Pearl Harbor & Ceylon: a ‘What If?’ Look at the Value of Intelligence & Aerial Reconnaissance

In the years after World War Two, and indeed, even today, there has been much speculation on how an early warning of an impending Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor would have affected the outcome of the raid on that fateful 7th December 1941, when the US Navy Pacific Fleet lost all eight of its battleships. These have ranged from an optimistic prediction of a complete defeat of the Japanese force, to more gloomy suggestions that the Americans might not just have lost their battleships, but their aircraft carriers as well. Any such speculation must, however, depend on how early a … Continue reading Pearl Harbor & Ceylon: a ‘What If?’ Look at the Value of Intelligence & Aerial Reconnaissance

Waste in the Military: the Overlap of Special Forces Roles as Example*

What is the necessity for the armed forces of any one nation to have so many special operations forces under command, all seemingly doing the same sort of job, all vying for the same defence budget? The commonly believed fallacy is that each of these special forces units have a unique speciality that justifies their existence. This is largely nonsense, but is a popular theory, one constantly put out by these respective special forces units. It was true once upon a time. But no longer. In the US, and in the UK, many special forces units like the Rangers, Marine … Continue reading Waste in the Military: the Overlap of Special Forces Roles as Example*

Sean Connery was an Arsehole. So What?

Yesterday, one of my friends told me that she wasn’t mourning Sean Connery’s passing because he has been accused of being a wife beater (and the late Sir Sean has indeed gone on record saying he felt it was acceptable for a man to occasionally slap his spouse about). Now, needless to say (or is it?), I don’t agree with Connery on this, but does his view on women suddenly cancel out his achievements as an actor? Should QE2 cancel his knighthood, and the Academy take back that Oscar it gave him for Best Supporting Actor? Maybe they should, if … Continue reading Sean Connery was an Arsehole. So What?

Our Selective Moral Outrage

There‚Äôs a Facebook post doing the usual rounds calling for the United Kingdom to try/extradite/spank Adele Balasingham, the widow of former Tiger theoretician Anton Balasingham. At various times, Mrs Balasingham was recorded handing out cyanide necklaces to Tiger child fighters, and otherwise encouraging them to be little terrorists. The individual preambles and comments that this post is accompanied by claim that the London and Manchester attacks are karma, that the UK is reaping what it sowed, and other assorted quasi-religious proclamations that are gleefully typed out as fast as a keyboard can endure. The post has a tone of righteous … Continue reading Our Selective Moral Outrage

The Promise

If you wait for me then I’ll come for you
Although I’ve traveled far
I always hold a place for you in my heart
If you think of me
If you miss me once in awhile
Then I’ll return to you
I’ll return and fill that space in your heart
Remembering
Your touch
Your kiss
Your warm embrace
I’ll find my way back to you
If you’ll be waiting
If you dream of me like I dream of you
In a place that’s warm and dark
In a place where I can feel the beating of your heart

Remembering
Your touch
Your kiss
Your warm embrace
I’ll find my way back to you
If you’ll be waiting
I’ve longed for you and I have desired
To see your face your smile
To be with you wherever you are

Continue reading “The Promise”

Does Islam Provide a Stronger Identity than Sri Lanka does?

Recently I’ve begun to notice once more a particular sort of post cropping up on my Facebook timeline, most often posted, “liked”, or shared by one of my FB friends. Almost all of these posts are by Sri Lankan Muslims (most of my Muslim friends are Sri Lankan); almost, I say, because the rest are by non-Muslim social workers or activists who are generally anyway more interested in this particular topic than most. The event that seems to have sparked this flurry of posts is the ongoing escalation of the conflict between the state of Israel and the Palestinians. The … Continue reading Does Islam Provide a Stronger Identity than Sri Lanka does?

Death by Any Other Name

The Sunday Times quotes the Prisons Department spokesman as saying that a new title is being sought to replace that of “hangman” as the negative connotations of the current title of the post is putting off applicants for the vacant spot. I have helpfully made up a list of possible designations for this job; feel free to add to it: Life Terminations Officer Permanent Citizenship Revocation Manager Life Executive Officer, Prisons Department Director of Lifestyle Suppression Chief Operations Officer, Executions & Terminations Terminal Penalties Officer And my personal favourite: Director of the Division of Ultimate Solutions Continue reading Death by Any Other Name

Build a Bridge, One Kevum at a Time — the One Plate Project

The One Plate Project is an initiative by Yamu and ad agency JWT to create a uniquely Sri Lankan practice online. During most religious and cultural celebrations such as the Sinhalese and Tamil New Year, Ramazan, Thai Pongal, and Christmas, people of all ethnicities look forward to the celebrations, regardless of whether that particular festival is one relevant to one’s community or not. And there’s one simple irreligious reason for that — Sri Lankans love food. As a Christian Burgher, I look forward to Avurudhu and Ramazan almost as much as I do to Christmas because I know there’s going … Continue reading Build a Bridge, One Kevum at a Time — the One Plate Project

Our Moment of Destiny

I think every generation faces its own particular challenges; but the greatest and most defining ones are those of morality and courage. That moment, if missed, condemns that generation — and often many that follow — to a world far more unpleasant and evil than we would wish it to be. For many in the free world of the late 1930s, that moment came with the invasion of Poland and the bombing of Pearl Harbour. It was a moment when my grandfather’s generation had to decide if they would simply stand on the sidelines or go out and fight someone … Continue reading Our Moment of Destiny