Category Archives: reconciliation

Encountering Prejudice in Lanka as a Person of Mixed Descent

Krystle Reid, from Groundviews, http://groundviews.org/author/krystle-reid/  where the title is “A Welcoming Nation”

The following is a list of things I’m often asked or told, revealing of Sri Lankan perceptions about the Burgher community.

  1. Are you Sri Lankan?
  2. Can you speak in Sinhalese?
  3. ‘You’re a Burgher? You sure don’t look like one’
  4. ‘Sounds like a Las Vegas stripper name’
  5. ‘They get drunk every Saturday and go to church the next day, no shame’
  6. ‘Burghers? Parents must be divorced then.’
  7. ‘Lansi no? Probably got the job because of her English and the mini skirt’
  8. ‘Burgher…. like a hamburger?’

I could continue but the real point I was trying to make is that 70 years after independence, our ethnicity is still misunderstood. Continue reading

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Political Turmoil NOW: Charting Prospects and Pathways with Huge Question Marks

SWR de A Samarasinghe, in Island, 13 February 2018 where the title is “Ups and Downs of Sri Lankan Politics and Looming Political Uncertainty. The Local Government Elections

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 Last Saturday’s Local Government (LG) Election dealt a stunning blow to President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the two respective political parties, UPFA and UNP, that they lead and paved the way for the major political comeback of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa.

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Dance, Song, Word and Dress: Melburnian Lankans Celebrate 70th YEAR of Independence

Tony Donaldson, whose preferred title is “A Time of Celebration and Reflection. Sri Lanka’s 70th Independence Day in Melbourne”

Many Sri Lankans have made the journey to Australia and now call it home and Melbourne continues to be a popular destination with the number of Sri Lankans living in this multicultural city estimated to be approximately 35,000. It is a diverse community and so it was pleasing to see that the emphasis of Sri Lanka’s 70th National Independence Day celebrations held on 4 February 2018 in the Kingston City Hall, Moorabbin, was placed on recognizing the plurality of Sri Lanka as a nation of many ethnic and religious groups. Organized by the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Melbourne, the celebrations were like a gift of treasures but it was also a time to reflect on the postcolonial history of Sri Lanka and its future.

Kandyan dance performed by the Sri Lankan Cultural Ensemble of Australia

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Overcoming Hate: A Lesson for Tamils and Sinhalese from a Holocaust Survivor

Zygmunt Swisrak

I had so much hate towards the Germans. That hate was killing me. I realised this later when I went to Germany. Three times I have been there. They wanted me to lecture at university, at ­technical colleges, about what I suffered in the ­concentration camp in Frankfurt. I just went there to tell them what happened. And I met so many Germans; it started to change me. After I finished one talk, a student wrapped herself around me. She had tears in her eyes and said, “I am sorry for what our fathers and grandfathers have done to you, your family, and your country.” Then I started to get emails from students saying that my survival was not wasted and that to hear from somebody who was there, as an inmate in their country, was a ­different story. That’s how I got rid of the hate. I didn’t expect that. I have changed a lot. I can’t get rid of the hate altogether but it’s much less than I had and it doesn’t kill me anymore.” …. An Extract from Zygmunt Swisrak’s Last Testament

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A Historical Exhibition in Mumbai that Challenges the Hindutva

   Vaishnavi Chandrashekhar, courtesy of  Christian Science Monitor, 17 November 2017, where the title runs Mumbai museum challenges Indians’ self image

In a dimly lit gallery at Mumbai’s premier museum, visitors admire a 17th-century cloth painting depicting characters from a Muslim court in south-central India. An Ottoman trader feeds a bird; a Central Asian merchant holds a Chinese vase; and in one corner, a yogi sitting cross-legged on a deer-skin contemplates a wondrous new object: a pineapple brought to India from the New World by the Portuguese. Such intriguing juxtapositions, unexpected stories, and global connections form the essence of an ambitious new exhibition that recounts India’s history and its engagement with the world through 200 objects. In doing so, it offers a counterpoint to rising intolerance and nationalism in India and elsewhere.

 see https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-South-Central/2017/1117/Mumbai-museum-challenges-Indians-self-image

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Rampant Corruption Debilitating Our Nation, says Bishop Canagasabey

Rt. Revd. Dhiloraj Canagasabey, Bishop of Colombo: Extracts from His Address at  the 132nd Annual Sessions of the Diocese of Colombo, Church of Ceylon.

‘One of the most disappointing failures of the govt. has been its inability to end rampant corruption’

Each year, both in the report of the Standing Committee of our Diocese and in my own charge we turn to look at the significant events that have taken place in the country, viewed from the standpoint of the Church. Our scriptural and theological understanding of God’s concern for and involvement in the history of peoples and nations requires us to engage fully with the issues of our country and the world. Continue reading

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A Propaganda Concoction: Tamil Torture Claims in 2017 challenged by Naseby and WION

WION and Padma Rao Sundarji, courtesy of WION, 18 November 2017, where the title is “Tamil torture wounds may have been self-inflicted: Lord Naseby”

Last week, 50 Sri Lankan Tamil men used an  international news agency to make a damning accusation: that they were raped and tortured by Sri Lankan authorities on suspicion of being members of the separatist terror group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), against whom Sri Lanka fought a bloody, 30-year-long civil war. By the time the war ended, more than 120,000 people had been killed. But the conflict ended in 2009. These men say they were tortured in 2016. Why did they wait so long to speak up? British parliamentarian Lord Naseby knows Sri Lanka intimately, having been associated with it for 45 years. He heads a parliamentarian group supportive of Sri Lanka in England’s House of Lords. And he spoke to WION in an exclusive about the latest charges and possible motives.

……………….. http://www.wionews.com/south-asia/self-inflicted-torture-24468

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