Category Archives: life stories

An Indivisible Nation in the New Constitution says Sambanthan

Sandasan Marasinghe & Camelia Nathaniel,  in The Daily News, 22 September 2017, where the title is  “Constitution formulated within a united, undivided, indivisible Sri Lanka: Sampanthan”

The process of formulating a Constitution for the country is being done within the firm framework of a united, undivided and indivisible Sri Lanka, said Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan yesterday.He also said that the successful conclusion of this Constitution making process on the basis of an acceptable reasonable and substantial national consensus would bring about a firm finality to this issue and Sri Lanka would perpetually be a united, undivided and indivisible country in keeping with the basic and Supreme Law of the country, and on the basis of the free will and consent of all its people. Continue reading

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Cricketing Outreach: Building Amity among Lanka’s Ethnic Groups?

Michael Roberts

 A recent Skype chat with Uvindu Kurukulasuriya in London about Kumar Sangakkara inevitably led me to reflect upon the many reconciliatory measures Kumar has participated in – steps attempting to build bridges across the Sinhala-Tamil ethnic divide in Sri Lanka. Among these efforts, the most striking act was the powerful ecumenical statement he asserted at the end of his momentous Cowdrey Lecture at the MCC in London in 2011. “Fans of different races, castes, ethnicities and religions who together celebrate their diversity by uniting for a common national cause. They are my foundation, they are my family. I will play my cricket for them. Their spirit is the true spirit of cricket. With me are all my people. I am Tamil, Sinhalese, Muslim and Burgher. I am a Buddhist, a Hindu, a follower of Islam and Christianity. I am today, and always, proudly Sri Lankan.[1]

 Murali Harmony Cup launched 2012  Ian Botham with Murali

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Filed under centre-periphery relations, charitable outreach, communal relations, cricket for amity, cultural transmission, ethnicity, historical interpretation, life stories, LTTE, patriotism, politIcal discourse, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, tolerance, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

Ferment in Lanka’s Political Firmament: Three Tamil Voices — Philips, Moonesinghe and Somasundram

Rajan Philips:  “One more symbolic step: Wigneswaran’s audience with the Mahanayake Thera,” September 16, 2017

We need a break from the tedium, rather the opprobrium, of national corruption. To paraphrase Dr. Harsha de Silva’s public lamentation, the whole country is awash in corruption. The continuing non-promotion of people like Harsha de Silva and Eran Wickremaratne to full cabinet rank shows the depth of cabinet entrenchment by the corrupt and the crooked and the extent of exclusion of the bright and the honest. The government leadership has a lot to answer for its cabinet choices even as it has a lot of explaining to do about its highway contract choices.

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Steven Kemper on Anagarika Dharmapala: A New Study

Steven Kemper: Rescued from the Nation: Anagarika Dharmapala and the Buddhist World, University of Chicago Press,  2015

Anagarika Dharmapala is one of the most galvanizing figures in Sri Lanka’s recent turbulent history. He is widely regarded as the nationalist hero who saved the Sinhala people from cultural collapse and whose “protestant” reformation of Buddhism drove monks toward increased political involvement and ethnic confrontation. Yet as tied to Sri Lankan nationalism as Dharmapala is in popular memory, he spent the vast majority of his life abroad, engaging other concerns. In Rescued from the Nation, Steven Kemper reevaluates this important figure in the light of an unprecedented number of his writings, ones that paint a picture not of a nationalist zealot but of a spiritual seeker earnest in his pursuit of salvation.

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Kumar Sangakkara’s Reconciliatory Outreach across the Ethnic Divide: A Bibliography

IN TEMPORAL ORDER

 

Michael Roberts, “Sangakkaras visit St. Patrick’s College, Jaffna,” 12 April 2011, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/sangakkaras-visit-st-patricks-college-jaffna/

Kumar Sangakkara’s 2011 MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture in full,” 5 July 2011, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/cricket/international/srilanka/8618261/Kumar-Sangakkaras-2011-MCC-Spirit-of-Cricket-Cowdrey-Lecture-in-full.html

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A Crocodile kills British tourist Paul Maclean off East Coast

A Financial Times journalist was killed by a crocodile whilst washing his hands in a lagoon in Sri Lanka during a holiday with friends. Paul McClean, 24, an Oxford University graduate, is believed to have wandered off from friends in order to go to the toilet, before being ambushed by the reptile as he dipped his hands in the water. He is said to have been seen “waving his hands in the air” in desperation before being dragged under water at a lagoon known as Crocodile Rock, located just just minutes from a popular surfing beach.

Paul McClean, right, with his brother Neil on his graduation day in August 2015

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Experiencing Terror in the Heart of New York: 9/11

Palitha Kohona, courtesy of Ceylon Today

It was another sunny September morning. The sky was a brilliant blue. As I gazed out of my kitchen window while having breakfast, in Midtown Manhattan, the Twin Towers were glistening in the morning sun. I noted, as I often had, that they were still there, a familiar reassuring sight. The cute young blonde in the apartment across the street was drying her wet hair, as usual, by her plate glass window. The walk to the United Nations (UN) and my office on the 32nd floor of the Secretariat was uneventful.

Kent Kobersteen, former Director of Photography of National Geographic

“The pictures are by Robert Clark, and were shot from the window of his studio in Brooklyn. Others shot the second plane hitting the tower, but I think there are elements in Clark’s photographs that make them special. To me the wider shots not only give context to the tragedy, but also portray the normalcy of the day in every respect except at the Towers. I generally prefer tighter shots, but in this case I think the overall context of Manhattan makes a stronger image. And, the fact that Clark shot the pictures from his studio indicates how the events of 9/11 literally hit home. I find these images very compellingÑin fact, whenever I see them they force me to study them in great detail.”

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