D.B.S. Jeyaraj

A salute to a heroic Speaker

Views - 7586 Friday, 23 November 2018 00:20

The Sri Lankan Legislature has witnessed many controversial happenings over the years. The august assembly’s humdrum existence and insipid routine has often given way to bursts of excitement by the unusual, irreverent conduct of its members.


Lankan pop singer A.E. Manoharan failed to shine as film actor ‘ Ceylon Manohar ’

Views - 7693 Saturday, 29 September 2018 00:20

Anthonypillai Emmanuel Manoharan known to the world at large as A. E. Manoharan was a multi-faceted personality possessing many talents. He was a singer, musician, broadcaster and stage and screen actor but it was his singing that brought him great h


In the desert of Tamil films, actor Sivaji Ganesan was an oasis

Views - 5501 Saturday, 22 September 2018 00:15

‘Indian Film,’ first published in 1963 and co-authored by former Columbia University Professor Erik Barnouw and his student Dr. Subrahmanyam Krishnaswamy, is considered a seminal study of the evolution and growth of Indian cinema. The book is cit


Tanya Ekanayake releases second solo album, ‘ Twelve Piano Prisms ’

Views - 4752 Saturday, 15 September 2018 00:21

‘Spotlight’ shines this week on a remarkable Sri Lankan woman whose qualitative contribution to the realm of music has been noteworthy. Although devoted in principle to films, film personalities and film-related matters, this column will deviate


Tony Ranasinghe was not the conventional Sinhala hero but a new kind of modern hero

Views - 3303 Saturday, 8 September 2018 00:12

Ranasinghe Hettiarachchilage Ignatius Anthony de Silva, known to the world at large by his stage cum screen name Tony Ranasinghe, was one of Sri Lankan cinema’s handsomest and most lovable actors. He excelled in playing both lead and character role


Dynamic duality of Tony Ranasinghe

Views - 2611 Saturday, 1 September 2018 00:11

Several dashing and debonair actors have graced the Sinhala silver screen over the years. Arguably the most lovable among these cinematic heroes was the dynamic Tony Ranasinghe who acted in both lead as well as character roles.


DMK Chief “Kalaignar” Karunanidhi excelled as a Tamil film script writer

Views - 2521 Saturday, 18 August 2018 01:01

Muttuvel Karunanidhi, known to the Tamil-speaking world as “Kalaignar” (artiste), passed away at the age of 94 in Chennai on 7 August. Karunanidhi had been Chief Minister of India’s Tamil Nadu state for a total of 19 years. He was Chief Ministe


The sweet and sour real life romance of reel actors Savitri and Gemini

Views - 3583 Saturday, 4 August 2018 00:20

The recent release and box-office success of the Telugu biographical movie ‘Mahanati’ (Great Actress) has created a great deal of interest in the famous South Indian actress Savitri. The bio-pic simultaneously released in Tamil as ‘Nadigaiyar


Sanjeewa Pushpakumara’s ‘Davena Vihagun’ (Burning Birds): A realistic and authentic film

Views - 3779 Saturday, 14 July 2018 00:20

Filmmaker Sanjeewa Pushpakumara is a bright star in the cinematic firmament of Sri Lanka. His second feature film ‘Davena Vihagun’ (Burning Birds) is currently being screened in Sri Lanka. The film completed in 2016 has been shown at several inte


Great ‘Gamperaliya’: A great novel made into a great film by a great director

Views - 3539 Saturday, 23 June 2018 00:35

‘Gamperaliya’ (Changes in the Village/Changement au Village) was the third feature film made by ace director Lester James Peries. It was released on 20 December 1963.The film was based on the famous novel of the same name written by the doyen of


‘Rekava’ in 1956 revolutionised Sinhala cinema

Views - 4462 Saturday, 5 May 2018 01:00

The doyen of Sri Lankan cinema, Lester James Peries, has breathed his last. It has been my firm opinion that the master movie maker was Sri Lanka’s greatest film director. When I began the ‘Spotlight’ column focusing on films, film personaliti


P.B. Sreenivas and S. Janaki: Evergreen film songs of an endearing singer duo

Views - 3150 Saturday, 28 April 2018 01:00

Tamil film music has been enriched over the years by the immense contribution of non-Tamil music composers and playback singers of South Indian origin.


‘Wanda Pethi,’ ‘Digakalliya’ and the violence in Ampara

Views - 6566 Saturday, 17 March 2018 01:11

Sri Lanka, struggling for long to recover from the debilitating effects of a protracted civil war and progress resolutely along the road to economic prosperity, suffered a tremendous setback in the last days of February and early days of March with t


Tamil actor Kamal Haasan stars in new role as political leader

Views - 4522 Saturday, 24 February 2018 01:00

Srinivasan Kamal Haasan is one of India’s foremost film actors. Known popularly as Kamal, the talented and versatile thespian has not only excelled as an actor onscreen, but has successfully engaged in other cinematic spheres too. The multi-faceted


Evergreen memories of actor-politician Vijaya Kumaratunga

Views - 5896 Saturday, 17 February 2018 01:00

Popular film actor-politician Vijaya Kumaratunga was shot dead in cold blood on 16 February 1988. He was standing near the front gate of his Kirulapone residence on Polhengoda road and talking to an acquaintance when the assailants travelling in a tw


Dharmasena Pathiraja – The Master Movie Maker

Views - 4016 Saturday, 10 February 2018 01:00

Renowned Sri Lankan film maker Dharmasena Pathiraja breathed his last on the morning of 28 January, 2018 at the Lakeside Hospital in Kandy. The 74-year-old academic cum film director, referred to as “Pathi” by almost everybody he interacted with,


“Rani” Deepika reigns as Queen of Hindi filmdom

Views - 3483 Saturday, 3 February 2018 00:55

After days of protests, demonstrations, threats and violence against its release, India’s ace filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s epic magnum opus ‘Padmaavat’ hit the screens on 25 January.


Sivaji, MGR, Gemini – The three kings of Tamil cinema heroes

Views - 3395 Saturday, 30 December 2017 00:50

‘We Three Kings of Orient Are’ is a popular Christmas carol written and set to music by Rev. John Henry Hopkins Jnr in 1857. This is about the wise men mentioned in the Bible who came to Bethlehem with the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to


Jacqueline Fernandez: Scintillating jewel of Sri Lanka

Views - 1665 Saturday, 16 December 2017 00:45

‘Spotlight’ shines again after many weeks to focus on a luminous Sri Lankan star of Sri Lanka who has been illuminating the Hindi cinematic firmament for several years.


Vasantha Obeysekere, his house on Lauries Road and ‘Dadayama’

Views - 6551 Saturday, 6 May 2017 00:02

    Versatile Film Director and Script Writer Vasantha Obeysekere breathed his last on 8 April. Vasantha, born on 29 December 1937, was 79 years of age when he passed away peacefully in Colombo.  In a creative care


Lester James Peries, the legendary pioneer of authentic Sri Lankan cinema

Views - 7860 Saturday, 8 April 2017 00:02

    The doyen of Sinhala cinema celebrated his 98th birthday on 5 April     If I were to pose the question “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the best Lankan filmmaker


First Sinhala talkie ‘Kadawunu Poronduwa’ was released 70 years ago

Views - 8801 Saturday, 21 January 2017 03:20

History was made 70 years ago when the film ‘Kadawunu Poronduwa’ (Broken Promise) premiered at the Kingsley Theatre in Colombo on 21 January 1947. The Chief Guest was D.S. Senanayake, Minister of Agriculture and Lands under the State C


Action hero Gamini Fonseka was the first superstar of Sinhala cinema

Views - 13444 Saturday, 24 December 2016 00:10

‘Spotlight’ beams this week on Gamini Fonseka, the first superstar of Sinhala cinema. I had begun preparing this article many months ago to mark the 80th birth anniversary of Sembuge Gamini Shelton Fonseka who was born on 21 M


When actress Jayalalithaa reigned as uncrowned Queen of Tamil cinema

Views - 10284 Saturday, 17 December 2016 00:10

The recent demise of alluring actress turned powerful politico Jayalalithaa Jayaram has caused a void in the politics of India’s Tamil Nadu state.  The 68-year-leader of the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham (AIADMK)


Maestro W. D. Amaradeva created a distinctive genre of Sinhala music

Views - 15280 Saturday, 3 December 2016 00:10

     Renowned Sri Lankan vocalist, violinist and music composer W.D. Amaradeva passed away in a Colombo hospital on 3 November, just one month short of his 89th birthday.  Millions of Lankan rasikas scattered


“Marikkar” Ramdas: The Brahmin who transformed into a Muslim

Views - 11044 Saturday, 16 July 2016 00:05

        “Marikkar” Ramdas has passed away! Sadness spread among numerous fans of Sri Lankan origin scattered widely in different parts of the globe as news of the demise of th


Southern skylark Susheela soars to ‘record’ heights in singing film songs

Views - 13790 Saturday, 11 June 2016 00:10

   An indispensable feature of Indian language films are the song sequences. The songs are usually picturised on actors or actresses who lip-synch them on screen. The voices we hear belong to off-screen singers known gen


An ‘affair’ of the mind between a nubile undergrad and her ageing professor

Views - 16627 Saturday, 28 May 2016 00:36

Asoka Handagama Asoka Handagama’s latest film ‘Let Her Cry’ is currently being shown in theatres on a limited run from 13 May to 10 June. The director apparently preferred to utilise the gap in between already-scheduled r


Kandy-born actor-politico “MGR” reigned supreme in Tamil Nadu cinema and politics

Views - 19667 Saturday, 20 February 2016 00:05

There was a time when the magical initials MGR were a household name in the Tamil-speaking homes of countries with a substantial population of Tamils, including India and Sri Lanka. The initials referred to swashbuckling actor M.G. Ramach


‘Lanka-friendly’ Indian actress Asin weds entrepreneur Rahul in grand style

Views - 18064 Friday, 29 January 2016 23:43

An adorable actress with lovely looks being swept off her feet by an efficacious entrepreneur with dashing features into a grand wedding is the romantic stuff modern fairy tales are made of. No wonder then that Indian ne


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Today's Columnists

Fruits, flowers and futile triumphalism at Galle Face?

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Every morning, I play voyeur and watch that nice neighbourhood uncle pluck flowers to pooja-fy his guardian deities. He is quite religious about it. And industrious to boot. The problem, of course, is that he doesn’t restrict himself to his garden.


Will Kyaukpyu overtake Gwadar and Hambantota?

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

China last month signed a $1.3 billion contract for Myanmar’s Kyaukpyu port project. The figures doing rounds in media in the run up to this port deal were as high as $7.9 billion which had ignited enormous curiosities. The Chinese had been negoti


Things to do in a Democracy when you’re dead…

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

In yesterday’s column, I argued a case for not impeaching the chief executive of the coup that has left our country situation in ruins. At the end of a pitched battle between the forces of unconstitutional ambition on one hand and democratic resist


Tweaking the New Inland Revenue Act (Part II)

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

In the backdrop where the recent amendment to the country’s supreme law is called in question, it may be appropriate to recall that the passage of the new Inland Revenue (IR) Act through Parliament was far more controversial. Nevertheless, the new


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