A Place Far Far Away
The Northern most part of Sri Lanka remains underdeveloped even though the 25 year civil war ended in 2009. Conditions are very hard on the mainland near the city of Jaffna and harder on the surrounding islands. Access to the things we take for granted in the West is limited. When the opportunity presented to bid on a solar and wind power development project on the island of Eluvaitivu located 4km offshore from the Northern Sri Lankan town of Kayts, Si Clean Energy didn’t hesitate.
As a politician who was first elected to Government in 1977, I have closely observed key political developments in the global landscape over the past 40 years or so.
Not even the ample quantities of dust and soot swirling around the post-work traffic can dissuade Sri Lanka’s hungry street foodies. The spectacle and the aroma are lip-smacking as the master mixer prepares a fine blend of chickpeas in a hot sauce of spices before handing out these cream-coloured beans soaked in a mire of gravy. Boiled, stir-fried or devilled, chickpeas are a classic Sri Lankan street food relished by the hoi polloi whatever their means of transport.
Fronted by an intense singer with an oblique songbook and a mysterious past, Glorious Din were unlike any other group to emerge from San Francisco’s ‘80s underground. David Katz tells the story of Eric Cope, the chosen persona of a Joy Division-obsessed Sri Lankan boy who travelled halfway around the world to follow his punk dream.
Anyone who saw this weekend’s $178 million Fox tentpole X-Men: Apocalypse got a heaping helping of the titular supervillain. He’s an ancient being with a wide range of fantastic abilities like telekinesis, teleportation, and inhuman strength. He believes the world should worship him as a god. He’s colored blue, for some reason. He’s one of the most important and oft-used threats in the X-Men mythos, right behind the angst-ridden Magneto and the sinister Sentinels. But while Magneto and the Sentinels were crafted by some of the most famous creators in the history of superhero fiction — Stan Lee and Jack Kirby — the writer who conjured up Apocalypse is all too often overlooked.
The picture could be straight out of a tourist postcard – a sleepy green mountain with misty clouds floating above the canopy – if not for one fatal flaw: the ugly gash running right through the middle.
Two things trouble and pain me. The Mullivaikkal “remembrance” on 18 May, of the dead and missing people due to war, whose families are still agitating to know the “truth” and want justice and now in the South, reports coming in on the same day of the displaced, the dead and the 03 buried villages due to what would be called a “natural disaster”; unprecedented rains, earth slips and floods. I tend to believe, over many decades we invented and invited these earth slips and floods – though not the heavy downpour. That disaster is “manmade”, no different to the war we went through. Numbers may differ between North and South, but both have left us with tragic deaths, displaced and helpless families wanting permanent and reasonable answers.
When it came to saying goodbye and signing the visitors' book at the MCC Centre of Excellence in Seenigama, I found myself writing something idealistic for posterity. It was along the lines of: "To dive into the pure, warm waters of Seenigama is to swim contentedly in an atmosphere of goodness."