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January 25, 2017
Poetical Book Launch "Dhurastha Dhaknaya" By Lukman Harees in Galle
A Sinhala Book of Poetry composed by UK Based Sri Lankan Writer and Author Lukman Harees titled "Dhurastha Dhaknaya", an endeavor to capture socio-realities and to inspire meaningful change in society towards creating a just nation free of hate and mutual suspicion, was successfully launched in Galle on Monday 12th December 2016 at 10 am. The event was organized by the Galle Muslim Cultural Association, Fort Galle, at their Secretariat Hall.

Ven. Panangala Hemaloka Thero, Viharadhipathy of the Sri Sudharmalaya Temple graced the event as the Guest of Honour. At the colourful event attended by a large gathering, Ven. Thero conveyed his admiration for a personality like Mr Harees who hailed from Fort, Galle to have brought about a creative piece of work of this nature, to inspire those in his motherland to live as one family with peace and dignity. He also quoted with pride the example given by the people of Fort, Galle to promote national reconciliation and unity.

Mr. Gamini Kumara Vithana, reputed Presidential Award Winning Author hailing from the South, in reviewing the book, complimented and congratulated Mr Harees in presenting the country with a classic book of Poetry, at a time when the passion for literary work specially in Sinhala, has been waning and when many reactionary forces are hell-bent on wrecking the dreams of peace of the Sri Lankan nation. He lauded this book as a bridge to promote communal harmony between communities specially Sinhala and Muslims. He particularly referred to Prof. Abdul Kalaam, former President of India, who also strived relentlessly to bring communities together. Mr Vithana also expressed dismay of how an author whose first language was not Sinhala and who has been living in UK for over a decade can write poetry of such a high standard. He recommended this book for the young and elderly people alike.

Many intellectuals such as Ven, Dambara Amila Thero, Ameen Izzadeen(Deputy Editor, Sunday Times), Chandrasena Maliyadde (Consultant , Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs) and Jayanta Jayaratna, HRM Expert have lauded this publication in their reviews. Lukman Harees, published his first book of Sinhala Poetry in 2004 "Thewatha" based again on the theme of national unity and social justice, before he settled down in UK. He was highly active as a social activist in promoting Human Rights and Inter-communal harmony in UK and also in Sri Lankan Diaspora initiatives to promote national reconciliation in Sri Lanka. He was a Trustee and a Director of Acre (Alliance for Cohesion and Racial Equality) based in Berkshire, UK, an organization lobbying for racial equality and social justice in UK. Mr Harees authored and published in US, a research book analysing the widening gap between the rhetoric and reality relating to human rights ,titled 'The Mirage of Dignity on the Highways of Human Progress' which found mention in the London Book Review.

He also published 'Clouding the Crescent in Sri Lanka' in 2015 which dealt with the challenges Sri Lankan people faced in the Post-War era arising from the well-orchestrated hate campaign against the Muslims, which had a devastating effect on the efforts to build an inclusive Sri Lanka with equal rights to all citizens irrespective of racial and religious differences.

Book reviews/messages were given by the following which are included in the book.

Ven Dambara Amila Thero, Senior Lecturer Archeology, Sri Jayawardenepura University.
Ven, Panangala Hemaloka Thero, Viharadhipathy, Galle Fort Sudharmalaya Temple
Mr. Chandrasena Maliyadde, Consultant, Ministry Of National Policy And Economic Affairs
Mr. Ameen Izzadeen, Deputy Editor, Sunday Times
Mr Jayanta Jayaratna, Human Resources Management Consultant/Expert
Mr Shazly Haseen - General Secretary, Galle Muslim Cultural Association
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