Category Archives: land policies

In Appreciation of Ivan Samarawickrama as Administrator

Rama Somasundarem

I first came to know Ivan Samarawickrama when he was Government Agent of Polonnarawa in the mid-1960s. I was then attached to the Land Development Department. I van had already earned a name as a good administrator when he was appointed Assistant Government Agent of the Jaffna District at a time when there were civil disturbances and an army officer (for the first time I believe), was appointed to function as the Government Agent. The government of the day understood the importance of having an officer acquainted with District Administration in order to control and administer a district. Ivan Samarawickrama performed his duties with great acceptance to the people of Jaffna and greatly contributed to the district’s peace and development.

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Filed under colonisation schemes, economic processes, governance, historical interpretation, land policies, life stories, modernity & modernization, security, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society

A Historical ‘Cuppa’ of Ceylon Tea

Ceylon Tea: The Trade That Made a Nation

The Colombo Tea Traders’ Association will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Ceylon tea on July 20th with the launch of an illustrated history entitled Ceylon Tea: The Trade That Made a Nation. This art-quality large-format illustrated book has been authored by Richard Simon with Dominic Sansoni as Illustrations Editor, while the design has been fashioned by Sebastian Posingis. Continue reading

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Gal Oya: Addressing Errors in Ajit Kanagasundram’s Recollections

Gerald H. Peiris

gal-oya-11-the-island

Michael,

I knew Ajit at the time he was an undergraduate at Cambridge, and remember meeting him on and off at the ‘Arts Theatre Restaurant’ at lunch-time. The image that comes to mind is a mild-mannered and gentle youth  ̶-  younger than my circle of post-grad ‘Ceylonese’ pals  like Uswatte, Mahes, Shan, Gunda or Dharmawardena  by, say, 6 or 7 years. I haven’t met him since that time, but it seems from what he has written that he has not lost his gentleness, and has remained almost entirely free of “racial” (ethnic?) prejudices, probably impelled by personal experiences since that time.

While I particularly like the ‘autobiographical’ segment of his essay, I have to refer to several errors  ̶  some, important, others trivial  ̶  that could be attributed to excessive reliance on memory and ignoring what serious researchers have documented. These I specify below under sub-headings numbered 1 to 7, referring in red to highlighted extracts from his essay.

gal-oya-44 Pic from Sumal Fernando Blog wordpress

 

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Ceylon in the Rainer Schickele Papers

Rainer Schickele served with the Dept of Agricultural Economics  Peradeniya University in the 1960s and lived in Kandy. He was committed to the agricultural development of the island. On the 21st January 1969 he presented a paper on Land settlement Policy in Ceylon: A Tentative Proposal,” I note here that all the cyclostyled CSS papers are available at Peradeniya University >Librar and several university libraries in USA. 

Alas I do not have a photograph of Rainer (1905-1989). But it is with considerable pleasure that I note the availability of the SCHICKELE PAPERS at  NDSU, Institute for Regional Studies and University archives,  the North Dakota State University Libraries.  Note the followiing summary.”The Sri Lanka (Ceylon) Series consists of reports and papers Schickele wrote while helping the university and government build agricultural economic departments. The series consists of twelve progress reports that Schickele wrote in order for the ADC to monitor the progress of the program.The series also contains papers Schickele wrote regarding the current agricultural situation in Sri Lanka and how to rectify some of the problems.” Continue reading

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