Thursday, December 31, 2009

Lanka Personalities

Those Magnificent People

INTRODUCTION

Even though Sri Lankans have made significant contributions to life, society and culture, many are still largely unaware of these contributions as well as their personal stories and history. The LankaPersonalities goal is to change this. Primarily the anecdotes will focus on origins, families, politics, history, achievements, events, music, sports and entertainment of these personalities. Even then, only a relatively small number of Sri Lankans have ever received the attention they deserve. Furthermore, existing oral history collections still consist largely of memories hidden away inside ageing peoples minds; access to them is extremely limited; and, most are not easy to obtain and transfer to today’s hi-tech multi-media formats.

Like other oral history collections, The LankaPersonalities collection hearkens back to the earliest and most authentic efforts to capture the hearts of a people, while introducing state-of-the-art technology and increased accessibility. LankaPersonalities wants to provide living proof that Sri Lankan history did not begin or end with the advent of just a band people into the island but is based upon the multi-cultural integration of many different peoples who came, fought, struggled, shared, lived, loved and survived through so many varied eras of Colonialism and inter political situations.

The initial goal of LankaPersonalities is to obtain as many historical accounts of both well-known and unsung Sri Lankans within the coming years, creating an archive of unparalleled importance and exposing the archival collection to the widest audience possible.

By recording the messages of leadership, achievement and perseverance embodied in the life stories of these people and sharing the stories with the world community through its website and its ongoing public programs, LankaPersonalities hopes to enrich the lives of all ethnic groups, both young and old.

An integral part of the Lankan experience, The LankaPersonalities' stories are ones of success against the odds, of achievement in the face of adversity, and in all cases, they are stories of inspiration. They are Sri Lanka's Missing Stories.

MISSION STATEMENT

LankaPersonalities is a national, non-profit educational organization committed to preserving, developing and providing easy access to an internationally recognized, archival collection of Sri Lankan personality histories.

The purpose of this archive is to educate and to:

show the breadth and depth of this important Sri Lankan history as told by the first person;
highlight the accomplishments of individual Sri Lankans across a variety of disciplines;

showcase those who have played a role in Sri Lankan led movements and/or organizations; and
preserve this material for years and generations to come.

LankaPersonalities is committed to creating and exposing its archival collection to the widest audience possible using collaborations as well as the Internet, a digital archive and other new technologies.

BACKGROUND

Lanka Personalities will be headquartered in Colombo, Sri Lanka a city rich in Sri Lankan history, especially under Colonial rule, and has been initiated in March of 2006 by a group of enthusiastic Sri Lankans.

WHO OR WHAT IS A LANKA PERSONALITY

A Lanka Personality, is a person: 1) who by his/her own accomplishments has made significant strides; and/or 2) who is associated with a particular movement, organization or association and event or time that is important to the Sri Lankan community. We are in the process of trying to identify our LankaPersonalities. Some are elderly and hard to find. Some of their notoriety may have waned, but their historical significance has not.

They may have interesting insights to share about important events or historical periods. They may be your neighbor, your relative, your friend or maybe someone you have worked with or admired over the years. They may be someone you have read about or heard their story. Please feel free to nominate someone as a LankaPersonality. While doing so, make sure to tell us their background, their accomplishments and/or their role in Sri Lankan history. It is extremely important that you also include appropriate contact information.

ARCHIVES

The Lanka Personalities is a text/graphic based history archive committed to making history come alive, making it accessible to the public through its website, digital archive, special events, public programming.

Please send all data for inclusion to sgenweb@gmail.com