Ceylon: Once a Colonial Outpost,
Now an Independent Country
Bill Davnie, Guest Speaker
5:00 pm Social Hour
5:30 to 7:00 pm Program and Discussion
Sri Lanka, known better to many of us as Ceylon, has been a little too far away to get a lot of American attention. Famous for lovely tea plantations and beautiful beaches, ethnic tensions generated during the colonial period led to a prolonged civil war that included numerous suicide bombings — the Middle East actually learned about this from Sri Lankans! Back from his fourth trip to Sri Lanka, Bill Davnie will discuss what we can learn from the colonial period, current U.S. political competition with China in the region, and the challenges of small nations in the shadow of giant neighbors.
Bill Davnie served as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer for 26 years, with postings in Hong Kong, Thailand, USSR/Russia, Tajikistan, Lithuania and Finland. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, he researched Islam and taught in Indonesia. He also served for five years as a Presbyterian minister in rural North Dakota. Davnie has a Master of Divinity from Vanderbilt University and an MS from National Defense University. His daughter is a USAID employee in Sri Lanka, which explains his multiple trips to that country.
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