Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Whores, Brothels and the JVP

Photo by indi

The JVP and the SLFP has accused each other of engaging in ‘the world’s oldest profession’, a somewhat politically correct way of saying both parties act like a bunch of whores.

The first ‘blood’ of the now unraveling saga was drawn by the JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe, evidently upset that the SLFP is engaging in a dialog with the UNP accused the SLFP of acting like a prostitute waiting to be picked up by anyone who comes along the way. A somewhat honest statement, but a one that perhaps his supporters wish was never made. The Rebuttal came a bit later at another public rally by the SLFP general secretary, Maithreepala Sirisena who said that the JVP would have had to engage in the “world’s oldest profession” had the president called for general elections after the pathetic showing by the JVP in the Local Council elections. The marriage, or rather the ‘living-together’ era of the SLFP and the JVP has never seen such troubled times in recent years but no one should speculate a permanent rift as long as the President Mama is in office.

If the two main players in this rather unexpected but highly entertaining drama is the SLFP and the JVP, the third player is none other than Sirasa TV or rather the whole Maharajah network who for past few days has given extensive coverage of the issue and added some fuel to the fire by getting interviews from other leading SLFP men including Anura Bandaranaike.The keen interest taken by the Sirasa seems to stem from a larger, multi-facet battle fought between the Maharajah group and the JVP. In recent times the battle has intensified with the JVP-run ‘Lanka’ newspaper accusing the Maharajah boss of having links with the LTTE, claiming that his brother in London is a LTTE-funder (or something to that effect).

In a strange twist to this already twisted tail, the authorities have cracked down on a Brothel with links to a member of a ‘certain political party’. Sirasa, promptly carried this news item two days on a trot, right after it traditionally reports the Amarasinghe-Whore story. In its report Sirasa virtually threatens to give out the details of the member which fuels speculation that this ‘certain political party’ could well be the JVP. The Sirasa-JVP media battle can be seen as a type of a David vs. Goliath battle but the story might not quite end as in the bible.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

BlogCamp - Sri Lanka ?

Recently India had their largest ever blogger ‘unconference’ in Chennai, TamilNadu which apparently is the home to the largest number of Indian Bloggers. An ‘unconference’, is type of a conference driven mainly by the attendees rather than the speakers which supposedly generates to a lot of creativity and new ideas.

The event, named 'BlogCamp' took place on the 9th and 10th of September and seems to had an attendance of about 200 Indian Bloggers discussing various topics related to blogging, documented in detail here in the BlogCamp site. All in all the unconference seems to have been a success. So, why not a Sri Lankan version of it?

A Colombo BlogCon, or UnCon as the case maybe, is not a too distant reality. My guess is it’s an eventuality, someday someone’s going to have the idea of having a ‘BlogCon’ and most of us would flock in. The question is, are we ready now? Is the community sizable enough? These questions are worth examining. Undoubtedly the core of Sri Lankan blogging can be found at which currently tracks 150 or so Sri Lankan Blogs. But it’s a mistake to equate the size of kottu the SL Blogosphere. There is a good number of other blogs (the exact number is hard to guess) not syndicated at kottu, due to either, not knowing that Kottu exists, not knowing how, or simply not wanting to get their content syndicated. There is a great deal of SL blogs in MSN spaces in particular which are hardly ever syndicated at kottu or any of the other kottu spin-offs.

Quite apart from blogging, the general population of SriLanka-Online is reaching sizable proportions. Hi5, arguably the most popular social-networking site among Sri Lankans hosts about 86,000 profiles of Sri Lankan residents. Shihan Mihiranga included.

With numbers like that, its possible to envision something along the lines of a Bloggers Conference, even if it is to.. ahem.. ‘raise awareness’.. among the general public about the whole blogging phenomenon. How, and who would take the initiative is another matter. Ultimately there has to be enough commitment within the community for something like this to happen. Maybe this post will serve as a viral injection of sorts to get things started. maybe it won’t. Who knows these things.


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