Monday, July 11, 2005

Three weeks on the road in Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan Airlines has a new Business Class Lounge, which provides a standard against which the ron-down ness of the old one can be measured. There is a great view the runways - the sun should be coming up soon - and eight computers, with internet connections that work, contrasted with two that often didn't.

This has been a very successful trip. Paradise Poisoned, my book, is a great hit in Sri Lanka a satisfying backlog of orders, two NGOs interested in using the book in their programs and other positive feedback. I gave two lectures, both of which seemed to be well received and there was a newspaper interview that should appear shortly. There was time to visit friends - they are also helping to promote the book and the schedule was not too frantic - mostly. The home where I stay was welcoming as always and I got to know my hostess a bit better.

Publicizing a book in Sri Lanka is a challenge. There is no tradition of doing this and any form of publicizing is viewed with a bit of a jaundiced eye - a tradition inherited from England, though England has now abandoned it.

There is construction at the airport, but check in was very smooth. Later today, Tuesday and Wednesday I will be in London. This is one of my favorite cities. I always stay in the Kensington district which is alive with excellent restaurants and markets, as well as some traditional Pubs, which I like. Of course this is a sad time in London but the Brits are soldiering on. The Lord Mayor said - as reported in Sri Lankan newspapers - that he would be taking the tube to work on Monday morning, just as always. I will be joining him.

There are some advantages to having conflict as a field of study and having some personal experience with civil war and terrorism. Events like the recent London bombings are a bit less daunting, though no less sad. My book has things to say about such events. Getting those who could make a difference to pay attention is the present challenge.


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3:23 AM  

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