The Embassy of Sri Lanka held a book signing reception for Dr. Patrick Mendis, a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science, on May 2, 2007. He titled his third book, Glocalization: The Human Side of Globalization as If the Washington Consensus Mattered. A portion of the proceeds of the book sales is donated to the rebuilding of the pediatric hospital in Matara, which had been severely damaged by the tsunami.

Ambassador Bernard Goonetilleke welcomed the gathering of friends of Sri Lanka who had assembled at the Embassy. The Ambassador introduced the author who spoke eloquently about the focus of his book. Reminiscing his formative years in Sri Lanka and Minnesota, Dr. Mendis said, “. . . I see America as the most generous, compassionate, and glocalizing nation. You may call it a melting pot, a salad bowl, or a collage. For me, American generosity and freedom have galvanized the world.”

Dr. Mendis’ book is an attempt to understand the interplay of global forces with local communities. He wrote the book after serving as a professor of economics and public policy at the University of Pittsburgh’s Semester at Sea program through which he traveled around the world.

A special message from World Academy fellow Sir Arthur C. Clarke, who also wrote the Foreword to the book, was read by Academy’s director Honorable Robert Berg. Sir Clarke says in the message, “Globalization is no longer a choice but an imperative for nations. But let’s not despair - by adopting the path of cautious engagement, we can still retain our individuality. As Gandhi once remarked, we must keep the doors and windows of our house open for cultures of other lands to come in from all directions. We just need to be strong enough not to be blown off our feet.”

Ambassador Shaun Donnelly, former U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Assistant U.S. Trade Representative at the White House, also spoke at the event. Ambassador Donnelly was extremely warm and appreciative of his relationships with Sri Lanka and its people. He said that four factors prompted him to attend the book signing ceremony. One was his wonderful relationship with Sri Lanka; the second, his friendship with Ambassador Goonetilleke; the third, his friendship with Dr. Mendis who he has known for several years and was colleague at the U.S. State Department; and the fourth, their mutual friendship and admiration of Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne of Sarvodya, who wrote the Afterword for Dr. Mendis’ book.

Colonel Larry Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, also attended the reception to show his support for his friend Dr. Mendis. Other guests who gathered at the Embassy were colleagues and friends of Dr. Mendis from the White House, U.S. Congress, U.S. Departments of State, Defense, Agriculture, and NGO, academic, and business community. The Voice of America and media also covered the book signing ceremony.

Embassy of Sri Lanka
Washington DC

08 May 2007


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