Arts Day

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Elizabeth Moir School’s 3rd Arts Day began with a panel discussion on sovereignty. The panelists were Dr. Harsha De Silva MP, Deputy Minister of Policy Planning, Economic Affairs, Child, Youth and Cultural Affairs; Ms. Nicole Chulick, acting Deputy Chief of Mission at the American Embassy in Colombo; and Dr. Asanga Gunawansa, who worked with the UN for several years and teaches at the National University of Singapore. The panelists were asked question on a wide range of issues related to sovereignty, from whether multinational companies and organisations like the EU and UN can dictate terms to national governments, to whether the international community should intervene in Syria.

Dr. De Silva provided fascinating insights into the plans of the new Sri Lankan government, discussing current issues such as the future of Colombo Port City, the abandoned Crown Colombo Casino project and the prospect of Volkswagen opening a new factory in Sri Lanka. He also made a heartfelt plea for unity in Sri Lanka, arguing that it is more important to build bridges between communities than to build actual physical bridges. Both Ms. Chulick and Dr. Gunawansa emphasised the need for greater co-operation between national governments to meet global problems, such as climate change, with Dr. Gunawansa also being able to share his expertise on water management. Ms. Chulick was challenged about the way the US has undermined international agreements and asked whether America might regret not building an international system strong enough to limit superpowers, if a new superpower emerges in the 21st century. All our students were absorbed by the stimulating debate and learned a lot from all the speakers.

The rest of Arts Day was based on interactive displays and presentations on stage of the best work done in Arts subjects over the year. Among the highlights were a recreation of a Sri Lankan village, where the students enjoyed playing traditional games such as Kana Muttiya and Kotta Pora, and an exact replica of one of the new homes in a new government housing scheme in Dematagoda that our A Level Geography students visited earlier in the year to investigate the new residents’ views on their relocation. Dr. De Silva was particularly interested in the displays done by the Lower 6th Economics class on development projects in Sri Lanka, comparing the failure of Mattala airport with the potential to improve education and infrastructure. Many parents and guests were especially impressed by the computer games and websites created by Form 2 and Form 3 students, showing the advances they have made in coding. They were also amazed to learn about the thought process and amount of research that goes into IGCSE and A Level Art portfolios.

It was, perhaps, the Moir Masterchef competition between French and Sri Lankan food that generated most excitement, though, and many satisfied customers, with Sri Lanka emerging as narrow victors!

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