Tony Donaldson, whose preferred title is “A Time of Celebration and Reflection. Sri Lanka’s 70th Independence Day in Melbourne”
Many Sri Lankans have made the journey to Australia and now call it home and Melbourne continues to be a popular destination with the number of Sri Lankans living in this multicultural city estimated to be approximately 35,000. It is a diverse community and so it was pleasing to see that the emphasis of Sri Lanka’s 70th National Independence Day celebrations held on 4 February 2018 in the Kingston City Hall, Moorabbin, was placed on recognizing the plurality of Sri Lanka as a nation of many ethnic and religious groups. Organized by the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Melbourne, the celebrations were like a gift of treasures but it was also a time to reflect on the postcolonial history of Sri Lanka and its future.
Kandyan dance performed by the Sri Lankan Cultural Ensemble of Australia
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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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Vaishnavi Chandrashekhar, courtesy of Christian Science Monitor, 17 November 2017, where the title runs “Mumbai museum challenges Indians’ self image
In a dimly lit gallery at Mumbai’s premier museum, visitors admire a 17th-century cloth painting depicting characters from a Muslim court in south-central India. An Ottoman trader feeds a bird; a Central Asian merchant holds a Chinese vase; and in one corner, a yogi sitting cross-legged on a deer-skin contemplates a wondrous new object: a pineapple brought to India from the New World by the Portuguese. Such intriguing juxtapositions, unexpected stories, and global connections form the essence of an ambitious new exhibition that recounts India’s history and its engagement with the world through 200 objects. In doing so, it offers a counterpoint to rising intolerance and nationalism in India and elsewhere.
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