20 March, 2019

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Richard De Zoysa: The Other Side Of Paradise

By Uditha Devapriya

Uditha Devapriya

Uditha Devapriya

The first thing that struck you about him was his voice. Polished, elegant, and not a little jarring, it helped explained his figure, which was at once filled with resolve and fear. It was these two qualities, perhaps, that explained how self-contradictory the man was: a scion of the elite, yet fighting against the same values that same elite fought so hard to solidify against everyone else. He paid a price for this act of rebellion and that price was his life, but upon his death he sealed his name for posterity. Life’s like that, I suppose: you remember the dead and you never forget the murdered.

Had he lived, Richard de Zoysa would have been 58. He was little more than 32 when he was killed, and brutally so, away from the solitude of his house and family. This is not a politically coloured tribute to the man, but a take on the fields of activity he took to: the theatre, the cinema, and literature.

I am no thespian and I suppose not being one makes it difficult for me to comment on the theatre. I was born long after Richard passed away and hence, it will take nothing short of a miracle for me to assess his worth as a playwright and actor (onstage, that is). His credits in the theatre were many and while not all of them could be regarded as monumental (they have long since been forgotten), it is certainly true that even with the lesser among them he came out remarkably as an actor. The only play which featured him, that I have read with any sort of interest, was Regi Siriwardena’s take on the Soviet dissident Nikolai Bukharin, The Long Day’s Task, in which Richard was not only the courageous dissident destined for the guillotine, but also a key shaper in the tone, the nuances, and the general direction of the plot.

Richard de ZoysaBeing a film buff, I was always more entranced by his credits in our cinema. Richard de Zoysa was there in two masterpieces that won praise in (almost) every quarter, Tissa Abeysekara’s Viragaya and Lester James Peries’ Yuganthaya. In the former, he is an idealist, a character who was not featured in Martin Wickramasinghe’s novel but who was scripted in to its adaptation by the director to provide a point of reference for the largely socialist tilt it manifested towards the end. In the latter, arguably the pinnacle of his career, he is the fervent revolutionary, the prodigal son of the merciless capitalist, who turns against his own family in his quest for social justice. His performance as Malin in that film, for obvious reasons, deserves scrutiny, but only after a brief perusal of his life.

Richard Manik de Zoysa was born in Colombo on March 18, 1958. He was the product of a mixed marriage: his father was Sinhalese and his mother, who later became a key voice for bereaved mothers, wives, and daughters, was Tamil. Young Richard was sent to S. Thomas’ College in Mount Lavinia, which had an active theatre culture and where, under the patronage of the then Head Master and Sinhala teacher D. S. Jayasekera, his penchant for the subject was encouraged. He was also a debater, while he won the Best Actor award at the Shakespeare Drama Competition in 1972.

He came from a particular social background and this, it must be admitted, explains the many contradictions his later career as an activist bred. As I pointed out, he was part of the elite, but being part of the elite he naturally saw the many ills and tumours which were being bred and perpetuated by them. He rebelled, naturally, and to this end sought refuge in progressive social movements. To date, he remains the only serious spokesperson for the New Left who emerged from the English-speaking intelligentsia, a feat no other person achieved. As a journalist too, he shone: during his last few years he was the head of the Colombo office of the prestigious Inter Press Service.

And in a large sense, those two film roles solidified the image of him as someone who detested compromise, who had a vision for the world and the society he was part of, and who wasn’t beset by the many fault-lines that encountered him as he set about reforming his community. In Yuganthaya, as the son of the ruthless Simon Kabilana, Malin (Richard) gave the impression of being a crusader at odds with his physique. At the beginning of that remarkable but overlooked film, we get it that he and his friend Aravinda (Douglas Ranasinghe) dabbled in Marxism in London, but we also get it that while Aravinda has shrugged off all that in his quest to rise socially, Malin hasn’t exactly let go of that (even as his own family jokes about it and as we are deceived into thinking that he will become as indifferent as every other child of the colonial bourgeoisie sent abroad to study).

Yuganthaya is considered by a great many critics as the weakest in Martin Wickramasinghe’s Koggala trilogy (it was written after Gamperaliya but before Kaliyugaya, even though the events in it take place after the latter), and it was left to Lester James Peries to salvage it from the political to bring it to realm of the personal. He did this by focusing the energy and the tension of the plot on the relationship between Simon and Malin. To this end, he went (whether unwittingly or not, we never can tell) for two actors who, by coincidence, represented the exact same political sympathies they exhibited in the film: Gamini Fonseka as Simon, and Richard as Malin.

Gamini was by then a recluse, a virtual loner who had bucks to spend and who had become to our cinema what the likes of Bogart, Wayne, and Burt Lancaster had been to Hollywood. Richard, on the other hand, was more fragile, sensitive, and refined. Gamini’s depiction of Simon was wholly aligned with the image of his character as a coarse, rough, by-his-own-bootstraps businessman, while the image of his son as a more detached, less vulgar gentlemen added to the film’s inner turmoil, as he turned to the burgeoning trade union movement against his own family. This came out even in how these two spoke: Simon was the gruffer of the two, Malin the more soft-spoken.

Actors are by default flamboyant and the more flamboyant among them create an image which outlasts their life. So it was with Chaplin, so it was with some of our own actors and thespians. More often than not, this image subsisted on a dichotomy. In the case of Chaplin, that was a dichotomy between good and evil, with the latter represented as an externalised force which the man’s characters combated.

With Richard too, such a dichotomy existed, even in those few roles he played in the cinema: even as Malin, you never forgot that, try as he might, he was always bonded to a class background that was incongruent with his beliefs, so much so that this conflict could only be resolved if that background was externalised. He could do this in only one way: by openly spurning his father. And so, in that celebrated finale, Richard is carried away triumphantly by his cohorts in the Trade Union, while a despondent Simon looks on, with a close-up to his face which Sarath Amunugama would, in a speech delivered at the second Lester James Peries and Sumitra Peries Oration held four years ago, succinctly compare to the cold, harrowing, and tragic faces in Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin.

It jarred, not surprisingly, when he was cast as the wayward son in Parakrama Niriella’s Yashorawaya. No one can seriously contend that he was miscast in that series, but the point is that because we had got used to a set image of the man as a blue-eyed, yet flawed, idealist, it was not easy to get used to him as a prodigal outsider. Small wonder.

In Yashorawaya there is, barring the elder son (played to perfection by Lucky Dias), no perfect person: even the father (G. W. Surendra) is a pretender, and the other son (Gamini Hettiarachchi) is a drunken slob, but with Richard’s character you came across a closeted, not so open, but as indulgent a child, so closeted that upon his exit from the plot you neither knew nor cared about what happened to him.

He could have graced our cinema more. Could have, but could not. Like the Lepidoptera of the poem (of the same name) that he wrote, his broken wings and his crippled mind, which left us on February 19, 1990, could not be restored. In that poem he wrote of the ants of time, which carry away fragile specimens of humanity to be cast aside, forgotten, and belittled. Such a fate, however, was not to meet Richard: as I pointed out, his death only empowered his legacy, and his legacy, which extends not just to the virtually monolingual elite of Cinnamon Gardens (who, for reasons still unfathomable to me, have appropriated him as a symbol of lost causes relevant to their milieu when he was not) but to the rest of this country as well.

Richard de Zoysa, actor, thespian, writer, and journalist continues to be appropriated and continues to be celebrated. Should we celebrate or should we not? Is there reason for lament or is there not? These are, arguably, trivial questions. More important than any of these is this: has he been forgotten? The simple answer, no.

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Latest comments

  • 9
    2

    A beautiful (Not physically) human being was taken away for no reason!
    Who was found guilty? Who was punished?
    Big black mark to the nation!
    The so called International community did not speak up, because he was found to be with commies! Shame on them too!

    • 6
      0

      Why not you guys are that interested the manner how MR underground men even let many other beautiful human beings disspeared during his terms.

      That is just 30 years after R Soysa was murdered. Anyways, I will not be happy whenever I remind
      the way that killers (either UNP or JVP) made their records in the late 80ties those inncoient young ones.

      Today when AKD and that off eyed Wasantha S and the like men shout loudly as they can in terms of any injustice being done to the folks ? Their energies had then been high criminal. No my batchmates at Peradeniya would come back – no their parents would ever find it easy to make their minds not havin gtheir sons live … thanks go to JVP.

      JVPers are so theoretical even after 30 years. I wonder why the men have not made tangible improvement in the winning of the hearts of people.
      Their voices are okay, but i believe lankens in general corruption and abuses friendly folks. They dont mind their lovely ones would have been abducted, raped or murdered by Rajakashe men.
      Even today, Rajapakshe visting temples sending his devious message as no other: It is just to stay fooling the nation

      • 1
        9

        Can you name few Rajapakse abducted and killed?

        • 11
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          srinath.gunaratnam

          “Can you name few Rajapakse abducted and killed?”

          You ask this question every other month as a religious ritual. When names are given you should save them on your laptop (hope not a present from MR) then use it as the reference whenever you need the names to perform your ritual.

          I suspect you derive sadistic pleasure reading out the names of those killed during MR’s reign of terror.

          You need to see a psychiatrist.

          • 6
            0

            Dont ask him to go to UK psychiastrists… we justneed to protect those medical professionals from the kind of creatures. THanks.

          • 0
            0

            Native Veddah:
            Why are you wasting your advice about psychiatric care to one who is beyond help and is, as the saying goes, a (huge) part of the problem, not a part of the solution?

            • 2
              0

              Emil van der Poorten

              “Why are you wasting your advice about psychiatric care to one who is beyond help and is, as the saying goes, a (huge) part of the problem, not a part of the solution?”

              I never trusted the abilities of psychiatrists to cure any mental problem, particularly paranoia.

              I thought Gunaratnam can be part of controlled experiment to test psychiatrists’ claims, analyses, abilities, ……

              Pardon me for not clearly stating my intentions.

        • 4
          0

          Gotabaya Rajapakshe – mediation- thorugh White Vanning – provable abduction of a blind folded man – called Sunil -was released after few hours after the news tremoured the world and the particular person had the chance to live further.

          Gotabaya Rajapakshe – his men killed Lasantha W -all is clear but the investigations are underway

          Gotabaya Rajaakshe- Cartoonist -Ekaniligoda went missing, made went missing, by Gotabaya mediated men from the Army -all is being investigated

          Gotabaya Rajapakshe – has directly organised the open ABDUCTION of former Army Commander today-Field Marshal-Sarath fonseka everyone got to see but Srinaths were able to see away.

          Mahinda Rajapakshe – is believed to have abuducted young women and raped -during his Rascal Days in Beliatta – please get close to Mervin De Silva- to get more- since he was a peeper and torch bearer of the all the incidents

          Basil Rajapakshe- the record is high- please google to get more of his kind of all frauds (high crimes even if he is not tied to any known murders)

          Namal Rajapskhe/Yoshita Rajakashe/Mummy of them Hiroshima Rajapakshe VVIP family – Thadjudeen Murder Direction mediation -investigations are being underway, Time will have to bring the convictions

          I have been away from the country for the last 3 decades, all these are my information -but guys that live in country will be able to add more to continue the list.

          • 0
            2

            So in your list, there is none Abducted and raped by Mahinda?

            PS: Lasantha Wickramatunga/ Eknaligoda are not a good journalists and not at all a patriots!
            That is not a reason to kill them, Whoever has done it must be punished. Only terrorists and traitors must be eliminated like CIA!

            Why don’t your ffffing government does not do that having all the resources? That is the million dollar question.

            I am still waiting to see one person meet justice for mass killings!

            CIA FBI MI5 FXXXCID CHIABOC BC CID NIB …

            If Rajapakses have managed to hoodwinked all of them, Then there is no other one better than to run the country!

            • 3
              0

              So do you think if a journlist would not be good – then he should be murdered out ? OR what do you want us to get in terms of state killings – through direct INVOLVMENT of MR administration ?

              Wait and see, the day the bubble would be exploded is not that far.

              If not today, tomorrow they the Authorities have to reveal- all the untold stories behind all the lags of crime investigations.

              That was the first put on the list, at the time MY3 and Ranil were given the mandate. We still believe, they will serve us with Justice.

            • 2
              0

              Like any villager who survived by any abusive acts being openly allowed by MR adminsitration – like for example – the highly abuses carried out by Pradeshieeya canddiates and their supporters – these people would never have brains to see, that these were highly abuses. …
              Likewise, even if you continue your greener pasture in the UK, cant know the real bits of Rajapakshe high crimes. U can feel them. But I know even if I live in EUrope, from my famliy circles, my colleagues from Unveristies, how they down their felt at the time Rajaakshe murderous rule had been that dicatative.

              Beleive or not, your efforts on ironing out Rajaapkshe mess will not succeed, it is certain.

    • 9
      3

      Why you Srinath cry in two different modes ?

      Are u at all normal ?

      You praise by every way the murderous men MR clan. But in the same time to add the kind of comment on TV presenters whose was lost 3 decades ago.

      Do you have a good psychologist in the vicinity of london you ve been living ? Please have your brain checked Srinath.

      And would also like to know why you did not join MR to his trip heading to China today ?

      • 2
        0

        It is just the guy is hired by Rajaakshes.

        Please read his comments cautiously, for him there is no other leaders than Rajapakshes to govern this country.

        • 0
          1

          I think Gotabhaya Rajapakse is better!
          Proven Go getter. Has seen the world!

          Can you name anyone else to run the country?

          • 3
            0

            srinath.gunaratnam

            “I think Gotabhaya Rajapakse is better!
            Proven Go getter. Has seen the world!”

            Of course, he is a go getter.
            He got a large amount of cash and gold from Vanni which belonged to the people, Avant Garde deals, ………. MIG deals, commission on arms purchases, …..

            He took a lot of lives as well.

          • 0
            0

            @srinath.gunaratne

            Didn’t you know we already elected our Saviours

            They will bring us to the Promised Land!

            They are named Ranil and Maithri

            Wait and see

  • 3
    5

    Dear Uditha,

    For your info: Richerd De Z had not been murdered. It was a natural death. Killing, disappearances, torturing etc., had happened only during the last regime. When that particular death happened, the country was running by a team of Aliens from Mars. The present PM was so innocent right through out his political career and he was not in SL during that period.

    Digging out the past and trying to upset the present day ‘sanhidiyawa’ is punishable. If you continue to do so, we have no option but to send you the special police team, designed to curtail ‘racism’.

    Best regds
    Yahapalana cleaners in CT

    • 6
      2

      Max,

      we thank to your mums and dads and teachers to have given you a vision.

      We never meant that MR regime is the only administration killed thatn many. BU tone thing should be clear the manner MR et al treated own citizens also in the aftermath of the war became clear to anyone with a little brain. Sorry, we have no idea you the ilk may have brains the size of a needle head.

      You perfectly experienced, while living in the country (though I am out of the country), how devious they have been towards own folks.
      Innocient people s votes have been cheated for their political survivial thanking to Derana and Hiru.

      And Meeharakas of your kind never sensed it.
      I now believe, there should be pathological reason you MAXEs to behave so.

      So long your ilk are the majority, we the minorities will have to suffer all along.
      Absaranai apita.

      • 0
        2

        Hi Seela again, after a lapse of couple of weeks.

        //Meeharakas of your kind never sensed it//.

        Happy to know a self exile octogenerian who still remember a very much helpful creature to the farming community, local.

        Once, Robert McNamara said, the last ‘meeharaka’ leaves the paddy field of Sri Lanka, the day of prosperity begins. (Not the same set of words but the meaning).

        Like Robert, aunty Seela is zero when it comes to locality. (Aunty, you have the liberty to be jubilant for the comparison).

        Better be in wherever your there. Continue to write “MR et al” bad, like a ‘mantra’ with or without facts as, at this age, you have to be occupied.

        By the way, what are the plans for up coming xmas?

        • 2
          0

          Martin Luther had a dream – I too have a dream.
          I want you MAXEs to see it right.
          You guys are easily manipulated by political goons.
          Never support them if you and your generation intend a better future.

          Weihnnachten -is being ready for us over here. My wish is current politicians to have all their strength to corner Rajapakshes. That alone would be more than enough, since they have been the headache to all liberal folks in the island nation.

          I dont think OBAMA would keep travelling to his european destinations- to Dr Merkel even after silly Trump starts his office in Jan 17.
          But OUR former to travel to CHINA makes me very worried.
          With lot more being reveealed and much more to dig even deeper, the authorties seem facing all difficulties in terms of getting Rajakashes fully CORNERED. However truths have to succeeded if not today tomorrow.
          Jaya wewa !

          • 0
            2

            Seela, no one wont be able to manipulate me. I have the capacity to see what is right and what is wrong.

            //My wish is current politicians to have all their strength to corner Rajapakshes//.

            Says it all. You mean to say, My3pala, Rajitha, CBK, RW etc., are better than MR? Are you in right sense Seela?

            My upbringing does not allow me to laugh at oldies but I cant stop myself Seela. Sorry.

            • 1
              0

              No doubt, there should be something wrong in your upbringing not to have got it yet. Good luck

            • 1
              0

              Max- woudl you please explain more about your special upbringing ?

              That can surely help the masses – as to why many behave like MAXES even after all prima facie evidences being revealed about high profile frauds of Rajapakshes.

              More we know about MAX style mentalities, much better we will learn to adjust. Do something revealing your background please… timeworthy actions for lanken folks

              • 0
                1

                It is called wisdom, surely you do not posses it.
                Only a dumb idiot would expect yahapalanaya from people like My3pala, Rajitha, CBK, RW.

            • 2
              0

              Max, please help me the logic to get it as to why your Athigaru
              intentionally paid a visit to Mangalaramada run by that amok runner – Ammpitiya Sumanya chevara dariya ?
              That created all high harms making us sinahalya like so provocative.
              But tamil gs standing stand still while hearing those derogatory provcations sent a message across to the globe, ” we the tamils are even more civilized and patient”. That was the consequence of all the set of consecutive provcations being made by that MAD monk….

              all these coudl have been avoided, if MAD Rajapakshe had brains not to mediate in that notorious temple.
              Why a former head of state to bheave like street rascal – how would you explain – considering your self proclaimed -UPBRINGING ?
              Pleae come with a constructive and comphrehensible answers to my questions.

              I have been awaiting to read from you next.
              Thank you. May god help to see it right LET ALONE today.

            • 3
              0

              max moron

              “My upbringing does not allow me to laugh at oldies but I cant stop myself Seela. Sorry.”

              Were you brought up by old monks in the local monastery? It says all about you and the reason as to why you continue to carry their b***ls, whether shine or rain.

              Thanks.

              Good to know about your background. By the way I don’t blame your parents, in fact I sympathise with them. They did the right thing when they decided to get rid of you.

    • 5
      2

      I am on chemo.

      My last wish is to see a country – free from MAXES; Sumansekaras, Udaya Gonthadipla, Wimal Buruwanses.

      I hope the country will be blessed with more of SRILALs, Sirimals, Leelawathies, Rarityminds, NativeVeddas and the like goodies. They always fought for a better society.

      Maxes will be rotten in hell – cetainity.

      God bless Srilanka

      • 2
        0

        We wish your kind thoughts would be fulfilled LET alone in few years of now.

        All the best for your health.

      • 4
        0

        Desperate Lanken

        “I am on chemo.”

        I am sorry to hear your medical condition.

        Wish you a speedy recovery.

        • 3
          0

          Thank you NV, I am very thankful the way you do your job to top. Maxes SHOULD get it right if not today tomorrow.
          Please help them. They need more of your support than appeared to be.
          God bless for you all – that do a great service to change the system for better lanka – I missed Ben Hurling, Please greet him from me – if my times would have stopped. Be blessed – NV, I am telling you the truth – I always appreciated your efforts. Thanks once again.

      • 0
        2

        Desperate, I too wish you a good health + some brains. Concentrate on your health condition now and we can argue once you get better.

        It seems, your a believer of God. Hence I again wish, God bless you.

        • 1
          0

          Even Guantanamo prisoners do it well at some times.

          Your kindness shown to Desperate proves that.

          Only problem as we see it, you are just caricatured by Rajaakshe men. That is comparable to the manner they continue it with Derana and Hiru.

          I notice each time, when Derana bring their daily news -they give more time to display the visuals of Rajakahes from theri telecasting times than to on going efforts of the gvt.
          Hiru does it from the day o1 since their man is also arrested nd kept in jail by the current govt.

          • 0
            2

            Appu, lets assume Derana or any other news channel gives prominence to MR. (Its not the truth. Except govt run media and govt controlled media, other channels do give coverage to the opposition but not ‘more’ time as you blindly claim).

            On what principle of democracy that is wrong Appu?

            You guys, with the help of millions of US $, courtesy of US govt, as of the latest revelations of leaked cables, had managed, marginally toppled previous regime. But still 58 lakhs of SL voters were with them.

            Treat to that portion of the voters cannot be undemocratic at all.

            • 2
              0

              Are u sure still 5.8 Millions among the gullible incl you are still there to support the rascals ? You may be day dreaming ;) Anyways, that says everything about your upbringing. Birds of a feather flock together.
              Tell me one good reason why the bugger to leave for China even if people s power made it very clear that NO MORE MR devious politics can be acceptable ?

              I dont think that all the mentioned candiates are better than MR, but what matters is they are human.

              Did you remember the saga – toy pistol man chased the visiting MPs in Hambantota ? What was the answer from MR as the head of state to that ? ” they are just our men – they had been provocated by visting unp mps”.. did he at all as the leader ever criticised the way those thugs assaulted ?
              Today Mr Sirisen would never do so – he is slow, for his own reasons, but we are happy with his consensual politics than the thuggish politics of MR.
              Once the vulnerable folks are made more aware of the facts- keep coming – then the day of Mahinda will instantnyl be disspearing.
              The day is no miles away- we see the light at the end of the tunnel. Bravo. we are for a better future – free from Rascals being the majority.

              • 0
                3

                Appu,

                If your silly point to taken, we have to dump PM too, for the simple fact that he haboured many criminals like infamous gonavala sunil – a notorious gang rapist. CBK and the Beddagane S are too well known. List goes. The “ahimsaka” my3, lavishly given an organisation position to the pistol man recently.

                Need more?

                My intention is not to disturb to your right to be dreaming. But, this bloody undemocratic, pacha govt’s days are numbered.

                If not the “ahinsaka’s” intervention at the last minute with the infamous letters of replacing officials of SLFP, you could have been able to see where’s 58 lakhs were!

                Appu, better you say openly your real mental status like this. “I hate Rajapakshes because I dont like them whatever their contribution to the development of this country. Hate is in my blood. I am a born hater. Therefore I hate Rajapakshes”.

                Then no one is coming against you. Simple.

                • 0
                  0

                  Max s state is pathological and incurable too. No need to waste a minute for and with him.

                  Basta.

                  Good luck MAX.

                • 1
                  0

                  “Hate is in my blood.” He says to Appu, as we got it…

                  Then Rajapakshes should have all the followings in their blood
                  a) Devious nature
                  b) Rascal nature
                  c) Uncultured nature
                  d) Not giving the priority to meritocracy but to mediocracy
                  e) Killing and facist nature
                  f) All hypocrite nature

                • 0
                  1

                  They don’t like the class of Mahinda, That is the problem!
                  All Sinhalese Buddhist are gullible racists! That is the law.

                  • 2
                    0

                    srinath.gunaratnam

                    “All Sinhalese Buddhist are gullible racists!”

                    Of course, they are however Sinhalese and Buddhists simply stupid and vote for 8 measures of rice from the Moon.

                  • 0
                    0

                    Who areu sinhalese buddhists ? What is the real definition of them ?

                    I think we have only buddhist in srilanka. Most of them are just buddhists,becuase their elders were buddhists. That is it.

                    Sinhalese buddhist – as i feel Rajapakshes marketed to stay in Power. Basta.

                    You als septuaranian, should know it better Srinath.

                    You please try to realize who you are – and those who known to you are SINHALESE BUDDHISTS ? Unfortunately, we cant help you more.

            • 2
              0

              Democracy is what we all respect. No doubt about that.
              But in terms of spreading lies or devious and malicious statements based on just hear says- telecasters can continue foolign the listnersbeing caught by hidden agendas. Latter style of news telecasts have dominated during the high days of MR rule. We are not reborn, but can well recall the days of Hudson Silva who used all the filthy langague to attack anyone MR men thought deserved it. Remember Max ? Is that same for successive moderators in today s SL ? ITN and Rupawahini are almost unbiased today. Why is that Max ?

              Today, I ll bet you – if any good moves are being introduced by current rulers, Derana would still do nothing enough to pass it bieng unabised to all listerners instead they abuse their telecasting times focusing on MR wonders. Why Derana kept away – at the time, Mad Monk sag in BATTICALO was doing all high harms to sinahala people. We are all not ” Sinhala buddhists” -but we are just born buddhists – Sinhala buddhists are the ones go after Rajakashes and their extremists.

              We know perfectly – that Derana accordingy Aluthgamage came to live thanks to Rajaapskeh. So they are made servile:

              • 3
                0

                Sama

                ” ITN and Rupawahini are almost unbiased today. Why is that Max ? “

                Firstly, Max moron needs a brain to understand the qualitative changes in media.

                Secondly, patriotic b***s carriers chose to believe in what they want to believe.

                Thirdly, they have no urge to search for truth.

                B***s carriers and truth don’t mix therefore one should not take them seriously.

      • 1
        0

        I am also under therapy.

        My wish should be clear to all – it is a country free from Rajapakshes.

        They did all harm to the nation even if collectivity succeeded elemination of LTTE terror.

        Here in Europe, how MR administration appointed their men to foreign missions – proved their ablities.

        In 70ties or earlier, only the educated people had the chance to be the representatives of foreign missions, but MR administration and its unique stupidity created all the mess.
        Locals should be fed with facts. I am sorry the media seem to have done not enough in the line of passing information to village level.
        Today, it has been no easy current regime to perform clean since most working for Prez are highly corrupted men, that to have records in the former regime.
        So I can accuse the prez of all the lag- it is srilanka where almost every seond is pro-corrution than other way around.

      • 0
        0

        Dear DL,

        Wish you a speedy recovery,

        My vision is John Lennon’s Imagine!

        But you and I do not live in such a society.

        If the world is so black and white the worlds best democracies would not spend billions on espionage and arms manufacturing!

        I wish Sri Lanka will have leaders that can alleviate poverty,
        While you and I argue about democracy, majority in Sri Lanka go home in sardine packed buses, try to meet ends meet, Weep when they can not make their young ones happy.

        • 1
          0

          srinath.gunaratnam

          “While you and I argue about democracy, majority in Sri Lanka go home in sardine packed buses, try to meet ends meet, Weep when they can not make their young ones happy.”

          When did you realize this was the case?

          Has it ever occurred to you that this island is being ruled by majoritarian Sinhala/Buddhists politicians and the state institutions are being manned by Sinhala/Buddhists?

          “I wish Sri Lanka will have leaders that can alleviate poverty,”

          I am surprised you too are sensitive to human suffering and have humanist side to your normal self.

          The leaders will always be keen on alleviating themselves from poverty to enriching their family every way possible. Don’t count on the leaders.

          • 0
            0

            When did you realize this was the case?

            If you have not read my posts, This is the reason I wanted the previous government remained, They were delivering jobs to the poor, development to the villages.

            Sri Lanka does not have a ethnic problem, It has social inequality! lack of rule of law and basic human rights.

            Does it look like the present nitwits give two cents to the poor?
            whether Tamil, Sinhalese or Muslim!

            Well why don’t you try to provide a solution for a change instead of blaming everyone hold a view opposed to you!

    • 2
      0

      max moron

      ” When that particular death happened, the country was running by a team of Aliens from Mars.”

      You once told us that you are a film buff. Does that mean you have to find something irrelevant from sci-fi films to stupid analogy?

      Did the aliens bring rice from the Mars?

      • 2
        1

        Native – a sales rep of Tamil chauvinism,

        Here is an humble suggestion to you.

        Come up with a full article to CT with all your ideas. Instead of putting your 5 cents to every other comment of others who represent different schools of thought.

        Title could be anything of Ceylon, Serendib, Sinhale, (Oh.. thats a taboo word in this era of ‘sanhidiyava’) Sri Lanka, Heladiva, Thun Sinhale, Illankei or any other name that you wish to.

        Think about it. Your vocabulary is stunning, I must say.

        Looking forward.

        Cheers

        • 0
          0

          Native is a nihilist, He has no opinions but thrashing Sinhalese Buddhists! His hatred is boundless!

          • 2
            0

            srinath.gunaratnam

            “He has no opinions but thrashing Sinhalese Buddhists! His hatred is boundless!”

            Someone has to thrash the Sinhala/Buddhist racists.

            I have to do it myself because the Sinhalese and Buddhists are either stupid or scared to thrash the bigoted Sinhala/Buddhists though I don’t believe or subscribe to violence.

            “Native is a nihilist,”

            Could you explain.

    • 1
      0

      Richard De Soyza was EVEN more fearless than Lasantha in terms of seeking a greater change in lanken society. He thoughts were very provocative – but was nicely presented as no other in that time.

      I have no doubt, had he been live upto the MR Era, he would surely have been in the list of MR adminsitration – like Lasantha, Ekanaligoda, or the others who are not known to us.

      I have no doubt, he would have been tortured to the very same manner, they did it with Thadjudeen, Lasantha or others.

      Max you can be happier, that MR is free from the allegations in term sof Soyza Murder….

      In late 80ties to earliy nineties, I lost dozens of mates – they were just registered at local Universities. Luckily I had the luck to leave the country.

  • 13
    1

    Suspect 1: Ranasinghe Premadasa
    Suspect 2: Inspector Ronnie Gunasinha
    Suspect 3: ASP Lal Sriyantha Darmasiri Ranchagoda
    Suspect 4: OIC Crimes Bodeniya Gamlath Gedara Devasurendra

    If any of these animals are alive arrest them and do the same to them what they did to Richard. They grabbed the only child from the clutches of his mother and murdered him. How could someone stoop to that level is beyond me.

    • 2
      0

      Wasn’t Ronnie Gunasinghe blown up along with President Premadasa?

      • 2
        0

        Manel,

        why the God stayed that mum in terms of Gotabaya, Mahinda and their deeds ?

        Why the very same god only worked on Premadasa and their men to that time ?

        Can you please elaborate this?

        I believe the gravity of harm done by Mahinda, Gotabaya are more than what Premadasa did all together in late 80ties. But those double standard gods seems to be still friendly with Rajaakashes why ?

      • 2
        0

        Manel, the above comment to yours was from me and I am not sure why my pseudonym appeared as Tam. Anyway, yes the bastard got blown up with the mastermind. One more name I forgot to mention is Ranjan Wijeyaratne. Another scoundrel and a murderer, who was also involved in this brutal slaying of an innocent man. Richard’s mother was a family friend of ours. I have seen Richard in Jaffna. How cruel can one be to snatch a son from the mother, kill him and throw him from a helicopter in mid sea. How many innocent Sinhala and Tamil youths have been murdered like this by the bastards from the LTTE and SL forces.

    • 3
      0

      He was my favourite news presenter.

      What caused them to murder him ?

      Was he a critic of Premadasa ?

      I was already out of the country when the murder was announced.

      Yes, me too, a fan of him – for Yuganthaya and one another tele drama.

      Yes, we lost even lot more youth at Peradeniya and all over the country

  • 3
    3

    If killing of Richard de Zoysa is not significant enough for investigation killing of Lasantha Wickramasinghe is an insignificant event as well.

    Soma

    Soma

    • 5
      1

      somaasss

      “If killing of Richard de Zoysa is not significant enough for investigation killing of Lasantha Wickramasinghe is an insignificant event as well.”

      If both are insignificant is it okay to kill you and then celebrate the murder?

      What a nasty little sadist you are. How does your partner share her/his bed with you, assuming you have one?

      • 0
        1

        Selective justice is the worst injustice.

        What do you call the secret celebrations you guys used to have where self recorded LTTE exploits were screened.

        Soma

        • 2
          0

          somaaasss

          “What do you call the secret celebrations you guys used to have where self recorded LTTE exploits were screened.”

          What do you mean by “you guys”?

          “Selective justice is the worst injustice.”

          Brilliant, how far back do you want to trace injustice that were being committed, from 1948, 1956, from 1505, 993 AD, 205 BC, 500 BC or from 8th January 2015?

          This could be a fine topic max moron would love to ignore.

          • 0
            1

            “What do you mean by “you guys”?”

            I mean the real guy inside he sheep skin.

            Soma

            • 3
              0

              somaass

              “I mean the real guy inside he sheep skin.”

              I am glad to hear you are in the sheep cloning business.

  • 0
    0

    The most “justifiable” murder committed by the LTTE I believe was that of Premadasa, for his role in the despicable torture and murder of Richard de Zoysa.

  • 0
    0

    To the Editor,
    If I were you, I would encourage our Lankan writers to pen their views in Sinhala and not in horrible English. Some of my American colleagues wanted to
    know if English is taught in Schools in Sri-Lanka.
    Will you please publish comment of mine ?

  • 1
    0

    Correction ! oops ! I missed an ” is ” somewhere down the line…My Bad !!!
    I attended a good private catholic school from Lkg to U.E, had the good fortune to be in the English Medium.
    F**K**g Banda introduced the F**K**g Sinhala only crap and there you go.
    We Sri-lankans are a bloody laughing stock here in the States!

    • 0
      1

      Blame your mother for not sleeping with a white man.

      • 2
        0

        somaasss

        “Blame your mother for not sleeping with a white man.”

        Do you blame your father for not sleeping with a white women?

        Deep down do you yearn for something that is beyond your grasp? What a pity.

        • 0
          0

          Native Veddah, Blame you mother for sleeping with a Kalaveddah.

          • 0
            0

            Thiruvathavoorar Iyer

            What is a “Kalaveddah”?

            • 0
              0

              A black Native Veddah.

              • 2
                0

                Thiruvathavoorar Iyer

                “A black Native Veddah.”

                When I asked you to explain the word Kalaveddah, I already knew you hadn’t got a clue.

                Kalavedda (Polecat) is an animal.

                Read the rest of the article here on this link:

                Kalaveddas, Veddas and the Policy of National Reserves/ Sanctuaries in Sri Lanka

                http://rajasingha1.
                blogspot.co.uk/2010/
                02/kalaveddas-veddas
                -and-policy-of.html

                Please note you do not need to drop names when you are not well informed. Do your research before confirming your ignorance.

                • 0
                  0

                  Oh sorry for the mistake Mr. Native Vedda. I understood it as Kalu Vedda and I know that kalu means Black. It happened because I am not familiar with the language and some other commentators were using the same meaning.

                  Please tell me, are you really a member of the Vedda tribe? I know that Veddas are the original inhabitants of the island and descend directly from the first wave of people who came out of Africa.

                  As Mr. Amarasiri has explained for the 100th time, you are not Para. We are Para, right? Got it. The mistake will not happen again.

                  Thanks.

                  • 0
                    0

                    Dont get caught to the word Para or IQ or Gamarala the kind of terms frequently being used in his texts.

                    I only believe we are all Homosapeiens, perhaps, exectp that ULTRA ULRA EXTREMIST Wimal Buruwanse. He should be a DONKEY. And from a very low class family background.

    • 0
      0

      M. Tissera –
      Thanks buddy. Gamaya bandas (including Bandaranayake, an educated elitist racist) in the south and bloody buffoons in the north. Both sets of scoundrels drove this beautiful country into anarchy and a bloody civil war. Chased all the decent people out of the country and made a mess of this beautiful nation. Today look what we have in the parliament and that will tell you what kind of country we have.

  • 1
    0

    Richard de Soyza was killed when the present Prime Minister was in the cabinet.
    At that time Mahinda was the champion for Human Rights

  • 0
    0

    TO CATCH THE CONSCIENCE

    for Richard de Zoysa

    This breaking of a young and vibrant life
    Can be no act of God.
    So then what meaning
    In this play of ours?
    Do wanton ones dispose of us in sport?

    We are not toys;
    Our severing is no game,
    And I – an unbeliever – need a theme.
    I’ll find it yet
    And trace a young man’s part,
    The villain know, who had the Lion’s heart.

    He could have kept
    The cover of the mime,
    Or lulled us with the glory of his voice.
    Instead, compassion
    Forced him write the lines
    Of tragedy, his last and greatest part.

    We see the skull –
    For we are much possessed –
    As molten fingers Rachel back the skin.
    And each one knows
    The time has long since passed
    When he, with confidence, can say: This is the last.

    This was written four days after attending Richard’s cremation.
    The previous month we had both read poems by Anne Ranasinghe at a Goethe Institute recital. Richard read “On Finding the Grave of My Grandparents in Germany”. None of us could have known the prophetic nature of its last lines in his beautiful voice:

    “The shadow of God falls over me
    As I stand at the gate of eternity.”

    • 1
      0

      It
      Should read “As molten fingers ravel back the skin” (not “Rachel”)

      • 1
        0

        Manel please go easy on the English language as many gamaya bandas who support parayapaksa are loitering around CT. They will not understand what you have written there.

  • 0
    0

    Making the choices he had, I cant help but think that the Richard I knew would have been ashamed if he had suffered a lesser martyrdom than his fellows.

  • 0
    0

    TO CATCH THE CONSCIENCE

    for Richard de Zoysa

    This breaking of a young and vibrant life
    Can be no act of God.
    So then what meaning
    In this play of ours?
    Do wanton ones dispose of us in sport?

    We are not toys;
    Our severing is no game,
    And I – an unbeliever – need a theme.
    I’ll find it yet
    And trace a young man’s part,
    The villain know, who had the Lion’s heart.

    He could have kept
    The cover of the mime,
    Or lulled us with the glory of his voice.
    Instead, compassion
    Forced him write the lines
    Of tragedy, his last and greatest part.

    We see the skull –
    For we are much possessed –
    As molten fingers Rachel back the skin.
    And each one knows
    The time has long since passed
    When he, with confidence, can say: This is the last.

    This was written four days after attending Richard’s cremation.
    The previous month we had both read poems by Anne Ranasinghe at a Goethe Institute recital. Richard read “On Finding the Grave of My Grandparents in Germany”. None of us could have known the prophetic nature of its last lines in his beautiful voice:

    “The shadow of God falls over me
    As I stand at the gate of eternity.”

    “RACHEL” should read “ravel”

    • 3
      0

      I knew Richard, not all that well, or for a long period, but we did do a joint production together: two short plays by Ernest McIntyre which we put on at the Lionel Wendt in (if memory serves me right), December 1984. He played the main role in “A somewhat Mad and Grotesque Comedy” (or was it “Tragedy”?).

      The other play was “The Loneliness of the Short distance Traveller” – titled to remind one of the Alan Sillitoe short story. Ravi John was the main actor, and I guess that I could be said to have been the main supporting actor. But the key figure in our production was Revantha Sinnetamby – a guy who’s mother had been a Sinhalese. Qadri Ismail and Renuka Jayarajah, A Sinhlalese speaking Tamil were also in the cast.

      Why do I mention Sinhalese/ Tamil? Our production was good, but it didn’t draw the audiences we had anticipated because word went round that most of those involved in the production (and in the writing), were Tamil or of mixed blood. It is difficult to now imagine just how bad the racial feelings were at that time – and that was before Prabhakaran had become a real threat.

      More than natural talent, the thing about Richard was that he worked very hard. Working with him, I realised that he was a man with very serious concerns, and very high standards of personal integrity.

  • 2
    0

    TO CATCH THE CONSCIENCE

    for Richard de Zoysa

    This breaking of a young and vibrant life
    Can be no act of God.
    So then what meaning
    In this play of ours?
    Do wanton ones dispose of us in sport?

    We are not toys;
    Our severing is no game,
    And I – an unbeliever – need a theme.
    I’ll find it yet
    And trace a young man’s part,
    The villain know, who had the Lion’s heart.

    He could have kept
    The cover of the mime,
    Or lulled us with the glory of his voice.
    Instead, compassion
    Forced him write the lines
    Of tragedy, his last and greatest part.

    We see the skull –
    For we are much possessed –
    As molten fingers ravel back the skin.
    And each one knows
    The time has long since passed
    When he, with confidence, can say: This is the last.

    This was written four days after attending Richard’s cremation.
    The previous month we had both read poems by Anne Ranasinghe at a Goethe Institute recital. Richard read “On Finding the Grave of My Grandparents in Germany”. None of us could have known the prophetic nature of its last lines in his beautiful voice:

    “The shadow of God falls over me
    As I stand at the gate of eternity.”

    • 1
      0

      I am terribly embarrassed about the triple posting of this poem. Typed on my mobile and it didn’t seem to go first time.

  • 1
    0

    A lovely article, Uditha.

  • 0
    0

    Who killed Richard investigate!,,,,,,!

    • 1
      0

      Premadasa and Ranjan Wijeyaratne and carried out by Ronnie Gunasinghe, Devasurendra and a police thug called Ranchagoda

  • 0
    0

    Beautiful article Uditha, I loved reading it, and appreciate how hard a mother fought! Eternal Peace to both!

    Richard’s life was cut short and I recollect crying, I didn’t know him personally, but knew of his work and passion for art! He would have been a great idol for many of us!I still cry for his life..

    To me, his murderer by now might have met fate…, or continue to live in misery, ‘one can run, but cannot hide’.

    May Richard’s soul rest in peace, knowing that we all loved him more in death!…

    • 1
      0

      Nina,

      that was the destiny for all mothers across the country – they were just registed undegraduates- but found burnt down on tyre pires. 89 era was the srilanken HOLOCAUST. What have the successive politicians done in terms of those killings and missings of the youth ?
      One of my close mates – he was then a 3rd year medical student at CMBO, but was abducted and killed. Consequently father went mad. Fathers of that fate are still in the country. They just want to hear THE NAME OF JVP even almost after 3 decades.
      That is the reason why even if JVP arguments adn sweat seem to be genuine, masses are still not ready them to be replaced yet. Weerawanse and Somwansas are the men that abused JVP ideology to all core. There Weerawanse has succeeded having being able to own a super luxary house akin to CMBO 07 stlye- recent TV visuals revealed the realities. Those men that were then social scum HAVE raised their heads to this day – with the help of most abusive MR regime.

  • 0
    0

    Richard De Soyza – Such valuable asset to the country – Died too soon….This is why Sri Lanka could never reach the International level in most areas with other countries…..

    When one succeeds, the person next to him / her pulls hard down to the ground level…..The Politicians are the key destroyers of the law and the nation.

    No justice is done….Everything gets swept under the carpet…..

    But, the ordinary citizen talks big about the country, totally putting a blind eye to the hidden details.

  • 2
    0

    Uditha:
    Thank you very much for an excellently written piece. It was such a pleasure reading something as well put together in English at a time when such work is so very rare in the Sri Lankan media.

    I never knew Richard but probably watched The Battleship Potemkin for the first time at the same time as Sarath Amunugama! How’s that for rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous?!!

  • 0
    3

    Mr Devapriya

    I read only the first paragraph. Get your grammar right.

    NOT it helped explained his figure, BUT it helped explain his figure,

    NOT It was these two qualities, BUT It were these two qualities

    NOT that same elite, BUT that the same elite

    Good, but I will re-read when you revise.

    • 4
      0

      What a mean-spirited nitpicker you are, Perfectionist! Could you produce such an interesting & basically well-written article as this one?

    • 2
      0

      Mistakes. They happen. Appreciate your having looked through and your having read between the lines. Thanks. I must exert more control over the keyboard. :)

    • 0
      0

      Anyway, Perfectionist, I think you are wrong about “It were these two qualities… “.

      “It” takes a singular verb.

      However, I must admit I didn’t study much English grammar.

  • 2
    0

    Dear “Perfectionist”,

    I’ve spent fifty years teaching English, but I’ve not come up with a panacea for getting everybody on this island fluent in English; and if somebody says that my own performance in the language is below par, I shrug and try to improve.

    When I read this article, I was fascinated that a young man should try to evaluate the artistic legacy of a man who was murdered before the author was even born. The murder was sensational, and the issues remain current even today. It is admirable that Uditha should have abjured the temptation to deal with the sensational, and focussed instead on understanding Richard’s work. Each generation must work out its response to what went before. Despite the apparent gloom, there is hope for our country with the likes of Uditha being around.

    Manel Fonseka admits that she didn’t study much English grammar. Yet she’s written poetry, and despite giving us occasional evidence that she’s getting on in years, she strikes me as being a delightful person. She has typical first language proficiency in English. Most definitely she has much less insight into the grammar of English than does the well-known Sri Lankan who started his grammar-teaching book with the self-advertising sentence: “There are no any mistakes in this book”.

    When I saw that Uditha Devapriya had said “it helped explained his figure”, I mentally corrected and went on with reading this fine article four days ago, but wondered whether I should admit having known and worked closely with Richard de Zoysa for just two weeks. Was it going to sound like name dropping, since Richard was obviously more charismatic than I? Richard was a “big name” in theatre circles, young as he was. Then I saw Manel’s apology for her thrice posted poem, and I inserted my comment among them, to make her look less eccentric.

    But when I saw the “Perfectionist” imagine that “It were these two qualities . . .” represents improved English, I felt quite stupefied. Should I weep for my country, or should I ask “Perfectionist” who taught him English?

    Yes, “Perfectionist”, who is the teacher who told you that “It were these two qualities . . .” represents acceptable English? Had your discomfort with the sentence that you read led you to recast it as something like: “These were the two qualities . . . (i.e. “resolve” and “fear”) . . . that explained”, I would have thought you merely pedantic.

    When unasked, you presume to write the way that you have, it’s not only about your English teachers that I must inquire, but also about your entire schooling and upbringing!

  • 0
    0

    Richard was an unique human being. Wonderfully talented, his performance in the play “Equus” at the Lionel Wendt will live in my memory forever.

    Trips to the jungles of our Country with him and his wonderful mother, proved that he was a simple person brought up in a manner “different” to the norm in our society. He was essentially a simple person who could come down to any level and also hold his own with “intellectuals”.

    To paraphrase ” I could have told you Richard, this world was never meant for one as Beautiful as you ” !

    He was an activist for what he perceived as “right” , he was incapable of harming anyone or anything and to have him killed was a sterling example of everything that was and is wrong with governance in our Country.

    Unfortunately beyond correction…in my humble opinion.

  • 2
    0

    This re-evaluation of Richard was much appreciated, except from “Perfectionists” who will never be satisfied; it is also obvious that this particular nit-picker will never respond to what we have said.

    Writing about Richard, was, of course, going to arouse more interest than your other articles because the public can’t separate Richard’s achievements from his “forced disappearance”. When a very young person like you, Uditha, does this, it will challenge those of your generation to also be alive to what is going on around them, apart from their own concerns which may appear at times trivial, even to themselves.

    You have now written about Wimal Kumar da Costa. Is that how he spelt his name, not “de Costa”? As you say, you are a cinema buff – and many other things. How you find time for all this is amazing. Please keep going; I intend putting my two cents worth on your two other articles that are displayed on this home page, and I hope readers realise that the possibility is afforded by this site to go through the archives, narrowing searches in various ways.

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