Category Archives: reconciliation

Profound Insights into Sri Lanka’s Tempestuous History

Royston Ellis, in Sunday Times UK in March 2020 where the title of his review reads  “For anyone interested in Sri Lanka, its politics and human nature”  

Lord Naseby (right) with Royston Ellis outside the House of Lords

This book by Lord Naseby, who lived in Sri Lanka from 1963 to 1964 when he was Michael Morris and an eager South Asian Marketing Manager for Reckitt & Colman, has a cover with an eye-catching red spine proclaiming “Sri Lanka in large type. It is clearly designed to attract bookshop browsers and to ensure that it becomes a prominent addition to an enthusiast’s collection of contemporary literature about Sri Lanka. Continue reading

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Extremist Fervour as Roadblock for Reconciliation: A High Profile Example from the Galle-Lit-Fest

RK Radhakrishnan, in The Hindu, 2011 (?)https://www.thehindu.com/books/books-reviews/reconciliation-elusive-on-the-ground/article6164031.ece

The packed hall at the Galle Literary Festival was stunned into silence by a series of abuses hurled on a Sri Lankan human rights activist by a member in the audience. The hurler of abuses, a well-known journalist, questioned the activist’s patriotism, labelled her pro-Tiger, and described her as a ‘stooge’ of the Western nations. Oh yes, that was just the printable part.

The activist at the receiving end was Sunila Abeysekera. She was one of the panelists on ‘Aftershock: The lingering legacy of civil war,’ presented by the BBC World Service. Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and event moderator Bridget Kendall (BBC’s diplomatic correspondent) were on stage. The exchange presented a clear idea of the differing perceptions on the concept of reconciliation.

Rajpal Abeynaike

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Our Constitutional Language Mediums: Bombastic Lies from Gammanpila and Others

FactCheck at http://factcheck.lk/claim/udaya-gammanpila-10

Statement

[According to Article 7 of the constitution] Sri Lanka’s national anthem is “Sri Lanka Maatha“… if anything other than the words of “Sri Lanka Maatha” contained in the third schedule is considered to be the national anthem, it would be a violation of the constitution.

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Vijayapalan Award bestowed on Sangakkara at Tamil Kamban Vizha

Pranavesh Sivakumar in Daily News, 6 February 2020, where the title runs “Sangakkara bestowed with top Tamil recognition”

Former Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara became the first-ever sportsman to be honoured and felicitated at Kamban Vizha (a prestigious Tamil cultural festival) for his exceptional and exemplary service and for doing his country proud.

Star southpaw Sangakkara, awarded the K. Vijayapalan memorial award, joined an elite and exclusive list of award winners and honourees, including Indian musical maestro S.P. Balasubramaniam, who shared the same stage.

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Our Anthem FOR Hearts and Minds

Michael Roberts

The full-frontal challenges from Janaka Perera and Daya Hewapathrane[1] to my advocacy of the National Anthem being sung in Sinhala and Tamil are on different scales, the one moderate and the latter extremist/chauvinist. But they are not totally apart. Both indulge in cherry-picking examples from the world beyond Sri Lanka to bolster their prejudices. More significantly, the moderate claims of JP work insidiously to bolster the extremists like DH and, worse still, to alienate moderate Tamils (the extremist Tamils, in my assessment, are beyond conversion to amity or sanity).

 

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Ecumenical Sri Lankans sing Anthem in Both Indigenous Languages

News Item in Colombo Gazette, 4 February 2020

Concerns were raised today over the failure by the Government to sing the National Anthem in Tamil at the main Independence Day event at Independence Square. The National Anthem was sung only in Sinhalese, which was a shift from the policy of the former Government which decided to sing the anthem in Sinhalese and Tamil in order to promote reconciliation among the communities.

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Jehan Perera evaluates New President’s Cautious Approach

Jehan Perera, in Island, 28 January 2020, where the title is “Adopt a problem solving approach for the north”

Contrary to expectations the government is treading a cautious path with regard to past commitments on controversial matters made by the previous government. This may be disappointing to its more nationalist supporters. They might have expected an immediate change of approach and rescinding of agreements they see as unfair or not in the national interest. In the run up to the presidential election campaign, the present government’s front line campaigners claimed that the MCC grant of USD 450 million by the US government that had just received cabinet approval would endanger the country’s national security. Members of the government and their nationalist supporters were emphatic in saying that the former government had betrayed the country. This effectively sank any prospect of election victory that the former government’s presidential candidate may have had.

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