
identity was a
closely-guarded secret.
But I recognised Siva
as someone whom I
had met in Jeyaraj's

By that time Jeyaraj
had migrated and Siva
became the main
columnist on Tamil
politics in the
newspaper. Unlike
Jeyaraj however Siva
was not on the staff
and was not a regular
reporter. However his
weekly column was
hailed by discerning
readers as an
authoritative weekly
view point on Tamil
politics. The difference
between Siva and
Jeyaraj perhaps was
that Siva was most
strong on opinion
whereas Jeyaraj was
more strong on facts.
Did Karuna Personally kill  
"Taraki" Sivaram?

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The brazen abduction and brutal assassination of the well - known journalist
Dharmeratnam Puvirajakeerthi Sivaram who wrote in English and Tamil
under the nom de plume " Taraki " and as DP Sivaram is the latest tragedy
in an endless cycle of violence affecting the Tamils of Sri Lanka. The right to
life is the most important of all human rights. Without life no other rights can
be had. This fundamental basis of all other rights has been cruelly denied to
many Tamils in the past years. There seems to be no end in sight to this evil
spectre that goes on devouring the children of the great "Thamil Thai"
(Tamil Mother).
Sri Lanka Parliament  
Debates Sivaram (Taraki) Murder

Amidst conjecture during the Parliamentary debate as to who killed
journalist Dharmaretnam Sivaram, it was hard to ignore the heavy gloom that
hung in the precincts of the August assembly.
Journalists dismayed over Sivaram debate [Tamilnet]

The lack of a quorum in Sri Lanka’s Parliament and the subsequent
lacklustre debate when the abduction and brutal murder of Tamil political
columnist and military analyst, Dharmeratnam Sivaram, was taken up Friday
dismayed journalists.
The loss of an agile mind

By K.S. Sivakumaran

During the latter half of the 1980s, The Island hired a flock of first class
journalists. D.B.S. Jeyaraj, Qadri Isamail, Rajpal Abeynaike, Richard de
Zoysa- to mention a few names. One day DBSJ introduced me to Sivaram. I
had on my desk a Thamil book which was given to be a Thamil scholar from
Thamilnadu, Saalai Ilanthirayan. I hadn't even opened the book to read, but
Sivaram wanted that book borrowed from me. That was it. He didn't return it
to me.
Siva - a man with rare charisma
By Gamini Weerakoon

fter his US tour he crossed over to Canada. One night I received a call
from Canada from a former journalist of The Island, D.B.S. Jeyaraj, who had
a rendezvous with Siva in Ottawa. They were in high spirits and were deeply
appreciative of the good times they had working together with me. I was
delighted that they appreciated working together with me - two Tamil
colleagues. This was indeed a refreshing change from those namby- pamby,
half -baked  Sinhalese  who are still hell bent on calling me a 'chauvinist'
because I write in support of all Sri Lankans including the Sinhalese and do
not spit on my own people.
"Siva has been abducted!"

Chandana Keerthi Bandara
Senior producer, BBC Sinhala

I was visiting friends with my family when the call came through. It was
around 10pm in London. We had to cut short the visit and rush home.
Arts - Culture - Heritage
Sri Lanka's unusual folk theatre [BBC News]

It is an unusual folk theatre where actors as well as spectators perform

The subject deals with the life and death of Lord Kama, Hindu god of love
and passion.

The whole village participates in the long-running theatre - a play can go on
for 11 or 30 days - that eventually becomes a kind of festival.

At a time when many folk traditions are struggling for survival, kamankoothu,
a centuries-old folk theatre is still being performed among Tamils of Indian
origin in central Sri Lanka.
"Mother will hug you, her heart filled with joy"
By Kuzhanthai Kavignar Azha.

Pearl-like Jasmine
Shows all beauty
Always dancing daily
on the heads of lass

Wherever hidden
find it easily
spreading fresh scent
saying am here

Pleasing the eyes
Its scent mixes with wind
while on women's head
making them proud

Wear it on our heads
we aren't fortunate
wonder the men in angst
with the jasmine flower
By Dushiyanthini
Daughter of Tamil Tigers
roars to the top of the hip-hop charts

Tamil Tiger burning bright
As the daughter of a militant Tamil freedom fighter, Maya Arulpragasam had
a childhood unlike those of most budding pop stars. In 1983, when she was
seven and living in her native Sri Lanka, civil war broke out. Her memories of
the time remain vivid.

“People are fighting, your mum‘s crying, the army‘s returned, your dad‘s
missing, your cousin‘s dead,“ she says. “What do you do? You can‘t play out
in the street ‘cause it‘s dangerous. I used to sit and draw.“ Arulpragasam‘s
mother escaped to London with her three children in 1986. Their new home
was a poverty-stricken public housing estate, but the middle child wasn‘t
going to let anything stop her from pursuing her creative ambitions.
Art, Out Of The Blue [OutlookIndia]

The tsunami 'backwash' unravels fragments of Pallava-era shrines, fuelling
Mamallapuram's 'seven pagodas' folklore:

The tsunami of December 26, 2004, left an indelible and devastating mark
on the minds of many in Tamil Nadu. But the natural disaster also unravelled
in its wake a tiny archaeological gift to India, some remarkable rock-cut
shrines in Mamallapuram (earlier Mahabalipuram), the ancient world-famous
temple township in coastal Tamil Nadu, some 50 kilometres southwest of
Prakash Raj: And then he became Raja [The Hindu]

On the sets of Ponniyin Selvan, Prakash's latest Tamil offering, from his own
Duet Production, he sits sipping chai, talking to me as if there is no hurry at
all. But the only time I have, I know, is the few minutes before and after the
Assistant Director's shouts of "Shot ready!" and "Cut it!"
Amsterdam gets a taste of Southern spice

For the first time this year, Amsterdam hosted an exclusive
Tamil-Malayalam cinema festival.

Not many in this part of the country are aware that a Tamil-Malayalam Film
Festival took place in Amsterdam, Holland. It began on March 10 and
continued till the end of April. It is surprising that the Indian media has
taken no notice of this interesting event. In the West, Indian cinema is
equated with Hindi movies and those in regional languages such as Tamil
and Telugu are virtually ignored.
Nalli Silk and Sarees
1447, Gerrard
Street, Toronto
Tel: 416-778-4542
Tamil land to Toronto

It has been a fabulous Tamil New Year gift for Deva. When he left for
Canada to attend the release of his devotional album, `Durgeswaram,' on
the Goddess at Sri Durgeswaram, Toronto, little did he expect the honour
bestowed on him by the Government of Canada. "I was taken aback when
my name was announced," laughs Deva.
Versatile pioneer

Through this biography Sita Anantha Raman reclaims a humanist space for
Madhaviah; MADHAVIAH published his first major novel Padmavati
Charitram in 1898, which is often described as the third Tamil novel, the
first two being those by Vedanayakam Pillai and Rajam Iyer. He is best
remembered as the intellectual who helped define the contours of modern
Tamil literature. He was a pioneer Indian novelist who wrote fiction in both a
regional language and in English. He was among the earliest to write of
Indian concerns in English.
Poem -

Our eyes
Daily rising
Rays from a lost sun

You aroused a man
From the forest
To rule
- your heart
[Contd. Senthilan]
Summer tales

American poet Maya Angelou's mother had a visitor who went on
complaining about the weather. After she left, the old lady turned to Maya
and told her, "There are people all over the world who went to sleep last
night who did not wake again. Their beds have become their cooling
boards; their blankets have become their winding sheets. They would give
anything for just five minutes of what she was complaining about." I have
this quote pinned on the soft board in my study, a constant reminder to be
thankful for each day I wake up alive.
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"There are two things born from mountains, shining so brilliantly that the great bow down, driving
darkness from earth circled by roaring waters. One is the flaming sun, single wheel bright as
lightning, the other is Tamil that has no like." — from the taNTiyalankârum
[Berkeley Tamil]
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