Sri Lankan born author Ru Freeman’s new novel “ On Sal Mal Lane” was launched at the Sri Lanka Residence , Washington DC on May 18, 2013 .
“This notable novel which presents a storyline revolving around Sri Lanka’s long and bitter conflict has been recognized by reviewers as a resounding cry for reconciliation. The Embassy organized the event to felicitate Ru’s achievement and to recognize the importance of reconciliation on the fourth anniversary of the end of Sri Lanka’s conflict.” says the Sri Lankan Embassy Washington.
We publish below the statement the Sri Lankan Embassy Washington statement;
Ru Freeman hails from a distinguished family of writers. She received her education from Murdoch University, Australia, Bates College in Main , USA and obtained her masters in Labor Relations from the University of Colombo. Ru’s maiden novel “A Disobedient Girl” has been translated into several languages.
Thanuja Usliyanage, Minister (Political) of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in his welcome remarks recalled that four years have passed since the conflict ended in Sri Lanka in May 2009. The invitees joined the Embassy staff to observe one-minute silence in honor of the valiant heroes who lost their lives in the conflict.
Addressing the gathering, Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya called Ru Freeman a brilliant and internationally acclaimed writer whose literary work brings pride to Sri Lanka. He appreciated Ru’s skill to transform the readers mind to a Sri Lankan setting through her writing and thereby create a realistic understanding about the country’s culture and social issues.
Introducing her book, author Ru Freeman said it is a story about Sri Lankan society five years leading up to the ethnic riots in 1983. She said the idea of the book first came to her when an editor of an American newspaper tasked her to write an article on Sri Lanka’s war recognizing the “good” & “bad” people , after the end of the conflict .
“That was not the story of my country… and I realize that I need a bigger work in which to talk about the fact there are no good people and bad people. It doesn’t matter whether you were someone who protected people during the riots or you were one of the people had violence perpetrated against you , you were all culpable in some way”, she said
Ru called the novel a gesture towards reconciliation that should be achieved through a deliberate but unforced process . Also, she added that she is very proud to be identify herself as a Sri Lankan writer and thanked Ambassador Wickramasuriya and the Embassy of Sri Lanka for hosting the book launch.
At the end of the proceedings, guests were treated to a delectable Sri Lankan dinner. The invitees included journalists, academics, US officials and Sri Lankan American community leaders.