Satire in the Sri Lankan soul

The book chronicles travels through some of the former hot spots on the island but its gaze lingers on aspects ignored by the professional war correspondent

Upon a Sleepless isle
Cover of Upon a Sleepless isle. Credits: Amazon,in

Sri Lanka has a tradition of satire as journalism that is unparalleled in the subcontinent. Barring possibly, Pakistan (The Diary of a Social Butterfly), there is no country in South Asia that can match the wit and wordplay of Sri Lankan journalists. There were the greats of the 1950s such as Tarzie Vittachi whose weekly column “Bouquets and Brickbats” had many shifting uncomfortably in their chair every Sunday morning. And in the 1970s and 1980s there were Denzil Peiris’s biting comments on the functioning of the government, which were never influenced by the fact that ...