Press Release Galle Lit. Fest


PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

21st November 2006

INTERNATIONAL AWARD WINNING AUTHORS HEAD TO SRI LANKA

Sri Lanka’s first literary festival, The Galle Literary Festival, will be held from the 10th to 14th January 2007 and promises to be a world class event providing locals and international visitors with a chance to come and enjoy their favourite Sri Lankan & International authors and engage in conversations about a wide selection of books & topics.

Fans of the recent 2006 Man Booker Prize winner, Kiran Desai, will be able to hear her discuss her award winning book The Inheritance of Loss.

Internationally acclaimed author and historian William Dalrymple will take you on a dramatic journey as he unveils his enthusiasm for India’s last Mughal emperor with his recently launched book The Last Mughal. World renowned, ex BBC India correspondent and author Mark Tully will join other leading journalists from the region including foreign correspondent Christopher Kremmer, author of 3 books, his latest being Inhaling the Mahatma. Distinguished biographer Victoria Glendinning will bring to life her latest biography Leonard Woolf – a life. 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist Suketu Mehta will share his passion for the throbbing metropolis of Bombay with his book Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found. Other authors in this incredible line up of authors are Sir Arthur C Clarke, London’s River Café owner – Rose Gray, Sri Lanka’s Romesh Gunesekera and author, gastronomic & esteemed actress Madhur Jaffrey.

Festival Director, Libby Southwell says “I am delighted to announce a line up of such internationally acclaimed authors for the first of many Galle Literary Festivals. The festival will provide local and international visitors with one of the most exciting & powerful programmes the South Asian region has seen – a truly world class event.”

The premier festival will focus on celebrating Sri Lankan literature and raise awareness of the great depth and diversity of Sri Lankan authors & their contribution to the English language and will honour one of Sri Lanka’s renowned and international authors, the late Nihal De Silva whose work has assisted raising the awareness of writing in English by Sri Lankan authors around the world. Yasmine Gooneratne, Carl Muller, Tissa Abeysekera, Elmo Jayawardena, David Blacker, and Jagath Kumarasinghe are among the finest of Sri Lankan writers who will also be participating in this international event.

The four day programme will be filled with writing workshops, panel discussions, topical debates, literary lunches & dinners, poetry readings, cooking classes, theatre workshops, a children’s program and much more. More information can be found on the official festival website – www.galleliteraryfestival.com <http://www.galleliteraryfestival.com/>

The Galle Literary Festival will be held in & around the historic city of Galle and its magnificent UN World Heritage Fort. Galle offers the perfect location for the literary festival providing a range of unique & memorable venues for individual events as well as providing the perfect springboard for which visitors can explore the rich culture & history of the coastline & villages of the Southern Province.

Tickets are available online (www.galleliteraryfestival.com <http://www.galleliteraryfestival.com/> ) or at any of the festival box offices in Colombo and Galle.

It’s time to bury yourself in books for what promises to be an exceptional event.

The Galle Literary Festival is proudly sponsored by: Lunuganga, Amangalla, The Dutch House, The Lighthouse Hotel & Spa, THE Barefoot Gallery, The Sun House, The Fort Printers, The Fort Gallery, Samakanda, Sri Lankan Airlines, Cathay Pacific, The British Council, Pyxle PVT Ltd, Casa Colombo, AdoptSriLanka, Grant McCann Erickson, Response Marketing (PVT) Ltd, The Favourite Group, The Economist and The Australian Government.

For more information contact:

Libby Southwell (International Media)                             Ameena Hussein (Local Media)
info@galleliteraryfestival.com                                       tangalla@sltnet.lk
Ph: +94 (0) 799 099 446                                                Ph: +94 (0) 777 562 333

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62 comments on “Press Release Galle Lit. Fest

  1. What a great and fantastic line up, wish you all the best for the festival! Maybe I will be in SL for the next one (I hope!)

  2. was just looking at the list of “authors” on the galleliteraryfestival.com website…

    i guess the organizers are very loosely interpreting the term “literary” or what comprises literature…

    i mean are these people “AUTHORS”:
    Neela Marikkar
    Dominic Sansoni (GREAT photographer but an AUTHOR)
    Deshan Tennekoon
    Rohan Ponniah
    Sean Amarasekera
    Tissa Abeysekera
    Rukshan Jayewardene
    Ranil Senanayake

    there are many more but that’s a start…

    AND

    are these people REALLY Literary writers:
    Ameena Hussain (she publishes her OWN books… because your family is rich and you can print a book… does that make it literature???)
    Afdhel Aziz
    David Blacker
    Pradeep Jeganathan
    C Anjalendran (a book on Architechture is not a piece of literature)
    i could go on forever about all these people… but i’m tired… need a nap

    if you were having a book festival… invite all these people…

    don’t call it literature…

  3. is it safe to go to Sri lanka…? galle?

    wasn’t there an attack there recently, some explosions…

    isn’t the war starting again?

  4. The fact that we’ve got Booker Prize winner Kiran Desai, literary luminaries like William D, Madhur Jaffrey, Mark Tully – among a host of others speaks for itself. In fact, almost everyone we’ve written to has said yes to the festival which is a tremendous show of support particularly since this is our first festival.

  5. but what about the issue of all those sri lankan jokers who aren’t even writers…

    and where are the tamil writers…

    this just seems like a “clique”

  6. When choosing authors to participate it is not just about deciding who is a brilliant writer it is also really important to choose those authors who will entertain their audience and can deliver their work in such a way that the crowd will be interested. As a committee at least one of us knows each and every authors work as well as them individually. This is really important.
    In addition to this we felt it was important for the International authors to have some connection with the sub continent / S. Asia.

  7. Seems like a pretty good line-up. Specially looking forward to Dalrymple. I’m actually surprised that the committee got writers and people of this calibre down here for the event, it’s a pretty big thing for Sri Lanka. You might want to pick one name and stick to it writer/pray/crazy.

  8. but how is Dominic an “author” nazeen…?

    he’s a world class photographer… but an “author”…? come on… this is just self promotion

    there are many on there like this…

  9. We have a whole list of writers slated for next year, (both local and international)- This festival is not intended as a one off, we are already collecting material in preparation for 2008.

    Why don’t you attend the festival and you can voice your questions to us then. Actually might be better to address the questions after the festival takes place, because then you will be able to judge it fairly and accurately.

    Alternatively, if your still unhappy why don’t you start/organise your own literary festival?

  10. you’re right… should just start my own… but then i don’t have the money you all have… money talks, bullshit walks… you do what you want…

    but when there are 10’s of thousands starving in the NorthEast how do you rationalize the promotion of such a biased “south focused” event…

    and the neela marrikkar panel… what are they discussing…? the “one sri lanka” or some such bullshit?

    tell that to the people of the NorthEast especially the Vanni, Jaffna, and Vaharai… you all party while people die…

    have fun

  11. Dear Writer,

    You have indeed raised some valid points. I too am shocked and saddened at the lack of a Sinhalese writer. And what about the Arabic writers? I think it’s immensely discriminatory of the Organisers not have a Korean writer as well, what with all the Japanese restaurants they run in this country, the diaspora is huge.

    It is clearly another manifestation of majoritarianism. They should put the publicity out in all three languages (perhaps the Koreans might be able to pick up a few words) and expect people they had no intention of advertising the event to. They should scoff at the fact that Kiran Desai speaks English and force her to learn at least rudimentary Sinhala and Tamil before she comes here. If she can’t learn it – that’s her bloody problem. I think it’s highly ostentatious that people pander to her just because she won a Booker prize. I mean seriously.

    Besides the organising committee has done a grave disservice to suffering masses of the NE. It is clearly they who should shoulder the burden of the starving people and have the A9 opened. They are far more powerful than the government of the LTTE and obviously have racial motivations. So it is they who should be held solely responsible for the atrocities committed in the war areas.

    Ameena Hussein and Nazreen are clearly Sinhalophiles. Ameena treacherously married a Sinhalese and Nazreen even speaks it even though she is a Burgher – Tamil mix. But even they have not provided a Sinhala author. I think the JHU and JVP should chastise them for that. It is a hark back to our imperial history.

    And writer I couldn’t agree with you more that we should give up our lives in the ‘south’ while the war rages on. We should forget all self development and shelve all endeavours to promote such things as literature. Where the hell did lterature get anyone eh? It’s only words after all. And language. And issues. And culture. And identity. And who gives a shit about that?

    Fuckwit.

  12. Dear Critics of the Galle Literary Festival,
    I have up to now been a silent observer of your collective diatribe. So now, a few comments of my own: Of all things a festival of this sort should surely be free of the ethnic merry go round. It gets on my nerves when everyone gets on the bandwagon and insists they be represented come what may. Chill out! If you wish to attend the festival come by all means. If you have issues stay away and let the rest of us readers and book lovers in war torn, crazed, unsafe, racist, chauvinist Sri Lanka attend this literary festival that I for one am delighted that someone took the initiative and decided to organise.

  13. please send us a LIST of all TAMIL authors you would like us to invite. And what makes you so arrogant as to think we have not? Sophist is anything but a fool and please ask Michael Ondaatje why he is not coming.

  14. Shyam Selvadurai?
    Mike Masilamani?
    many others… y don’t you tell who you asked?

    I don’t know Michael’s contact details… i’ll ask if you give them

    also, the festival seems to ignor the current situation in the country and seems to be organized by foreigners for foreigners… an attempt with the help of the Foreign Minister to reinvigorate the tourist industry…

    why not have a more indepth discussion of literature/writing that focuses on the conflict…

    you are giving a “colombo writers” perspective… looking at the program you would not know that the NE exists…

    just seems you’re ignoring the reality of the suffering… and killing and dying…

  15. i am presuming that the galle literary festival will happen every year right? If that is so and this is just not a one off event then it would be reasonable to expect a diverse bunch of authors to be invited for the forthcoming festivals. Therefore I am slightly confused why everyone is going on and on about the lack of tamil authors. I do hope the organisers will continue to invite distinguished authors as they have for 2007, and I do hope that among them I will see Shyam Selvadurai, Michelle de Kretser, Sivanadan etc as I would like to see writers writing in English being invited from Jaffna, Batticaloa, Anuradhapura, Kurunegala, Mannar, Matara etc.
    Secondly, if this was a human rights conference or a peace initiative I would be damn concerned if the conflict was ignored but since it aint and is a literary festival just sit back and enjoy the menu.
    Thirdly it may be rather unfortunate but the truth is that most writing in English is done by Colombites. I as a reader would love to read writing from other parts of the island. So Eelam just mention a few names of writers from the North and the East and I will mosy down to a bookshop and catch up on my reading!
    Peace and Love

  16. thanks again ethnicyhybrid. saves me the arduous process of justifying our actions. I think you hit the nail on the head, once again.

  17. you are verry wise ethnicitybird and i agree with much that you say…

    but when the organizers have invited david blacker who is such a horrible writer and whose book is so pro-government of sri lanka and so anti-tamil, anti-LTTE… and there is the lack of any tamil voice… it makes the tamils sit up and say… “aiyo, not another event that ignors the tamils contribution to society…”

    come on, this country has been at war since independance… no event opperates in a vacume and to have ignored the tamil community in this the “First” (that’s debatable) festival is not right… and it is easy to say, “we tried” or “we’ll invite the tamils next year…” but that’s a cop out…

    this is a festival for foreingers in the “riviera of galle” and their rich friends… how many locals do you think will be able to attend as a result of the high prices they’ve set…

    and what about the accusation in the article by Eric Ellis that tsunami relief funds are being spuandered here…

    it just makes me sad… art, theater, movies, tv, literature… could all have a role in leading the search for peace… but the elite of this country, the civil society and business community have failed this country…

    the cultural and economic elite of this country have only taken the role of the colonialist, they exploit there own, and kiss the ass of the white man and bow at his feet and beg his favors…

    colombo society is the problem and this festival is a symtom of that… ignoring reality and shutting out the horrors that the people of the northeast experience every day…

    peace & love & understanding…

  18. Gosh you seem to know so MUCH. When were you last in Jaffna, when were you last in the Vanni? What are you doing to help your/our people? Are you writing? Are you healing, helping? or do you just make comments on people’s blogs out of sheer frustration because you feel so helpless. Well get out there and do something. Go to parliament, speak to your representative. Speak to Prabakharan. Just do something and stop the whine. It’s deafening.

  19. sounds like guilt to me naz…

    i work for the the people… ALL the people… too bad i can’t tell you who i am… but suffice to say i’m not a businessman in colombo exploiting the people.

    i do all of the things you said above, except speaking to Mr. Prabaharan. The solution does not lie in the NorthEast, the solution lies in the “South” accepting that the tamils have legitimate grievances and have the right to self determination.

    and are you talking about the SL parliament? sorry i don’t have the cash resources to be able to buy one of the SLFP or UNP… but i do talk to the TNA regularly… and we trying to make a difference

  20. oh ya, and you’re right i DO feel helpless… and do what i can to make a difference…

    but it’s just tough when events like this happen and they are so biased…

  21. eelam: Please, no guilt. We are all victims here just as much as we are all responsible for the crimes that have been committed against
    all humanity. Please don’t drag a literary festival onto a political bandwagon. For god’s sake we did not start with “oh let’s have a literary festival and leave the Tamils out” Have you ever tried contacting writers? They are not the easiest people in the world to get in touch with. They hibernate for god’s sake, to write. Just give us a chance; it pisses me off the politicising.

    The only thing I feel guilty about at the moment is not making more time to spend with my children.

  22. you’re right, we’re all guilty…

    and i’m not attacking you naz… you try… and you’re a good person…

    i’m against the david blackers of the world and giving them a platform to spew their nonsense and not allowing a dissenting, not so popular view to prevail…

    politics is in everything my dear… so everything is politicized… art is political, literature is political (why do you think so many writers have been locked up, slienced, or killed?) this is especially so in a conflict environment such as this… and the leaving out of one of the voices in the conflict, for whatever reason, lessens this event… and leaves it open to criticism… please list the tamil writers that turned you down…

    the “locals” you invited are also “political” choices…

  23. I am not going to politiciise this event before it starts, eelam.
    what transpires whilst it takes place is left to be seen. i would think a lot of what we all feel and think about the situation this country and the world is in, will be addressed. so please come and voice your opinion. till then.

  24. Eelam…this may come as a surprise to you but a lot of people do feel fairly disillusioned on the state of SL as we know it thanks to some megalomaniac’s pursuit of the eutopia that is coincidentally your pseudonym.

    The Tamil writers who you mention Mike and Shyam (I don’t know the other I must confess) are also Colombites. And the last I read of Mike’s writing it wasn’t tear jerking stuff about how his people are being persecuted at the hands of Barefooted Oligarchs. Really mate….you sound like a nice enough chap – just get some perspective.

    Neither you nor anybody has the right to tell the Organisers who to invite or not, anymore than you have the right to tell a film director who to cast. If you don’t like it – don’t watch it. It’s freedome of choice. There is no compulsion to attend this event, and in the same breath there is no taxpayer’s money being spent on it. The Organisers are free to ignore whichever community they want to – and correct me if I’m wrong, before you got on your whiny little soapbox they were ignoring ALL the godawful communities that make this country a melting pot of hatred, jealousy and mistrust. You’re the one that brought a communal spin to this purely apolitical event.

    Even though we can barely walk two feel without being dragged under by the quicksand of war, it doesn’t mean Sri Lankans aren’t entitled to live a little. To entertain and be entertained. Just because there’s a war on doesn’t mean that everything else shuts down.

    The Organisers are doing this for their own good reasons. If you don’t want to go don’t go. But some people might want to and they will. The Organisers don’t owe the Tamil or Sinhala or Muslim or Burgher communities sweet buggerall. So don’t make your plaintive cries of ‘victim!victim!’ to them.

    You don’t solve the NE problem by equating the whole country to it. You strive to bring up the rest of it to (god forbid) Colombo levels. The legitimacy of the Tamil cause is often lost in this clamour to see Evil Sinhala Majoritarianism in events such as this. There’s enough majoritarianism around. Just not here.

  25. Sophist says:
    “There is no compulsion to attend this event, and in the same breath there is no taxpayer’s money being spent on it.”

    I’m sure Naz can fill you in on this but i believe that SL airline is part owned by the GOSL, no?

    All the authors are being flown in business class and Sri Lankan is picking up the tab…

    also, if you read the article by eric ellis (link above) you’ll see that they are using tsunami money, and the hotels will get tax breaks for their donations…

    ergo… tax payer money is being spent on this… don’t we as citizens then have a right to qestion the organizers???

    do your research before talking out your…

  26. also,
    why, why, why is david blacker included in this festival…

    niether he nor ameena can write…

    if i had the money i could publish my own book like ameena…

    no response to my statement about Sri Lankan Airlines???

  27. eelam: If you say you can write, please write. just do it and send it to a publisher(s). Because, if you can write better than Ameena, I GUARANTEE you will be picked up by one of the publishing houses.

  28. oh, i don’t write, but i’ve read better writing on the bathroom stalls… has ameena been picked up by any international publishing houses…?

    her fam’s got tons o’ cash and thus she set up a publishing house to publish her own stuff and that trite that david publishes…

    it’s laughable…

  29. She can easily be picked up by International publishing houses. I think you should do some careful research of your own.

    oh by the way, one way of coming to the festival if you cannot afford the 750/- rupees or the 3000 for a day pass is to volunteer your services. That way you get access to the entire four days.

    please let me know if you want to volunteer. I will send you the form.

  30. Yes it’s laughable. So why don’t you DO something. Are you a member of the JVP or summat in disguise?

    Sri Lankan Airlines is getting publicity out of ‘picking up the tab’ both here and in the countrys the writers are coming from. It’s called sponsorship, and last time I checked wasn’t illegal and in fact a quite reputed marketing tactic.

    Mahinda flies business class. So does Anura B. Every weekend. The GoSL also ‘picks up their tab’. I also don’t see you raising a hue and cry about Udaya Nana’s little shenanigans at nightclubs funded by me, the taxpayer. Directly.

    The GoSL’s stake in Sri Lankan Airlines doesn’t make a profit organisation responsible to the public. It makes the idiots who signed the Emirates deal responsible. And I don’t remember you knocking about when that happened you Championer of the Abused Tax Payer You.

    Don’t be such a vindictive, bitter witch hunter Eelam.

    David and Ameena are probably included because they won the State Literary Award. I didn’t see you raising hell when those prizes were awarded? If you’ve got beef with them about their writing please take it up.

    If I had the money I’d publish my own book too. What’s your point?

  31. “She can easily be picked up by International publishing houses. I think you should do some careful research of your own.”

    then why isn’t she published in the UK or elsewhere… they love promoting their “little brown writes from the tropics”

    she ain’t no michael O…

    😉
    “If I had the money I’d publish my own book too. What’s your point?”

    my point dear sophist is that generally, worthwhile manuscripts have people begging to publish them…

    and state litery awards? pllllleeeeesssseee, what were they up against… there is a paucity of english writing in this country and my 5 year old may win something next year…

  32. Eelam you continue to amaze me as to how much you seem to know about writing, publishing, most everything really.
    Gosh we should invite you on board.

    I will put it to the committee at our next meeting and see what they have to say, then you can do something of real value and merit instead of your futile attempts to attack a literary festival motivated as I see it by your own MAJOR hang ups. I am gone.

  33. haha, i’m sorry naz… i didn’t mean to attack you or cause you any irritation…

    i’ll leave you all to your elite little party in galle… have fun…

    you and sophist are right you should be able to party and live your lives like there is nothing wrong in this country and the GOSL isn’t bombing and shelling the NE into the stone age…

  34. it’s more frustration than irritation. Please come up with a plan on how to solve this terrible, ego-driven, politically motivated (war) last I heard most people in all rural areas of the country just want the freedom to get on with their lives.

    So you know what? whilst i can, I am getting on with mine. In the hope that if some good comes out it, (whether it’s bringing up a child, a lit fest or whatever) then we may have won half the battle.

  35. there will be no solution until those in colombo realize that they are the problem, their leadership, or lack there of, has resulted in the extreme poverty of the “South” and the disenfranchisement of the NorthEast… that and the rascism that exists…

    you have money and the opportunity to make a difference and yet your organize a festival that will not benefit anyone but the elite and the foreigners… it dosn’t even raise the issue, unlike the Ubud festival which ADDRESSED the root causes of their “conflict”.

    but, you are the ones with the power and the money and the contacts and you choose not to do so and that is your perogative… it’s just sad, no?

    by the way how did you “hear” what those in the rural areas want??? when was that? were you guys part of the “invasion” of the NE that occurred after the CFA when everyone went “antique” hunting and got “found” some really good deals from the army boys and villagers who “found” stuff in bombed out buildings… 😉

  36. You infuriate me in your assumptions. We have been around for a very long time; I guess I am at least twenty years older than you.
    I know of a sri lanka in the early 60’s, was here in the 83 riots and have travelled the country far and wide. You have no idea the half of what we do, so until you identify yourself and we can talk face to face instead of this ceaseless, pointless writings (and the only reason I am doing so is because I am ill at home so have time on my hands. god I should be sleeping) you will continue to be as ignorant, ill informed, irresponsible as how you perceive us to be.

  37. Eelam…you are a manifestation of why this war will never be won. Stubborn, pig headed lack of perception and comprehension. Your inability to see nothing but ‘what’s in it for me?’ is the overriding political ideology that pervades both sides of this conflict. As long as you and your counterparts exist your five year old may as well migrate.

  38. Dear Eelam,
    There have been many points that you have raised that I am sure that Sophist, Naz and I certainly do agree with. The political mismanagement of this country, the discrimination of the minorities, the inability or the lack of will to reach a solution. However, you dilute your argument by firstly being petty and personal (however, you prove that you are intrinsically Sri Lankan as it is typical of our nationality) and secondly by mixing oranges and apples.
    Let the literary festival be. It is now well on its way to being held, with or without you, with or without tamil writers (by the way you obviously feel that the burger and muslim writers are over-represented or at least adequately represented no?) with or without adequate sessions that address the ethnic conflict.
    The festival is certainly not going to be a forum where peace or its avenues can be adequately discussed. So let us debate the merits of good and bad writing (You can certainyl contribute here), the use of language, the power of the spoken work as in performance poetry etc and the future of writing in English here in Sri Lanka.
    Another time, another place, another blog, we can perhaps discuss the ethnic conflict – objectively I hope, while slamming the GoSL yet also talking about the LTTE and their assasinations, their ethnic cleansing of the North, their oppression of their own people.
    To achieve peace, we cannot take sides, we cannot say tit for tat, sometimes we have to turn the other cheek. And that is a lesson we all have to learn – starting with me.
    So, it is almost Xmas! I thank all of you for allowing me to cleanse part of my soul, wish you all love (for wishing for peace now seems trite!) and all I can do is hope…

  39. Dear Mr. bird…
    tell it to the IDPs in vaharai…
    you speak of coming and discussing bad writing, but you fail to see how fucked up a festival such as this is when a war is raging IN THE SAME COUNTRY (not for long hopefully)…

    imagine holding such a festival in chicago while the US govt was bombing the shit out of Michigan…

    do you see how jaded and blind to suffering you all have become…? moaning about how, “we need to live our lives… etc.”

    as i said before the “intelligencia” of this country is a joke… all those of any real intellect have left to pursue brighter futures abroad and the inbred, mediocre few that are left cling to their power and their neo-colonial rule wishing they were “whiter”, kissing the assess of the white people who fail in their own countries and end up in sri lanka… what was the quote, failed in london now in HK, failled in HK maybe Galle’ll do…?

    and the festival doesn’t have “to be a forum where peace or its avenues can be adequately discussed.” but wouldn’t it be interesting if literature, poetry etc on war, state-terror, terroism, oppression, etc. were discussed…? instead what is being provided??? the literary genius of cook book writers, writers of books on architecture, and some local hacks… ridiculous…

    and as far as poetry and performance poetry is concerned i’ve only seen one performance/show in recent times and that author (who happens to be a tamil) isn’t on the list… hmmmm, wonder why?

    what about the author of “When Memory Dies”, A. Sivanandan. that would be an interesting combination with that hack David Blacker… now a panel with those two would be worth the exobidant prices they’re charging… but, then they’d have to have invited one of the better internationally based tamil writers and make their local hacks look foolish…

    how many of the sri lankan authors are published internationally? how many are selfpublished? maybe i’ll print up my 5 or 8 year old’s stories and say that they’re authors for next year…

  40. When you submit your 5 and 8 year old’s work I hope someone else checks their spelling innit?

    Why don’t you take your soap box to another corner of Hyde Park Eelam, because this isn’t the ‘Tamil Victims’ corner.

    Why are you so bitter? You seem to have a good time going for plays and reading books while your people suffer as IDP’s in Vaharai.

  41. Dear Eelam,
    wow! I hope you feel better having vomited out your hate! You seem to have a complex – is it failed writer’s complex, or can’t get published complex? Or is it simply that your venom filled heart cannot see life other than in the negative. It is precisely people like you, both on the Sinhala and Tamil side who will never allow this conflict to end. Eelam, you are an embodiment of the state of our country. So, go ahead, hate away, I should not be surprised, you are following in the footsteps of your Sinhala and Tamil forefathers. It will be a cold day in hell when Sri Lanka can produce a Ghandi or a Mandela, for in short it is impossible.

  42. where was anything anti-sinhala, bugher, muslim in my post… i’m anti-psudo-intelectual, postering, colomboites (of all ethnicities) who do nothing but make this war worse by living off the suffering of the poor throughout the land…

  43. i never said that this “festival” was bad because it was a sinhala festival – please point me to where i said anything close to that…

    i never critizied the sinhala people or any race for that matter…

    i specifically criticized the organizers for leaving out a voice, and ignoring the realites of the current situation in the country…

    address some of the questions i rasied in the post rather than state the obvious about there being no gandhi’s here…

    vis a vis Mandela – i think there is one… Mandela is a man who refused to “sit in the back of the bus” and started an armed struggle to free his people, was persecuted and called a terrorist, and endured and led his people to freedom… hmmm? yes, i’d say we have one of those here on this island…

    and what about the points i rasied about the tamil poet and author being left out…???

  44. oh, ya… and i’m not a frustreateed wirter… you maight have read something i’ve written…. hahaha

    and yes i doo usse speelchck whin i rite normale, but nt ‘ere…

  45. Why don’t you do some answering my fine feathered friend? What have you done to improve the lot of your IDP brethren apart from watching performance poetry written by a Tamil poet, choreographed by a Burgher director, patronised by the very people you hate? What have you done to raise a voice? Well….? What have you done to cater to the whims of some cantankerous cunt when you have organised something?

    Not all of hate ourselves as much as you do. What can’t you live with?

  46. Eelam, you sound like a frustrated man living out of Sri Lanka, whinging and crying about a situation you are not even in! I dont know who the organisers invited, who accepted, who refused, yadiyadiya! I hope the organisers will damn well invite more writers, performers etc who I would like to see at the next festival, NOT based on their bloody ethnicity but based on their performance! For God’s sake that should be the criteria no? As you sound like a census board, I would heartily recommend you work for the GoSL running around with your little check board making sure that all the communities are represented. And by comparing Prabakharan to Mandela, I disagree but give you the freedom to have your opinion. If I was in Eelam, I am sure I would not even have that much! And I really dont think that Mandela did any ethnic cleansing and chased out a particular ethnicity when he governed South Africa, unlike your leader who did a mighty ethnic cleansing of his own, when he chased out the Muslims! So, so much for your homegrown Mandela!

  47. sophist:
    i wish i could answer you and tell you all about who i am and my work, but in this political environment i’m afraid that isn’t possible… but suffice to say i’ve been doing quite a bit for all the people of the northeast who are suffering: tamil, sinhala, muslim… and when we have events or organize anything we make DAMN sure that all “voices” are represented…

    and i thought the production by tracie holsinger was great… the poetry, the cast, the production, the venue… naz and barefoot are very eclectic and open and diverse and it is a wonderful venue to see performances/art/plays/etc… i say that without reservation… THAT IS WHY THIS FESTIVAL IS SO DISAPPOINTING and why i can’t understand why Naz is a part of it…

    i just can’t conceive of a festival of this nature that completely ignors the groundrealities and the turmoil that a part of the country is undergoing…

    i just got back from the east, and IT IS A DIFFERENT COUNRTY…

    Maybe that is what i hate about myself and what it is about myself that i “can’t live with”. The fact that i can not do more… it pains me everytime i have to leave… and everytime after a 15 hour day when i go out to dinner or a poetry reading in colombo and relieve the images that i’ve seen, felt and heard…

    do you know that in parts of the NorthEast over 80% of tsunami IDPs are still in “temp shelters” whereas the south (due to the proliferation of GOSL and INGO relief) has 90% of the houses finished in most areas…? and that has little to do with the “conflict” per se and more to do with the inherent rascism and “south” focus of the sinhala govt.

    ethnictybird:
    you think i’m a frustrated man living out of sri lanka? why? beasuce unlike your “colombo 7” tamil friends i don’t “keep quite”, “lay low”, “this time will pass” – thsese are all things my “colombo 7” tamil friends have said to me… sad, no? that they are afraid to speak, to voice their pain, their frustration, their “tamilness”…? these same tamils, when we speak one-on-one praise our friends in the NE… you don’t have to believe it, i could care less…

    so, your comment, in an attempt to belittle my questions and point of view is based on a flawed precept… i live, work and might get killed working on the island of ceylon…

    “NOT based on their bloody ethnicity but based on their performance!”

    i too hope that they do this… they don’t seem to have do it this time…

    “As you sound like a census board, I would heartily recommend you work for the GoSL running around with your little check board making sure that all the communities are represented”

    are you joking…? do you know anything of the history and the current discrimination against the minorities in this counrty>>> if the GOSL had taken the time to make sure that “all the communities are (were) represented” we wouldn’t be in this situation…

    vis a vis Mandela, you are an example of how a litte knowledge/information is actually a bad thing… do you know ANYTHING about the ANC, and Mandela, and things that where done during the stuggle…? no? then go and educate yourself and we’ll chat later…

    the exodus of the muslims from the North was a tradegy – i don’t know why it happened or the reasons for it and niether do you, you can spout off the GOSL “talking points” all you want…

    another tragedy of history are the Japanese Internment Camps during WWII – do you know anything about that??? History is replete with tragedies… DURING WAR HORRIBLE THING HAPPEN… the Muslims have been urged by our friend to return to their lands and had begun to do so in the during the CFA – i’ve seen many Muslims in Kilinochchi and Jaffna…

    suffice to say that if you want to throw cliched words like “ethnic cleaning” out, you should first point your finger at your GOSL who HAS DONE and CONTINUES to cleaanse the Trinco district TODAY… since independance the sinhala population of Trinco district has EXPLODED due to STATE AIDED COLONIZATION and ETHNIC CLEANSING of Tamils from their historic villages by the GOSL… this is FACT… but than we only pick and choose our facts based on our own predujies…

    Mandela, George Washington, Mr. P.

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