Category Archives: education

In Appreciative Memory of Karen Roberts, 1965-2018

Michael Roberts

It has been something of a shock for me to discover that the Sri Lankan authoress Karen Roberts[1] had passed away in USA in 2018 while only in her middle-aged fifties (about the same age as my daughters). What a tragedy!

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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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From Cricketing Leadership to Pioneering Space Law: Nandi

   Nandasiri Jasentuliyana Today ….. and THEN when he led the Southern Province Schools Team against the Australian Schoolboy Team in 1958

The First Australian Schools team to visit Ceylon seen in 1958 with the Combined Schools Team that played in Galle with Nandi Jasentulyana (aka JLN De Silva then)as Skipper (seated in centre) …..

Standing l to r: NM Pinnaduwa, Percy Amendra, Nalin Pieris, Sriman Jayawickrama, Hyndley Perera, Hemasirie fernando, Stanley Amendra, H. Hamilton, Lalith Fernando.

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“White Christmas” was fashioned by Irving Berlin, A Jewish Immigrant in USA

Rich Tenorio, an essay penned on 24 December 2019 and entitled  How Jewish-American immigrant Irving Berlin started a Christmas revolution”

The best version of White Christmas was done by Elvis. Berlin was highly critical of him for “desecrating” his song. How ironic: A god-fearing Protestant criticised by a Jew for the way he sang a Christmas song. But like a lot of the older brigade, Sinatra included, Berlin felt left behind by rock n’ roll.  Yet Jews like Dylan and Paul Simon, dug Elvis.

  Irving Berlin, at the piano, and friends celebrate the 25th year since he wrote ‘Alexander’s Rag Time Band’ at a banquet in his honor in Hollywood, California, January 20, 1936. Standing behind Berlin, at right, is Joseph Schenck, film producer. In front row singing together are two of the Marx Brothers, Chico and Harpo. (AP Photo) Continue reading

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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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In Appreciation of Nandasena Ratnapala, A Professor who Begged in Anthropological Mode

Ned Dean and Ranat

“We meet and we part

In this journey through sansara

But the meeting or parting does not end with time or years

It is a long stretch of an eventful road

Where milestones matter more than rises or falls

We have travelled together on this hard, endless road

Where milestones matter more than rises or falls

The journey was neither smooth nor full of magical moments alone

But many achievements reached more worth than monuments in gold

Leaving a fragrance that would linger on and unfold

Gifting a memory of a life rich and rare

Now you are gone as you wished on a fateful morn

While family, friends and students remember and mourn

A warm tear drops that none would see or feel

As I ponder about you, while my memory unfolds your sight.”

Neetha S. Ratnapala

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Murali in Support of the UWA Bio-Tech Unit Today …. Cutting-Edge Research

News Item from UWA, 9 December 2019, entitled “Cricket legend visits UWA to test wearable technology”

Sri Lankan spin bowling legend Muttiah Muralitharan (Murali) has visited The University of Western Australia for an update on the technology that cleared his unorthodox bowling action in the late 1990s, resulting in him becoming the world record holder for the most wickets taken in both Test and one-day cricket.
“I’ve been tested here (at UWA) five or six times,” Murali said. “Every time there is a problem I come here and test, so the facility year by year is improving. They are still developing, for a new generation, how to overcome these problems.”

Today  Yesterday … with Jacqui Alderson directed by Bruce Elliot

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