Category Archives: unusual people

Cricketing Outreach: Building Amity among Lanka’s Ethnic Groups?

Michael Roberts

 A recent Skype chat with Uvindu Kurukulasuriya in London about Kumar Sangakkara inevitably led me to reflect upon the many reconciliatory measures Kumar has participated in – steps attempting to build bridges across the Sinhala-Tamil ethnic divide in Sri Lanka. Among these efforts, the most striking act was the powerful ecumenical statement he asserted at the end of his momentous Cowdrey Lecture at the MCC in London in 2011. “Fans of different races, castes, ethnicities and religions who together celebrate their diversity by uniting for a common national cause. They are my foundation, they are my family. I will play my cricket for them. Their spirit is the true spirit of cricket. With me are all my people. I am Tamil, Sinhalese, Muslim and Burgher. I am a Buddhist, a Hindu, a follower of Islam and Christianity. I am today, and always, proudly Sri Lankan.[1]

 Murali Harmony Cup launched 2012  Ian Botham with Murali

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Filed under centre-periphery relations, charitable outreach, communal relations, cricket for amity, cultural transmission, ethnicity, historical interpretation, life stories, LTTE, patriotism, politIcal discourse, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, tolerance, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

Steven Kemper on Anagarika Dharmapala: A New Study

Steven Kemper: Rescued from the Nation: Anagarika Dharmapala and the Buddhist World, University of Chicago Press,  2015

Anagarika Dharmapala is one of the most galvanizing figures in Sri Lanka’s recent turbulent history. He is widely regarded as the nationalist hero who saved the Sinhala people from cultural collapse and whose “protestant” reformation of Buddhism drove monks toward increased political involvement and ethnic confrontation. Yet as tied to Sri Lankan nationalism as Dharmapala is in popular memory, he spent the vast majority of his life abroad, engaging other concerns. In Rescued from the Nation, Steven Kemper reevaluates this important figure in the light of an unprecedented number of his writings, ones that paint a picture not of a nationalist zealot but of a spiritual seeker earnest in his pursuit of salvation.

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Filed under British colonialism, Buddhism, cultural transmission, education, fundamentalism, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian religions, Indian traditions, landscape wondrous, language policies, life stories, literary achievements, meditations, nationalism, pilgrimages, politIcal discourse, power politics, religiosity, religious nationalism, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, unusual people, world events & processes

Kumar Sangakkara’s Reconciliatory Outreach across the Ethnic Divide: A Bibliography

IN TEMPORAL ORDER

 

Michael Roberts, “Sangakkaras visit St. Patrick’s College, Jaffna,” 12 April 2011, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/sangakkaras-visit-st-patricks-college-jaffna/

Kumar Sangakkara’s 2011 MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture in full,” 5 July 2011, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/cricket/international/srilanka/8618261/Kumar-Sangakkaras-2011-MCC-Spirit-of-Cricket-Cowdrey-Lecture-in-full.html

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Filed under charitable outreach, communal relations, cricket for amity, cultural transmission, education, ethnicity, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, patriotism, power politics, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, tolerance, travelogue, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

Royal College, Colombo via Darrell Lieversz’s Painting Brush

Darrell Lieversz

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One Pillar vs Ethnic Chauvinism: Global Cross-Cultural Families

Swaminathan S. Ankleswaria Aiyar, courtesy of The Times of India, 2 April 2005, “My family and other globalisers”

In 1992, I wrote a book titled Towards Globalisation. I did not realise at the time that this was going to be the history of my family.  Last week, we celebrated the wedding of my daughter, Pallavi. A brilliant student, she had won scholarships to Oxford  University and the London School of Economics. In London, she met Julio, a young man from Spain. The two decided to take up jobs in Beijing, China. Last week, they came over from Beijing to Delhi to get married. The wedding guests included 70 friends from North America, Europe and China.

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Filed under citizen journalism, communal relations, cultural transmission, ethnicity, female empowerment, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian traditions, life stories, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, reconciliation, tolerance, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes

Felicitating English among Novices Through Literature

Sachitra Mahendra, in Daily News, 12 September 2017, where the title reads “Courage that Counts”

They wanted to speak English. Some of them could deliver well. But most of them could not, sadly. For them all – the newly chosen batch of undergraduates – the university offers a course with the English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU). But then these undergraduates were not interested in attending the course either. They were still required to pass the ELTU exam to be qualified for the degree completion. However excellent they may have scored in other subjects, they would not obtain the certificate without the ELTU green light. The fault is not theirs, according to Madhubhashini Disanayaka Ratnayake, who was the ELTU Head attached to the University of Sri Jayawardanapura.

 Pictures by Wasitha Patabendige

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Farmer Field Schools Initiative on Sri Lankan Tea Plantations

Dushy Perera, at  where the title is Taking Farmer Field Schools to Sri Lankan Tea Plantations”

A few days ago at the hundred plus year old DMCC Planter’s Club in Dickoya (central Sri Lanka), ETP initiated a momentous programme that will train a group of trainers who will be responsible for establishing and running a farmer field school (FFS) programme on Sri Lankan tea plantations.ToT attendees  ToT attendees

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