Category Archives: social justice

Fr. Michael Rodrigo Assassinated in 1987: A Man serving People …. All People

Alex Perera, in Sunday Island, 12 November 2017, where the title is different: “Thirtieth Death Anniversary of Fr. Michael Rodrigo”

“I am a Catholic in my religion, but a Buddhist in my culture” Fr. Michael

Thirty years ago, on November 10, 1987, while Rev. Fr. Michael Rodrigo O.M.I was celebrating the Holy Eucharist, he was shot and killed at his small shelter in Alukalawita, Buttala. Continue reading

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Dr. John Scudder and the American Medical Mission in Jaffna

 D.C. Ambalavanar, courtesy of Tamilsangam, where the original title is “From New Jersey to Pandatherippu. Dr. John Scudder and the First Western Medical Centre in South Asia”

On October 18th [2017] a public function was held by the Church of the American Ceylon Mission in the village of Pandatherippu in Northern Sri Lanka. This was the final event of several held over the past year to celebrate and commemorate the arrival of the first American missionaries to Jaffna in October 1816. During this function which was attended by public officials, members of the medical profession and church members, a postage stamp and first day cover honouring Dr. John Scudder was officially released by the Sri Lankan Postal Department.

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Shirley Somanader’s Historical and Literary Works

Shirley Somanader

DANIEL AND HIS DESCENDANTS – VOLUME I

2009 1st edn., A5 size, 64pp., 200 copies printed.

This is a biographical work. The book contains a collection of a series of articles on the Christian witness of Daniel Somanader, his wife Angelina and his children, especially two of their daughters.  All the articles were written Mrs M. E, Rigg, the wife of Rev. Edmund Rigg, Methodist Missionary in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) between 1865 – 1870 and they first appeared in the ‘Christian Herald’ , a newspaper published in the Wesley Press, Batticaloa at that time, except one  article which was written in by Rev. James Gillings, the then Superintendent Methodist Missionary in Batticaloa and appeared in the’ Wesleyan Juvenile Offering’ of July   1859. Continue reading

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Mohan Munasinghe receives Legion of Honour

Item in Daily FT

Jean-Marin Schuh, Ambassador of France to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, bestowed the honorary distinction of Officier de la Légion d’Honneur (Officer of the Legion of Honour), upon Prof. Mohan Munasinghe at the French Ambassador’s residence. The Légion d’Honneur is the first and highest national order and distinction of the French Republic, coming directly under the purview of the President of France.

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Albert Namatjira emerges from the Copyright Dungeon

AAP-SBS News, October 2017,    where the title is Albert Namatjira’s copyright deal: Rewriting a historical wrong”

An injustice has been righted more than 30 years on with the family and clan of famed Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira recovering the copyright to his work.  A 15-minute phone call and the princely sum of $1 have resolved what has been the country’s longest copyright battle for the rights to the works of Aboriginal painter Albert Namatjira. It is a victory for his family and clan who have been denied any rights or revenue from his work for more than 30 years, The Weekend Australian reported.

Namatjira, an Arrernte man from Central Australia, is recognised as Australia’s greatest indigenous painter and the first to work in the western tradition. He is best known for his watercolour paintings of the outback and created about 2000 artworks during his life.

**FILE** A Oct 19 2006 file photo of Albert Namatjira’s first painting is displayed at a Sotheby’s preview in Sydney. The auction of the Aboriginal art including Albert Namatjira’s first painting will be on in Melbourne today, Tuesday Oct. 31, 2006. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas) NO ARCHIVING

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Reconciliation via Cricket and Charity? The Political Ground is a Waterlogged Minefield

Michael Roberts

It is possible that Velupillai Pirapaharan remains a revered leader and symbol of the nationalist drive for Thamililam among some Tamils residing within the island f Sri Lanka today – even though they are circumspect in expressing such thoughts in public. Indeed, it is possible that some Tamils in the island worship him as a deity in the manner espoused in some quarters abroad by Tamils of the diaspora (see image below).

So, how does one measure the political reverberations of the well-meaning efforts towards reconciliation and the bridging of the Tamil-Sinhala divide delineated in several essays presented recently[1] in THUPPAHI?

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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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