Press Release from the ICES at Kandy
The ceremonial launch of two publications of the International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES, Kandy) titled, respectively, as The Life of D. S. Senanayake (1884-1952): Sri Lanka’s First Prime Minister, by Prof. K. M. de Silva, and its Sinhala version, D.S: Sri Lankaway Prathama Agraamaathya, by Professor K. N. O. Dharmadasa, was held in Kandy on 3 October 2019 in the presence of a large gathering invited by Prof. Upul Dissanayake, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Peradeniya, who sponsored the event in collaboration with the staff of the ICES.
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Vinod Moonesinghe, ….. responding to a passing ethnographic note by Chandra Fernando which ran thus “Unfortunately, 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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ONE: Ishara Jayawardena: “Carlo Fonseka: Unparalleled,” Daily News, 4 September 2019
Professor Carlo Fonseka ushered in an episode rare in its own right. He always stood for what he thought was just. Not merely a physician cum academic, Fonseka established his turf far beyond the general boundaries as a political activist, rationalist, creative artiste and many more roles. His academic prowess was a remarkable factor, yet his wit fused with wisdom generously applied in writing as well as orations was significant.
The Daily News got in touch with three renowned academics to ascertain the intellectual estate he has bequeathed.
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