නන්දගේ කොලම – 1 – පලස්තීන ප්‍රශ්නය


Yitzhak Rabin, Bill Clinton and Yasser Arafat 

ඒ මා පාසල් ගුරුවරයකු ලෙස සේවය කරන කාලයයි. මා ප්‍රාථමික පංති අසලින් යාම හැකි හැමවිටම මග අරින්නේ ඔවුන්ගේ පංතිවල ගුරුවරියන් නැති වෙලාවල පොඩ්ඩන් පොඩ්ඩියන් ගෙන එන ප්‍රශ්න විසඳීම මට විශාල කාලයක් වැයවන නිසාත්, ඒ සම්බන්ධ එතරම් දැනුමක් මට නැති නිසාත් බැවිනි.මේ සඳහා කදිම විසඳුමක් මම සොයාගතිමි. එනම්, “සර්, මෙයා මට ගැහැව්වා,” “සර්, මෙයා මගේ මක්කෙ දෙන්නෙ නෑ” වැනි තොරතෝංචියක් නැති පැමිණිලි ගෙන එන විටදී ඔවුන්ගෙන් මම “පුතා, අයර්ලන්ත අර්බුදය විසඳන්නේ කොහොමද?” “දුව, ඇෆ්ඝන් අවුලේ ඇතුලාන්තය ගැන දන්නෙ මොනවාද” වැනි ජාත්‍යන්තර ප්‍රශ්න පොඩ්ඩන්ගෙන් ඇසීමයි. එවිට ඔවුන්ගේ ප්‍රශ්න ඔවුන්ටද අමතක වේ. කොහොමත් පොඩි ඈයින්ගේ ප්‍රශ්න විසඳීම ජාත්‍යන්තර අර්බුද විසඳීමට වඩා අපහසුය.

දිනක් හෝඩියේ පංතිය අසලින් යද්දී පුංචි දැරියක් දුවගෙන ඇවිත් කිව්වේ, “සර්, අරයා මට ලියන්න දෙන්නේ නෑ” කියාය. මම ඇයව නිශ්ශබ්ද කිරීමට ඇයගෙන් ඇසුවේ, “පැංචි, පලස්තීන ප්‍රශ්නය ගැන ඔයා හිතන්නෙ මොනවද?” කියාය. මෙලෝ දෙයක් නොතේරුන අසරණ දැරිය ඇස් ලොකු කරගෙන මා දෙස බලා සිටින විට මම ඇයට කිව්වේ, “ඔයා දන්නෙ නැත්තං ගෙදර ගියාම අම්මගෙන් අහගෙන ඇවිත් හෙට මට කියන්න.” කියායි.

මෙය මෙතනින් එහා නොයාවියැයි සිතුවත් පහුවදා උදෑසනින්ම දැරිය පැමිණ සිටියේ ඇගේ මවත් සමගය. මා සිතුවේ පොඩි එවුන්ගෙන් නොසන්ඩාල ප්‍රශ්න අහනවාට හොඳවයින් දෙකක් අදනම් අසාගත හැකිවනු ඇත කියාය. නමුත් සිනාමුසු මුහුණින් පැමිණි දැරියගේ මව මට පොලොස් ගෙඩියක්ද රැගෙනවිත් තිබිණි.

“දුව ඊයෙ ගෙදර ආව ගමන් සර් පොලොස්, පොලොස් කියලා මොනවාද ඇහුවා කියලා කිව්වා. මම හිතුවෙ සර්ලගෙ ගෙදර පොලොස් නැතුව ඇති කියලා. ඒකයි මේ පොලොස් ගෙඩියක් ගෙනාවේ.”

ඒ එතෙක් කිසිදු ලෝක බලවතෙකුට හෝ එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ මහලේකම්වරයකුට විසඳීමට නොහැකිවූ පලස්තීන ප්‍රශ්නය අර අවුරුදු පහක පුංචි දැරිය විසඳූ අයුරුයි.

My Experience at Teaching Hospital – Jaffna, the Best Hospital in Sri Lanka


The new extension of the Teaching Hospital in Jaffna

Experiencing a stay in a Sri Lankan hospital cannot be a pleasant experience to any patient, especially if it is in a state hospital. I have been unfortunate to have such bitter experiences in a few state hospitals. I won’t name them here as I don’t want to be at the receiving end if I happened to go to any of those again.

I had to spend a couple of days at the Teaching Hospital – Jaffna early this year and was amazed with the professional and caring way I was treated there. I was directly taken to the Emergency Care Unit (ECU) as soon as I got myself admitted to the hospital and was given the treatment immediately in a comfortable ECU bed. (I have been to some other hospitals before with more serious conditions of the same illness before but I have had to wait for hours even without being looked into let alone being treated!) Once my condition was stabilized, I was transferred to a regular ward.

The hospital staff in this hospital in Jaffna, from the specialist doctors to the minor staff, were very helpful and caring. Language barrier also did not become a big issue even though most of the staff members were Tamil people. There were a few Sinhala and Muslim staff members too, everyone was nice to me, and I saw with my own eyes they were the same towards the other patients too.

Once I was cured, they discharged me and guided me properly to the medical clinics too. I couldn’t get the signature of the chief medical doctor for my insurance documents as he wasn’t available when I left the hospital and the staff gave me a date to come back to get the signature. However, I couldn’t go on the stipulated day due to a personal reason and went to the ward on a later date. As soon as the doctor saw me coming, even without my asking him, he came to me and signed the diagnosis card needed to get my insurance claims.

I wish the staff of the other state hospitals also could do the same. It doesn’t cost money to smile, be humble. Of course, I understand that the state hospitals can be understaffed at times but what I saw at Teaching Hospital in Jaffna was that, more than anything else, it was the positive attitudes of the staff that made my stay there a pleasant one as opposed to arrogance.

ලංකාවේ ලැගුම්හල්වල අරුම පුදුම නීති, රීති සහ සම්ප්‍රදායයන්


ලංකාවේ ලැගුම්හල්වල ඇත්තේ අරුම පුදුම නීති, රීති සහ සම්ප්‍රදායයන්ය. මේවා මොන කෙහෙල්මලක් නිසා ඇතිවූයේදැයි කියා කීමට බැරිය. බෝහොමයක් නීති පුහු සුචරිතවාදය නිසාය. අනික මේ නීති කුඩා ලැගුම්හල් වලට පමණය. ඒවාද කිසිම වැදගැම්මක් ඇති නීති නොවේය.

  • මම විවාහ වූ අලුත බිරිඳ සමග අනුරාධපුරේ ලැගුම්හලකට ගියේ දීර්ඝ මෝටර්සයිකල් සවාරියකින් පසු හොඳටම හෙම්බත්වීය. ලැගුම්හළට ඇතුල්වූ පසු එහි සිටි කොලුවා කීවේ නවතින්න දෙන්නේ “කපල් වලට” පමණක් කියාය. මම කිව්වෙ “අපිත් කපල් එකක් තමා” කියාය. එවිට ඔහු කීවේ “නෑ නෑ සර් කසාද බැඳපු කපල් වලට විතරයි” කියාය. මම කීවේ “ඉතිං අපිත් කසාද බැඳපු කපල් එකක් තමා” කියාය. එවිට ඔහු කීවේ එය විශ්වාස කළ නොහැකි බවයි. මම ඔහුට කීවේ යන යන තැන කසාද සහතිකය ලැමිනේට් කරගෙන යන සිරිතක් අපට තියා අරාබි රටකවත් ඇතැයි මම හිතන්නේ නැති බවය. එවිට ඔහු කීවේ කසාද බැඳ ඇතිනම් බබෙක් සිටිය යුතු බවය. එවිට මම කීවේ කසාද බැඳ සති දෙක තුනකින් බබ්බු හම්බවෙන්න තරම් අකරතැබ්බක් වී අප කසාද නොබැන්ද බවය. කෙසේ හෝ අන්තිමේදී යහළුවකුට කතාකර, ඇය මාර්ගයෙන් අප කසාද බැඳ ඇති බව තහවුරු කරනකල්ම අපිට කාමරයක් නොලැබුණි.
  • තවත් දිනක දුර බැහැර සිට පොළොන්නරුවට තනිවම පැමිණ නතරවීමට ලැගුම්හලකට ගොඩවැදුනෙමි. මැනේජර් උතුමාණන් මට කැමති කාමරයක් තෝරාගන්නා ලෙස කීවේය. මම කාමර සියල්ලටම ගොස් බැලූවිට පෙනුණේ ඒවා සියල්ලම විශාල “ඩබල් බෙඩ්” සහිත කාමර බවයි. මම මැනේජර් උතුමාට කීවේ මම තනිවම සිටින නිසා තනි ඇඳක් සහිත කාමරයක් ප්‍රමාණවත් බවය. එවිට ඔහු කීවේ කාමර දෙන්නේ කපල් වලට විතරක් බවය. මට බොහෝ මහන්සි නිසා වෙනත් ලැගුම්හලකට යාමට අපහසු නිසා ඩබල් බෙඩ් සහිත කාමරයක නතරවී සම්පූර්ණ කාමර ගාස්තුවම මම ගෙවීමට සූදානම් බවයි. එහෙත් ඔහු කීවේ එය කිසිසේත් කළ නොහැකි බවයි. මට වෙනත් ලැගුම්හලකට යාමට සිදුවිය.
  • තවත් දිනක දුරබැහැර ලැගුම්හලකට තනිවම ගියවිට මැනේජර් කිව්වේ තනි පිරිමින්ට කාමර දීමට විශේෂ ලයිසන් එකක් ගතයුතු බවත් තමන්ට එම ලයිසන් එකක් නැති බවත්ය. ඒ නිසා මට වෙනත් “පිරිමින්ට ලයිසන් තියෙන” ලැගුම්හලකට යාමට සිදුවිය.
  • අද රෑත් මම ඉන්නේ ජා ඇළ ලැගුම්හලක කාමරයකය. මෙයනම් අමුතුම ලැගුම්හලකි. මැනේජර් කොලූවා කීවේ මම කාන්තාවකද සහිතව නවතිනවානම් එක රැයකට කාමරය රුපියල් 1000කට ලබාදිය හැකි බවත් තනියම නතරවෙනවා නම් කාමරයට රුපියල් 2000ක් අයකරන බවයි. මේ නීති මටනම් නොතේරේ. අනික මිල අඩුවෙන් ගෙවීම සඳහා කාන්තාවක් සමග නතර වීමට තරම් මට අහේනියක්ද අහවල් එකේ අමාරුවක්ද නැත. අනික මම ඉතාම ගරු කරන මට ඉංග්‍රීසි ඉගැන්වූ ගුරුවරයකු වූ මිහින්තලේ මහේන්ද්‍ර ඉලංගසිංහ මහතා මට ඉගැන්වූ ‘A night with Venus, a lifetime with Mercury’ ‍යන වැකිය මම කිසිදාක අමතක නොකරමි.

ලැගුම්වල මේ නීති, රීති හෝ සම්ප්‍රදායන් ගැන මට කිසිසේත්ම තේරුම් ගැනීමට නොහැක. සමහරවිට මෙවැනි දේ ගැන සමාජ විද්‍යාත්මක ඇසකින් බලන අජිත් පැරකුම් ජයසිංහ හෝ යම් පැහැදිලි කිර්‍රිමක් කළොත් හොඳයැයි සිතේ.

(මේ ලිපිය ලිවීමේදී මට මාතලන්ගේ භාෂා විලාසය ආවේ කොහොමදැයි මටද තේරුම්ගත නොහැක. මාතලන් ඒ පිළිබඳව අමනාප නොවේ යැයි සිතේ.)

Diplomatic Incident Involving the Swiss Embassy


Swiss Embassy in Sri Lanka

By Nanda Wanninayaka

I don’t know what REALLY happened with the Sri Lankan employee who worked at the Swiss Embassy in Colombo. Nobody will ever know, would they? The embassy says one of their local employees was kidnapped, detained and was questioned for good two hours and then let go. But the Government of Sri Lanka says that there is no clue about such an incident after their thorough investigations. We know that our Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is not the FBI nor the Scotland Yard, but the victim has to assist the CID to continue their investigations to bring the culprits to the book. But it looks extremely impossible with the way the things go and if the said employee and her family are taken out of the embassy to board a plane to Switzerland, this would become an extreme diplomatic incident that can damage the relationship between the two countries.

A Sri Lankan Passport

Without going any further with this, I would write down how my students and I were treated by foreign missions in Sri Lanka when we wanted to travel to certain countries.

  1. My first travel abroad was to China (assisted by a US project) in the year 2000. Once I went to the Chinese embassy the Chinese employee at the embassy told me that my destination in China was not to a hotel but some government office. I had to reiterate that the destination was correct before he granted to process the visa application. (Apparently, the place I stayed in China was a government building related to some scientific affairs and there were enough star-class rooms and a restaurant to entertain 1000 odd visitors from different parts of the world. (I think all these embassy people follow the espionage missions’ “Suspect Everyone” method when granting visas.
  • My second trip was to Egypt in 2000 to attend a regional event organized by the same organization that organized the above-mentioned event in China. The Egyptian embassy man at the gate didn’t even open the door but talked to me in a very rude manner as if I was some criminal. But the visa was approved later. (In most cases, it is these minor staffers who tarnish the names of their countries but we cannot believe that the higher officials are unaware of these.)
  • My third overseas tour was to the USA and the visa was provided with the help of the US State Department and I had no problem at all in getting my visa as Ms. Chulie de Silva (a local official at the American Center) who knew about my work assisted me getting it. But I was detained for some time as the immigration officer in the New York Airport kept asking about a document I never knew I had in my possession. I was asked to find it in my luggage and I had to open up all the stuff in my luggage but it was not to be found. Later I found it among the documents I already handed over to the officer and he sincerely apologized for his mistake.
  • My next visit was to Italy with 3 young students of Horizon Academy – Mahawilachchiya and the Sri Lankan visa officer in the Italian Embassy did not even give us visa application forms to proceed with visas. His argument was that I would not return and will stay in Italy as many other Sri Lankans do. This was a ridiculous argument because I had already been to the USA by then and if I wanted, to be an illegal immigrant, the USA must have been the best option. I never want to become an illegal immigrant even during the most trying conditions I faced in Sri Lanka. The 3 kids had obtained passports and even had bought warm clothes to wear during that cold season in Italy. If the visa officer’s concern was the three kids’ security, I could easily arrange a chaperone for them to travel. But he was arrogant and did not even provide us the visa applications. So, the three kids lost their chance of traveling to Italy with all the expenses paid by the sponsors.
  • I visited Japan twice and at the interview for the visa, I never saw the Sri Lankan visa officer but could only hear her voice as she spoke to the interviewee from behind some screen where she could see me and I couldn’t see her. I don’t know why they do it. Do they treat all Sri Lankans like rogues?
  • Two students and a lady teacher from my organization (Horizon Lanka Foundation) were invited by a Delhi-based Indian organization to do a presentation and we submitted the visa applications at the last minute as one of the students could not find the money needed to buy the flight ticket. (The expenses were to be reimbursed upon arrival to India.) But the Indian visa center that has been outsourced the visa process was very helpful and did not let our team down. They ensured they get the visas without any trouble. So my team could visit India without me having to travel with them.
  • I planned to visit Ecuador two years ago to volunteer as a teacher of English and after I submitted all the documents properly to the visa center. The Ecuadorian visa was to be obtained on arrival in Ecuador. For some reason, the organization that sponsored my trip had selected a flight route to Ecuador via Amsterdam, Holland. After submitting my papers, the visa center that dealt with the so-called “Schengen” visas turned down my request and handed me over a letter saying that I would disappear in the Amsterdam airport and seek a job in the Netherlands!!! I needed a transit visa in Amsterdam only for 3-4 hours till I caught the next flight to Ecuador. The other friend of mine who went to Ecuador via the same route for the same purpose around a few weeks ago was a Tamil guy from Batticaloa and he said, “Most of the embassy officials are Tamils in Sri Lanka and they favor only Tamils. This might be the reason for the denial of your transit visa.” Till that, I thought this was only a rumor but I understood it was a lot more than just a rumor.
  • I was to send a female student with a female teacher from Horizon Academy – Mahawilachchiya to South Africa for a conference. Since the invitation letter from the event organizers came from a Gmail account, not an account with the organization’s domain, the South African High Commission in Colombo hesitated to grant them visas. Fair enough. Still, the local and the South African High Commission officers were very supportive and gave us the visas at the last moment but the lady teacher from our organization hesitated to go since it was her overseas tour and was not comfortable at the 11th hour. That was our fault, not theirs. I can say that the South African High Commission in Colombo was the best foreign mission I have dealt with so far and they are very efficient and people-friendly.

If you can remember, most of the embassies in Sri Lanka treated the local people like trash until recent times. We had to be in long ques in the hot sun or torrential rains outside the embassies without any shelter. The government of Sri Lanka did nothing until some people raised the issue in the local newspapers. Now the treatments are better and still, there is a lot to change in this regard.

So, I wrote this to tell you how foreign missions treat Sri Lankans and we should make use of the present issue with the Swiss embassy to make things right. The late president Mr. Ranasinghe Premadasa had an issue with H. E. Mr. David Gladstone, the British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka by interfering into internal issues and he was ordered to leave Sri Lanka. I don’t say the same should happen in the light of the present diplomatic incident but the West has to learn a lesson too when interfering with the internal issues. Instead, we should try solving this type of incident amicably without risking too much.

ඉන්න බෑ – කොල්ලට විසේ


ඉහළ ශීර්ෂපාඨය මේ ලියවිල්ලට යොදන්න හිතුවේ පුංචි සිදුවීමක්. මම දවස් කීපයකට පෙර වවුනියාව සිට කොළඹ දක්වා යන රාත්‍රී බස් එකකට නැග්ගේ අනුරාධපුර, සාලියපුර කිට්ටුවෙන්. බස් එක අනුරාධපුරයෙන් නැවැත්තුවා මාකට් එක ළඟින්. මා සිටි ආසනයට ඉදිරියෙන් සිටි තරුණිය බස් එකෙන් බහිද්දී තවත් තරුණයෙක් (සමහර විට තරුණියගේ සහෝදරයෙක්, පෙම්වතා හෝ සැමියා වෙන්නැති) අර තරුණිය ළඟ වාඩිවී සිටි තරුණයාට තරවටු කළේ “දැන් දුන්නනේ උඹෙ ෆෝන් නම්බර් එක. කෝල් කරපන් එයාට උඹ චන්ඩියෙක්නම්. මීට පස්සෙ නම්බර් දුන්නොත් බලාගමු” වැන්නක් කියමින්. බස් එකේ සිටි තරුණයා කිසිවක් කරකියාගත නොහැකි නිසා නිහඬව සිටියා.

මගේ ප්‍රශ්නේ මේකයි. මේ තරුණයා ඒ තරුණියත් එක්ක කතා කරන්නත් ඇති. ෆෝන් නම්බර් එක දෙනකොට එයා ගන්නත් ඇති. (අනුමානකිරීම් පමණයි) ඒ අතරම තමන්ව එක්කන් යන්න ආව තරුණයාට මේ බව කියා කෙටි පණිවිඩයක් හෝ යවන්නත් ඇති. ඒත් ඒක තරවටු කරන්න තරම් නරක දෙයක්ද? තරුණ තරුණියන් හමුවූ විට මෙවැන්නක් සිදුවීම අතිශයින්ම සාමාන්‍යයි. තරුණිය අකමැති නම් නිහඩ වෙන්න පුළුවන්. තරුණයා සීමාව ඉක්මවලා යනවනම් බස් රතයේ කාට හරි නැත්නම් පොලීසියට හරි දන්වන්න පුළුවන්. නමුත් මිත්‍රත්වයක් ගොඩනගා ගන්න හදන අතිශයින්ම අහිංසක ක්‍රියාවලියකදී අයියාට හෝ පෙම්වතාට/සැමියාට කියා “ඉල්ලලා දෙන එක” අවශ්‍යද?

මම හිතන්නේ මේක අපේ රටේ  ගැහැනු ළමයින්ට කුඩා කළ සිටම ඇතිකරන නරක පෙළඹවීමක්. මා දැක තියෙනවා ප්‍රාතමික පන්තිවල ගැහැණු ළමුන්ට පවා පිරිමි ළමයෙක් අතිශයින්ම සාමාන්‍ය විහිළුවක් කළත් ප්‍රතික්‍රියා දක්වන්නේ, “ඉන්න බෑ. කොල්ලට විසේ” වැනි රළු ලෙසකින්. එහෙම නැතිව විහිළුවකට විහිළුවකින්ම පිළිතුරු දෙන්න මේ දරුවන්ට හුරු නොකරන්නේ ඇයි? මම මේ කියන්නේ සීමාව ඉක්මවා යන bullying (හිරිහැරකිරීම්) හෝ intimidation (තැතිගැන්වීම්) ගැන නෙවෙයි. අහිංසක සහ ගැටවර හෝ තරුණ වයසේ ඉතාම සාමාන්‍ය විහිළු තහළු ගැනයි.

නමුත්, සමහර විට මටත් මගේම දුවක් සිටියානම් මමත් බොහෝවිට අන් අය ලෙසින්ම හිතන්නටත් බැරි නැහැ.

US and THEM – Flash Floods in the Northern Sri Lanka and the Aftermath – Column 03 of From the Palmyra Peninsular to the Rest of Sri Lanka | තල් අරණින් ලක් දෙරණට|


This post originally appeared in Colombo Telegraph. Visit https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/us-them-flash-floods-in-the-northern-sri-lanka-aftermath/

The news about the North being badly affected by flash floods last weekend did not appear in the Sinhala and English press till 48 hours as far as I saw. Not even the websites that publish rubbish gossip immediately after some minute juicy news were worried about what is happening to the people in the North. Most parts of the North have 4G, 3G or at least 2G and anyone can get pictures and videos in a few seconds. But not even those Facebook heroes were interested in doing something to our brothers and sisters in the Up North. Do we want to have North – South division once again?

When a natural disaster happens in the South all TV Channels and Radio Stations collect relief aids and deliver them to the affected with much fanfare in a rat race to say “We did it first” and crave for increasing their ratings for their media houses. But I don’t see that urge this time. Now don’t say that the media houses in the North don’t cover this type of catastrophes in the South in their media. If we are the so called “majority” and the Big Brother, don’t we have to take the initiative to extend our support to the “minority” Little Sister? Isn’t this the right moment for us to show our love and compassion to them?

This is high time we forgot the “US and THEM” attitude and become “WE” instead.

I can’t do much. All I did was contacting the chief monks of Mahawilachchiya and Tantirimale so that they could mobilize the villagers and muster some relief aid and deliver it to our friends in the North. They did it during tsunami in a big way. I am sure they will do it this time too even though they underwent a long drought and have nothing much to offer. But they have compassion. I am sure you all have it too.

I talked to a friend of mine in Kilinochchi, Miss Dekala Murugesu, a young volunteer who does a lot to uplift education in the district with some supporters in the Diaspora. She directed me to Mr. Raj Sivaraj, the Divisional Secretary of Kandawalai who does the coordinating part of relief aids. He says the government has taken care of food needs and all they need is things like sanitary stuff, soap mosquito coils, toothpaste and tooth brush, disinfections, cleaning liquid, rubber slippers, exercise books and other school supplies, etc.  Do not worry about food.

According to the people I talked to from the North, all three armed forces are doing a commendable job and the people highly appreciate them. The armed forces can take care of rescue missions, urgent needs, etc. but now it is our duty to help with the other needs of the people.

Please call Mr. Raj Sivaraj, the Divisional Secretary of Kandawalai on 077 8446465 and on Whatsapp number 0094778446465 for more details.

All the photos here were sent by Mr. Raj Sivaraj.

A part of this story’s title “Us and Them” was stolen from Benjamin Zephaniah‘s poem “Us and Dem.” Zephaniah is my favorite contemporary poet.

7 Myths about Jaffnites – Column 01 – From the “Palmyra Peninsular” to the Rest of Sri Lanka


A Teenage Girl from Jaffna

INTRODUCTION 

I started writing a column with my firsthand experiences in Jaffna from November 01, 2018. You can read, comment, contradict or clobber my writing if you like and I will allow them as long as they do not defame someone (or something.) Also, if you try to promote hatred, racial abuse and antisocial sentiments, I will have to moderate them. But you are allowed to construct a sensible dialog on my posts.

I would be grateful if anyone who reads the column could translate this to Sinhala and Tamil as well. Please let me know if you are ready for this on a voluntary basis or for a payment.

Thanks,

Nanda Wanninayaka

This is the first post … … …

Nanda Wanninayaka – (Column 01 on November 1, 2018 – From Palmyra Peninsula)

I agree with the fact that being in Jaffna for the last three months doesn’t make me a suitable analyst to make generalized comments about the Jaffnites – the people in Jaffna, Sri Lanka – a word coined by some random journalists and writers in their articles in Daily News and reminded me by my good friend Sunil Rutnayake from Kandy.) But being here since last July to date – even though I made some sporadic visits to Anuradhapura, Nuwara Eliya and Colombo during the said three months period – gave me some insight into the lives and lifestyles of this strangely attractive piece of land in the Northern Sri Lanka, Jaffna, the capital of the Northern Province of Sri Lanka.

So, I became bold enough to write about the 7 myths the people from the rest of the island have about the Jaffnites – or the Tamil community at large spread in the North, East, Central Sri Lanka and the rest of the country. I sincerely welcome you all to comment on my observations and correct me in the places where I have gone wrong. If I have hurt your feelings by writing what I think is right, I apologize in advance. I try my best to remain unbiased in this (and in the rest of my columns.) But the chances are that I would be biased to Jaffna and Jaffnites than to anything or anyone else I guess. I already have fallen in love with Jaffna and, as for falling in love with a Jaffnitee, it is too early to say. Don’t rule out the possibility either.

  1. Jaffnites are dark

Most people think Jaffnites are darker than the people in the rest of the island. This is a big mistake you all do. Spend some time in a small village, a semi urban tiny town or in Jaffna city and you would be surprised the rainbow of colors of cute young girls and women who are pink (රෝස පාට,) fair, orange (I would rather say තැඹිලි පාට – color of the king coconuts,) brown and occasionally dark too. But even the darker girls here have an inexplicable radiance only R. K. Narayan will find the right words to explain. I am no Narayan and not even Kushwant Singh for that matter.

A random photo of girls in Jaffna.
A random photo of girls in Jaffna. This will be replaced with a photo I take soon. Photo Credits: http://jhlc.mysch.lk/

Well, as for the boys or men here, I don’t care if they are black, white, orange, pink, green or even indigo color because I am not simply interested in them. All what I can say about the boys and men here is that they look very strong.

2. Jaffnites are studious

Maybe there was such time in the past. But not anymore. Maybe the three-decade-long bitter war that reduced Jaffna to rubble, students in Jaffna don’t seem that interested in studies as they used to be 30 years ago. I have heard my parents say that the schoolboys and girls in Jaffna study so hard by even putting their feet in a basin full of cold water under their study tables not to fall asleep during nights and read books with kerosene oil lamps after their hard days’ work in their farms. I wish that was the case today too but, unfortunately, it is not so anymore here. Here boys are looking for quick jobs and leave schools early. Girls are happy to end up as a cashier-cum-salesgirl in a mobile phone accessory shop – or even more common – end up as a machine operator at a garment factory doing the same boring job of stitching the same part of the same dress for eternity. Where are those doctor, engineer, lawyer, accountant, teacher, etc. aspirants that we were told by our parents to take examples as when we were schoolboys who had no such great dreams? I feel sorry for this situation and SOMETHING MUST BE DONE immediately before it is too late.

3. Jaffnites are rude

I don’t know how such a myth even came into existence. Jaffnites have been traditionally very humble people. This humility could well be mistaken by some less educated or arrogant people from rest of the island that these people are timid or should be suppressed or humiliated. I once visited Vigneswara College, Jaffna in 2009 or 2010 while I was working as a Consultant to the Ministry of Education, Colombo. The principal of the school was an elderly gentleman who was about to retire. He was so humble when welcoming me and kept calling me “Sir.” I told him very gently that I don’t deserve or want to be called a “sir” because I might be your son’s age and you are the one who should be called sir, due to your education, age, behavior. He was a graduate and a senior person in the educational field and I was (and am) neither. But I failed in convincing him and instead we both called each other “sir” and it ended up with such a lot of humor, satire and fun we both enjoyed to the hilt. He is not the only one who maintains this great quality of humility and don’t humiliate them for this good quality which is a rare commodity among most people in the rest of the country these days.

4. Jaffnites are unclean

Like this apartheid thing, this is an area I don’t like to touch but I think it is my duty to do the justice to these people in Jaffna who are very clean and also keep their houses very clean, may their houses range from palaces to shanties, but they are equally well maintained and kept clean and tidy. The village I mostly live, Maniyanthoddam has a lot of tiny houses in small plots of lands but they are incredibly clean. That doesn’t mean that there could be an exception or two, but they say, “The exception (only) proves the rule,” don’t they? So, folks in the rest of the island, come and see yourself, don’t trust me because I am in love with Jaffna and love is blind. Isn’t it?

5. Jaffnites are hard workers

Sorry, Jaffnites, I wouldn’t give you this credit. What I had heard was you guys are hard workers but things have changed a lot, haven’t they? I see a lot of teenagers, youths and middle-aged people just waste time with doing nothing. Teenagers and the youths are the worst of them. They spend the time by the roadside just glued onto their smartphones and ride big Indian motorbikes to break the speed barriers. But I get the feeling that these iron horses are possibly bought on lease – god knows how they pay the monthly premiums – and I hardly see any of them is engaged in any praiseworthy or productive work. I tried to find some of them jobs in Colombo where they can get jobs as apprentices in different trades and they will be paid a decent remuneration even during their trainee period and sometimes they would even get food and lodging in some cases, but they are not simply interested in. One cannot blame the war for everything and make it the scapegoat. At least we are a lucky nation to end the war for good in 2009 and after May 19, the day which the war was ended from the government’s side and “the guns were silenced” from the rebels’ side, not a single bomb was exploded. Take Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, (hopefully and sadly Iran next,) for example. In the above-mentioned countries expect the one within parenthesis, suicide bombs, car bombs, American and NATO bombs, Russian bombs go on weekly to daily basis. But, in Sri Lanka, after the day the war ended officially on that fateful May 19, 2009, the only thing that explodes in Sri Lanka is popcorn!

6. Jaffnites are thrifty

This fact (of Jaffnites being traditionally thrifty) also is hanging in the balance now. It is true that late J. R. Jayewardene’s unregulated and unnecessarily hastened Open Economic Reforms didn’t find its way to Jaffna in such a disastrous way it did to the rest of the country. Its chances of messing up the hitherto frugal lifestyles of the Jaffnites was low as the breakout of the Civil War in 1983 limited the open economic reforms do (un)desired damages to the Jaffnites. A long-standing closure of A9 Highway that connected Jaffna with the rest of the country also reduced the influx of not-so-necessary consumables to Jaffna but the illegal and unstoppable smuggling of (mostly counterfeit) consumer goods reached Jaffna through sea channels from Tamil Nadu. Still the non-availability of reliable electricity that forced the Jaffnites to run their modest and age-old vehicles and other electronic appliances to run with foul-smelling kerosene fuel and kerosene-fueled generators denied a full-scale thrust of electronic appliances upon the Jaffnites. I think the electricity from the national grid was not available for a very long time since the inception of the Civil War till it was restored after the conclusion of the same in 2009.

But the end of the Civil War and the consequent opening of the A9 road opened the floodgates of both necessary and unnecessary home appliances, electronic gadgetry, unaffordable and unmaintainable luxury vehicles that ate into the monthly salaries and seasonal income of the Jaffnites and not the ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa who ended the war, but the late president J. R. Jayewardene who introduced the open economic reforms must have had the last laugh at the Jaffnites. As a result, you see the Jaffnites also falling prey to highly consumer-driven lifestyles that don’t help themselves or the constant handouts sent by their overseas relatives. But there might be some people who still save money or invest money in gold jewelry like they used to in the past but I am afraid the numbers could not be that big. People here also go extravagant in spending now with the mushrooming vehicle sales, electronic shops and supermarkets that offer tricky easy payment systems and dreadful credit card based payments. Sorry folks! That is peace for you.

7. Jaffnites are hostile to the Sinhalese

This is the worst myth among the rest. The 30-year-long bitter Civil War hasn’t dampened the spirits of these gentle Jaffnites a bit. I don’t speak or understand Tamil and wherever I go I speak first in Sinhala (failing which English) to get directions, any other help and there are zillions of Jaffnites come and help me with broad smiles. Me being (or happened to be) a Sinhalese doesn’t make any difference to these warm-hearted people. Maybe I get even more help once they know I am Sinhalese and they help me in a great deal to get what I want. They even give me free rides in their bicycles, motorbikes, etc. The only question I can ask myself is, “Why the hell did we fight for 30 years and for what?”

  • This is by no means a post written based on scientific research and not a scholarly work at all. These findings are totally my personal findings and observations and not supported by a proper and longer study. So, you have the right to differ and object. Kindly do so under “comments” area below this post.

Mandelization of Ranil Wickremesinghe


Ranil Wickremesinghe

Ranil Wickremesinghe Photo Credits http://www.chatter.lk:

Nanda Wanninayaka

Ranil Wickremesinghe was never my hero. He wasn’t anybody’s hero for that matter I guess, especially those of his own party, the United National Party (UNP.) Politics was never his field of expertise or his field of interest. I have read somewhere when his uncle, the late president Mr. J. R. Jayewardene (JRJ) asked him to join politics, the former had flatly refused and said, “Please, please uncle. Politics is not my field of interest. Just let me be like this.” or something to that effect.

Well, Mr. JRJ has done several mistakes in his political life.

  1. JRJ politicized the then well-established civil service by giving the powers of the civil servants, especially the District Secretaries – who were then called “Government Agents” – and the Divisional Secretaries – who were then called “Assistant Government Agents” – to the conceited and corrupt bunch of politicians from the ruling UNP who were then called “දිසා ඇමති” (District Ministers.) The whole governing system was turned upside down as a result and the repercussions are seen and felt today than ever.

  1. Introducing the Open Economic Reforms in an unprecedented and hasty manner creating lot of chaos in the country which totally disturbed the lifestyles of the people. Local industries collapsed like a card of dominoes and the hitherto surplus of the balance of payment became a huge deficit and the whole country was submerged in a quagmire that never was able to get out of to date

  1. One of the gravest mistakes of JRJ was masterminding the notorious “Black July” in 1983 and letting his own UNP goons to kill, wound and loot the Tamils living in the South of the island. JRJ’s thugs did not stop at that but were given an “unofficial license” to rape Tamil girls and women. These heinous acts were understandably reciprocated by the Tamils who were the dominating ethnic group in the North and East of the Island. Being the all-powerful executive president of the country, JRJ never took the correct path of quelling this unwanted riots and what happened in the aftermath of this is the history.

  1. I think the worst mistake JRJ did for the country was getting this very lethargic and non-practical young man, Mr. Wickremasighe to the political arena. You don’t need any example as to show how disastrous JRJ’s decision was as you can see Mr. Wickremasinghe as the living example himself. He was never a decent public speaker. His body language while he does public speaking especially in the local language, Sinhala is so terrible and he becomes a bigger comedian than Mr. Bean the world famous comedy character performed by the British actor Rowan Atkinson. Moreover, Mr. Wickremasinghe never understood the heart or the pulse of the people in the country. Maybe at least some of his moves were meant to be productive to the country but the way he communicated those to the masses wasn’t convincing at all. It was easy for the opposition to make mincemeat of him of anything he put forward for the country due to this weakness of him. He was easily made the traitor of the country even when he tried his best to be the patriot. I don’t want to go any further describing this poor man, the biggest failure in Sri Lankan politics anymore.

Ranil Wickremesinghe

Ranil Wickremesinghe From http://dimg.zoftcdn.com

Instead, I will come to the root cause of the current issue of the sudden political destabilization. Let’s recap how the incumbent president, Mr. Maithripala Sirisena was brought to the wrong side of the presidential elections in 2015 as the common presidential candidate by the UNP-led coalition. They say politics make strange bedfellows but this queer union of Mr. Sirisena and the UNP-led coalition made the former in totally uncharted waters. It was apparent that the money, energy and the huge election campaign masterminded, funded and carried out by proxy actors locally was actually was done with the generous help of India, USA and some of the powerful countries in the unholy NATO camp that made the former Gramasewaka (village headman,) the president of Sri Lanka, something nobody expected to happen even in wildest dream before January, 2015. As expected, once elected, the president became a big joke, maybe a little less jocular than Mr. Wickremasinghe, his Prime Minister. Okay, let’s leave it at that.

The ex-president, Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Machiavellian politician he was cracked up to be, cracked himself a few weeks ago by idiotically masterminding a constitutional coup that made himself the Prime Minister with the support of a minority group of unreliable MPs in the parliament by putting the country in the doldrums. He should have waited till the current parliament completed its mandate given by the voters. If it continued its full run, in one and half years’ time that was left to it, it would have crumbled from its inside. But Mr. Rajapaksa was so power-hungry that he joined Mr. Sirisena, the former’s arch enemy who betrayed Rajapaksa big time and robbed his apparently inevitable chance of being elected as the President of Sri Lanka for a record and a historical third time. The two unlikely pair joined hands after what looked like a constitutional gimmick that paved way for the President to appoint Mr. Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister of the nation while there was an incumbent PM who was already in office. This shouldn’t have happened under ANY circumstance. Mr. Rajapaksa should have weighed the pros and cons of the situation. But you cannot expect that type of logical reasoning from an experienced politician who trusted his “official soothsayer” than an opinion poll or two to test the waters and called a presidential election two years before the stipulated time and ended up losing his presidency two years shy of the allocated period.

By then, the incumbent Prime Minister Mr. Wickremasinghe was already immensely unpopular and the best thing to do should have been letting him stay in power for the rest of his office and wait till he faces the General Election which was already swaying to the Rajapaska’s newly created party, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), which was already the main contender and the fresh thing in the menu. But what megalomaniac Rajapaska did was something totally unacceptable ethically, politically and strategically. Mr. Wickremasinghe was at the receiving end as he messed up big time right from the beginning of his office and the UNP would have faced a humiliating defeat at the general election with dodgy Treasury Bond scam, corruption, inefficiency, ever-increasing inflation, monthly increase of price of fuel and the heavy tax burden on the public to sway even his traditional vote base to Rajapaksa’s camp, even though it would have been only an agony of choice for the voters to elect someone from both the mainstream parties. But Rajapaksa would have had an upper hand in defeating UNP-led collation even without the support of the president Sirisena and his Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP.)

But everybody knows how power-hungry the Rajapaksa clan is. They are not the only megalomaniac clan in Sri Lankan politics.  Think of Senanayake, Bandaranaike, Premadasa clans too. This is part and parcel of the politics in the subcontinent and you can’t help it. But this time Rajapaksa did the worst gamble in his entire political life and he got the already unpopular PM out of his office and made himself the Prime Minister. The process was seen as something done by the president but we know what happens behind the curtains in the corridors of power in Sri Lanka.

So what has Rajapaksa got at the end? The good-for-nothing Wickremasinghe has become the “Mandela of Sri Lanka” now. Mr. Wickamesinghe didn’t have to waste 27 years in a prison to become Mandela. Only thing he had to do was continuing his idiotic governing style but both Sirisena and Rajapaksa “Mandelaized” the born-loser Wickremasinghe. Now he has got the sympathy of his traditional vote base which was drifting towards the Rajapaskas. Furthermore, Wickeremasinghe has become the doll of the Western powers and the Western media now and is the zero-turned-hero without much ado.

So, what have Sirisena and Rajapaska got on their plates? Going down the drain to the political dungeons of Sri Lanka? The chances are that even if you win this political standoff and survive the constitutional crisis, you will still be the at the receiving end of the public at large. Local and international media and the rest of the world will ensure you have a hard time and you will have to fight a Do-or-Die battle to cling on to power.

One might justify the former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga (CBK) taking some of the Ministries from the then Prime Minister Wickramasinghe’s government in 2004 that ultimately led to an early dissolution of the parliament which brought CBK’s United People’s Freedom Alliance coalition get back the power in the House. At that time, the country was at a crucial crossroad with the unpopular peace deal brokered by the Norwegians and signed between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) which was condemned by the majority of the country. Everybody thought that the country would be split into two which would create an inevitable border war.  There was no sympathy towards the then Wickremasinghe government as the sympathy of the public was with the CBK government. But at this time, there was no such immediate threats to the National Security of the nation. Even the so-called federal solution which was being demanded by the mainstream Tamil party, the Tamil national Alliance (TNA) was not to become a reality. The two main reasons the Wickremasinghe government had not to provide a federal solution was that it did not have enough time left to go for that even if they wanted and the second reason was that the country was not ready for it. Mr. Wickremasinghe being in power for 3 years of wasn’t able to convince the people, especially the majority Sinhalese, that federal solution was a viable solution to the long standing standoff between the majority and minority ethnic groups of the country. But as a result of this unethical and undemocratic overthrow of the Wickremasinghe government helped getting it the sympathy of the TNA and the rest of the minority parties as well making Mr. Wickremasinghe a lot more powerful than the Prime Ministerial powers he enjoyed and continue to enjoy to date being the de facto Prime Minister despite Rajapaksa is the official, yet, they say, the unconstitutional Prime Minister.

I am not a political analyst but I have lived 46 years in this Island and this is what I feel about this unnecessary quagmire the country is plunged into with this power struggle. Even if the Sirisena-Rajapaksa camp is to successfully survive the constitutional crisis, all what we can expect is the country would be thrown into a quicksand from the present quagmire and the public would be the ones who suffer. Everybody knows Lord Acton’s famous statement, Power corrupts and extreme power corrupts extremely. So, my compatriots, live with it.

බණ්ඩාරනායිකෙලා, ඇටපට්ටුලා සහ වන්නිනායකලා


රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ අගමැති, ජනපති නොව ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ අධිරාජයා වුවද මට ඉවසිය හැක. ඉවසිය නොහැක්කේ විදේශීය මාධ්‍යවේදීන් ඔහුගේ නම උසුරුවන විදියයි. පහත දැක්වෙන සාකච්ඡාවේ NDTV මාධ්‍යවේදියා ඔහුව හඳුන්වන්නේ “රනිල් වික්‍රෙමෙසිංගෙ” කියාය. එය කොහෙත්ම මාධ්‍යවේදියාගේ වරදක් නොවේ. රනිල් සහ තවත් බොහෝ ශ්‍රී ලාංකිකයන් තවමත් ඔවුන්ගේ නම් ඉංග්‍රිසි අකුරින් ලියන්නේ බ්‍රිතාන්‍ය යටත් විජිතවාදීන් ඔවුන්ගේ පහසුවට අපේ අයගේ නම් ඉංග්‍රිසි අකුරින් ලියූ ආකාරයටය. සේනානායකෙලා, බණ්ඩාරනායිකෙලා, කොටෙලාවලලා මෙන්ම ජයෙවර්ඩෙනෙලා අප රට පාලනය කළේ මේ නිසාය.

වරක් මට මෙරට සුකුමාර ගණයේ පෞද්ගලික බැංකුවක ගිණුමක් ඇරඹීමට ඇවැසි විය. සුරතල් පෙනුමක් තිබූ බැංකු සේවිකාව මගේ ගිණුම් අයදුම්පත්‍රයේ සහ වාහන බලපත්‍රයේ නිවැරදි ලෙස ඉංග්‍රිසි අකුරින් මගේ නම සහ වාසගම (NANDA WANNINAYAKA) සඳහන්වී තිබියදීත් උඩඟු ලෙස උඩදාගෙන වැරදි ලෙස (WANNINAYAKE) ඉංග්‍රිසි අකුරින් මගේ වාසගම බැංකු පාස්පොතේ මුද්‍රණය කළාය. මගේ වාසගමට ඇය හිතාමතාම කළ අපහාසය නිසා මම ඇයට ඉතාමත්ව කාරුණිකව කියා සිටියේ මෙවැනි බරපතල වැරදි නැවතත් සිදුනොවන ලෙසට තහවුරු කිරීම සඳහා මම ඉදිරිපිටදීම මගේ වාසගම සිය වතාවක් ලියන ලෙසය. ඇය එයට විරෝධය පෑ නිසා මම බැංකු කළමනාකරු හමුවී කිව්වේ ඔබේ බැංකුවට වැදගත් වන්නේ සහ නිවැරදිව සඳහන් කළ හැක්කේ මගේ මුදල් මිස මගේ නම සහ වාසගම නොවේනම් මට ඔබේ බැංකුව සමග කිසිම ගනුදෙනුවක් ඇවැසි නැති බවයි. මම වෙනත් පුද්ගලික බැංකුවකට ගොස් මගේ ඇවැසිතාවය ඉටු කර ගතිමි. මම ඒ බැංකුවේ ගිණුමක් ආරම්භ නොකළ නිසා ඔවුනට ඒ බැංකුව වසා දමන්නට සිදුනොවූ බව මම දනිමි. නමුත් සෑම ගනුදෙනුකරුවකුම වටින ආයතනයකටනම් මේ පණිවිඩය වැදගත් වනු ඇත. 

අඩුම තරමින් මගේ එකම එක ශිෂ්‍යාවක්වත් මම වාසගම් ප්‍රශ්නය කතාකළ පසු ඇයගේ වාසගම නිවරදිව ලියනු දැකීම මට සතුටකි. නිමන්දිතා තත්සරණී දිසානායක වන ඇය ඇගේ වාසගම ඉංග්‍රිසි අකුරින් ලියන්නේ දිස්සානායකෙ (DISSANAYAKE) ලෙස නොව දිසානායක (DISANAYAKA) ලෙසිනි

මම හිතන්නේ අපේ නම් ගම් නිවැරදිව ලිවිය හැකි පිළිගත් පොදු ක්‍රමයකට අපි යාවත්කාලීන වියයුතු බවය. මහාචාර්‍ය නලින් ද සිල්වා සහ ප්‍රකට බ්ලොග්කරු අජිත් පැරකුම් ජයසිංගෙද (Ajith Perakum Jayasinghe) මේ නම්වල අලකලංචිය ගැන මට කලින් ලියා ඇත.

 

Wasim and I – The Two Most Aggressive Cricketers on Earth


Aggressive Wasim Akram

Aggressive Wasim Akram

These are two angry men in the cricket field. First one is the legendary Pakistani cricketer Wasim Akram who ripped through the opposition batting line with his destructive reverse swing bowling attack, displayed unbelievable fielding talents by holding onto spectacular catches and went on to power hitting down the order while batting on his day. (Not to mention that epic 257 test runs not out from 363 balls against Zimbabwe at Sheikhupura in 1996.) Wasim was the most aggressive cricketer on the field I have seen in my entire life. Not even Saleem Malik, who was both fortunate and unfortunate enough to be Wasim´s captain during most of his career would be spared of the latter´s verbal assault if the former displayed any poor fielding off the latter´s bowling. The latter would ask something to the effect of “Do you need the ball to be size of a pumpkin for you to catch it?” which was even heard through the on-field microphones. That was Wasim. That was his commitment to the game. Wasim is my favorite cricketer of all-time.

An Angry Nanda Wanninayaka

An Angry Nanda Wanninayaka

The second one, me, nowhere close to Wasim, the legend but, is a hugely brushed-off cricketer in my own small village cricket club. I must probably have been the bowler who took the most number of wickets for my team but was never considered as a bowler because I didn’t bowl fast (enough.) I used my head than the body when bowling and captured an average of 5 wickets in two 10-over per side match an evening. Fast bowlers like my own younger brother Aruna, Samantha, Donald, Sanath were considered as the best bowlers but all of them except Donald conceded a lot of runs as they delivered more no-balls and wides than legitimate balls. My brother was the undisputed “No-ball King” those days. But all these bowlers were good bowlers given the reason that they had to bowl with a tennis ball on an uneven grassy pitch, not even on a mat. But I was sidelined during the inter-club matches as I did not bowl fast (enough.) Taking wickets constantly during practice matches was never considered as a qualification to bowl during inter-club matches. I was a bad fielder at the beginning and dropped many a catch but later improved myself a lot and hardly dropped a catch after I learnt the techniques of holding onto a catch while watching cricket commentaries on TV. When it comes to batting, I was a bad batsman and hardly scored 10+ in an innings. Then again, I learnt batting techniques on TV and then improved myself. Despite the strong protest of my own younger brother, I promoted myself to the prestigious position of the opening batsman and lasted almost all 10 overs while the batsmen from other end collapsed like cards of dominoes. I didn’t go to big hits unless it was very needed towards the latter part of the innings and all I did was trying to last the full quota of 10 overs allocated for a team. All I knew was that the team that batted all 10 overs always won, mainly thanks to no-balls and wides that came as bonuses. This was why I opened batting and went on to bat all 10 overs on more often than not. This doesn’t mean that I occasionally got out for a duck, perhaps on the first ball.

Keeping that all self-promoting nonsense aside, all I wanted to say is that even though I cannot compare myself with my favorite cricketing hero, legendary Wasim Akram, we both were equally aggressive players, if not more, on the field. We both fought till the last ball to win a match, not to save a match.

Now both Wasim and I are retired and I still enjoy him as a commentator, He might not be as lively as Ravi Sastri, as eloquent as Rameez Raja, as crazily fast as Harsha Boghle or as technical as Sunil Gavaskar as in the commentary box, but the soft-spoken Wasim has a great sense of humor and a stylish language in commentating. But all I want to see great Wasim is as a player for the eternity. Such pace, such strength, such talent, such commitment, such perfection, such anger, such aggression, such glamour, you will never see from anyone but Wasim.

Well, last but not least, Wasim Akram’s career was constantly tainted with controversies on and off the field and err … … … so was (and is) mine. 

Wasim Akram Celebrating a Wicket

Wasim Akram Celebrating a Wicket

Wasim Akram Batting

Wasim Akram Batting

Wasim Akram

Wasim Akram

Wasim Akram

Wasim Akram

Wasim Akram

Wasim Akram

Wasim Akram  Celebrating After Taking a Wicket

Wasim Akram Celebrating After Taking a Wicket

Wasim in Action

Wasim in Action

Wasim Akram  Bowling

Wasim Akram Bowling

Wasim Akram  Bowling

Wasim Akram Bowling

Wasim Akram  Bowling

Wasim Akram Bowling

Wasim Akram

Wasim Akram

Wasim Akram Roaring After Taking a Wicket

Wasim Akram Roaring After Taking a Wicket

Wasim Akram

Wasim Akram

Wasim Akram Batting

Wasim Akram Batting

Wasim Akram Batting

Wasim Akram Batting

Wasim Akram Batting

Wasim Akram Batting

Wasim Akram

Wasim Akram

Wasim Akram Encouraging Shoaib Akhtar

Wasim Akram Encouraging Shoaib Akhtar

Wasim Akram Celebrating a Wicket

Wasim Akram Celebrating a Wicket

A Resting Wasim Akram

A Resting Wasim Akram

Nanda Wanninayaka Batting

Nanda Wanninayaka Batting

Nanda Wanninayaka Going for a Big Shot

Nanda Wanninayaka Going for a Big Shot

Nanda Wanninayaka Making Field Changes of the Opposition While Batting :-)

Nanda Wanninayaka Making Field Changes of the Opposition While Batting 🙂

Nanda Wanninayaka Hooking

Nanda Wanninayaka Hooking

Nanda Wanninayaka Taking the Guard

Nanda Wanninayaka Taking the Guard

Nanda Wanninayaka Waiting to Hammer a Short Ball

Nanda Wanninayaka Waiting to Hammer a Short Ball

Nanda Wanninayaka Teaching this American Guy Colin Himes to Bat

Nanda Wanninayaka Teaching this American Guy Colin Himes to Bat

Nanda Wanninayaka Cricket (7)

Nanda Wanninayaka Installing the Dismantled Wicket

Nanda Wanninayaka Teaching Miss Bára Molnárová from the Czech Republic to Bowl

Nanda Wanninayaka Teaching Miss Bára Molnárová from the Czech Republic to Bowl

Nanda Wanninayaka Coaching the Cricketers in Maniyanthoddam, Jaffna, Sri Lanka

Nanda Wanninayaka Coaching the Cricketers in Maniyanthoddam, Jaffna, Sri Lanka

Nanda-Wanninayaka-Cricket-Coaching-2

Nanda Wanninayaka Coaching the Cricketers in Maniyanthoddam, Jaffna, Sri Lanka

Nanda-Wanninayaka-Cricket-Coaching-3

Nanda Wanninayaka Coaching the Cricketers in Maniyanthoddam, Jaffna, Sri Lanka

Nanda-Wanninayaka-Cricket-Coaching-4

Nanda Wanninayaka Coaching the Cricketers in Maniyanthoddam, Jaffna, Sri Lanka

Nanda-Wanninayaka-Cricket-Coaching-5

Nanda Wanninayaka Coaching the Cricketers in Maniyanthoddam, Jaffna, Sri Lanka