Who’s who in Sri Lanka press

Asian Tribune — basically the personal blog of Sri Lanka Tamil K T Rajasingham who started it in Bangkok 2000, then moved to Sweden “as the founder relocated himself in Sweden”; self-described as “focus is on issues and concerns and champions them with passion. ” Claims being “systematically targeted” by LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam — “Tamil Tigers”)

*Colombo Telegraph — Self-described as ” a public interest website relating to Sri Lankan matters, run by a group of exiled journalists.”  Has separate sections for news and opinion.  Guardian Select: “A leading independent news organisation from Sri Lanka.”

Daily Mirror — “duress and undue influence”? criticism of gov not accepted? (see Daily FT)

Daily FT —  daily English-language newspaper published in Colombo, Sri Lanka; same publisher as The Daily Mirror and its Sunday counterpart Sunday Times. Editor is
Nisthar Cassim, a Muslim and former editor of
The Daily Mirror and The Bottom Line. Wijeya Newspapers publishes Sri Lanka’s The Sunday Times, Daily Mirror newspapers in English and The Sunday Lankadeepa and Daily Lankadeepa in Sinhala and several other specialist newspapers and magazines, including Tamil Mirror, for Tamil breaking news .

*The Irrawaddy — Guardian Select: “Covers Burma and Southeast Asia, providing in-depth news and information to international readers. Irrawaddy Publishing Group (IPG) is an independent, nonprofit media organisation, established in 1993 by Burmese journalists living in exile.”

*Global Tamil News — Guardian Select: “GTMN aims to provide relevant news and information to Tamils in Sri Lanka, India and around the World.”

The Nation — part of the family of Rivira products,  along with the business weekly The Bottom Line, and Rivirisi, “the sinhala Astrology Weekly tabloid which consists of fruitfull feature articles of erudite scholars of Astrology”. The Nation‘s “views are thought-stirring” and the “informed opinion analyses politics, defence and the national conflict like no other”.

Sunday Leader — independent, but…”demise”…?

Sunday Times — “duress and undue influence”? criticism of gov not accepted? see Daily FT.

*The Asian Today — Guardian Select: “Informs, educates and enlightens the British South-Asian population, offering local, national and international news.


*Listed in “Guardian Select“: checked and approved for Guardian Select membership by Guardian editorial.
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Gone on walkabout

So long and thanks for all the comments.  If I discover the meaning of life, the universe, etc., I will come back and let you know.

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“I like fresh air.”

The news yesterday was depressing, women who were marching for International Women’s Day and the dignity of women were sexually assaulted in in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

Here is the antidote, a thirteen-year-old Yemini girl interviewed by Amanpour:

and here she is again in a longer video about the veil by Khadija Al-Salami:

(sorry, but if there is a part 2 and 3, I havn’et been able to find them.)

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Night walk

I used to be able to walk to the lake in 20 minutes. Tonight I did it in an hour. Yesterday for the first time, I got down the stairs without sliding on my butt, just using handrails and walker.  I’m almost beginning to believe I will walk again, and soon.

I started out about 40 minutes before the official sunset.  This street is closed to traffic on account of a sewer project.

The park officially closes at sunset, so I entered unofficially.

Last night a storm went through the area, and I fell asleep to the sound of driving rain. But today there is still snow at the lake.

And the lake itself still looks frozen.

As I return, the evening star appears above a small neighborhood church.

And so to bed.

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A walk

Ordinarily, taking a walk isn’t particularly momentous.  But I haven’t been able to walk since before Christmas.

I am now allowed to put 50% of my weight on my foot, which means that the last few nights I have been bumping down the stairs on my butt, going outdoors, and walking a block or so with the walker. Now snow threatens so I was determined to walk several blocks to the dollar store, where pecan ice cream is four bucks instead of nearly seven bucks like in the local ma-and-pa groceries.  A noble cause.  Did I mention that ice cream has lots of nutritious calcium to heal broken bones?  A very noble cause.

There’s also a small problem, perhaps not solvable, but I’ll save that for the end.

First the stairs.  Backwards and upside down. Yes, it is day-glo lime green and no, I was not the one who painted it.

Now, outside.

“Sidewalk closed, use other side.”  The other, unclosed side is even worse. But  finally my Mecca comes into view and the ice cream is mine.  Also chocolate.

The sky is gray, the street is ugly, with its interminable sewer project, and the sun sets abruptly without colors. But after three months of looking out the window, I am outdoors and I am moving.

And so, to home. The lime green walls are strangely invigorating. Once inside my own door, the protective Hand Of Fatima, or maybe the eye of Fatima within the hand of Fatima, stands guard above the window, facing the door.

But now here’s the small problem. This is the brace I will probably have to wear for the next six months or so.  It’s an Active Ankle T1 and it fits inside the shoe under the liner. But you can see the mark it leaves on the foot after less than two hours.  And it took more than an hour to go away.  I’ve been through the fitting instructions and the videos on the manufacturers website and don’t have any more ideas. They do say you have to break it in.

BTW, the surgical incision on that side of the foot is more than 2 inches long and it hardly shows in this light.  I’m quite pleased.  I’ve been putting vitamin A oil on it.

Here are the accouterments from the physical therapist. The big yellow rubber band is for strenghthening exercises.  I have several colors for progressive resistance.   The foam with the holes is to put over the ankle bone between the foot and the brace.  There is a peel-off adhesive.  At first it helped, but in the long run, it just makes a new indentation, square with a round hole. The last item, the pinkish one,  is moleskin, a product much used by hiking boy scouts.  It is very good to put on reddened skin to prevent blisters.  You can see there is an adhesive side and a fuzzy side.  The adhesive goes directly on the skin, the fuzzy side absorbs the friction from the shoe and keeps the skin from rubbing back and forth, which is what causes the blister.  This was probably the most helpful product, but it does itch if it is left on overnight, especially right over the incision where I need it.  I can see a decreasing practicality if I have to wear this brace for several months. Perhaps I will be able to break it in…

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Feeling the ground

The foot feels the foot when it feels the ground.

In the continuing saga of my ankle surgery with no health insurance, I have  been told that I *can* now put 25% of my body weight on my toe. The difference between can=permission and can=ability is painfully obvious here as I can only manage 30 pounds without pain. Unless it means that I only weigh 120 pounds. Highly unlikely, that, although I have surprisingly lost some 20 pounds during the last few months of forced inactivity.

I have just come across a photo of the first time I learned to walk at 9-some months.  I looked much more cheerful that time.

More “game over” signs

I was terribly excited last week when, on an impulse, I sent a photo of  Egyptian “game over” graffiti to Language Log,  and it was deemed interesting enough for a post.  After that, I started to see the phrase everywhere. [Image on right: “game over” sign montage from Tunisia and Egypt, via al-Jazeera]

After that, the phrase turned up on signs at protests in DC and in Chicago . The pre-printed signs in both cities looked very similar, as if they were from the same organized effort. Were the hand-written “game over” signs centrally planned?  There were demonstrations in several other U.S. cities as well, but I didn’t have time to look for the photos.

The “game over” meme also showed up in online titles.  Al-Jazeera had one “Game Over: First Tunisia now Egypt?“;  here are two more: “Game over: the chance for democracy in Egypt is lost,” and “Game Over.”

But my favorite Egyptian “game over” sign is from the Feb. 1 Jordan Times:

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Arabic virtual bookstore

One of my usual cheap weekend entertainments is hitting the used book venues. But what do you do when you suddenly can’t walk? Not to worry.

The other day I discovered downloadable books at The Internet Archive (archive.org) and indulged in a Sax Rohmer reading marathon. When I moved to Jordan I had to discard two-thirds of my books.  When I got back, the only one I missed was  Sax Rohmer’s Fu Manchu series from the 1920’s. It’s hard to find those titles any more.

Then I stated thinking about dictionaries, and how heavy they can be to carry around. In particular, what about Hans Wehr’s classical Arabic dictionary? Maybe it was old enough to be out of copyright and I could install it in my laptop. Sure enough, The Internet Archive has it.

Here it is, and more.  The best is last:
A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic Wehr, Hans, 1976
Dictionnaire chaouia-kabyle-arabe-français French, Arabic, Kabyle (Berber)
Arabic proverbs; or, The manners and customs of the modern Egyptians, Burckhardt, John Lewis (1875)
A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic, Karin C. Ryding, 2005
Al-Mawrid Arabic-English lexicon 1995
Wortabet’s Arabic-English Dictionary, 1984.
Syriac Arabic Dictionary, Bishop Eugene Manna(1867-1928) (medieval and liturgical Aramaic)
A Compendious Syriac Dictionary [based on R. Payne Smith] – (1903) Oxford Vol 01 Vol 02 (medieval and liturgical Aramaic)

Arabian Wisdom, John Wortabet, 1907  (Proverbs)

Wright’s Grammar”- A Grammar of the Arabic Language V1 and V2
Translated from the German of Caspari , 1896.  (Classic grammar.) From Amazon reader reviews:

First, anyone considering this book needs to understand that this is a reference grammar, not a textbook for learning Arabic. The material is arranged by parts of speech and by grammatical concepts, not as a series of lessons going from simple to more complicated. There are no exercises and no excerpts for reading practice (although all discussions of grammar and semantics are illustrated by examples). The level of the book is not for beginners….I find it hard to recommend the Syntax section of the book, which has pages upon pages of such explanations. But many other parts (such as the discussion of the forms of the verb) are lucid and helpful, probably because there aren’t any English parallels to get in the way.
Wright has been the standard reference grammar of Classical Arabic for over a hundred years, and is still the most comprehensive generally available for the Classical language. Wright’s knowledge of Arabic and his use of Arab grammarians was vast, and he’s worth persevering with. The traditional Western terminology is a positive advantage to anyone who’s used to it,… However, Wright introduces the Arabic terminology almost everywhere, which is a great boon – modern writers tend to ignore Arabic terminology, which is rather pig-headed as it leaves the student unable to discuss language with Arabic speakers, and at a disadvantage when trying to understand books in Arabic on language.

Fischer’s “A Grammar of Classical Arabic” is much more accessible to those unused to traditional Western grammar, even if it is rather less complete in its coverage. In particular, it has nothing on Arabic verse, for which you still neeed to use Wright.

Arabic Idioms-idioms, proverbs, polite, religious and Islamic expressions (Proverbs)
Saudi colloquial audio archive. (Arabic course)

From other sources:

Lane’s Lexicon“–Edward William Lane’s Arabic-English Lexicon (Dictionary)

Media Arabic essential vocabulary.

Sudan Arabic vocabulary.

Sudan Juba dialect vocabulary.

Lists of inks for Arabic historical, etymological, medical, and military dictionaries, regional dialect language courses.
Mo3jam, a user-generated dictionary of colloquial Arabic (mostly in Arabic), like Urban Dictionary, but clean (I think).
*Various sundry downloads. An astonishing collection of 44 pages of links and downloads for the student of Arabic language and culture.  Bibliophiles might try a search for Arabic Manuscripts, a Vademecum for Readers (yummy illustrations, look at “bookbinding”) or Proximity and Distance, Medieval Hebrew and Arabic Poetry.

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Here comes the sun

The sun came out briefly today and I took the opportunity to capture the moment on film, or whatever you call it with an electronic camera.

What happens to geraniums when you leave them without water for three weeks?  I was pleased to see they revived quite nicely after my recent medical tribulations.

There is even one flower.

Some things do not look better in the sunlight.

This web is not world wide—yet—but it is just a matter of time.

Dust is a status symbol, yes? It means you have other, and presumably loftier, priorities.

Snowed in

but I’m not in a big hurry to get back home….

There’s a new boot for my fractured foot (the stitches are now out), and a newly converted Trekkie has some videos.  Plus, the fridge is full of all the cold, wholesome milk I can drink.  For entertainment, there is an occasional robin in the neighbor’s crab apple tree

and a hawk in a brush pile.