A wooden bridge, an iron house, and Barbara then…-by Somasiri Devendra Source:Sundaytimes So Barbara has ridden off into the sunset, on her white horse, after “a hard day’s night” leaving behind memories of the times when she was a person, not an icon, and very good company indeed. Those memories reach back 60 years. In 1962 I was the only unmarried officer, in our ‘ship’ in Diyatalawa – Her Majesty’s Ceylon Ship “Rangalla” – living in solitary splendour in the Wardroom (the Officers’ Mess). That made me the official host to visiting dignitaries. One day I was told to stand by to entertain a WW2 veteran, a Lieut. Cdr. Hildon Sansoni, who would be coming on a longish holiday with his family. Proctor of the Supreme Court, National Tennis Champion, one of the first Ceylonese to be commissioned in the CRNVR, a Captain who had had his ship sink under ...

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Phantoms of the Night: Wildcats of Sri Lanka-By Uditha Devapriya Source:island Review of Phantoms of the Night: Wildcats of Sri Lanka Thilak Jayaratne, Janaka Gallangoda, Nadika Hapuarachchi, and Madura de Silva Chaya Publishers, 2022, pp. 160, Rs. 5,000 The leopard is perhaps the most photographed animal in Sri Lanka. Slinking through grassy terrains and up sprawling trees, it has acquired a life of its own. Elusive and enigmatic, it tends to avoid human contact, preferring to lay low. This only belies its reputation as one the country’s most fearsome hunters, the undisputed elite among its predators. Indeed, the number of photographs and exhibitions organised every other year attest to its place in our collective consciousness. Although the lion has become the definitive symbol of the country, it is the leopard which has come to epitomise our forests and our parks. Yet, so far, we have only viewed it in isolation from ...

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HOW  AUSTRALIA (AND JASA)  HELPED  ESTABLISH A REERENCE LIBRARY IN SRI LANKA – by Yasmine Gooneratne In 1993 the literary magazine OZWORDS devoted its regular literary competition to the composition   of limericks. I was teaching English Literature at the time in Australia, at Maacquarie University in Sydney, New South Wales.  I was asked by my Department to teach a course in ‘Creative Writing’ (on the strength, I imagine, of a recent success in novel-writing! My first novel, A Change of Skies, had just been awarded the Marjorie Barnard Prize for fiction.) I introduced my 300-level Creative Writing class to the genre of limericks, and encouraged them to send entries to the OZWORDS competition. I sent in two myself, on the subject of Ms Pauline Hanson, a politician of the time, and to my own surprise won the First Prize of $100 worth of OUP reference books. I was not aware at ...

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