Madeline England

Madeline England (Home for Human Rights – HHR): Madeline received her BA in economics from Mount Holyoke College in 2002. She then worked as a legal assistant for a London law firm and as an outreach coordinator for the Women’s Anti-Violence Education program in Philadelphia. From 2004 to 2006, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mauritania, West Africa, where she helped women entrepreneurs to coordinate marketing campaigns and business plans. At the time of her fellowship, Madeline was pursuing a Masters in International Affairs with a concentration in Human Rights at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. After her fellowship, Madeline wrote: "The fellowship was an infinitely valuable experience. I learned more about human rights advocacy and research, exactly as I was hoping, and I also gained experience working in a conflict zone. It helped me to develop the skills and understanding to work with community-based human rights organizations."


02 Jul

Sri Lanka is really beautiful. I have heard similar claims from people about other places, so let me emphasize: Sri Lanka is really truly jaw-droppingly stupendously amazingly awe-inspiringly beautiful (from now on rtjsaa beautiful).

It is not so much that Sri Lanka is more rtjsaa beautiful than other rtjsaa beautiful places I have seen, such as Victoria Falls or the Bijagos Archipelago. It is more to the point that Sri Lanka is so consistently rtjsaa beautiful.

Throughout the country, from the beaches to the hill country, I don’t think there is a bad view in the entire country. I have to force myself to stop looking when riding a bus because I start getting dizzy. It is easy to understand why Marco Polo claimed Sri Lanka to be the “finest island of its size” or that several people have told me the island is synonymous with Shangri La.

But you don’t have to take my word for it since I finally posted some photos.

There is so much diversity in every aspect of life, so many different kinds of everything:

Ethinicities (Tamil, Sinhalese, Berger, and others)
Religions (Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam)
Greenery, trees, flowers (too many to name even if I knew the names)
Wildlife (elephants, monkeys, funny lizards, chipmunks, geckos, obviously hundreds of others, mosquitos)
Fruits (Already talked about this)
Curries and spices (Every meal is a feast of the senses)

Sometimes when I stop looking to recover from my dizziness, I wonder: how can an island this truly jaw-droppingly stupendously amazingly awe-inspiringly beautiful, this wonderfully diverse, and filled with so many kind people, how can a place like that be so troubled? How can paradise have problems? I know the academic answer, but it just doesn’t seem congruous with my surroundings.

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Posted By Madeline England

Posted Jul 2nd, 2007


  • JV Chandran

    July 2, 2007


    As part Sri Lankan and part South Indian living in Malaysia I am also suprised that when the Belin wall fell, I thought all will be well between nations but now we have intra state fighting in Bosnia, Rwanda, Sudan, Sr Lanka and elsewhere.Its sad.Even International Humanitarian Law has to change for non-international conflict.

  • amali

    July 5, 2007



    I am so glad you are also taking time to enjoy the beauty of the country! I am Sri Lankan, so when I tell people that it is truly the most beautiful country I have ever seen, I feel biased. But you know I’ve seen a few places, so I literally mean it.

    Now everyone can hear it from you too. Thanks for sharing. I’ve really enjoyed your blog.

    Best wishes from Palestine,

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