Category Archives: education

ALIYO! Aiyyo, Aiyyo! Aliyo: Today’s Anzacs in Lankan Conservation Work

Aussies and Kiwis depict their Conservation Work in Sri Lanka

Nate Bills …. Australia

The location for the project is awesome! You are so close to the national park and the villages where you can see elephants. Everyone working at the field house is so nice and they make it a good atmosphere when you are working or relaxing in between activities. The cooking from Mahinda is the best I had on my trip.

We were really lucky seeing elephants every day, especially at the park where we saw heaps in one afternoon and even saw one of the two bulls with tusks.

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Profound & ‘Coloured’ Insights into Our Environmental Degradation

Prasad Abu Bakr, in Sunday Observer, 7 July 2019, …. http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2019/07/07/art/book-review-slow-cooked-thoughts

This is a ‘must-read’ book for those who lived during that glorious past, which is quietly slipping out of our grasp. It is also one for the next generation, who live in a world of make-believe – thinking that demolition of that glorious past and the pristine environment that was there, in the name of ‘development’ is aimed at making the world a better place to live in.

In her Foreword, Jill Macdonald refers to Slow-cooked Thoughts as a compelling compilation of writings both occasional and various, linked by a common motif of the writer’s passionate and unwavering belief of what constitutes a right relationship with the world around us.

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Galle Fort Renovations and Embellishments

Sunday Times News Item, 7 July 2019, where the title is “Stage II of Galle Fort development project under way”

Work on Stage II of the proposed ‘Galle Fort Development Project’, has commenced. The project funded by the World Bank is estimated to cost rupees 217 million. The project will be jointly handled by the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development, the Department of Archaeology, the Galle Heritage Foundation and the Sea Conservation Department. Stage I of the project which commenced in January this year is nearing completion.

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Andrew Fidel Fernando’s Encounters and Travels in Sri Lanka

 Arjuna Ranawana reviews “Upon a Sleepless Isle” by Andrew Fidel Fernando

Fans of Andrew Fidel Fernando will be surprised, and those who are new to his writings, delighted. The well-known Cricket writer, a returnee to Sri Lanka, has written a book, “Upon a Sleepless Isle,” in which he travels through the country, crisscrossing the island on buses, tuk-tuks, scooters and bikes. In doing so he reveals a deep love for this land and its peoples as well as its most exasperating idiosyncrasies.

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A Review of the Book BUDDHISM TRANSFORMED

Premkumara De Silva,** in The Midweek Review of The Island, 17 May 2005, where the title runs ” Anthropology of ‘Sinhala Buddhism’ “

The disciplinary identification of “Buddhism” in Sri Lanka as an anthropological object began in the late 1950s as part of a growing field of “peasant” or village studies in South and Southeast Asian societies. In Sri Lanka, the work of Gananath Obeyesekere, Edmond Leach, Michael Ames, and Nur Yalman is central to this inaugural moment. These anthropologists have identified the integration of the diverse beliefs and practices of Sinhala Buddhists within a religious worldview that is in accordance with fundamental Theravada Buddhist teachings. Within this academic exercise Obeyesekere insisted on the term “Sinhalese Buddhism” to convey the idea of full variety of religious practice, popular and esoteric, in Sri Lankan Buddhism. He argues that Sinhala Buddhism should be seen as “a single religious tradition”, and not as composed of separate “layers” to be analysed in isolation from each other.

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Buddhism over Time in Colonial and Independent Sri Lanka

Abstract of Article by Ananda Abeysekara entitledBuddhism and ‘Influence’: The Temporality of a Concept” Qui Parle, 2019, Vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 1-75.

For almost three decades the concept of “Protestant Buddhism” has been the object of critique by numerous scholars such as John Holt, Charles Hallisey, Anne Blackburn, Erik Braun, Alicia Turner, Steven Kemper, and others. They claim to tell a different story about the relation between religion and modernity (“Protestantism”) in South Asia. By extension, these scholars seek to reconstruct the temporal relation between the past and the present, questioning postcolonial conceptions of history, time, and religious practice. But this story of temporality is staked on the question of “influence,” which has a genealogy that includes not just colonial, missionary, liberal politics but also contemporary legal-political questions about foreign influence on democracy and sovereignty. This article contests the ways in which the critiques of Protestant Buddhism conceptualize colonial and postcolonial forms of time, translated into universal forms of self, agency, responsibility, etc. The article argues that the question of influence, which animates parts of the story of secular ways of inhabiting time, obscures not just how the encounter with the temporality of a tradition is an encounter with power. It obscures how even modern sensibilities of inhabiting time, ironically, require coherence even as they are repeatedly said to be constituted by “heterogeneous” forms of everyday life.

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Our Well of Tears for Kieran de Zoysa: Killed on Easter Sunday, 21st April

Kieran Alexander Shafritz de Zoysa, August 7, 2007-April 21, 2019

Kieran was born in New York City, raised in Washington, D.C., and spent summers in Southern California. He schooled at Sidwell Friends, a Quaker school from age five to 10 and looked forward to returning to Sidwell Friends School in September 2019, following 18 months of living in Colombo and attending Elizabeth Moir School.Kieran was a gifted student with a photographic memory, the diligence to natural grasp of maths and science. Teachers in Washington and Colombo loved his enthusiasm for learning and his drive to do his best always.

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