Category Archives: voluntary workers

Planting Muringa: Grounded Charity in the Vanni

VANNI HOPE and its Work …. Video and Cross links sent by Ranjan Sivagnanasundaram with ….

* VIDEO LINKhttps://youtu.be/qo4iVVZMQlc …. and

* MEMO:   This is joint project by Kaveri Kala Maram, Empower Australia, Rotary Club Colombo South. ………27 acres of Muringa harvesting has been started in the Vanni Region of Srilanka…….. A big thank you to Rev. Joshua and the team at Kaveri Kala Manram to implementing this project……. Warmest Regards,  Ranjan Sivagnanasundaram <rsivagnanasundaram@gmail.com

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Dr Susiri Weerasekera: A Man for All Seasons

Michael Roberts

A chance finding of an old article that I had written on “dedicated medical work” on both sides of the battlefront during the last stages of the war brought vibrant memories of Dr Susiri Weerasekera into my mind. Getting to know him well after I visited the Friend-in-Need Society opposite the Gangarama at Colpetty in mid-2010, I can assure all readers that he was a man to have alongside one in adversity. We became warm friends over the years.[1] My admiration for his dedication towards humankind, his industry, patriotism and sagacity is unbounded. He is alive still I believe; but I write in the past tense because he lapsed into a state non compos mentis about two years back and I find it distressing even to seek information on his state of body and mind.

This is a valedictory memorial in several parts.

Dr Weerasekera standing 2nd from right facing us with a visiting dignitary at the FINS buildng

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When Solar-Light reaches the Disadvantaged … Udagaldebokka Hasalaka

Chandra Fernando informed Thuppahi that on the 21st September 2019 “30 Solar Powered Lighting Packages were distributed at Udagaldebokka. The first two  photos show the packages being carried  to village and the trail….

Thuppahi Comment: The pictures are not only significant in displaying some facets of the terrain; but also in underling the cultural practices within (in this instance) Sinhala society inclusive of class differentiation.  This set of illustrations should be treated as an essential appendage of the item by SWR de Samarasinghe entitled  The Variation in the Diffusion of Electrical Power” …… https://thuppahis.com/2019/09/27/the-variation-in-the-diffusion-of-electrical-power/

Click to view MAP prepared by Gerald Peiris =  Udagaldebokka environs (1)

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UN Aid Workers in the Crucible of War, 1989-92: William Clarance’s Fascinating Account

Michael Roberts, in SOUTH ASIA¸ Sept 2008, 31: 394-96 reviewing Ethnic Warfare in Sri Lanka and the UN Crisis (London: Pluto Press, and Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publications, 2007), 296 pp.

This is an unusual book and essential reading for those interested in the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. William Clarance was head of UNHCR’s relief mission in Sri Lanka from 1989 to 1992. He kept a diary and has waited until he had left the arena of international administration before recounting his riveting experiences in the field. 

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Facing Charles Sarvan: Mark His Obliteration of Context

Michael Roberts

Charles Sarvan’s recent essay in Colombo Telegraph “On ‘Reading’ A Picture” presents reflections with a dispassionate air that conveys an impression of philosophical weight above the tumult of a propaganda war in which all of us are willy-nilly involved.[1] He distances himself at the outset from the identities of the victors in the picture as Sinhalese and the vanquished as Tamil by terming that differentiation “accidental”. But, in concentrating on the horrendous assaults on women perpetrated by men, he proceeds to a presentation of the contemporary Tamil litany about the horrendous acts inflicted on the Tamils in the last stages of Eelam War IV. He does this without any historical, political and cartographic contextualization of the events that unfolded from mid-2006 to May 2009.

 Map I = The Situation in late December 2008

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An Elephantine Hand … EH! A Push

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…. OTHER SCENARIOS from the Sri Lankan Wild

Pics by Zac Roberts Ronald at Bundala, early January 2018 Continue reading

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In Appreciation of My Talented Sister, Audrey

Michael Roberts, courtesy of the Sunday Times, 1 April 2018, where the title is Snapshots of a life lived to the full”

My sister Audrey Roberts passed away in Oxford in February, a little before her 84th birthday. A divorcee, bearing the name of her second husband as Audrey Maxwell, she had no issue, but can claim to have lived a full life marked by remarkable energy, wide-ranging friendships and a camaraderie that has etched her memory in many minds.

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Revisiting the Story of the IDP Camps, 2009 et seq: ONE

Michael Roberts

As with Eelam War IV the Western media juggernaut, primed and fed by the extensive LTTE networks abroad, mounted an effective disinformation campaign on this topic. One illustration was when Jeremy Page of the BBC reported in June 2009 that 1400 persons were dying per week in the Manik Farm camps.

Coping with the influx of internal Tamil IDPS from late 2008 onwards was in fact a huge administrative and humanitarian problem with security implications. The task was faced by the Government of Sri Lanka and a collection of INGOS and NGOs with the support of monetary aid provided by the Western governments and UN agencies and with a Coordinating Committee chaired by Mahinda Samarasinghe keeping an eye on proceedings.

Annet Royce (standing) and Sewalanak Cooking team at Omanthai transit camp in mid-May 2009 preparing food packets for IDPS bussed in from war front on way to Manik Farm Camps 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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Floods: Ruwani’s Swimming Efforts in Aid

A Tale from”Prasa,” her proud father

Dear Friends, …… I like to share something with you which made me very proud of my older daughter Ruwani, who is now in Sri Lanka. During last years floods she together with a group of friends formed an impromptu relief and rescue group.  To my knowledge it included two doctors,  a couple of divers, an ex Army Major and a handful of others including Ruwani.  They went when there was an appeal for swimmers to rescue marooned people. Last time she had swam out and done a number of swims carrying food parcels in siri siri bags in her mouth for the stranded victims who could not be brought a shore. They set up camp and treated many with first aid. They also collected dry rations clothes etc. individually through friends and made sure they went 100%  deserving.

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