Sri Lankan Author reads At Vancouver Book Fair

News Item that appeared on the 14 September 2002 edition of The Link Newspaper, British Columbia, Canada, on R. B. Herath’s book reading at the Canadian national book fair of 29 September 2002

A Sri Lankan born author, R. B. Herath, is scheduled to read from his book of poems written in Sinhalese at the Vancouver’s eighth annual The Word on the Street festival this year at Vancouver Library Square on Sunday, September 29, at 5:00 p.m. With this festival, Vancouver joins three other major cities in Canada: Halifax, Toronto, and Calgary, in a national celebration of literacy and the printed word. A brochure on the Vancouver event can be picked up at any local library.

The book R. B. Herath will be reading from is entitled ‘Desappremayen Odavadiwa Darudariyanta Kavivalinma Liyu Lipiyak (translation reads as A Letter to Our Children in Poems Written through Patriotism). It was first published in Sri Lanka in 1979, at a time when the civil strife in Sri Lanka caused by its post-independence language policies was brewing into a separatist war. This collection of poems is a call for mutual love and respect across the borders of ethnicity, language and religion, so that future generations of Sri Lankans may live in peace and harmony. The poems are written in Sinhalese, a vernacular language of Sri Lanka spoken by 74 percent of the country’s population.

This book of poems has 172 poems divided into three chapters. The first chapter contains 60 poems that describe Sri Lanka’s natural beauty, favourable weather conditions, developable natural resources, grandiose past, and significant places of worship and events in all main religions practiced in Sri Lanka: Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam.

The second chapter, which has 56 poems, explains how the country came under colonial rule, freedom struggles that followed, receipt of political independence, and the negative influence of the colonial era on the indigenous culture and civilization, and the need for the people of Sri Lanka to recover from that influence and live a full life of their own. This chapter ends with an invocation to the triple gem (three refuges in Buddhism) and gods in heaven for the protection and future success of the children.

The third and final chapter of the book contains the last 56 poems. This chapter first begins illustrating the power of unity. Then it shows the need for every child to appreciate and respect the ethnicity, language and religion of others just as those of his or her own, and to treat everyone in the country as members of one family. After that this chapter describes some common Sri Lankan values as a source of inspiration that can unite all Sri Lankans. This chapter ends with the author’s assurance to the children of the blessings of their parents, teachers and religious leaders for their unity and future success in all areas of human endeavour.

R. B. Herath has authored three more books on Sri Lankan topics, one in Sinhalese and two in English. His latest book in English, Sri Lankan Ethnic Crisis: Towards a Resolution (Trafford Publishing, Victoria) is being released. Further information can be obtained by visiting For review copies or interviews, phone the author at 604-597-1920 or email

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