Category Archives: welfare & philanthophy

Bridging Lanka I: Sustaining Mannar’s Kulams

BRIDGING LANKA is a multi-faceted programme initiated by the Sri Lankan Austrailan Jeremy Liyanage and friends from circa 2009(?) to assist the social welfare of all the peoples in Mannar island and its adjoining hinterland. I was an observer at a town planning jam-session way back around 2011(?) and have been in touch with Liyanage ver since. Thuppahi is delighted to feature the several social service paths that BRIDGING LANKA is pursuing in the locality.

Protecting and Rehabilitating Mannar’s Kulams (ponds)

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Our aim: This project aims to rehabilitate Periyakamam Kulam as a ‘demonstration kulam’ so that authorities and residents alike will be inspired to value, protect and rehabilitate other kulams in Mannar. The sharp decrease in the number of kulams caused by severe encroachment has led to worsening annual flooding in the urban area, resulting in much human displacement and misery.

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Caste, Democracy and Social Justice: ICES Conference in Late November 2016

atudor Tudor  a-obey Gananath

Tudor Kalinga Silva

This conference was held at the International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Colombo on the 19/20th November 2016 with the participation of over 60 researchers from Sri Lanka and abroad. The objective of the conference was to review recent research on caste in Sri Lanka from the angle of democracy and social justice in line with the broader ICES interest in identity politics in Sri Lanka. The specific issues discussed included possible theoretical, conceptual and methodological issues relating to understanding caste and caste-like phenomenon in Sri Lanka, caste dynamics in Sinhala society, caste in historical context, caste issues in Northeast Sri Lanka, post-war transformation of caste, migration, caste and ethnicity, caste and religion and policy framework for addressing horizontal inequality and promoting social justice. The keynote speakers in the conference were Prof. Gananath Obeyesekere, Dr. Kumari Jayawardena, Dr. John Rogers (from the American Institute of Sri Lanka Studies) and Prof. K. Tudor Silva who also convened the conference on behalf of ICES. Continue reading

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The LLRC Sittings in Pictures

The recent presentation in Thuppahi of a specific proposal from the LLRC on national anthems as well as the issues raised by Thuppahi on the topic of DISAPPEARANCES prompt me to present a number of images from the sittings conducted by this peripatic body of personnel together with a brief officla report. the images have been helpfully provided by Kithsiri De Silva an old Aloysian class-mate who was an officer servicing the work of this august body.  I am also tacking on an official report on the LLRC plus one dissenting note about its lopsided composition from Harshadeva Amarathunga. Michael Roberts

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Elmo Jayawardena in Anguish for His Beloved Land

Elmo Jayawardena, in The Island, 30 January 2017, where the title is “Cry the Beloved Country”

elmo-11I have borrowed the title of this article from the heart-wrenching book by Alan Paton. He wrote about South Africa under the Apartheid regime in 1948. I write about what we face today in Sri Lanka amidst the trumpets that blow heralding progress.

The South African problem was immense and tore the very soul of a country divided by the colour of a man’s skin. It was hideous, to say the least, nothing but modern-day slavery where basic human rights were denied to the majority of a country by a minority that ruled it. That is sadness at its zenith.

parl-buildings  The Parliament of Sri Lanka aka “Diyawanna OOya” in Catain Elmo’s sarcastic and cuastic evalautin of this island’s parliamentary figures over many decades

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A River! A River! A River for the Jaffna Peninsula

Thiru Arumugam,  from the Sunday Island, 30 January 2017 where the title reads “Desalination — Or a Reive for Jaffna?” 

In 2010 the Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a total loan facility of 130 million US dollars for the “Jaffna and Kilinochchi Water Supply and Sanitation Project”. The local costs of 26 million dollars were to be met by the Government of Sri Lanka. The project involved providing safe drinking water for 300,000 people in Jaffna Town and surrounding areas and sanitation facilities for 80,000 people in Jaffna Town. The source of raw water was to be Iranamadu Tank in Kilinochchi. Water was to be pumped from here to a treatment plant near Pallai in the Jaffna Peninsula, and treated water distributed to consumers from there.

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Murali Dissected …. and Admired: Shehan Karunatilaka’s Conversion

Shehan Karunatilaka,  courtesy of ESPNcricinfo and http://shehanwriter.com/sport/Murali_Sceptic.html where the title is Confessions of a Murali Sceptic”

A dangerous confession: I have been a Murali-sceptic for some time. This is not something that should be admitted, in public or otherwise, if you are Sri Lankan and fear being lynched.  Make no mistake, I am no Murali-denier. Who can possibly deny the man’s genius, his artistry, and his quiet dignity? But when first I saw him in 1995, bamboozling the Kiwis in Sri Lanka’s first Test series win abroad, my reaction was that there was dodginess at work – dodginess concentrated around the elbow region. I wasn’t the only one.

At the time I hadn’t read the rules on what constituted a chuck, but it seemed to be all about elbows: whether they straightened or whether they bent. My view of chucking mirrored conventional views on pornography: hard to define, but I would know it when I saw it.

For those, however, who saw Murali, who truly saw the man’s wizardry, there is far more to him than a curious elbow. The eyes that glare like an All Black mid-haka, the wrist that flaps at improbable angles and, unseen by most, the shoulder that all but dislocates at the point of delivery.

23-darrell-hair-no-balls-murali 25a-murali-wired-up26-ranatunga-and-emerson-in-confrontation

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The ISLAND Editor smacks Obama’s Bottom

Editorial in The ISLAND, 17  January 2017, entitled “Obama’s Swansong”… with highlighting bing the Editor Thuppahi’s work.

President Barack Obama has, towards the latter part of his second term, shown a tendency to get increasingly maudlin. Tears welled up in his eyes the other day while making his farewell speech. Last year, he refused to speak at his daughter Malia’s graduation lest he should get too emotional. In 2015, he was seen wiping away tears during a fascinating performance by Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul.

obama-22Pic from another tearful occasion Continue reading

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