Studies of Caste in Sinhala Society over the Centuries

The presentation of an essay in the Sinhala language on “Caste in Sinhala Society”[1] in April 2017 within Thuppahi came to the attention of Thomas Fernando in UK recently. Tommy promptly took up the challenge and is now proceeding to address the article and topic. This is his NOTE to me: “however laborious it is to plough through the Sinhala text, I hope to have a good look at this article on caste in SL as I have not read a good description on this important topic which has a very significant impact on life even today in SL.”

Batgam kulayey nivasak

Tommy was seated beside me in the SSC class a St. Aloysius in the mid-1950s and was easily the sharpest mind in our class. He entered the Jesuit order and its rigorous training; but discarded the robes after a spell. He has had a varied career since and been working in UK for the last 20 years or so with duties that have taken him far and wide in Europe and the world.

We can be sure that his engagements with this fresh challenge will yield fruitful results.  However, Tommy needs to familiarize himself with a substantial corpus of literature on the topic – just for starters! The list I have compiled for his reflections will interest many readers.


JOURNAL ARTICLE: CASTE IN MODERN CEYLON: THE SINHALESE SYSTEM IN TRANSITION. By Bryce Ryan. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1953. 371 pp. $6.00

Murray A. Straus ……… Social Forces, Volume 33, Issue 2, December 1954, Page 189,… Published: …… 01 December 1954


**** ….. Review of Ryan by Albert A Cohen


Ralph Pieris: Sinhalese Social Organization, Colombo, Ceylon University Press Board …, [1956]





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