21 August, 2019

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Anthony Bourdain’s Sri Lanka

By Jagath Asoka

Dr. Jagath Asoka

Over the last ten years, now and then, I have been watching Bourdain’s shows, even before his “Parts Unknown” on CNN.  Bourdain regales his audience with stories about the extraordinary cuisine and people of the countries that he visits. Usually, at the end of every show—some people call him the Indiana Jones of the food world—I often have the same cravings and longings: I feel like visiting the country, eating their food, and having a conversation with them because each episode is much more than just food and people, and Bourdain is much more than a chef, gastronome, journalist, and deipnosophist. Bourdain’s episodes reminds me of a Danish film.

Have you seen the Danish film Babette’s Feast, which was the first Danish film to win the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film in 1987? Babette wins 10,000 francs and spends all her money to prepare a delicious dinner for a small congregation. Her meal is more than a feast; the meal is an outpouring of Babette’s appreciation, an act of self-sacrifice.

When you share a meal, something mystical and magical happens to the human spirit: old wrongs are forgotten, distrust and animosity are abandoned, ancient loves are rekindled, and a numinous feeling settles over the table. This is the exact thing that happens when you visit a poor Sri Lankan villager. I am certain that those who have visited a Sri Lankan village know what I am talking about. A meal prepared by a Sri Lankan villager enchants the angels. For them sharing a meal is an act of perfect kindness.

It is very rare for CNN, here in the USA, to talk about Sri Lanka, let alone spend one hour talking about its culture and cuisine; usually, on CNN News, albeit very brief, suicide bombers, a devastating tsunami, and Tamil tigers were the topics of Sri Lanka. Most Americans have not heard of Sri Lanka, let alone its civil war, and most Americans find it difficult to pronounce the tongue-twisting word “Sri.”

While I was watching Bourdain’s latest show—Anthony Bourdain goes to Sri Lanka—I sank into despondency. Well, there is only one word that I can use to describe how I felt after watching Bourdain’s Sri Lanka: doldrums. I wonder what others, who had watched the show, would say about this show—I know that some people stopped watching it in the middle of the show.

Usually, Bourdain’s shows make his viewers dream of places that they have not visited before, coerce them to crave for sumptuous indigenous treats, open their hearts to people who seem aliens, arise their curiosity in traditions and rituals that seem ungodly. This latest Bourdain’s portrayal of Sri Lanka seems like a potpourri of incongruous elements, from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 American horror-thriller, the Birds. Instead of birds, now and then, you will see a murder—a group—of ravenous, ominous black crows; a ragtag bunch of actors, attempting to portray Sri Lanka’s civil war like a Shakespearean tragedy; some scenes are reminiscent of the movie Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, where Hindu devotees in a trance-like-state perform rituals to appease Kali by piercing their tongues, cheeks, and other parts of their bodies by hooks resembling silver vels. Our cuisine is similar in many ways to that of southern India; in Jaffna Bourdain gets to try sumptuous Sri Lankan crab curry.

Yes, Sri Lanka is peaceful, but Colombo has become a dumpster. Black crows and garbage go hand in hand like vultures and carcasses. We brag about cozy condominiums in Colombo, yet we have not figured out how to dispose and manage our garbage. In hotels, having a fulltime employee to chase away crows with a catapult is not a tourist attraction. Some scenes were depressing or somewhat eerie. Bourdain’s shows also deal with politics.

Sri Lanka, which used to be the land of Yaksha and Naga tribes, has become the abode for mealy-mouthed preta pachyderms—most of our politicians and some of our Buddhist monks. I think every Sri Lankan knows the word preta, an unresting ghost tortured incessantly by hunger and thirst, which is also an English word that most Americans find it difficult to remember or understand.

Compared to Ranil-Arujuna-Aloysius cabal with Cabraal’s sister—a high-level invidious, secretive plotters and their activities—that cost Sri Lankan tax payers additional 1.5 billion Rupees, Rajapaksas’ skullduggery, embezzlements, and extortions seem somewhat primitive; both sides are crooks, one side is more sophisticated insider traders, the other is just thugs.

Can Sri Lankans ever be sanguine? Ethnic problems in Sri Lanka are related to three major events. British colonialism, during which the Tamils were disproportionately represented in universities, private sector, and government jobs; the inevitable repercussions of Sinhala Only Act in 1956 and the primary status given to Buddhism in Sri Lanka in 1972—the Republic of Sri Lanka has given Buddhism the foremost place.

Not a single political pundit predicted that an uncanny alliance of minorities and moderates from the two main Sinhalese parties would kick the Rajapaksas out, electing mild-mannered Sirisena who pledged—Sirisena did not have a concrete plan—to address the legacy of the war, reform the economy, eliminate corruption, and turn the country into a transparent, tolerant democracy. In a nutshell, the war ended in 2009; the country is reunified; now, you can travel to the Tamil heartland by train; Rajapaksas were replaced, but his preta pachyderms managed to stay in power; Tamils in the war-torn Jaffna province are still struggling to rebuild their lives, waiting for redress for the devastations that they have encountered.

I know that Bourdain’s intensions were to visit Jaffna, talk to Tamils in Jaffna, find out about their culture and cuisine, and talk to them about how they feel about the post-civil war Sri Lanka.  I think he wanted to find out about the repercussions of the war, which he could not explore in 2008, because Sri Lanka was embroiled in a civil war. Everything Bourdain portrayed was accurate; it seems like Jaffna in 2017 looks like the 2010 Jaffna, whereas foreign money is pouring into Colombo. This is the reality, not Bourdain’s imagination; however, I would call it “Anthony Bourdain goes to Jaffna.” I am somewhat certain that millions watched this program because Bourdain’s shows are popular; however, I do not think, Bourdain’s show would make Americans who had watched it, feel, “Yes, I want to visit Sri Lanka; it looks like a fun place.”

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    Thanks, good one JA!
    While everyone is distracted with Bond scam Ranil’s New Constitution in the Miracle of Modayas, political corruption has reached new heights, along with economic inequality and regional poverty growing. Meanwhile Saffron clad thugs are dancing in the street while Lankans are to be Biometric identity card guinea pigs after the Indian Supreme Court ruled Biometric cards a violation of Privacy.
    Corruption scams are a dime a dozen by Preta Ministers –
    1. there is a highway robber called Kiriella who sits next to the Prime Minister to be impeached in the Parliament of Corrupt clowns
    2.The F Foreign funded Foreign Minister, Avant Guard Marapona was in bed with US citizen Gota the white van Man in the Avant Guard deal, and the only Tamil Navy Chief – Travis Sinaiah who pointed out that Avant Guard was a bi-partisan Gota (SLFP)- Marapona (UNP) Scam to strip assets from the Navy was organized by US Deep State security interests to operate a private intelligence and security company in the deep blue Indian Ocean, lost his job last week.
    3. Now the Minister of Education, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam is proposing to enrich Global insurance companies while beggaring the Lankan Education Sector further, by giving free. health insurance to school children, when there are far more pressing needs like malnutition among childrenand lack of class rooms and infrastcuture in schools to address.
    If at all it is the elderly and aging population that is growing and neglected in Lanka that needs insurance but this would be too costly for the Insurance companies looking to make a quick buck in Miracle of Modaya. This latest scam policy of Akila Viraj Kariyawasam Bondscam Ranil’s Education minister is a classic example of corruption in the policy making process.

    UNFPA and other data clearly shows that Sri Lanka has a large elderly and Aging population. The need insurance is greatest for this segment of the island’s population rather than school children.

    But providing insurance for elderly is too expensive for profit-maximizing Insurance Companies which have been making massive profits in the US Health system which is in crisis along with Obama care.

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      Hi Jagath Asoka, Long time ago you last wrote to CT.

      Yet today not much is changed in home country. Even yesterday I heard former leader saying that 55 of JO are strong, and but not to underestimate.

      All in all, grass eaters even today are after MR clans.

      No matter srilanken airlines or any other bankrupsies were deliberately made by Rajpaakshe, people are after them for single thing they believe Rajapakseh black majic were highly instrumental in the elemination of LTTE terror we had until mid of 2009.

      I think Jagath, the problem lies somewhere else. It is MEDIA MAFIA:

      If media would have been honest and wanted a real change, they could reveal lot more about the high profile frauds of former men with prima facie evindence. Even today, Derana Hiru or some other channels are after Maharaja. And sangaya too have been manipulated by Maharaja et al.

      Sangayas are the outer cover of the novel. So the contents remain so racial all along.

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    Dinuk: Do you think Rajitha Senarathne is not getting any money from pahrmaceutical companies.
    How did Rishad Bathouddin under the patronage of MY3clear Wilpatththu upto Mulativu, all with QATAR money that made him also a billionaire with assets every were in the island. Avanmangla also got some american grants of which most are CIA projects. those comes from Millinium corporation (ICA + church + zorro – man used to ambush financial systems for his own benefit), USAID and some other funds), all to change the Sri lanka’s political alndscape, transport of ports, land availability, political stability … and many more I think.)…….
    JAGATH ASOKA: How come when sinhala people wwere 70% how come Tamils were disprioportionat ein the universities. I have seen, in those days, Tamils were over 50% of in engineering and Medical.
    If you know the history of Sri lanka, British also gave the favorite status to buddhism. Why PResent govts should not give favorite status to buddhism. Which other religion has grown up so much or is it American Evangelisrts who wants to convert Sri lanka ? MAvy commander slso one worked in the american embassy I heard. He also had tried a few Now the airforce wants to buy 18 fighter jets mostly to protect indian ocean. Srui lankan navy is wirking for american navy. They have done lot of work upto now. I think they have even mapped the sea bed, took soil samples and they know it very well. Besides, JAgath Asoka FYI, Sri lanka is doing NATO’s part as america is bankrupt. they even do not have money to spend for the Sri lankan election election. So, Ranil had to steal from all the banks including the Employee provident funds.

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      Dummy Jimmy,
      “How come when sinhala people wwere 70% how come Tamils were disprioportionat ein the universities. I have seen, in those days, Tamils were over 50% of in engineering and Medical.?”

      Because Tamils are 120% smarter than dumbasses like you. Go figure.

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        British never favoured the Tamils but only used them for their hard work and their willingness to study and excel , the Sinhalese did not want to and as usual blame the British. The British had to select the Tamils, as they were the only people who studied qualified and were suitable for the jobs. No one stopped the Sinhalese from studying, other than their feudal setup and Buddhist priests, who still are playing havoc. If the British had favoured the Tamils, the Tamils now will not be in this position. They always favoured the Sinhalese, even when drawing boundaries between Tamil and Sinhalese areas. Any remote Sinhalese claim to the land was entertained and decided favourably towards the Sinhalese. What the British decided the Tamil North and East provinces were the areas, where the Sinhalese had no claim whatsoever and these areas had always been historically Tamil from ancient times. Even the then Tamil north west coastal areas of Chilaw( Chilapam) and Puttalam , which were all part of the Tamil Jaffna kingdom, were handed over the to the Sinhalese and the Tamils in these regions , forced to assimilate as Sinhalese. The British only developed the Sinhalese areas and were very friendly with the Sinhalese ruling classes. They had to compensate the Tamils in some way as they merged their lands with the Sinhalese lands down south and made them from a 100% majority and a separate nation in their own lands into a minority in the island. When leaving the island the British handed the power to the Sinhalese, without any protection for the Tamils and their lands. They had no right to have done this , as they found two separate nations ruled separately when the landed. The Sinhalese always want to blame someone for their shortcomings and since they are in the government unsuspecting foreigners listen to their lies and propaganda as they are too lazy to find out the truth and don’t care.

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      Jim: The US, EU and Western agenda is to Divide majorities and minorities and rule by looting the countries of the global south.
      Foreign Aid is colonialism by other means, so too Human Rights discourse which does not mention Economic Rights or justice as the root cause of ethnic and religious conflict.

      How come no EU or US big wigs descends and says that they are disappointed at slow progress on Corruption investigations and the failure to arrest the culture of corruption which is the biggest impediment to Economic growth and FDI? No one talks about Economic Rights and Social justice in the so called Human rights international lobby. They all play identity politics games and distract people from economic inequality which is the root cause of so much violence in the world, including religious violence
      The EU and US only talk about new constitution in order to keep the festering ethnic issue going and the SL polity divided in order to advance their security agenda and looting of resources from third world countries
      The ethnic conflict in Lanka will will only be sorted when corrupt politicians who Divide and Rule the masses by Distracting them with Hate Speech are all arrested and impeached.

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    I know buddhists monks are going towards mateirealistic gains excessevily. Instead listening to Lord buddha, they are listening to christian SATAn and they are destroying buddhism in Sri lanka. Buddha alone some arahant monks were responmsible for producing buddhist india among very hostile Brahmins. but, that does not mean that there are very spiritual monks. Many, I heard, are used to get university education, get derobed married et., etc., too. Some poor lads go there mostly as an avenue of gaining wealth. so many horror stories. Anyway, govt cannot protect buddhism it is only the monks can doThey should explaiin to other young monks that everybody is taking shots at them.

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      jim,
      Good, finally you have realized that “Buddhists monks are going towards materialistic gains excessively”. Don’t stop there, they also don’t care for what Lord Buddha has preached. It is time to ignore these Buddhist “Satans”, and live one’s life according to Buddha teachings. We don’t need to listen to the “bana” of these mostly uneducated con-men. You don’t need to visit temples or erect Buddha statues either to be a good Buddhist.

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        EUSENSE: My main Point was that there are very spiritual monks. WE neglect negativity and neglect them. I have a Buddha statue in my home to which I kneel infront.

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    [Edited out] We are sorry, the comment language is English – CT

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    The US obsession is food. Anthony Bourdain makes a living writing about food. He claims to have eaten sheep testicles in Morocco, ant eggs in Puebla, Mexico, a raw seal eyeball as part of a traditional Inuit seal hunt, and an entire cobra—beating heart, blood, bile, and meat—in Vietnam, (the worst meals of his life)
    unwashed warthog rectum in Namibia and the fermented shark he in Iceland and so on.
    Lankans never heard of this Anthony.
    Jagath Asoka. Has he produced this documentary on Lankan food?
    Jagath says ~ “I know that Bourdain’s intensions were to visit Jaffna, talk to Tamils in Jaffna, find out about their culture and cuisine, and talk to them about how they feel about the post-civil war Sri Lanka……..”.
    This last bit is simply beyond him.
    Jagath (quite rightly) does not think ~ “………..that Bourdain’s show would make Americans who had watched it, feel, “Yes, I want to visit Sri Lanka; it looks like a fun place.”

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    Sorry to hear that you couldn’t fully watch the show. I thought Bourdain did the best job. The part on Jaffna was authentic master piece. Being grew up in Jaffna and helplessly witnessed the war from the front line, I was able to connect with his view. He didn’t fake it. This is how we experienced it when we grew up in Jaffna and he just exposed the aftershocks of war through his lens.

    He did some Anderson Cooper type of analysis when he presented the Jaffna culture to the rest of the world. He even reported the loss of 40 000 lives at the last phase of the war. But the main point was he covered the social and cultural life of locals in Jaffna. What is wrong with it?

    Do you have a problem to show a black crows on TV? Isn’t it the show is about how people locally live their own life? Perhaps your daddy didn’t take you to a weekend field trip to Jaffna during the war time or you were busy with playing video games and following your Hollywood superheroes? You and your friends couldn’t even tolerate to view the full show that was taken from another angle ah?

    You wrote the following: “Hindu devotees in a trance-like-state perform rituals to appease Kali by piercing their tongues, cheeks, and other parts of their bodies by hooks resembling silver vels.”

    Don’t you think this is how locals diffuse their anger in a peaceful way? It’s funny, you are from SL but you need a scene from Indiana Jones to relate this event right? Are we living in a parallel world even though we grew up from the same country?

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    This show is different from his food focused shows . It is a different series. Highlighting Jaffna was ok because it was not well covered in his previous episode. This is not about food but his perspective of things. He likes to show the negative, but reality is Jaffna is still recovering, and has a long way to go to heal. South Asians are unclean. Almost everyone smells of body odour. We do not wear deodorant even after living in the West for decades. Tamil Indians Sinhalese, Tamil Lankans, Bengalis, Maratis etc the older generation when they get on my Qatar Airways flight from Wash DC do not speak English and smell bad. They push people aside when we disembark. Old ladies in saris are the worst. So India is filthy in big cities. Colombo was good during Gota’s time but it is a dirty third world city with unhygenic food now. People have no road manners; they do not say excuse me; they are aggressive on the roads; dishonest basically too.and there is no sense of customer service unless the customer is white. Bring Back Gota to clean up the place.

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    There are so many inaccuracies in this article that there is no point of pointing them. For one thing if you have watched Anthony Bourdain’s show closely you will notice that how the camera is directed is very different in Senegal or Sri Lanka as opposed to in Cambodia or Vietnam, In Sri Lanka the Camera focuses on the dirt, the grime, the mud soaked bare feet, or the one an only war affected building still standing in Colombo or Jaffna but not on the the green fields and smiling children as in Vietnam or Cambodia. Does Bourdaine mention that there is a 7 hr express train from Colombo to Jaffna, or does he show the beauty of the Sangupiddy bridge over the lagoon, obviously not, because that is not the message he wants to convey, Bourdain is Fake News, always was and and always will be..and 2017 Jaffna is vastly different from 2010 but not so different from 2014.

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    As a Jaffna native who now lives in the US, I enjoyed watching the whole show and felt it showed the hidden side of Jaffna, that many outsiders don’t get to see. Here are some extarcts from a travel magazine reviewing the show, reproduced for those who missed the show.

    “At Nelum Kole restaurant on Slave Island in Colombo, Bourdain eats chicken curry, spicy potatoes, beetroot, and rice while he meets with Kumar Lopez, CEO of the Sri Lankan Press Institute. A trip to Nana’s Street Food produces assorted seafood dishes, while a journey up to Jaffna sees Bourdain eat one of his favorite meals—homemade crab curry, with a kick. As he notes, “The best food in Sri Lanka is always made by aunties—forces to be reckoned with.” His trip ends idyllically on Point Pedro Beach, feasting on fresh grouper and squid with local fishermen while they discuss the country’s future. And of course, it is all washed down with cold beer.

    At Dr. Ravi Perumalpillai’s home in Jaffna, “auntie” Punitham Selvadurai serves Bourdain a homemade crab curry that he refers to as “the holy grail of Sri Lankan cuisine.” He enthusiastically takes second helpings and licks his fingers clean, praising the dish’s fiery, spicy flavor.”

    A good portion of the show was spent on explaining the past war and how things are moving along in the country. I think he did a reasonable job in that short time. If that made some people uncomfortable, so be it. It’s the reality we need to face.

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    Thangamma, you just accused Anthony Bourdain of just showing the negative and then you unloaded on all South Asians as smelly, rude, crude etc. worse than anything that was shown on TV. The pot calling the kettle black?

    Wannihami, having one beautiful bridge here and a green field there is not the real story of Sri Lanka. Many Sri Lankans like to only talk about a few bright spots, and ignore the reality as if that’s the representation of the whole land and in denial of the big mess of a story the country is in. The war damages are not the primary reason for the mess, it’s the corruption at all levels of government and society. You can’t keep blaming the war forever for the plight of the people.

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    Thoroughly disappointed with this AB Parts Unwanted Sri Lanka episode. A biased/wrong view of beautiful SL cuisine and scenario. The final scene tells it all, a bloated and prosperous diaspora guy sitting/eating amongst the down trodden fisherfolk, talking BS.

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    I have seen several episodes of CNN’s Anthony Bourdain in the last several years – including the 2nd one last Sunday on Sri Lanka. I like his famed focus on the exotic cuisine of the countries he visits as well as the brief cultural, geographical and historical backgrounds he presents of those countries. His feature on Iran, not long ago, was a good and accurate account of the country whose political leadership is at loggerheads with the USA. The point here was that while the US Government and Iran are politically, and bitterly, opposed to each other, since the early 1970s his attempt to establish the peoples of the two countries share friendly feelings was received well globally. His recent show on drug-infested Massachusettes, which I believe is his home State, was depressing. This one on Sri Lanka last week is certainly not one of his best and, arguably, rendered a somewhat contentious portrayal of the South East Asian island. The poorly photographed episode focussed far too much on crows erroneously shown as ubiquitous. He also gave the impression that the lowly tuk-tuks are the main mode of transport in the country. The fact the country has millions of cars, SUV’s, Vans, Buses – many of them luxurious and new – did not find a place in the program. Consequently, he placed Sri Lanka in par with war-torn Mosul, Kabul, Baghdad and other in and out of armed conflicts. All of this makes the keen overseas viewer, intent on getting an inkling of the country, ending up with a distorted picture of a country fastly making its way to peace a decade back – after 30 years of war. … (Cont’d)

    Pandaranayagam

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    (2)

    The cuisine, in wayside eating places, was also shabbily presented. The truth is the capital city and the country has reason to boast of clean, cozy and healthy eating places – both for the rich as well the budget tourists. Isn’t this why over 2 million tourists visited the island for their vacation last year – staying in accommodation as good as anywhere. The number is expected to increase by another million soon.
    It is not suggested Bourdain is acting on an agenda to deliberately show a wrong impression of the country. The fact is he and his team are able to provide a better story in video of one of the more beautiful countries in South East Asia and the Indian Sub-Continent – often chosen by Western visitors describing it as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, the Resplendent Isle and through similar complimentary terms.
    The 60 minutes in which the entire program lasts is far too short, taking into consideration he has touched on many other features in the film consuming most of its time, to delve into the complex race relations between the Sinhalese and Tamils – the raison d’etre fopr the long war. Yet he forays into the acrimonious subject and, in the process, albeit predictably, fails to convince both sides of the ethnic divide. It is not surprising, as the Writer notes, some switched off their TV half-way.

    Pandaranayagam

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    I was born in Sri Lanka. I have visited “home” once every 5-10 years or so, most recently in 2013. I watched the recent episode of Anthony Bourdain – Sri Lanka, and came away despondent, angry and seething inside. Why? Because what he portrayed was a very dark and dirty country, still not getting its act together; with a populace at odds with each other. That is not the Sri Lanka I know. He never once showed the beautiful, picturesque side of Sri Lanka, smiles were absent from everyone’s faces, whatever was discussed with the locals was quite negative. Is the dingiest, dirtiest part of the Pettah market the only place he could visit in Colombo? There is a west, east and south (and a much more vibrant north) to that country. There is the upcountry, paddy fields, tea estates, ancient cities, ancient ruins, ancient irrigation schemes that rival or surpass the latest in water management. Even in Jaffna he could have shown some beautiful localities, beaches, more authentic Jaffna food. But, no. I felt as if the LTTE sympathizers living abroad had orchestrated the whole thing to put Sri lanka in a very negative light.

    Anthony Bourdain, please do not set foot in Sri Lanka again. You are a disappointment to most of us. I saw a one hour show that was focused entirely on the conflict that was brought to a halt (however painfully, however destructively) 8 years ago. Yes, that was a horrible period, and you do not have to remind us of that – the memories we have, and the loved ones we lost are still very painful in our minds. He could have presented a much lighter, more positive picture of present day Sri Lanka, instead of dwelling on the negatives. But, I was sadly mistaken. I have watched the A.B. show for a long time, but have never seen him present a country from such a dark, dirty and gloomy angle.

    Anthony, please stay away from Sri Lanka.

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    I was born in Sri Lanka. I visit “home” once every 5-10 years or so, most recently in 2013. I watched the recent episode of Anthony Bourdain – Sri Lanka, and came away despondent, angry and seething inside. Why? Because what he portrayed was a very dark and dirty country, still not getting its act together; with a populace at odds with each other. That is not the Sri Lanka I know. He never once showed the beautiful, picturesque side of Sri Lanka, smiles were absent from everyone’s faces, and the narrative was quite negative. Is the dingiest, dirtiest part of the Pettah market the only place he could visit in Colombo? There is a beautiful west, east and south (and a much more vibrant north) to Sri Lanka each with its own authentic, colorful, savory, cuisine. Even Jaffna has many beautiful localities, beaches, and more authentic Jaffna food. But, no. I felt as if the LTTE sympathizers living abroad had orchestrated the whole thing to put Sri Lanka in a very negative light.
    I saw a show that focused entirely on the conflict that was brought to a halt (however painfully, however destructively) 8 years ago. Yes, that was a horrible period, no one has to remind us of that – the memories we have, and the loved ones we lost are still very painful in our minds. He could have presented a much more positive picture of present day Sri Lanka, instead of dwelling on the negatives. But, I was sadly mistaken. I have watched the A.B. show for a long time, but have never seen him present a country from such a dark, dirty and gloomy angle. Anthony Bourdain, please do not set foot in Sri Lanka again. You were a disappointment to most of us.

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    Dr Asoka

    We should not take Anthony Bourdain too seriously; he was making a time-limited programme that mixed interesting with bizarre. Anything other than would not have engaged the attention-deficit audience it was made for.

    Those who want to know Sri Lanka will look further. Those who know Sri Lanka won’t need any introduction.

    Sri Lankan’s who left (for one reason or another) should return regularly, and when they do they should enjoy all of what is left of the old Sri Lanka. Yes, once-upon-a-time, before we lost our senses, this blessed island was the closest thing to paradise (even Lee Kwan Yew wanted his Singapore to like us). We had diversity, variety, tolerance, and the eclectic cuisine was to-die-for. Catch some of before it’s all gone, because one day it will be all a parody of the west or worse.

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    I was dissapointed with the show.

    Didn’t gain anything new to talk about.

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