Category Archives: welfare & philanthophy

Fashioning Sri Lanka’s Development: A Retrospective Overview

Godfrey Gunatilleke, being the final chapter entitled  “Hindsight and Retrospect – A Brief Commentary” in a new book Towards a Sri Lankan Model of Development, 2017 Marga Institute, ISBN 978-955-582-134-6 ….publications@margasrilanka.org

 

Introduction

“History has many cunning passages, contrived corridors”  This line from Eliot’s Gerontion is a good  starting  point to begin reflecting on Sri Lanka’s development after independence .  Retracing the development path that Sri Lanka took and pausing at every twist and turn to ask “What if we took another turn?” is always a fascinating  exercise . How useful it is in guiding us in our future actions is another matter. There are always lessons to be drawn from the successes and failures of the past. But when this is done we need to recognize the inherent limitations of an effort to learn from the past and project past trends to the future.  Eliot as a poet and Schumpeter as an economist found knowledge derived from past experience to be of limited worth in predicting how the future would unfold and enabling us to take control of it.  Eliot pointed out  that the past imposes a pattern and can falsify one’s vision of the emerging future as  “the pattern is new in every moment and every moment is a shocking valuation of all that we have been”   Schumpeter perceived how innovations and discoveries which were not  foreseen led to historic and fundamental changes  and  based his model of growth on the “creative destruction”of the past . Their insights about the “unpredictability” of the future has important implications and challenges for development policy and planning. Continue reading

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Rakhita and Senel: Transforming Lives

A SUNDAY TIMES Feature, 23 July 2017 entitled “Young and Unafraid,”… http://www.sundaytimes.lk/170723/plus/young-and-unafraid-251199.html

A month ago two young Sri Lankans were in London to receive the Queen’s Young Leaders Award. Established in 2014, the programme is aimed at discovering, supporting and encouraging exceptional young people between the ages of 18-29 across the Comonwealth for their contribution to their communities. This year, 21-year-old Rakitha Malewana and 26-year-old Senel Wanniarachchi were honoured for their work with HIV/AIDS and social activism respectively.

   Rakitha Malewana, raising awareness about HIV/AIDs. Pix by Indika handuwala

  Social activist Senel Wanniarachchi. Pic by Sameera Weerasekera

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Ceylon Tea and Its Surrounds: Richard Simon’s Tour de Force

Michael Roberts, courtesy of Sunday Times, 16 July 2017, … http://www.sundaytimes.lk/170716/plus/an-invigorating-draught-250066.html

  

Sri Lanka. Aerial view of tea estate hillside.

Ceylon Tea is a must-read, must-absorb work of art. Its review of the history of tea in Sri Lanka is set in deep context – context historical, context political and context social. As such, it is a tour de force.   Continue reading

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Introducing FIRE AND STORM by Michael Roberts

Anonymous Reviewer in Sunday Times, 21 July 2013,  where the title runs “Important contribution towards a dialogue on Lankan polity. Book facts”

When Michael Roberts left Peradeniya in the late seventies, he was part of an exodus of intellectuals from the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya, arguably one of the best universities at that time. The exodus of academics at that time was compelled by the economic difficulties faced by university dons. It was the second wave of such emigration that diminished the intellectual life of the university and country.

  Pirapāharan and leading Tiger Commanders at the Indian sponsored training camp at Sirimalai in 1984

The Arts Faculty of the University of Peradeniya never regained its prestigious academic status after that. Today the University of Peradeniya cannot take pride in intellectuals of the eminence of E. F. C. Ludowyck, E. R Sarachchandra, H. A. de S. Gunasekera, Fr. Ignatius Pinto, Ian Van den Driesen and many others. Continue reading

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Asela from Adelaide explores Sri Lankan Affairs in Chats with Six Committed Lankans

Courtesy of Asela aAtukorala and his blog site …. http://aselaatukorala.blogspot.com.au/2017/07/six-sri-lankan-specialists-discuss-sri.html … where the title reads: “Six Sri Lankan Specialists Discuss Sri Lankan Issues”

I travelled to Sri Lanka in May this year and had the opportunity to meet several specialists to discuss Sri Lankan issues that were mostly related to politics and economics. In this article, I’ll be sharing the highlights of my meetings with the 6 people I had the privilege of talking to.    

Monday 8th May 2017 ….This was the first meeting which was at Verité Research. Their workplace was an old house re-done as an office and it had great architecture.

Janeen Fernando

That afternoon, I met Janeen Fernando who’s the Head of Politics at Verité Research. As part of his role, he’s in charge of the Sri Lankan trilingual political tracking site Manthri.lk. I’ll now list some highlights from our discussion.   Continue reading

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Sydney is now a Chinatown?

Rose Brennan, in the Daily Telegraph

AUSTRALIA’S greatest city is now more Chinese than British — with yesterday’s Census data revealing how much the incredible boom in Asian ­migration has changed the face of Sydney. In the past 25 years, the percentage of overseas born ­migrants in Sydney residents from China has risen an ­incredible 500 per cent. And for the first time ever, the greatest proportion of ­migrants in the Harbour City are from China rather than England.

 Paul Wong was just 18 when his family came to Sydney from Hong Kong

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Tactical Push ‘n Shove on Sea and along Air in Asylum-Seeker ‘War’

Simon Benson,  in The Australian 29 June 2017, where the title is  “People-smugglers downsize to beat barricade”

Border protection officers intercept a people-smuggling boat, whose occupants were sent back to Sri Lanka on Monday
Border authorities are facing a new wave of people-smuggling operations described as “micro-ventures” designed to penetrate the naval barricade, with smaller, less detectable teams using more perilous sea routes.In what Border Protection ­officials claim is the emergence of a new model designed to test the Turnbull government’s resolve, four of the eight intercepts at sea since February last year have carried fewer than eight people.

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