DR. PATRICK MENDIS’ BOOK SIGNING
CEREMONY AT THE EMBASSY
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.
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
08 May 2007