Category Archives: charitable outreach

Dharmapāla’s Seminal Moment at Buddha Gāya in 1891: An Anagārika for the Universe

 Michael Roberts, courtesy of  The Island and Sunday Times and with thanks to Sasanka Perera & Steve Kemper

Sasanka Perera has recently introduced readers to a new book by Steven Kemper entitled Rescuing Dharmapala from the Nation (University of Chicago Press, 2015) – a book which surveys the socio-political activities of the Anagarika Dharmapala in a refreshing manner. I have yet to get hold of the book, but Sasanka provides enough commentary to provoke a discussion.

 Dharmapala in USA –probably at the World Congress of Religions 1893

Within a context where Dharmapala aka Don David Hewavitarne is regarded as an influential Sinhala Buddhist chauvinist by many social scientists analysing Sri Lankan history and politics, Perera indicates that Kemper provides broader dimensions by re-situating Dharmapala “within the Buddhist world of his time by … focusing on his international activities in aid of Buddhist causes and cross-faith discussions.” Kemper’s new work, therefore, is a modification of the Protestant Buddhist thesis popularized in social science circles by Gananath Obeyesekere’s writings in particular. Continue reading

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Imran Khan set to embrace Pakistani and Indian Cricketers at his Ministerial Inauguration

Bipin Dani in The Deccan Chronicle, 7  August 2018

Fawad Chaudhry, spokesperson of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), said that Imran Khan will invite all members of the 1992 World Cup-winning Pakistani cricket team for his oath-taking ceremony as Pakistan Prime Minister. (Photo: AFP)

Mumbai: Imran Khan will invite all members of the 1992 World Cup-winning Pakistani cricket team for his oath-taking ceremony as Pakistan Prime Minister. This was revealed by his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) spokesperson, Fawad Chaudhry. “Due to some legal issues, we are yet to finalize the final date of the ceremony and therefore the invitations are not sent yet,” said Chaudhry. Imran Khan also has plans to invite India’s Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev and Navjot Singh Sidhu for his swearing-in ceremony. Continue reading

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The Calistorites Association of Moratuwa and the Sellaperumage Fernando Lineage

I P C Mendis, in Daily News, Archives from 2004, where the title is “Calistorites Association – over the waves to the 70s”

The Moratuwa-based Calistorites Association completes the biblical three score years and ten this year and will celebrate the occasion with a dinner-dance on 27th March 2004 at the stadium in Moratuwa. The Association comprises the descendants of Mr. and Mrs. S. Calistoru Fernando of Moratuwa fame, those who have joined the family through wedlock and the progeny.

on the way to the hills in the 19th century

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Revd Small of Richmond: Educationist Extraordinary

Simon Meeds with Joe Simpson**

In September 1973 Joe Simpson had my first encounter with the man who, 120 years after his birth, is still referred to as “Small of Richmond”.  Joe remembers the moment clearly. It was a typical morning for the south coast of Sri Lanka at that time of year, already hot and rather humid. Joe was a newly-arrived Cambridge University graduate, a teacher from Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO). He had heard about Rev. Small from his VSO predecessor, another Northern Irishman who had served at Richmond a few years before. He remembers feeling wonderment on learning that not only had the Rev. Small been Principal as long ago as 1906, but also that at the age of 90 he still resided at the School.

 Walter Joseph Tombleson Small

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Dinesh and Mother Charity: Boundless Kindness

Elmo Jayawardena,in Daily News, 1 June 2018, where the title is “Kindness t Its best”

Recently I stopped at a traffic light. A father and son walked on the pedestrian crossing. The father was holding the autistic boy’s hand, guiding him to the opposite pavement.

Probably, that is what he is doing from the time the child was born to the day the father dies. Such is the perpetual responsibility of a parent who raises an autistic child.

Dinesh Fernando is 31 years old and does not even have a bicycle to call his own. Continue reading

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June 11, 2018 · 5:32 pm

Professor Laksiri Jayasuriya: A Far-Reaching life in Sri Lanka and Australia, 1931-2018

Siri Gamage, courtesy of Colombo Telegraph

Emeritus Professor Laksiri Jayasuriya (Laksiri) who was Professor of Social Work and Social administration at the University of Western Australia passed away on April 20th 2018 in Perth. He was the founder of the sociology department at the University of Colombo and led an illustrious career in the Australian academia while contributing to government policy making processes in areas such as multiculturalism, ethnic affairs,migration and citizenship. He nurtured cohorts of students under his care during his long career in Australia and continued to engage in scholarly activities and publishing after retirement. Professor Jayasuriya leaves behind bellowed wife Rohini and two loving sons Kanishka and Pradeep – both professionals – one in the academia and the other in medical field. His death comes as a great loss to his academic colleagues, particularly in Australia and Sri Lanka.

Prof Laksiri Jayasuriya

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Methodist Schools in Batticaloa and Galle are the earliest schools to sustain their continuity to the present

Shirley Somanader

1.  Methodist Central College, Batticaloa is specifically mentioned  as an English School from August 1814 as a separate institution apart from any Vernacular school.

Rev William Ault arrived in Batticaloa on the 12th of August  1814. * He died on April 01st 1815. He laboured in Batticaloa for just seven months. * But in the first of his two letters to his mother after arriving, he writes that he has established an English school,  I quote from his letter, “On my arrival here I found in this place a Tamil school containing about thirty boys. That school is now under my superintendence. We have established another, which now contains thirty, besides the English school, which I teach myself.                         

  .as it is today

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