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Tribute To Ranil Wickremesinghe By Sri Lankan Planters

Another milestone has been achieved in the political history of Sri Lanka as Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is completing his 40 years of diligent work in the parliament. This day is most ebullient and paramount to all of us as a nation, so I would like to furnish my gratitude and appreciation for the dedicated services he rendered to this country during his four decades of longstanding political career.

During his 40 years political journey in the parliament, he has acted as a member of the parliament, deputy minister, cabinet minister, leader of the house, opposition leader and prime minister. Unmatched to many in this industry during his time, he gave up his presidential candidacy to underpin a common candidate to rescue the economic stability and conserve peace in the country.

Through his manoeuvres, he showcased the essence of patience and intelligence and has proven that he is an illustrious political landmark to the country. Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe attracted international political recognition through his captivating political decision-making and peaceful angles. There are many things we can learn from him as planters.

During his 40 years he faced plenty of obstacles but was unshaken. His calm nature, stable and formidable personality kept him strong through the pressure. He is a man of principles and unbent to threats and he was always recognized as a straightforward leader who always voices his honest harsh truth regardless of other external factors. He was loyal to all his former leaders as well as to the party. He climbed to the top shown as a slow but a steady one. Plantation is a country within a country and most Planters have had similar experiences in the past but a more calculated and resul-based approach is now necessary to conquer the challenges in years to come.

He is indisputably one of our most capable politicians and leaders. We congratulate and admire the sensational speech he made at the inauguration of the Colombo International Tea Convention. He was the only Prime Minister in this country to understand the plight of the RPCs and express his opinion so boldly. As he very correctly said: “If the investment from Sri Lanka is insufficient, the Government has to allow investors to come from other regions”. Further, he said, “if you don’t invest, you perish. If you invest, you survive”. The Analects by great philosopher Confucius advocated on planning as follows. “If your plan is for one-year plant rice, if your plan is for ten years plant trees, if your plan is for one hundred years, educate children”. In planting, this applies to young Planters arming them with required skills because plantations must thrive for the next centuries to come.

The National Institute of Plantations Management has done a lot in the recent past by conducting appropriate programs and now endeavoring to become a university college whilst linking with similar institutions all over the world thus creating opportunities to our Planters to look at planting options outside the country. Crop diversification is in the mandate of NIPM.

We wish, however, to look ahead to the future. We see that the plantations are, at least in the foreseeable future, to be the mainstay of our economy. We hope that much of the attention will be provided to the plantation segment in the country than it was before, the lapses of the past emphasized, not to pin any blame on individuals or organizations but to make certain that we avoid such mistakes in future.

We have been stressing on the systematic killing of the plantations industry of Sri Lanka through a series of newspaper articles during the past two years. We thank all those newspapers wholeheartedly for doing a yeoman service to the nation by publishing them amidst fierce propaganda by a small yet influential group of people claiming to be the industry leaders.

 

By Lalin I. De Silva

 

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Regional Campaign To End Violence Against Children Launched In Sri Lanka

A regional campaign to end violence against children in the Asia Pacific region was launched in Sri Lanka recently with the Secretary to the Ministry of Child Affairs in Sri Lanka, Chandrani Senarathne as Chief Guest, supported by World Vision and a host of collaborative organisations. Leaders from Sri Lanka’s multiple faiths joined over 120 participants at the conference in a bid to examine their role to end violence against children in a roundtable, while a separate panel featured youth leaders from Sri Lanka, Philippines, Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar in intense discussion.

In her address, Chief Guest Ministry Secretary Chandrani Senarathne said, “Sri Lanka is a ‘Pathfinder Country’ (a leader in the movement to end violence) in the Global Partnership to End Violence against Children”, adding that Sri Lanka launched its National Partnership to End Violence Against Children (NPEVAC) in June 2017.

“It was launched as part of a bold, new collaborative partnership with key stakeholders including the government, UN agencies, international organizations, civil society, faith groups, the private sector, the media, children and other key stakeholders. We are honoured to reaffirm the message to end violence against children, starting here at home,” said Ms. Senararthne.

The Guest of honour attending the launch was the Director General of the South Asia Initiative to End Violence Against Children, (SAIEVAC) Dr. Rinchen Chophel.

Based on the theme, ‘It takes a world to end violence against children’, World Vision rolled out this campaign with partners across 17 countries in Asia Pacific, focusing on ending child marriage, sexual abuse, child trafficking, child labour, physical violence in schools and the home and corporal punishment. World Vision’s Advocacy and Justice for Children Director in East Asia, Abid Gulzar addressing the opening session said, “Asia carries the fatal (or tragic) mantle of having one of the world’s highest rates of violence inflicted on children. We’re at a tipping point to save more children, but it’s not enough to change policies. We need to change hearts and minds. And for most people worldwide, that journey starts with faith.”

According to the World Vision campaign publication, Asia Pacific has one of the highest rates of violence against children in the world with about 64% of children between 2 to 17 years experiencing violence over the past year. Globally, South Asia has the highest prevalence of child marriage and tops child labour cases in the world. In East Asia, nearly three out of every four children experience violent discipline

The global launch was held in March 2017 leading Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Myanmar, Mongolia, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam to begin lobbying support from governments, partner agencies, and even youth/children and community members to end violence against children. This campaign contributes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 16.2 to ‘end the abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children’.

 

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Pinki Kumari Madawela – Art Exhibition

At the outset, let me say that while I do appreciate visual art and have visited my share of galleries in such places as Great Britain, Spain and North America, I pretend to no expertise as an “art critic” In the traditional sense.  Therefore, what follows can be described as very much a layman’s opinion of a person whom I have known for about a dozen years, both as artist and as one with familial connections, the Bihar-born and -raised Pinki Kumari Madawela, now residing in Sri Lanka.

I have always been fascinated by Pinki as a person, beginning with her most individualistic use of the English language, through her art, to her comprehensive knowledge and practical and effective application of naturopathic medicine. Pinki is not only a most fascinating and multi-faceted human being but one who projects genuine warmth and caring.

The questions outnumber the answers when one views Pinki’s work, a source of ongoing fascination for me. Her more recent use of recyclable material in the creation of genuine and unselfconscious art has, in my opinion, a distinguishing feature: it points in an unequivocal manner to the need to recycle all that we jettison. While a lay eye is attracted to and held captive by the images of the miniature works she has created, it is only on closer scrutiny that one realizes that what she has worked with could well have come out of one’s wastepaper basket! The fact that she has created something so attractive out of material that has become the bane of urban and rural existence is significant, to say the least, its message made more telling by the fact that this re-cycling has been effected without the usual fanfare and gallery-fetching tactics that have often detracted from the effectiveness of the message that we can and must stop dumping waste material. Pinki’s show, in tandem with her established and better-known (in Sri Lanka) sister-in-law, Druvinka – both alumni of Shantiniketan, Rabindranath Tagore’s famed visual- and performing-arts university in Bengal, is a “don’t miss” event for anyone with an interest in the visual arts in Sri Lanka.

The Exhibition of Art by Pinki Kumari Madawela and Druvinka will be held at 706 Gallery, Colombo 3 from November 3 to 19.

 

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Festival Of Lights – DEEPAWALI

 

Deepawali festival of lights Hindus celebrate Togetherness overflowing

Emphasises oneness Brotherhood Homogeneity great force undying.

Every Hindu on this day pray for Divine Light to free them from all evil

Performed in every Hindu home sacred oil bath time old ritual

A devoted period of twenty one days festival observed predominant

Worshipping of Goddness Lakshmi takes a place prominent

Awakening of knowledge in ignorant man immersed in dire misery

Let love compassion rule the Earth devoid any criticism ‘n jealousy

Indispensable in Hindu home fronts Kolams designed with rice ‘n turmeric powder piously

 

Festival Deepawali reminds hatred tends to dry springs of Love ‘n peace,

Equilibrium distributed by hatred breeds fanaticism only by love cease

Spiritual festival Triumph of Good over Evil gained away from savagery

The day Narasura Demon king defeated by Sri Krishna great victory

Intense care taken to clean homes, unclean homes drive away deities blessings

Violating religious rituals they fear for misfortune, hope only blessings

At entrances to homes lamps lit like garlands deeply venerating Gods on Deepawali

Lost in Hindu mythology if you try to trace origin of Deepawali

 

Over thousands of decades celebrated by Hindu population Festival of Lights

Festival of amazing twinkling lights brighten sullen hearts sunk in untold plights

 

Let this festival surrounded by countless myths bring man closer to Divinity for prosperity

In mankind brotherhood reign with unity understanding ‘n harmony

Garlands of vivid lights depicts Evil reduced to Ash showering protection, reconciliation

Highly religious festival celebrated in Thailand, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka a few to mention

To ward off darkness of Evil all Hindu Devotees pray for Divine light shower Goodwill

Shedding differences religious, social, communal in man all traces of Evil.

 

Kumari Kumarasinghe Tennakoon

Kelaniya

 

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Ananda College, Colombo Turns 131 Years

Ananda College imparted education to many men of action who played prominent roles to uphold the interests of the people and country, religion and culture by infiltrating the slaves who embraced the alien culture then and held in high esteem the worldly pleasure provided by them than the freedom of the people and religion”, is a quoted passage written by an old boy of Ananda College and an anti-imperialist freedom fighter Philip Gunawardena.

The above statement clearly illustrates the reasons for the birth of Ananda College, Colombo which is engaged in rendering social services and walking majestically even today after reaching 131 years on 1st November 2017.

Despite the fact that the Anandians were more proficient in the English language than the Englishmen, they stood by their principles without becoming slaves to it. The then Principal of Ananda College L. H. Mettananda and the academics of Ananda College strongly agitated to grant the foremost place to the mother tongue, Sinhala language and that it should be made the official language. In addition, when they voiced that the Science subject could not be taught in Sinhala, the intellectuals  such as the then Principal of Ananda College M. W. Karunananda strongly expressed that the Science subject could be taught  in Sinhala language and engaged himself in the task of writing and publishing the books needed in Sinhala.  Hence, the contribution made by Ananda College in making the Sinhala as the official language is immeasurable.

Ananda College laid the foundation for the establishment of many schools similar to the branches spreading from a tree. As a result of that, glittering schoolssuch as Dharmaraja College, Kandy, Mahinda College, Galle, Rahula College, Matara and Maliyadeva College, Kurunegala emerged. The main reason for Ananda College to march forward even after passing a hundred years was because from the very inception did not have any differences or discordant views. Anandians who held their own ethnic group in high esteem never displayed racism.

While they showed due respect to Buddhism never displayed any differences or discordant views about any other religions. This situation was understood by many from the very beginning. Hence, the Christian priest Reverend Father Leadbeater, who became the very first principal of Ananda College took steps to teach Buddhism not only to the students but also to the teachers according to the vision of the College. Even though the subsequent school Principals Bultjens, Davies Moor and Fritz Kunz belonged to different ethnic communities and religions, they worked with firm determination from the day they assumed duties as Principals of Ananda College to establish a future generation of Buddhists following the right path.

The endeavour made by the experts belonging to other ethnic communities such as T. B. Jayah, A. H. Sundararaman, V. T. S. Sivagurunathan and E. M. Selvaratnam in the Administrative Committee to attain the vision of Ananda College was indeed a marvellous deed.

Those who were appointed as Principals of Ananda College, irrespective of their status, dedicated their services considering the country first and made gigantic efforts to create great personalities the country needed. That was indeed a stupendous feat. Among them the services rendered by Sir D. B. Jayatillake, P. De S. Kularatne, Professor G. P. Malalasekara, L. H. Mettananda, M. W. Karunananda, Colonel G. W. Rajapaksa, Colonel V. S. Kudaligama , A. P. Gunaratne, T. B. Damunupola and Kithsiri Liyanagamage to the country should be held in high esteem.

The vision of Ananda College to create dynamic personalities and achieving that task within a hundred years is indeed a matter to be proud of. Hence, the incumbent Principal S. M. Keerthiratne and the Administrative Committee, the Old Boys’ Union, the students along with the Buddhist populace should be determined to forge ahead on the occasion of the 131st anniversary of Ananda College.

 

Rukmal Vithanage

Old Boys’ Union – 1993 Group

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