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Sarvodaya Founder Dr. A. T. Ariyartne Receives the Highest Honor in Sri Lanka

I am with Mrs. Ariyaratne, Dr. A.T.Ariyaratne, Justice Weeramantry (another receipient of the honor today), Dr. Vinya and Mrs. Weeramantry


Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne, founder of Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement, received Sri Lankaabhimanya (Pride of Sri Lanka), country’s highest honour today.

I had the privilege of witnessing the event Presidential Secretariat in Colombo when Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapkase conferred the highest honour to Dr. Ariyaratne.

Dr. Ariyaratne was recognized for exceptional honor and glory brought to the country through Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement.

The proclamation to the honour recognizes Dr. Ariyaratne’s five decades long service to upliftment of socially marginalized and oppressed, and his unwavering commitment to non-violent transformation of societies.

The proclamation reads,

In recognition of the exceptional honour and glory brought to the motherland by his pioneering endeavors in establishing, and carrying forward for five decades, the Sarvodaya Moveme…

Providing Relief to Flood Victims in Nepal

Through Sarvodaya USA, we were able to send $2000 to support flood relief in Nepal. Ramesh shares his experience distributing the relief supplies in Janakpur area.

Shisir dai Namaste,

The long awaited trip to Janakpur was wonderful and turned out to be great success. I have to say that the delayed Flood Relief Program in Janakpur was beyond our previous thought and it was beyond our expectation. We went to Janakpur on 17th of November (Saturday) and stayed there for four days, till 20th November. Initially, we thought of staying there only for a day and come back to Kathmandu after handing over the items to the Rad Cross. But we changed our modality after we reached Jankapur.

On the first day after reaching Jankapur, we contacted the local NGOs, local Red Cross, Amnesty and local journalists to read the situation in Janakpur. On the second day, we went to flood affected sites (Katrait and Musharniya). We chose these two places upon the request of the NGOS working for social development …

With Richard Gere

In New York, October 14, 2007

2:13 AM

As the world sleeps by my side,
Eyes keep on wondering whether I can get some rest.

In a cold night, over heated room in Wisconsin
Wonders when the light will go off.

Over worked computer
Worries when browsers will leave.

As the world sleeps by my side,
Tuesday slips into Wednesday.

Still a weekday.
A work day.

Isn't it time to sleep yet?

A Real Teacher Gets His Own Chapter

They were right at the gate as we entered Tanamalvilla center. I hadn't seen those children before and was wondering who they were. They must be here to play, I thought. On the narrow dirt road, there wasn't a space for us to pass them through. The vehicle we were on came to halt. One of the boys came around and knocked the windwo where Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne, Founder of Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement, was seated. He slid his window and the boy said something and pointed to a girl nearby. I didn't understand. They seemed little hestitant. Finally, a girl took a book out from a bag laying on the ground.

They brought the book and handed it over to Dr. Ariyaratne. We learnt it was a 10th grade English book published by government. One of the chapters read: The Meeting With Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne, The President, The Lanka Jathika Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement. The children, I could see, were thrilled to meet the person on the book. It was amazing, I couldn't believe it. They as…

Weekend in Dambulla and Sigiriya

Back From Matara

Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I was in Matara district in Southern Sri Lanka. This year, Sarvodaya USA has committed to support Sarvodaya Matara District activities, especially their core budget. It was an opportunity for me and district staff to discuss the priorities and how we could work together.



Most of my time was spent in discussing about the program activities for 2007/2008 year. In between, I was also able to visit to villages where Sarvodaya USA is developing Village to Village networks, a program that would connect communities in the US with villages in Sri Lanka. As our first projects, we are working to develop pre-schools in these villages supported by groups in the US. In the villages, I received an warm welcomed, spoke with the villagers and listened to their plans.




It's amazing to notice most of the village level Sarvodaya Society members were energetic womens in both the villages.

Finally, It Was A Relaxing Weekend

After three weeks of non stop work, including the weekend, I found myself with a weekend off. That is half a day of Saturday and a full Sunday. I was looking forward to getting away from Moratuwa and convinced Samantha and Sandaruwan to go with me to Unwatuna. I had heard that beach at Unwatuna was beautiful. So, we took off on Saturday afternoon.

It was about two and half hours on a bus. We checked into a nice resort for Rs. 1500 (about $15) a night for a duplex room. There weren't many westerners around and we got local rate (at that point I wasn't known to be a foreigner).
Rest of evening and Sunday was really relaxing, we swam, walked on the beach, and I read a book - biography of Gandhi, Binoba Bhave and Jayaprakash Narayan.

Cooked For the First Time in Sri Lanka

Yesterday evening I cooked for the first time here. For us who live at Sarvodaya hostels it is always canteen food, which can be too boring at times, especially sine we eat rice, dal, and curry (which is always tooooo hot for my taste) three times a day. So, I had been thinking of cooking for a while. Actually, almost a week back I had gone shopping had discovered that buying food can be as expensive here, the prices were comparable to US prices. Offcourse, I bought from a super market, which I am sure is off the reach of an average Sri Lankan.
I had Samantha and Thiyaga as my dinner guests. I find cooking for myself too boring. We had dinner of Rice, Soyameat (I dont' like that meat thing, it's a wrong word), fried potatoes and lady's finger, and dal. Honestly, the food wasn't the best but edible...rice was little over cooked and I didn't have all the spieces I needed. Anyway, it was a welcome change from Canteen food. But, I am not sure how often I will cook, mos…

Bomb Blast Cancels Dinner Plan

I was to join Sharif and Francisco for dinner. We were planning on going outside, Sharif had suggested that there is a very nice Indian resturatnt in Colombo called Mango. I have rarely been to a nice resturant in Sri Lanka, none in Colombo. So, I was tempted enough to go eventhough I have not been eating much of dinner. My dinner at canteen has been mostly yoghurt and fruits.

As we got out to catch a vehicle, we learnt that a bomb blast in Ratmalana had closed the Galle road. There are conflicting reports as to the causalties. We heard atleast three people killed and more than 20 people injured. BBC is reporting five dead and 20 injured. TamilNet says eight killed and 27 injured.

Ratmalana is not far from here, it's about three or four kilometers. Only two days back another bomb went off in Welawatta near Colombo. It's rare that bombs go off in Colombo area this frequently. It is a sign that the war is coming to Colombo as well. As the government forces push towards North, LT…

Four Day Bus Tour Around Sri Lanka

Between May 8th and 11th, I went to four day bus tour with Sarvodaya's Desodaya (National Awakening) team carrying the message of good governance and peace.



More photos http://picasaweb.google.com/skhanal/DesodayaBusTour

Day at the Terrace

A man and his dog enjoy a beautiful day on Union Terrace

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Nepali New Year Celebration

Nepal American Friendship Association (NAFA) organized Nepali New Year 2064 celebration today in Madison, Wisconsin.

Ebrahima

April Snow

Spring Arrives

People enjoy the first day of warm weather and melting ice on Lake Mendota


Students take benefit of nice weather at the Memorial Union Terrace


Ready to bloom, Lake Shore Path

Finally! It's Warm














It's a snow time

Where is Winter?

Photo: Madison, Wisconsin, January 7, 2007

Last night, weather report on television news said, we would be seeing some snow on the ground. "Just a little bit," television weather man had said.

I expected to wake up to see some white on the ground. But, it was bright day, Sun on its full galore. No snow on sight. There has been no snow for most of December and so far in January. The temperature here for the most part has been above 40 degrees. Very very warm for this time of the year.

2007 winter is likely to be the warmest winter every recorded on history. Talk about global warming.



Happy New Year To You All

It is the time again. To begin - a new year. Happy New Year to you all. May there be joy, happiness, love and prosperity in your life.

Do you make resolutions?

Normally, I don't. But, this year I will try one. My resolution to write more often.

Let's see how do I do.