Category Archives: welfare & philanthophy

The Forgotten People: Malaiyaha Tamils of the Plantations and Hill-Country

Meera Srinivasan, from The Hindu, 18 May 2017, where the title runs The long journey of a forgotten people”

“Sri Lanka’s hill-country Tamils want to be seen as rightful citizens, not passive beneficiaries”

 Estate workers in late 19th century

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s public rally on May 12 with Sri Lanka’s hill-country Tamils, on the second day of his two-day visit to the country, was a success, if you went by conventional markers such as the crowd he drew or the cheers that arose from it. But its real outcome is rather limited compared to the wide-ranging needs of the historically neglected community. That an estimated 35,000 people from in and around the central highlands converged on the small town of Norwood – many walking over 5 km since buses clogged the narrow roads — partly reflects the affinity the Tamils feel for India, from where their ancestors moved to Sri Lanka about 200 years ago. Moreover, hill-country politicians put in their might to mobilise workers, campaigning widely across the tea estates that employ a fourth of the over one million-strong community.

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Enmasse: Lankan Catholic Migrants Celebrate Mass at Padova in Italy

Fr. Sheron Dias, Oourtesy of  Asian Tribune, Rome 11/5/17  with title as “20th Annual National Rally Of The Sri Lankan Catholic Migrants At Padova In Italy”

For the 20th consecutive year the Sri-Lankan Catholic migrants living in Italy gathered at the hallowed Shrine of St. Anthony of Padova on the 1st of May 2017.Thousands of Srilankans took part in the Festive High Mass followed by the Solemn Procession and the Blessing with relic of St. Anthony of Padova.  This Annual National Rally of the Sri-Lankan Catholic migrants was organized under the guidance of Rev. Monsignor Neville Joe Perera, the National Coordinator to the Sri-Lankan Catholic migrants in Italy in collaboration with the Chaplain Priests. Continue reading

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Empowered Women rise from the Ashes of Sri Lanka’s War

Avani Dias,  courtesy of ABC Net, May 14 May 2017, where the title runs  Border Girls: Women in Sri Lanka take on male roles to help recovery from brutal civil war,” http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-07/border-girls-help-sri-lanka-recover-from-civil-war/8499728

Women and girls whose male relatives were killed in Sri Lanka’s brutal civil war are now helping the country recover, taking on roles formerly reserved for men and heading to schools and universities to complete their education. The so-called “Border Girls” mostly come from towns and villages which formed a human buffer zone between the opposing sides during the 27-year conflict, which ended in 2009 and left tens of thousands of civilians dead, many of them killed in the war’s bloody final phase. The majority of border girls, who are from the Tamil, Sinhalese and Muslim ethnic groups, lost their partners, fathers, and brothers in the war, which pitted government troops against Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) guerrillas, also known as the Tamil Tigers. Now these resilient women want to independently lead a change in Sri Lanka by pursuing their education and altering community attitudes so women have a leadership role in the traditionally male-led society.

Saroja Dilrukshi, 16, lost most of her family during the Sri Lankan civil war

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BEAP Hospital rises from Tsunami Ashes in Batticaloa Locality

SPECIAL FOREWORD: The Timeless Classics Concert raised $35,000 in net returns to the Foundation. We are planning to repeat the concert in Colombo at the time the newly elected Rotary International Director visits Sri Lanka in November 2017. The event will be organised by two Rotary Clubs in Colombo spearheaded by our own Trustee, Rotarian Indrajith Fernando. The artistes have agreed to donate their services and their talent to help us raise funding for the hospital.

Memo from Nihal De Run

Dear Members of our Project Interest Group,

These pictures were taken during a site visit on 6th April 2017. We were thrilled to see the progress and the sheer size of the super structure. The contractor CECB is confident of finishing on schedule, 15th November 2017 but I would add another six weeks for the prospect of rain, material delays and so forth.


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Kandy’s Landscape under Sunday Observer’s Eagle Eye

Sunday Observer Team, 17 May 2017

The Sunday Observer has launched “Cityscape” where our intrepid reporters will visit cities around the country, probing the shortcomings and asking the questions no one dared to ask before. In this segment of Cityscape, our staff journalists, Maneshka Borham and Husna Inayathullah are visiting the Hill Capital Kandy, the country’s second largest city, seeking answers to a host of issues including, but not limited to, garbage, air pollution and the lack of parking spaces.

 Kandy – mid 19th century overview    Kandy Today

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Ambedkar’s Criticism of Caste Divisions now available in Sinhala

Basil Fernando

 

A Sinhala Translation of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar’s book Annihilation of Caste is now available. It is entitled Kulaya Mulin Uputa Demeema” The book has been translated into an easy, readable language by Osadhi Nayantara Gunasekera and published by the Asian Human Rights Commission. The book is now available in bookshops in Sri Lanka. Annihilation of Caste is one of the finest political works produced in Indian political literature. This book was originally written as the text for a keynote address. It was for a gathering of a society called Enlightened Hindus and published as a book in 1936. Ever since, this book has been translated into almost all Indian languages and into many other international languages such as English, French and others.

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Manmade Garbage Landslide at Meethotamulla: A World First?

Iromi Perera and Vijay Nagaraj, in http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/52489 where the title runs “Meethotamulla: The tragedy of the poor victimised in the name of development”

On the afternoon of 14 April tonnes of garbage at Meethotamulla, one of the biggest dumping sites just outside Colombo, came crashing down destroying scores of homes. At the time of writing, the death toll was reportedly 26 but was expected to rise. There have been serious allegations made by the affected community that rescue efforts did not even begin in earnest till very late into the night owing to a lack of direction and the failure of authorities. According to Nuwan Bopage, a lawyer representing residents of Meethotamulla, people were left using shovels to get to those buried. “During that whole time we could hear the dying breath of those buried under the garbage,” he said at a media conference the next day.

Meethotamulla Rahula Vidyalaya

Behind the tragedy is a litany of broken promises—including an assurance by the Prime Minister himself in 2015 of solving the problem within six months—and protests being met with tear gas or batons. A group of residents from Meethotamulla approached the Supreme Court in 2014 seeking to stop the dumping of garbage.
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