Posted on March 28th, 2010

By Hasaka Ratnamalala

After many years of following the agenda of different foreign elements, finally Sri Lanka is in a transitional period to follow her own agenda. In a time like this, Sri Lanka needed to have a friendly diplomatic community which could help the country to move forward from where it was, than dragging it down.

The new Canadian High commissioner His Excellency Bruce Levy is one such person who likes to help Sri Lanka but does not like to dictate things to the host country as most western diplomats are fond of doing today. ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

I was thinking of writing a note about this down to earth diplomat from ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-great white northƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ for a long time but didnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t materialize until the recent chat I had with my friend Ruwan Jayakodi. Ruwan is an award winning Sri Lankan-Canadian chef, who returned from Sri Lanka recently after judging Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s most prestigious ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Culinary Art 2010ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ competition organized by ChefsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ Guild of Sri Lanka, which was held at BMICH. RuwanƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s prep work on his encounter with the new Canadian High Commissioner in Colombo, added few more hot spices, to cook this article alone with my own experience.

As he explained to me, his experience with Mr. Levy was kind of a funny one. During his work at the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Culinary Art 2010ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ exhibition as a judge, he invited Mr. Levy to attend the exhibition as a guest of honor in one of the days. On the day while every one was expecting Mr. Levy at the entrance to the exhibition with all the drums, dancers and the garlands Ruwan found Mr. Levy wondering inside the exhibition hall by purchasing a ticket on his own. Every one was laughing and brought him back to the front door and gave him the respect he deserves.

At the end of the day, Ruwan wanted to escort the guest of honor back to his car but found out that he didnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t drive there but had walked himself to BMICH, from his residence at Bawuddaloka Mawatha. Ruwan was telling me, while all none VIPs coming in huge vehicles, this gentleman walked to the venue by his own.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  According to Ruwan, the simpleness of Mr. Levy became the talk of the day among the chefs, comparing an incident took place on previous day; where another High Commissioner from a different country had given real hard time to the organizers.

Mr. Bruce Levy was originally a journalist and joined the Canadian Foreign Service in 1986. Prior to his assignment in Sri Lanka he was the Minister- Counselor (Political) at the Canadian Embassy in Washington. Mr. Levy had postings in Manila, Bangkok and Hanoi. He also had assignments in Ottawa such as the Director of the US Relations Division and two different assignments in the Privy Council Office’s Foreign and defence Policy Secretariat, therefore Mr. Levy does not need to be such a humble man unless he chooses to be.

Last October, I and few other members of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Canadian Friends of Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ had an unusual last minute meeting with this gentleman in a coffee shop at Toronto Pearson International air port. As his all appointments dried out, he invited us to meet him at the air port just before he leave Canada to take up his new post in Colombo.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  All of us went to the meeting in full suit not knowing what to wear for the occasion. But it was too late when we found out that we were over dressed as Mr. Levy walked in wearing a simple tee-shirt and denim. He listened to us very carefully and asked so many questions related to Sri Lanka and our community in Canada.

Our friendly request to him at the time was to find ways to help the poor and the development of Sri Lanka. We also discussed some other matters Sri Lankan Canadians had to face at the High Commission in Colombo. He promised us that there will be so many changes and at the high commission especially the way his office operates.

I met him again in last December this time in Colombo, with one of my Tamil friend Sivam from Toronto. We found out that the high commissioner had given up his weekend in southern sea beach just to meet these two civilians from Toronto. During our conversation with him he told us that unlike the other postings he had before; Sri Lanka forced him to activate his ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-face musselsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ very much. In other words he is smiling a lot and happy in Sri Lanka. He also said that he was working with some Sri Lankan charities and requests us to encourage Canadian-Sri Lankans to donate into these Sri Lankan charities. Supporting the poor is a quite a different angle from other western diplomats where most of them today are conspiring and funding NGOs which are trying to find ways to overthrow the government and discredit Sri Lanka.

He told us that Sri Lankan people are very friendly and totally different from what he heard about them before coming to Sri Lanka. It is quite true as LTTE in the Diaspora during past 30 years cultivated so much of hate against Sri Lanka and her people; the western media carried it on, as a wave and still continuing. We in the Diaspora had to fight this ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-one sided free-mediaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ to balance it. But as long as true diplomats like Mr. Bruce Levy are there to understand us and convey the correct picture about us to the world; we feel we Sri Lankans are so lucky to have such a good friend.


  1. Siri Says:

    This is a pleasant surprise. I wish the other Western Diplomats would learn first hand more about the country and the people that they have to deal with than get it from the biased news media or other biased employees in their embassies.

  2. M.S.MUdali Says:

    But Canada always go with the WEST in any foreign relation issue. Eating Sri Lankan food canot create a change in DIPLOMATIC issues of the West! We have to depend on China or Russia for the VETOs.

  3. S de Silva Says:

    M S Mudali – what is indeed your problem, if any, with the Veto powers with Russia and China representing more of the world population than some countries who also have the Veto!! If Tamils in the UK can go after Miliband what is so wrong with SL looking up to Russia and China ? – S de Silva – London

  4. Priyantha Abeywickrama Says:

    Interesting article. Great White North (GREAT??? Did you mean Northern English Colony)??? Down to earth diplomat (Such guys that I know are much smarter than the guys in formals)??? I and few other members of “Canadian Friends of Sri Lanka” ??? Some say seeing is believing. Others say seeing is deceiving.

    I remember a few of my own past comments made at this site and read the latest article written by Ajit Randeniya. I trust him more and am bit wary on this article. I wish those who migrated to western countries become fully committed to the adopted countries and lose all their patriotic, friendly or compassionate thoughts about their lands of origin as history tells a lot more about people carrying the old baggage unless they wish to return home. Dear Hasaka, time is the judge on your claim. I know that some western countries including the land of “hope” (or is it “dreams”?) carry even paid local (Lankan) news items to build up their battered image, some even with pictures of reps acting like local politicians standing on gifted vehicles. I wish marketing gimmicks work for them as there is nothing else left to hide their very ugly and dirty faces. By the way, I heard a lot more about ex-US reps talking very “fondly” about the Lanka during the recent past. The guy called Blake was a great down to earth rep who even ran around the streets in ordinary sport shorts.

    I must admit that I had a great handbook telling on how to behave myself as an ordinary public servant of another GREAT English colony. There were too many instructions on dress code to remember. Interestingly, there was a clear and precise instruction to tell the subject to never use their left hand for eating purposes when visiting Asian countries. It is interesting to note that Tamils are also alert to pretences if I had read all the comments properly.

  5. Sita Perera Says:

    Mr Levy is only a small fish. He only acts according to the orders of his masters in Ottawa. Hasaka, Blake also acted like that. Then he stabbed us in the back very sharply.

  6. Ruwan Abeygunawardana Says:

    Very nice article. Happy to hear about this kind of gentleman. I have to thank you Hasaka for your great contribution for the betterment of our motherland. I highly appreciate your good work for our community. I wish Mr.Levy will not be another Blake who had jogged in colombo streets and quench the thurst from ‘Thambili’ and finaly work according to tiger agenda.

  7. Mr. Pol Says:

    @ S de Silva Says:
    March 29th, 2010 at 1:08 am

    You have misinterpreted what “M S Mudali” is pointing out.

    He is saying our friends internationally ARE Russia and China who are the only ones that will support us with Veto at the UN if need be where as Canada no matter how “friendly” will always vote against us in international forums. You only need see the UNHRC vote in May 2009. The whole West unsurprisingly voted against us including many so called “friendly” countries. Regardless of how good or bad relations are on an individual basis they will always act as a block against us.

  8. Fran Diaz Says:

    Lankans will gladly be friends with countries that support our Non-Aligned Democracy, and honor the Integrity of our land. We shall be glad if countries help us develop into our fullest potential, as true friends usually do. Time will show us who are friends are, and we never forget our true friends.

  9. Mr. Pol Says:

    There is no need to gush over this “achievement”.

    It is sad to see that mental slavery to suddha is still prevalent amongst Sinhalese.

    Mr Levy is a diplomat who’s task is to ensure the safety and interest of his nation. Just because he claims to use his face muscles for the first time does not make it true and most defiantly this is a lie designed to fool people and lure them into a false sense of security as evident from what has befallen Hasaka and his group.

    Just because he smiles at you it does not mean he is or will side with you in reality. “White man speaks with a forked tongue” were the words of the last Native American leader and that still stands to this day. Every deal the Native Americans made was broken, every promise spat on and in the end they were uprooted, displaced, massacred, robbed, crushed and eventually wiped out in the name of progress and white interests, without a care or iota of concern for “human rights”.
    Trusting these people is the biggest mistake you can make.

  10. Sita Perera Says:

    Mr Pol please don’t say all white men are bad. World is not that black and white as you may think. There are lots of good white people. With regard to Levy, it’s good if he is friendly with us but, please remember, he listens to orders from Ottawa. Levy has no right to fix Canada’s foregin affaris policy, but he can persuade Canada in relation to Sri Lanka. So overall, this is a good outcome for us. Thanks for letting us know of this good news.

  11. M.S.MUdali Says:


  12. M.S.MUdali Says:

    You understand the point and some people who have no knowledge of the western politics which affected us very badly, still in a MODE of appeasing “suddha”!


  13. Priyantha Abeywickrama Says:

    Sorry Editor, I tested your rating system by marking my own comment down (no harm done to any other person) and trying to reverse it next time to verify its integrity with no luck (That means you collect my ID without a warning. Isn’t it?).

    I do appreciate everyone who read my comments tell what they really feel because what I am doing essentially is a study on Sri Lankan diaspora. Obviously I am not a fan of migrants if anyone remembers some of my old comments. In fact, I will be launching an anti-migrant agenda to stop any other Sinhala person joining the exodus (to their own extinction), inside Lanka at a grass root level that will have a greater repercussion on your status as welcome migrants. Being a migrant myself, it will be very lethal and hope the tide will turn against migrants in time to come. Unfortunately I can light the fire by telling the truth, but once started, I will not have control over it. Those concerned should read popular local websites for comments following an orchestrated attack by a few experienced people on westerners and migrants serving them. I do not think that there is any crime I cannot commit, if it is going to save the life of people who really love to live as humans longer, the fundamental psyche of Sinhala people. In time to come, when any of you, especially from west, are treated like waste (s…), please understand that it is a true reflection of your self given your unbelievable contribution to the west, that almost succeeded in wiping out our own people a few moons ago.

    We see those among us working for Tamil Terrorists as traitors and try to eliminate them. But those serving English, the terror masters who have committed Sinhala genocide and will be so until they disappear, are still considered as pleasant gentlemen and embraced as virtuous brethren. Nothing remains constant in this world, they say. I hope I could see those who know that they are caught up in a hell hole have the wisdom to change.

    (Sita Perera I am revealing my intent of making comments. I wish you learn about what makes a person Sinhala before making any claim. Only a few years ago, I claimed to be Sinhala. Before that time, I did not like Sinhala people because some of those who were around me claiming to be Sinhala (but later recognised as imposters bearing alien names) and their values were worlds apart from my own. I wish you have learnt not to question the moral of the vast majority of Sinhala women. For the lot you know, I want you to find a Portuguese folk song that tells exactly what the morals of Asian women they encountered in their occupied lands. I was really disgusted to hear it.)

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