Category Archives: reconciliation

Muddles in the Present Kingdom of Lanka

Rajan Philips, in Sunday Island, 12 February 2017, where the title is Constitutional Tensions and Mixed Messages”

When it seemed that there was nothing left and it was all over insofar as the government’s commitment to constitutional changes was concerned, there were new developments last week that are pleasantly surprising and politically reassuring. The first sign of hope emanated from a meeting President Sirisena had last Wednesday (February 8) with representatives of about 50 civil society organizations at the Presidential Secretariat. The second sign of optimism came from the appearance of External Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera at the Foreign Correspondents Association gathering on Tuesday night. A third pat on the back for the constitutional initiative came from former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, but she characteristically made it controversial by compounding it with her opinion on war crimes investigation. Continue reading

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Filed under accountability, communal relations, constitutional amendments, devolution, governance, human rights, life stories, politIcal discourse, power politics, power sharing, propaganda, reconciliation, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, social justice, sri lankan society

Bridging Lanka I: Sustaining Mannar’s Kulams

BRIDGING LANKA is a multi-faceted programme initiated by the Sri Lankan Austrailan Jeremy Liyanage and friends from circa 2009(?) to assist the social welfare of all the peoples in Mannar island and its adjoining hinterland. I was an observer at a town planning jam-session way back around 2011(?) and have been in touch with Liyanage ver since. Thuppahi is delighted to feature the several social service paths that BRIDGING LANKA is pursuing in the locality.

Protecting and Rehabilitating Mannar’s Kulams (ponds)


Our aim: This project aims to rehabilitate Periyakamam Kulam as a ‘demonstration kulam’ so that authorities and residents alike will be inspired to value, protect and rehabilitate other kulams in Mannar. The sharp decrease in the number of kulams caused by severe encroachment has led to worsening annual flooding in the urban area, resulting in much human displacement and misery.

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Filed under heritage, legal issues, life stories, modernity & modernization, patriotism, performance, plural society, reconciliation, rehabilitation, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, social justice, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, unusual people, voluntary workers, welfare & philanthophy, world affairs

The LLRC Sittings in Pictures

The recent presentation in Thuppahi of a specific proposal from the LLRC on national anthems as well as the issues raised by Thuppahi on the topic of DISAPPEARANCES prompt me to present a number of images from the sittings conducted by this peripatic body of personnel together with a brief officla report. the images have been helpfully provided by Kithsiri De Silva an old Aloysian class-mate who was an officer servicing the work of this august body.  I am also tacking on an official report on the LLRC plus one dissenting note about its lopsided composition from Harshadeva Amarathunga. Michael Roberts


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A Rejection of Reconciliation via Namo/Namo: Weeraratna’s Hardline Sinhala Majoritarian Statement*

Senaka Weeraratna … See Note ** at end

senaka-weeraratnaThe primordial national identity of this country is Sinhale and religious identity is Buddhist. These two historical identities should not be allowed to be dispensed with in order to embrace an artificial secular identity (Sri Lankan) that has neither roots to the soil of the country nor been shaped either by history, common values, heritage or destiny. Continue reading


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The National Anthem as Spearhead in Steps towards Reconciliation

Michael Roberts

On the 24th July 2016 I sent a Memorandum to one of my friends who was located in the administrative heart of the present government’s programme directed towards conceiving schemes in support of ethnic reconciliation. I do not have any idea whether it reached pertinent quarters or if it lies buried in some desk. Note that this memorandum contained the bibliographical references that are attached at the end.  I now place it in the public realm for critical commentary. The version here is embellished with a few alterations [in brackets]as well as some hyperlinks and images. Footnotes 4 & 5 are also additions.

ethnic-amity  ethnic-unitytamils-and-i-day தமிழில் சிறிலங்காவின் தேசிய கீதம் பாடப்பட்டபோது சம்பந்தன் கண்களில் கண்ணீர் – ஊர்ப் புதினம் – க

It is a commonplace in reviews of the ethnic conflict at the popular level of web comment for the blame to be heaped on our politicians in the past, and particularly on SWRD Bandaranaike. This is over-simplistic. Such processes are complex and demand a multi-factorial analysis. Continue reading

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Tamil Women at the Defusing Edge of Demining

Maneshka Borham, in The Sunday Observer, 1 January 2017 where the title is  “War Victims reintegrate into Society ..,”

very morning, war widow Arumainayagam Nalayani, 49, travels over 80 Km from her home in Mullivaikkal to Muhamalai for work. Never being employed before the war, to a traditional woman of the North, the work she engages in is not only daring, but comes with its own perils. Despite protests by her only child and aged mother, as the bread winner of the family Nalayani is however determined to continue. She, along with many other women, mainly widows of war, single parents and even some former LTTE cadres in the area, are today employed by Delvon Assistance for Social Harmony (DASH), a demining agency funded by the Government of Japan, which plays a pivotal role in Sri Lanka’s national demining effort.

defusing-mines Nalayani with Brigadier Ananda Chandrasiri Continue reading

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Filed under historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, modernity & modernization, performance, politIcal discourse, reconciliation, rehabilitation, security, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, unusual people, working class conditions, world events & processes

Feet Across the Nation: Mahela on North-South Walk for Cancer Hospital

     Daily Mirror Q and A with Mahela Jayawardene

On October 2, 2016, a 28-day odyssey from Point Pedro in Jaffna down to Matara, covering the entire length of the country began to collect funds to establish a cancer treatment facility in Karapitiya. Among the celebrities, who joined this venture was Mahela Jayawardena, the former Sri Lanka skipper who trail blazed the entire 670km along with hundreds of other people to support the venture. In a candid interview Jayawardena speaks of the journey and what motivated him to embark on a painful journey.

Q  Mahela—the 28-day journey from Point Pedro in Jaffna down to Southern Dondra Head near Matara was a remarkable effort by the organizers to fund a cancer treatment facility in Karapitiya. Walking 670 km in 28 days is no mean task and it certainly needs a big heart to do that. How did you motivate yourself to do this?

Well, I have always engaged in charity for the last 15 years and I felt that for me the best way to help society is by doing such things. For me politics is something that does not interest and I feel I can contribute a lot in this manner and in my own little way. Sure, I have control of what I am doing and at the same time I can be part of events through which I feel I can help people. And to be involved with good people like Nathan, Sarinda and every volunteer who was part of this and were fantastic people. I have learned a lot from them.

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