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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Write to Reconcile Anthology Launch

The Write to Reconcile Anthology
The Write to Reconcile Anthology
The National Peace Council, in conjunction with the internationally renowned Sri Lankan author, Shyam Selvadurai, is pleased to announce the launch of the Write to Reconcile Anthology on September 4th 2013 at the 80 Club, 25 Independence Avenue, Colombo 7

Write to Reconcile is a creative writing project that brought together 24 Sri Lankan writers who were interested in writing creative pieces (fiction, memoir or poetry) on the issues of conflict, peace, reconciliation, trauma and memory, as they relate to Sri Lanka in the war and post-war period. The anthology is a result of the work these participants honed over the course of two residential creative writing workshops and two online forums.

The poems and stories examine the impact of the war and its aftermath on people who don’t make history, but are swept along by it: a Tamil and Sinhalese soldier move towards a possible confrontation; a Tamil woman from a privileged Colombo background has a curious experience at a checkpoint; a Muslim man meets with prejudice and brutality; a group of young girls at an elite school, clash over the issue of whether to fly the national flag or not, when the war is won; a “rehabilitated” LTTE female cadre grapples with the realities of life post-war. These are just a few of the wonderful stories captured between the pages of this anthology.

In speaking about the anthology, Shyam Selvadurai, the Project Director, said, “This was our first year of doing the project and I was not sure what would come out of the workshops and online forums. The work of the participants, published in this anthology, far exceed my expectations. They do what creative work does best, which is to invite usto empathize with the humanity and points of view of characters different from us. As such, they make an important contribution to the bridge-building that must go on in a post-war Sri Lanka.”

Dr.Jehan Perera, the Executive Director of the National Peace Council
Dr.Jehan Perera, the Executive Director of
 the National Peace Council 
Speaking of the launch of the anthology, Dr.Jehan Perera, the Executive Director of the National Peace Council said, “It is important to see the impact of the war through modes other than a political analysis.  The politics of war are well known.  We need to also capture the individual human costs, aspirations and expectations that make up total picture of the war.  This anthology will enable an empathetic understanding among those of us who were part of this conflict.”

Ambassador Grete Løchen of the Royal Norwegian Embassy
Ambassador Grete Løchen of the Royal Norwegian Embassy

Write to Reconcile is sponsored by the Royal Norwegian Embassy and the American Centre. In speaking of their support of the project,Ambassador Grete Løchen of the Royal Norwegian Embassy said, 
“It is inspiring to see this next generation of Sri Lankan writers meet across ethnical and cultural lines to engage in meaningful discussions on the social and emotional impacts of war. The stories they tell will contribute to the (making of) history of this country. The Norwegian Embassy is happy to support this innovative project which aims to develop creative writing skills among youth, with a focus on understanding and reconciliation.

Ambassador Michele J. Sison of American Embassy
Ambassador Michele J. Sison of
American Embassy
Speaking Ambassador Michele J. Sison of American Embassy, added, “So much has been written about Sri Lanka both in its conflict and post-conflict periods.  Far too little, however, captures those perspectives from young Sri Lankan writers.  Those who grew up knowing only war face a new reality, and how they move forward will define the future of Sri Lanka.   In Write to Reconcile, the conflict’s children have found their voices.”

Two thousand copies of the anthology will be mailed out to selected schools and libraries throughout the country. In addition, an e-book will be available for downloading for free at as of Sept 4th 2013. Write to Reconcile will take place again in 2014 and will extend its reach to include diasporic voices. Anyone interested in applying to the project can email us at and request to be put on the applicant list

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