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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 www.writetoreconcile.com 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 writetoreconcile@gmail.com
and request to be put on the applicant list. 

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