Monday, March 30, 2009

Dogs In The Yard

its been one of those days, when all I wanna to do is go get lost.

Just worked out that its been 15 months since I've taken a break from work and this probably explains why I feel a little run down.

I need a break, I need sometime and space to myself, I feel the need to just run crazy.

I wanna

I want to be bad
And not even care
I want to go out of my head somewhere
I want run crazy
Like the dogs in the yard
I want to cut the rope
But it's getting so much harder

I think I'll play poker
Stay out every night
Throw stones at the water
In the morning light

I want to be lazy like the dogs in the yard
Why can't I fly tonight?
Why can't I sleep all morning?
I'm going out of my mind tonight
That's where I'm going
That's where I'm going

Gonna have a good time
Before it's too late
Come on, baby, let's go uptown and celebrate
Gonna celebrate!

We're gonna run crazy
Like the dogs in the yard
We're gonna fly tonight
We're gonna sleep all morning

We're going out of our minds tonight
That's where we're going
That's where we're going

Paul McCrane - Dogs In The Yard

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Talented Walking Wizard

One of those days with very little to do and even less to say, so what happens then? Surf, aimlessly on the world wide web looking for this that and nothing.

Along the way I discovered The Hero Factory - how can you resist not seeing what comes up?!

Voila, The Talented Walking Wizard

What was truly amazing is the appearance of a title which was spot on to the character I had in mind as I scrolled through the various options open to me. Was it the selection of the staff that triggered the software to pick that particular name? How the heck did it know that I was thinking wizard, spells, cool...?!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Was reading Rantings in Colombo this morning and came across one of the most beautiful lines of prose I've read in a long time - If you walk out on me, I'm walking after you.

The simplicity of those few words and the weight of them, the implications in that entire line just stopped me cold. Dammit, why cant I think of something so cool like that?! About the most articulate I have able to be were a combination of two grunts and a barely audible, 'well, I kind of like you'....

So what options are there for an inarticulate male in the 'knock em out of their socks' terms of endearment department - I'll tell you, the titles and lyrics of songs!

Over the years, out of idle curiosity I rush to assure anyone reading this I've compiled a list of songs which are supposedly, theoretically, able to convey my heart and souls longings to the luck (or not) recipient.

All of the come under the title of SOB, the meaning of which if I am asked nicely, I may be cajoled into revealing.

With no further ado my list then

Afterglow - INXS
All I Want For Christmas - Mariah Carey
Amazed - Lonestar
Annie's Song - John Denver
As Long As You Love Me
Beautiful Soul - Jesse McCartney
Because Of You - Tony Bennett
Breath - Faith Hill
I'm Calling - Celine Dion
Come What May - Nicole Kidman and Ewan Mcgregor
Crazy Love - Brian McKnight
For You - John Denver
Forever In Love - Kenny G
From The Inside - Ben Harper
Goodbye My Lower - James Blunt
Help Me Make It Through The Night - Gladys Knight and The Pips
Here For You - Firehouse
Here I am - Air Supply
Here With Me - Dido & Enya
How To Save A Life - The Fray
I Finally Found Someone - Bryan Adamas & Barbara Streisand
I Have Always Loved You - Enrique Iglesias
I hope You Dance Ronan Keating
I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight – Air Supply
I Live My Life For You – Firehouse
I Love You Just The Way You Are – Billy Joel
I Love, Need And Want You – Patti Labelle
I Need You Now – Firehouse
I Only Want To Be With You – Hottie and The Blowfish
I Think We Are Alone Now – Tiffany
I Wanna Be Your Everything – Keith Urban
I Want To Hold Your Hand – Sung By TV Caprio
I Will Be Right Here Waiting For You – Richard Marx
I Will Find You - Enya
I Won’t Go Home Without You – Maroon 5
If Tomorrow Never Comes – Ronan Keating
Inside Your Heaven – Carrie Underwood
It’s Your Love – Faith Hill & Tim McGraw
I’ve Had The Time Of My Life – Bill Medley
Killing Me Softly Roberta Flack
Lost – Michael Buble
Love Me Tender – Elvis Presley
Love of A Lifetime – Firehouse
Love Me – Collin Raye
Missing You Now – Michael Bolton
Neon Moon – Brooks & Dunn
No Matter What – Boyzone
Not Fire, Not Ice – Ben Harper
Oh What A Night – Billy Joel
Secret Lovers – Atlantic Star
She’s Always A Woman
She’s Got A Way – Billy Joel
Somewhere Out There – James Ingram & Linda Rostand
Spend My Life With You – Eric Benet
Standing At The Edge Of The Earth – Blissid Union
Stolen Moments – Hank Snow
Sweet Love – Anita Baker
Thank You – Dido
Thank You For Loving Me – Bon Jovi
The Closer I Get To You – Luther Vandross
The Love I Found In You – Jim Brickman
The One That You Love – Air Supply
The Way You Look Tonight – Toney Bennett
The Way You Make Me Feel – Ronan Keating
This I Promise You – Both The N’sync and The Ronan Keating Versions
Together Forever
We Belong – Pat Benatar
When I Look In Your Eyes – Firehouse
When I See You Smile – Firehouse
When You Really Love A Woman – Bryan Adams
White Flag – Dido
Wouldn’t It Be Nice – Beach Boys
Wrapped – Gloria Estefan
Yesterday – The Beatles
You And I – Kenny Rogers
You Are The Love Of My Life – Jim Brickman
You Decorated My Heart – Kenny Rogers
You Don’t Have To Be Alone – N Sync
You Are All I Nee – Kelly Clarkson

Friday, March 20, 2009


The area around the Grand Marché of Ouaga is usually a hive of activity with people constantly on the move as trucks load and unload goods coming in from the port towns of Tema and Lome and go out to the villages.

The roads around this area are a constantly moving panorama of people, cars, lorries and moto's - motor bikes of every hue and color. The sounds are a medley of people talking, selling and buying, the growls of engines, the honk honk of the ice cream sellers - the one sound conspicuously absent to my ears is the sound of automobile horns - unlike in SL, in these countries the use of horns considered to be extremely rude and only resorted to in an emergency.

All this happens from Monday to Saturday, from 0800hr till 1800hr; except for one hour on Friday.

On Friday at 12 noon a silence descends upon the market as the roads around the Great Mosque are closed off to vehicular traffic. From every direction the faithful come to spread their prayer mats on the roads around the mosque, to kneel as one facing Mecca brought here by a tradition that goes back to the days of the Prophet Mohamed.

There is a quietness in the air and an cold tingling along the back of my neck as I watch these people in their 100's kneeling and standing in unison, the hum of these multitudes voices praying to their one god.

This particular day my senses were assaulted in another way too, a light sprinkle of moisture falling from the heavens, the first rain I have seen in almost 6 months. As the water fell upon the hot tar of the roads, that peculiar warm damp smell rose of the ground in faint clouds of steam, hitting me like a steam roller - for that smell I associate with the roads of SL, of seeing the steam rise of the roads there, smell that fresh, warm, clogging smell that is so intense.

I miss my home, I miss the lush greenness of my mother land, the richness of its soil.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Of change

I've been following the writings of now for quite sometime with a growing sense of admiration for style content and bluntness.

Kudos indeed for voicing out in simple, precise language what I hope are the thoughts of a growing segment of Sri Lankans.

Indi's most recent post democracy-is-a-practice certainly articulates that nothing comes free, everything needs an effort, bringing to mind the words of a the fox in The Little Prince - that what makes something important is the time and effort spent on it.

Indi, may the force be with you and those who have the courage to stand up and speak. While my geographical location prevents me from being at Alexandra Circus this evening, my thoughts and spirit will most certainly be there. It is time to stand up, it is time to make a change in SL, not for the Sinhalese or the Tamils, the Burghers or the Muslims, not for any group, but for all of us, Sri Lankans!

The leaders we chose to lead our nation have corrupted, abused and raped what was indeed paradise - through thuggery and thievery, through greed and petty mindedness they have systematically torn everything that was good about Sri Lanka.

I was taught to worship the robe, not the person who wore it, a tradition form a time when a monk shunned all things material, lead by example, provided spiritual guidance to the populace. When I read about and see the wealth that is accumulated by the very people who are suppose to shun it, I am ashamed, ashamed that our society looks on in silence, even encourages such behavior from the ones who should know better. The day a monk sat in Parliament was the day that I stopped worshiping the robe, for I dont know whether its a a fox, a wolf or a sheep inside!

Nothing is irreversible, even this. All it takes, to use the thoughts of Edmund Burke, is for 'good men to do something'.

I hope there are more Indi's out there

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ides of March

The ides of March and the temperature has crossed the 40c mark, I am beginning to believe that it will hit the 50's come the hot months of April and May.

Having spent a week in Niamey, it was rather surprising to find that it was actually hotter back in Ouaga, perhaps the proximity of the Niger had something to do with it.

Since each day is a new one for me I've been keeping a close eye on the thermometer, noting down the highs as the are crossed - from low thirties in November I've sen the mercury edge up to and beyond the 40 mark and I tell you ITS HOT. Its the dry desiccating heat of low humidity, scorching hot sun, Saharan winds which debilitates the functions leaving one languid.

Since Saturday, I've gone through more than ten liters of water - that's 6 bottles in 72hrs, not counting the liquid intake from 2 cups of tea, 5 mugs of coffee and perhaps the 2 soda's Isip on each day!

Its hot, and not a sign of rain to come (Which I hear makes things even worse, imagine the heat plus the humidity?)

Now, I got to go melt...

Friday, March 13, 2009

A few of my favourites

My initial fascination started off with one photo I took using my Dad's new (and jealously guarded) Olympus. The photograph was of the sunlight reflecting from the waters of Lake Gregory in N' Eliya and I can still remember the auto focus whirring up as it tried to focus on the ripples.

A year overseas I accumulated close to 1000 photographs and slides documenting this that and everything that caught my eye - and as a Senior in High School quite a lot did!

Sadly those pics are no more and all I have are memories of them.

It wasn't till 2005 that I re kindle my passion, primarily because I was about to leave for South Africa - I just could not go without a camera - a canon S1 IS, 5MEGP with a 10 optical zoom.

This was subsequently replaced with the S5 which is what I use right now, a camera that I very happy with given the range of features it gives me.

Today I thought I'd share a few of the photographs that I am proud of

River of Stone

This was taken on the road from Sella Kataragama. Those trees that line the road were planted at the behest of President R Premadasa,who for all he's short comings, did more for this country I think than has any other recent President.

I was looking for a moment free of traffic, that a dog chose to appear at that very moment added to this image. Someone saw this photograph on flickr and chose to paint a miniature oil of it - it was up on e bay for a few weeks, sadly no takers; so I bought it


Alex, my dearest friend from South Africa. She is one of the most photogenic people I know, so at ease in front of the lens, she truly inspired me to compose images in a striking format

Early Morn

It took a few days before it 'dawned'on me that there was a regular flight every morning,just as the sun rose above Africa. It took me a few days before I got just the photograph I wanted, as the a new day dawned upon Magwa, the jet stream of an international flight streaked across the sky

The Gate of No Return

The light at the end of this tunnel was not one of hope but of despair. That blue sky in the distance is framed by a doorway on the island of Goree, Senegal, West Africa. It was along this dark corridor and through that door countless numbers of slaves walked aboard slave ships bound for the West Indies and the Americas.


Taken in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso and the inspiration for this post.


The Niger river at Boubon, Niger and a kid enjoying the cool waters! The Niger by the way is Africa's third longest river, a little over 4000km as I recollect it.

Shades of Yellow

The different hues of yellow came out so well,contrasting with her brown skin tone - East London, South Africa


One of a herd walking along the bund of the Kataragama Wewa.


Somewhere along a road in Ghana. The blue set of well by the timely presence of a chicken

Silence - Grahamstown, South Africa

Dusk - Luanda, Angola

Blue on Blue - Kosgoda, Sri Lanka

The Chicken - Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

African Dawn, Koubri, Burkina Faso

Little Girl - Kosgoda, Sri Lanka

Incense - Sella Kataragama, Sri Lanka

Innovate - Grahamstown,South Africa

Red Eye - Colombo, Sri Lanka

Surreal - Kachantchari, Burkina Faso

Murder, murder, murder...

This latest news from home paints a terrible picture of the depth to which our society has sunk too.

Abducted girl found dead - Daily Mirror

That a five year old child was kidnapped for ransom terrible enough, that she was brutally killed within a few hours terrifies me - is this what our beautiful country has become?

Murder, rape, thuggery and sheer callous behavior seem to be the norm today rather than the exception - and we are all to blame, from the man who holds the highest office to the poorest of the poor, we are all responsible for this because we speak not what is good, what is right, we dare not stand up against evil.

We, the common man elected those that lead this country, we the common man turn a blind eye, grease a palm to ease our way, we the common may now reap what we sowed.

Its time to draw a line, its time to say enough, its time to do what you can, no matter how small, take that first step - get caught speeding, pay the damn fine, DON'T grease the corrupt cop who is willing to let you go for a few bucks. See someone jump a line yell blue murder! we have to start somewhere.

Wrong is wrong, whether its a solicited bribe, a speeding private bus, the assassination of a journalist, the thuggish behavior of a minister, the killing of an innocent child - we don't need to be a rocket scientist to know whats right or wrong

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Good read

Got this as an e mail - don't know who the author is



IN THE 1930's, 1940's, 1950's & 1960's!

(and maybe the early 1970's!).

As for the rest of you, this is for your information to read & enjoy!

First, we survived being born to mothers who did not have medical checkups

While they carried us and lived in houses made of asbestos.

They took:


Ate coconut,

Raw egg products,


Processed meat,

Tuna from a can,


Didn't get tested for diabetes or cervical cancer...

Then, after that trauma of being born,

Our baby cots were covered with bright coloured lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets


When we rode our bikes,

We had no helmets or shoes,

Not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

We shared one bottle of soft drink with four or more friends and NO ONE actually died from this.

Take- away food was limited to two patties, rolls, pastries and vaddais;

No Pizza Hut, McDonalds, KFC, Dine-More or Baristas.

You could only buy Easter Eggs and Hot Cross Buns at Easter time...

Even though all the shops closed at 6.00pm and didn't open on most weekends,

Somehow, we didn't starve to death!
We could collect old drink bottles or old newpapers and cash them in at the botal kade


Buy toffees, chocolates, bubble gum and some crackers to have fun with.

We could eat prawn vaddais, chilli mango & pineapple & boiled cadju from street vendors

Without getting bad stomachs.

We ate sponge cakes, white bread and real butter


Drank soft drinks with sugar in it,

But, we weren't overweight because.......


We would leave home in the morning and play all day,

As long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us.

And we were O.K.

During our vacation,

Our parents never saw us the whole day,

Not even for meals as we ate at whatever house we were at during mealtimes.

No one thought of compensation or asking for money.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of old prams


Then ride down the hill, only to find out we had forgotten the brakes.

We built tree houses and dens and played with matchbox cars.

We played cricket on the streets amidst the cars


Hide and seek using the whole neighbourhood as our playground.

Our houses were always open


The car keys were in the car.

We did not have Television, Play stations, Nintendo Wii, X-boxes,

No video games at all,

No 999 channels on SKY,

No video/DVD films,

No mobile phones,

No personal computers,

No Internet


Internet chat rooms..........



We went outside and found them!
We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents...
Only girls had pierced ears!
We ate worms with our fresh fruits,


The worms did not live in us forever.
We were given air guns and catapults for our 10th birthdays,

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house


Knocked on the door or rang the bell,


Just yelled for them!

No one took appointments for seeing friends.

Our mothers didn't have to go to work to help our fathers make ends meet...
Rugby and Cricket had tryouts and not everyone made the team.

Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment.

Imagine that!

Getting into the team was based on MERIT.

Our teachers used to hit us with canes


Bullies always ruled the playground at school.

Schools were often unisex,

But, this did not affect us either psychologically or physically

Because we always managed to find girl/boy friends


Go 'steady' with.

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of.

They actually sided with the law


We were punished a second time when we got home!

Our parents didn't invent stupid names for their kids.

We had:







We learned


And are YOU one of them!

If you are


You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids,

Before the lawyers,



Society regulated our lives for "our own good".


While you are at it,

Forward it to the youngsters

So, they will know how brave their parents were!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Work kept me on an additional day and it occurred to me that if I timed things just right, I could possibly make a quick dash across to Boubon and its Wednesday market day.

Well I did time things just right for a little past 1pm found me back on the road heading towards the village - but what a different day it is today! The blue skies of Monday replaced with that dull grey of a dust filled sub-saharan sky as the Harmattan blows dust across the region.

Alighting at the markets edge I stepped right into the area where live stock is bought and sold, not only as a source of food but as wealth too. In this part of the region goats and cattle dominate with donkeys used as beasts of burden for for short range hauls.

The dust, the smell of the animals, the muted voices as they haggle over price - a goat in it's prime was up for XOF 35,000 about US$ 70/-, I dared not ask how much a cow was!

From there my feet lead me to the market place proper to feast my eyes upon mound of pumpkins, dried chillies, spices, onions, grains, tin food, shoes, clothes materials, slippers, ironmongery, coconuts from Cote D' Ivoir, green tea from China and black tea from Ceylon.

As I strolled lost in the moment I came across a maker of calabash bowls, turning out beautiful spoons, jugs and bowls out of Bottle gourds. Squatting down I was treated to a demonstration of he's dexterity as he held a bowl between hand and toe working on it putting the finishing touches.

Boubon market plays a significant role to al the villages in a 50km radius, in spite of the fact that Nimaey lies a mere 25m away. By the river side I found giant pirogues, big brother to the one I rode on Monday, these able to carry 50 people at a time, coming from villages 35km and more up stream with produce to go back filled with provisions for another week.

My trip to Niger has certainly been a eventful one and as I tap these words down I'm wondering where next...

More pics on flickr

Monday, March 9, 2009

Ceylon Tea and Boubon

Seems an unlikely title to a post I grant, Ceylon Tea and a village in Niger, West Africa seem the most unlikely of things to be connected. But truth they say is stranger than fiction and after seeing how 86yr old Anne Smithston of Somerset in England was the connection between a honey gatherer in South America and a Sri Lankan tea plucker I know that most things are possible!

Twenty five kilometers northwest of Niamey is the village of Boubon best know for its colorful Wednesday market and its local pottery. Situated on the banks of the Niger a trip on a pirogue almost guarantees a hippo sighting – how could I resist?!

Work done I was soon on my way asking for directions as I navigated my way across Niamey in search of the road to Boubon.

The drive down to the village was spectacular, across an arid landscape, desolate, scattered with rocks and sand and struggling plants in the scorching heat.

Down in the village it was but a few minutes for me to secure the transport and a few more minutes on the obligatory haggling that was required. From XOF 15,000 we were down to 9,000 payable ONLY if I saw a hippo! The haggling is time honored tradition in Africa,you have to do it! And I so enjoy the experience. From the green in East London South Africa, to Goree Island Senegal I've haggled in good humor for chess boards and paintings, all which adds to the intrinsic value of it

The riverside a bustling hive of people, laughing and smiling as they they wound the day down in washing and bathing. Children shrieking with laughter, splashing in the water, playing in the mud a their mothers, aunts, sisters, the women of the village washed, scrubbed and bathed in the river as they have done form the day they were born.

A gentle paddle cross the water and there, they were, four gorgeously chubby river horses snorting in mid stream! My smile must have said it all – Giraffes yesterday and Hippo’s today!

GOD I LOVE MY JOB – that it takes me places makes up for the amount of effort, the shit I have to go through to do it.

Stepping back ashore, I am again struck by how carefree these people are. The people of Niger are some of the worlds most stoic and resilient people on this planet – Just four years ago in 2005 though locusts and drought caused a 10% drop in food production, the main issue was that nomadic herders lost much of their live stock, their only income, as a result of which they could not afford the rising cost of food – putting 3.6 million of them at the risk of starvation. Niger is one of the worlds poorest countries, but those African smiles are there!

As I walk back to my car, my eye is drawn to a piece of paper amongst the debris, a combination of red and yellow and the word tea… Premium Ceylon Tea I read, Super Tea, Quality #1. I look around in curiosity, finding more, an envelope to match the tag that caught my eye, a piece of box board, obviously the inner carton – Ceylon Tea, in Boubon, Niger West Africa. Imagine coming all this way to see those magical words on the ground!

The Last Giraffes

I'm in Niger, arrived here yesterday after a leisurely drive from Ouaga, with a particular jaunt in mind - to see the Giraffes of Koure.

These gentle animals are reported to be the last of their kind in all West Africa and have seen a decline in population from 3000 in the 70's to a highly vulnerable 200 today.

Their survival is critical for another reason and that is because they are genetically and ecologically distinctive from others of their kind in the rest of the Africa.

Having arrived in Niamey I then drove on to Koure 65km South of the city, a hours drive along a well maintained road, busy with traffic.

Having picked up the obligatory guide from the station, we then then drove into the bush - the places I take my car!

Suman the guide soon perched himself atop the car, 'The better to see' he said, guiding me across the grassland with flourishes of he's stick, tapping on the windscreen.

A few km in and there it was, my first wild giraffe!

Such gentle creatures, with such a dignified gaite, it was certainly a high light of my life to see them up close.

On the way back I stopped off to see a village well - 30m in depth, its the only source of portable water for a radius of 5km and the life line of the village.

The cuts in the wood that shored up the well mouth a testament to the years of use as countless women drew the precious life giving waters up from the depth of the earth.

Life is hard in Africa, people living under conditions so extrema - poverty, heat, lack of basic needs; and yet they smile!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The unexpected

Nothing new to this post, most of you have probably experienced this already - finding amazing friendships, connections in the most unlikely of places or ways.

My best mate of the same sex A and I met over a Chinese roll at the American Center. It was the last roll on the table and we were both reaching for it at the same time. Since politeness dictated that we not squabble over it we agree to retire across the road to the 'peti kade' for a smoke and a coke.

We are completely different people, so much so that many people find it hard to believe that we are friends. And yet, our friendship has endured the passing of a significant potion of our lives. We hardly meet anymore, our life's path taken us in different directions different lands, but when we do meet, we pick up where we dropped and go on.

The other best mate is of the opposite gender and we still disagree as to the exact circumstances of our meeting - we met at an exhibition, I was aimlessly strolling around killing time, she, K, was manning a stall. She maintains I tried to pick her up while I maintain that I was more interested in her friend.

Some of the happiest moments of life has been in the company of these two people - a shared meal or a day spent doing the stuff that friends do, idle chit chat, shared joy and pain.

There are a few more people who I count as my friends and consider myself fortunate that they are my friends. Closer to me than family, knowing me better than anyone else does, these friendships are the kind that last a life time

The internet and blogging has brought a few new friends too, most I am yet to meet, perhaps we never will; but the thoughts shared intimately

To K and A, and to the rest of the chosen few, I raise my glass to say with a nod, thank you and qoute the words of Kahlil Gibran On Friendship

Your friend is your needs answered.
He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.
And he is your board and your fireside.
For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.

When your friend speaks his mind you fear not the "nay" in your own mind, nor do you withhold the "ay."
And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart;
For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed.
When you part from your friend, you grieve not;
For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.
And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.
For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery is not love but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught.

And let your best be for your friend.
If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.
For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?
Seek him always with hours to live.
For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness.
And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

"Not arrested as a journalist - Media Minister"

I picked this up of a paper this morning - how do people in such responsible positions say things like this?

The best is saved for last when our esteemed Media Minister goes on to say that an arrest of a non journalist is of no concern to the Media!

As for 'this could happen to anyone' true, but to add insult to injury by going on to state ".. me" is a class act indeed.

OH Sri Lanka!

Not arrested as a journalist - Media Minister

Media Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa commenting on the arrest said that Vidyatharan was arrested by police on suspicion and not due to his role as a journalist.

He said once the investigations and examinations are concluded, he may be charged if there is any cause for pressing charges.

He continued, "He is a suspect in the eyes of the investigating officer. When they arrested him, they didn't know he was an editor or a journalist. They only acted to find out clues with regards to any issue or crime. Everyone is equal according to the law. This could happen to you, me or anyone."

Yapa further said that Vidyatharan was not arrested due to being a journalist and as such, it was not an issue concerning the media.


Africa's premier film festival is held bi annually in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. With primary focus on African films and film makers the event draws participant from within and without the continent for a week of celebration.

Initially planning on squishing up with the rest of Burkina Faso for the opening ceremony, a chance conversation resulted in me receiving an invite to the event - fortunately so for it offered me a vantage point to enjoy the entertainment to its fullest.

The festival is now in its 40th year, and from it humble start with just five participant countries - Senegal, Upper Volta (Burkina Faso), Ivory Coast, Niger and Cameroon, with some participation by France and the Netherlands.

Today the event host films from across Africa and is generously sponsored by Burkina Faso, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Republic of China, and donor organizations such as AIF(ACCT), PNUD, UNESCO, UNICEF, European Union and AFRICALIA.

Stade du 4-Août,the venue for the opening event is a 35,000 capacity open air stadium in close proximity to the city. A multi-event stadium it is the home ground of Etoile Filante Ouagadougou a Burkinabe foot ball club.

The event started off with a a parade of Giants, huge figurines manipulated by a man, walking and dancing around the track. This was soon followed by a number of musical performers,singers of reggae, West African pop and traditional music and most impressively a troop of drummers.

Next on were the dancers, a troop of girls in flat heeled cow boy boots who's intricate foot work left me bemused, a group of young men, pushing stylized water carts who's acrobatic leaps and dancing had the crowed cheering like mad.

With dusk falling and the sky turning from blue to black the grand finale was a huge fire works display that lit up the night in hues of red, white, blue and green.

The Burkinabe's sure know how to throw a show. This might be one of the worlds poorest countries, but the people here are gentile, soft spoken and laid back, prime reasons for me to select this as my home for the foreseeable future.

More pics at flickr