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Reply to the Rebuttal of my article by the SJC87 Initiative

I welcome the statement by the SJC87 Initiative rebutting my aspersions about this charity. The primary focus of my research note was the contents and the publicity material of the book by Niromi de Soyza (nom de guerre). The SJC87 Initiative came into scrutiny because of the claim by the author of the Tamil Tigress […]

Separating Fact from Fantasy on the ‘Research Note’ by ‘the Principal Researcher’ Mr. Muttukrishna Sarvananthan

Editors note: Also read Reply to the Rebuttal of my article by the SJC87 Initiative by Muttukrishna Sarvananthan. ### A Response by the SJC87 Working committee to Mr. M. Sarvananthan’s ‘research note,’ titled Outing a Counterfeit Guerrilla: A tale of lies by Tamil Tigress by Niromi de Soyza published on Groundviews (19 Nov, 2011) and Sunday […]

Rebellion, Repression and the Struggle for Justice in Sri Lanka: The Lionel Bopage story

This is a book that documents the life story of Lionel Bopage, who was one of the highest ranking leaders of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP- the Peoples’ Liberation Front) and a major figure in the JVP led youth insurrection of 1971 in Sri Lanka, drawing on a series of personal interviews with him. After […]

Outing a Counterfeit Guerrilla: A tale of lies by Tamil Tigress Niromi de Soyza

The objective of this research note is not only to uncover the truth or otherwise of the “memoir” by Niromi de Soyza (nom de guerre) titled Tamil Tigress: My story as a child soldier in Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war, but to go beyond and investigate the purpose/s of publication of her “personal story” and […]

A-Z of Sri Lankan English: M is for monitor lizard

Sunimal Fernando, speaking from the audience at my presentation on Sri Lankan English at the recent conference on Language and Social Cohesion (Colombo, 17-19 October), confirmed my own conclusion, that while the “English as a Life Skill” programme continues, Sri Lankan English has been quietly dropped from the agenda. This may be welcome news to […]

Reflections on Issues of Language in Sri Lanka: Power, Exclusion and Inclusion

Photo credit Dinuka Liyanawatte / Reuters, from Time magazine. Keynote address delivered on 17th October 2011 at ‘Language and Social Cohesion: 9th International Language and Development Conference, Colombo co-organized by the Ministry of National Languages and Social Integration, Ministry  of Education, GIZ, AusAID and British Council. ### Approach Language is never a simple issue of […]


He is writing history, where he lives, when he travels, to Denmark, Singapore, Tamil Nadu, Toronto. Edward Said wrote about Palestinians, Rudramoorthy Cheran, Tamils. News that my friend has suffered a mild heart attack does not surprise me. His muscle has been strained for more than thirty years. From the Saturday Review where he reported […]

Forbidden Fruits: Niromi de Soyza’s “Tamil Tigress”, Noumi Kouri and Helen Demidenko?

The literary world is now poised on the brink wondering if the Tamil Tigress (Allen & Unwin, 2011) is going to join Forbidden Love (Random House, 2003) and The Hand that signed the Paper (Allen and Unwin, 2000) in the house of literary infamy. Has the Tamil lady who uses the nom de plume Niromi […]

The Role of Writers and Artists during Turbulent Political Times

I was requested to speak about the important role writers and artists play in the struggle against oppression and in the protection of democratic and human rights of the oppressed. We all know that writers and artists hold strong views on political matters, though they may not be vocal at times. Some of them are […]

The ‘coolest’ publisher of English books in Sri Lanka: In conversation with Sam Perera

Sam Perera, along with Ameena Hussein (see interview here) began the Perera Hussein Publishing House, a niche publisher based in Sri Lanka known to publish some of the most compelling contemporary writing in English. Sam, who thinks of all things, he is a farmer at the beginning of the programme opens up the conversation with […]

In conversation with Neluka Silva, Professor in English, University of Colombo

Neluka Silva is the Head of the English Department and Professor in English, University of Colombo. Given the recent agitation amongst University staff and the general crisis over tertiary education, I first asked Neluka why she has taught at Colombo University for decades and what drives her to do this. Referring to an article by […]

Exclusive: Syllabi and timetables from compulsory University ‘leadership’ training course

Image from Virakesari Online. [Editors note, 26 January 2014: Since the time this article was first published, the service used to host the embedded PDFs requires registration and a fee to download the documents locally. All of the PDFs embedded below are now hosted on and can be downloaded for free using this link.] Great […]

When allegations become evidence

Media and advocacy groups make mistakes. It’s true. The reason for the errors can vary from simple human error, time constraints resulting in insufficient research to subtle manipulation of facts and wording to push an agenda. Once a mistake has been pointed out, most reputable organisations will publish an acknowledgement along with the correction. Less […]