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Learning from the past helps, says young author
Published on: Wednesday, November 16, 2022
By: Sherell Jeffrey
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Learning from the past helps, says young author
Sanith discussing his soon-to-published fourth book “Lies of Omission” at the 41st Sharjah International Book Fair.
SHARJAH: World War II has a significant role in human history that if one slight detail were to change, everything around would be different, said 15-year-old Sri Lankan Sanith Santhasa Piyadigamage.

The adolescent, who is a student living in the UAE, said this in a session titled “A Crucial Decade” at the 41st Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), where he discussed his soon-to-be published fourth book, “Lies of Omission”. Describing the cultural session as an opportunity to evaluate both World War II – one of the most definitive events of the 20th century, and the human race, from the modern perspective of a 15-year-old, the young author said: “My book is for students looking to understand the Second World War.”

“Lies of Omission offers an insight into an era of moral and political leadership and eroding of values. Through its pages, the book evaluates and analyses the state of mind which led to the defeat, particularly of the fascist leaders of the time.

“If World War Two didn’t happen, this world around us wouldn’t be the same and as a 15-year-old, even though it is something that had happened so many decades before I was born, there is that relationship between the cruelty of humans and conflict,” he said, explaining why someone so young as him would choose a subject that occurred many decades before he was born. “Even despite everything, it has given off good and it has given off bad. Like for example, the technologies we have today, they link a lot with that, they cover what we take for granted especially like our phones, our cameras, of course the internet. All of that date back to that point in time,” he said. “I am not much at liberty to say what exactly is happening in Sri Lanka but Sri Lanka where poor leadership are corruption where of course for so many years has caused many sufferings,” said Sanith in response to a query from the Daily Express about his thoughts on what’s happening to Sri Lanka. “Sri Lanka does not have any resources to run on anymore, they lack basic medical equipment to keep our hospitals running, most of our families are starving and it truly is sad to see because I feel that it is also an issue that is happening all around the world, it has a domino effect that has started off in Sri Lanka and will continue to expand even further,” he added. The youngest guest speaker at the world’s largest book fair published his first book in 2018 at the age of ten, aptly titled “Thoughts of a ten-year-old”. This was followed by “Tolerance for Happiness” which commemorates the UAE’s Year of Tolerance in 2019.

His third book, “An Anthology of Expressions” was launched last year at the 2021 edition of SIBF.

So, what inspires him to write? “Well, I’ve actually been reading for quite a long time and I’ve always had this interest of sharing my thoughts with the world, figuring out why people do the things they do,” said the writer.

“The duty of the new generation, the millennials in particular, we are the first generation in human history to be living with one another with instant communication all at the same time. “For example, here I am a Sri Lankan living in Dubai and I got to study with over 106 other nationalities from all around the world, I am exposed to so many cultures, values, beliefs, ideology, and I feel that it is this sort of unity, this sort of acknowledgement that we no longer are different and that a human is a human that will only help get rid of the scars that built our past. “Even today, the actions and planning of the leaders continue to weigh down upon us, but in this new generation where there are no boundaries as such where everyone is part of the human race, we can finally let go of this difference and just acknowledge that and move ahead. “We should be learning from the past and figuring out how to not repeat them again in the future. The past is integral to us, I mean humans aren’t humans without the past, because the past, the present and the future all work together,” he said. 

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