This was the first event of “Healing Lanka”, Lama Zopa’s vision for creating religious harmony and wide ranging healing in the country of Sri Lanka.
In the early 1970s, he and Lama Yeshe tried unsuccessfully to make their pilgrimage to the holy places across the island. They saw Sri Lanka as a pivotal place in the nurtuting and growth of dharma across the world and Rinpoche actively maintained his protective concern for the country throughout the last years of his life.
Following his direct advice, Tara Lanka has continued to work to heal the nation from the effects of war and calamity irrespective of race and religion — by following the Buddha’s call for impartiality (upekkha).
The 30 year old prolonged war has left many of us traumatised. This has reflected in the way we act today as a country. Now is a wonderful opportunity to bring compassion and purification practices to free us all.
There are numerous practices in Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s teachings and it is an honour and a blessing to have started our very small step in actualizing Rinpoche’s vision.
9th July 2023
Samagi Meditation Centre, Hokandara, Colombo
Navaly Memorial 2023 : The Healing Journey of Maureen Ernest
Tara Lanka hosted a memorial service for those killed in the bomb explosions in Navaly, Jaffna in 1995 as part of a poetry reading by Dr Maureen Ernest who was a Tamil refugee.
Navaly was her village and she was a victim of the Tamil Eelam war. Now a Buddhist, the event was to share her poetry with all of us as part of her healing journey while suffering from PTSD.
The poetry reading was held after a Medicine Buddha puja conducted by Maniyo to bless those who were killed from the Navaly bomb blasts and all those who were killed in war. A few ex-army personnel too joined to listen to her poetry and rejoice in her healing.
The damage done by civil war leaves victims on all sides and this event was a moving occasion. It had emotional releases even for those who are struggling to free themselves from horrible scars they still bear.
A Memorial of my village, Navaly, was organized by Tara Lanka at Samagi Centre on July 09th 2023. The victims of the Navaly massacre were remembered after 28 years with special prayers. Anila Tenzin offered a special medicine Buddha Pooja to all those who were affected by the war.
A few ex Sri Lankan wounded military personnel were present in the event as a sign of peace and reconciliation for Sri Lanka. Forgiveness is the mantra of my life and it was shared through poetry. Sharing the space as children of mother Lanka with diversity of ethnicity and religion was a blessing to the event.
We all remembered our loved ones who were affected by this war. From North to South we all have our own stories to connect with each other and this event created space for us to share it out loud. Some of us are bold to confess our vulnerability and PTSD because of war and reached out for help. We all joined as one to share our pain and hope for healing our lives and land.
Sinhala Buddhists have organized a memorial event for Tamil victims as a path for reconciliation in the presence of Sri Lankan Military — that is hope for united Lanka.
In a country that has experienced so much collective suffering and has so much work still to do to move forward as one, events like the one organised by Maureen Ernest are invaluable.
With courageous and beautiful honesty, Maureen recounted her own personal journey from victim to survivor to empowered woman. Her poetry is raw, powerful and deeply emotional. Yet it is without bitterness and in the process of telling her own truth and describing her transformation, Maureen also reveals the power of humans to heal, forgive and grow.
Ultimately, while she starts with a story of tragedy, war and violence, her message is one of love and peace. Moreover, by seeking to communicate her message across languages – Tamil, English and Sinhala – Maureen offers genuine hope for reconciliation in a country so long divided.
I feel honoured and humbled to have been present to witness this beautiful event.