Tag Archives: Bandaranaike

Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s First Prime Minister, Died This Day 53-Years Ago; May 27, 1964.

by Anura Guruge

23 October 1962, in Ceylon, with ‘Aunty’ Bandaranaike, the world’s FIRST ever elected Head of State. [Yes, I knew her, well, and, yes, I did call her ‘Aunty’.] Quite the picture. Next to ‘Aunty’ B., on the right in Nehru’s daughter Indira Gandhi who would also go on to be a Prime Minister. The young man, I am sure, is my namesake Anura B. — while the two young ladies are Mrs. B’s daughters — and one of them would go onto be President. QUITE THE PICTURE.

Click to ENLARGE and read here. Wikipedia link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jawaharlal_Nehru

He was quite the man. So pivotal a figure.

I got to meet him, in October 1962. See picture above. He came to our house for dinner! Kid you not. Yes, my adoptive father was a VIP and a ‘big shot’ in the Government. I think he (my adoptive father), as one of Mrs. Bandaranaike’s most trusted collaborators, might have been in charge of organizing that visit.

I still remember it in my mind’s eye. He was late coming. The house was packed with guests. There was an excited hum of anticipation.

He was tall, v. tall. I was 9 years old, so not that tall. He HAD PRESENCE. He glowed white! Yes, he, per his trademark, was dressed head-to-toe in brilliant, white. He bent down to shake my hand. He autographed a brand new autograph book (that had been made for me, for the occasion, by my adoptive father’s brother, Edward, a very talented bookbinder). I still have it.

OK, I will confess. Meeting and shaking Yuri Gagarin’s hand, also in Ceylon, thanks to my adoptive father, was a bigger thrill. BUT, Nehru, I still recall had this ethereal presence.

Wow. I never realized he died so soon afterwards.

What a legacy. What a man. My type of guy. {SMILE}

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by Anura Guruge

Sri Lankan Buddhists In Their Zeal To Denigrate All Other Religions Will Say The Cutest Things.

by Anura Guruge

I got this in an e-mail this morning.


Click to ENLARGE and have a chuckle over.

Made my day.

Yes, yes, yes. Of course we had the World’s worst elected Female Prime Minister (my Aunty Bandaranaike). But this was classic.

The IRONY of “Pope Joan” would be lost on this writer — who, if you hadn’t guessed, is a female.

I guess she has NO IDEA, though 6% of the population is actually Catholic (and we do have a genuine, under-80 Cardinal), that the Catholic Church has no female ministers.

Of late I have started to blame my now deceased adopted father for much of this. No wonder he was so anxious to pluck me out, from the education system he advocated, to get a ‘better’ education in the West. Another irony.

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by Anura Guruge

Sri Lanka Aims To Have World’s Largest Christmas Tree!

by Anura Guruge

> >> Construction RESTARTED! << <<

Partly constructed tree will be lit Christmas Eve, 2016.

Refer to this post.

Click here to access original from Sri Lanka “Daily News
from August 20, 2016.


Click to ENLARGE and enjoy here.

It was this effort to ban Christmas trees
in Catholic Churches last Christmas
that has motivated this desire to raise the
tallest Christmas tree in Sri Lanka.

Click here to access the “National Post” original.


Click to ENLARGE and scan here.

Tallest Christmas tree to-date. 361.25 feet, in Mexico City, in 2013. From the “NAM News Agency“.
Click image below to ENLARGE.



My attempt to show YOU the scale.

This is SO quintessentially Sri Lankan. I love it. This was a country that in the 1960s did away with the Western ‘Sunday/Monday …’ calendar and went with a phases of the moon based one. A proudly democratic nation that tried to nationalize the press! Stuff like this is good to show that the once well known national trait for ‘sloth’ is now (hopefully) history.

We celebrated Christmas when I lived in Ceylon. My surrogate father, with whom I spent ‘half my time’ (and most of weekends and holidays) was a well to do, childless lawyer. He was also a Baptist Burgher (i.e., a white European descendent living in Ceylon). I always got pillowcases full of Christmas presents from him (the husband of my eldest aunt) and they always threw a gala Christmas lunch — with imported lamb from New Zealand — for the rest of the family. But I can’t remember having a Christmas tree at his house. I had another aunty, another baptist, who I think did have one at her lavish, government provided residence. Her husband, my uncle, was the Municipal Commissioner for Colombo. No matter. This is a GREAT idea.

As an out-and-out pagan I am all in favor. Yes, we all know that Christmas trees have nothing to do with Christianity. They have all to do with paganism, eternal life (i.e., evergreen) and SOL (i.e., the Sun (King)). I think it is a great idea. Bravo. Kudos. Sri Lankans should think of it as they do ‘Sunday’. It is in HONOR of MY Sun God (Sol).

Not sure that ‘Galle Face’ (a place that we used to go at least once a week) is a good place for a Christmas Tree — though the symbolism of having the Sun set, majestically, into the Indian Ocean, behind the tree can’t be beat. I think the salty wind and the HEAT of Sri Lanka will do a job on the poor tree. But I look forward to seeing this happen.

Thank YOU, Sri Lanka.

That the ‘Tanned Ratziner‘, Sri Lanka’s often misguided cardinal TRIED (not that successfully from what I see) to ban Christmas trees is also classic Sri Lankan. Ranjith, Ranjith, Ranjith. You have to chill out, man.

Three Comments re. the picture at top of a guy in a sarong trying to dig a hole.

  1. Why aren’t there are ANY females in this picture. Sri Lanka’s GREATEST achievement was that it was the 1st country in the world to have an ELECTED Female Prime Minister, my ‘aunty’ Bandaranaike.
  2. You can’t dig a hole for a 400′ Christmas tree using a shovel. Get an excavator.
  3. Couldn’t help but notice the ‘Dahl (lentil) Bellies’ on all the ‘older’ men. This is the problem with Ceylon’s white rice and dahl based diet. Goes right to the waist.

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by Anura Guruge

Oh How I Wish Janet Yellen Was On A Testosterone Boosting Regime.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail


by Anura Guruge

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DO NOT ENLARGE this image.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Janet Yellen and was totally supportive of her replacing Dear Ben as the Federal Reserve Chairperson. What is there not to like about her?

BUT after yesterday’s momentous decision by the Fed’s NOT to raise the Fed Interest Rate I just wish she had more testosterone in her system. What we saw yesterday is the, rightly, much vaunted trait of females not to be as aggressive, confrontational and ‘in your face’. BUT in this case that is really what we needed. We needed Janet to be a Margaret Thatcher or my Aunty Bandaranaike — strong female leaders that were willing to make hard decisions.

We need to get this interest rate fiasco out of the way!

To be honest it bothers me NOWT! As somebody with an incurable addiction to option trading I LOVE the market volatility. Large market swings make me smile all day — not that I am not smiling most of the time anyway. I just feel bad for those that just ride the market and watch helpless when their IRA goes down. I just heard on CNBC this morning, bamboo stake up his derrière, “I tell God what to think every morning”, Ken ‘pompous’ Langone, bemoan how the ‘zero’ interest rates are crippling retirees on a ‘fixed income’. I had to laugh. Typical of bloody Langone. Clueless. I am retired BUT I wish my income was ‘fixed’. SMILE. Never understood that expression. “Fixed Income”. If you are salaried aren’t you also on a ‘fixed income’? Well, what can I say?

This interest rate ‘fear’ is such a joke. 0.25% or even 1% Fed interest rates are NOT going to kill anyone. They will, as CNBC correctly points out, NORMALIZE matters — and the markets — and GET one unnecessary Ken Langone like gorilla ‘out of the room’.

So PLEASE Janet go get some shots. Lets raise this damn rate SOON — definitely before Christmas. PLEASE let us NOT go into 2016 with this hanging over the market.

I just do NOT know whether I could tolerate that much FUN!

Janet, I am sure your Health Insurance will cover the costs of the shots. If NOT I will, on behalf of the entire World, gladly pay for them.

Sri Lankan Buddhists, In Their Fervor, Can Be So Funny & Disingenuous.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
by Anura Guruge

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I happened to see this yesterday on Wikipedia when I was looking up dates for Ceylon’s (now Sri Lanka’s) ex-Prime Minister Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike.

It just cracked me up (and then reminded me of the agonized hand wringing that took place 56 years ago).

“… his assassination by a Buddhist robe wearer in 1959”.

A “Buddhist robe wearer”?

The assassin was a well known, relatively senior Buddhist MONK.

That was why he was a “Buddhist robe wearer”. He wore Buddhist robes BECAUSE he was a genuine Buddhist monk.

Say it. To obfuscate with words like that is just silly and sad.

Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike was shot and killed by a Buddhist monk. Period.

Click to ENLARGE and read here. Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S._W._R._D._Bandaranaike

The Wikipedia entry for S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike goes onto say, quite clearly, that the assassin was a Buddhist monk. So why the “Buddhist robe wearer” nonsense?

The Wikipedia entry for Talduwe Somarama, in addition, even calls him ‘thero‘ — which means a Buddhist monk!

So this is all rather silly and makes the Sri Lankan Buddhist look quite immature.

I remember Mr. Bandaranaike assassination, though I was but 6. I remember the funeral. I followed the trial of Somarama with great interest. I wanted him hanged. He had killed my Prime Minister. Given the circles I traveled in those days, I knew at least two people who visited with Somarama in prison. I remember grilling them about their visit, what they saw, what he had to say etc. I also remembered that he gave up his robes before he was hanged. That was a BIG deal. They didn’t want to hand a Buddhist priest. I also used to know the chief hangman — at the time! Yea. I moved in a rather interesting circle. Not many people we didn’t know. I had FORGOTTEN that they said that he had become a Christian two days BEFORE he was hung. That was Ceylon. Not much has changed when it comes to stuff like this. Talk about … FUNNY.

Happy Sinhala New Year 2015 (Aluth Avurudda) — On April 14, 2015.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
by Anura Guruge

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I request Google Doodle for 2016 Sinhala New Year.

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I know that this year it started on April 13th
but I tend to think of April 14th as Sinhala New Year.

So Happy New Year, AGAIN.

Third (and last) New Year of the Year I celebrate.

April 13th to I is ‘Old Year’
— when I would take a bath (even when I didn’t need to)

It was also the birthday of the grandmother who brought me up
and, at birth, straightened my twisted limbs and made sure
I could ‘pee-pee’ because my foreskin was fused together.
Since she was the matriarch of a powerful family
her birthday was a big deal.
So for me New Year, in Ceylon, started in April 12th
and went on, non-stop, with people, food, presents
and celebrations till the 14th.

Rather than trying to reproduce the traditional pictures, e.g., oil lamps, betel leaves, milk rice etc., I wanted to share some OLD pictures from Ceylon — from the 1950s.

I don’t have as many as I should. About 10 years ago I threw away over dozen very large cartons of old photos — because I just didn’t have the space to keep them. I still have some BUT those from the 1950s and 1960s are SMALL and are mainly of family members. I found these two, of interest, and two pictures I had drawn, in Ceylon, c. 1963.

I hope some of YOU will recognize the person in the middle in glasses. Yes, that is Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike, Prime Minister from 1956 to Sept. 1959. He died just after my 6th birthday. I remember his death. I am sure I met him. His wife went onto be “Aunty Bandaranaike”, a lady that I spoke to, first thing in the morning, nearly every day for many years when I was 9 to maybe 12. I think this picture is at an airport. Click to ENLARGE.

A typical 1950s dinner party in Ceylon. I remember these. This was in Wellawatte, in ‘Hampden Lane’ — probably around 1955 (maybe 1956). Notice the banana trees (growing wild). This was in the gardens of the first house I lived — before moving to Nugegoda.

When I was in Ceylon I used to go to art school etc. and I was supposed to be able to draw and paint. I did do a lot of it.
I painted a lot of planes and trains. Here are two examples, probably from when I was about 10. Notice the brown pilot.
Judging from the engines I was trying to capture a Comet-4, the first jet plane I encountered and one that held me in thrall for years.
The train engine looks like what we used to call “Canadian Diesel” — but it might have been a “Power Unit”.
What is interesting is that it is not steam. I not only remember the steam trains I even worked on them! Different stories.
Helps when you have an uncle who was an inspector of railways.

Click to ENLARGE.

Three Chinese In Space Right Now, In A Chinese Space Station. Did YOU Know That?

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge

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As somebody who grew up with Sputnik, actually met, and shook hands with Yuri Gagarin, and write about astronomy I have always known about Russia’s, Europe’s and Japan’s exploits in space. And yes, of course, I knew China had an ambitious space program too.

But, despite being a news junkie and following news about space on a daily basis, I had no idea that China has their own Space Station, not that dissimilar to the ISS, and that, right now, they have three Chinese ‘taikonauts’ on board. Not sure why but I kind of feel strange that their are 3 Chinese up there looking down on me.

I heard about this when I got this story in my e-mail from Spaceweather.com — who sends me e-mail updates. Stopped me in my tracks. I went scurrying around to check. Wow. Wow. Wow.

I, like so many others, are resigned to the fact that China will become an even greater Superpower. This sure is a major step for the Chinese towards that goal.

Wow, ‘taikonauts’ looking down at me. 

Just think of the possibilities. Maybe I could hold up a big sign that says: ‘2 #5, 1 #7, 1 #6, 1 #48 and extra helping of hot mustard‘. 

Click to access 'spaceweather.com'

Click to access ‘spaceweather.com’

Yuri Gagarin, in 1961, in Colombo, Ceylon, with a very youthful looking Aunty Bandaranaike, the 1st Female Prime Minister ever. I would have been 8. This was the time when my first conversation for the day, nearly every day, would be with Aunty Bandaranaike, albeit on the phone. This from a 2011 article in the Sri Lankan ‘Daily News’ to commemorate this historic visit. That was when I met him and shook hands. Click for ‘Daily News’ article.