Category Archives: welfare & philanthophy

Prince Philip’s Indelible ‘Marks’ in Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy of my old student pal Piyasiri Wickramasekara ….more details below

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A Restrained but Reconciliatory Feast at St. Anthony’s in Kachchativu in 2021

 

The Jaffna Divisional Secretary informed the public, well in advance, that St. Anthony’s Feast in the Kachchativu island had been cancelled this year due to the Covid- 19 pandemic. The decision was well understood by devotees of both Sri Lanka and India.

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Sustaining Memory as a Central Facet of Transitional Justice

Gehan Gunatilleke: “The Right to Memory: The Forgotten Facet of Transitional Justice* with highlighting emphasis imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting — Milan  Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (1979)

Introduction

Memory does not explicitly feature among the four pillars of transitional justice: truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence. Hence the precise role memory plays within a transitional justice process is often left to those negotiating the contours of the process. Memory is a vital ingredient in ascertaining the truth and in securing evidence to ensure justice for victims and survivors. Moreover, memorialisation of loss has a place in the symbolic initiatives owed to victims and survivors under the reparations pillar. Meanwhile, public memorials commemorating man-made tragedies contribute towards a society’s collective commitment to non-recurrence. Thus memory often becomes the lifeblood that preserves and binds the traditional pillars of transitional justice.

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The Covid: Pervasive, Familiar but Elusive

Matt Ridley, in The Spectator, 9 May 2020 … where the title runs ” We know everything – and nothing – about Covid

We know everything about Sars-CoV-2 and nothing about it. We can read every one of the (on average) 29,903 letters in its genome and know exactly how its 15 genes are transcribed into instructions to make which proteins. But we cannot figure out how it is spreading in enough detail to tell which parts of the lockdown of society are necessary and which are futile. Several months into the crisis we are still groping through a fog of ignorance and making mistakes. There is no such thing as ‘the science’.

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Economic Warriors welcomed by Bio-Warriors …. Today

Priya Cooray

Notwithstanding the fact that it could have been done much earlier, it is still commendable on the part of the Government of Sri Lanka to recently approve a limited number (50) of overseas workers to return in every Srilankan Airlines Cargo flight. Sri Lankan Foreign Missions and the Expatriate Associations in the Middle Eastern countries had relentlessly pursued the Government for approval. Even though it is only for those who pay to be quarantined in hotels, it significantly reduces the pressure on queued up demand to facilitate special repatriation flights.

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A Lament: The Geneva ‘Games’ and Lanka’s Failures

Sarath Gamani De Silva, in The Sunday Island, 26 February 2021, where the title runs  “Problems in Geneva: Facts that brought us here””

The annual patriotic taunts and the laments of the majority are heard as the day of reckoning approaches in Geneva. We are shouting ourselves hoarse, complaining that the whole world is ganging up against the brave Sri Lankans, to punish them for eliminating the most brutal terrorist outfit the world has ever seen. It is true that what was achieved in 2009 is something that no other country could do in eliminating terrorism. But does that guarantee peace when the basic grievances that led to civil unrest over the years have not been addressed?

This article is not an attempt to justify violence, untruth or deplorable and unprincipled activities of other countries. Nor is it to devalue the achievements up to 2009. The intention is to open the eyes of my own countrymen to the reality of the hopeless situation facing the nation.

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The Anglican Church at S. Thomas’ College

Dishan Joseph,  in Daily News, 20 February 2021

The Anglican Church in Sri Lanka (Church of Ceylon) has made an immense contribution to education. The great school by the sea has educated thousands of young men, imparting in them core values of Christianity. When we read the Bible we find that Jesus was taken to the synagogue by his parents and continued to learn the scriptures, which shows the importance of a holistic education. To all who have been associated with S. Thomas’ College (STC), the magnificent College chapel has influenced their lives, touching them in significant ways. It is the vibrant heart of STC. This beautiful chapel and more importantly the good work done through it enriches the student mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

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Murugappan Asylum-Seeker Family on Verge of Legal Victory and A Return to Biloela

Nick Pearson in 9news, 16 February 2021, where the title reads Biloela family spared deportation for now, but remain on Christmas Island”
The Federal Court has stopped the deportation of a family from the Queensland town of Biloela, upholding a decision made in April 2020 which the Department of Home Affairs had sought to have overturned. But Priya and Nades Murugappan and their two young children will remain in Christmas Island Detention Centre for now. The Murugappan family’s lawyer Carina Ford are now considering an appeal to get the family back to their home in Biloela.

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Snippets on the Fort of Galle … and Ashley’s Dire Warnings

A Question from one Sanjay Gunawardena, 12 February 2021:

“Thank you for this great article Dr Roberts.[i] Has anyone got a picture or a painting of the Old Windmill which has been in the Galle Fort. This has been mentioned E.F.C Ludowyk’s book Long Afternoons in Colonial Ceylon. If you can please share an image, it will be much appreciated. Thank you.

A Response from Hemantha Situge: “Lyn Ludo says the windmill was one of the five landmarks that crowned the Fort. It was erected during British times. I have seen two photographs which I have not copied.”[ii]

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Amity transcending Faiths and Nationalities: At Haputale and Canberra

Somasiri Skandakumar in Haputale

Rev Rahula, who once headed the Khemba Buddhist Vihara in Canberra during my tenure as High Commissioner, honoured me with a visit to  Haputale accompanied by his superior who  heads thirteen temples in various parts of the Island !

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