Poem | Sunday Observer


9 January, 2022

Project Unity

The Interact Club of Visakha Vidyalaya engaged in a project named ‘Project Unity’ by joining hands with the Interact Clubs of Muslim Ladies’ College, St. Peter’s College and Hindu College Colombo with the aim of promoting the idea of respecting, appreciating the racial diversity and spreading awareness about the importance of racial unity in Sri Lanka.

The painting by Benara Wahalatantri which won first place.

They conducted an art competition and an essay competition on the topic ‘Promoting Racial Unity in Sri Lanka’.

The winner of the art competition was 15-year-old Benara Wahalatantri of Visakha Vidyalaya and M.G. Chithara Dewnethmi, 18, of Mahinda Rajapaksa College was the winner of the essay competition.

The winning essay: Promoting racial unity in Sri Lanka

National unity is the strength that binds and inspires people in our country but many people still do not understand the importance of standing together. It’s not our differences that divide us, it’s our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate those differences. Since early ages racism is a major fact that leads to disunity of human kind.

The idea “race” contains both biological and cultural elements like skin colour, religion and different cultures. It’s everyone’s responsibility to stand against racism to maintain peace and harmony within the island.

Researchers have documented that many types of racism and “Islamophobia” has been identified as one of the most recent forms of the new racist. And it is noted that many caste-based attacks took place in Sri Lanka. Steps like incorporating a gender perspective in all relevant policies, strategies, programs of actions against racial discrimination, recognizing the existence of caste-based discrimination and formulate policies, laws and administrative measures to eradicate discrimination based on work and descent are recommended. As long as a human can be judged by their skin colour and the religion they believe, the problem is not solved.

Beauty of anti-racism is that you don’t have to pretend to be free of racism to be anti-racist.

It’s the commitment to fight racism wherever you find it. And it’s the only way to stop racial injustice, we must all take responsibility for how and where we hold racist beliefs.

Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilisation.



The Unrequited Love

The mightiest rocks still crack, fissure, and chip away
Under the relentless assault of the Sun, the rain and the wind
The sturdiest barks still pit and hollow
With the brute force of the same elements and more
The best steel still melt and liquefy
In the forge’s merciless blaze
The strongest hearts still splinter, break, and shatter
Under the crushing weight of unrequited love.

Words: Jayashantha Jayawardhana


Perched on a branch

There is, perched on a branch, a bird,
Dark brown is painted on cotton wool,
With sparking hair, a beak of red,
Perched; not many leaves but with some, a tree of wood,
Ignoring the sun, it sings, sprinting his head,
From morning till even’ like a fool,
Though the sun marches from East to West bed,
Sooner the bird will leave, no return, no loop,
Though remending his shadow, the tree will steed,
Waiting for the landing of another fool.

Words: Kalanavi Perera