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
Abbreviations and Glossary vii-ix
Preface and Acknowledgements xi-xii
Part One : Prime Ministers and Other Eminent Persons
Chapter One Dudley Senanayake 3
Chapter Two Sir John Lionel Kotelawala 12
Chapter Three Sirima Bandaranaike 17
Chapter Four Elina Jayewardene 29
Part Two : Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam, 1853-1924
Chapter Five National Leader; The only Tamil public figure to enjoy that
status in his day and up to the present 33
Chapter Six Arunachalam as Administrator 42
Chapter Seven Arunachalam’s Political Career 49
Chapter Eight Arunachalam’s Political Outlook 52
Chapter Nine Arunachalam – Politician 58
Chapter Ten Arunachalam’s Political Initiatives 66
Part Three : Fissures and Rivalries
Chapter Eleven The Tamils as a Minority 85
Chapter Twelve Sir Razik Freeed – Muslims as Challengers to the Tamils 91
Part Four : State Construction
- The Economy and Administration
Chapter Thirteen Ronnie de Mel 97
Gamani Corea 102
C. P. de Silva 104
A. G. Ranasinha 107
C. Loganathan 110
Chapter Fourteen P. de S. Kularatne 115
Peter Harold Nonis 118
Father Peter A. Pillai 122
Part Five: The Socialist Challenge
Chapter Fifteen Dr Colvin R. de Silva 127
Dr N. M. Perera 129
Dr S. A. Wickramasinghe 132
Part Six : The Strange Case of Caste in Sri Lanka’s Public Life
Chapter Sixteen Introduction 137
George Edmund de Silva 142
R. S. S. Gunewardene 145
Part Seven : Epilogue – Potential Political Leaders – Lost
Chapter Seventeen Lalith Athulathmudali 151
Gamini Dissanayake 154
Ranjan Wijeratne 156
This book is dedicated to two Sri Lankan scholars, Prof. G. H. Peiris (Gerry) and Prof. K. N. O. Dharmadasa, former colleagues of mine at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Peradeniya; both of them are dedicated scholars – an endangered species in Sri Lanka – whose assistance I have often sought in the course of my writing and research. That assistance was generally given with little or no hesitation.
© International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES), 2018
This book is copyright under the Berne Convention. All rights reserved. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.
First published in August 2018
Cataloguing-in-Publication Data approved by the National Library and Documentation Services Board.
de Silva, K. M. Sri Lanka: The Recent Past – Brief Essays in History and Politics, Kandy, International Centre for Ethnic Studies, 2018.
954.93031 DDC 23 ii. Title:
Sri Lanka – Recent Past – Prime Ministers and Eminent Persons
Cover page photograph
At a formal ceremony organized by the staff of President J.R. Jayewardene, Sir John gifted his mansion at Kandawala near Ratmalana, a suburb of Colombo, along with a very large extents of buildable land, to the state and through the state to the army. President Jayewardene accepts this gift on behalf of the state.
Enquiries should be addressed to the publisher International Centre for Ethnic Studie
554/6A Peradeniya Road, Kandy, Sri Lanka…………Tel: +94 081 2234892; 2232381…… Web: ww w.ices.lk
SOME PERSONALITIES pictured within the book
Fr Peter Pillai RSS Gunewardene P de S.. Kularatne
About the Author
K. M. de Silva was educated principally, if not entirely, in Sri Lanka during the last stages of British rule in the island, at Kingswood College, Kandy and the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya. The emphasis on independent study or studies which formed a key feature of education at Kingswood helped, in later years, to stimulate his interest in history, and especially in the history of the island. From Kingswood he went on to the University of Ceylon where he was a student in the history department of the Faculty of Arts, graduating with first class honours in 1955.
During his years as an under-graduate at the University of Ceylon, his interest in historical research was stimulated as much by the demands of the teaching programmes for his first degree, the BA, as by the rich resources of the university’s library for under-graduates. From the University of Ceylon at Peradeniya, it was smooth sailing to post-graduate education at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London where he earned his Ph.D.
The next phase was his work as the author of a single-volume History of Ceylon/Sri Lanka, something that had not been done before or since. This single volume History of Ceylon/Sri Lanka contributed greatly to the D.Litt. he earned from the University of London in 1991.
He received professorships and fellowships from many universities and research institutions in Britain and the USA; most notably a fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars in Washington D.C. in 1990-91.
2 responses to “KM de Silva’s Biographical Routes to the Recent Past”
A historian should be objective. This man’s political bias is obvious. Any credit due to his research capabilities are just drowned in his fawning adulation of people like JR and proven rogues like Ronnie de Mel
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