Category Archives: British colonialism

Today’s Bureaucratic Subservience in Sri Lanka: The Tale of Its Emergence and Entrenchment

H. L. Seneviratne reviewing Your Obedient Servant: The Fate of the Bureaucrat in Sri Lanka by Suren Sumithraarachchi, Sarasavi Publishers 2019 …. Courtesy of Colombo Telegraph = https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/book-review-politics-the-bureaucracy/

This book deals with the higher bureaucracy in Sri Lanka, and its focus is bureaucratic behavior. It is about local bureaucrats, not those of British origin — bureaucrats who historically inhabited the bureaucratic terrain with decreasing density as colonial rule waned. It considers loyalty to a set of rules, rather than to a person, the marker of ideal bureaucratic behavior, one that the vocabulary of sociology calls “rational-legal”.

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The Medium of Learning in Sri Lanka for Sri Lanka: Journeys

Wilfrid Jayasuriya, in Daily Mirror Epaper, 18 January 2020, where the title is “English as the medium of modern education”

We are glad that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa hit the nail on the head about the meaning of education. Not a promising opening sentence? I do not wish to get into a harangue on education but just want to say there is an alternative to the education modus operandi which we practise by and large for more than a century. That alternative is the United States’ system as opposed to the British colonial model which was the foundation of our lay education for the last two centuries. Suffice to say that in my own family history, my maternal grandfather was a postmaster who worked in the English medium and my paternal grandfather was a school teacher who practised in Sinhala and English media. My father passed the Senior School Certificate in both English and Sinhala media and my mother passed the Junior School Certificate in English medium. I have both certificate documents and they are signed by the Vice Chancellor of Cambridge University because education in Ceylon had been allocated to Cambridge University!

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Becoming and Being Sri Lankan: The National Anthem in Our Mother Tongues

Eranda Ginige, on in Lanka News Web, 6 January 2020, where the title is “The Language of the National Anthem”

The Dominion of Ceylon was formed on 4 February 1948 with the singing of Britain’s national anthem “God Save the King” and it continued to be the anthem for another four years

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Bracegirdle and the Early LSSP in Anti-Colonial Thrusts

Vinod Moonesinghe, courtesy of Roar, 21 May 2017, where the title reads “Bracegirdle: The Young Anglo-Australian Behind Sri Lanka’s Independence Struggle”

After the Matale Revolt of 1848, the independence struggle in Sri Lanka was quiescent until the 1930s. Only in 1931 did the short-lived Jaffna Youth Congress call for total independence (poorana swaraj) and boycotted the general election.However, in far-away America, a young Sri Lankan student, Philip Gunawardena, had already joined the League Against Imperialism and For National Independence, an international organisation committed to the complete national independence of the colonial and semi-colonial peoples, including Sri Lankans. He later went to Britain and worked for the League. He belonged to a Sri Lankan group called the “Cosmopolitan Crew”, mainly students such as himself, including N. M. Perera, Colvin R. de Silva and Leslie Goonewardena.

Bracegirdle with L.S.S.P. leaders in Horana. Image courtesy Victor Ivan

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The Insights etched within Walter Fernando’s Autobiography of an Administrative Career

Gerald H Peiris, in The Island, 1 January 2020, where the title runs thus“Career Challenges of a Public Servant”

Among the treasures in my collection of books there are several biographical works received as gifts ―those of Ediriweera Sarachchandra, Gunadasa Amarasekara, Kingsley de Silva, Usvatte Aratchchi, Jolly Somasundram, Sudath Gunasekara and Walter Fernando. All of us belonged to the Peradeniya segment of the University of Ceylon in the 1950s which, over a brief and exhilarating spell, seemed to fulfill the expectations of its founders in epitomising the long awaited national resurgence, offering an acceptable blend of ‘intellectual’ and ‘utilitarian’ perspectives of higher learning. Since then we have travelled along different paths that merged and diverged at various times. Now in our old age we have shared memories of both joy and sorrow.

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The Decline of the LSSP in 20th Century Sri Lanka: Sivasambu’s Question

Fr l-to-r= Philip, Colvin R, NM and Reggie Perera

ABOUT Nathan Sivasambu: Nathan Sivasambu is an old-school Trotskyite and a Sri Lankan to the core. After his undergraduate degree from the University of Ceylon in the 1950s he migrated to England. He has sustained his interest in island politics as well as the literary world associated with the Bloomsbury Group and Leonard Woolf. His batchelor-flat near Russell Square placed him close to the Bloomsbury arena in London… and the British Museum as well as SOAS and its Sri Lankan stock of books.

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An Act of Consciousness Raising: The Concept ‘Pogrom’ and its Extension to Sri Lanka

Michael Roberts

ONE: An Explanatory Note in 2019

My recent use of the term “pogrom” to mark the constellation of events in mid-1915 that were (are) commonly referred to as “riots”  has been challenged on Facebook by a Sinhalese ideologue named Amare Kodikara[1] (who has not taken the trouble to read the original articles in 1994 on which this usage was based).[2] I am therefore placing the relevant segment from the pertinent article in the web-domain once again as Segment Two in this article.

pluenderung der Judengass, c. 1614

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