‘Mirrored Images’, a collection of English and Sinhala and Tamil poetry from Sri Lanka, was launched in Colombo on September 20th, and subsequently in Kandy on the 27th and in Jaffna on the 30th. The Colombo event was chaired by the Indian High Commissioner in Colombo, HE Yashwant Singh, with Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Minister of National Languages and Social Integration as Chief Guest. The even was arranged by the Indian Cultural Centre, in collaboration with the Alliance Francaise.
Both these institutions have collaborated on the launches in Kandy and in Jaffna. The former event was held at Peradeniya University and the latter at the Indian consulate. Poets featured in the book read at all the events, attendance in Colombo by readers from Jaffna, and vice versa, being sponsored by the Ministry of National Languages and Social Integration.
The volume was launched earlier in Canada by the Sri Lankan Mission in Toronto, with a keynote address by Prof Chelva Kanaganayakam, who has furnishe an introduction to the Tamil section of the book. Prof Chelvanayakam taught English previously at the University of Jaffna, while his father was Professor of Tamil at the University of Peradeniya. The introduction to the Sinhala section of the book was written by Prof Amarakeerthi Liyanage who teaches currently at the University of Peradeniya.
The book, which was edited by Prof Rajiva Wijesinha and published by the National Book Trust of India, is a sequel to ‘Bridging Connections’, a collection of English and Sinhala and Tamil short stories from Sri Lanka which was published in 2007 and has now been translated into Oriya and Marathi and Tamil.
Poems from each language on similar themes were brought together by Prof Wijesinha for a weekly column in the ‘Sunday Observer’, which was then features on this site. Over the next few months poems from each language, in alphabetical order of the names of the writers, as they appear in each section of the book, will be brought together here, to enhance understanding of the different styles and perspectives, and of the common humanity of all the writers.