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. Read 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

Akasa Kusum – Flowers Of The Sky



Sandhya Rani (Malini Fonseka) is an ageing film star who was once the darling of the silver screen. Having lost fame and fortune in a changing world, she now lives quietly in obscurity. She ekes out a living by renting out a room in her home to the film and television stars of today to satisfy their illicit sexual desires.

The popular young film star, Shalika (Dilhani Ekanayake), uses this room to carry on an affair with a young actor. When Shalika’s infidelity is unmasked by her husband, the scandal and its publicity forces Rani into the limelight again.

In the spotlight once again, Rani is suddenly forced to come to terms with a dark secret of her past – a secret she thought she had buried forever. As she confronts the demons of her past, she journeys in search of a truth she abandoned long ago…

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Shakespearean Work and Common Mental Disorders


Every normal person, in fact, is only normal on the average. His ego approximates to that of the psychotic in some part or other and to a greater or lesser extent.

Sigmund Freud

Dr Ruwan m Jayatunge MD –

The eminent English poet and playwright William Shakespeare created many characters that appear to be afflicted by psychological and psychiatric disorders. Shakespeare had an exclusive ability to grasp the dynamics of the human mind and fathom the dysfunctions of the human psyche. Indeed Shakespeare was very comprehensible in his descriptions of various psychological and psychiatric symptoms. Shakespeare’s influence on psychopathology was immeasurable. Many of Shakespeare’s lead characters seem to be having mental disorders and even psychoses.

William Shakespeare’s work confers a wide range of human mental conditions including psychopathology. There are many Shakespearean characters show numerous criteria for mental disorders that is discussed in DSM 4(Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, a manual published by the American Psychiatric Association that covers all mental health disorders for both children and adults) and the ICD 10 (The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems classified by the WHO) Read More

Two Russian Romantic Poets who shared a Common Fate

Dr Ruwan M Jayatunge MD –

Alexander Pushkin and Mikhail Lermontov were Great Russian romantic poets who lived in the 19th century. They knew each other and adored each other’s work. Both were rebellious in nature. Alexander Pushkin was the pioneer of Russian literature. Among his major works Ruslan and Ludmila , Evgenii Onegin, and Boris Godunov can be considered as the greatest masterpiece of Russian literature. Although Pushkin was a genius in literature the Russian Czar did not tolerate his poems which carried the elements of protests. Pushkin was a daring activist who secretly involved with an underground revolutionary group and also publicly expressed his supported for the Decembrist uprising which demeaned feudal reforms. As result of his rebellious attitude Pushkin was banished from St Petersburg.

In 1827 he composed the ode titled The Poet

Until he hears Apollo’s call
To make a hallowed sacrifice,
A Poet lives in feeble thrall
To people’s empty vanities;
And silent is his sacred lyre,
His soul partakes of chilly sleep,
And of the world’s unworthy sons
He is, perhaps, the very least.

Pushkin knew the suffering of the peasants under the Czar’s regime. As a member of the upper Russian social class Pushkin was never fascinated by its glory. He had a mission in his life. Pushkin often used his writing to express the agony and suppression of the Russian people. Hence he was hated by the regime. But the general public recognized Pushkin as a great poet and respected him. Gradually he became the envy of the Royal Palace. Read More

Vladimir Vysotsky the Russian Bob Dylan

Dr Ruwan M Jayatunge MD

I still recall the words of one of my teachers Mr. Vethali Ivanovich who introduced me to the songs of Vladimir Vysotsky in 1986. He said “if you want to learn the Russian soul listen to Vysotsky” A poet, songwriter and actor, Vladimir Vysotsky was the most famous Russian bard. He is adored by millions of Russians today.

Vladimir Vysotsky, who began performing in the 1960s, was quite critical of the regime, highlighting bureaucracy criticizing the unfair privileges of the elite and objecting the repression. His lyrics took position on the Soviet status quo. But he loved his country and he was a true Russian. Vladimir Vysotsky could be considered as the Russian Bob Dylan. He was the voice of the silent generation of the Soviet Union. Read More

John Lennon: Music, Philosophy and Mission

Dr. Ruwan M JayatungeM.D.

My role in society, or any artist’s or poet’s role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all.”
John Lennon

John Lennon who was an inspirational character changed music in to a new direction. He was one of the key figures in the Post War generation whose music and the ideology changed the world. Lennon was a humanitarian. He condemned violence and truthfully worked for peace. John Lennon’s music, philosophy and mission is still adored by millions of people. He is an immortal in people’s hearts. Read More

Who is Bathiya & Santhush ?


Bathiya and Santhush (BNS) are Sri Lanka’s most accomplished musical duo in the field of ethnic fusion music. In the last 5 years the duo have secured over 350 live performances, a music publishing contract with Universal Music, a recording contract with SONY BMG Music Entertainment / M entertainment and released 3 platinum albums.

Since their inception in 1998, the duo have achieved fourteen entries in the Sri Lankan music charts along with 7 number-one singles. Their single Siri Sangabodhi Maligawedi off the album Life was the the first ever multilingual [English and Singhalese] hit to be played on English Radio after 3 decades. The latest album Neththara released in 2005 sold up to 75,000 copies in just 5 months. The album has been ranked as one of the highest selling Sony Music releases in Sri Lanka. Read More

Rukmani Devi


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rukmani Devi was born as Daisy Daniels on January 15, 1923. W. R. Daniels who was manager of the Observer for many years, claiming to be a kinsman of Rukmani Devi told that she was born at Inuvil in Jaffna and that her parents were Mr. and Mrs. Daniels of Inuvil and was named Daisy Daniels. At the age of seven she was picked to sing Christmas carols. Watching her ability to sing, dance, also to act, she was selected to perform a main part in a Christmas play, “The Cobler’s Wife”.

The stage play was trained and presented by St. Clare’s School, Wellawatte. Then at the age of just 12 years she was picked to perform the stage play, “Ramayanaya” presented by ‘Sinhala Natya Sabha’. Since her performances were highly appreciated by the packed audience, well-known dramatist Dick Dias selected her to act in two of his stage plays, “Jana Kiharanaya” and “Mayawathie”. In 1936 her first recording of famous song “Siri Buddhagaya Vihare” with Master H. W. Rupasinghe brought her fortune. She captured the hearts of the masses. Read More