When Worlds Collide #91: Gamani Corea – Champion of the Global South

When Worlds Collide, by Nalaka Gunawardene

Text of my ‘When Worlds Collide’ column published in Ceylon Today Sunday broadsheet newspaper on 12 November  2013

Robert S McNamara, who was US Secretary of Defence under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, then served as President of the World Bank from 1968 to 1981. Despite his contentious legacy in the US government, he is credited to have shifted the Bank’s focus to population and poverty issues.

McNamara, whom I once interviewed when in retirement, had a razor sharp mind and a wit to match. The story goes how, in the early days of his Bank appointment, he was visited by three highly accomplished Ceylonese officials — all of who happened to be well built men.

“Do you gentlemen represent the starving millions of Ceylon?” McNamara reportedly asked them with a sarcastic smile.

“No Sir,” one of them replied. “We represent their aspirations!”

The Ceylonese trio – who epitomized…

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Author: Nalaka Gunawardene

A science writer by training, I've worked as a journalist and communication specialist across Asia for 30+ years. During this time, I have variously been a news reporter, feature writer, radio presenter, TV quizmaster, documentary film producer, foreign correspondent and journalist trainer. I continue to juggle some of these roles, while also blogging and tweeting and column writing.

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