12 Sri Lanka foods visitors have to try

Milk rice

(CNN) — The Teardrop of India or Pearl of the Indian Ocean are among many nicknames for Sri Lanka.

But a more accurate description of the gorgeous nation might be the Island of Rice and Curry.

Making liberal use of local fruit, such as coconut and jackfruit, seafood and an arsenal of spices, Sri Lankan cooking delivers an abundance of incredible dishes.

Here are some you shouldn’t miss.

1. Fish ambul thiyal (sour fish curry)

As you’d expect from an island in the Indian Ocean, seafood plays an important role in Sri Lankan cuisine.

Fish ambul thiyal (sour fish curry) is one of the most beloved varieties of the many different fish curries available.

The fish — usually something large and firm, such as tuna — is cut into cubes, then sauteed in a blend of spices including black pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, garlic, pandan leaves and curry leaves.

Perhaps the most important ingredient is dried goraka, a small fruit responsible for giving the fish a sour flavor.

Ambul thiyal is a dry curry dish, meaning all the ingredients are simmered with a small amount of water and cooked until the liquid reduces. This allows the spice mixture to coat each cube of fish.

Originating in southern Sri Lanka, it’s available throughout the country at restaurants that serve curry, and is best eaten with rice. (more…)

Namal Rajapaksa with General Sarath Fonseka

Parliament member Namal Rajapaksa (L), son of Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa, shakes hands with former army chief and parliamentarian General Sarath Fonseka (R) after a presentation at parliament of the current budget in Colombo June 29, 2010. Sri Lanka’s Deputy Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama told parliament in his budget presentation on Tuesday the government planned to boost efficiency and revenue from state enterprises, to help keep public investment at 6-7 percent of GDP. (more…)

Music and Mission – Bob Dylan to Nanda Malani

By Dr Ruwan M Jayatunge

Music is a social force and unquestionably a powerful form of expression. Many elements of human existence are touched by music. Song has accompanied social movements, social justice and human freedom. Music can deeply affect the way that people think. Therefore, musicians can direct society with their musical ability, passion and sincerity.

Among the singers with a genuine passion for positive social stream, Bob Dylan plays a major role. American singer-songwriter and musician Bob Dylan made a deep impact in 1960 s and his songs became the anthems for the civil right and anti Vietnam War movement. He was called “master poet, caustic social critic and intrepid, guiding spirit of the counterculture generation”

Beside Bob Dylan, another female icon that emerged in 60 s was Joan Baez. As a musician and a singer Joan Baez stood for the ideals that she believed were correct. She protested at misleading government propaganda that clouded the nuclear proliferation, War on Vietnam and attacking of the Civil Right activists as Communist conspirators. Her song Birmingham Sunday was dedicated to the four little African American girls who were killed in the 1963 bombing of a Black Church by the KKK (Ku Klux Klan). Joan Baez pioneered to establish the US branch of Amnesty International that brought awareness on human right violations in the United States. In 2003, she performed in San Francisco to protest against the US invasion of Iraq. (more…)

Shell shock to Palaly syndrome

Dr Ruwan M Jayatunge M.D.

“In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.” – Jose Narosky

Palaly is a well-known area in Jaffna and it is famous for the Palaly Air Base. Most of the soldiers go to the Northern Peninsula via Palaly airbase. Therefore, Palaly is a part of them. Palaly is in their memories, sometimes in their intrusions. Palaly syndrome describes various clinical and psychosocial ailments experienced by the Sri Lankan combatants and in the final scores how it affects the society at large.

Shell shock to Palaly Syndrome was a long way for the soldiers.

In the early years of WW1 Shell Shock was believed to be the result of a physical injury to the nerves. Shell Shock term was coined by the British Pathologist Col. Fredrick Mott. He regarded Shell Shock as an organic condition produced by miniature hemorrhages of the brain. Shell Shocked soldiers exhibited symptoms of extreme fear, shaking, psychogenic blindness, psychogenic paralysis and sometimes aphonia.

The Army was less sympathetic to the ordinary soldiers with Shell Shock. Official figures said that 304 British soldiers were court-martialed and executed. Between 1914 and 1918, the British Army identified 80,000 men as suffering from Shell Shock. During the World War 2 traumatic reaction to combat was identifies as War Neurosis or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. 10% of US Servicemen developed combat exhaustion in the WW2. Nearly 1363,000 soldiers were given medical discharges and 39% had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

During the Korean War the term section 8 was widely used to describe causes of psychological combat trauma. Those who had been diagnosed with section 8 were dealt with in a very situational manner. The term PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder emerged soon after the Vietnam War. PTSD has been found in 15% of 500,000 men who were in Vietnam. There are estimated 50,000 veterans suffering from full blown symptoms of PTSD. At least half a million Vietnam veterans lead lives plagued by serious war related readjustment problems.

A new form of battle stress began in Sri Lanka mainly after 1983. Many Psychiatrists point out that number of psychiatric illnesses have been increased as a result of the Northern Conflict. For a combat soldier in World War 2 who served for 4 years the average time spent in actual combat was approximately 40 days. In Vietnam soldiers spent an average of about two thirds of their 12 or 13 month tours over 250 days in combat. But in Sri Lanka a large number of soldiers have spent 10-15 years in combat with short intervals. For nearly three decades, Sri Lanka experienced a social calamity as a result of an armed conflict and people were deeply traumatized. The echoes of the war trauma will affect Sri Lanka for generations.

Although the origin and the history of this conflict is very complicated and carries many versions and explanations, after all it is a collective trauma for the Islanders indeed. The North and South suffered from this conflict creating a large number of physically and psychologically traumatized people. War trauma is still hounding the

Sri Lankan society rising as social violence, political violence, political extremism, criminal activities, domestic violence, suicides, homicides, alcohol and drug abuse, cruelty to children and various other forms. (more…)

Ranil Wickremasinghe

Ranil Shriyan Wickremesinghe, MP (born March 24, 1949) is a Sri Lankan politician and current Leader of the Opposition. He was Prime Minister of Sri Lanka twice, from May 7, 1993 to August 19, 1994 and from December 9, 2001 to April 6, 2004. A member of the United National Party he was appointed as party leader in November 1994. He is also the leader of the United National Front, been appointed as the head of the alliance in October 2009.

Antecedents

Ranil Shriyan Wickremasinghe is the second son of Esmond and Nalini Wickremasinghe. Esmond Wickremasinghe was a press baron, an ex-Samasamajist and supremo of the Lake House group of newspapers. His paternal uncle Lakshman Wickremasinghe was a Bishop of the Church of Sri Lanka. His maternal line consisted of newspaper barons and landowners, the Wijewardenas, who were Sinhala Buddhists. His maternal grandfather was D. R. Wijewardena, the founder of the Lake House publishing empire a pro-independence activist and a financier of the independence movement. He was a nephew of J.R. Jayewardene, later President of Sri Lanka.

Education

Wickremesinghe was educated at Royal College, Colombo where he was a classmate and a good friend of Anura Bandaranaike, son of then Prime Minister Solomon Bandaranaike and Dinesh Gunawardena, son of socialist leader Philip Gunawardena. Wickremasinghe entered the Faculty of Law at the University of Ceylon, Colombo campus (now University of Colombo). After graduation he completed the law exams at the Sri Lanka Law College and took oaths as an advocate in 1972. Of all the Presidents and Prime Ministers of Sri Lanka, Wickremesinghe is the only person to graduate from a local university, the remainder either not attending university or having degrees from foreign universities. (more…)

Upeksha Swarnamali – (PABA)

Upeksha Swarnamali is a Sri Lankan model and television actress, perhaps best known for her role on the television series “PABA” broadcast on ITN. She participated in the reality dancing show Sirasa Dancing Stars. On 8 June 2008 she was eliminated. She became popular by the song “Chanchala”

Up and coming star Upeksha Swarnamali better known by the masses as Chanchala, will play the title role in Paba together with young star Amila Abeysekara and other seasoned stars.

Upeksha is the best Dancer in Sirasa Dancing Star Season 1, unfortunately lost that crown. She is the most good looking actress of Sri Lankan Tele Dramas.Upeksha will be seen in more powerful role in the movie ‘Bombs and Roses'(Bombs and Roses) directed by Anurudda Jayasinghe.

Source: Wikipedia