Aubrey Joachim

An euphoric end, beginning of a long road to recovery – By Aubrey Joachim Saddam Hussein crept out of a hole in the ground like a scared rabbit when he was finally captured. Muammar Gaddafi was found hiding in the sewers of Tripoli like a sewer rat. Hitler finally took his own life in a Berlin bunker alongside his partner Eva Braun and his dog. This is the fate that befell once powerful men – despots and dictators – who ruled with iron fists but sadly destroyed their countries and left their subjects in misery for long years. On July 9th the entire global Sri Lankan diaspora were glued to social media and Youtube following the fast moving drama that was unfolding in their motherland. More than a million citizens were showing the world how a peaceful revolution could topple even a mighty ruler and a dynasty. While it took ...

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Any ‘System Change’ must occur at the grassroots level – By Aubrey Joachim     The resounding cry coming out of the Aragalaya is the need for a ‘system change’. This resonating cry which emanated from social media groups as well as the youth at the Gogotagama protest sites has also permeated the chamber of parliament. Various lawmakers are throwing the phrase helter skelter on the floor of the house in an effort to gain political advantage. But what really is the ‘system change’ that is expected? It is almost certain that each of various groups clamouring for such a change have in their minds a different understanding of the outcome and most likely a narrow version which suits their own narrative and perspective. The most likely perception of the aragalaya proponents is a change in the system of politics and governance that has seemingly led to the worst political ...

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First cut is the deepest! – By Aubrey Joachim   The magician has spoken. However, he did not pull any rabbits out of a hat. Instead he slashed the body of the damsel (in distress). Is it an illusion or will he be able to put her back and will she rise out of the façade? The newly appointed Prime Minister has spoken to the nation. The message was crisp, clear and succinct. The situation is grave. The patient is on life support. Sri Lankans will face hardships that they have never faced in their lives over the next few months. The stages of recovery will take time. If the patient comes out of life support it will progress through intensive care, critical care and a long period of hospitalisation before some modicum of recovery happens. A mere few months of hardships is the height of optimism. It seems more ...

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Junk awash in tsunami hit Sri Lanka. What the future holds for the nation and its people. – By Aubrey Joachim   On Boxing Day 2004 Sri Lanka was hit by the massive Indian Ocean tsunami. Over 31 thousand persons were confirmed dead, over 4 thousand were missing and some 21 thousand were injured. There was massive damage to property and the images of death, destruction and junk still haunt Sri Lankans’ memories. A little over 17 years on the ‘teardrop isle’ has been hit by an even bigger tsunami in the form of a wave of debt and destruction. This time the resulting junk is the status of Sri Lanka and its central and commercial banks littered across the global financial markets landscape. Even its airline is not spared. Just like the 2004 tsunami which started thousands of kilometres away before crashing into the island as a destructive wall ...

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Why every Sri Lankan on the planet should be concerned! – By: Aubrey Joachim Two days ago my son was returning from Italy to London when the Italian border force officer at departure control looked at his British passport and said ‘Sri Lankan eh? What is happening there?’ Of course his passport divulged his country of birth. My son has lived in Sri Lanka cumulatively for less than a few months as he left Sri Lanka for overseas soon after birth and has only returned on short holidays. Thirty something years on he is reminded of his Sri Lankan DNA for all the wrong reasons. At this moment every Sri Lankan on the planet is glued on to every form of social media watching by the minute what is transpiring back in the country of their birth. Facebook and Whatsapp are in overdrive. Data usage on mobile devices has skyrocketed. Rightly ...

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A crisis of identity By Aubrey Joachim   Last night all Australians would have filled in their census data. In a few months the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) would have churned out the analytics that paint a picture of the nation. No doubt the insights will reveal a changing demographic of a nation which is a kaleidoscope of migrants from all parts of the world who have left behind cultures, languages and hopefully their petty differences to enjoy the privileges of a first-world nation and transform into a single Australian identity going forward. As has been seen from past ABS statistics – and surely from this current census – Sri Lankans come out very favourably in the context of English speaking capability, educational qualifications, professional competencies, employability, job positions and income earning levels. These are laudable performance criteria that project the image of a migrant community that is positively ...

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Lankan family in distress impresses Aussie community. By Aubrey Joachim Image Source ABC News Just a few days ago we Australian Lankans were lauding the achievements of eleven year old Georgia who reached out to every Australian household and heart when she demonstrated her culinary prowess on national TV. Last evening (12th November) a Sri Lankan family also appeared on national TV (ABC 7.30 report – link below) in starkly contrasting circumstances. To me both instances bring out unique Sri Lankan stories. Raj Udawatta came to Australia in 2014 on a 457 visa to work as a mechanic and from all reports he was a very good one. In 2016 the family – wife Florence and their four children – joined him in Kempsey where they very quickly became ‘Australianised’. Florence interacted with the local church and got involved in a number of voluntary pursuits – a choice that would ...

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Kid talent does Sri Lanka – and Sri Lankan cuisine – proud! – By Aubrey Joachim   Image Source: Daily Mail    An eleven year old girl did Sri Lanka proud when she clinched Australia’s Junior Master Chef title 2020 on Monday night. Little Georgia of Lankan burgher heritage put Sri Lankan cuisine into the limelight when she enthralled Australian TV audiences (and now global online viewers) with exciting dishes that her ‘Sri Lankan nanna’ had taught her. Georgia, with her two bunny-like front teeth, sweet smile and innocent candour not only won over the show’s judges but the entire watching audience. Not only has she excellent cooking skills but also a sense of sparkling innovation. In the final dish of the competition when the presentation of her dessert combination did not come up to her expectations – and even made her cry – she promptly came up with a ...

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  Click here for the photos of the Dance on eLanka Facebook page A Peerless Pearl – By Aubrey Joachim Sydney’s Sri Lankan social happenings require a ‘What’s On’ magazine of its own. Every weekend sees multiple events – dances, parties, foodie events and the like. However, last weekend saw one of the best ever Sri Lankan social events. An year in the planning ‘Peerless Pearl’ will certainly set Sri Lankan tongues wagging and social media on fire. The gala 30th anniversary dance of the Old Josephians’ Association of New South Wales was a cut above any event seen in Sydney for many years. The president of the Association Chrys Fernando and his dance committee worked tirelessly and meticulously over 12 months to put on a show-piece event at the fantastic Events Hornsby Showroom – Hornsby RSL. The theme ‘Peerless Pearl’ was conceptualised and developed by Old Joe Kumar Fernando ...

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Fare thee well Lal Wickrematunge – diplomat extraordinaire By Aubrey Joachim   Diplomacy – the art of dealing with people in a sensitive and tactful way. Lal Wickrematunge epitomises this definition to the letter. It is for this reason that he is being felicitated by hundreds of Sri Lankans from multiple groups and social organisations in New South Wales leading up to his departure from Sydney mid-October. His four year stint as Sri Lankan Consul General in Sydney has come to an end all too soon. There has not been a predecessor who has achieved as much as Lal has during his time in office. Perhaps the most important on the list of achievements has been his attempt to bring the whole community together and projecting a united Sri Lankan diaspora. Let’s hope that what he started will continue. Lal had the uncanny ability to engage with every Sri Lankan ...

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