We are indebted to Thiru Arumugam and the latest issue of THE CEYLANKAN produced by the Ceylon Society of Australia for the two photographs reproduced here. I invite readers and old University personnel to provide pertinent bio-data on any of the individuals here who served the University and society over the next few decades. I will be initiating this task below as time goes by.
Category Archives: British colonialism
Sarath Amunugama, in “the Sam Wijesinha Memorial Oration” at the SLFI on Friday, 30 August 2019 –– A Talk entitled “Parliament and President”
I am deeply honoured by the invitation extended to me by Rajiva Wijesinha and Nigel Hatch to deliver the Sam Wijesinha Memorial Oration, which seeks to commemorate the late Sam Wijesinha, who was a personal friend of mine. I selected the topic “Parliament and the President” because it deals with two main aspects of the life of Sam Wijesinha (SW). Not only was he intimately connected with Parliament having served there as Deputy Clerk and ultimately Clerk and Secretary General but he was also close to several Presidents who sought his advice on many matters not exclusively in the area of parliamentary practice. He also had the distinction of serving as the first Ombudsman where he received public complaints from Parliament and provided redress expeditiously and in a humane manner.
Bhante Dhammika of Australia, in Island, 14 August 2019, where the title runs “Bharhut Stupa; Majesty and Mystery”
The British Major had ridden for days from Allahabad while on his way to Nagpur and had arrived in the small village of Bharhut just before sunset. That evening while resting in a villager’s house he noticed some carved stones paving the floor and suspected that they had been taken from some ancient structure. Inquiring about this he learned from his host that there was a half-buried ruin a little beyond the eastern edge of the village. So in the morning the major went to have a look at this overgrown mound of bricks and stone. The time was November 1873, the major was Alexander Cunningham and he was about to stumble upon one of the most important archaeological discoveries ever made in India and one that is testimony to the artistic genius of the early Buddhists.
Yomal Senerath-Yapa, in Sunday Times, 11 August 2019
A reprint of “The History of Royal College”, a 1932 biography of the school authored by students, was launched at the BMICH yesterday in an event organised by the Royal College 1960 Group, in association with the Royal College Union.
Minnete de Silva: Aficionado and Architect Extraordinary
Minnette de Silva (Sinhala: මිනට් ද සිල්වා;Tamil: மினிட் டி சில்வா; 1 February 1918–24 November 1998) was an internationally recognized architect, considered the pioneer of the modern architectural style in Sri Lanka. De Silva was a fellow of the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects.
De Silva was the first Sri Lankan woman to be trained as an architect and the first Asian woman to be elected an associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in 1948. De Silva was also the first Asian representative of CIAM in 1947 and was one of the founding members of the Architectural publication Marg. Later in her life, she was awarded the SLIA Gold Medal for her contribution to Architecture in particular her pioneering work developing a ‘regional modernism for the tropics’….. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnette_de_Silva
Minnette de Silva with Pablo Picasso (left) at the World Congress of Intellectuals in Defense of Peace, 1948
This article is inspired by Fabian Schokman of Moratuwa whose questioning comment led to a brief exchange involving Eardley Lieversz and myself. I will place these exchanges first before proceeding to address the context and implications of the article on “Goyigama Lansiyās” written by a retired Sinhala police officer of senor rank.
This essay was obviously penned in light-hearted spirit. But, in conveying ethnographic tales of past times in genial tones, the account reveals questionable ‘seams,’ i.e. strands, within the socio-political order. Readers are advised to absorb the essay “The Goyigama Lansiyaas” as an initial measure …. before proceeding to the exchanges and the arguments below.