Kumar Sangakkara’s Ecumenical Lankan Nationalism

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” …. Kumar Sangakkara’s concluding sentences at his 2011 MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture, 4 July 2011…. for which see http://www.scribd.com/doc/59318468/2011-MCC-Spirit-of-Cricket-Cowdrey-Lecture

Roberts: Note that this wonderful comment was preceded by two other quotable quotes during his long peroration that mesh neatly with this concluding emphasis;

A] “Cricket played a crucial role during the dark days of Sri Lanka’s civil war, a period of enormous suffering for all communities, but the conduct and performance of the team will have even greater importance as we enter a crucial period of reconciliation and recovery, an exciting period where all Sri Lankans aspire to peace and unity.” 

B] “A week after our arrival in Colombo from Pakistan [after the attack on our bus at Lahore] I was driving about town and was stopped at a checkpoint. A soldier politely inquired as to my health after the attack. I said I was fine and added that what they as soldiers experience every day we only experienced for a few minutes, but managed to grab all the news headlines. That soldier looked me in the eye and replied: ‘It is OK if I die because it is my job and I am ready for it. But you are a hero and if you were to die it would be a great loss for our country’.


Filed under life stories, reconciliation, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, terrorism, unusual people, world events & processes

24 responses to “Kumar Sangakkara’s Ecumenical Lankan Nationalism

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