Category Archives: female empowerment

Shihara Farook assails Extremism. A Biography and Counter-Current of Significance

Shihara Farook

After three days of crying and being angry I am going to start speaking my heart to all of you. You are free to share this as much as you want and with whom you want. I was born a Sri Lankan Muslim in a town called Gampola very near Kandy Sri Lanka. I was born into a multilingual household and have been trilingual from birth. In that town we had a Muslim majority. There were several mosques and my very large extended family lived sprawled all over the town.

Irfadha Muzammil ….. from https://www.yamu.lk/blog/contemporary-powerhouse-women-in-sri-lanka

At pre school age I was sent to a preschool in a local church . I observed the nuns quietly (Leon Chan and I were friends there as tiny tots) the nuns preferred to call me Fathima as it was a name of a Christian saint as well. They were peaceful kind and so calm! I had the most wonderful time of my life there! They ran an orphanage had some rabbits and made us all smile .

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Meet Nishi Uggalla, Child Prodigy and Scientist in the Making

News Item in ISLAND, with Upul Wijayawardhana as Inspiration 5 March 2019, where the title is She has higher IQ than Einstein … Child Genius UK 2019: Nishi Uggalle”

The remarkable win of 12-year-old Nishi Uggalla, from Manchster, on Saturday night’s (2nd March) final of the Channel Four’s Child Genius competition was, no doubt, a proud moment for all Sri Lankans domiciled in UK.  But it was much more because she made it ultra-special and won the hearts of everyone who watched the programme by an inspiring acceptance speech. Further, she was different from all the other contestants; whereas all the others were driven by their parents or relations, Nishi was the driving force herself.

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Celebrating Anne Abayasekara’s Mighty Pen and Lifetime

Uvin Dassanayake in Daily News, 14 February 2019, where the title is “The pen PROVED MIGHTY INDEED!”

On Saturday February 9, Cinnamon Gardens Baptist Church was host to a celebration of the work of the late Anne Abayasekara, Sri Lanka’s first woman to become a staff journalist and a much beloved writer over her career of nearly 70 years. The evening proceeded with each of her seven children speaking about their mother, recounting fond memories of the sounds of her typewriter in the family home and sharing poetry she had written for her grandchildren; all to an audience of family, friends and people who had been, in some way, affected by Abayasekara’s work.

Anne with her husband Earle

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Sovereignty, Space and Civil War in Sri Lanka: Porous Nation

Anoma Pieris has produced yet another book, this time with the prestigious Taylor & Francis imprint. In hardback it runs to 236 pages and has line drawings, tables and 35 illustrations — so it is expensive: Aus $ 216.88

 

Analyses of the Sri Lankan civil war (1983-2009) overwhelmingly represent it as an ethnonationalist contest, prolonging postcolonial arguments on the creation and dissolution of the incipient nation-state since independence in 1948. While colonial divide-and-rule policies, the rise of ethnonationalist lobbies, structural discrimination and majoritarian democracy have been established as grounds for inter-ethnic hostility, there are other significant transformative forces that remain largely unacknowledged in postcolonial analyses.

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Economising via Gleaning. Ancient Practices for Today’s World

Item in THE ECONOMIST,  Christmas Special, entitled Gleaning. The return of gleaning in the modern world. How much can an ancient practice do to alleviate hunger?”

AT THE SALON in Paris in 1857, Jean-François Millet exhibited a painting called “Des glaneuses” (“Gleaners”). It caused a scandal. Millet had long made a point of painting peasants at their labours, but this big canvas was his strongest provocation. Into a decorous world of silks and parasols it introduced rough women, plump in their homespun skirts, rumps in the air, grubbing for ears of grain dropped after the harvest. One critic complained of “ugliness and…grossness unrelieved”. Another said it made him think of the scaffolds and pikes of the Terror of 1793.

Millet had seen the women differently. He found them dignified, doing their work in a sanctifying late-summer light, companions to his peasant “Angelus”. In this, as well as their humble roughness, he caught the essence of gleaning.

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Galle Fort and Its Literary and Pictorial Fare: A Partial Bibliography

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Anne Abayasekara’s Sturdy Witness to Our Troubled Times

Suvendrini Kanagasabai Perera, in Island, 26 December 2018, where the title reads In the thick of it: Anne Abayasekara, Unfaltering Witness. Review of book – ‘Telling It Like It Is’emphasis via highlights below being the work of The Editor, Thuppahi

Reflecting on her life at an address to the Rotary Club in 2012, Anne Abayasekara made a telling comparison between the life of the creative writer and what she described as her own “enduring love affair with journalism”: “The distinctive feature about journalism … is that in writing for newspapers, you don’t sit in solitude, but have to be out on the street, in the thick of people and events.”

Anne Abayasekara spent over 65 years in the thick of it, thoroughly enmeshed in a world she relished and clearly loved, but nonetheless viewed with great clarity. Her extraordinary career spans Independence in 1948 (she attended the festivities as a young reporter for the fashion pages), the three grim decades of the war and the unpromising peace that has succeeded it. Through it all, she held up a mirror to the society she loved, bearing witness to its atrocities and most egregious failures, as to its small acts of grace and moments of beauty. This carefully distilled selection of her writings provides an important snapshot of this period. At the same time, emerging from its pages is a picture of the writer herself: a spirited, large-hearted, deeply humane woman, characterised, above all, by a rare, sustained courage. Continue reading

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