Lester James Peries and the making of path-breaking ‘Rekava’

Published : 12:20 am  July 14, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, D.B.S. Jeyaraj, FT Lite  |  Leave a Comment  |  6,493 views  |  
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‘Rekava’ or the line of destiny was the path-breaking film by Lester James Peries which altered the destiny of Sinhala cinema. (Though Rekava is spelled with both a ‘v’ as well as a ‘w’ in English, I am sticking to v because the original titles shown in the film spelled it with a v). Rekava, the first feature film to be made by Lester, was released in December 1956. It was hailed as a turning point in the decade-long evolving history of Sinhala cinema. Prominent journalist Mervyn de Silva described Rekava as “the birth of Sinhala cinema” itself when writing about it. The birth of Sinhala cinema The well-known journalist, critic and writer Regi Siriwardena who was later associated... 

Nimal Siripala on Ramaphosa visit, intl. conspirators and freedom of speech

Published : 12:34 am  July 11, 2014  |  Category: Chamitha Kuruppu, Columnists, Opinion  |  2 Comments  |  930 views  |  
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Government bigwig and Cabinet Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva admitted there are both Sinhala and Muslim extreme groups in the country and stressed that the Government is trying to defuse both sides, which is not an easy task. Expressing his views about the recent visit of the South African Vice President, Minister Siripala said that the visit enabled Cyril Ramaphosa to witness whether there is discrimination in our country towards any ethnic community. “Ramaphosa had the opportunity to see that all the international propaganda is totally biased and wrong. I am sure he would have framed that opinion having come to Sri Lanka.” The Minister added that the recent clashes were manipulated by... 

Why some countries prosper and others don’t

Published : 12:34 am  July 11, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Dinesh Weerakkody, Opinion  |  3 Comments  |  1,015 views  |  
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Many years ago as primary students we were taught that most rich countries were in the North of the globe and most poor countries were in the South, but later on we were told that it was not geography that causes wealth or poverty. After all, Australia and New Zealand are part of the Southern hemisphere, and both are doing fine. You couldn’t say this of Papua New Guinea, which is the Asian country closest to Australia and New Zealand. A superficial view is to blame racial differences. Black Africa is the poorest and most disordered part of the world, and Haiti, with an almost entirely black population, is the poorest country of the Americas. But the coincidence is accidental. What makes some... 

A Royal-Pathana clash for the final

Published : 12:10 am  July 11, 2014  |  Category: Arthur Fernandez, Columnists, Sports  |  1 Comment  |  1,119 views  |  
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Irrespective of what has happened in the past, it finally boils down to the last game, the all-important finals. Pathana go into the finals on the back of some consistently good performances and with an unblemished record. In the Knockout games so far they have shown no sign of nervousness, but have gone about their business as if it was just another day in the office. Their discipline has been good throughout the season, and given the allegations made in the past seasons about the same, there has not been a sign of any indiscretion. Pathana does not possess mega stars and have played as a cohesive unit, feeding off the success of each of the players. They did stutter a bit at the start of the... 

The great South African secret

Published : 12:00 am  July 10, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Dharisha Bastians, Opinion  |  5 Comments  |  1,479 views  |  
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Is South Africa involved in Sri Lanka to facilitate a political settlement to the ethnic problem or isn’t it? As it grapples with trying to showcase an internal credible process internationally and reining in its angry political allies at home, the Rajapaksa Government can’t seem to decide Jacob Zuma, South African President, appointed a special envoy to oversee the African nation’s conflict resolution and reconciliation initiatives in two post-war societies earlier this year. In civil war struck South Sudan, Zuma’s appointee and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has his work cut out for him. But in Sri Lanka, where for five years a relative peace has reigned, the road to reconciliation... 

Where eagles dare…

Published : 12:00 am  July 9, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  1 Comment  |  1,539 views  |  
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The worst sort of business is one that grows rapidly, requires significant capital to engender the growth, and then earns little or no money. Think airlines. Here a durable competitive advantage has proven elusive ever since the days of the Wright brothers. Indeed, if a far-sighted capitalist had been present at Kitty Hawk, he would have done his successors a huge favour by shooting Orville down – Warren Buffett, famed investor known world over as the oracle of Omaha ‘SriLankan Airlines…you are our world…” – SriLankan Airline advertisement   Obviously among our population there is only a handful that can claim a sound knowledge of business or economic realities. On the... 

Stop blaming the victims

Published : 12:00 am  July 9, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  867 views  |  
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In the weeks that have passed since 6-15 June, when Sri Lanka witnessed one of the worst outbreaks of anti-Muslim violence, the official narrative has been as chilling as the events. The Government initially dismissed the violence that has so far claimed at least four lives directly, displaced over 370 families and damaged property worth about Rs. 5.8 billion1 as a “minor incident”. Blaming the victims The Sri Lanka Government’s first formal statement on the events was delivered at the 26th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, four days after the riots. In a shocking omission of facts, the statement makes no reference to the pre-planned rally held that day in Aluthgama where... 

Illegal deposit takers: Time for a crackdown?

Published : 12:45 am  July 8, 2014  |  Category: Charitha Ratwatte, Opinion  |  5 Comments  |  982 views  |  
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Recent newspaper reports carried a story on one more financial pyramid scheme, allegedly called ‘Pandora Advertising’ in Tangalle, allegedly modelled on another in Tissamaharama, ‘Luminous Advertising,’ both in the Hambantota District. A pyramid scheme is one by which an unauthorised deposit taker offers high interest rates to gullible depositors, paying off early depositors, with funds deposited by later depositors and at some point decamps with the money. Charles Ponzi, an Italian American is said to have invented the scheme in New York in 1920. But author Charles Dickens, both in his 1844 novel Martin Chuzzelwit and 1857 novel Little Dorrit, wrote about such schemes. The CBSL it is... 

Tea: Link producers with exporters?

Published : 12:41 am  July 8, 2014  |  Category: Opinion, Rohantha Athukorala  |  Leave a Comment  |  876 views  |  
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The Ministry of Finance and Planning Annual Report of 2013 states that Sri Lanka’s tea industry generates over $ 1.5 billion in revenue to Sri Lanka, whilst provides almost a million jobs to the economy. Though privatised business of the industry generates only 35% to the total production of the country, it drives the sector with modern management technique infusion and value chain development with some companies out beating global international brands in the local market that indicate the talent base in the industry. Tipping point If one were to go back in time, we can see that the gap between the Cost of Production (COP) and Net Sales Average (NSA) was 9.4% in 2001. Over time due to varied... 

Pathana aiming for the triple

Published : 12:00 am  July 7, 2014  |  Category: Arthur Fernandez, Columnists, Sports  |  Leave a Comment  |  772 views  |  
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Round up The schools knockout rounds are in their final stages. Whether the same has evoked the level of interest and excitement that it should is debatable. Maybe the FIFA World Cup and the Wimbledon has had an adverse effect. As anticipated Pathana played quality rugby and progressed to semi-final with ease. As I write they are to take on giant killers Science College who downed a struggling Petes outfit last week. As someone quipped, the Petes were scientifically dismantled and their track record of last gasp efforts in crunch games deserted them and they had no answer. Rugby has always been and will be a team game and whilst brilliant individuals win games, quality and consistent teams win... 

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