Category Archives: education policy

The Hill-Country Tamils: Their Shitty-Situation Then … and NOW

Ahilan Kadirgamar, in Daily Mirror, 21 November 2022, where the title reads “Hill-country Tamils and Crisis Times” …. with highlighting imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

When our country collapses before our own eyes with one of the deepest crises in historical memory, from what vantage point should we analyse our predicament? Sri Lanka’s political economy over the last two centuries is anchored in the travails and strivings of Hill Country Tamils. Their sweat and blood, that began with the horrifying journey from South India two centuries ago as indentured labour to work in the coffee and later tea plantations, were central to building the country’s modern economy under British colonialism. However, their position in society, and for that matter even the writing of their history, was marginalised. And despite the great democratic and social welfare advances in Sri Lanka with universal suffrage in 1931 and a powerful legacy of free healthcare and education, the social, economic and political life of the Hill Country Tamil community is characterised by struggle amidst persistent crisis times.

‘Ceylon tea’ gave Sri Lanka the recognition in the world map, but the plantation workers are still languishing in their ages-old abode, known as line rooms and continue to be marginalised in education, community wellbeing and healthcare.

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Mrs. Rushira Kulasingham breaks New Ground as Principal of Jaffna College

DBS Jeyaraj, in his website  = https://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/80044?fbclid=IwAR2GGyIjtQCq6lqAwL_R4u87OXaFqx3FWNKwq50r5IxGEpv7xsbnDhicZ5A 

 

The Jaffna College Alumni Association wishes to announce to the alumni across the world that the Board of Directors of Jaffna College have appointed Mrs. Rushira Kulasingham as the Principal of Jaffna College with effect from the 1st of January 2023.

Mrs. Rushira Kulasingham

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University Federation of Dons condemn Sri Lankan Government’s Actions

Item in The Island, 1 August 2022, where the title runs thus “Dons Condemn Suppression of Aragalaya”

“Tyrannical governments and illegitimate leaders throughout history have led their societies to destruction”

The Federation of University Teachers (FUTA) says that the Wickremasinghe-Rajapaksa government lacks any legitimacy and it should stop taking cover behind the Constitution.In a statement condemning what it termed as “repression of aragalaya activists by the current regime” the university teachers have said that “the tyrannical governments and illegitimate leaders throughout history have led their societies to destruction.”

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From Banda to Gota

Laleen Jayamanne, in The Island, 20 & 27 July 2022 where the title runs thus: “Teargas cinema and Rukmani Devi”

“I have never found anything to excite the people in quite the way this language issue does”–– Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike to a journalist.

If true, this observation attributed to Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike, is quite chilling in its cynicism. ‘Excitement’ is a political emotion here and SWRD appears to take a distance from it, observing somewhat clinically, how ‘this language issue’ stirs up ‘the people’. Politicians are especially crafty, cunning, when they know how to excite people with ideas that they themselves may or may not truly believe in.

A protester covering the eyes of the Bandaranaike statue at Galle Face

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Royal: The History of a Hostel & the Sociology of a School

Uditha Devapriya, in The Island, 2 July 2022, with input from Uthpala Wijesooriya, Pasindu Nimsara, and Keshan Themiraarchival images courtesy of the J. R. Jayewardene Centre

Somewhere in July, the Hostel of Royal College, Colombo will unveil its annual Day. Organised after seven long years, the Hostel Day will incorporate a number of aesthetic, cultural, and sports events. Many of them have been held over the last two months and a few are yet to be finalised. In the face of an unprecedented economic crisis, it has been a challenge to have held them at all. For the residents of the Hostel, it has also been a baptism of fire, no less than a continuation of what was once a long tradition.

the young co-authors    Royal Colleg Hostet – Group Photo

 

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Chance Events in the Making of the Four-Volume Documents of the Ceylon National Congress

Michael Roberts

 In 1977 a sizeable stock of historical manuscripts was made available to the public by the Department of National Archives in four volumes entitled Documents of the Ceylon National Congress and Nationalist Politics in Ceylon, 1929-1950. This outcome was the result of a substantial body of work. It was also the outcome of several fortuitous encounters.

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Addressing Sri Lanka’s Future in June 2009

Michael Roberts, reprinting here an article that appeared in FRONTLINE vol. 26/12, 19 June 2009 … with this title “Some Pillars for Lanka’s Future”

“One can win the War, but lose the Peace” — A cliche this may be, but it is also a hoary truism that looms over the post-war scenario in Sri Lanka. The triumphant Sri Lankan government now [must] address the human terrain rather than the fields of battle.

 

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Honouring and Grieving Sam Samarasinghe: Academics in USA

 

 

JOHN HOLT, 24 November 2021

Very sorry to hear of Sam’s demise.   haven’t seen him much in the past several years, but Sam and Vidya were very key to my education about Sri Lanka and, in addition to inputs from C.R. and Kingsley, to the early success of the ISLE Program. We managed to bring Sam and Vidya to Swarthmore College for a year circa 1990 or so, and from then and there they creatively parlayed their experience to move permanently to the US, though Sam stayed with ICES periodically for many years and encouraged our cooperative presence with that venerable institution.

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Exploring Sri Lanka’s Experiences with Democracy

Sarah Kabir and ROAR on “A Journey of a Demcracy: The Sri Lankan Story”

ROAR is embarking on the generation of a documentary thatseeks to create awareness and understanding of Sri Lanka’s post-independence history…… SEE INITIAL NOTICE: https://thuppahis.com/2021/11/19/imaginative-explorations-of-sri-lankas-history-on-the-cards/#more-56776

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project Intervention

It has been over a decade since the end of Sri Lanka’s protracted conflict, but what we have today is ‘negative peace’ – which is the absence of overt violence. Limited understanding of Sri Lanka’s history, politics, democracy, ambition, intent, and the refusal to acknowledge acts of intolerance and discrimination that destroyed lives and led to bloodshed makes it increasingly difficult to avoid the recurrence of violence and we risk repeating the same mistakes. Today, we are confronted with choices that could lead to positive peace or a resumption of cycles of violence. Even now, the difficulties of dealing with COVID-19 and the resulting economic fallout could lead to social unrest that may morph into inter-communal violence if manipulated. Continue reading

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Revd Ernest Poruthota in Q and A on His Life’s Work

Avishka Mario Senewiratne in Q and A with Fr Poruthota (1931-2020) ………… Interview in  May 2018 and originally published in the Messenger, May, 27, 2018. 

Today the Messenger carries a very special and exclusive interview with one of the most senior and popular priests in the Archdiocese of Colombo, Rev. Fr. Ernest Poruthota. Since his ordination in 1957, Fr. Poruthota has served in ten parishes in different parts of the Archdiocese.  As Asst. Parish Priest in Kotahena (1957-59), Moratuwa (1959-60), Pamunugama (1960), Dehiwala (1960-62) and Parish Priest in Dehiyagatha (1962-66), Kelaniya (1967-74), Kalamulla (1974-82), Kotte (1982-87), Wattala (1991-1997), Dehiwala (1997-2004), Kirimatiyagara (2004-2011). Apart from Parishes he has served as the Chaplain of lay Apostolate (1966-67), Director PMS (1971-74), Chaplain YCW, CWM (1983-87), Dean of Colombo (1987-91).

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