Media in Cooperation and Transition
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Sacrifice For Art:

The Life Of A Sri Lankan Poet

It is never easy making money from the arts, especially in northern Sri Lanka. The Catamaran talked to Krishnapillai Arulampalam about his life as traditional playwright and poet.


In central Sri Lanka, there is an area called Mars. At first it was named for the distant planet because of its remoteness. But now other reasons make it difficult to inhabit.


When the Sinhalese military were in control of Jaffna, a linguistic mix up could end in physical violence. Thankfully today, the same thing in Colombo just results in shame and anger.

A Community Leader’s Story:

How To Live On Ethnic Faultlines

A Sinhala father and activist who lived among Tamils talks about his life and how he found harmony among different ethnic groups.


Sri Lankans of African descent have a language all of their own, evolved from Portuguese. But this century, this unique form of speech has been lost.

A Musical, Maritime Mystery:

Seeking The Singing Fish Of Batticaloa

A Batticaloa lagoon is famed for its mysterious singing fish. So far though, nobody has been able to work out what is making the odd noises from the deep.


Locals in the northeast have fond memories of movie halls. They say the films brought Sinhalese and Tamil communities together and in some cases, even brought romance.


Locals displaced by the controversial Um Oya hydropower project have new homes in southern Sri Lanka. But, they say, their lives are far worse than before.

Dirty Clothes + Kidney Disease:

Water Shortages In Southern Sri Lanka

Water problems in the Bandagiriya area in southern Sri Lanka are a long-standing problem. Locals are suffering from kidney diseases as a result, among other problems.


A lack of private sector opportunities and the security offered by a government job, means that unemployed youth in the north of the country are getting restless.


Water can cause conflicts between communities but in one Sri Lankan case, it brought two antipathetic communities closer together.


In Sri Lankan villages unofficial “snake bite doctors” treat patients who have been stung or bitten, using traditional remedies. They believe the ancient art must be passed on.


Every year, a festival on Kachchativu island draws thousands of Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen, keen to put differences aside. But this year the Indians did not come.


After years of war, how can Sri Lankans even begin to reconcile with one another? University lecturer and monk, Galkande Dhammananda Thero, has some ideas.


For around 20 years, one man has been selling jackfruit at a Colombo traffic junction. Even if the fruit is unavailable elsewhere, buyers know they can always get it here.


Sri Lankan director Kesavarajan Navaratnam once produced propaganda films for the Tamil Tigers. Now he makes films for all the country.