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Our Guest Author is Raj Prasanta, the Chief Editor of Assam Newspaper in India. Raj is a Rotary Peace Scholar and a Graduate of the Certificate in Peace and Conflict Resolution from Chulalongkorn University, batch 18. Raj and all of us in our class honor Mr. Suthan Antony, another Peace Fellow from Sri Lanka who passed away recently. He has devoted his life for community peacebuilding efforts and will be missed by his family, friends, community, and Rotary Peace Fellows.
Raj wrote this article in 2015 while we are studying for the Peace fellowship.
Suthan Anthony. Thirty-six years of age. As a child, he said, he was very diffident, so much so that he was embarrassed whenever he had to talk to someone. Now Anthony thinks the ups and down that he has gone through so far have made him confident to take on life, or face it as it comes. Over the years, Anthony has shaped his personality and mental make-up in such a way as to be able to tackle any adversity of life.
At present my batch mate in the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Suthan Anthony is a Sinhalese and comes from Battikalowa in south-west Sri Lanka. Like me, he never had to sit for oral and written examination to get the Fellowship to come to the University, but was selected for the same through online test conducted by the Illinois-based headquarters of the Rotary Foundation. In fact, Anthony could not have sat for the examination in Sri Lanka because he is a suspect in the eyes of the political establishment there. Being a Tamil and a Catholic Christian has made the matter further worse for him, because in Buddhist majority Sri Lanka, a kind of insecurity always haunts the country's minority communities.
It is quite possible that had the Sri Lankan government known about his applying for a Fellowship of a foreign university, it would not have stopped short of putting impediments at his attempt to get Fellowship of a foreign university, at least that is what he thinks.
(To be continued...)
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