Category Archives: education

Scott Walker’s Charitable Outreach in Sri Lanka

News Item in Daily FT, 13 October 2018, where the title runs  ” “Australian philanthropist sponsors water purification for 100 villages with ABC Trade & Investments’

Like most good things,  Scoot Walker’s introduction to Sri Lanka also happened by chance. He was en route from Australia to England on a ship when they docked on the island for a day. It was then Walker first visited the Colombo and Mount Lavinia areas and felt a strong sense of attachment and was convinced that he was “Sri Lankan in a past life!” 

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Evaluation: Forces and Strands in Sri Lanka’s Cricket History

Binod K. Mishra, reviewing Forces and Strands in Sri Lanka’s Cricket History” by Michael Roberts, Colombo, Social Scientists’ Association, 2006, 64 pp., 21 photographs, bibliography, Rs. 300 (paperback), ISBN 9559102826 …. location of original review and date of publication is yet unclear

“Arise Sir Davenel”

Cricket brought to Sri Lanka the reputation of, and a genuine recognition as, a nation. The rationale for such an observation is the infamous reputation Sri Lanka has earned due to decade-old ethnic rivalry and insurgency that has threatened the concept of nationhood in the country. The World Cup triumph in 1996 and the heroic performances before and after that event have put Sri Lanka prominently not onlyon the sports map but also on the political map of the world in a positive sense. But the story of the riseof Sri Lankan cricket is not a normal rags-to-riches story but is filled with events that in some sense correspond to its political history. Michael Roberts’ work presents this interesting story of Sri Lankan cricket. Written in the year 2004, the booklet recapitulates, albeit briefly, the entire history of the game on this country. It is a vivid description of the evolution of cricket in the former colony of Britain. Throughout the evolutionary history of cricket, the author finds a clear reflection of the socio-political situation of Sri Lanka. Continue reading

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Pathways towards the Transformation of South Asia

SinhaRaja Tammita-Delgoda, in Eurasia Review, 7 September 2017, where the title is Transforming South Asia: A Key To The Future ”

Commonalities are what we have in common. In most parts of South Asia the inheritance is common, shared origins, shared languages, shared religions and shared cultures. Yet in each case this common inheritance has diverged and taken its own unique path. This divergence has occurred at different times, in Sri Lanka it has taken place over millennia, in Bhutan and Nepal over several centuries, in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh it has happened during the 20th century. It is a history of common origins taking different shapes and forms with very different interests.

As South Asians we have a shared inheritance but do we have common interests? Do these common interests coincide with our national interests? Do our national interests converge? Where, when and at what cost? Only once we have achieved it can we seek transformation.

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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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At Cricket in 1946: British India vs England

Anindya Dutta, in The Cricket Monthly, 25 June 2018, where the title reads “A dinner in 1946”

It was the last tour by undivided India to Britain. It was the summer of Merchant and Mankad, and independence was around the corner.The year was 1946. England was caught between the exhilaration of emerging victorious from the Second World War and the devastation the war had wrought upon the country, both in terms of people and resources. Rationing was still in place, and the economy was in tatters.For six long years, while war raged, cricket had taken a backseat. There had been little first-class cricket, and the battlefields claimed some of England’s most talented players, like the venerated Hedley Verity. There were only 11 first-class matches in the 1945 season. Nineteen forty-six was the first year when a normal county season was scheduled and Test cricket could again be played. Cricket was seen as a way to restore a feeling of normalcy to a country severely affected by war and its consequences.

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Elmo on the Story of THE CROW

Sachitra Mahendra, in Daily News, 27 November 2018, with this title “Something to crow about…”

Pasenadi, the king of Kosala, had 16 bad dreams one night. His Brahmin consultants warned harm either to his kingdom, his life or his wealth. They recommended all kinds of sacrifices to avoid danger. However, Queen Mallika suggested that the Buddha should be consulted. The king followed her advice.

His 15th dream of a wicked village crow attended by mallards was interpreted as the rise of the ignorant, cowardly and inferior category of footmen and barbers into kingly stature over kings of genuine royal descent. The kings of genuine descent will have to patiently watch the men of inferior birth and stature tread the royal corridors of power.

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Romila Thapar lauds Iravatham Mahadevan in his Moment of Passing

Romila Thapar, in The Hindu, 27 November 2019, where the title is “Remembering Iravatham Mahadevan”

“He knew more about Indian epigraphy and the linguistic aspects of Dravidian and Indo-Aryan than some specialists”

I heard the news on Monday morning of the passing of Iravatham Mahadevan and was deeply saddened. Mahadevan, or Jani as his friends called him, was a special person of extraordinary talent and a much-respected scholar despite his having worked in administration for most of his professional life. Continue reading

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