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[17 Feb 2017 | No Comment | Posted by ]
Investigating Sri Lanka’s ‘nude’ culture

27th January 2017
Learning from schoolgirls and boys about blackmail, ‘nudes’ and cyber exploitation in Sri Lanka.

This article is based on discussions around cyber exploitation with students, parents and teachers in rural and urban Sri Lanka, grappling with the motivations for sharing naked pictures and videos.

What makes a young girl stand naked in front of her mirror, point her smartphone at it, and take a picture?  What makes a young man, who receives this picture, share …

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[10 Jan 2017 | No Comment | Posted by ]
Back to school

Ten days into 2017… the story around the “mass molestation” at New Year celebrations in Bangalore still reverberating, including disturbing video footage, we wonder at what went into nurturing their sense of entitlement i.e. I am a man, and I have the right to touch, squeeze, grope, grab, pinch, poke, paw, pet, fondle, rub, rub up against, rub myself… or just hit on the head and drag her off like our ancestors of old, or …

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[21 Jul 2016 | No Comment | Posted by ]
Menstruation – cultural beliefs and practices

In February 2016, YAMU published The Tampon Traversty: 6 Intriguing Issues About Menstruation. The article underpins how Sri Lankans view menstruation. It seeks to debunk troubling and archaic perceptions of menstruation, and also discusses the limited access to Tampons, which now appear to be no longer available in Sri Lanka (July 2016). Bakamoono will discuss some of the issues raised by YAMU and also the reactions of parents, teachers, students, young people and adults in Sri Lanka, to discussions around menstruation …

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[20 Oct 2015 | No Comment | Posted by ]
Our Children Need Us…

“Boys give love to get sex. Girls give sex to get love.”
She was just seventeen. And yet, you will not find a more phlegmatic insight. The patriarchal strictures within which we operate are understood. Women and girls know their place. They learn early that they haven’t been invited to the party. Their role is to either entertain, or clean up after us men. If they enjoy this, then it’s merely a happy side effect. We …

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[3 Sep 2015 | No Comment | Posted by ]
In Memoriam – Old Man

Shantanu died last Wednesday. Not yesterday. Last Wednesday. I’m still processing this. And like other deaths of those I love, I’ll probably always process last Wednesday.
Shantanu was my peculiar window into Bengal. My mentor. He was also a person who used drugs.
“A fucking addict! So what?”
I remember stolid Calcutta nights in his makeshift living room when his toddler son used to fetch his ceramic box of green, and Shantanu would look at me and laugh.
“Am …

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[22 Aug 2015 | No Comment | Posted by ]
“And who the fuck is Anoma Gamage?”

“Rosy lost because not enough women voted for her.”
Rickshaw Driver truisms are difficult to unravel. Yes, Rosy lost because not enough women voted for her. Broadcasters, press and social media is currently alive with opinions, poetry and prose on our new government. We love a good election in this country. The tight ones. The down to the wire ones. The drunken dreamy ones. Still, some herald freedom, and others, enslavement. Depends on where you were …

News & Information, The Sunday Column »

[5 Aug 2015 | No Comment | Posted by ]
On Dicks, Pics & Fiddlesticks: Sex and Convention in 2015

On Sunday we sat down with the cast of the Irish Curse.  Five men. Five small penises. Five perspectives on life. It’s funny. It’s sad. It’s very, very real. Some of us watching this play will no doubt identify with what is being said, for at some point, perhaps as a testosterone riddled teenager, we’ve measured length and girth. We may have even compared notes. We would’ve, should’ve, and could’ve have lied of course… but …

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[22 Jan 2015 | One Comment | Posted by ]
The Birds & The Bees

2015, Sri Lanka’s new beginning. Hope. Confusion. Resentment. Hope. The I-told-you-so-ers are waiting in the wings. Failure imminent, apparently. Tails are up. Sarongs similarly tied about fat and thin and hairy thighs. Even if everything goes wrong it won’t be as wrong. Tread carefully. Slippery slope. Holier-than-thou alert. It’s the same argument on both sides. Good versus evil. Ask the Japanese. Arguments of infinite regression, futile. Ask Palestine.
Women have spoken this time, they said. They …

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[2 Dec 2014 | No Comment | Posted by ]
Weeping Willow World (AIDS Day)

Today we judged a theatre competition on HIV, or more aptly “AIDS”. I felt defeated. For a moment. Or two. I needed to remind myself that the actors spoke only of what they knew to be true. What they thought to be fact. What they had learnt. The key message remained HIV=AIDS=Death. Regressive. And this on the day that scientists announce the emergence of a milder form of HIV due to the effectiveness of antiretroviral therapy. Simply, deterrent …

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[17 Jun 2014 | No Comment | Posted by ]
Revaluation of Values: Applying the Pullman Principle to Post-War Sri Lanka

This past couple of weeks I’ve been rereading Philip Pullman’s ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy. I first picked up ‘Northern Lights’ (Book 1) in 2003 while at University in Scotland. My MPhil Thesis (completed in 2004) starts with a quote from ‘The Amber Spyglass’ (Book 3), and right now in May of 2014 I am perhaps on my tenth reading of ‘The Subtle Knife’ (Book 2). These three books have journeyed with me, as I lived …