ONE: from Victor Rebikoff OAM, and Former FECCA Chair 1992-96
I am deeply honored to have been asked by the Alwis family to provide this personal eulogy on my close friend Randolph Alwis AM whom I have known for over 35 years since we became the Presidents of our respective State and Territory Multicultural Communities Councils in the early 1980’s and as a consequence Deputy Chairs of Australia’s peak community body FECCA – viz, -the Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia. At that time both of us were the ‘young guns’ at the forefront of Australia’s multicultural movement and became closely involved in working with Commonwealth, State and Territory governments in the initial introduction of culturally and linguistically appropriate services for migrants and refugees Australia wide.
Rajan Philips, in Colombo Telegraph,14 February 2021, where his chosen ttitle is “Geneva Odyssey: More Confrontation Or New Approach?”
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa who made the surprising call for the government cancelling the ECT deal with India and Japan, has made another surprising and really a gallant announcement giving the green light for allowing burials for Muslim and Christian victims of Covid-19. If the Ministry of Health has been caught unawares by the PM’s statement in parliament, well, they had better get used to it. But no sooner had the government appeared to have cremated the burial issue than Cardinal Malcom Ranjith raised a new headache for the government – threatening to take his case for justice for the victims of the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks to international courts, if there is no assurance of justice through domestic investigations. That is a shocker even though it is no more than a threat for now.
“When Shukra Munawwar excelled in the Sri Lankan version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ on a local TV channel, the 17 year old schoolgirl from the South of Sri Lanka, brought all Sri Lankans together in one joyous celebration.BIt was not just her sincerity, her candid and cheerful demeanor that captured the hearts across religious and ethnic divides. It was her story, her talent, her skill and her determination.
Somasundaram Skandakumar …. with highlighting emphasis imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi
A path to prosperity for Sri Lanka will ONLY evolve when the majority community that so passionately talks about Buddhism have it in them to abide by Lord Buddha’s profound teaching, in their hearts, minds and in Public.
It was the Lord who wished for ALL beings to be happy. It was the same Lord who said that when ALL beings are happy, nature will smile on the Country and prosperity will be assured from the ensuing blessings.
A gutted building that is near the beach on Mount Lavinia has been an eyesore for the last 33 years. It was once the Tilly’s Beach Hotel, which was owned by a Tamil businessman. The hotel was a favourite among residents of Colombo as well as German and Russian tourists. Colomboites would enjoy the Sunday Lunch Table Buffet, while many tourists had a mad crush on the handsome head chef, a culinary genius who understood Russian and German besides his native Tamil, Sinhalese and English.
A chance finding during my sojourn with Moninna and Ranjit Goonewardena in Galle Fort in July/August 2015 introduced me to the visit of Tony Blair’s family to Sri Lanka in August 2015 ….. See https://thuppahis.com/2020/11/22/tony-blair-and-family-in-galle-mid-august-2015/ As we all know, in 2015 the Yahapālana govt indulged in an about/turn (with US backing) and joined the HR lobbies by saying ‘mea culpa’ at the UNHRC Sessions in Geneva in March/April that year. This programme overturned the presentations pursued earlier by Dayan Jayatilleke and Tamara Kunanayakam under the Mahinda Rajapakse dispensation. Kunanayakam’s competent representations in 2011 earned the undiluted ire of Eileen Donahue (the American ambassador at the UNHCR) who even threatened Kunanayakam verbally on the phone: “we will get you!”. Internal machinations within the Rajapaksa camp, apparently involving Sajjin Vaas Gunawardena and a Ministry staffer Kshenuka Seneviratne, led to Kunanayakam’s displacement a little later.
In August 2015 Tony Blair and family visited Sri Lanka on a private holiday trip and during their stay in Galle resided at the upmarket boutique hotel known as “Amangalla.”When a Sunday dawned on 11th August 2015 they adhered to their Catholic faith and attended mass at the little low-key Catholic Chapel in Lighthouse Street around the corner from Amangalla. So, we now witness a picture of an informal gathering after the service where the Blairs are chatting with Moninna Goonewardena of Parawa Street, Fort Galle, Charmaine Fereira of Galle and Fr. Tharanga Saminathan of the Jesuit Order — a lovely moment etched in ecumenical space.
It’s a hundred years since the World War One ended.
It was called “the war to end all wars”, a war “to preserve Democracy”. It was, in fact, fought for nothing more than the needs of a handful of European countries wanting yet bigger pieces of the global pie, fighting each other for it or to deny it to others.
Chandre Dharmawardana, in a COMMENT directed at the moderate voice of Daya Wickramatunga in Thuppahi Commentary, 5 August 2020 …. here raised in status because of its salience and wisdom
Daya Wickrematunga is said quoted to say: “Our Constitution should include that amendment. The 13th amendment that prescribed equal powers to the provinces, with equal status to the Sinhalese and Tamil languages, was aimed at that. It went to show that the ‘Sinhala Only’ policy of SWRD was wrong.”
Thuppahi's Blog · This web site presents the interventions of MICHAEL ROBERTS in the public realm with reference to Sri Lankan political affairs. It will embrace the politics of cricket as well. ROBERTS was educated at St. Aloysius College in Galle and the universities of Peradeniya and Oxford. He taught History at Peradeniya University and Anthropology at Adelaide university. He is now retired and lives in Adelaide.