19 May, 2024

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Charles Ponnuthurai Sarvan: First Death Anniversary: A Song In Dark Times

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“There’s no life that couldn’t be immortal if only for a moment.” ~ Wyslawa Szymbroska (On death, without exaggeration)

Charles Ponnuthurai Sarvan wrote down his memories. Not for publication, but as a gift for his family, living continents away – and worlds apart – from his native Ceylon/Sri Lanka. Occasionally, he would share a few snippets with friends, to illustrate a point, to buttress an argument.

One of those snippets was of a political meeting he attended during his undergraduate years in Peradeniya as a member of the LSSP student union. “Academic staff not being allowed to hold party-political classes on Campus, a few of us met in a hut in the nearby village, Hindagala, for lectures on advanced Marxism (by Doric, who was known as the ideologue of the LSSP. He was also one of the lecturers in the English Department.) Since there was only one chair we, students, sat on the earthen floor. The welcome of the owners of the hut (a young couple with two small children; Sinhalese Buddhists) was beautiful in its simplicity and grace. I used to look at them and silently say, “I am doing this for you, so that you will have a better life.”

That would have been in 1968, the year Charles Sarvan entered Peradeniya, or 1969 when Deric de Souza retired from the English Department. By that time, the Upcountry Tamils had been disenfranchised and Sinhala Only was a fact of life. Yet, the hope that Lanka could be redeemed from majoritarianism survived, especially amongst left-leaning Tamils. Charles Sarvan was one of those. Perhaps because he was born in a Ceylon before it began to self-destruct, and in a time when, “most, if not all in the Island, irrespective of language and religion, equally took a measure of pride and encouragement from ancient achievement, temple, and lake; an equal measure of happiness in being Ceylonese… In 1952, Kankasanturai parliamentary was contested by Chelvanayakam, as a member of the Federal Party. He was comfortably defeated by a UNP candidate” (Arguing with Racists – Colombo Telegraph – Italics in the original). 

Yet, even in those early Ceylonese days, a gap existed, more warning than reality, more silence than words. When young, he was told not to discuss religion or politics with friends who belonged to a different community, Charles Sarvan wrote once. Then came 1958 riots and the silence was broken with the sounds of bloodletting. 

As a Sinhala-speaking Tamil, he had never stood out in the predominantly Sinhala milieu he had lived his life until then. During the riot, possibly for the first time in his life, he became a Tamil and nothing but a Tamil. A mob led by a Buddhist monk surrounded the police station he had sought shelter in. His life was saved, but the lesson was clear. He might think of himself as a Ceylonese, but this Ceylon wasn’t his. The LSSP’s abandonment of anti-racism would have been the second blow, making him homeless twice over. 

So he left, to work and live in many lands. As he pointed out, all his life he was an outsider: a Tamil in Ceylon, an Asian in Africa, a non-Muslim in the Middle East, a non-white in Germany, post-retirement. He was also briefly, when he first migrated from Ceylon in the early 1960’s, a ‘brown man’ in England. It was where he met Liebetraut, a young German woman visiting England, another outsider. Maybe that was why she asked him – and not a white-skinned native – for directions to the place she wanted to go. He offered to accompany her and show her the way. 

“Some of those without a Heimat are blessed in having found their home Zuhause in a relationship,” he would write decades later (Para Dhemalā: Response to ‘Confronting Charlie Ponnadurai’ – Colombo Telegraph). That home would endure until Liebetraut Sarvan’s death in 2022.

Pitted against the wind

When the now leader of the Australian Green Party, Samantha Ratnam gave her maiden speech in the Victoria State Parliament, Charles Sarvan shared a video, together with a comment on the ‘wisdom of contemporary youth’. “SL has been deprived of getting such youth from bringing about real changes to the country’s political system,” he wrote. 

That observation was true of him as well.

Had Lanka not turned against herself, he would have remained, living his life as an academic, a civil servant, a revolutionary activist, and, whatever his chosen profession, a deeply humane man. Yet the contribution he could have made was lost when Lanka showed him, via Sinhala Only and the 1958 Riot, that he was not wanted and could remain here only on sufferance. 

It is of him and others like him, driven out of their land of birth by marginalising legislations and baying mobs, I think of when I read about ‘patriotic’ professionals threatening to leave the country unless they are showered with tax breaks and other economic benefits. Starting with the ‘1956 Revolution’ Tamils were edged out from universities and professions to make room for the island’s ‘real owners’, Sinhala-Buddhists. Now the Grandchildren of 1956 are trying to hold hostage a bankrupt country (unravelled by a regime they played a leading role in electing and enabling), using the cudgel of brain-drain. 

The reality is that both brain and brawn drain is as old as our existence as an independent nation-state. The history of independent Lanka is a history of exclusion and leaving. The Burghers left first, reading the writing on the wall in the equation of National with Sinhala. The Tamils were next. In between, hundreds of thousands of Upcountry Tamils were disenfranchised and evicted.

“Ceylon turned away from the horizontal division of class to the vertical division of ‘race’, language, religion,” Charles Sarvan wrote, referring to the dashing of his own youthful revolutionary hopes for his birth-land. Long before Newton Gunasinghe coined the phrase ‘ethnic overdetermination’, that phenomenon was germinating and sprouting bloodied shoots. Once the dominant left parties abandoned the two defining issues of the time – language parity and the principle of jus soli (birthright citizenship) – primordial began overtaking economic. In that sense, 1983 marked not the beginning but the moment when all facades collapsed and the true nature of Lankan polity and society burst into full view.

In 1983, Charles Sarvan was safely teaching in Zambia, but his mother, who, like her son, was fluent in Sinhala, was still living in their family home. “During the pogrom of 1983, she had to flee the house in Dehiwela where she had lived for over 30 years,” he would write decades later. “Amma came to us in Zambia carrying her ‘worldly possessions’ in one suitcase.”

Black holes consume stars. Extremism – and the concomitant intolerance – consumes nations. “My granddaughter, eight years of age, declined to wear a T-shirt because it had ‘Own the day’ printed on it,” he once wrote. “‘Too much responsibility,’ she explained to her parents.” That nexus between ownership and responsibility was beyond the narrow minds of those who claimed, by history, tradition, and religion, to be the sole owners of Ceylon/Sri Lanka. The country once lauded as the Switzerland in South Asia was headed down, long before the direction of her trajectory became evident.  

By the late 1970’s another exodus began, this time poor Lankans going to the Middle East to labour. The migrant workers belonged to all ethnicities and religions, but Sinhala-Buddhists, often from the rural heartland, predominated. Charles Sarvan, while teaching at the University of Bahrain, was a witness to the plight of these human-exports. Liebetraut Sarvan best captured the tragedy of it in a poem titled, Island of Silent Suffering. “where men work on land not owned/ living lives loaned to them…/ Eyes look tame, without resistance/ pliable, ready to take any form…/ Here love means money, in letters sent home” (Be it ever so red…). 

Charles Sarvan left the island in the sixties, but the island never left him. His public writings dealt with a wide range of subjects, yet Sri Lanka and her self-inflicted woes remained at the centre of his concern. Until his death, he remained, in a sense, a citizen of a Lanka that never was and is unlikely to ever be.

“Sri Lanka must wait for an ‘educated’ and ‘decent’ electorate to create a true democracy,” he wrote in his last published article on Colombo Telegraph. Helping create such an electorate was his main preoccupation as a public intellectual. In the last months of his life, he was intent on getting republished in Sinhala and English the little-known book by KS Palihakkara, Buddhism sans Myths and Miracles. He understood not just the need to save Lanka but also Buddhism from Sinhala-Buddhism. He ended his last Colombo Telegraph article with a quotation and hope, “Alerting and applying the words of Tagore in his Gitanjali 35: Where the mind is without fear, where reason has not lost its way, into that ‘heaven of freedom’ (for all) may the Island awake.”

I do not remember discussing Brecht with Charles Sarvan, a curious omission. In Motto, Brecht wrote, “In the dark times will there also be singing?/ Yes, there will also be singing./ About dark times.” 

That was what Charles Sarvan did, singing in dark times, about dark times – and about searching for ways out of dark times.

Free to Dream

Charles Sarvan was indifferent to afterlife. “No one who actually died has come back to tell us of her or his last moments of life,” he once wrote, adding that the subject should best remain in the province of creative writers. But of life he remained deeply interested, engaged, and committed. Every injustice mattered; every victim counted.

“I was and am a socialist…more by nature and instinct than by rigid doctrine,” he wrote in one of his last e mails. His worldview was best encapsulated by his own interpretation of the legendary cry from another time A Luta Continua: “The struggle is both one of against and for. It is against domination and subordination by one group (whatever the criterion of the group), particularly through the use of overwhelming force. On the other hand the struggle is for equality, acceptance, and inclusion.”

He was once called a moderate, and wondered whether the label fitted. Was moderation possible in certain contexts, he asked; such as when one half of the populace was deprived of every basic right simply because they were born female. He was referring to and reflecting on Afghanistan after the return of Taleban. Moderation should not exclude anger because anger was necessary, he wrote, quoting from Ayi Kwei Armah’s novel The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born: “The trouble with the people is that they are not angry enough.” Moving on to Stephane Hessel’s Time for Outrage, he added, “I think you and I would add to not angry enough: not angry with the right people, and not angry in right (constructive) ways.” But however outraged he was, in his public writing – and even in his private communications – he remained civil and polite, always measured, always thoughtful. He believed in words and factual arguments. Changing minds not bludgeoning heads was what he aimed for. And politeness counted for something. Where would civilisation be without basic civility, without common-or-garden decency? In the end, wouldn’t kindness, compassion, and decency be a better, stronger foundation for morality than religion or tradition? 

Charles Sarvan was a polymath. To read his articles meant learning something new, a name of a book, a forgotten fact, a little-known concept. He read widely and reflected on what he read. To quote two representative examples, he once wrote about the need for socialists to study and learn from liberation psychology: “Founded in the 1980s by the Salvadorian activist and psychologist Ignacio Martín Baró, it argues that we cannot isolate “mental health problems” from our broader societal structures. Suffering emerges within people’s experiences and histories of oppression. Liberation psychology sees people not as patients, but potential social actors in the project of freedom, valuing their own lineages, creativity and experience… It directly challenges the social, cultural and political causes of distress through collective social action.” On another occasion, commenting on Professor Laura Mersini-Houghton’s Before the Big Bang, he asked, tongue in cheek, if we are one of many universes in a much vaster Multiverse, “will these Multiverse have their own gods, belief-systems and values? Must we now think of a supreme god of all the Multiverse?” 

His mind might range from deep space to ancient history, but his feet were always firmly on the ground. His last years were spent in caring for his ailing wife. But he always found the time to read, write, and think. In one of his last e mails, he wrote of waiting to buy the paperback of Salman Rushdie’s Languages of the Truth. I don’t think he had the time. Within weeks, I heard of his death.

In his memoriam of Father Paul Casperz, Charles Sarvan used a line from a Thomas Wyatt poem, “…for good is the life ending faithfully.” That epitaph could be his as well. His was a life of the mind and of the heart, a life of unbroken faith, towards his principles and beliefs, family and friends. Could there be a harder struggle or a greater victory?

Note: The unattributed quotes are from personal e mails. The subheadings are from Liebetrau Sarvan’s poem collection, Be it ever so red…

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Latest comments

  • 25
    4

    Charles story is similar to millions of Tamils, driven away from SB Lanka. His life story reflects the sorry state of a failed nation who’s only post independent agenda was to make minority feel unwanted. If interested read Roy Ratnavel ‘s ” tell all book “prisoner number …. “.

  • 20
    3

    “Starting with the ‘1956 Revolution’ Tamils were edged out from universities and professions to make room for the island’s ‘real owners’, Sinhala-Buddhists. Now the Grandchildren of 1956 are trying to hold hostage a bankrupt country (unravelled by a regime they played a leading role in electing and enabling), using the cudgel of brain-drain. “
    Absolutely true. It wouldn’t matter if the said Sinhala Buddhists, on regaining their position, had adjusted to life in the 20th century, if not the 21st.But no, they sank into a quagmire of pseudo-Buddhism, egged on by shameless “monks” and rapacious politicians. In the process, they drove away the cream of intellect in the country, exchanging rational thinkers like Coomaraswamy and Kovoor (who just didn’t happen to be Sinhalese) for Gunadasa Amarasekara and Dharmapala . Some, like Carlo Fonseka, even switched sides. Gananath Obeysekera migrated. Now we have “scientists” like Raj Somadeva, who know exactly where the glass ceiling is, being very careful to say nothing about things like the Buddha’s visits to the island. And of course we had the late unlamented Jackson Anthony, who , along with the unpleasant Medhananda Chakravarti, succeeded in turning myths into “history “.

  • 18
    0

    A fitting tribute to Prof:Charles Sarvan by Tisaranee.
    There were several essays,on these pages by Prof.Sarvan but it evoked few comments.If at all those comments did not touch on the contents of his essays.
    I believe he was at STC.Gurutalawa.and as recorded here he had entered Peradeniya to read for his degree in English.
    Well now we all know that Tisaranee too was over there ,in those comparatively peaceful days.

    I used to often wonder how someone could have read so many authors in a short lifetime.,including Tisaranee .
    Gazing at this photo to the tribute reflects the inner self of a deeply humane man..

    • 0
      0

      Where did TG say she was at Peradeniya?

  • 2
    18

    Its probably a good idea to avoid CT . it seems like its authors are dropping like flies.

    • 11
      3

      Not a nice comment on the demise of a decent, well informed person.

      • 5
        9

        I apologize. I saw that Shaymon kicked the bucket barely a month and and Quite to my surprise this dude had picked the same path a year before.. but tickle me pink I only knew today. So this came as quite shock. when we were in our 30 40s 50s or 60s we did not have to handle this bad business only very rarely.

        I hardly ever read their chronical and literary works much as I only came here to propose my ideas ya know the story.

        • 10
          1

          Sadly many of them are leaving us. To my memory Shaymon died long ago.My father was caught by COVID left us in 2021.
          Miraculously enough, None of the aging Rajapaksa s were caught by any threats. To our surprise 😮☺😌 so how can we ever keep the faith on karmic retribution. Mythos led srilanka has made a paradise for the criminals as of today.

        • 7
          5

          a14455
          Very decent of you.
          Thanks.

  • 9
    13

    “The LSSP’s abandonment of anti-racism “
    That is a little over the top.
    The LSSP had no racist identity as a party.
    Its compromise on language was unprincipled at worst, but not racist.

  • 11
    3

    Beautiful, creative minds do not last long enough as we all dream for.

    Eureka, I believe I have found the reason. The Creator is just jealous of them because the worlds they create are so full of lush, beauty and grace, but not the world Creator created, which is filled with jealousy, greed, destruction, lie, theft, war ………obliteration of everything that is good. The Creator seems soaked deep in the world he created. But Charles Ponnuthurai Sarvan, much ahead of him in his race to find good, not infected by these unleashed tsunamis of sins, is now resting in the Best of the worlds. RIP!

    It is the kindness of Tisaranee Gunasekara to share a few words in memory of Charles Ponnuthurai, with us in CT. Thank you!

    • 9
      0

      Malli,
      I am impressed that you can write short passages too . 🙂

      • 4
        1

        😁
        Ha…
        Did it?

  • 11
    0

    Very sad to learn this.

    Agree or not ……. his was always interesting reading.

  • 13
    1

    Dear TG,
    I have no words to praise but thank you very much for a valuable article about this rare man who is a true Sri Lankan we can be proud of. I am sorry to miss him in Germany. Shakespeare’s writings are far more remarkable than the gossip of our Bandarawela jester, who tries his best to become the master of Shakespeare literature, and I will focus on writings of Dr Sarvan more in the near future. Unlike Dr. Sarvan, the joker’s bold line-filled comments bring me very often, back to the wise quotes of my elders (empty vessels make more noise).

    Today I woke up reading this article. By then it was around 5 am CET. When it comes from my author TG, I feel compelled to read it with much interest.. TG is one of my favorite CT article writers. Her writing style brings us into a world of memories of our race, culture and lifestyles. I don’t blame Bandaranaike for paving the way EU colonised countries in Africa and Asia. For me it’s a matter of generation and time. Having colonized for centuries, the people of those countries eventually underwent irreversible changes.

    • 13
      1

      I was supposed to go and meet Dr S sometime back now after , I read some of his CT articles, but for some reason I missed it. The kind of scholars who are fortunate enough to learn about the contrasting worlds between our common motherland and other continental lifestyles are true inter-intellectuals. With his knowledge of the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Africa, Dr. Saravan must be like a dictionary. Most of the people I write this do not have a similar personality in mind. Perhaps, Michael Ondatje (ceylonese dutch origin), Manel Fonseka (sinhalese) and Dr. Ananda Guruge (sinhalese buddhist scholar in CA) have similar experiences on similar life expriences.

      I really don’t think so, he lived his life with regrets because the knowledge he gathered about German culture and the situation he maintained should not have been a simple refugee migrating to Europe. It comforts me. As a regular traveler across Europe in non-English speaking countries, I met only a few educated Sri Lankans. Once I met an old Buddhist monk on the train (TGV) from FFM to Berlin.

    • 7
      8

      Dear Readers,
      .
      I’m too tired to comment here now. Please return here to read what I intend to write here by Saturday, the 14th.
      .
      See if you can anticipate the lies by LM that I will highlight by then. I cannot allow LM to get away with the deliberate lies that he posts.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe of 51B, Golf Links Road, Bandarawela

      • 7
        1

        OC,NV, MF and all intelligent commenters,
        .
        “See if you can anticipate the lies by LM that I will highlight by then. I cannot allow LM to get away with the deliberate lies that he posts.”.
        .
        Please let me kindly know what lies I might have spread?.
        .
        Volksmord in 89-92 by his heroic JVPrs?
        .
        SM aka Panini s total ignorance on the crucial questions on JVP/NPP about which he constantly dodge 🤔 us? .
        This jealous man seems to be suffering 😪 from Alzheimer stadium 4.
        May he be blessed with some facts.!!!
        .

        .

        • 3
          7

          Google Translate (GT after this) suggested that the German word that “leelagemalli” attempted to knock me down with is non-existent.
          .
          Almost no reader on this site understands German. He knows “Broken German”.
          .
          GT suggested this word: “Volksmond”. It means, “Colloquially“.
          .
          Try it yourselves.
          .
          For almost a year now, LM has been suggesting that I don’t know the Sinhalese language. How does he think that I survive in Bandarawela? I have very clearly told you that I won’t attempt to write Sinhala, although I can write in ugly letters if given pen and paper. I can read well enough, but much slower than English.
          .
          Try to understand, dear readers, that I’m genuinely a Sinhalese Man who writes the truth. After all, even now I could try ringing LM’s WhatsApp, but I won’t do so.
          .
          If he rings, it may be that I’ll pick up.
          .
          Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 483111444V)

          • 6
            0

            This man must be a sick person in many ways. Now he assumes I don’t know German. Having studied at university in Germany, Anyone must be proficient in the German language. Nothing but Volksmord is masskillings similar to a genocide.
            This man has never had the luck to see even a western country or Singapore, yet he acts like he knows everything. Who is he fooling_. I thought he would stop harassing me, but he starts hitting me again for no good reason. If he has nothing better to do, he could teach English to poor youths who struggle with basic English before they leave the country. Whenever I am forced to read from this poisonous reptile I get very upset. THE KIND OF BEASTS IN HUMAN DISGUISE are the real threat to our society. 🤔🤔🤔

            • 6
              0

              SM,
              Mind your own business, don’t WASTE our time anymore. Please dont.. I will have to complain about you again if u would remain attacking me or others further.
              Besides, I am not interested in you at all. I don’t care if you are Sinhalese or what race you belong to. We know you’re an alienated beast who abuses the web space for your own bragging rights.
              Right now, the world is very unhappy with the way Israelis treat innocent Palestinians living in Gaza / as they struggle with their lives.
              You expose your identity or others. What an ignorant person you must be.🤔🤔🤔🤔 I only replied because you added it, otherwise I’m so fed up with your abusive comments without knowing myself or others. You the kind of stupid people who hurt the world most are real curse. Period!

            • 3
              5

              You’re right on that.
              .
              I put this in the my normal browser that must be attuned to English:
              .
              Volksmord – meaning in German.
              .
              I got this: Volksmord -> Genocide
              .
              You can do whatever you want to. I cannot prevent an excuse for a human being from behaving in ways which insult the homo sapien species.
              .
              Panini Edirisinhe

              • 3
                0

                I must not argue with an idiot who seems to have the least knowledge about universal terms.

          • 6
            0

            “GT suggested this word: “Volksmond”. It means, “Colloquially“..
            .
            This is absolutely bs🤔🤔.Koheda yanne malle pol?. How could the kind of men ever be teachers? ???
            .
            What I meant was “Volksmord” not ” Volksmond”. Grrrrrr😪😪
            .
            Volk – folk
            Mord- murder
            Mond- moon
            .
            A man who can’t even check it in dics, how can ever be Gurus? .
            .
            “He knows “Broken German”?????? Who says it?

            • 3
              0

              LM,
              Does “Volksfart” mean self-important idiot in German?

        • 6
          0

          “Völkermord” is genocide I found.
          “Volksmord” seems to have a problem but to suggest “Volksmond” instead— does it make much sense?

          • 5
            0

            Dear SJ,
            There is a big difference between an emeritus professor and a joker. Thanks for proving it 🙂 Vokermord and Volksmord are both used in the press.
            E.g
            https://volksmord.de/
            .

  • 12
    5

    Dear Tisaranee,
    .
    Thanks for the article, which informed me that Charles Sarvan died a whole year ago. I had sent him a number of emails since then, but didn’t think much of his not responding.
    .
    Sarvan wrote
    very carefully, with difficulty. He understood when I asked him not to write unnecessarily to me, since it was more sensible for him to write once, for all those who were interested, and I could read his thoughts there.
    .
    Liebetraut and Charles Sarvan
    both appear to have died in 2022. Perhaps the wife went first. If she did, Charles would have been happy. I know that they were in a home for the aged in Germany. In which part of that largish country I do not know – he never told me. She was in advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease, but his own mind was clear. He would have fretted about what would happen to that beloved wife, had he gone first.
    .
    I never met Charles. You probably did, Tisaranee. They had children. didn’t they? Use your judgement, but you could tell us more; but then Charles rarely talked about his travails.
    .
    Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela

    • 7
      3

      Dear Readers,
      .
      ” I never met Charles. You probably did, Tisaranee. They had children. didn’t they? Use your judgement, but you could tell us more; but then Charles rarely talked about his travails.”
      .
      Why on earth does this clown from Bandarawela feel that he personally be known to any scholars? That is called inferiority complex. Many of us in developing world have that, however when it overflows , it is turning to be pathological. The mere truth about Panini is he cannot answer even a simple question 🤔 raised by some commenters about NPP. Alas our self proclaimed Pundits. After listening to eulogy speech delivered by Prof Sunil Ariyaratne today in the Funeral of Jackson, I could not believe but true how shameless liars they should be. They wear Prof titles ??????I think 🤔 some of our so called educated seniors are real human beasts.
      Good luck to my motherland 🙏🙏🙏🙏

    • 2
      5

      Charles Sarvan was a saint, if ever there was one. To say that he was also intellectually tough enough to face up to controversy is not to be saying something contradictory.
      .
      He deserved this obituary tribute paid by Tisaranee. He also deserved to have a few other tributes paid to him by those who knew him.
      .
      It is disgusting that “leelagemalli” should have sullied our memories with his fabrications. I don’t like the idea of mingling the tributes paid to Charles, with exposure of the lies told by LM. It cannot now be helped.
      .
      Long before my first visit to Colombo Telegraph, I had read this article by Sarvan:
      .
      https://www.stcg62group.org/PDF/Articles/44_Recollections_of_STCG_by_Charles.pdf
      .
      There was another, better because more complex, article by him on the same subject on the web, but I cannot lay my hands on it. I can’t remember how I came by his email address; it may have been given to me by one of the Hoole brothers. Charles and I exchanged quite a few emails, but we never spoke to each other. Never met, should be obvious.

    • 5
      1

      “you could tell us more; but then Charles rarely talked about his travails.”
      If a man does not talk about things, that is by choice.
      Should we not let him rest in peace?

      • 5
        1

        Dear readers, I think many of you will disagree with this beast’s ~sinhala man~abuse of his pen against me. All because I am against JVP. However, it is up to you to agree with him or not. He is a liar, a hero/worshipper, a person who will do anything to accept cheap recognition.
        /
        I think CT readers should decide, my intention is not to mislead any of you. I am against Rajapaksa politics from the beginning and how they have cheated the same nation again and again. I am also against the mainstream media in Sri Lanka which spreads lies and misleads.
        .
        . I don’t seek recognition like some sick men do on CT. Actually, I volunteer to help some of our elders in my country almost every year. That’s what I learned from my late mother. It is nice to help the elderly without expecting anything. I think some people like Human touch, Jit and few others will agree with me here. I really don’t like toxic people.
        /
        CT should recheck the COMMENT content of some alien commenters on this platform. Acting like a teenager as a senior, making the same mistakes over and over again is unbearable

  • 5
    0

    Appreciated Charles Ponnuthurai Sarvan‘s masterpieces on CT. He’s irreplaceable.

  • 2
    6

    The most damnable lie by “leelagemalli” is to be found here:
    .
    “I was supposed to go and meet Dr S sometime back now after , I read some of his CT articles, but for some reason I missed it.”
    .
    That sentence is taken from one of LM’s comments above. Don’t other readers find that a clear statement that LM had contact with Sarvan, outside of CT articles, and comments? That is a black lie.

    I saw this Thisaranee article almost the moment it came out, without any comments. It was a shock to me. I delayed responding, allowing the sad news to sink into my mind. Sarvan meant a lot to me. In my very first comment, however, I have said, “he never told me [the part of Germany that he was in].
    .
    It was I who told LM that Sarvan and wife were in a home for the aged, and asked if he could look up the old couple. LM must have said, “yes”. He has a certain desire to help people.
    .
    I told (that is, “wrote to”) Sarvan that a few visits from LM could be arranged, but there was no response to the suggestion. He would have seen some of LM’s comments. LM confessed to me that Sarvan’s writing was difficult. He has not commented on them.
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/sri-lanka-democracy/
    .

    • 2
      6

      Charles Sarvan would have assessed that it would be disastrous to get know an opinionated half wit like LM.
      .
      Even getting into conversation with the man is pain. Please think of keeping away from expressing opinions yourself.
      .
      I’m tired of you rubbish; time to get some sleep.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe

    • 5
      0

      Unfortunately, this stupid person has no comment without refering my user name. TO you readers please see below. That is the truth.
      .
      I really don’t want to argue with a joker about this. I learned about Dr. Sarvan from a professor at Saarbr[cken University. However, I mentioned that his articles are difficult and I don’t have much time to spend readin his writings. I also asked some Tamil friends living in Europe about Dr. Sarvan. Then only the Bandarawela joker informed me that the old couple was in a senior home in Germany. I really wanted to do so, but me being not a retired person, i dont have enough time to cover everything. Manel and good hearted individuals know it very much how i am in to doing the kind of buddhistic acts. All along my uni education, I had been looking after an old couple. That was under a voluntary organisation. That couple died before my own mother died 8 years ago.
      Obviouslly, It’s not my nature to seek recognition, but this B-clown does it 24 hours a day for some mental issues. I know many Tamil Sri Lankans in Europe to get my information, why should I rely on a nitwit who knows nothing but promoting hate?

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    I’m sorry if what ought to have been a stream of praise for Charles Sarvan has become almost a battle between LM and me. Am I to blame? I will leave it for others to assess.
    .
    Lots of factors are dragging my own spirits down but I don’t want to allow that to submerge our tribute to this wonderful human being.
    .
    I may not be able to say all that I want to say here before comments end. I shall continue my tentative comments below this Sam Panditha article:

    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/abolishing-the-presidency-two-cunning-foxes-plan-the-unexpected/
    .
    Charles tried to make his writing readable; instead of quoting Shakespeare in early modern English, he would often substitute a sensitive retelling. His essays were often difficult not because of the language, but because of the complexity of the content. He never accepted that he should be limited by his own ethnicity. He stove to see what all of us humans had in common.
    .
    However, it was when he was dealing with the suffering of the weakest and most neglected that he was at his most compelling. It would be fitting to conclude here with this link; three and a half hours earlier today dealing with the suffering of those who came here as indentured labour:
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbU0fZwPSkQ

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