For Immediate Release
September 19, 2011
sri lankans without borders hosts expert panel discussion
TORONTO — On Thursday, September 15th, sri lankans without borders (SLWB), an organization committed to promoting productive inter-communal dialogue in
Canadian Sri-Lankan-Diaspora communities, hosted a panel discussion entitled “Spotlight on Sri Lanka: Postwar Opportunities and Challenges” at Ryerson University’s Engineering Atrium.
The discussion featured 4 respected panelists moderated by CBC anchor Reshmi Nair.
o Amarnath Amarasingam, PhD Candidate, completing dissertation on Sri Lankan Tamil
Nationalism in Canada, Wilfrid Laurier University
o Stewart Bell, award-winning journalist from the National Post, who earned the South
Asian Journalists Association Award for coverage of Sri Lanka’s civil conflict
o Stanley W. Samarasinghe, Executive Director of Global Vision and Adjunct professor at
Tulane University’s Payson Center for International Development
o Gordon Weiss, Writer, Speaker, Documentarian, Former UN Spokesperson in Colombo,
Sri Lanka and Author ofThe Cage: The fight for Sri Lanka & the Last Days of the Tamil Tigers.
o Moderator is Reshmi Nair, Broadcasting Journalist at the Canadian Broadcasting
Corporation (CBC) and Anchor of CBC News Now.
The panel discussion concerned present-day post-war challenges and opportunities in
Sri Lanka. With an emphasis on how Sri Lanka can transition into a post-conflict phase, the panel discussed how the diaspora and international communities can contribute towards sustainable peace, equality and reconciliation both in Sri Lanka and Canada.
The event was attended by 150 passionate people of Tamil, Sinhalese, Burgher, Muslim, Indian and Asian descent. For the first time since the end of the 30 year war in Sri Lanka, different communities in Toronto jointed together to hear, learn about and discuss the relevant issues concerning the future of the island nation, its people and its diaspora.
This dialogue-centric event was attended by the Consul-General of Sri Lanka, Karunarathna Paranawithana, who contributed to the dynamics of a healthy debate among the panel and attendees. Overall, the panel discussion represented a microcosm of the Sri Lankan community in Canada and the differing views on the post-war challenges and opportunities. The panel event was successful in that it brought together peoples of contesting views to a platform encouraging civil dialogue leading to sustainable development ideas in Canada and Sri Lanka.
For more information on future events and SLWB visit www.srilankanswithoutborders.ca or
contact Viranjith Tilakaratne at 647-991-7839 or email@example.com.