Category Archives: education policy

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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USA’s Political Programme in Sri Lanka and the Peace Corps Initiative

Daya Gamage, in response to the Thuppahi Invitation to Address Shenali Waduge’s Memorandum

This Pic  does not relate to a Sri Lankan issue; but it captures the tone in which Hillary Clinton pilloried Sri Lanka on 22nd April 2009 when the GoSL government did not abide by USA’s direct orders and proceeded to penetrate the LTTE’s last redoubt beyond Nandhikadal Lagoon — see https://frontline.thehindu.com/static/html/fl2610/stories/20090522261001600.htm

ONE: US Support for Tamil Separatism

In 1984, the CIA and the State Department produced a joint document – a highly classified one – solely on US foreign policy towards Sri Lanka after the LTTE started its terror campaign to bifurcate Sri Lanka followed by the JR Jayewardene administration seeking Washington’s help for military assistance.

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Waduge’s Summary Survey: USA’s Hands in Sri Lankan Politics, 1950s-2019

Shenali Waduge, in LankaWeb. 1 November 2019, where the title reads “US in Sri Lanka since 2015 – turning Sri Lanka into a Neo-Colonial Military Base”

Ever since a regime change was choreographed in 2015 January, the US has been using its lackeys in government to exert tremendous influence in 3 areas – Sri Lanka‘s economy, Sri Lanka‘s Parliament and Sri Lanka‘s armed forces. Based on media articles, press releases and whatever other information has been made available to the public, an overview of the extent to which Sri Lanka’s sovereignty has been compromised can be deduced. Sri Lanka is a sovereign nation and Sri Lanka must uphold that sovereign status. Any new government must understand the fundamentals of what it means to be sovereign and ensure national policy is drafted to ensure that and for any gain that sovereignty is not compromised.

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The Crushing Sway of the English Language in 20th Century Ceylon

Vinod  Moonesinghe, ….. responding to a passing ethnographic note by Chandra Fernando which ran thusUnfortunately, Mr Bandaranaike, who had Oxford Education, was not intelligent enough to know the value of English to Ceylonese. When we received telegrams, the postman could not read them, so we had to go to Mabole 3 miles walk either way where Wattala Post Office was to get it read from Postmaster.”

In reply to Chandra Fernando’s statements about English, it is not SWRD Banadaranaike he should blame, but the British imperial power. The British created a tiny circle of elite schools, to create a stratum of English-speaking civil servants and compradores, to serve their needs. The vast bulk of the population were left uneducated. Vernacular schools did not teach above the 8th grade, and you needed to go to an English-language school to get your SSC. By 1956, only 5% of the population could speak English.

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Ceylon University College Dons in 1933: A Photo that is A Treasure Trove

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.

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Secular Bulwarks against Religious Fanaticism — Our Urgent Need

Tisaranee Gunasekara, whose choice of title has been “Secularism or Faith” — in an article which appeared in Groundviews as well as Sri Lanka Guardian

“And even here

Lies the other shore

Waiting to be reached.”

Tagore (My Reminiscences)

The blue, red, yellow, orange and white lights are on, as are the makeshift stalls selling lanterns. Yet few pause to see, haggle, buy. Vesak, so near chronologically, had never seemed so far away spiritually. After the Easter Sunday Massacre, fears were raised about Vesak too being turned into a bloody spectacle by the IS, working through its local adherents. As it turned out, neither the IS nor its local adherents were necessary to turn Vesak into a season of violence. The Sinhalese managed the task on their own.

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