@

 
   
   
   
   
   
NEWS  
NEWS FEATURES  
INTERVIEWS  
POLITICAL COLUMN  
EDITORIAL  
OPINION  
SPORTS  
CARTOON  
BUSINESS  
EYE - FEATURES  
LETTERS  
EVENTS  
SOUL - YOUTH MAG  
KIDS - NATION  
ENTERTAINMENT  
NATION WORLD  
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

 

Letters


Readers please note it is essential that all letters to the Editor carry the full name and address of the writer, even if it has to appear under a pseudonym. This applies to all email letters as well.

 

Together we can build a better future

I write this with a lot of sadness, relief and hope from what has happened in the past few months. As a Tamil, (and proud to be one) I deeply feel that together we can build the burnt bridges and pave a path to peace, happiness, equality and prosperity for us and for the future generations to come. We cannot forget what happened for the past three decades, however, we need to put aside our emotions, despair and remember those lives which were lost in bloody war in the name of ‘equality’.

We (Tamils) have to now reconcile and win the trust of the nation. For decades we have been secretive, unpredictable and uncompromising. Sure enough, we were discriminated in the past, deprived of our equal rights and treated unfairly. Now we have to give the nation a chance to prove that it is not the case. We have to let go of the past and not react to our feelings in an irrational and selfish way.

We talk about the 1953 era, of the riots and how the Tamils were discriminated and treated badly. In 1953 the whole world was a different place and had a different attitude. In America blacks could not go into a restaurant or a supermarket or attend a white school or the aborigines in Australia did not have any rights. Now America has a black president and the Aborigines have equal rights; we Tamils now have to give it a chance for change to happen in our motherland. We are hanging on to views and ideologies which formed 30 years ago are not appropriate anymore. I think that in the past 20 years we have created a doubt in the minds of the Sinhalese and the nation making them wonder whether every other Tamil is a Tamil Tiger or not.

Prior to 1988 before I left to Australia, I remember after a rugby game at London Place and a few (in my context) drinks at the club, going home in the early hours of the morning, my only fear was whether I will be stopped and breathalysed and charged for driving under liquor. In the later years in my many trips to Sri Lanka the fear was whether I would be subject to harassment because of my Tamil name. Why do you think it is so? Is it not because of the war, the suicide bombings? All of this distrust of Tamils started after the war began. So, did we not create this for ourselves? This is not only happening to the Tamils. In fact, if you send money to the US or visit the US bearing an Arabic name you are scrutinised vigorously, which began after “9/11”. The Arabic world calls it ‘discrimination’.

In 1983 the news of the death of 13 soldiers sparked an organised riot, and over 2,000 Tamils lost their lives and over 100,000 Tamils were displaced. The nation soon realised that it should not have let it happen and the wider community shared the same sentiment. In 1996, in a raid on a military camp in Mullaitivu by the Tigers, 1,500 soldiers were killed, yet there was no repeat of 1983, or for that matter since 1983 several thousands soldiers have lost their lives and we did not see a repeat of 1983.

We talk about ‘genocide’ which is a very powerful and compelling word. No doubt that many women and children have lost their lives, but one has to remember in every war, innocent people lose their lives. There is blame on both the armed forces and the Tigers. Let’s not be the judge of that, let the appropriate organisations investigate and report the findings. The Tamil diaspora and number of organisations are having protest marches and their websites are relentlessly publishing calls for the International Community to intervene about the mistreatment and harassment of the civilians. However much as we are angry and anxious, we must have patience and let the government, UN and the other aid organisation to embark on the huge task ahead of them to relocate, resettle and reconcile the civilian casualties. We have been having protest marches for decades around the world. Has one head of state or a member of a parliament taken a flight and gone to Sri Lanka and discussed the problem with the authorities? I do not think so. The IC will mention our plea in their speeches, or talk about it when the next election comes around.

Does the IC know the differences between Jayasinghe and Jayasingham? It is up to us reconcile and rebuild friendships. What has happened in the past has happened; we cannot turn back the clock. The truth of what happened in the battle zones will only surface, if the victims have no fear in revealing the truth. From this point, onwards it is up to us to make sure that this is possible. We should regain the trust and the sympathy of the greater community.

We Tamils started this war, this was never an option. For 30 years we have fought a bloody war with no results. Are we going to continue this for another 30 years? No. We, have lost too much, the nation has lost too much. It is time to take a step back and think sensibly putting aside our emotions and pride.

The Tamil diaspora and community leaders, spokespersons and organisations are calling for the Tamil community to “re-group and realise our leaders dream,” after three decades of war is it not the time now to wake up from that dream? They say now that the Tigers are defeated that we will be systematically eradicated as there is no one to protect us.

We should stop speculating of what the future holds for the Tamils in Sri Lanka and need to get these myths out of our heads and win the trust of the nation. We should responsibly publish and circulate articles and news items, or even refrain from doing so until the displaced civilians are settled. Now, we need to concentrate and work closely with those who are in Sri Lanka to help the refugees.

In the past few days, there have been reports that, during the celebrations following the government’s victory over the Tigers, many Tamil businesses were forced to give money towards the celebrations and this news is from ‘reliable sources.’ This may be true; may not be true, however when we hear such news we need to think rationally and responsibly before we spread it around. Sometimes, in times of sadness, desperation and anxiety the truth is often exaggerated and taken out of context. We all remember, back in Sri Lanka at a big match we generally have a ‘hat collection’ to pay for our celebrations. This has been a culture. Every Christmas, New Year, Vesak or during Vel Festival, the garbage collectors, the posties, etc go house-to-house collecting money for celebrations. It is not an unusual thing to happen. The people who have not experienced this should not be alarmed and portray such incidents as ‘discrimination and harassment.’

I ask those who read this to support me in achieving a united and equal Sri Lanka for all who were born there. One day I wish to return to the country of my birth and live as an equal citizen in peace and harmony. How can you help? Tamils should reach out to the Sinhalese and speak about the grievance you have and ask them to help you achieve security and equality. My Sinhalese friends should reach out to Tamils and unconditionally trust them and help them achieve security and equality. We Tamils have to realise that this is the only nation that Sinhalese is spoken and we should respect that to win their trust and respect in return.
Mohan

****

What the Buddha said about eating meat

Since the very beginning of Buddhism over 2500 years ago, Buddhist monks and nuns have depended on alms food. They were, and still are, prohibited from growing their own food, storing their own provisions or cooking their own meals. Instead, every morning they would make their day’s meal out of whatever was freely given to them by lay supporters. Whether it was rich food or coarse food, delicious or awful tasting, it was to be accepted with gratitude and eaten regarding it as medicine. The Buddha laid down several rules forbidding monks from asking for the food that they liked. As a result, they would receive just the sort of meals that ordinary people ate - and that was often meat.

Once, a rich and influential general by the name of Siha (meaning ’Lion’) went to visit the Buddha. Siha had been a famous lay supporter of the Jain monks but he was so impressed and inspired by the Teachings he heard from the Buddha that he took refuge in the Triple Gem (i.e. he became a Buddhist). General Siha then invited the Buddha, together with the large number of monks accompanying Him, to a meal at his house in the city the following morning. In preparation for the meal, Siha told one of his servants to buy some meat from the market for the feast. When the Jain monks heard of their erstwhile patron’s conversion to Buddhism and the meal that he was preparing for the Buddha and the monks, they were somewhat peeved:
 

• “Now at the time many Niganthas (Jain monks), waving their arms, were moaning from carriage road to carriage road, from cross road to cross road in the city: ’Today a fat beast, killed by Siha the general, is made into a meal for the recluse Gautama (the Buddha), the recluse Gautama makes use of this meat knowing that it was killed on purpose for him, that the deed was done for his sake’...” [1].

Siha was making the ethical distinction between buying meat already prepared for sale and ordering a certain animal to be killed, a distinction which is not obvious to many westerners but which recurs throughout the Buddha’s own teachings. Then, to clarify the position on meat eating to the monks, the Buddha said:

• “Monks, I allow you fish and meat that are quite pure in three respects: If they are not seen, heard or suspected to have been killed on purpose for a monk. But, you should not knowingly make use of meat killed on purpose for you.” [2]
There are many places in the Buddhist scriptures which tell of the Buddha and his monks being offered meat and eating it. One of the most interesting of these passages occurs in the introductory story to a totally unrelated rule (Nissaggiya Pacittiya 5) and the observation that the meat is purely incidental to the main theme of the story emphasises the authenticity of the passage:
Uppalavanna (meaning ‘she of the lotus-like complexion’) was one of the two chief female disciples of the Buddha. She was ordained as a nun while still a young woman and soon became fully enlightened. As well as being an arahant (enlightened) she also possessed various psychic powers to the extent that the Buddha declared her to be foremost among all the women in this field.

Once, while Uppalavanna was meditating alone in the afternoon in the ‘Blind-Men’s Grove’, a secluded forest outside of the city of Savatthi, some thieves passed by. The thieves had just stolen a cow, butchered it and were escaping with the meat. Seeing the composed and serene nun, the chief of the thieves quickly put some of the meat in a leaf-bag and left it for her. Uppalavanna picked up the meat and resolved to give it to the Buddha. Early next morning, having had the meat prepared, she rose into the air and flew to where the Buddha was staying in the Bamboo Grove outside of Rajagaha, over 200 km as the crow (or nun?) flies! Though there is no specific mention of the Buddha actually consuming this meat, obviously a nun of such high attainments would certainly have known what the Buddha ate.

However, there are some meats which are specifically prohibited for monks to eat: Human meat, for obvious reasons; meat from elephants and horses as these were then considered royal animals; dog meat - as this was considered by ordinary people to be disgusting; and meat from snakes, lions, tigers, panthers, bears and hyenas - because one who had just eaten the flesh of such dangerous jungle animals was thought to give forth such a smell as to draw forth revenge from the same species!
Towards the end of the Buddha’s life, his cousin Devadatta attempted to usurp the leadership of the Order of Monks. In order to win support from other monks, Devadatta tried to be stricter than the Buddha and show Him up as indulgent. Devadatta proposed to the Buddha that all the monks should henceforth be vegetarians. The Buddha refused and repeated once again the regulation that he had established years before, that monks and nuns may eat fish or meat as long as it is not from an animal whose meat is specifically forbidden, and as long as they had no reason to believe that the animal was slaughtered specifically for them.
The Vinaya then is quite clear on this matter. Monks and nuns may eat meat. Even the Buddha ate meat. Unfortunately, meat eating is often seen by westerners as an indulgence on the part of the monks. Nothing could be further from the truth - I was a strict vegetarian for three years before I became a monk. In my first years as a monk in North-East Thailand, when I bravely faced many a meal of sticky rice and boiled frog (the whole body bones and all), or rubbery snails, red-ant curry or fried grasshoppers - I would have given anything to be a vegetarian again! On my first Christmas in N.E. Thailand, an American came to visit the monastery a week or so before the 25th. It seemed too good to be true, he had a turkey farm and yes, he quickly understood how we lived and promised us a turkey for Christmas. He said that he would choose a nice fat one especially for us... and my heart sank. We cannot accept meat knowing it was killed especially for monks. We refused his offer. So I had to settle for part of the villager’s meal - frogs again.

Monks may not exercise choice when it comes to food and that is much harder than being a vegetarian. Nonetheless, we may encourage vegetarianism and if our lay supporters brought only vegetarian food and no meat, well... monks may not complain either! May you take the hint and be kind to animals.

Ajahn Brahmavamso

****

Address grievances of minorities to unite Sri Lanka

In his interview with the BBC, the United Nations representative Mark Cutts hassaid, “nothing less than a new city had been created at Menik Farm.” He went on to say “bulldozers were working constantly to clear the jungle, phone lines, schools, banks and even cash machines have been built. Tents are being replaced with permanent structures.” He states that officials have told him, that, 20% of the people will be returned within a year. UN has said even those who have been through the screening process have not as yet been released from the camps. Meanwhile, Amnesty International accuses the government of not seriously investigating the human rights abuses which, it alleges, were committed in the conflict.

Now that the conflict is over, Sri Lanka is facing a polarisation from the West going by some of the comments made in the media. The Sri Lankan Government having to compete with different interests and competing claims - it is easy to lose one’s moral compass, in the cacophony of voices that questions its genuine desire to help the civilians and re-settle them as quickly as possible. Its efforts are further compounded by those in the diaspora who have their own agenda with its mythical notion of Elam who would not wish to see a united and prosperous Sri Lanka. We Sri Lankans of every hue and colour agree, that the underlying grievances of the minorities have to be addressed which is the most pressing need. After all, talk is cheap; we need to act and challenge our leaders by asking them where they put their time, energy, and resources. These are the true tests, regardless of what we tell ourselves. If we are not willing to pay the price and make some sacrifices to realise the concerns of the minorities by addressing their grievances and fulfill the dream of a united Sri Lanka where all our citizens can live with equality, justice, and peace, then we should ask ourselves whether we truly believe in them all.

If we say finding a solution to the ethnic issue is a priority because we value the legacy we leave the next generation, then address it. We must we should not saddle that generation with an insurmountable problem. Part of us knows better. We hang on to our values even if they are worn and tarnished; even as a nation and in our own lives, we have betrayed them more often we care to remember. What else is there to guide us? They are values that make us who we are as people and as a nation-we recognise they are subjected to challenges, prodded and criticised and have proven to be durable and constant across faiths, races, cultures and generations. We can make claims on their behalf, so long as we understand that our values must be tested against fact and experience, so long as we recall that they demand deeds and not just words. To do otherwise would be to relinquish our best selves. We Sri Lankans have an innate audacity to believe we can put the mistakes of the past behind us, and joined together as one people to build a better future.

C. Silva

****

Spread of Dengue in Kandy

It is sad to hear that dengue is fast spreading in Kandy due to neglect of keeping clean the entire place of the city.
As a resident of Kandy, I just passed along the drains constructed on the upper and lower roads of Peradeniya, Kandy. I found most of the drains have stagnant dirty water. It seems that municipal cleaners have not cleaned these drains for weeks. Then, won’t the mosquitoes breed on such stagnant dirty water? Who are to be blamed?
The municipal authorities should open their eyes to see these dirty drains.

A Kandy citizen

****

Lakshman Kadirgamar’s lesson

A close college friend of mine sent me the following email on the late Lakshman Kadirgamar. Having read it, I couldn’t help but think of a story I read in a newspaper recently referring to the late minister’s statue still being stored in a crate! What an ungrateful and petty minded set of politicians we have been saddled with! Surely, are the high authorities in the government not powerful enough to order due recognition to a man who was admired both locally and universally? Or are these authorities also dragging their feet for reasons known only to them? It’s indeed a shame as whatever reasons the Government has, cannot overshadow the man’s contribution to his beloved country and people.

This is indeed true.
People appreciate only the icing on the cake not where it was baked first.
In 2005, almost 50 years after he left Oxford, Lakshman Kadirgamar’s portrait was unveiled at the Oxford Union. This was indeed a great honour bestowed by the Oxford Union on only 15 others in its 183 year history.
Mr. Kadirgamar had this to say about that event;
“.... I would like to, if I may, to assume that I could share the honour with the people of my country, Sri Lanka.
I had my schooling there,
My first University was there,
I went to Law College there,
And by the time I came to Oxford as a Postgraduate student, well, I was relatively a matured person.
Oxford was the icing on the cake... but the cake was baked at home... (applause).’

R. de Silva Dehiwala

****

An ‘Indigenous Model’ of University Privatisation

By Panduka Karunanayake University of Colombo

The university system in our country is undergoing privatisation relentlessly. Arresting this process is inconceivable, because it is taking place almost totally outside the jurisdiction of the state and is driven by an insatiable demand. In fact, even monitoring it is virtually impossible.

At the same time, some segments – mainly supported by or connected to the JVP – are attempting to whip up resistance to it with little hope of success (short of what might be achieved by direct physical sabotage). A somewhat larger segment of society, with remnants of Left-wing leanings from a bygone era, might still repulse privatisation, but this is becoming increasingly irrelevant as old, distant ideologies are gradually displaced by the new pragmatism of market forces.

The question is no longer whether or not we ought to embrace privatisation – but how best we should embrace it. It is no longer whether or not we should accept privatisation today – but how to shape it today so that we could have tomorrow the private sector we want to live with.

In this article I hope to outline what I believe is an appropriate macro-level response to this situation. What I mean by privatisation of the university system is the enlargement of the portion of the private sector within it – a change in its ‘sectoral balance.’ It does not refer to, nor attempts to justify, other possible manifestations of privatisation, such as the sale of state institutions to the private sector or the incorporation of private ‘machinery’ into state institutions. Furthermore, although the point is obvious, I would like to take care to point out that a private institution may not necessarily be for-profit.

The Japanese example

From a country’s viewpoint, the development of a private university sector is a cause for celebration, not worry. It would give the country a flexible, responsive segment that could seek out, take risks and grow in areas commanding local and international demand. From the masses’ viewpoint too, it can facilitate percolation of a meaningful education – one unlike what we have in the state sector today – to the lower strata of society, allowing their upward social mobility, without burdening state coffers and the public with unrealistic demands.

That, for instance, was what happened in Japan in the 1960s. At that time Japan was just becoming industrialised (an achievement that did not require universities). She was realising that she had to invest in the knowledge industries in order to remain competitive against other emerging countries. But her state universities (which served only the elite in society, like our own university did until the 1950s) were unable to meet the increasing demand for graduates that a knowledge-based economy was creating.

She responded to this situation by encouraging the expansion of her private sector, consisting of private universities and colleges. The state universities regulated and supervised them while also focusing more strongly on their own research tasks, while the private sector predominantly took up the task of training.

Interestingly, therefore, privatisation in Japan brought university education from the elite to the masses (this is called ‘massification’) and contributed positively to the economy. We all know what results she has achieved with this strategy.

A local tale

In fact, broadening access to education and undertaking massification through privatisation is not unknown to us. We used this strategy ourselves, in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.

At that time, an English medium education was essential to secure a sought-after employment. This was almost the sole conserve of elitist, fee-levying schools set up by Christian missionaries, such as S. Thomas’, Trinity and St John’s (Jaffna). In response, indigenous Buddhist and Hindu private organisations set up schools like Ananda, Mahinda, Dharmaraja and Hindu College.
Furthermore, at post-secondary level too most of the options were available in English medium institutions like the medical, technical and law colleges of Ceylon and the universities in London and Madras. The indigenous organisations responded by setting up the Vidyodaya and Vidyalankara pirivenas which, although not English medium institutions, broadened the choice available to the masses.

These events broadened access to education which was hitherto available only to the elite – through the setting up of indigenous, private educational institutions.

The indigenous model

Several key characteristics stand out in the Japanese example. It was an endeavour of her indigenous entrepreneurs from local industries, organisations and families (much like our own example). It was initially regulated and supervised by state universities, and as a result received crucial guidance from the start. The government and the elite supported it, which would have brought its costs down significantly. All this in turn meant that it was affordable to at least her middle classes, which was why it was able to meet the demand successfully. Being indigenous in origin, I am sure that it would have used methodologies and focussed on areas that were appropriate in the local context.
Let me call this ‘the indigenous model’ of privatisation.

Resistance and loopholes

In Sri Lanka, the state universities’ stiff resistance to privatisation over the years, mainly at the behest of the JVP, resulted in the inhibition of a local private sector on the indigenous model. But privatisation cannot be blocked forever when the demand is strong. Eventually, it is bound to sprout through loopholes in existing obstacles. And that was indeed what happened.

Initially this took the form of the elite flying off to foreign countries, along with foreign exchange, to obtain overseas degrees. But in our globalising world and given the huge local demand, it was only natural that foreign universities would eventually set up local agents here, using loopholes such as BOI projects to circumvent governmental and state universities’ resistance.

The satellite model

But this sector is not in the indigenous model. It is based on overseas universities, with courses that are designed for their contexts (the students may study here, abroad or both). It charges international fees, which are invariably higher. (It may offer cheap courses, but this is a reflection of a wider variety of courses, not corresponding courses at cheaper rates.) All this leads to the loss of huge amounts of foreign exchange from the country. It is thus affordable to a smaller, higher socio-economic stratum in society, while courses in greater demand might only be affordable to the elite.

Furthermore, the kind of government-state-private coordination that was possible in Japan and which guided the private sector there to work towards national economic goals is not possible in this model. In addition, since state supervision or regulation is not possible, we have no way of knowing which courses are value-for-money or even which establishments are swindlers.
Let me call this ‘the satellite model’ of privatisation.

Entrepreneurship

We should not blame the local entrepreneurs who set up the satellite model. If the environment was conducive – as it was in Japan – they would have gladly set up an indigenous model instead. The fault lay with the state universities themselves, for their selfish and short-sighted anti-privatisation attitude in the past.

An excellent illustration comes from the private medical college issue. In 1981 a local organisation set up a not-for-profit private medical college here in the indigenous model: the North Colombo Medical College (NCMC). But the government caved in to JVP-led opposition and nationalised it less than a decade later. Today, thousands (along with millions in foreign exchange) are flying off overseas to study medicine. The two currently planned colleges (at Malabe and Nawala) are themselves satellites of foreign universities.

By setting up the NCMC our entrepreneurs proved that they are capable of forming even a private medical college in the indigenous model. And having been robbed of that chance, they have also proven they can do it in the satellite model too. It is not they that chose the model – it is the society.

Unsavoury economics

The satellite model is unsuited for us for two reasons. Firstly, it is bad economics, at both individual and national levels. At individual level an indigenous model would have been cheaper, while the satellite model charges fees that only the elite could afford.

Once again the NCMC example illustrates this point. At the NCMC the fees were on average about Rs 25,000 per year (but paid as a lump sum up-front), while nowadays an overseas medical degree fee alone will cost from Rs 400,000 per year to over Rs 1 million per year (as even in the case of the Malabe college).

At national level an indigenous model will not burden our foreign exchange reserves and might even contribute to it by attracting foreign students, while the burden that the satellite model has become is all too evident.

The NCMC alone earned our country about US$ 400,000 per year from foreign students’ fees. On the other hand, today our elite pay to foreign universities more than what our government allocates to state universities. In 2008 we paid over US$ 170 million (over Rs 18 billion) to foreign universities. This is apart from what was paid to local colleges that remit foreign exchange to overseas universities, a figure that I could not even find. In comparison, the total allocation to state universities in 2007 (the latest year for which this figure is available) was Rs 14 billion. I am sure that the per capita cost difference between foreign and state universities would be very significant, but we cannot calculate this without knowing how many Sri Lankans are studying overseas – and I wonder if anyone even knows this figure.

Regulation and supervision

The second reason why the satellite model is unsuited is that it does not lend itself to state regulation and supervision, something that was crucial to Japan’s success.
State academics already have close relationships with private institutions. The institutions need the academics as visiting teachers, while the academics need the extra income. A new role for them in the supervisory and regulatory machinery (with an additional income for their consultative services) will not be difficult for either party to get used to.
The existence of several successful public-private partnerships involving universities shows that state academics are now well-versed in the etiquette of working with the private sector.

Policy change

It would be to everyone’s advantage if the government encouraged and guided the setting up of a private sector on the indigenous model. It would then be affordable, and its quality would be the responsibility of the state. The foreign exchange that is now leaving our country to the coffers of foreign universities will remain, and the moneys that students pay will go to strengthen our own institutions. The government will have the apparatus to monitor the private sector, and this will help planning of both the education sector and the economy. The private sector could be guided towards national economic goals through incentives, communications etc.

The only downside that I see is that the private sector will lose some of its flexibility – a vital attribute in a changing world. The legislation must take this into account and incorporate effective safeguards.
On the other hand, continuing to turn a blind eye to what is happening will serve no one on the long term. While there is much opposition to privatisation from JVP-led student groups in state universities, there can be no grounds for opposition to state involvement in regulatory and supervisory capacities in a sector that is invariably expanding anyway.

Pragmatism

An informal, undefined relationship already exists between state universities and existing private institutions – we are, after all, a very small country. But in spite of this relationship, the direction that privatisation is taking is wrong from the country’s viewpoint: the satellite model. What the government must do is gently guide the private sector towards the indigenous model and formalise and define this relationship into statutory roles.

There must be ample flexibility and reflective practice built into the new arrangement, so that changing trends lead to appropriate responses. Otherwise, one of the private sector’s most important advantages – flexibility – will be lost.

We must proactively and judiciously mould our university system into an integrated, efficient amalgam of state and private components – by promoting an indigenous private sector. Or else, we will eventually not have a university system of any consequence that can be called our own.

(The writer wishes to acknowledge Asian Universities: Historical Perspectives and Contemporary Challenges co-edited by Philip G. Altbach and Toru Umakoshi (Johns Hopkins University Press: 2004) for valuable information and concepts. He is a graduate of the North Colombo Medical College, and currently teaches medicine at the University of Colombo.)

****

A moment of unique significance

This is an all-important period, in the history of Sri Lanka. A moment of unique significance that we like to share with the global family - celebrating the defeat of ruthless terrorism that had taken away the freedom of our people and terrorised the region, spreading and exporting terrorist ideas and concepts to all corners of the earth. Freedom has been reclaimed for people of Sri Lanka. These great moments, must be enshrined in history. Our future generations must learn and understand the sacrifices of this generation that will give them freedom of a better future. Most importantly, we have to teach the future generations to never make this mistake again.

As an artist Bandula Samarasekera initiates Sri Lanka’s digital Internet museum - a digitally drawn gallery of Sri Lanka’s history - of people who carved the future of the nation, of events, of monuments that we all treasure. Bandula’s first digital drawing is of President Mahinda Rajapaksa - the leader responsible for giving Sri Lanka a future of freedom and a future of success. At this moment Bandula has completed a digital portrait of another true son of Sri Lanka - the man who led the forces on the ground and claimed victory against the world’s most ruthless terrorist outfit. Bandula shows his appreciation of General Sarath Fonseka with a digital portrait that will adorn the digital museum of Sri Lankan heroes and freedom fighters. Bandula goes on to express his ambition “the internet and digital media is all so powerful today and this must be exploited to showcase the peoples’ contribution to our country - so that people all over the world with links to Sri Lanka will learn about our heroes, their contribution and the value they brought to all our lives”. He added that the current leadership is important to the world because “they taught the world that even the most ruthless wrong thinking people can be brought to their knees”.

Bandula worked on a portrait of General Sarath Fonseka and completed it in a week. This digital canvas will enshrine Sarath Fonseka in the gallery of the famous sons of Sri Lanka in digital media. Bandula’s ambition is to enshrine the history of Sri Lanka in this digital museum. A long and colourful history with over a 180 monarchs, Bandula has a formidable task. The long history and rich culture gives artists an ideal canvas to expose their talent for the country. He’d like to invite like-minded persons to support and encourage the concept of The Sri Lankan Digital Museum. Bandula also plans to have a digital canvas exhibition to encourage newcomers to take to this medium.

Those who believe in this digital museum for Sri Lanka could contact Bandula at info@bcomart.com or visitwww.bcomart.com and support him in his efforts to put Sri Lanka’s history in drawings on the Internet canvas.

****

 

 

 

Click here to send
your feed-back

   

Click here to
see our readers comments

   
   
   
   
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 

 

 
     

- web designed by Mithila Kumara -