My Experiences at Teaching Hospital – Jaffna


The new extension of the Teaching Hospital in Jaffna

Experiencing a stay in a Sri Lankan hospital cannot be a pleasant experience to any patient, especially if it is in a state hospital. I have been unfortunate to have such bitter experiences in a few state hospitals. I won’t name them here as I don’t want to be at the receiving end if I happened to go to any of those again.

I had to spend a couple of days at the Teaching Hospital – Jaffna early this year and was amazed with the professional and caring way I was treated there. I was directly taken to the Emergency Care Unit (ECU) as soon as I got myself admitted to the hospital and was given the treatment immediately in a comfortable ECU bed. (I have been to some other hospitals before with more serious conditions of the same illness before but I have had to wait for hours even without being looked into let alone being treated!) Once my condition was stabilized, I was transferred to a regular ward.

The hospital staff in this hospital in Jaffna, from the specialist doctors to the minor staff, were very helpful and caring. Language barrier also did not become a big issue even though most of the staff members were Tamil people. There were a few Sinhala and Muslim staff members too, everyone was nice to me, and I saw with my own eyes they were the same towards the other patients too.

Once I was cured, they discharged me and guided me properly to the medical clinics too. I couldn’t get the signature of the chief medical doctor for my insurance documents as he wasn’t available when I left the hospital and the staff gave me a date to come back to get the signature. However, I couldn’t go on the stipulated day due to a personal reason and went to the ward on a later date. As soon as the doctor saw me coming, even without my asking him, he came to me and signed the diagnosis card needed to get my insurance claims.

I wish the staff of the other state hospitals also could do the same. It doesn’t cost money to smile, be humble. Of course, I understand that the state hospitals can be understaffed at times but what I saw at Teaching Hospital in Jaffna was that, more than anything else, it was the positive attitudes of the staff that made my stay there a pleasant one as opposed to arrogance.

රන්ජන් රාමනායක නම් නියම “නළුවා”


මට රන්ජන් රාමනායක කිසිසේත්ම ප්‍රියජනක නළුවෙක්වත්, පුද්ගලයෙක්වත් නොවේ. නමුත් මට දෙවන වරටත් ඔහු ගැන ලියන්නට සිදුවී ඇත. (පළමු වරට ලියූ ලිපිය මෙතනින් කියවන්න.)

බොහෝ උපමහාද්වීපික නළුවන්ට මෙන්ම රන්ජන්ටද වයස යාම නොපෙන්වා සිටීමට සිදුවීම ඔහුගේ වරදක් නොවේ. හොලිවුඩ් නළුවන්ටනම් වයස යාම ආභරණයක් වන්නේ ඔවුන් වයසත් සමග පරිණත වීමත්, රසික රසිකාවියන්ගේ මෙන්ම නිෂ්පාදක සහ අධ්‍යක්ෂවරුන්ගේ ඉල්ලුම වැඩිවීමත් නිසාය. ඒ නිසාම අවුරුදු 70ක් වයස රිචර්ඩ් ගියර් තවම චිත්‍රපටවල “කොල්ලාගේ” හෙවත් ආදරවන්තයාගේ චරිතය රඟපායි. වයස සඟවන්නට ඔහුට අවශ්‍යතාවයක් නැත. නමුත් 69 හැවිරිදි රජිනිකාන්ත්ටත්, 56 හැවිරිදි රන්ජන් රාමනායකටත් විවිධ වෙස් ගැන්වීම්වලින් සැරසී තවමත් කොල්ලාගේ චරිතය රඟපෑමට “මාර ගේමක්” දීමට සිදුවී තිබේ. එසේ නොවුණොත් ඔවුන්ට චිත්‍රපට නොලැබී යයි. (77 හැවිරිදි අමිතාභ් බච්චන් නම් නියම වයස පෙන්වමින් තවමත් තම පුතාගේ තිරයේ පෙම්වතියත් සමග නටන්නට තරම් වාසනාව ලැබී ඇත්තේ ඔහුගේ දැවැන්ත පෞර්ෂය නිසාමය.)

රජිනිකාන්ත් ඇත්තටම බැලුවොත් තට්ට හිසක් සහිත පුද්ගලයෙකි. (ඔහු එය තිරයේදී සැඟවුවද සාමාන්‍ය ජීවිතයේදී සඟවන්නේ නැත.) රන්ජන් රිමාන්ඩ් බන්ධනාගාර ගතවූ පසුව ඔහුගේ ඇත්තේද තට්ට හිසක් බව පැහැදිලිව පෙනේ. එය බොරු කොණ්ඩයකින් වසාගෙන සෑහෙන කලක් කොල්ලාගේ චරිතය ඔහුට රඟපෑමට හැකිවිය. (මම එහි වරදක් නොදකිමි. මගේද තට්ටය පෑදුනොත් සමහරවිට එය සැඟවීමට මමද උත්සාහ කළ හැක.)

මම මේ කියන්නට යන්නෙ වෙන කතාවකි. කිසිම හැඟීමක් නැති “හිස් මුහුණක් ඇති” නළුවකු වූ රන්ජන් බන්ධනාගාරගතවූ පසු සුදු රවුල වැවී, තට්ටය පෑදී දැන් ඔහුගේ නියම ස්වරූපය පෙනේ. රන්ජන් නම් “නළුවාගේ” නියම රඟපෑම් පෙනෙන්නේ දැන්‍ ය. දැන් රන්ජන්ට ඇත්තටම රඟපාන්නට පුළුවන. ජීවිතයේ කටුක අත්දැකීම්, සිය හිතමිතුරු දේශපාලකයන්, මිතුරන්, රසික රසිකාවියන් විසින් දරුණු ලෙස අතහැර දමනු ලැබීමේ සහ සිය ප්‍රතිරූපය දැඩි ලෙස බිඳ වැටීමේ කනස්සල්ලෙන් සිටින ඔහු තවමත් “වීරයා” වීමට උත්සාහ දරයි. රන්ජන් බන්ධනාගාර බසයෙන් බසින විට සහ නගින විට හිටපු යුද හමුදාපති විශ්‍රාමික ජෙනරල් සරත් ෆොන්සේකාගෙන් ඉගෙනගත් “පාට් දමමින්” රඟපායි.

ඔහුගේ අනාගතය කෙසේ වේදැයි කීමට අපට නොහැක. එය ඉතා දීර්ඝ අධිකරණ ක්‍රියාවලියකින් පසුව තීරණය වනු ඇත. ඒ කෙසේ වෙතත්, ඔහු දැන් නියම “නළුවකු” වී ඇත. ඔහුට බොහෝවිට හොඳ චරිතාංග නළුවකු ලෙස ඉදිරි ගමනක් තිබිය හැක. සමහරවිට රන්ජන් දැන් එතරම් කාර්‍යබහුල නොවන ජීවන රටාවක් ගෙවන නිසා රිමාන්ඩ් බන්ධනාගාරයේදී පොතක් දෙකක් කියවීමටද හැකිවනු ඇත.

රන්ජන්, ඔබට සුබ අනාගතයක්.

ලංකාවේ ලැගුම්හල්වල අරුම පුදුම නීති, රීති සහ සම්ප්‍රදායයන්


ලංකාවේ ලැගුම්හල්වල ඇත්තේ අරුම පුදුම නීති, රීති සහ සම්ප්‍රදායයන්ය. මේවා මොන කෙහෙල්මලක් නිසා ඇතිවූයේදැයි කියා කීමට බැරිය. බෝහොමයක් නීති පුහු සුචරිතවාදය නිසාය. අනික මේ නීති කුඩා ලැගුම්හල් වලට පමණය. ඒවාද කිසිම වැදගැම්මක් ඇති නීති නොවේය.

  • මම විවාහ වූ අලුත බිරිඳ සමග අනුරාධපුරේ ලැගුම්හලකට ගියේ දීර්ඝ මෝටර්සයිකල් සවාරියකින් පසු හොඳටම හෙම්බත්වීය. ලැගුම්හළට ඇතුල්වූ පසු එහි සිටි කොලුවා කීවේ නවතින්න දෙන්නේ “කපල් වලට” පමණක් කියාය. මම කිව්වෙ “අපිත් කපල් එකක් තමා” කියාය. එවිට ඔහු කීවේ “නෑ නෑ සර් කසාද බැඳපු කපල් වලට විතරයි” කියාය. මම කීවේ “ඉතිං අපිත් කසාද බැඳපු කපල් එකක් තමා” කියාය. එවිට ඔහු කීවේ එය විශ්වාස කළ නොහැකි බවයි. මම ඔහුට කීවේ යන යන තැන කසාද සහතිකය ලැමිනේට් කරගෙන යන සිරිතක් අපට තියා අරාබි රටකවත් ඇතැයි මම හිතන්නේ නැති බවය. එවිට ඔහු කීවේ කසාද බැඳ ඇතිනම් බබෙක් සිටිය යුතු බවය. එවිට මම කීවේ කසාද බැඳ සති දෙක තුනකින් බබ්බු හම්බවෙන්න තරම් අකරතැබ්බක් වී අප කසාද නොබැන්ද බවය. කෙසේ හෝ අන්තිමේදී යහළුවකුට කතාකර, ඇය මාර්ගයෙන් අප කසාද බැඳ ඇති බව තහවුරු කරනකල්ම අපිට කාමරයක් නොලැබුණි.
  • තවත් දිනක දුර බැහැර සිට පොළොන්නරුවට තනිවම පැමිණ නතරවීමට ලැගුම්හලකට ගොඩවැදුනෙමි. මැනේජර් උතුමාණන් මට කැමති කාමරයක් තෝරාගන්නා ලෙස කීවේය. මම කාමර සියල්ලටම ගොස් බැලූවිට පෙනුණේ ඒවා සියල්ලම විශාල “ඩබල් බෙඩ්” සහිත කාමර බවයි. මම මැනේජර් උතුමාට කීවේ මම තනිවම සිටින නිසා තනි ඇඳක් සහිත කාමරයක් ප්‍රමාණවත් බවය. එවිට ඔහු කීවේ කාමර දෙන්නේ කපල් වලට විතරක් බවය. මට බොහෝ මහන්සි නිසා වෙනත් ලැගුම්හලකට යාමට අපහසු නිසා ඩබල් බෙඩ් සහිත කාමරයක නතරවී සම්පූර්ණ කාමර ගාස්තුවම මම ගෙවීමට සූදානම් බවයි. එහෙත් ඔහු කීවේ එය කිසිසේත් කළ නොහැකි බවයි. මට වෙනත් ලැගුම්හලකට යාමට සිදුවිය.
  • තවත් දිනක දුරබැහැර ලැගුම්හලකට තනිවම ගියවිට මැනේජර් කිව්වේ තනි පිරිමින්ට කාමර දීමට විශේෂ ලයිසන් එකක් ගතයුතු බවත් තමන්ට එම ලයිසන් එකක් නැති බවත්ය. ඒ නිසා මට වෙනත් “පිරිමින්ට ලයිසන් තියෙන” ලැගුම්හලකට යාමට සිදුවිය.
  • අද රෑත් මම ඉන්නේ ජා ඇළ ලැගුම්හලක කාමරයකය. මෙයනම් අමුතුම ලැගුම්හලකි. මැනේජර් කොලූවා කීවේ මම කාන්තාවකද සහිතව නවතිනවානම් එක රැයකට කාමරය රුපියල් 1000කට ලබාදිය හැකි බවත් තනියම නතරවෙනවා නම් කාමරයට රුපියල් 2000ක් අයකරන බවයි. මේ නීති මටනම් නොතේරේ. අනික මිල අඩුවෙන් ගෙවීම සඳහා කාන්තාවක් සමග නතර වීමට තරම් මට අහේනියක්ද අහවල් එකේ අමාරුවක්ද නැත. අනික මම ඉතාම ගරු කරන මට ඉංග්‍රීසි ඉගැන්වූ ගුරුවරයකු වූ මිහින්තලේ මහේන්ද්‍ර ඉලංගසිංහ මහතා මට ඉගැන්වූ ‘A night with Venus, a lifetime with Mercury’ ‍යන වැකිය මම කිසිදාක අමතක නොකරමි.

ලැගුම්වල මේ නීති, රීති හෝ සම්ප්‍රදායන් ගැන මට කිසිසේත්ම තේරුම් ගැනීමට නොහැක. සමහරවිට මෙවැනි දේ ගැන සමාජ විද්‍යාත්මක ඇසකින් බලන අජිත් පැරකුම් ජයසිංහ හෝ යම් පැහැදිලි කිර්‍රිමක් කළොත් හොඳයැයි සිතේ.

(මේ ලිපිය ලිවීමේදී මට මාතලන්ගේ භාෂා විලාසය ආවේ කොහොමදැයි මටද තේරුම්ගත නොහැක. මාතලන් ඒ පිළිබඳව අමනාප නොවේ යැයි සිතේ.)

Diplomatic Incident Involving the Swiss Embassy


Swiss Embassy in Sri Lanka

By Nanda Wanninayaka

I don’t know what REALLY happened with the Sri Lankan employee who worked at the Swiss Embassy in Colombo. Nobody will ever know, would they? The embassy says one of their local employees was kidnapped, detained and was questioned for good two hours and then let go. But the Government of Sri Lanka says that there is no clue about such an incident after their thorough investigations. We know that our Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is not the FBI nor the Scotland Yard, but the victim has to assist the CID to continue their investigations to bring the culprits to the book. But it looks extremely impossible with the way the things go and if the said employee and her family are taken out of the embassy to board a plane to Switzerland, this would become an extreme diplomatic incident that can damage the relationship between the two countries.

A Sri Lankan Passport

Without going any further with this, I would write down how my students and I were treated by foreign missions in Sri Lanka when we wanted to travel to certain countries.

  1. My first travel abroad was to China (assisted by a US project) in the year 2000. Once I went to the Chinese embassy the Chinese employee at the embassy told me that my destination in China was not to a hotel but some government office. I had to reiterate that the destination was correct before he granted to process the visa application. (Apparently, the place I stayed in China was a government building related to some scientific affairs and there were enough star-class rooms and a restaurant to entertain 1000 odd visitors from different parts of the world. (I think all these embassy people follow the espionage missions’ “Suspect Everyone” method when granting visas.
  • My second trip was to Egypt in 2000 to attend a regional event organized by the same organization that organized the above-mentioned event in China. The Egyptian embassy man at the gate didn’t even open the door but talked to me in a very rude manner as if I was some criminal. But the visa was approved later. (In most cases, it is these minor staffers who tarnish the names of their countries but we cannot believe that the higher officials are unaware of these.)
  • My third overseas tour was to the USA and the visa was provided with the help of the US State Department and I had no problem at all in getting my visa as Ms. Chulie de Silva (a local official at the American Center) who knew about my work assisted me getting it. But I was detained for some time as the immigration officer in the New York Airport kept asking about a document I never knew I had in my possession. I was asked to find it in my luggage and I had to open up all the stuff in my luggage but it was not to be found. Later I found it among the documents I already handed over to the officer and he sincerely apologized for his mistake.
  • My next visit was to Italy with 3 young students of Horizon Academy – Mahawilachchiya and the Sri Lankan visa officer in the Italian Embassy did not even give us visa application forms to proceed with visas. His argument was that I would not return and will stay in Italy as many other Sri Lankans do. This was a ridiculous argument because I had already been to the USA by then and if I wanted, to be an illegal immigrant, the USA must have been the best option. I never want to become an illegal immigrant even during the most trying conditions I faced in Sri Lanka. The 3 kids had obtained passports and even had bought warm clothes to wear during that cold season in Italy. If the visa officer’s concern was the three kids’ security, I could easily arrange a chaperone for them to travel. But he was arrogant and did not even provide us the visa applications. So, the three kids lost their chance of traveling to Italy with all the expenses paid by the sponsors.
  • I visited Japan twice and at the interview for the visa, I never saw the Sri Lankan visa officer but could only hear her voice as she spoke to the interviewee from behind some screen where she could see me and I couldn’t see her. I don’t know why they do it. Do they treat all Sri Lankans like rogues?
  • Two students and a lady teacher from my organization (Horizon Lanka Foundation) were invited by a Delhi-based Indian organization to do a presentation and we submitted the visa applications at the last minute as one of the students could not find the money needed to buy the flight ticket. (The expenses were to be reimbursed upon arrival to India.) But the Indian visa center that has been outsourced the visa process was very helpful and did not let our team down. They ensured they get the visas without any trouble. So my team could visit India without me having to travel with them.
  • I planned to visit Ecuador two years ago to volunteer as a teacher of English and after I submitted all the documents properly to the visa center. The Ecuadorian visa was to be obtained on arrival in Ecuador. For some reason, the organization that sponsored my trip had selected a flight route to Ecuador via Amsterdam, Holland. After submitting my papers, the visa center that dealt with the so-called “Schengen” visas turned down my request and handed me over a letter saying that I would disappear in the Amsterdam airport and seek a job in the Netherlands!!! I needed a transit visa in Amsterdam only for 3-4 hours till I caught the next flight to Ecuador. The other friend of mine who went to Ecuador via the same route for the same purpose around a few weeks ago was a Tamil guy from Batticaloa and he said, “Most of the embassy officials are Tamils in Sri Lanka and they favor only Tamils. This might be the reason for the denial of your transit visa.” Till that, I thought this was only a rumor but I understood it was a lot more than just a rumor.
  • I was to send a female student with a female teacher from Horizon Academy – Mahawilachchiya to South Africa for a conference. Since the invitation letter from the event organizers came from a Gmail account, not an account with the organization’s domain, the South African High Commission in Colombo hesitated to grant them visas. Fair enough. Still, the local and the South African High Commission officers were very supportive and gave us the visas at the last moment but the lady teacher from our organization hesitated to go since it was her overseas tour and was not comfortable at the 11th hour. That was our fault, not theirs. I can say that the South African High Commission in Colombo was the best foreign mission I have dealt with so far and they are very efficient and people-friendly.

If you can remember, most of the embassies in Sri Lanka treated the local people like trash until recent times. We had to be in long ques in the hot sun or torrential rains outside the embassies without any shelter. The government of Sri Lanka did nothing until some people raised the issue in the local newspapers. Now the treatments are better and still, there is a lot to change in this regard.

So, I wrote this to tell you how foreign missions treat Sri Lankans and we should make use of the present issue with the Swiss embassy to make things right. The late president Mr. Ranasinghe Premadasa had an issue with H. E. Mr. David Gladstone, the British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka by interfering into internal issues and he was ordered to leave Sri Lanka. I don’t say the same should happen in the light of the present diplomatic incident but the West has to learn a lesson too when interfering with the internal issues. Instead, we should try solving this type of incident amicably without risking too much.

T. M. G. චන්ද්‍රසේකර – රැවුලත් කැඳත් දෙකම බේරාගත් අපේ කාලයේ අපූරු මාධ්‍යවේදියා


T. M. G. චන්ද්‍රසේකර

මේ කෙටි සටහන තබන්නට සිතුවේ ජාතික රූපවාහිනියේ ප්‍රවෘත්ති අධ්‍යක්ෂ ලෙස සේවය කළ මෑතකදී විශ්‍රාම ගිය මාධ්‍යවේදියකු සිහිකිරීම සඳහා. නමින් T. M. G. චන්ද්‍රසේකර වුවත් අපි සැවොම ඔහුව හඳුනන්නේ TMG නමින්. රජයේ මාධ්‍ය ආයතනයක රැකියාව කරමින් රැකියාව සහ වෘත්තීය ගෞරවය දෙකම ආරක්ෂා කරගැනීම පහසු කටයුත්තක් නෙවෙයි. ඒත් TMG මේ දෙකම සමබර කරගත්තේ ඇතැම්විට බොහෝ දේවල් අවදානමට තබමින්.

ඔහුව අපි මුලින්ම හඳුනාගත්තේ ජාතික රූපවාහිනිය හරහා. ඉනුත් ඔහුගේ රුව සහ හඬ අප අතර මතක සිටියේ සජීවී සාකච්ඡා තුළින්. මගේ මතකය නිවැරදිනම් TMG අප මුලින්ම දැක්කේ තොරතුරු තාක්ෂණය එතරම් රටේ ප්‍රචලිත නොවූ කළෙක “අන්තර්ජාලය ඔබේ නිවසට” නම් ඉතාම සරල බසකින් ඔහු ඉදිරිපත්කළ වැඩසටහනින්. එකළ අපි අන්තර්ජාලය ගැන කිසිම දැනුමක් නැතිව සිටි අවධියක්. ඔහු ඉහත කී වැඩසටහන ඉදිරිපත්කළ සරළ සහ මිත්‍රශීලී බව නිසාම තරුණ වියේ තොරතුරු පිපාසයෙන් සිටි අප වැන්නන් පමණක් නොව සමාජයේ විවිධ පැතිකඩවලට අන්තර්ජාලය සමීප කිරීමට ඔහු දායක වූයේ චානුක වත්තේගම ප්‍රධාන කතෘත්වය දැරූ “විජය පරිගණක” හා සමානව දායකත්වයක්.

ඉන් පසුව අපිට TMG නැවතත් හමුවන්නේ ඔහු ජාතික රූපවාහිනිය හරහා එවකට ජනාධිපතිණිය වූ චන්ද්‍රිකා කුමාරතුංග මැතිණිය කිහිපවරක්ම සම්මුඛ සාකච්ඡාවට භාජනය කිරීමෙන්. ඔහු ප්‍රවීණ මාධ්‍යවේදී පාලිත පෙරේරා මෙන්ම උපක්‍රමශීලී ලෙස මතභේදයට ලක්වුණු කරුණු සම්බන්ධයෙනුත් ඇයව ප්‍රශ්න කළ අවස්තාවන් තිබුණා. එවකට තිබුණු මාධ්‍ය නිදහසේ සීමාවන් තුළ රැඳෙමින්, රජයේ මාධ්‍ය ආයතනයක් වන ජාතික රූපවාහිනිය තුළින් එවැන්නක් කිරීම තරමක අභියෝගයක්.

මුලිනුත් කී පරිදි රාජ්‍ය මාධ්‍ය ආයතනයක දිගු කාලයක් රැකියාව සහ වෘත්තීය ගරුත්වය රැක ගැනීම අප වැනි රටවල මාධ්‍යකරුවන්ට බියකරු සිහිනයක් බව අළුතෙන් කියන්නට ඕන නැහැ. මෙහි භයානකත්වය TMG අත්වින්දේ නොහික්මුණු කැබිනට් ඇමතිවරයකු වූ මර්වින් සිල්වා රූපවාහිනී පරිශ්‍රයට ඔහුගේ මැරයන් සමග බලෙන් කඩාවැදී TMGට ඉතාම නිර්ලජ්ජිත ලෙස පහරදුන් අවස්තාවේ. ඔහුට පහරදීමට හේතු වූයේ ඇමතිවරයා දේශපාලන වේදිකාවකදී කළ නරුම කතාවක් ප්‍රවෘත්ති ප්‍රකාශය අතරදී විකාශය නොකළ නිසා. මාධ්‍ය සදාචාරය ඉහළින් සලකන ඔහු වැන්නෙකුට එවැනි කතා විකාශය නොකර සිටීමට ශුද්ධවූ අයිතියක් තිබුණා. එම නින්දිත ප්‍රහාරයේදී රූපවාහිනියේ ලොකු කුඩා සැවොම ඔහුගේ පාර්ශවය ගෙන අදාල ඇමතිවරයාට ප්‍රතිප්‍රහාර එල්ල කළේ ඉන් ලැබිය හැකි භයානක ප්‍රතිපළද අමතක කරමින්.

TMG රූපවාහිනියට සම්බන්ධවුණේ 1995දී. ඔහු කැලණිය විශ්වවිද්‍යාලයේ දර්ශනය පිළිබඳ විශේෂ උපාධියක් ලබා පසුව එම විශ්වවිද්‍යාලයෙන්ම ජනමාධ්‍ය සම්බන්ධ උසස් උපාධිදරයෙක් ලෙසත් අධ්‍යාපනය ලැබුවා. පසුව ඔහු ටෙලිවිෂන් මාධ්‍යයේ විවිධ අංශවල ඔහුගේ නිර්මාණාත්මක හැකියාවන් උරගා බැලුවා. අවුරුදු 24ක අඛණ්ඩ, විශිෂ්ට සේවයකින් පසු රූපවාහිනියෙන් විශ්‍රාම ගිය ඔහු මේ වන විට ඔහු ශ්‍රී ලංකා තොරතුරු හා සන්නිවේදන තාක්ෂණ නියෝජිතායතනයේ සන්නිවේදනය සඳහා උපායමාර්ග පිළිබඳ විශේෂඥයකු වශයෙන් සේවය කරනවා.

රූපවාහිනිය TMG චන්ද්‍රසේකර ගැන කළ විඩියෝ වැඩසටහනක්

මට TMGව හමුවුණේ ඔහු මම සහ මගේ සිසුසිසුවියන් කිහිප දෙනෙකු 2002දී ඔහු සමග කළ සජීවී රූපවාහිනී සාකච්ඡාවකදී. එහි වීඩියෝ දර්ශන කිහිපයක් පහත දැක්වෙනවා.

1. First Live TV Talk show by Horizon Lanka kids in 2003
2. First Live TV Talk Show of Horizon Lanka kids in 2003
3. First Live TV Talk show by Horizon Lanka kids in 2003
4. First Live TV Talk show by Horizon Lanka kids in 2003
5. First Live TV Talk show by Horizon Lanka kids in 2003
6. First Live TV Talk show by Horizon Lanka kids in 2003
7. First Live TV Talk show by Horizon Lanka kids in 2003
8. First Live TV Talk show by Horizon Lanka kids in 2003
9. First Live TV Talk show by Horizon Lanka kids in 2003
10. First Live TV Talk show by Horizon Lanka kids in 2003
12. First Live TV Talk show by Horizon Lanka kids in 2003
14. First Live TV Talk show by Horizon Lanka kids in 2003
15. First Live TV Talk show by Horizon Lanka kids in 2003
17. First Live TV Talk show by Horizon Lanka kids in 2003

18. First Live TV Talk show by Horizon Lanka kids in 2003

ඉන්න බෑ – කොල්ලට විසේ


ඉහළ ශීර්ෂපාඨය මේ ලියවිල්ලට යොදන්න හිතුවේ පුංචි සිදුවීමක්. මම දවස් කීපයකට පෙර වවුනියාව සිට කොළඹ දක්වා යන රාත්‍රී බස් එකකට නැග්ගේ අනුරාධපුර, සාලියපුර කිට්ටුවෙන්. බස් එක අනුරාධපුරයෙන් නැවැත්තුවා මාකට් එක ළඟින්. මා සිටි ආසනයට ඉදිරියෙන් සිටි තරුණිය බස් එකෙන් බහිද්දී තවත් තරුණයෙක් (සමහර විට තරුණියගේ සහෝදරයෙක්, පෙම්වතා හෝ සැමියා වෙන්නැති) අර තරුණිය ළඟ වාඩිවී සිටි තරුණයාට තරවටු කළේ “දැන් දුන්නනේ උඹෙ ෆෝන් නම්බර් එක. කෝල් කරපන් එයාට උඹ චන්ඩියෙක්නම්. මීට පස්සෙ නම්බර් දුන්නොත් බලාගමු” වැන්නක් කියමින්. බස් එකේ සිටි තරුණයා කිසිවක් කරකියාගත නොහැකි නිසා නිහඬව සිටියා.

මගේ ප්‍රශ්නේ මේකයි. මේ තරුණයා ඒ තරුණියත් එක්ක කතා කරන්නත් ඇති. ෆෝන් නම්බර් එක දෙනකොට එයා ගන්නත් ඇති. (අනුමානකිරීම් පමණයි) ඒ අතරම තමන්ව එක්කන් යන්න ආව තරුණයාට මේ බව කියා කෙටි පණිවිඩයක් හෝ යවන්නත් ඇති. ඒත් ඒක තරවටු කරන්න තරම් නරක දෙයක්ද? තරුණ තරුණියන් හමුවූ විට මෙවැන්නක් සිදුවීම අතිශයින්ම සාමාන්‍යයි. තරුණිය අකමැති නම් නිහඩ වෙන්න පුළුවන්. තරුණයා සීමාව ඉක්මවලා යනවනම් බස් රතයේ කාට හරි නැත්නම් පොලීසියට හරි දන්වන්න පුළුවන්. නමුත් මිත්‍රත්වයක් ගොඩනගා ගන්න හදන අතිශයින්ම අහිංසක ක්‍රියාවලියකදී අයියාට හෝ පෙම්වතාට/සැමියාට කියා “ඉල්ලලා දෙන එක” අවශ්‍යද?

මම හිතන්නේ මේක අපේ රටේ  ගැහැනු ළමයින්ට කුඩා කළ සිටම ඇතිකරන නරක පෙළඹවීමක්. මා දැක තියෙනවා ප්‍රාතමික පන්තිවල ගැහැණු ළමුන්ට පවා පිරිමි ළමයෙක් අතිශයින්ම සාමාන්‍ය විහිළුවක් කළත් ප්‍රතික්‍රියා දක්වන්නේ, “ඉන්න බෑ. කොල්ලට විසේ” වැනි රළු ලෙසකින්. එහෙම නැතිව විහිළුවකට විහිළුවකින්ම පිළිතුරු දෙන්න මේ දරුවන්ට හුරු නොකරන්නේ ඇයි? මම මේ කියන්නේ සීමාව ඉක්මවා යන bullying (හිරිහැරකිරීම්) හෝ intimidation (තැතිගැන්වීම්) ගැන නෙවෙයි. අහිංසක සහ ගැටවර හෝ තරුණ වයසේ ඉතාම සාමාන්‍ය විහිළු තහළු ගැනයි.

සමහර විට මටත් මගේම දුවක් සිටියානම් මමත් බොහෝවිට අන් අය ලෙසින්ම හිතන්නටත් බැරි නැහැ.

LOOK AND LEARN – Number 07


Look and Learn Cover Page

Look and Learn was a British weekly educational magazine for children published by Fleetway Publications Ltd from 1962 until 1982. It contained educational text articles that covered a wide variety of topics from volcanoes to the Loch Ness Monster; a long running science fiction comic strip, The Trigan Empire; adaptations of famous works of literature into comic-strip form, such as Lorna Doone; and serialized works of fiction such as The First Men in the Moon.

The illustrators who worked on the magazine included Fortunino Matania, John Millar Watt, Peter Jackson, John Worsley, Ron Embleton, Gerry Embleton, C. L. Doughty, Wilf Hardy, Dan Escott, Angus McBride, Oliver Frey, James E. McConnell, Kenneth Lilly, R. B. Davis and Clive Uptton. (From Wikipedia.)

I thank Dilhan Payagala for sharing this valuable asset with me. I am publishing them here one by one and do not intend copyright infringement here.

LOOK AND LEARN – Number 02


Look and Learn was a British weekly educational magazine for children published by Fleetway Publications Ltd from 1962 until 1982. It contained educational text articles that covered a wide variety of topics from volcanoes to the Loch Ness Monster; a long running science fiction comic strip, The Trigan Empire; adaptations of famous works of literature into comic-strip form, such as Lorna Doone; and serialized works of fiction such as The First Men in the Moon.

The illustrators who worked on the magazine included Fortunino Matania, John Millar Watt, Peter Jackson, John Worsley, Ron Embleton, Gerry Embleton, C. L. Doughty, Wilf Hardy, Dan Escott, Angus McBride, Oliver Frey, James E. McConnell, Kenneth Lilly, R. B. Davis and Clive Uptton. (From Wikipedia.)

I thank  Dilhan Payagala for sharing this valuable asset with me. I am publishing them here one by one and do not intend copyright infringement here.

ISIS-ing the Entire Muslim Population of Sri Lanka


Zahran Hashim and the team with ISIS Flag

This article of mine first appeared on Colombo Telegraph website. See https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/isising-the-entire-muslim-population-of-sri-lanka/

Much water has gone under the bridge since the cowardly terrorist attacks on April 21, 2019 inside Sri Lankan Catholics’ and other Christian places of worship on one of Christendom’s holiest days, Easter Sunday, an unexpected massacre now being glibly referred to as the Easter Sunday Attacks

ISIS, the ruthless Muslim terrorist organization that has become a menace to the entire world, claimed responsibility for the dreadful attack after a few days, but all the perpetrators were found to be local Muslims. I was intrigued to write on this and the aftermath, but not being a career journalist, I had my own limitations on the access to the right information, just like it would be for many of you, as to what REALLY happened on that fateful Sunday. We, laymen, never expected this to happen after enjoying more or less 10 years of relative peace since the “guns were silenced” with the conclusion of the Civil War, or whatever you may call it. 

Let alone us, the general public, even the bigwigs of security establishments, seem not to have taken the impending radical Islam/Muslim terrorism’s early warnings in Sri Lanka. Whenever the subject in question came up in certain platforms we thought we were all seeing a storm in a teacup if not “crocodiles in a basin,” the local version of the idiom. Maybe those who alarmed us were not convincing enough due to the hatred, extremism, intolerance they themselves showed against Muslims in general in their awareness campaigns, so much so that we thought they are more extremist than the suspected group of people, the extremist radical Muslims.

I won’t budge on implicating those responsible for the constant failures by the government(s) in understanding early warnings sent by intelligence, scholars, futurists, about possible local Muslim terrorism growing under the radar as most of those sources are highly politicized, or biased, or made to look so by the politicians with hidden agendas and ulterior motives. 

From https://www.npr.org/2019/04/23/716337557/mass-funerals-begin-in-a-grieving-sri-lanka

With all this endless bickering, what was inevitable, which we feared happening, has happened and hundreds of kids, women and men were perished and left strewn into pieces by leaving them dead or seriously injured. The damage done to the tourism industry and the rest of the economy at large was so colossal, it will take eons for the country to recover fully. Above all, the esteemed image the country had earned as the World’s Best Tourist Destination by prestigious organizations with the conclusion of the Civil War and the subsequent relative calm and orderliness vanished beyond repair within a span of a couple of hours. Like it happened previously too, the country was headlined on leading international media, once again, unfortunately, for all the wrong reasons.

Zahran Hashim, the mastermind of the heinous attacks

Now we all know how the whole saga unfolded and the dirty politics behind it. Ignoring reliable intelligence reports and passing the buck after the catastrophe, showed how unprofessional the security establishment and how lethargic and shortsighted the so called leaders of the country are. They were infighting and in fact, it was that very reason that led to this avoidable carnage. Due to the same reason, our security forces that have eradicated, the then world’s most lethal terrorist organization, the LTTE, we lost a golden opportunity of arousing the country and eliminating Muslim fundamentalist terrorism for good. Politicians’ greed for votes resulted in the government failing to decimate these terrorists at the outset, as extremist Muslim politicians became stronger, while the government and the security forces became weaker. Can there be any more shame than that?

While His Eminence, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith of the Archdiocese of Colombo did an exemplary job by pacifying the bereaved, grieving  and enraged citizens preventing islandwide riots, many others tried to make things worse by spreading hatred, and disrupt the then ongoing security measures too by creating unnecessary pressure on the security forces by diverting their attention to communal or interfaith riots that spread in some parts of the island. 

There is no use in criticizing the government, as we have been unlucky enough to see similar mishaps since Independence and they keep happening and no one in the higher echelons of power ever learn.  

It is true that the terrorist activities were supported by some Muslims without doubt while a few of them informed of suspected activities to the responsible authorities. Therefore, it is not fair to single out a community and punish them for heinous acts that were perpetrated, mainly due to the ineffectiveness of the rulers. We saw very well that even after a slaughter of this magnitude, politicians were trying to enhance their vote bases rather than punishing the culprits, their accomplices and the politicians and businessmen who either financed or protected them right from the beginning. Such traitors should be brought to the book and the maximum penalty imposed without any hesitation. as a result, is it fair to marginalize the Muslim brethren of the country and look at them as terrorists for crimes someone else committed? ISISing an entire community is too much of a punishment, overlooking ground realities.

I am not too sure how far the businesses owned by the Muslims have been affected by non-Muslims boycotting them. Maybe it will change in time and their businesses might recover if it is bad at the moment. Whether one likes it or not, Muslims are citizens of this country and also they comprise a sizable portion of the population and economy. Leaving them out totally will only encourage them to join extremist forces than remain in the mainstream, just like the infamous Black July in 1983 forced even moderate Tamils to join terrorist outfits in the hundreds of thousands. 

Even though it is extremely difficult to forget and forgive after such a devastating scale of a killing spree, we do not have a choice. If we don’t, there will be even worse repercussions. This does not in any way mean that we should give into violence or be complacent about any such possible attacks in future.  This is only to display unity and let everyone feel that they are a part of one nation. Muslims themselves have an even bigger role here to win back the damaged trust of the other communities in the country by chipping in, and sacrificing some of the privileges they enjoyed in the name of religion such as compromising to give up customized laws and agreeing to one common law for the entire country. Cultural differences are welcomed as they beautify the social fabric with the diversity, but extreme legal measures on common issues of the nation should be addressed by one law.

If you can remember well, when the late Nelson Mandela became the president of South Africa after decades of apartheid, the white businessmen had many doubts as to whether their businesses would be affected with hatred unleashed on them by the majority black community. But Mandela ensured none of the white people’s business would be disturbed by the new black majority government. If the white people left South Africa with all their money South Africa would have ended up as a beggar nation. But Mandela being such a far-sighted statesman, foresaw the danger and prevented an exodus of investments out of South Africa. So, in the same way, ISIS-ing Sri Lankan Muslims is not the solution to the problem, but extending compassion instead, while at the same time the intelligence services and security forces are strengthened to ensure everyone’s safety.

Rehmat Ullah – A Pakistani School Principal Who Uses Facebook for School Development


Mr. Rehmat Ullah with some of his students

I came into contact with 38-year-old Mr. Rehmat Ullah from the village of Chaman, Balochistan Province, Pakistan through Facebook, through Mr. Rehan Allahwalah who promotes FB as a tool to connect people for peacebuilding, development and entrepreneurship skills enhancing.

Rehmat’s school, Iqra Asian International School was founded by him. In Pakistan, individuals can start a school as the government has no capacity to start schools in every village and small towns at the present time. Even though his school is titled as an “international school,” he runs it with very basic facilities as he cannot invest big amount of monies and cannot charge adequate fees from the low-income families in his area. 

Rehmat happened to communicate with me through FB during the last few years and I advised him with my experiences in fundraising. He had no access to a PC but did all his communication with an entry-level smartphone. It took a long time for him to change the attitudes towards technology due to lack of access to it. He learnt that there are easier ways to improve his school. Though both of us come from different countries, cultures and backgrounds there was one thing that we both believed in. Obviously, that was education. We both strongly believe that educating the younger generation can solve most of the social and developmental issues that countries in our region face. So, we had several chats over IM and he started changing. And it was his students who reaped the benefits of his change. The number of students in the school has increased to 212 (190 boys and 22 girls) from the mere 9 at the inception of the school.

He opened his FB account in 2014 and now has 4996 friends and only shy of 4 friends to come to the maximum number of friends the social networking giant allows. He is also followed by 7,111 people on FB. His FB moniker is https://www.facebook.com/rehmatullah.rehmat.566

He spends around 10 hours per day with FB despite his other duties as the Headmaster of the school. He spends around 30 USD per month for his internet bill. He started using Facebook extensively and promoted his work in educating the children in his school. He does not want to limit his services to his school. His broad vision is to extend his support to the whole Balochistan Province which is one of the least developed provinces in Pakistan. Balochistan is also facing constant violence due to terrorism.

Rehmat is a graduate in political science from the University of Balochistan in Pakistan. He upgraded his degree to the postgraduate level at the same university. He speaks and writes fluent English. 

These are the three biggest achievements for his community with FB.

  1. Finding donors for his School in Chaman. (Iqra Asian International School) 
  2. Providing the course books, stationery and lunch for the students.
  3. Getting 2 computers through donors. (But they are not working now)
  4. Constructing 2 toilets 
  5. Building a computer lab (no computers yet though.)
  6. Providing solar portable and street lights to the community in Balochistan through Mr. Vaqas Butt from ACE Welfare Foundation, Pakistan and the Executive Director of Liter of Light.

Rehmat does not want to have a total blackout of Facebook for teenagers. His message to the teenagers is to ensure the positive use of FB under the guidance of teachers and adults. Rehmat’s biggest challenge with Facebook is that he doesn’t have a good team who can use social media in a more productive way. He has to do everything on his own. Maybe others can help him as online volunteers to maintain his school Facebook account: https://www.facebook.com/Iqra-Asian-International-Public-School-Chaman-977366225635204/

He also advocates other teachers in Pakistan to get connected via Facebook with the teachers and schools around the world in order to learn new techniques and methods of teaching.

Rehmat uses live streaming the school events extensively through Facebook to get the donors’ attention. He has to pay the internet bill out of his pocket for this.

He does not charge money from the students and totally depends on donors. The children in the area cannot afford to pay. He also wants your help to provide incentives to encourage the parents to send the female students to join the school. At the moment there are only 22.

Contact him via the following contact details.

Iqra Asian International School, Murda Kareaz Road, Chaman, Balochistan, Pakistan

Email rehmatullahrehmatachak@gmail.com

Mobile 00923438031640

Facebook Handle https://www.facebook.com/rehmatullah.rehmat.566

WhatsApp Number 00923438031640