Category Archives: education

Kieran de Zoysa’s Last Hurrah: “I am so Sri Lankan …. A Real Achchaaru”

Kieren Shafritz De Zoysa’s Essay “Sri Lanka: My Cultural Connections” … submitted for the Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition … written just before he was among those killed by a Muslim bomber at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel on Easter Sunday 21/4/2019**

The tropical sun burns bright. On my way to school, red and black buses full of office workers, tuk-tuks of all colours, Porsches, Land Rovers, and BMWs crowd the roads. There are few road rules. I pass a speeding blur of white colonial buildings, ancient banyan trees, old elegant homes behind high walls, short ladies pushing trash carts, small kadeys selling cream crackers and sodas, and road-side hawkers offering freshly plucked red rambutans, golden yellow mangoes, young orange coconuts. Steel and glass office towers stand high over small houses. Cranes rise above expensive new apartment buildings. Occasionally I see a Buddhist monk in orange robes. Lonely, stray dogs roam the streets and sidewalks scavenging for food, near tourists who turn bright lobster red taking selfies in front of thousand-year-old temples.

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USA’s Imperialist Advances by Stealth? Goodness Gracious Me!

Michael Roberts

In my readings of her past work, Shenali Waduge tended to go overboard in several of her claims, while also displaying one-sided Sinhala chauvinistic leanings in her assessments. But her recent article in Lankaweb, entitled “US in Sri Lanka since 2015 – turning Sri Lanka into a Neo-Colonial Military Base,” addresses a wide range of issues, including some that are looming over Sri Lanka today. It is also marked by considerable industry and embraces an extended sweep of time.


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Birds in Lanka: Janaka Gallangoda’s Photographic Virtuosity

Dr Janaka Gallangoda spent two years at Flinders University in 2014/15 and I have been fortunate in gaining access to his scintillating camera-work previously. Here are a selection from his snap shots of birds in Sri Lanka

 Kashmir Flycatcher (Ficedula subrubra) …. Rare winter migrant to the central hills of Sri Lanka from the Kashmir region of Himalayan foothills. This is a globally threatened bird. Many birdwatchers from all over the world travel to Nuwara Eliya to watch this little jewel.  It is a solitary and fairly territorial bird found near forest edges, gardens and tea estates. 

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Political Currents Past and Present bearing on the Sri Lankan Dilemmas Now

 DCP Amarasekere[i], in Island, 28 October 2019, with this titleBeyond the story of doom: the social base of ‘new authoritarianism’ in Sri Lanka”

With only a few weeks left for the 2019 Presidential Election, two questions seem to dominate our social conversations and news coverage: “who will win?” and “what will be Sri Lanka’s political destiny?” In the absence of country-wide scientific polling, the first question is typically answered by using anecdotes, quasi-scientific, social media or social network specific speculations or gossip.  The second question, which categorically stems from the liberal quarters of society, is a long-winded lament about the “cruel dilemma” of having to choose between a “neo-conservative” coalition and weak political formations putting up a brave fight to hold on to the last straw of the country’s democracy.

NM Perera at hartal 1953 and SWRD for Sinhala Only in 1956

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Visually Handicapped to Enlighten the “Anduru Lovin Eliyata” Lit-Fest at Mount Lavinia

Elmo Jayawardena

A & K Literary Festival opens its doors for a full day’s entertainment on 20 October 2019 at 0900.  Renowned writer and teacher, Dileepa Abeysekera will be the opening bat doing a workshop on creative writing. The venue, as usual, is the historic Mount Lavinia Hotel, regal and elegant, a hard to beat location for a lit festival. The management of MLH very generously supports A & K by giving the use of the hotel FREE as their sponsorship contribution for the event. That is how the organisers squeeze the limes and lemons to make it affordable to literature lovers who need to pay only 100 rupees to access all the entertainment of the one-day festival.  Anduru Lovin Eliyata’

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The Durability of Solar-Power Lighting Units and An Exemplary Outcome at Thalakolawewa

Chandra Fernando

We have been donating these lights since May 2014 to the same school [viz., the Thalakolawewa Primary School], amongst other places all over Sri Lanka. Last Saturday we received news that 42 children who studied under our lights were able to pass their Govt Scholarship Exam. 

This result is mainly due to the Principal’s dedication and commitment in encouraging the staff to have night classes and in making a special request for extra lights for the school.  He came to Sudath’s place and collected the lights personally. We have since arranged to give the school 4 lighting packages each containing 6 lights for the new batch of students.

… SEE,+Sri+Lanka/@6.7456262,81.2402763,14z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x3ae4472a85270bf5:0xe552c72f0f2997ae!8m2!3d6.7197836!4d81.2539611

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Sustaining a Malay Lankan Identity: A Magnum Opus on Their Heritage

A young medical student Tuan Careem hopes that his book ‘Persaudaraan’ (brotherhood) will help rekindle an interest in Malay culture among the youth of his community.  When he was young, he spent many days in bed recovering from bouts of asthma. While many would cite similar experiences as a reason why they did not succeed in later life, young Tuan Careem does just the opposite. “I used to get sick a lot when I was small so I would have to spend a lot of time at home. My parents took me to the library and let me borrow books to keep me occupied, but unfortunately for them I read the books at an inconveniently fast rate,” grins 24-year-old Tuan.

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