Doctor’s Advice from Mannar




In Mannar,  a relationship requires  a lot of pedalling…

I’m inclined to say that all of us, Mannar boys, owe it to the Europeans for the invention of the bicycles.  If a boy is serious about a relationship, this could be a busy schedule.  The boy will have to escort the girl of his dreams to school, to tuition classes and, of course, the Sunday mass at the cathedral.  That’s seven days a week.

If it’s a mutual relationship, it means, yes you guessed right, even more pedalling.  The lady would use her mother’s phone to inform her travel plans, and the gentleman is expected to drop everything and follow her at a safe distance – protecting her from any potential back stabbers.  I must admit that the boys are bent on taking it to the next level nowadays.  A few months ago, my friend hit the streets at 11.30 pm to wish his girlfriend “good life” on her birthday.  She lives some 4 kilo meters away. Make no mistake!  He cycled, there and back.

This is why doctors in Mannar advise diabetic patients to ‘fall in love.’



Elijah Hoole in his own words : 

I was born in Mannar and lived in Mannar for 18 of the 20 years of my life. Now I’m involved with SLU as a junior team member I have always stood for a united Sri Lanka since my childhood.  I love photography and guitar. you can read more of my stories at Stories of the Wind

Rolling Back the Years – A Story of Hope


I remember this song. No! In fact I know this song. ‘Annan Ennada? Thambi Ennada?’ A song from the black-and-white days – a song that explores relationships in a materialistic world.  A song Thilahan sang for a school assembly, once upon a time.  Indeed, so much has happened since then. Here I am an old man of sixty, relaxing under the shades of The Mango Tree.  This tree hasn’t changed much – it is the same old mighty tree from forty-years ago, but I have changed; my sight has weakened, hair has grayed and I have become a weary old man.  This tree and this song my Sony radio is currently playing, bring back memories – man’s greatest possession.  Memories of my childhood, memories of my school days, memories of Thilahan – my best friend, memories from those good times.

morning greetings

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Sri Lanka Unites – 4th Annual Future Leaders’ Conference Jaffna College, Sri Lanka



Sri Lanka Unites is currently preparing for the 4th Annual Future Leaders Conferences in Jaffna, Sri Lanka August 27th -31st 2012.


Bringing together student leaders from around Sri Lanka, the Future Leaders Conference, during the last 3 years, has made a significant impact on lives of participants as well as their schools and districts


How you can help?


It costs just Rs 10,000 per student to attend the Conference, which is about 50 GBP. This donation will change the life of a student and give them access to further education and development, which will not only change them, but also empower them to change their school and the community around them.


We, at Sri Lanka Unites, will be rebuilding the school at Jaffna for the Conference. This will take many days of renovation and labour assistance. Many of our student volunteers will spend the two weeks before the Conference living at Jaffna College and preparing the venue.

We are in need of people who can help from a labour or supply point of view to complete these activities.

Why Support the FLC ?

The Future Leaders Conference serves as a platform towards genuine reconciliation at a grassroots level. Student leaders of different ethnicities interact with each other. Stereotypical views are shattered as they relate with each other and realize shared commonalities. Long-lasting friendships are fostered, reaching beyond ethnic and religious barriers, impacting not just their lives, but their families and communities.

We aim to unite youth of all ethnic and religious groups across Sri Lanka giving youth the powerful potential to work towards sustainable development, peace and prosperity.

The Conference brings together 500 youth leaders and 100 teachers from over 100 schools across Sri Lanka. They will be mentored by 100 local and international university student volunteers. Students are taught the need for reconciliation and develop life-changing leadership skills. They are equipped with tools needed to promote positive change in their communities and heal the wounds of conflict.


We are holding this year’s Conference in Jaffna because of:


The symbolic nature of conducting a youth reconciliation conference, led by a new generation of youth who choose peace and reconciliation over war and hatred, in the former war zone.

To bring the nation’s attention to the north focusing on the needs of the community; in doing so making a difference and uplifting the standard of life in Northern Sri Lanka.



Sri Lanka Unites School Relations Tour 2011


One of the key initiatives following on from the Future Leaders Conference 2011 was the Sri Lanka Unites School Relations Tour.


Twenty of the student mentors, who attended the Future Leaders Conference 2011 went on a road trip for three weeks throughout Sri Lanka. They visited 75 schools and conducted 25 seminars at schools across Sri Lanka.


The aim was to follow up on the Future Leaders Conference 2011 and its impact through all districts of Sri Lanka. Tamil school children visited Sinhalese areas to attend schools where the Sinhalese children would have had limited or no interaction with Tamil children. Likewise, Sinhalese children from the south visited schools with Tamil children.


The positive impact on the community…..


We are collaborating with Brandix to build 40 toilets for Jaffna College. Currently they have 26 toilets for a school of over 2000 boys and girls. Additional toilets will serve us for the conference and simultaneously contribute to a much needed facility for the school. We will be helping with renovation of the existing toilets, showers and sleeping areas of the school.


The hostels at Jaffna College have no mattresses for sleeping. Hostellers sleep on wooden planks and mats. We hope to purchase 500 mattresses for the conference and donate them to Jaffna College, other less equipped hostels and hospitals in the Northern Province.


Jaffna’s heat and humid conditions make fans a necessity. At the conference we hope to use up to 200 table fans. These fans will be donated to the schools and hospitals in the region after the conference.


We are partnering with Habitat for Humanity to build a house for a poor family living near Jaffna College. The goal is to have the house nearly completed by the conference date. At the conference, students will be put into 20 teams and practice team-building skills by contributing to the completion of the house.


The Jaffna Technical College, where our teachers will be hosted, is run down. We plan to assist in rebuilding the hostel facility. Only 5 students use the hostel facility while it has capacity for 70 students. We are running a fundraising campaign parallel to the conference to raise funds to sponsor 50 students from Mullitivu and Kilinochchi who pass A-Level’s but don’t qualify for state university to enrol at the technical college for 2013.



Please read more on SLU blog  Also visit Indi’s blog if you can spare a moment and read Elijah Hoole on iSrilankan. 

Reconciliation: What? Why? How? by Elijah Hoole


NEVER AGAIN:  Please read the intro ‘To Unite or Not to Unite is THIS the question.


With our Government busy defending itself against war crime allegations, protecting the sovereignty of the country and advising the common man to say ‘no’ to Google, the Tamil leadership and, of course, the Tamil Diaspora dreaming of some mode of foreign intervention and drooling over the latest Channel 4 documentary, the Muslim Community deeply wounded by the recent developments in Dambulla, and the common man constantly worried over the ever increasing fuel price, it’s understandable why the journey towards achieving true and authentic reconciliation has become such a tricky business in our country. With so many external factors coming into the equation (of achieving reconciliation) even Albert Einstein would have had trouble sorting things out and moving forward.

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‘To Unite or Not to Unite’ is THIS the Question ?


Gaya Fernando

I agree with Elijah.  Not the old prophet on the frontispiece of the King James’ Version but young Elijah with tousled hair and same appreciation of quirky Sri Lanka as I.  But then Elijah and I are from the same land.  When I saw his Youtube testimonial on Sri Lanka Unites a long time ago I said to myself ‘watch that space.’  A few days ago Elijah sent me his essay on Reconciliation.  I read it and knew that I would need, as I generally do, a quiet moment to reflect on it and introduce it properly.
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