Category Archives: education policy

Sam Samarasinghe’s Postscript to the Raging Debate in Colombo Telegraph on His Previous Essay

 Sam Samarasinghe aka Stanley WR de Samarasinghe, with this NOTE in Colombo Telegraph: Some of you may have read my article titled “A Way Out of the Crisis to Save Sri Lanka’s Democracy” that appeared in the Colombo Telegraph on December 7th. It elicited a fairly significant response. The format of Colombo Telegraph allows for dialogue and discussion of a topic. Making use of that I prepared a response partly to answer some issues and questions that some of the correspondents raised. Colombo Telegraph has published my response. …. A Response presented here with highlighting emphases imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

I am thankful to all those who contributed to the dialogue following my article published in the Colombo Telegraph on December 07. I will not attempt to respond to individual comments. But taken in its totality the discussion raises some important issues relating to governance in Sri Lanka in the context of the present crisis.

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How Sri Lanka missed the Chinese Path to the Cutting-Edge in Today’s World

G. Usvatte-aratchi, Sunday Island, 2 December 2018, where the title is “Sinhala and Tamil as languages of instruction and administration”

There have been several letters to the Editor in The Island, on these themes. I want to correct some mistakes that recurred in these interventions and present a perspective that has not been presented so far.

Solomon Bandaranaike had little to do with the language of instruction in school. The credit goes to J.R. Jayewardene and V. Nallliah who moved a resolution in the State Council in 1943 that the language of instruction in schools shall be Sinhala and Tamil. The resolution was carried. I read somewhere that the moving spirit for the initiative came from Jayantha Weerasekera, who was an official in the Sinhala Maha Sabha, of which at that time Jayewardene was a (the?) leader. Jayantha Weeraekere was a close friend and collaborator of Kumaratunga Munidasa, a powerful voice for Sinhala language. The Resolution was not acted upon until January in 1947.

  Jayantha Weerasekera  CWW Kannagara

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KM de Silva’s Biographical Routes to the Recent Past

Sri Lanka: The Recent Past by Kingsley M. de Silva is now on the bookshelves in Sri Lanka.

The doyen among the contemporary historians of the island has deplye personal biographical expirences and his considerable reserch material to pen biographical tales that can illuminate our history, Editor, Thuppahi

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Beware the Global Human Rights Mafia and Their Sri Lankan Parrots

C. A. Chandraprema, in Island, September 2018, with this title “Cardinal’s words and Mangala’s response”.… the highlighting is the work of the Editor, Thuppahi

The comments made by Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith last Sunday at the Ekala St Matthew’s Church have made waves with Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Saliya Peiris criticising the Cardinal’s words and the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and several Catholic MPs in the Joint Opposition condemning Samaraweera and Peiris for taking on the Cardinal. What the Cardinal said last Sunday during a sermon delivered in Sinhala was roughly as follows.

“The latest religion in the West is the religion called human rights. Human rights were discovered only recently. It is being regarded as a wonderful new discovery which is being held aloft and we are being relentlessly lectured about it. However our people began adhering to religions centuries ago. Some people in our country talk of a secular society. Human life is not just food and drink and the pursuit of comfort. Many people in the West now regard religion as an outer garment. They use religion when it suits them but if they are required to make sacrifices, they put religion aside. Our lives are short and if we limit it to the pursuit of pleasure we will come to an unfortunate end. If we adhere to a religion we don’t need human rights. Those who are dependent on human rights are those who have no religion. We must not be misled by these chimeras. We must look at this intelligently.”

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Ramsay Centre’s Multi-Million Dollar Imperial Incursion into ANU Rejected

Robert Bolton, courtesy of Financial Review, 15 June 2018, where the title is Why the ANU vice-chancellor Brian Schmidt rejected the Ramsay Centre’s millions” … with highlighting being the imposition of The Editor, Thuppahi

At Tuesday’s meeting of Sydney University’s academic board vice-chancellor Michael Spence took the unusual step of requesting that a discussion about the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation be cut from the minutes. According to the student newspaper Honi Soit Dr Spence explained to those in the room, “there are some cultural warriors on the Ramsay Centre Board”.

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Professor Laksiri Jayasuriya: A Far-Reaching life in Sri Lanka and Australia, 1931-2018

Siri Gamage, courtesy of Colombo Telegraph

Emeritus Professor Laksiri Jayasuriya (Laksiri) who was Professor of Social Work and Social administration at the University of Western Australia passed away on April 20th 2018 in Perth. He was the founder of the sociology department at the University of Colombo and led an illustrious career in the Australian academia while contributing to government policy making processes in areas such as multiculturalism, ethnic affairs,migration and citizenship. He nurtured cohorts of students under his care during his long career in Australia and continued to engage in scholarly activities and publishing after retirement. Professor Jayasuriya leaves behind bellowed wife Rohini and two loving sons Kanishka and Pradeep – both professionals – one in the academia and the other in medical field. His death comes as a great loss to his academic colleagues, particularly in Australia and Sri Lanka.

Prof Laksiri Jayasuriya

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Australia: International Students– Chinese Inflow

‘Tim Dodd, in The Australian, 18 April 2018, with the title “Chinese defy warnings and flock to Australian universities”

Chinese students have defied unspecified ‘‘safety’’ warnings from their government amid fears of undue Chinese influence, flocking to Australia in larger numbers this year than ever before. Official figures to be released today show 173,000 Chinese students enrolled in Australian universities, colleges and schools in the first two months of 2018, 18 per cent more than in the same period last year.

In total, 542,000 students from more than 190 countries have enrolled in Australia so far this year, according to the latest data. This is 13 per cent more than for the same period last year, indicating yet another boost is on the way for education exports, which were valued at $32.2 billion in 2017. Continue reading

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