Category Archives: charitable outreach

Revisiting the Story of the IDP Camps, 2009 et seq: ONE

Michael Roberts

As with Eelam War IV the Western media juggernaut, primed and fed by the extensive LTTE networks abroad, mounted an effective disinformation campaign on this topic. One illustration was when Jeremy Page of the BBC reported in June 2009 that 1400 persons were dying per week in the Manik Farm camps.

Coping with the influx of internal Tamil IDPS from late 2008 onwards was in fact a huge administrative and humanitarian problem with security implications. The task was faced by the Government of Sri Lanka and a collection of INGOS and NGOs with the support of monetary aid provided by the Western governments and UN agencies and with a Coordinating Committee chaired by Mahinda Samarasinghe keeping an eye on proceedings.

Annet Royce (standing) and Sewalanak Cooking team at Omanthai transit camp in mid-May 2009 preparing food packets for IDPS bussed in from war front on way to Manik Farm Camps Continue reading

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Balancing Human Rights with Poverty Alleviation

Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka, in The Island, 29 December 2017

Professor Richard Falk’s inspiring and reflective article on Human Rights, Democracy and International Liberalism in ‘The Island’ of Dec 28th (originally titled ‘Democracy, Development, and Reputation: Vietnam, Turkey, and International Liberalism’) re-thinks human rights in a way that potentially introduces a whole new paradigm which  will resonate with many developing countries including Sri Lanka. That it was written by an internationally eminent Professor of Law who has been involved with issues of Human Rights for decades including as Special Rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Council, makes it all the more important.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_A._Falk

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About Choosing a School. Royalist Sons of Thomian Fathers

Rajakeeya

The perennial debate that sparks off  when old Royalists  and old Thomians meet  often centres around the claim over which  of the two schools had a better record in producing successful men. There is no doubt that both schools have produced men of eminence whether it be national leaders, academics, professionals, sportsmen, businessmen or those immersed in the fine arts. One unfailing test of the claim of superiority is to ascertain what eminent old boys themselves  look for when choosing an educational institution for their own sons.

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Jewish-Muslim Amity in Essaouira and Morocco

Item in The Economist Nov 2nd 2017, where the title is Morocco’s little idyll of Jewish-Muslim coexistence: A moment of religious harmony””

ONCE a year the little seaside town of Essaouira, in Morocco, reclaims its lost Jewish community. Sephardic trills echo from its whitewashed synagogues. The medieval souks fill with Jewish skullcaps. Rabbis and cantors wish Muslims “Shabbat Shalom” and regale them with Hebrew incantations. “It’s our culture,” says a merchant from Marrakech, who travelled 200km (124 miles) to hear them this year.

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Fr. Michael Rodrigo Assassinated in 1987: A Man serving People …. All People

Alex Perera, in Sunday Island, 12 November 2017, where the title is different: “Thirtieth Death Anniversary of Fr. Michael Rodrigo”

“I am a Catholic in my religion, but a Buddhist in my culture” Fr. Michael

Thirty years ago, on November 10, 1987, while Rev. Fr. Michael Rodrigo O.M.I was celebrating the Holy Eucharist, he was shot and killed at his small shelter in Alukalawita, Buttala. Continue reading

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Of Bonds and Boundaries via Biographical Moments

Wilfred Jayasuriya

Fortunately the priest was walking by the ward. He wore a black hat like a gentleman of my father’s vintage, when they wore such hats as a style when the British ruled us. He was also quite dark skinned like my father and had well chisselled features, a round chin, a proportionate nose and mouth—what my mother said about my father in spite of him being quite dark skinned that he was a handsome man. And this priest was well dressed in his white cassock and black waist band and he had a cross with Christ tucked in it. “Father,” I asked, “are you a Catholic priest? Can you come and see my friend? He is very ill. In this ward.” I pointed to the interior where the 12 o’ clock crowd had already filled the spaces between the beds.

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Struggling for Sinhala at US University: Anne Blackburn et al

Namini Wijedasa, in Sunday Times, 29 October 2017, where the title “The battle to keep Sinhala alive in an American University” ….Academics running the programme seek financial assistance from Sri Lankan Govt. and expat

Scholars at the Cornell University, USA, are fighting to keep alive a decades-old Sinhala language programme that is facing closure owing to funding cuts  Cornell, a renowned private Ivy League institution, is the only university outside Sri Lanka to offer a full curriculum of study in Sinhala. About half of the funding for the course is external, primarily from the US Government’s Department of Education. The rest is from the university.

Anne Blackburn

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