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Big Hearts fashion a Tiny Step of Great Magnitude: ECSAT in Galle

ECSAT was established by Catherine Liyanage (now McLeod) on 1st April 2005. Originally from the UK, she had worked in institutional settings in Sri Lanka and felt strongly that families should have more options to help them keep their disabled children in their communities. In the aftermath of the tsunami, ECSAT began to grow, helping disabled and non-disabled people recover together. From the very beginning the charity has focused on inclusion, and making sure disabled people are accepted in their communities.

To date, ECSAT has supported thousands of people in the south of Sri Lanka, and in order to promote and support this work Friends of ECSAT UK was set up and registered with the Charity Commission in 2009.

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Military Whispers may have bolstered Sri Lankan Cricket Tour of Pakistan?

Michael Roberts

In venturing into Pakistan this month of September 2019 for the first tour recognised in the ICC books since the terrorist assault on the Sri Lankan entourage on 3rd March 2009, it could be conjectured that Sri Lanka is re-paying the Pakistan government for its military support when the Sri Lankan armed forces were in dire straits in the Jaffna Peninsula after the huge SL Army base at Elepahnt Pass was captured on 23rd April 2008 followed by the fall of the Pallai base. Colonel Balraj’s Tiger troops were so ascendant and threatening that the Kumaratunga government was considering the evacuation of all forces from the Jaffna Peninsula. A calamity of the Dunkirk variety was looming in April-May. Overtures were even made to the Indian government for assistance in evacuation. Even Generals Fonseka and Janaka Perera were prepared to take this step. It was General Anuruddha Ratwatte who backed President Kumaratunga’s fighting spirit and refused to pursue such a course in early May 2000.

Ratwatte  Musharaf

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Ferdi grills Lord Naseby: How the Colonel Gash Reports became Public ….. Late in the Day

Shamindra Ferdinando, in Island, 25 September 2019, where the title runs ““Naseby disappointed in Lanka’s collective failure to use ‘Gash reports’ for its defence”

Sri Lanka recently lost a golden opportunity to honour British politician Lord Naseby whose untiring efforts helped Sri Lanka to counter politically-motivated unsubstantiated war crimes allegations, propagated by interested parties. Unfortunately, Sri Lanka lacked the required political will to exploit the Conservative Party politician’s revelations. Instead, the current dispensation struggled to cope up with Lord Naseby’s disclosure in the House of Lords, on Oct 12, 2017. The revelation disputed the very basis of a Geneva Resolution, co-sponsored by Sri Lanka on Oct 01, 2015.

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Dark Nights in Sri Lanka: The Incidence and Spread of Electricity

Michael Roberts

Way back in the md-1990s when I was in Sri Lanka working on the Anti-Muslim “riots of 1915” and other such topics and driving up to Kandy, I gave a lift to a youngish man waiting for a bus at Nittambuwa. He was a SL Army soldier in civilian clothes heading home to his village off Matale[1] and I dropped him off at Warakapola. He was now engaged in office work; but that was because he had been invalided out of fighting duties. In fact, he was the only survivor of a wire-guided landmine ambush on 30th July 1995 that killed Lt Genl Nalin Angammana[2] and all the others in the vehicle. Suffering major injuries, his recovery had been aided by the generosity of Nalin Angammana’s widow, who financed his flights to USA for major operations – her act of dāna (almsgiving).[3]

Lt Genl Nalin Angammana

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Facing the Friday Forum: Scathing Criticisms of Their Readings

On the 3rd September 2019, I invited a selected body of individuals to review and comment on the article in the ISLAND newspaper of 3rd September presented by a cluster of eminent intellectuals with the headline Presidential Elections And The Peoples’ Options” – an item that has also been reproduced in Thuppahi too with a different title.

AAA VINOD M Vinod  AAA RAJIVA 2Rajiva

These invitees are busy people and one could not expect responses from all of them. However, I received two critical evaluations from Rajiva Wijesinha and Vinod Moonesinghe; while Rajeewa Jayaweera has penned an appraisal in his regular column in the Island. Gerald Peiris indicated that his close friendship over many years with some of the key personnel precluded any engagement; but he presented comments on the Forum’s evaluation of the JVP on the foundations provided by a long history of engagement with the JVP as well as more recent exchanges with some of its personnel. Continue reading

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Lake House trains its Guns on Gota

Political Editor in Sunday Observer, 4 August 2019, where the title is “The Problem with ‘Candidate Gota’,”

Exactly a week from today, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) is set to hold a huge rally in the central city of Kandy, where expectations are that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa will formally take over the reins of the fledgling political party that swept the February 2018 local authorities election. August 11 is also when the SLPP rank and file strongly believe the former President will finally anoint the party’s presidential hopeful. Most of the party believes this candidate should be the man who functioned as Secretary to the Ministry of Defence throughout his brother’s decade-long presidency, Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

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The Muslim Moors in Sri Lanka: Commensality in the Moulding of Distinctive Being

Michael Roberts

The article by Wilfrid Jayasuriya on “The Force of the Moors” in Sri Lanka generated an ethnographic note which led to clarifications from Mohamed Mowzil and Ameer Ali.[1] They provided details about the practices followed by the Moor (Muslim) people in the course of meals termed sawan and kidu. This practice of feeding oneself from the same communal dish in the centre of a small table is especially marked on days of feast or collective recollection. In some instances, the family collective would include men and women. Where outsiders (usually bosom friends or distinguished personnel) are party to this intimate occasion, only males would participate in this practice.

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